Friday, September 28, 2007

An Ass, in nyc

So there I was, minding my own business, finishing up the last bites of a slice of ultra thin crust pineapple and ham pizza when I looked up and saw a mule pulling a small wagon down Isham Street toward Inwood Hill Park.

Yes I was surprised, we don’t see large four legged animals up in my neck of the woods. Dogs, yes. Mules, no!

So I did what any self-respecting blogger would do, I hot-footed it home to grab my camera. (Perhaps I should start carrying a small point & shoot with me at all times. Of course that would necessitate me buying a point & shoot….)

Fortunately they stopped for a brief moment in the park, and I snagged this shot. Quite profound wouldn’t you say? The mule gazing off into the urban distance.

Ass in NYC 1

The mule & owners ended up spending the night at the Van Cortland Park stables in The Bronx.

It turns out that the couple (Bud & Kenny) are planning to travel the world on foot. You can read about their travels, gawk at their solar powered trailer, or donate to support their journey at

Anyway, it’s just not something you see every day on the streets of New York.


Ass in NYC 2

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Fearless Bridal, sarah style

A few weeks ago I approached Sarah to see if she was interested in doing a “Fearless Bridal” session (formerly known as Trash The Dress or TTD). She was game, and so a few weeks later we found ourselves running around NYC's Upper West Side & Central Park having a great time.

I asked her if she wouldn’t mind writing up a little blurb for the blog, and she said sure (try saying that last part ten times fast). Her words are below, and I’ve even posted a fun clip highlighting fun photos from our shoot.

Happy reading & viewing.



When Melissa Bitter first asked me if she could take some pictures of me in my wedding dress, I agreed without hesitation. The weekend we hoped to do the photo shoot would be one week shy of my 1st wedding anniversary, and this seemed like a perfect time to pull out the dress and re-live some of the fun of my wedding day.

But, as the day for the photo shoot drew near, I began to get nervous. Melissa wasn’t going to take me to a photo studio for some nice conservative portraits. I was going to be out there in the public eye; in Central Park, on the streets hailing cabs, and on (not in!) fountains.

I realized- People are going to be staring at me! And despite being a Leo (very easily flattered and generally a sucker for attention), I became more and more apprehensive about tromping around New York in my wedding dress and veil until I finally found myself in the bathroom at the American Museum of Natural History touching up my makeup. And I was self-conscious…for about 5 minutes. Melissa was so professional and encouraging.

As the day progressed, I lost almost all inhibition (as demonstrated by the dance party shots!) and began to fully embrace what I was doing. I felt confident, sexy, and happy. People didn’t think I was weird- they thought I was a bride (albeit, a bride that was climbing over rocks and scaling stonework) and I was greeted by nothing but goodwill from onlookers. When everyone is smiling at you, wishing you congratulations, and telling you that you look beautiful in your dress, it’s hard not enjoy yourself. I felt that wedding-day flush all over again.

Was my dress filthy by the end of the day? Yes.

Was I exhausted? Yes. (Though probably not as much as Melissa who had to lug a 20 pound camera bad around with her everywhere!)

Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. It was such a fun, liberating experience that the fact that Melissa’s shots came out wonderfully is just a bonus. The shoot was a great way to close out my first year of marriage- it reminded me that I’m still a little bit of a blushing bride, but it also helped me (finally!) get my dress to the drycleaner and pack it away that chapter of my life.


Monday, September 24, 2007

Linkage, to new york portraits

I'm on the run today and won't have time to blog later, so I'm sending you over to fellow NYC Blogger, Kitty @ New York Portraits.

Her write-up reminds me of my first three months in The City, where I lived on a couch in the front room/living room/kitchen. And my subsequent apartment that had a kitchen just as she describes.

