Archive for the ‘NYC Livin’’ Category

So, I’ve been busy making a zillion behind the scenes changes and plans for this here little old blog, all of which will come to fruition next week. That’s why I’ve been super absentee. Well, that AND partying in Palm Springs at a fabulous wedding, my daughter starting preschool and way, WAY too much Words with Friends (SOMEBODY PLEASE MAKE ME STOP!).  Seriously though, I’ll be back to posting regularly next week when the site is all new and sparkly and fresh and “YAY!!”.

For now, I made a video blog. Now everyone can hear me whine my way through a whole 5 minutes! My public speaking professor in college once told me my voice was “in the basement” and that I made everything I said, even the most romantic sonnet or inspirational speech, sound horribly sarcastic. Like it was a joke… and I was a valley girl.


So it seemed fitting, then, to take part in this “accent” meme that’s been floating around for the past few weeks. Now, I don’t think I have an accent at all, despite growing up on Long Island and living in Crooklyn for the past 6 years, but I don’t know. Maybe I do. I do know this: when I stopped recording and watched myself I was all “HOLY SH*T! MAKE IT STOP! REDO!”, but there was no point in taping it again. This is my voice (and my awesome, attentive parenting). It is what it is. I’m like a 16 year old bratty Long Island girl. Don’t laugh.


** Props to the smokin’ hot “Not Mommy” for inspiring me.

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For the past few weeks, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning Lotte has gone to camp and the dog has gone to playgroup: leaving me alone to do laundry and scour the apartment breathe. There’s something so calming about my Wednesday morning solo walks through the awakening neighborhood to the farmer’s market in the park. Camp is a beautiful thing, isn’t it?

Now, please excuse me while I unapologetically suck down an ice coffee with my feet up while catching up on Real Housewives of New Jersey. All child-rearing and housekeeping and no play makes Tracy stabby.

Just ask my husband.


For this Wordless Wednesday I linked up with the fab mamas at Live and Love… Out LoudProject AliciaMoms Own Words and Angry Julie Monday.

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Dear owner of the nondescript beige car that was parked on 13th Street yesterday,

What? Excuse me? There were many nondescript beige cars parked on 13th Street yesterday? You’re right. I’m talking about this one:

Hey buddy, your car alarm went off between the hours of 12:45pm and 4:30pm. The. Entire. Time. Screeching. Honking. Eardrum-splitting decibels of noise all up in my face for FOUR HOURS.

Do you know what happens between the hours of approximately 1-4? It’s motherfucking nap time, my friend. NAP. TIME. Nap time of many small neighborhood children who, because we live in a dense urban environment, were unable to take a nap because of your stupid car. Nap time that was much, much-needed in many apartments so the harried, frazzled, sleep-deprived mothers could take at least one hour to catch up on the Housewives of NYC reunion. One precious hour to themselves. One precious hour where they don’t have to sing Trot Old Joe 9000 times.

I’m not even talking about me. I have a chill 3-year-old, but what about the people with tiny, scream-y infants? Do you have ANY idea how hard it is to get some scream-y infants to take good naps?! Have you ever tried to tiptoe through your apartment while avoiding certain creaky floorboards in the hardwood lest you wake up the scream-y infant? Have you ever put a baby in the tightest burrito swaddle on earth, borderline straightjacket-style and rock, bounce and loudly “SHHHH” said baby for two straight hours until they finally give in and you get a tiny moment of relaxation?

You know what REALLY fucks up said tiny moment of relaxation?

Your stupid car alarm.

And what about the writers? This is Brooklyn! How could you disturb the flashes of brilliance taking place behind laptops in coffee shops throughout the neighborhood? Isn’t anybody thinking about all the novelists?! The bloggers?! Shame on you!

