Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Can we try and take the high road? Though we don't know where it ends...

New York has been graced by my presence for more than month and I'd say we're getting along quite well.  Sure, I've been a little homesick and have cried on a subway because I couldn't find heart-shaped cookie cutters after a day of searching at all the logical places I would go in Texas and went to Williams-Sonoma as a last resort to get high priced cookie cutters only to be yelled at by the rude "greeter" who wanted to know why on Earth I would think Williams-Sonoma would have heart shaped cookie cutters.  If you're ever in New York, please don't shop at the Williams-Sonoma in Columbus Circle...

I'd also like to point out this this is the longest I have ever been out of Texas my whole life.  It's been easier than I thought; so far I've already seen two of my lovely Alpha Chis, Sarah and Katey, and I have Tyler, Emily and Brittany's upcoming visits to look forward to, too!  I'm getting used to the way of life here - including the weather.  I actually got HOT in 40 degree weather.  What is happening to my thin Texas blood?!  It's supposed to be 65 this weekend... I'm considering laying out on our building's rooftop patio.  Who knows.

Since my last blog post (forever ago, I know), I FINALLY had the chance to go to Little Italy!  KA and Julia both had friends in this past weekend so we made reservations at Angelo's, my dad's favorite restaurant in Little Italy.  Julia and I split some wild mushroom pasta that was absolutely DELICIOUS! Oh, and Robert Pattinson's twin sat next to us. 

After dinner we went around the corner to Ferrara's where we waited a good half an hour to get dessert. 

Julia and I thought we saw Chris Colfer go into the men's restroom with two very intoxicated girls, so KA, Andrea and I waited outside the men's restroom to see if it really was him.  Here's our Myspace picture we took to document the occasion:

Unfortunately, he was just another look-a-like.  I don't know why we haven't had any luck meeting famous people after our run-in with Chase Crawford.  Well, Julia DID meet Jennifer Aniston.  But no one else has had a chance to really meet any more celebs. 

We had a class field trip to the Met on Saturday.  I enjoyed the first few hours of it; I really like the historical artifacts and old art, but I would rather stare at a blank wall than look at modern "art." 

What would you call this?  I would call this a neatly folded rope.  The people at the Met call this art.  It blows my mind. 

I promised Beth I'd go to a children's play with her on Sunday.  She had a class assignment to watch a children's play, analyze it and talk about how the play could be incorporated into her lesson plans.  We got there about 30 minutes early thinking it would be a legitimate theatre, but this is what we found: 

The play was called "Rumple Who?" It was a twist of Rumpelstiltskin and had a four-man cast, comprised of one older woman and three 12-year-olds, who sang and danced.  It was the most entertaining hour of my life.  Not to mention there were only three children in the audience, two senior citizens and us... and it was interactive.  Oh man, Beth owes me big time.


My roommates and I are going to Swan Lake on Thursday, so HOPEFULLY I'll blog about it shortly after :)

Thanks for reading! 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

This life update is for Chelsea Bent, who checks my blog every day and is upset I haven't posted in a week

Please hold me accountable to blogging like Chelsea.  I really want blog as much as I can.  Just to practice writing for an audience.  I've been getting a lot of feedback from my friends and family via text and Facebook that y'all are actually reading and I LOVE that!  Chelsea brought it to my attention last night that I haven't blogged in forever.  Apparently Chels is my biggest fan; after deleting her Facebook account, my blog is her favorite way to procrastinate.

My noteworthy experiences this week:

Some people can't stand subway performers, but I happen to love them.  It's especially fun when they get on the subway and do their thing for a few stops before getting off.  When this guy first got on the train Julia and I laughed a little bit that he was getting his keyboard out.  So far, I've only seen dancers actually get on the subways, so we were interested to see what this guy had to play for us.  He surprised us when he started singing How Great is Our God.  We were both shocked.  It's extremely courageous to perform on a subway in the first place, but it's even more courageous to sing a Christian song on a subway in New York City.  This city is such a diverse place and home to so many religions, but religion is definitely not something that is talked about openly.  No one else was amused; we gave him some money just because his bravery amazed and inspired us. 

This January is the worst January New York City has ever seen.  And we're LOVING the snow!!! Julia and I were already in fantastic moods after our subway performer and the night turned out to be even more magical when we emerged from the station to "snowmageddon." I've never seen it snow so hard in my life.  Well, I've never really seen snow my whole life, but this crazy snow fall was pretty impressive.  There's nothing better than stomping around in a fresh blanket of snow.  We wrote on so many cars and stomped in all the clear patches we found from the subway station all the way home.  I didn't even care that I was soaking wet when I got back to the apartment!