I am now the proud owner of a fairly long/skinny kitchen, and I felt immediate kinship with the developer she mentioned. I ended up taking apart some metal IKEA racks and rebuilding it with shelves and a counter top. It's pretty ghetto, if I ever get brave enough, I'll post a picture so you can see it. ;)

How the Other Half Lives, by Kitty @ New York Portraits


Friday, September 21, 2007

Will You Marry Me? document it in stealth mode

Sarah 7

I read an article titled, Will You Marry Me? Say Cheese in the New York Times yesterday, the byline?
"Now, not only can men tell friends and family about the circumstances of their engagement, they can show them, too, thanks to a candid shot of the proposal."

I think the idea of shooting a proposal in stealth mode sounds like so much fun! I love capturing candid moments anyway, so I'm thinking this type of work would really float my boat. Are any of you men out there thinking about popping the question anytime soon? Mention you saw this on my blog and I'll cut you a deal. lol


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Avast!, international talk like a pirate day

I logged onto my flickr account earlier today and was puzzled when I saw a pirate flag waving accross their logo.

So what did I do? I went strait to google news to figure out what in the heck was going on.

And that's when I discovered that today is International Talk Like a Pirate day. Here's the official site. So to help celebrate the day in style, I'm posting The Five A's.

Here are links to the Official Pirate song and Rap, pirate style of course.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Self Portrait, at the beach

Me at the Beach

Here I am at the beach a few short weeks ago. The tang of the sea permeated the air, the roar of waves crashed along the shore, and the soft sand underfoot was soothing. This shot was taken at San Clemete, one of my favorite Southern California beaches. Why does it rank among my favorites? Well, because you can go out into the ocean 30 feet and still only have water reach your waist. It's perfect for boogie boarding.

I played family photog at this occasion, so this is all you're going to see of me in the near future. :)

A few days ago Kitty over at NY Portraits tagged me to tell you eight random things about me. Since most of you don't even know me, this should be fairly easy! lol

1. I fell out of a two-story window when I was 2 1/2, landed on my head, got to wear a cast on my head reminiscent of a football helmet and lived to tell the tale (obviously). I'll see if I can dig up some old footage to show you how I looked when I came home from the hospital.

2. I'm 5' 10" and started to regularly wear heals for the first time when I graduated from high school (really), because I was afraid to be taller than all the guys I knew. Fortunately it didn't take me long after graduating to realize that I was already taller than most the guys I knew and that not wearing heals wasn't going to make any difference. I said, "Skip it", and have had a blast ever since.

3. Je parles francais. Vraiment. Mais, je ne suis pas les cours de francais depuis long temps, donc, toutes de ma grammaire sucks dirt.

4. I started snow skiing when I was 3 1/2, and have the photos to prove it.

5. I'm listening to Gravel Lines by Amy Seeley right now. She's a new favorite as of two days ago.

6. I'm a dreamer.

7. I'm a fix-it girl, hand me a screw-driver and a wrench I can fix anything. Well not really, but I did help lay and grout a travertine floor, made my own picture frames, and was the go to handy-woman in my family while growing up.

8. My two favorite books of all time are The Blues Sword and Beauty by Robin McKinley. I found them when I was around 10 years old and have read them so many times I've lost track. Yes, I still read them, especially when I'm in the mood to cozy up with an old friend.

Here's the part where I'm supposed to tag eight other people . . . but you know my thoughts on that. Instead I'll tag just a few. Feel free to respond or not, I'll still like you anyway. lol

1. Mother of Boys @ Lem n' Em, sorry for those of you who can't access her blog.

2. Merebuff @ Clifford Goes to Town

3. Camsavwin @ Plenipotentiary

4. Donna Boucher @ Quiet Life

Feel free to heckle my lack of French skills in the comments section.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Stealing Shots, not so covertly


A week ago I had the pleasure of shooting fearless bridal session (more commonly known as Trash the Dress) with the Sarah in Central Park. I'm processing the photos tonight and had to share when I came across this one. Check out the camera action she's getting. lol

When we got done shooting at this spot, Sarah turned to me and said laughing, "They were taking pictures." I'm just glad I caught it on camera. :)

It was tricky getting shots both with and without the boats in the lake. That pesky couple in front kept getting in the way. They went back again and again, they probably kept wondering why she was sitting all by herself in the middle of the lake.

