Last week a blogging friend asked if I was ever scared living in NYC, what with the recent incidents, and obviously, the past incidents. They asked if I changed routines or patterns, avoided doing things.
Quite simply, the answer is No. I did not change habits. I do not avoid things. I continue with my life the same way I always have. Well mostly. I am now more aware of my surroundings. I pay attention to what is around me. But honestly, I live in an urban environment, so I’ve always paid attention. And I wasn’t even 30 when the first attempt was made to disrupt the lives of me, and those around me, so being aware is just ingrained.
So I just live my life, every day, the way I want and need it to be.
Am I scared?
There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about the endless stream of things that could happen that would shatter my existence. But this list is long, and includes incidents of many kinds. I can not stop bad things from happening. Once you realize that you are powerless, you can begin to live your life with some sort normalcy. Because we are basically powerless, and there is no such thing as normal.
Now you see why I am a bit of a super organized, control freak. I have a need to keep things in order, because I know so much is out of my control. I have to have some sort of order in a world of chaos.
But I go to sporting events and concerts, things with very large audiences. And I get to these places an hour early because I know that there will be a security check. I bring a small bag, because many venues have size restrictions. When I went to the ballet last month, I needed to take my coat off before I went through the metal detector, because coats needed to be scanned separately. Yes, airport style detectors are a norm of my life- I don’t think my daughter has ever entered a large public space that did not include her having to walk through one- she is always amazed when we are traveling and she does not need to go through security to enter someplace.
We have placards on walls stating “If you see something, say something.” This is the New York motto. We aren’t the city that never sleeps- we are the city that reports suspicious packages, and notice if things look awry. This was one of the first things I taught my daughter- if something doesn’t look right, tell an authority. Trust your instincts. My daughter learned this at 3 years old. This is the norm. This is how we live our lives.
I guess it all boils down to an ugly truth. The question is not what if something happens. The question is when will something happen. Because something will happen. There will always be an incident, though they come in various forms.
Truth be told, I have become a bit desensitized to events around me. I check on husband and daughter- I use where’s my phone to make sure I know where they are. I check on my friends. But it’s back to real life really quickly. We know the rules of the drill and we just perform them and get on with it. These routines, these drills- they are a part of our lives. They are the norm. Incident check list is just another to-do list.
Today, my husband and daughter will ride the subway to work and to school just like they always do. He will ride an elevator to a very high floor in a lower Manhattan office building. I will enter very large and very crowded places. I will walk my dog on urban streets. We were at a concert last night, we will be at a museum this weekend, we will visit parts of the city awash with decorations. We will continue on.
We will continue on, because that is what life is. Life is facing what’s our there, head on. Life is meeting the challenges that face us day to day. And life is worth living to the fullest.
Peace to you all!
Another week has come and gone. New York experienced a little bit of humidity this week- not a fan of humidity. Also thwarted with some subway issues this week, and trust me, waiting underground in humid weather is not fun. But here’s the run down- Ratings 0-5. I’ve received no compensation for any of these things!
“The Little French Bistro” Nina George The heroine is 59 years old. I don’t think I can say much more than this- it is refreshing to see an adult women in a novel. This is a feel good book about overcoming adversity. While not a great book, it is a fairly easy read. 4
A story about a 40 year old woman getting her life back together after she separates from her husband. (are you sensing a theme? Middle age women overcoming adversity- yes- and I want to see/read more of it) Movie is light and cute, if predictable (again, a theme) 3.8
“Suits”- Season Finale. I didn’t love the finale. My Suits friends, please give me opinions.
New York Historical Society
“The Duchess of Carnegie Hall: Photographs by Editta Sherman” I loved this exhibits. Portraits of celebrities- many from the 40’s and 50’s. Absolutely gorgeous. What was a little dismaying was how many people were photographed smoking, but it was a different time. 4.7
“American Visionary: John F. Kennedy’s Life and Times” Amazing photos of JFK. Beautifully curated exhibit. 4.2
“Eloise at the Museum” Exhibit that explores the beloved book character Eloise. Cute exhibit, but really much better for children. 4
Ofrenda Delicious Mexican food in a lively (loud) cozy (ridiculously small) place. Appetizer called Queso Fondido, which is basically a Mexican fondue. Yummy. Killer, and I mean that literally, Margaritas. 4.3
Island Burger and Shakes- I used to love this place- but the quality of the burgers has gone way down. No worth going to anymore. 2.8
Levain- This bakery has about the best cookies known to man. So big they more closely resemble muffin tops. And I love the chocolate brioche. Ridiculously yummy!