Here’s the thing: it’s not a deterrent. I couldn’t. Care. Less if someone steals your car. Seriously. Nobody is calling the police. Nobody is jumping up from behind their MacBooks shouting “Oh my WORD! It sounds like crime is afoot! Come on everybody! Let’s form a community watch and stop the car thief!”.  That’s not happening. I didn’t glance out the window until TWO WHOLE HOURS had passed, and only THEN did I peek out to see if anybody had placed any disparaging notes on your windshield. Somebody could have stripped your car down to the bare frame, and we would have all been like, “Meh. Just turn off the fucking alarm, ok robber? Thanks. XOXO.”.

Do you see what I’m getting at, Mr. Car Alarm Douchenozzle?

I did wonder, for a brief moment, if I was just being a jaded, lazy NYer, so I did a little googling. Did you know there are a gazillion blogs, websites, community groups and movements solely dedicated to trying to eradicate all car alarms in NYC? There are. It’s not just me. It’s everybody. Everybody hates you, Mr. Car Alarm Douchenozzle. EVERYBODY.

95% of the time your badass Viper alarm goes off when the fucking wind blows, or when a Fresh Direct truck rumbles by on their way to deliver someone’s case of Pampers and bundle of kale. It’s almost never an actual thief. Even if it is someone with malicious intentions, odds are nobody will help save your car. We’re too busy rummaging through junk drawers for a sharpie so we can scrawl an expletive-filled note for your windshield.

So, Mr. Car Alarm Douchenozzle, on behalf of all residents of NYC, be they mothers, fathers, infants, writers, acupuncturists, puppeteers or dog walkers: please shut your fucking car up right now. Everybody hates you.



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Hot Stuff

Unless you live under a rock, you know that we’ve had a nice little heat wave for the past few days. I have to say: I didn’t mind it. In fact, after the thousands of blizzards we had this past winter, where our streets didn’t get plowed for about a week (in NYC!?), I welcome summer with all its stickiness. Now that Lotte is old enough to really hang out and is no longer a tiny, whiny cryfest, we’ve been doing some pretty awesome things recently. I’m ticking things off my summer bucket list like an efficient supermom. Ok, ok, we still manage to watch Wall-E, Bolt, or Toy Story 2 what feels like every five seconds, but we’ve really been taking advantage of living in the city lately.


Last week we went to Pier 6, one of our favorite parts of Brooklyn Bridge Park at the end of Atlantic Avenue. The last time we went was in March, when I was in the throes of potty training madness. Since they didn’t have bathrooms open yet, Lotte may or may not have tinkled through her skinny jeans into the sand area. Luckily we were the only people there, and nobody knew. Until now. Sorry. Fortunately the potties have been completed, so we won’t use the sandbox as a litter box anymore.


Seriously, though, it has to be one of the greatest parks in the history of EVER, with an amazing view of downtown Manhattan. Look at this awesome view:

I wish I had more pictures of the actual playground areas, like “slide mountain”, the to-die-for water park and the biggest sandbox in the universe, but I feel sketchy taking pictures at playgrounds. Isn’t that sad? At a couple of NYC playgrounds parents have recently been reprimanded by park workers for taking pictures that may have other people’s children in them, so I’m always reluctant to even take a picture of MY OWN KID playing with a fountain, lest some crazy person comes to yell at me. Lame. I DID snap an iphone pic of the most amped-up mom there, though, because she was so into the water park I swear I caught her elbowing toddlers so she could have a turn.

She was literally leaving kids in her wake. That guy behind her was clearly checking out her ass since she was the only adult there in a bathing suit. Go crazy mom, go!


Friday was my birthday, and Lotte and I went to the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens to see the Jim Henson exhibit. The temperature in my car while driving on the BQE read 104 that day: it was balls hot. The film museum, however, was really, really cool. Super interactive, interesting, modern minimal design… and air conditioned. Huzzah! I wanted SO BADLY to take pictures in the Jim Henson exhibit, because they had a few Fraggle puppets, Miss Piggy in her wedding gown (from Muppets take Manhattan), Bert and Ernie, as well as a bunch of props from The Dark Crystal (which I LOVED when I was little but looks creepy as shit now that I’m an adult), but there was absolutely NO photography allowed. There were security guards and museum workers around every corner, but like a complete badass rebel I snapped one pic with my phone.