Stay tuned for more pictures from Sarah's Fearless Bridal session later in the week. They're awesome!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Headshots, by bitter

Just wanted to spread the word about a headshot special I'm running for those of you actors and musicians out there in need of updated photos.

The Deal:
Book a shoot in the month of September for any Saturday, or Monday-Friday (5:00-7:00) from Sept. 1st to Oct. 15th (2207) for $99+ NY sales tax.

The $99 sale includes approximately 200 headshots, up to 2 outfits, and 1 lightly retouched image from the shoot. All sessions will take place in NYC, on the Upper West Side, and will be shot in natural light.

To book a shoot, email Melissa (ack! now you know my name!) melissa @ (remove the spaces to make the email address work) and let her know what date you'd like.

For those of you who don't need headshots, but have artsy friends who need them, spread the word. If you do, I'll work on expanding my blog to give away free desktop wall paper and add the how to/recipe section I've been planning, like pronto. lol

-Bitter, someone who's not against bribing her readers to support a good cause...

A small sample of my work. :)
Girl 3

Aaron 1

Yalei 1

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A Day of Good Deeds, 9/11

White Flower :)

Six years ago when two planes crashed into the World Trade Center in NYC, and then into the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania, I was shocked.

I remember blow drying my hair upstairs when it happened. My mom had turned on the TV to watch the news and we found out what had been happening for the past forty-five minutes back East.

I remember sitting down at the top of the stairs, brush in hand, in disbelief. There I hovered, hoping and waiting for it to not be as bad as it looked. I don’t know why I stayed up there on those hard wooden steps looking through the banister to the TV screen below, when I could have gone down and sat comfortably on the couch, but there I stayed for the next couple of hours riveted to all that was happening.

I remember feeling sick inside, my face echoing the horror I saw etched on the faces shown as the towers began to fall. You see, I knew that surely everyone would make it out of the towers okay. That there would be a happy ending. And as rescuers dug through the rubble, I thought surely they would find survivors.

My sister, The Expat, told me once of that day in Washington DC. She worked in the International Trade Center in the District, and she told me stories of the evacuation. Of women running in their stockinged feet, leaving high heeled shoes behind. Of the confusion, and panic that she and her then fiancée experienced while trying to find each other in the crowds. And lastly of their long trek home, on foot, crossing over the Potomac.

But mostly what I remember from that day, beyond the horror and dismay, is the outpouring of service. Of the New Yorkers reaching out and giving aid to strangers they’d never met; the long lines of people waiting to donate blood for survivors that would never be found; the many acts of kindness to neighbors; volunteers and professionals rushing into the fray to save someone else.

It was beautiful to watch as kindness and gentleness spread across the nation as we all for a few short months were kinder to each other.

And that dear readers, is what I’d like you to remember today. Not the horror and anger. Yes, there is a place for the anger, but it doesn’t do much except eat at you from within. Instead, I urge you to reach out to others in need and do a good deed. To honor and remember those admirable and brave people that lost their lives on 9/11/01 in service.

Here's a quote from an article in Yahoo! news about an organization called

“The heroic acts of all those killed trying to save others that September morning has spawned a growing grass-roots movement. The goal is to ensure that future generations remember not just the horror of the attacks, but also the extraordinary outpouring of humanity during the days, weeks, and months that followed.”
I urge you to remember and honor those who died that day, by reaching out and doing a good deed.

To learn more about or participate in my Good Deed, click here.


Friday, September 7, 2007

Woe Is Me, light pollution & that d@#*! fly

I’ve always been sensitive to light while I sleep. I think it hearkens back to the days when I briefly --What’s a couple of years when you’re getting on in years? -- shared a room with my two older sisters.

