It's official!

It's official!
David Stubbs Photography

Thursday, May 30, 2013

New York City post office

Ugh. I just received the pink slip of death. It's the notice saying I missed a package the post office tried to deliver, so now I have to go pick it up in person. I'd think I'd rather eat a bad bean burrito and then ride the subway for two hours.

What's that you say? I should have it redelivered? That's a great idea--only that doesn't work in New York City. Every time I've rescheduled a post office delivery online, it sends me a confirmation e-mail showing the new delivery date....only....the package never comes. You see, my postman doesn't WANT to redeliver it, therefore he doesn't. It's a simple as that.

Going to our local post office branch is quite the experience. When you walk in, you are immediately greeted by a long line of people with screaming babies and adults with death looks on their faces. Every counter is secured with what appears to be bullet-proof glass, and each post office worker looks like they've made it their mission to consume 10,000 calories a day. And if you thought the customer's faces were bad, just look at the workers who look like they're secretly plotting all the ways they'd like to kill you.

Then you wait in line, and realize even though there are five or so workers behind the counters, only the most obese one is actually helping customers, so the wait is at least 20 minutes. Your heart races at the sheer frustration of it all, and you start secretly plotting all the ways you'd like to get behind that bullet-proof glass.

When it's finally your turn, you show the worker your pink slip of death, which is greeted by an audible sigh and a roll of the eyes. They then slowly waddle to the back room to find your package, and stay there for at least another 20 minutes. Surely your package is not in New Jersey, is it?

The worker then waddles back and says your package is no where to be found. She instructs you to move down to window #8 and when you do, you realize no one is working at window #8. You've just been punked.

You look down at your pink slip and read the words, "Sorry We Missed You," knowing that's really only mocking you, because they are not sorry at all.

Another 10 minutes or so, and another disgruntled waddler shuffles to window #8 and takes your pink slip again. She then spends another 10 minutes in the back room and when she has nearly given up, voila, she realizes the package was on the first shelf she checked. Oops. She then lifts her side of the bullet-proof glass and places your package on the counter which can only be accessed after she has closed her side....I suppose so you're not able to slip a gun underneath.

As you walk away, you're pretty sure she is giving you the middle finger.

Oh, and did I mention the UPS and FedEx guys are always nice, and will gladly run up four flights of stairs to deliver packages? Our postman would surely die if he tried that, either from a heart attack or after tripping over his baggy pants.

And you wonder why the post office is going broke....

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Smoking in New York City

Men--I'm going to share a little secret with you. There is one thing that is the biggest turn-off, like literally a deal-breaker. You can be handsome and successful and charming, but if you do this one thing, woman will go running for the hills.

I'm talking about smoking.

Last night, my girlfriends and I went to the Ava Lounge, a rooftop bar in Midtown that has absolutely gorgeous views of the city and Times Square. I loved the outdoor garden feel it provided. But we weren't there more than about 10 minutes before nearly every man started lighting up. Cigarettes...cigars, you name it. It was disgusting.

Beautiful view. The smell? Not so great

Perhaps we're spoiled by Mayor Bloomberg and NYC smoking laws that are some of the strictest in the nation, but we felt like this shouldn't be allowed. Can't you just enjoy nature and city views without lighting up?

Two dorky looking businessmen next to us were both smoking nasty cigars and of course, their smoke was blowing right in our faces. So with the courage of a few cocktails, I went up to them and asked them to kindly move because the smell was "so gross."

In their English accents, one said mockingly to me, "Our cigars smell so gross?" He smiled and they both laughed.

So I mocked him back with my best fake English accent, "That's right, they smell sooooo gross."

Neither one moved. I'm totally telling Prince William on them.

At this point, we can no longer breathe
Another man came up to our table to chat with us, and of course, he had a cigarette in his hand. We "politely" told him how gross he smelled and to please leave. Ha! Not the reaction he was hoping for, I'm guessing.

See men, is this what you want? Not only that, smoking makes your breath bad, your hands smell and lowers your sperm count. What part of that is attractive?

Sheesh. And you wonder why you're still single.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

New York City living

This is the "Friends" apartment. I bet it didn't smell
On the very small island of Manhattan, you're at the mercy of your neighbors. If they smoke, you second-hand smoke. If they love cooking with curry, your hair and clothes will make it smell like you do too. If they like to listen to loud mariachi music at midnight, you might as well fall asleep with maracas in your hand. And if the little old lady in apartment #4 smells like she's harboring dead bodies in her apartment, well, you may as well pray that you will eventually lose your sense of smell.

I have only seen our neighbor in #4 a handful of times. She will shuffle to the mailbox and back once a day, and that's it. When she comes out, she will only crack her door a small amount, but it's enough to see a hoarder's delight. Newspapers, magazines, name it. I joke that she's like the Pig-Pen character from Peanuts, and you can pretty much see the cloud of dirt and dust seeping from underneath her door.

But recently, the smell became worse. Like as soon as you opened the building's front door, the odor from her apartment smacked you in the face. And even though we live four floors above her, the smell was starting to seep upstairs. Not even our air purifier or endless plug-ins from Bath and Body Works could cover up the smell of death.

I started coming up with all sorts of scenarios. Did her cat die but she refused to say goodbye, therefore, Puss 'N Boots decayed on her kitchen table? Did her husband die, but she kept him around so she could collect his Social Security checks?

I called our landlord's office, and asked for them to do a welfare check on her, wondering if maybe she had gone to the great beyond. (Obviously not Bed, Bath & Beyond.) The office assured me she was alive and well (and probably in a rent-controlled apartment) and that there had been other complaints as well. So many, in fact, they had police and fire come do a welfare check, but she wouldn't let them into her apartment.

Yep, it must be a dead body.

Well, I'm not sure what finally happened, but Mike said he saw a cleaning lady working on her apartment recently. Can you imagine what that job was like? Alas, the smell is better and all that remains is a black pile of grime right outside her door, evidence of some sort of major clean-up.

Thank god.

Now what can we do about that potent urine smell on the sidewalks?....