It's official!

It's official!
David Stubbs Photography

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

New York celebrity sightings

When I first became a big city gal 3 1/2 years ago in Chicago, I realized I needed to ditch one small-town girl quality: being too friendly.

See, in Wyoming, people act differently. They look each other in the eye. They smile. They may say "hi there" or "howdy." At the very least, they give a little head nod and perhaps a tilt of the cowboy hat.

In Chicago and New York City? Not so much.

When I first moved to the Chi, I kept up my Wyoming ways by smiling at people passing by. I quickly learned that most men took this as a sign that I was hitting on them, and woman acted suspiciously, thinking I was trying to snag their purse or their man. It wasn't pretty. And it wasn't long before I became like everyone else and just kept to myself. Now, I wouldn't be able to give police a description of a mugger, because I never really look at anyone's face. And well, that's a problem.

See, in New York City, there are celebrities. Open up any US Weekly and you'll see that stars are everywhere. They are buying flowers at local deli's, eating pizza slices on the street and walking hand in hand with their latest loves. And at least one actor was hanging out in a NYC spa with Jeannie Crofts, only she didn't know it.

On Monday night, Mike and I went to Exhale Spa near Columbus Circle for some much needed pampering. Mike spent an hour getting a massage and I spent an hour getting a facial. As we were leaving, he said, "Did you see that guy next to you? That's that actor from 21 Jump Street. You know, the hilarious gym teacher. I think his name is Rob Riggle."

Um, no. Turns out that Rob not only checked out next to me, but I had spent about ten minutes with him in the relaxation lounge. He and his wife were both chilling, talking about their trip to NYC, their dinner plans for the next night and his wife's upcoming hair appointment. I was about six feet away from them as they drank water and kicked up their feet. And then when it was my turn to get my facial, I walked by them both. But in true New York fashion, I never looked at their faces, so I didn't make the connection.

It also turns about that I've seen Rob in a ton of movies and TV shows. The Hangover, 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live, Step Brothers, etc. I read that he started as a comedian and is super good friends with Will Ferrell. Here's the very funny taser scene from The Hangover where he plays the overzealous police officer.

He's so funny!

Oh, and did I also mention that I had brunch next to Whoopi Goldberg a few weeks ago? Yep, I never noticed until we were finishing and my mother-in-law said, "That woman has hair just like Whoopi Goldberg's. Her glasses are just like hers too. Wait, it is Whoopi Goldberg!"

Yep, I didn't notice, because I don't look at people at other tables.

So, needless to say, I'm changing my ways. I'm looking at everyone now! Sorry New Yorkers, I may make you uncomfortable, but it needs to be done. I can't risk getting a pedi next to Justin Timberlake and not knowing it. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Daniel Day-Lewis and Anne Hathaway

Did you watch the Oscars last night? I thought they were great! I think my favorite part was the Sally Field sketch. As I tweeted, "Just when I thought I couldn't love Sally Field anymore." It's refreshing to see such a talented and well-known actress not take herself too seriously.

What made the show seem more personal is that my husband and I got to see several of the Oscar winners and nominees during the past few months. As part of the writer's guild, we got to go to movie premieres and hear many of the actors and directors describe the filming process and final outcome.

One of the coolest experiences was going to see "Lincoln" and then hearing Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Steven Spielberg, James Spader and others describe their experiences.
Daniel Day-Lewis (far left) is known for his method acting, which means he's fully in character during the entire filming process. He acknowledged that last night, thanking his wife for putting up with him saying, Rebecca "has lived with some very strange men," since they married 16 years ago. He also called her a perfect companion. So sweet! When we heard him chat, he said when he finishes a movie, he mourns the loss of the character.

Steven Spielberg (second from right) said throughout the movie, he called the actors by their character names to help them stay in the moment. He also let us in on a touching moment in Day-Lewis's trailer after filming had wrapped. He said as soon as Daniel spoke in his English accent versus his Abe voice, they both started crying, knowing they had to leave Lincoln behind that day.

Here's Steven Spielberg describing the 16th President.


We also got to listen to Oscar winner Anne Hathaway along with director Christopher Nolan and actor Michael Caine at the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises. Many movie critics believe the movie got snubbed from any Oscar nods, especially since the movie's prequel, The Dark Knight, won several awards in 2008.
Two observations: Michael Caine is hilarious and Anne Hathaway seems a bit shy. Here she is talking about preparing for her fighting scenes in seriously high-heels.