I spent my mornings flinging a pillow over my head morning after morning as they arose an hour and a half earlier than me to get ready for high school. (No they couldn’t get dressed in the dark.) I quickly learned the fine art of blocking out light while maintaining a steady supply of fresh air.

So NYC is not the darkest spot on the planet. In order to sleep, I’ve hung dark blankets over my curtains, and more recently invested in a nice handy dandy sleep mask. You know, those scraps of silky smooth satin and elastic band made in great colors and occasionally accompanied by ruffles.

Audrey Hepburn wore one in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

But I digress, sometime last week in the middle of the night I managed to loose my eye mask. The one I wear to block out the streetlight shinning across the street, and that wonderful morning sun that insists on rising first thing (6:00am) no matter how much I complain.

So last week at some point in the night, my eye mask disappeared. Unfortunately when they’re new the elastic is firm and springy, and they tend to slide off fairly easily. At least they do on me.

I vaguely remember it sliding smoothly over my hair and the feeling of cool air caressing skin that had been covered. In particular, I remember the firm tug of elastic against one of my fingers as the eye mask spring boarded off my head and across the room.

Alas, that is the last time I saw, or rather, felt my eye mask, the bringer of sleep to the light sensitive and fashion accessory to the jaded.

I’ve searched high and low, dug through piles of bills I’ve been meaning to shred, and luggage that I’ve not yet put away.

Restless nights have plagued me ever since, complete with psycho creams and tired itchy eyes that stay with me all day. I yawned all day at work on Tuesday and I’ve been dragging ever since. Who knew light and the things we condition ourselves to could make such a difference?

I did a little digging about sleep and lack of darkness for this post, and found out some interesting facts. Did you know that a simple nightlight can children's eyesight? That light pollution has been tied to breast cancer in labrotory mice, and as for my complaint of the moment, lack of restful sleep.

Turn out those lights and pull down those black-out shades. The dark is good for you.

So you’d think my life was bad enough with no sleep, but then the fly came.

I spent Tuesday night with a big fat fly buzzing around my room. Who knows where it had been, I refuse to think about it because is showed a disturbing tendency to be near me. I think it was drawn to my sparkling personality, but regardless of why it liked me, it was quite annoying.

Before I went to sleep and turned out my lights, it kept landing on my arm or leg, and thankfully it decided to go to sleep when I did. When I finally put my book down and turned out my lamp it quit bothering me. That is until the next morning.

At 7:00 am the fly reminded me of its presence. Since I wouldn’t wake up and play, it took to landing on my face (lip, chin, and nostril…). Moment after moment, I brushed it away until I was fully awake long before I needed to be. Once my mind was alert and thinking, I couldn’t help but ponder the poisonous roach traps in my apartment or the boric acid sprinkled around the walls. I wondered if the fly had stopped by those places, and if I was going to die a horrible painful death by the end of the day.

I left my bathroom and front room windows open when I left for work, and I am happy to report that the fly is gone. It either died or flew away. I’ll take either one, at least it’s gone, and I’m still alive.

So wish me luck while I dig through my bedroom this weekend, I really don’t want to buy another mask, but I need to do something before I go crazy. I need sleep.

Inarticulately, (Because really, how could write anything half-decent while I’m half asleep?)


The Shack Stack, at the shake shack

A burger, a burger.

Some of you may remember back in July when The Drama Teacher came to visit.

Determined to venture out into new parts of the City, and wanting to show a veteran NYC tourist something new she hadn’t seen before, I dragged her down to Madison Avenue & E. 24th Street (Flatiron District), to the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park.

I first heard about the Shake Shack two years ago when I read a blog post about their webcam. Apparently the Shake Shack is so popular that people come from all over the world to see it--well, tourists make a point of stopping by once they’re here--and the line can get a little long. So before you go, feel free to check their webcam to see how long the line stretches.