The day after snowmageddon.  The picture to the left is my street.  There's one really brave person in that car... and obviously no one will be driving the cars to the right for a long while.  I can't even imagine having a car in a snowy area.  How much of a pain would it be to have to dig your car out of a mound of snow?  So happy Sheila is sitting safely in my driveway at home.  My little Jetta would freeze to death in New York.

My class took a field trip to the Museum of the Moving Image this Saturday.  The museum was highly interactive and SO FUN!  We made our own little movies using stop-action techniques and played around with movie soundtracks, etc.  They also housed many costumes and props from some of the biggest movies, like Marlon Brando's mouth piece from The Godfather.  This was by far my favorite.  There was a point in time where one of my best friends, Hayley, and I watched all three Godfather movies on a weekly basis.  We called this our "mobster phase," which all started with a documentary of Sammy "The Bull" Gravano and ended with us reading every mobster book we could get our hands on and weekly Godfather screenings.  Naturally, I was ecstatic to see The Godfather's mouth piece.  AH-MAZ-ING! 

After the museum, Julia and I ventured into Central Park to go sledding.  Central Park is so beautiful.  It's like a winter wonderland.  I'm so obsessed with Central Park!  We hopped over the snow covered bench to go play in the perfect snow.  Again, there's nothing better than messing up the most beautiful, smooth patch of snow.  It's even better when you're knee deep in snow so you can walk in it and play with it simultaneously. 

We don't have sleds and figured cardboard boxes would suffice.  Our first time down the hill Julia made it no problem, but my box had a little difficulty and started to fall apart.

Some nice man offered to let us use his garbage bag.  Julia and I hopped on together and went FLYING down the hill!  We crashed at the bottom, but we had a blast!  We're currently looking into buying pool floaties (they look like the comfiest to use) so that we can go again next weekend, but I don't know how much luck we'll have buying pool floaties in January in New York.  At least we know a plain garbage bag works!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Andy Warhol at the MoMA

I meant to post about the Andy Warhol event at the Museum of Modern Art last week, but I was trying to get ready for my cousin's wedding in Ft. Lauderdale and couldn't find the time to blog.

Last Thursday I started my day of becoming art by getting a spray tan.  With my cousin's wedding nearing, my ghost white complexion started to make me uncomfortable.  I've had a spray tan before, but I've had the kind where the machine sprays you.  To say that my first spray tan wasn't good is an understatement.  I had high hopes for this spray tan because I was getting airbrushed by an actual person.

I stood in this thing for about 20 minutes while some girl literally painted me tan.  Once it was all said and done I thought I looked pretty darn good.  My tan wasn't too dark or too orange and I was very happy with it.  They told me not to shower for 12 hours and to not wear any foundation.  When I got home I fell asleep on the couch for about three hours and woke up looking like a carrot.  No one told me that my tan would double in dark/orangeness in a few hours.  I was mortified because most of the kids in BCNY were planning on going to the MoMA for the Andy Warhol exhibit and I was orange. 

My roommates so kindly took to calling me Snooki :( I was SO relieved on Friday when 70% of my tan washed off in the shower and I came out looking Caucasian with a golden glow, which is what I wanted in the first place. 

Anyway, the Andy Warhol exhibit was really cool.  His motion pictures were on display upstairs.  He basically put people in front of cameras and told them they weren't allowed to smile or talk.  Sometimes he would leave the room so they felt even more uncomfortable.  Each $15 ticket allowed for a pass to the exhibit and a ticket to do your own screen test.  

The lines were really long downstairs for the screen test and, as Texans, we naturally made friends with the people standing in front of us.  One of the two guys was REALLY attractive (I'm only looking out for my roommates), but we later concluded the two guys were boyfriends.  And that under his hat, the cute one was balding, so unfortunately none of my roommates gained a boyfriend out of this random friendship.  We enjoyed talking to them nonetheless.  It's always refreshing to meet New Yorkers who will talk to us.  One of the hardest things to get used to is the fact that no one wants to talk to you.  Ever.  And I'm a talker, so I find silence awkward even between strangers.  

Apparently, every person who did a screen test was put up on one of the three screens projecting the movies, but we didn't see everyone go up in our group.   I went up though!  It was so cool!!


I can't say that I appreciate art as much as the other people in attendance, but I really did have a great time.  It just felt SO New York.  And I'm all about feeling like I belong in New York. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Serendipity was a...disappointment

Tonight's class was rough.  When your day starts at 7:30 a.m. and you go, go, go until 6 p.m. the last thing you want to do is sit in class for three and a half hours, but that's why I'm here, so I guess I have to stick it out.  Even though the classes that I'm taking, Electronic Culture and Contemporary Cinema, are interesting and thought provoking, it's just SO HARD to go to class from 7 p.m. until 10:30 p.m.  Tonight Julia and I made class a little more bearable by reverting back to our junior high selves and passing notes.  This particular note was about how much we wanted a warm brownie with hot fudge sauce and ice cream. DDDEEEE LISH!