I have narrowed down my WordPress issues. On the app, my reader does not always work correctly. I sometimes miss certain hours of the day, so for example, if someone posts between 11 and 2 pm, I will miss all of the posts- I am not receiving the “Load More Posts” prompt. Let’s see how long it takes to fix it now that I’ve isolated the issue
Thanks again for all the amazing commentary this week- your feedback is amazingly valuable as always!
Between Labor Day and the beginning of a new school year, my extracurricular fun was lacking this week. There was a lot of organizing, shopping and prep instead. But here you go- ratings are 0-5. Any activity takes place in NYC unless otherwise noted. Nothing if for free- I paid for all things.
Again- I was watching a lot of tennis. Congrats to brilliant American women semi-finalists, and of course, Sloane Stevens- who played an almost flawless match in beating Madison Keyes at the US Open. I tried to watch the 100th episode of Suits- alas- my DVR box was having issues, so I missed about half of the dialogue. Will try to rewatch at some point.
I didn’t finish any books this week. For shame! I know! But hopefully I’ll knock off last 50 pages today so I should have 2 books next week.
Twice a year a little outdoor food mart is set up (it runs for about a month at a time). It is called Madison Square Eats (4.4 for venue). Basically, about 15 food purveyors sets up food stands in what I can only refer to as a “town square” (which is obviously not what it is but I got nothing as to what to call it). I love nice restaurants, but I think the best and most inventive food in NYC right now is being found at stands and food trucks. The best thing we tried this year was at a place called Raclette (4.3). They take a wheel of gruyere and put it over a heat source. When the cheese begins to get melty, they spread it on a baguette, and add some pickles and onions. Voila- ooey, gooey, rich and cheesy and SO yummy! They also have some that they add meat to, but I was splitting with my daughter and she opts out of beef, chicken and pork. And though I didn’t try this year, Roberta’s (4.7)pizza is the stuff that dreams are made of. If you eat meat, try the Bee Sting. If you don’t eat meat, try the White Pizza. SO GOOD.
Bandstand. This musical takes place in 1945, and centers around 6 recently returned soldiers and 1 woman who lost her husband during the war. They form a swing band with the hopes of winning a Music Contest. I thought it was wonderful. Story good, music good, talent good. One of the better musicals I’ve seen. Alas, even though it is great and was nominated for Tony’s- the show will close next week. But- if you ever get a chance to see it in regional theater, please go. 4.5
Thanks for all the wonderful comments this week. Sometimes I feel that I am the only person that experiences certain feelings, but then I write about my fears, feelings or anxieties, and I realize that I’m not alone. So thanks for the openness, honesty and support!
As Texas begins to repair, many areas were, and are about to be devastated by Irma. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. I will share one story- my friends Mom lives on the West Coast of Florida. Her daughter urged her to evacuate, but the Mother is holding ground. She told her daughter- “Don’t worry. I have my noodle and a boogie board.” She’s a tough lady…..
The first two days of school went well for my Daughter. She likes her teachers and is excited about the subject matter (well- as excited as you can be for schoolwork). We got away with a less than 30$ bill at Staples, and I think we bought enough loose leaf to get through first semester at least.
Last week I posted 3 things that I actually thought I was going to talk about, which is higher than usual. This week- there will be a 9/11 post……and otherwise, ex boyfriends are on the list, as are family, friendships and organizing. But you know that will change…..because I live on the edge…..
So, even though summer doesn’t officially end for a few more weeks, this weekend makes it fall for me. Daughter will finally reenter the school building on Thursday. The next two months will see me run to the Bronx, and far reaches of Manhattan to attempt to see her play tennis (there aren’t many tennis courts in Manhattan- and no public high school boasts a bunch of tennis courts, so it’s sort of guerilla tennis- one school uses a court that sits aside the West Side Highway. Imagine playing with constant traffic to your left, and random New Yorkers filing by on your right) And so the pattern of my free time will change slightly. As my daughter has an awesome reading list for school, I will probably be rereading a lot of books, cause they will be in the house, and I enjoy discussing literature with her- and she’s going to read Gatsby for the first time- YAY. But here’s what happened on my “last week” of summer. Reviews 0-5. NYC unless otherwise indicated. My money- no freebies.