Rowlf! Watching the footage of the making of the Muppet Show and Sesame Street actually made me a little teary. I was a huge Henson fan. HUGE. I’ve tried to get LJ into the Muppet Movie and Fraggle Rock, but she might be a little bit too young. Of course she couldn’t pass up a little bit of THIS guy:

On Saturday NYC felt like a urine-scented, roasting pan in hell, so we did what any sane family would do in a stanky heatwave: we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge! Totally out of our minds insane, clearly. At 5pm the temperature read 96 degrees, but we soldiered on, and then turned back around and went RIGHT back to our heavily air-conditioned apartment, gasping for air and recovering from heat stroke.

See that group of people under the Manhattan Bridge? That was a wedding. How awesome is THAT?

Yesterday the heat broke (barely), and since Pete had to go into the office to work on a pitch (on a Sunday! BOOOO!! Hisss!!), LJ and I hit our usual spot:

God, I LOVE summer.

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This past fall, we had what we’re now referring to as “Mouse Mayhem 2010”. Yes, we DID have a rat in our front yard also. We are possibly the most vile human beings on earth. (But we’re not!! I SWEAR! Your kids can come over for a play date and they can eat snacks off the floor. Literally, they can eat the old Cheerios that are crusted to the floor. Maybe some chocolate sprinkles, too, if they’re lucky, and smashed veggie booty. No matter how much I sweep I’ve resigned myself to the fact that my floors are going to be crunchy. I’m ok with that.)


Anyway, we’ve lived in our apt for 6 years and had never, EVER seen a mouse until October. Pete insists that a mouse used to visit him in the living room occasionally late at night while he was watching TV/playing Call Of Duty/engaging in nerdy wizard games on his iPhone, but I NEVER saw one, and I’m pretty sure he just saw a dog hair dust bunny wafting by. It definitely wasn’t some phantom mouse who only liked to stalk him. Please.


All of a sudden one night while lying in bed we heard (translation: I heard, with my supersonic bat ears while Pete snored away) what seemed to be teensy scratches. After trying to rouse the 80 pound dog on the bed to make sure her nails weren’t tapping on the walls during one of those wiggly dreams where her feet move as if she’s dreaming of chasing frisbees, I ran to the kitchen, flicked on the light and saw a lone mouse scurry across the floor. I yelped, jumped about two feet into the air and SPRINTED back into the bedroom as if an entire colony of mice were chasing me and nipping at my ankles.  We spent (again: I spent, since Pete could snore away even if a 747 took off from under the bed) the rest of the night obsessing and counting the seconds until I could call the landlord in the morning.


First thing in the morning my husband ran out to pick up some sticky traps and we laid them down under the oven and fridge, and when I say “some”, I mean he BLANKETED the space with sticky traps with a tiny pile of chocolate chips in the center of each one.  Have you heard? Mice are into chocolate chips. Especially fancy Ghirardelli ones. The traps were set, Pete headed off to work and my daughter and I sat down to breakfast.


Squeak! Squeak!


“I HEAR A MOUSE!! AWWW!!” Lotte shouted out with glee.


Darting into the kitchen I came to a screeching halt when my eyes met the teeny dark peepers of the tiniest mouse ever. Like, the cutest little baby mouse. It was fucking Fievel, or maybe Stuart Little. My animal-loving vegetarian mind went into emotional OCD overdrive, and I decided I would be SCARRED FOR LIFE if he got stuck on one of the traps. I HAD TO SAVE FIEVEL! STEP AWAY FROM THE GHIRARDELLI! The second I broke my freeze, however, the little bugger darted under the fridge, jonesing for chocolate, and got stuck. Squeak! Squeak!  I burst into tears and called my husband, hysterically demanding he come home and put the poor thing out of it’s misery because it was HIS IDEA to lay down these inhumane traps, and I couldn’t possibly kill Fievel. Although a small part of me was kind of thinking, “YAY! We caught the mouse! It’s over!”.