This led to a roommate dessert date at Serendipity, which is only one subway stop away from our stop at Queensboro Plaza.  

We all had high hopes for this famous little restaurant with the adorable decor, giant menus and large dessert portions, but ended up sorely disappointed.  

Doesn't this chocolate cake, ice cream, hot fudge, and whipped cream look like a dream that's too delicious to be true?  Too bad there wasn't much ice cream, the hot fudge was actually room temperature fudge and the whipped cream tasted like chalk.  On the bright side, the cake was good!  Although this sundae wasn't the best in the world, Julia and I were able to pretty much finish it off.  KA ordered the famous frozen hot chocolate, which was pretty darn good, except for the chalk whipped cream on top.  It was so interesting to taste the frozen hot chocolate.  I was expecting something like a milk shake, but it really did taste exactly like hot chocolate, but frozen.  Lauren ordered an apple pie that looked to die for, but once again we were all a little disappointed.  The filling was great, but the crust was not so great.  The most devastating part of this dessert binge was definitely the chalk-like whipped cream.  I absolutely love whipped cream and can generally eat it plain.  A mediocre dessert can be redeemed by a delicious whipped cream. 

Our waiter also tainted our first, and probably only, trip to Serendipity.  He was awful.  We waited 45 minutes for our check and then it took him another 20 minutes to figure out how to split the check between the four of us.  

I'm happy we went, though.  Everyone always raves about how amazing Serendipity is and that's probably why none of us were impressed.  Our expectations were just set way too high.  I'm just trying to get the tourist out of me as quickly as possible.

Please notice this ridiculous sign.  I really hope those 10-year-olds can ride safely by themselves, even while multitasking on their BlackBerrys.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I'm feeling so... cultured

Remember when I said I was going to start a legitimate blog?  Well, hopefully going three days without blogging still counts as legitimate.

That's besides the point.  Since my last blog post, I've been feeling cultured... or feeling like I will be cultured by the time the semester is over because of the few things I've done and have planned.

Last Friday night my roommates, the boys (the only four boys on the trip: the Kevin's (there are two of them), Logan and Anthony) and I went to the Campbell Apartment located in Grand Central Station.  For all of my Gossip Girl friends and readers out there, I'm sorry, but the Campbell Apartment has apparently been featured in Gossip Girl a million times.  I've been to Grand Central Station previously, but I don't think I really took in how beautiful it really is.

Everything is so elaborate and GRAND (go figure)!  It's moments like this that I think to myself, wow, I'm really here.  Sometimes the  mundane day-to-day tasks take away from the feeling of being in New York City, but you definitely can't feel that way while standing in the middle of Grand Central Station.  I'm hoping for many more WOW moments!

We were definitely the youngest people in the swanky Campbell Apartment crowd.  It was neat being there, but due to the fact none of us could afford anything, our time here was short lived.

Saturday my roommates and I had big aspirations to go do something touristy.  Instead, we slept and moped around until dinner time.  Want to know what we had for dinner?  French fries.  At Pommes Frites.  Pommes Frites only sells french fries and is known for it's many dipping sauces.  

As you can see, we had a lot of fries and a lot of sauces.  They were delicious, but I definitely was not feeling too great after the fact. 

Next time, one order of french fries with some real food will be plenty.  Still glad I went.  I LOVE french fries!

Sunday night we decided to venture into Astoria, which is known as the most diverse neighborhood in New York City.  More than 100 languages are spoken there and we've heard Astoria is home to some AWESOME restaurants.  We found a little Italian restaurant online that had great reviews, the Brick Cafe, and decided to try it out.  It was FABULOUS!  Dinner was amazing; we kind of went a little overboard, but when you're living off of PB&J one gorge meal a week isn't that bad.  Here are the crepes that Julia and I split.  SSOOOOOO GOOOOODDDDD!!!

Upcoming culture-y things the roomies and I are doing: 

Andy Warhol exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art on Thursday (look out for blog posting and pictures on Thursday or Friday!) and Swan Lake on February 17!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

What I miss about Texas

I've officially been here for one week.  Yesterday was my first day to feel any sort of homesickness.  I'm not quite sure when it hit me, but it did, that this isn't just a vacation (which is what it's felt like).  New York is fantastic; I'm so happy to be here and I know I'll continue to have a great time with my new friends and that they'll eventually start to feel like my family just like my friends back in Waco, but I can't help but be a little sad that I'm gone.

