It's official!

It's official!
David Stubbs Photography

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Best New York City Apartment

"In New York, you're always looking for a job, a boyfriend or an apartment." Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City

We have lived in our very small Upper West Side apartment for about five months now, so it's only natural to start looking at other places. New Yorkers joke that as soon as you find an apartment, you need to begin searching for the next one, because the competition is so fierce.

For awhile now, I've been eyeing the most perfect apartment building at the corner of West End Avenue and 86th Street that I'm absolutely drooling over. Look at how beautiful it is....
Courtesy: 535 West End Avenue

It's a pre-war building, but you can tell someone put some serious money into it, and now it's modernly elegant. I walk the dogs by it quite often and we always stop and stare (or pee).

So I decided to Google my little piece of heaven, thinking since it's in our neighborhood, I bet the hubs and I could at least afford a junior studio. Confirming that I've always had a champagne taste on a Kool-Aid budget, here is what I found is a typical floorplan...

Yep, you're reading that right. 7 bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms! 8,451 square feet! In Manhattan! And yes, you're seeing an actual IN-UNIT washer and dryer. I didn't even know such luxury existed in the middle of the city. This apartment makes up the entire 10th floor. (And I bet their building doesn't always smell like dead cats and Chinese food.)

Sadly, I'm pretty sure this apartment's "sitting room" is larger than our entire apartment. (And I'm guessing if you're paying the rent on this baby, you're not doing a lot of sitting. Probably a lot of 20-hour days at the office??)

I couldn't help but wonder (like Carrie Bradshaw always did), how much would you have to pay for this kind of luxury? Based on my math, just the seven bedrooms alone would cost at least $17,500 a month, and that doesn't include the bathrooms, service hall, library or reception hall.

So, for now, I guess we'll have to stay in our little apartment while dreaming about the day we'll have a "Bedroom #2."

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Eating out in New York City

Eating out in New York City is not cheap. Heck, just "eating in" in NYC in not cheap. The first time I saw Apple Jacks selling for $8 a box, I nearly passed out. I mean, don't get me wrong, Apple Jacks are delicious, just not $8-a-box delicious.

But back to eating out. When cereal just won't cut it and I want a night out, like every other New Yorker, I'm faced with drinks ranging in price from $15-$18 and entrees ranging from $25-$35. Date night with the hubs or a night out with a girlfriend will easily run $100 or more. So imagine my surprise while eating out recently at a very nice Italian joint in Midtown and discovering that my bill was.... $0.


I was out to eat with a girlfriend at Nino's Tuscany on West 58th Street. We were finished with dinner and couldn't figure out why the server hadn't brought our check. I decided to hit the bathroom, and when I came out, my girlfriend told me that our dinner had already been paid for.


Yep, turns out a regular guest sitting at the bar near us decided to treat us to dinner. He left by the time we found he wasn't looking for praise or admiration... he just wanted to do something very nice for two women he didn't know.

It made my night.

Now in true "pay it forward" fashion, I probably should have paid for someone else's dinner that night. But are you crazy? I can't afford that! You see, I'm currently saving up for a box of Captain Crunch.

After our free dinner. At this point, I'm regretting that I didn't order another glass of wine.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Bernadette Peters New York City

Well, that sure was fun.

The Thursday before last, I decided to treat myself to a mani/pedi. I usually do my own nails to save money, so this was a first in New York City. I Googled places in our 'hood and decided on Polished Beauty Bar at 78th and Broadway.

A few minutes after I arrived, another woman came in and stood right next to me. I couldn't see her face because she was shorter than me, had on a cute beret and was looking down to check her cell phone. Shortly after that, the nail tech told us both to go over to the pedi stations so we could soak our feet. As I waited for the woman to take off her cute boots, I looked up and noticed that she was none other than...are you sitting down? Bernadette Peters! I recognized her immediately and gave her a smile.

So there I was, sitting right next to an amazingly talented movie, TV and Broadway actress. What's a girl to do? The obvious 2013 answer is post it to Facebook.
Shortly after my Facebook post, I got a ping on my cell phone. The text was from a former co-worker who told me that one of our other co-workers used to date Bernadette. WHAT??? I replied that she had to be kidding, but nope, she replied back that indeed they dated and I just HAD to ask Ms. Peters about him.

Alright, why the heck not?

Relying on skills learned during my Interpersonal Communications class during my junior year of college, I observed the subject. She was making small talk with the nail tech, so she was obviously friendly and open to conversation. And she was done checking her text messages, so it was the perfect time. With my heart racing, I turned and said...

Me: "Um, excuse me. Can I ask you a really odd question?"

Bernadette: "Sure."

Me: "Do you know who John Doe* is?" (* Names have been changed to protect former co-workers.)

Bernadette: "What's the last name?"

Me: "Doe."

Bernadette: "Hmm, I don't think so. Where does he live?"

I explained to Bernadette that he lives in Fort Myers, Florida, but he used to live in Cincinnati, and maybe he lived in NYC too. As I was talking, I could see there wasn't the faintest bit of recognition. 

My first thought was man, I feel so bad for John. He's not at all memorable to Bernadette!

I explained to Ms. Peters that I must have been mistaken and then I sit back in my chair and decide to leave her alone.

But then, Bernadette asked me if I used to live in Fort Myers. She wanted to me!!! She also asked about what I was doing in New York, about my husband's job, what my name is and even asked what nationality that is. We literally spent the next hour gabbing! She then totally gave me the inside scoop on all the best places to eat in NYC and about her upcoming performance on the TV show Smash. We were besties for the day.

It was the Coolest. Day. Ever.

As we were wrapping up our mani's (side by side of course) my heart started pounding because I wanted to ask her for a picture. I again observed my surroundings and decided that since we were the only two in the salon, I wouldn't create a frenzy of fans also wanting to get pics. So, I said...

"I want to ask you something, but please don't hesitate to say no if you don't want. But I would be mad at myself if I didn't ask. Can I get a picture with you?"

Bernadette: "Sure, why not? You can show our afternoon of girls gone wild." She then laughed.

Love that. We took a picture and it came out blurly, so Ms. Peters agreed to take another. 

We wrapped up at the drying stations and I did what any starving writer does. I handed her my business card and told her to check out this blog. Ha! Maybe she's reading this now??

Oh and by the way--I found out later the story about Bernadette and my former co-worker is just a rumor that has been circulating throughout the Fort Myers newsroom for about 12 years. But hey, it got me an afternoon with an award-winning actress. Not too shabby.