“Reading Lolita in Tehran” Azar Nafisi I first read this book 15 years ago, and I enjoyed it more then. It’s a memoir about an Iranian University professor attempting to teach literature during the early Ayatollah years. She ends up having a female book club which discusses books that are banned in Iran. While interesting, it’s a bit self-serving. 3.8
“Murder on the Orient Express” Agatha Christie. Reread- first read about 45 years ago. I love Christie. I love Poirot (her detective) I love this story. I reread this because my daughter bought it as a fun read and it was on our Nook account, and because there is a new movie version coming out soon. I want a fresh comparison of all the film versions to the book. 4.8
“Leap” Animated. This is an average kids movie. But- it has a strong female heroine, who is resilient. I think this is important for kids to see, because frankly, I don’t think there are enough strong, female heroines. But, OK to wait for DVD or cable or streaming, or however else you get movies at home. 4, but entirely because of message.
“Wind River” This is a thriller based on a Wyoming reservation (But it is not one of those supernatural thrillers that seem to be taking over the box office- don’t get me started on that genre, which is one of very few movie genres I hate) I thought this was a well made movie. Great visuals, great acting, great script, great directing. Every thing about this movie is understated, and it works. But- it is not an easy movie to recommend, because even though there are many things that are done well, there is something stopping me from saying- “Go see this film”, and I can’t tell you why that is. FYI, my movie buddy said the exact same thing. So, if you are still interested, read a review that may contain actual spoilers, and then think about it. I still give it a 4.4.
Sorry- I pretty much watched the US Open as much as possible, and that was about it.
Alidoro This is a little sandwich stand in the Bowery. (there are two other locations, but I don’t know how they are physically situated) They only have 1 or 2 outdoor tables, so this is really a place to grab a sandwich and go to a park to eat. But you really should grab a sandwich here, because they are that good. They only do Italian sandwiches here, but mortadella or not, these are some of the best sandwiches I’ve ever eaten. No lie. You get a choice of about 6 different rolls (go with the soft roll- I think it’s called Trapezino) because it just makes the sandwich a bit easier to eat, but seriously, all the bread is perfection. And then the fillings- they slice the deli meats fresh when you order. And sandwiches have exact right filling to bread ratio. Seriously, if they were open now I would go. 4.9
Counter by Chef’s Club- This is a fast casual place in Soho. It’s unique because about 8 or 9 famous chefs have each contributed the recipe for a dish- so the burgers, sandwiches, whatever are slightly elevated, and slightly awesome. My daughter and I split what I can only refer to as hash brown tater tots, served with sour cream. It’s like a tater tot on steroids- salty, crisp and yummy. Warning- we went early on a Friday, and it was not crowded. I can imagine on a weekend this place will be mobbed. 4.5
Oddfellows- Soft serve ice cream. There are only about 5 flavors, and a few toppings, but this is really good ice cream. I’m not a soft serve girl, but it was really good and creamy. And it is conveniently located next door to Counter…. 4.3
You have all become friends to me, to the point where I talk about you all. My daughter will say, “Did you come up with a good recommendation for Tater?” or “How’s Ryder? Did he get his doghouse yet?”. But this week, my daughter asked “Have you heard from Mojo today?” because my blogging buddy Joanna lives in Houston. So to everyone in Harvey ravaged areas, my thoughts, prayers, and a little bit of my money are with you. Stay strong. You got this!
Thanks to all of you and your comments this week! I truly appreciate every one of you! I love keeping the conversations going. I’m learning that so many people share the same feeling and struggles that I often feel. Thanks for the honestly and the stories!
Ok- this week I plan on writing about family (spent Saturday with my parents and we will spend today with my Father in law and Sister in law- I’m guessing there will be anxiety and blog posts stemming from both these things) There might be an non- family rant or two. I can’t imagine not mentioning pumpkin spice……. But who knows- I never blog about what I think I’m going to blog about!!
I’m trying something new today. I’m not always inspired to write new content on the weekends, but I like the idea of trying to post every day. So I’m toying with writing a weekly wrap up- citing the best and worst of things that I saw/read/listened/ate in the past week. If I continue to do this, I promise I will learn how to include links. I’m just not in a learning mood today. I also don’t like summaries- I hate when they give too much of the plot away, so you just get my rating system- which is 0-5. I also don’t take pictures of my food- I eat it. Maybe I’ll eventually post a picture of empty plate.
In the Middle
This is a work in progress- sometimes I need to put something on the page and then work it out. I sometimes get stuck in my head and worry too much about the details. I hope to figure out a better way to present these ideas.