Thursday, November 27, 2008

At Long Last, my nyc experience is complete

I've battled roaches, and won.

I've fought with mice, and lost, then won, only to lose again.

I've melted into a puddle on the sidewalk in the middle of the summer when it's 95 outside and 92% humidity.

I've frozen my a$$ off in winter.

I've experienced an epic snowstorm.

I've navigated the City and subway on crutches.

I've seen the marathon, several parades (Thanksgiving, St. Patrick's, Mermaid, Tartan, etc.), watched the tree lighting at Rock Center, seen the ball drop at Times Square, dancing at Lincoln Square and the Winter Festival.

I've been to holiday markets, and green farmers markets.

I've listened to pipes rattle, squeal, hiss, ding, spit, and howl when the heat comes on in the winter.

I've fallen asleep to the hum of air conditioners on a summer night, only to be awoken later when people at the sports club a block away cheer at the latest touchdown.

I've watched the fireworks from the FDR.

I've been trapped in an elevator. (Not for very long, but still, it counts.)

I've awoken early in the morning to a woman screaming from the middle of the street, "Call the police, call the police, call the police."

So I did. (The domestic dispute, eventually ended. She was fine.)

I've seen the garbage and construction crews work the tunnels in the subway, and have wondered and read a book about Mole People.

I've been stuck on a subway and waited hours for the A train late at night.

I've learned to sleep through sirens of all sorts unless the stop at my building.

I've attended protests, seen the Central Park Skate Dancers, and been harassed by rent-a-cops for taking pictures.

I've walked past accidents where a bus and a semi-truck have run over people, and seen a body covered with a sheet.

I've had a neighbor in the apartment across from mine, die, then decompose in his apartment for three days. In the summer.

His relatives succeeded in dripping his oozing decomposing bodily fluids along the hallway into the elevator, then back along the hallway and down three flights of steps, then across the lobby as they removed the mattress from said apartment.

I've lived on a fourth floor walk-up and hauled my laundry, down the stairs, around the corner, past fancy restaurants and café's a couple of blocks away to the Laundromat.

I've arrived home late at night to find Amsterdam Ave blocked off at 79th street and filled with fire trucks and ambulances, only to discover that said fire trucks were responding to a now gutted building that just so happened to be right next to mine.

I've peered out my window and looked at the shattered windows and blackened rooms across the narrow chasm between buildings, and slept in a room that smelled like smoke for days, with a broken front door (thanks firemen, No, REALLY! Thank you!) because I had no place else to go.

I've walked from the very tip top of Manhattan to the other tip (Inwood to Battery Park) mostly.

And yet, until tonight my NYC experience wasn't complete.

You see it all started with a leak.

Or should I say drip.

Yes, drip. Or several or hundreds of them. And bulging bubbles of paint that hung from my bathroom ceiling over my sink.

Resulting in me vacating the medicine cabinet and moving all my skin and hair care products into the hallway.

And a couple of calls to my Super. (He lives upstairs from me.)

Tonight when I arrived home from a night out on the town, (book browsing, dinner @ Whole Foods, and the movies (Twilight, it half-way sucked)) I found disaster.

The only thing that remains of half my bathroom ceiling are the original lathe (as in lathe and plaster) slats from 1920.

Oh, and creepy dark crevices that make me scared that roaches will begin to invade again, or that mice will drop between.

I'm just glad I had the foresight , or shall we say intuition, to close my bathroom door today when I left.

Oh, so happy that the resultant mounds of dirt, dust and plaster chunks were contained to the bathroom.

Although, I am saddened to know my hesitance in removing my trusty, fluffy, cozy bathroom rug led directly to its demise.

-Bitter

No, I didn't take a picture, I cleaned the mess up, sanitized, and disinfected quickly, since the facilities were needed immediately.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Snow, at columbus circle

Star 3

Saturday night I stepped out of the frigid wind zipping down Central Park West into the cozy warmth of the Time Warner Center for a brief moment.

I needed to call my sister before I hopped on the A train and I didn't want to get frostbite while while chatting about the latest and greatest.

So there I was, mid-conversation, when all of a sudden flurries of snow filled the air. It appears that the Time Warner Center has added one more element to their ensemble of fabulous and colorful blinking stars and music. Snow.

Yes, snow.

The real stuff.

It was actually kind of fun to watch. The snow machines aren't on all the time, and it doesn't stick, but if you're in the mood for some holiday cheer and wonder, then swing by Columbus Circle.

And please, please be careful, if you decide to run around attempting to catch snowflakes on your tongue.

-Bitter

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Food Storage, wow, someone in harlem actually turned their basement back into a root cellar

I stumbled across a NY Times article earlier today about root cellars. I was a little surprised, and then a little in awe when I realized that someone in Harlem not only had a basement, but had reverted it back into a root cellar.

How cool is that? Bravo.

The article "Food Storage as Grandma Knew It", by Michael Tortorello, spoke about a trend that happens during difficult economic times, people begin to buy in bulk, grow, and store their own food.

Surprisingly there were a couple hints and tips, for those of us not blessed with the square footage to store root vegetables, for the savvy reader. I just might try a few. But otherwise, I'll just continue to dream of the day when I own a basement, and in the mean time buy "The Food Axis: Cooking, Eating, and the Architecture of American Houses" by Elizabeth Cromley, when it comes out in 2010.

-Bitter

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Cheering, in the streets

It's 11:00 at night and people are out on the streets cheering and chanting "Obama".

I stick my head outside my 4th story apartment and listen to the cheers wondering if people have simply gathered at the park down the street or if they're marching.

I wonder, should I go join them?

My neighbors cheer as well. Some pop their heads outside their windows and chant too. Others just pull the drapes to the side and peer out.

It's too early to call, but Obama's ahead so far.

-Bitter

Update:
It's 11:13 and it looks like the BBC had called the election for Obama with at least 297 votes.

Of course after the debacle a few years back, we in the US are a bit more conservative in calling the votes. The NY Times is reporting Obama ahead at 217 votes. Here's hoping the Brits have called it correctly.

Update II: People are setting off fireworks down the street. All of the networks have called the election for Obama.

Voting, it went smoother this time

I'm happy to report that voting went A LOT more smoothly this time. (Click here to read about last time.)

The down side is that the police officers wouldn't let me take pictures, and they threatened to confiscate my camera.

The good thing is that I was greeted immediately when I walked through the door and was directed to a check-in table.

The next volunteers in turn quickly looked up my address and directed me a sign-in table, giving me clear directions on where the table was located.

While standing in line a friendly gentleman went along asking for last names, there were two people signing voters in, one covering the first half of the alphabet and the other the latter.

He quickly moved the line along, moving people ahead in line when the second sign-in book was available.

The volunteer handling my sign-in book had a little difficulty with alphabetization. She kept thinking that BITTER was found somewhere after BRINKERHOFF. I had to help her realize that BI comes before BR, . . . and BO. But it went smoothly and fairly quickly, and posed no problems.

When I finally arrived at the booth (which looked a lot nicer this time), a volunteer stepped into it with me, I was a little unnerved by this, but she calmly and happily described how to cast my vote.

1- Pull the lever over.
2- Turn the knobs.
3- Pull the lever back over.

Voila you're done.

She left me, I snapped a few pictures. Voted. Then stepped back out.

Overall, it was a vast improvement from when I voted in the 2008 Presidential primaries.

Here's the photo I promised from last time. I was too close to get the overall effect, so I just took a photo of the lever. I'm not going to go into details about my photo taking troubles, but let it suffice to say that the cops were NOT happy with me.

Voting Lever