Congrats to all the winners, especially Argo for Best Picture. What a great heart-pounding movie!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

New York City living

When describing Manhattan to people living in smaller towns, I notice their eyes get wide as I describe daily life. Things such as taking the subway late at night, schlepping laundry to the laundromat, or getting yelled at by a crazy homeless person usually elicits the same kind of response, "Oh, my."

For my husband and I who both grew up in smaller towns in Wyoming and Ohio, our parents share a mixture of excitement for our new adventure combined with absolute fear of big city life. After we moved, I noticed both sides quickly booked trips here so they could scope out our new 'hood.

For my side, I flew home to Wyoming and spent a week with the fam and then flew back to NYC with my mom and step-dad. I was excited to show them our Upper West Side neighborhood and our new digs, knowing that I could ease some of those fears when they saw how safe and clean everything is.

And then this happened...

When I came home from my week away, I was greeted by a spiderweb of shattered glass on our front door. It looks like someone kicked the glass to try and get in. Not exactly the image you're hoping to show your family the moment they walk in the door. I decided I would explain the bright side...the fact that the glass hadn't broken shows how thick it is, and therefore, how safe we really are. (Right?)

And then something else happened...

Later that night after my mom and step-dad were at their hotel, I was reading in the living room while Mike was asleep in the bedroom. I could hear some rustling outside our door. I looked through the peephole and saw a young man hunched over the railing. What in the world? Had he been shot? Then I saw bright-red projectile vomit coming from his mouth and landing all over our hallway. After he finished, he just walked away.

I opened the door and yelled, "Really buddy? You're just going to leave it?" (Apparently I'm a confrontational New Yorker now.) He did not respond.

When my parents came by the next morning to visit, they told me they had to step around four different piles of red vomit. Apparently this champ had thrown up on every floor while climbing to his 5th floor apartment.

Again, really buddy?

During breakfast, Mike and I explained that in several years of city living, we had never seen this happen before. (Come to think of it, this never even happened in college.) Oh, and we were pretty sure the landlord would fix the glass on our door quickly.

So much for making a good first impression. I'm just glad neither parent was pickpocketed.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Molly's Cupcakes New York City

There are certain moments that change your life. There are experiences that you know even when time passes and your memory fades, you will somehow hang on to this one snapshot forever. Living in New York City for a little over three months now, I have a few of those moments. Playing in the freshly-fallen snow in Central Park, eating brunch and looking up and seeing Whoopi Goldberg sitting nearby and eating one of the best cupcakes I've ever put in my mouth. Scratch that, it's not one of the best, it IS the best.

From the moment I moved to this concrete jungle, a girlfriend of mine who moved to the city three years ago, kept telling me about the things I just had to do in the city. There were the usuals, like certain restaurants I should try and places I should go ice skating, but she also kept mentioning her favorite little gem: Molly's Cupcakes.

So on Sunday, January 13th, (Yes, this was the kind of event that got marked in my calendar), I was having brunch with that girlfriend Jeane, and one of her friends, Michelle. When we finished, they said we should swing by Molly's since it was nearby on Bleecker Street. I was stuffed so I reluctantly agreed. When we arrived, we were greeted with a friendly hello from the owner, John, and shelf after shelf covered in the most beautiful cupcakes I had ever seen. I quickly discovered that many of the cupcakes were not only gorgeously-decorated, but had a fun and delicious-filled center such as cake batter, cookie dough and creme brulee. The girls told me cake batter was their fave, so I gave it a whirl.

Jeane and Michelle instructed me to cut the cupcake in half which uncovers the cake batter inside. I used a fork to make sure I scooped out just enough of the gooey goodness along with the vanilla cake and bright blue frosting. I took one bite...and it was...not changing. My taste buds were dancing with the first encounter of moist homemade ingredients along with frosting that I proclaimed, "Is going to make me cry." Each bite solidified that this was the most amazing cupcake in New York City. I didn't even have to try any others to know that this would forever be my fave. But just to make sure, I came back three more times in the next week.

Now, just to be fair and for research sake, I have tried two other cupcake shops in NYC. Let me just say, it's kind of like going to Olive Garden when you can have pasta bolognese in Little Italy.

So the next time you're in New York, Chicago or Iowa City, stop by Molly's and tell them Jeannie sent you. And since that probably won't mean much, just tell them you want a life-changing cupcake.