It wasn’t over. That evening, 4 more mice came for the chocolate chips and got stuck. FOUR. I was a disaster. As we tried to go to bed I could hear them in the walls and ceiling above us. We were being overrun, like that horror movie about spiders, except this was somehow worse*. The scurrying and scratching and tapping: I didn’t sleep a wink. The landlord came over first thing in the morning and went throughout the entire apartment sealing up any possible place they could be coming from. He ripped out the oven, the dishwasher and the fridge. He was under the sink and in every room: filling in the tiniest holes around every single radiator. He used a combination of steel wool and this foamy spray goo that hardened. It was SO mouse proof. It HAD to be!


It wasn’t. That night by 11pm we heard the familiar, maddening death scratches in the walls. I hadn’t slept in about 36 hours. We had eaten pretty much every meal out because I refused to go into the kitchen. Really, as far as I saw it, our only options were to

A. Move into a hotel forever like Dylan McKay.
B. Check me into a private room at Bellevue because I was going INSANE, or
C. start our own reality show called, “The Grossest Shit Ever”.

That night and the next day, we caught 6 more mice for a grand total of 11 in 3 days. ELEVEN!!! From zero in six years to 11 in 3 days! Pete had morphed into the Pol Pot of rodents (I won’t get into details of how he did it once they were stuck, but I can assure you they died very quickly), and by #3 I didn’t demonstrate the emotional compassion I had for that first one. I was no longer weeping for Fievel. FUCK FIEVEL AND HIS WHOLE FUCKING FAMILY. At one point that night while we were staring at a small mouse that was writhing on a trap, another fatso came strutting out right in front of us and, in an effort to pry the chocolate chips from under his mouse friend’s stuck body, he flung himself right onto the same trap. It. Was. A. NIGHTMARE.


The landlord called his exterminator who came in and laid bits of poison in strategic areas. This guy was like Ace Ventura of nasty creatures, and he was able to find the most microscopic entryways where he could spot where the GREASE FROM THEIR FUR RUBBED OFF ON THE WOOD (Gag! Retch!). That night we heard a little scurrying in the walls, but didn’t catch any. The following night: silence. Nothing. We were told that with poison you often get the stench of dead mice emanating from your walls, unless they left the house entirely. Thankfully we didn’t smell anything, and the ordeal was over. It was 3 days of pure hell.


Turns out my next-door neighbor had just had an exterminator come plug up holes for what she swears were “squirrels” in her roof that had been coming out at night. Right. I’m sure they were “squirrels”.  Literally, the following night Mouse Mayhem 2010 began in our apartment, and the neighbor on their other side had a few mice as well.


The moral: if you live in the city around neighbors who have (ahem) “squirrels”, get a cat. Dogs don’t do shit.


*On second thought, NOTHING would be worse than having your home overrun by spiders, especially daddy long legs. BARF.

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After a long holiday weekend at the beach followed by a few days trapped inside with a feverish kid, we took the bus to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden this morning. It was *probably* not the best idea to go on a day when it’s 95 degrees outside with 9000% humidity, but there were a lot of sprinklers on throughout the grounds that we could sprint through to keep us cool. Big ups to pretty flowers on a summer day.


For this Wordless Wednesday I linked up with the fab mamas at Live and Love… Out LoudProject Alicia, and Angry Julie Monday.

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Eeeeeeverybody loves to rip on Park Slope, especially in the media. Anyone who has lived in NYC is familiar with the vitriol that’s been spewed towards my Brooklyn hood, especially in the last 5 years or so. In case you missed it, you can read the animosity here, here, here and even here. I’d like to offer these haters my condolences. You’re just pissy you’re not my neighbor.  Here’s why:

I couldn’t afford to live on Prospect Park West in a gazillion years, but come on… it’s stunning.

Tree-lined, Sesame Street-like blocks. No tourists. No crowds.

Prospect Park kicks Central Park’s ass any day of the week.

It’s just really, really beautiful.

We win. You lose. Hate away.


For this Wordless Wednesday I linked up with the fab mamas at Live and Love… Out LoudProject Alicia, and Angry Julie Monday.

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