We took the R train from the Midtown and got off at 23rd Street, and then strolled past the Flatiron Building and along the bottom of the park before snagging a place in line. We then debated the merits of each of the menu items and which one to order. We had lots of time to ponder.

Shake Shack 1

By the time we reached the window, we were determined to experience The Shake Shack to the fullest, so we both ordered the Shack Stack, (it looked like it was the ‘coolest’ burger they had) fries, and a drink.

After paying for our meal, we were handed an electronic pager that would alert us when our food was ready. Freed from hovering near the Shack, we wandered to a nearby table and plopped down into some empty chairs.

A blissful moment passed while sitting in that dappled shade; a gentle breeze kept us cool. My back was telling me, “Oh goodie, something to lean against." My feet throbbed in agreement, in all, it was pleasant to kick back and relax after running around Midtown all morning.

It wasn’t long before a buzzing filled the air as my pager rattled merrily against our metal table. So I did what any rational hungry person would do, I hopped up to get my food.

Here’s what it looked like.
Shake Shack 2

The Shack Stack
Shake Shack 3
The Shack Stack: sandwich of 2 cheeseburgers and a ‘shroom burger served with lettuce, tomato and shack sauce.

The Cheese Fries

Shake Shack 4

Looks absolutely fabulous doesn't i? I do have to admit, I was a little let down by this food, however, you may find it perfect. The Drama Teacher gave it three thumbs up, and the party next to us gave it five. (How they got five thumbs when there were only two people sitting there is beyond me. Perhaps I should have checked to see if he had six fingers on his left hand.)

As for me, I thought it was too salty all-around, and maybe a little too cheesy. Yes, I know, I chose to get the cheese fries. We were going all out, I didn’t have a choice.

The issues I had with the Shack Stack.

You see, the burger only had two wimpy little--soft & thin--slices of tomato,--yes they were that red--and one piece of lovely lettuce. Beautiful? Yes. Satifying? No. Especially when you take into account the triple middle. Two beef patties, one with cheese, and a muenster cheese-stuffed-breaded and fried Portobello mushroom in the middle.

I like a little crunch from veggies in my burgers. Some onion, perhaps a little dill pickle (although perhaps not on the Stack). So the veggie department @ The Shake Shack gets a couple of thumbs down. But somehow I don’t think they care. I’m probably not the demographic they’re targeting anyway. I'm thinkin' this type of burger would be right up my brother's alley. Perhaps when he finally comes to visit, we'll go.

Side note: I’m sad to say that just today I learned that I could have requested onion and pickle, if only I would have known… However, if I’m getting a triple pattie on a burger entitled “stack” you’d think they’d give you a little more lettuce and tomato, so I’ll stick to the thumbs down on the veggie dept.

The Shack Stack was yummy, but I definitely got my caloric and sodium count in for the day if not for the week.

The fries were lovely. Crispy and fresh, I don’t have much to say about them except perhaps the cheese fries are overkill when eaten with the Shack Stack.

Would I go again?

Sure, I now need to go try out their shakes. Oh! So many choices. But as for the burgers, I think I'll leave them for when friends are in town.

When planning your visit, keep in mind that their hours are seasonal, so if you're hankering for a Shack Stack when there's a foot of snow on the ground, check thier website first to see if they're open. As of now, they're toying with the idea of new winter hours, but haven't firmed anything up yet.

For those of you who always look for a second opinion, here's a link to Serious Eats. They're famous in the food blogosphere, and love the Shake Shack.

And before I sign off, a simple word of caution, The Drama Teacher was given an open and half empty bottle of water. The staff was very nice about exchanging it for a new one, but it gets busy there and mistakes happen. So if you order water, double check to make sure that you’re the first one to partake.

For those of you, who have experienced the Shake Shack, tell us what you think in the comments section.


Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Free Hugs, i'm game

Ya want one? Just let me know :)

I had a blog all lined up today, but ended up waiting for a response from the comapny rep...

So in lieu of a burger blog, have a Free Hug.