Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Teddy Bear Picnic

Teddy Bear Picnic is probably one of the best songs ever. If that song can jump into my head at work at 5:15 pm and I can remember all the words, even if I haven't heard it for 17 years, you know it's good.

If you're looking for a particularly creep rendition, check it out here.


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Scenes on the F

There's a point in the F Line, between Carroll and 7th Avenue in Brooklyn, where for two brief stops the subway emerges from the dank, dark underground and teeters for what feels like hundreds of feet above ground. For this short moment, you can see an expanse of buildings and sky. But what's even better--when one peers toward Manhattan, the Empire State Building rises above the rest of the city, and when the passenger turns toward the harbor, the Statue of Liberty reveals herself for no more than ten seconds as the subway rattles along its elevated tracks. It's beautiful.

The funny thing is that, since I've noticed this unlikely New York attraction tour, I perk up as my car begins its ascent into the sun and sit up in my seat to look. No one--no commuter, no writer, no lawyer, no hipster, no begger, no child nor parent--turns to peer out the windows. That's the thing about New Yorkers. They are just not impressed by their city. Of course, if in the company of someone from outside the boroughs, they eagerly tout the beauty of Manhattan in fall, the up-and-coming nature of Brooklyn, the diversity of cultures and the numerous offbeat urban attractions, but when amongst themselves, the city seems ho-hum. New Yorkers are simultaneously bored and achingly pretentious about their home.


Saturday, September 2, 2006

Another Burrough, Another Time

So here's the deal.

I moved from Manhattan to Brooklyn, or more specifically, from Harlem to Windsor Terrace, aka: The Antithesis of Harlem.

Now, don't get me wrong. I liked Harlem, but I looove Windsor Terrace (so far). There's this quirky, half-"old-Jewish-retirees"/half-"young-hipsters" feel about this neighborhood, and I love it.

On the 31st, J and I moved all of our stuff through the Battery Park Tunnel (it took two trips in his sister's Suburu station wagon) and unpacked in the new place. I'm living on the second floor of a two floor building. It's more or less a single-family home and the Staten-Island-raised couple downstairs has rented out the top floor for quite a few years. I was a little worried about feeling like I'm living with some eccentric aunt and uncle, but so far I feel fine. What's more, this apartment is beautiful. Old, original furnishings and built-in cabinets, mirrors and cupboards. Dark, stained wood moldings and a gorgeous slatted, original wood flooring. Amazing. (The TOH intern in me is so excited. So excited that I'm uploading this picture of the apartment.)

J and I spent yesterday sleeping in til around 11 (we rarely get to do that anymore), whipped up some eggs with Tabasco sauce and then ventured into Windsor Terrace, bundled up in zip-up sweaters and our jeans for the bizarre weather. (I haven't seen sun for a week.) We discovered that little Windsor Terrace, a neighborhood that saddles up beside Propsect Park and hugs the edge of trendy-expensive Park Slope, has a little bit of everything. A corner coffee shop that faces the park, a $3 falafel place (woooohooo! totally had lunch there already), a tacquiera, a Greek-owned diner, a dodgy bar (Farrel's, with lots of old men in it at 1:30 pm on a Saturday watching horse racing. Legend has it that no women were served until Shirley MacLaine barged in with bf Pete Hamill in 1972 and demanded service. Legend also has it that this place has been around since, well during Prohibition.), Middle Eastern food, pizza, and, oh my, a Hallmark. I live a corner away from a grocery store, and two blocks from a laundromat. I also went running in Prospect Park, which is two blocks away from me, this morning. At night, we can hear concerts drifting over the trees and rooftops and into our open window--and oh wait, did you hear that, I said...TREES. THERE ARE TREES. Oh my goodness. I basically am thrilled.

The problem with living in Harlem is that there really is nowhere to go. Of course, you can hop on the subway and go a few stops somewhere to the UWS, but you can't just wander Harlem. Not that I ever felt unsafe. The drug trafficking at 116th and Manhattan Ave. where I was living has become a one-gang deal. The neighborhood's peaceful and the leader of these guys takes care of everyone in the neighborhood, particularly the elderly. Still, there were just the two bodegas and two barbershops on my block, and that was about it for entertainment.

I'm facing the inevitable disappointment of J leaving for Northwestern in exactly two weeks. It's hard not to be upset about it, but we both agree that we'll be fine, try to visit one another at least once and, really, I'll be so busy with working and LSAT classes and he'll be so busy with classes and another documentary, that this is the best quarter we could be apart.

Okay, time to venture back to Manhattan to visit J, who has been up since 5:15 am and working in a bakery. :(