I'm mainly missing:

Although I'm used to being away from my family, I always had way more time to talk to them while in Waco.  I'm just so busy in New York; I feel like I rarely talk to them.  We've been able to FaceTime with Bill's new iPhone, so hopefully that will turn into a weekend routine.

I miss my Waco family so much it's not even funny.  It's strange to be in a new place with none of my closest friends.  I keep wishing they were here with me to experience this city and go through the transition with me.  We've all been keeping in contact mainly by texting, but it's not the same.  Not having my favorite girls in my life and knowing what's going on in their lives just because I'm always with them is so weird :(

Tyler and I are used to seeing each other pretty much every day.  And after spending a week with him between Chicago, Houston and Waco at the end of the break, coming to a hard stop like this doesn't seem real.  It's only been a week and a half, but it feels like it's been a month.  Hopefully he'll be able to come visit soon :)

Alpha Chi
This is pretty self explanatory.  We have a new pledge class.  I don't know any of them.  What the heck.

Mexican Food
For those of you who don't know me well, I could eat Mexican food all day, every day.  Right at this moment I'm craving Lupe Tortilla's fajitas AND Taco Z tacos.

I've been forced to start running.  Gross.  I wish I could afford a gym membership here so I could take spinning classes.

Wearing one layer
Bundling up gets exhausting. All my roommates and I want to go to Pommes Frites right now, which only sells FRENCH FRIES (Heaven on Earth for me!), but we all lack the motivation to dress for the cold and go out.  I do love coats and sweaters, though.  It's a terrible dilemma.

Being grungy 
New Yorkers are always dressed up.  I feel like when I'm in Manhattan I need to be within a certain dress code.  Can I puh-LEASE just go out in sweats?!

On the flip side, there are many things I don't miss.  Such as:

Public transportation is great!

At least for now, I know it'll be humid in the summers

Having nothing to do
You would have to be mentally insane to be bored in New York City

Ok.  I guess not that many.  At least for now.

These lists are subject to change!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Happy to be home and safe!

The cough and runny nose I've had for the past three weeks finally got the best of me today, on my day off.  I gave in and found a doctor knowing she would only offer a little sympathy and a prescription for some cough medicine.  I chose a doctor's office a little less than 20 minutes away by subway; the best I could do.

I became skeptical about the doctor when I got off the subway.  I found myself in a really rundown part of town and five NYPD officers hanging around the street corner.  Instead of setting me at ease, it only freaked me out even more.  Why does one street corner need five officers?  Anyway, I found the doctors office and the receptionist was a nice young girl, maybe my age, and the doctor called me in right away.  The exam room was so strange.  It was messy and the doctor kept all of her examine equipment in plastic drawers that would normally only be found in a dorm room.  It didn't bother me that much because all I really needed was confirmation that I'm not deathly ill and get a prescription for cough medicine with codeine to help me sleep at night so I could move on with my life.  Which is exactly what I got.

On the way home I realized I was in the wrong subway station after I already swiped my metro card.  I had to cross the street in order to head to Long Island City, but the card scanner wouldn't let me in because I recently scanned it.  The F train headed to Queenboro Plaza was already there and took off before I could buy myself another metro card to let me into the station.  Annoying.  I waited for about 5 minutes by myself which really freaked me out.  An empty subway station is much for terrifying than a full subway station.  Once someone else finally showed up my fear of being pushed into the subway tracks heightened. This deserted station would definitely be the perfect place for it to happen.  The train finally came after about twenty minutes of waiting.

I thought I would never be so happy to see my apartment complex.  This was true for a few hours.

I've been dying to go to Target and the closest one is a half hour away.  I got directions from Walgreens so I could go right after dropping off my prescription.  Well, the subway was a 15 minute walk into another sketchy part of town.  There was a guy screaming obscenities at someone right at the entrance and I prayed the whole way from the entrance until my train came that he wouldn't be taking the same subway as me because he was that scary.  Luckily, he wasn't.  Anyway, the train took me to a THIRD scary part of town.  And when I say scary, I mean scary looking people mixed with scary looking buildings when I'm used to my quaint little Long Island City or the hustle and bustle of Manhattan.  I was terrified.  I was completely and utterly lost, but tried not to show it on my face, which is probably the hardest thing for me to do.  I wear my emotions and feelings.  I almost cried when I finally walked into Target. And I was even more relieved than earlier to get back to my apartment.

Today's takeaways:

1. Find a new doctor
2. Never go to Target ever again
3. Never go to an unknown part of town alone
4. Stay home and sleep on my days off