The Dark Side of New York

 

New York City Buildings

When I tell people I am a 6 year tourist of New York… I usually get this… “Oh, I love New York!” Yes, New York is grand. We’ve got the Yankees, Broadway, great restaurants, culture, cool people and Central Park. NYC is the Financial and Fashion Capital of the world (now I don’t know if that is official but we’ll go with the flow!) The Big Apple has taken center stage in many songs thanks to Ol’ blue eyes Frank Sinatra and Jay Z just to name a few. So, most people think pretty highly of Manhattan.New York City Rage

Now it is time for me to share with you some dirt. As a New Yorker,  it isn’t all roses. Let’s chat first about learning to walk. I am not talking about our first steps as a babe but as a working New Yorker. We know where we are going and we need to get there 5 minutes ago. Insert tourists. We love them. They bring our city lots and lots of money. However, they don’t know how to walk! It may seem like the middle of the sidewalk is the perfect place to snap a picture or look at your awesome city map. It’s Not! You will get mowed down by some angry dude who will most likely yell an obscenity at you. When it rains, forget about it. Total and complete sidewalk rage… How you liking us now?

Moving on to the subways… As an angry New Yorker, we don’t think weNew York City Subway should have to wait for the next subway. We will shove our way in. That means your hands are usually smashed into someone’s rear end. Now there is a law against unwanted sexual touching while riding the subways. I am seriously afraid my accidental groping will get me in trouble one day. Seriously, half of the arses I am grazing… I would never in a million years want to touch! Manhattanites also feel they are entitled to a seat on the subway. Wrong! Not all bottoms can fit on the size 6 seat,  just sayin’. Half a cheek on my lap is not cool. On a final subway note,  the pole in the center of the cars is for your safety…please hold it and do NOT dance on it. Your fellow passengers thank you!
Now, this final tidbit of information is not for the viewing eyes of children. You have been w arned. New York City living is a lot of people stacked in apartments with sometimes very thin walls. Do you get where I am going with this. Sex! Come on now!! My bedroom faces a courtyard which I share with a lot of other apartments. Sometimes people sleep with the windows open and sometimes those people have adult relations. However, I have one lady (I don’t know who she is nor do I want to know) and she is ridiculously loud. I mean unnecessarily loud. I have come thisclose to yelling out my window, ” he’s not that good!” It is beyond ridiculous over there. To make matters worse,  I can hear my upstairs neighbors bed rocking late a night. I should own stock in ear plugs.
So while I love my city and all the excitement,  I have wanted, at times, to–like Frank– start spreading the news  about some of the things that don’t always make it in the movies. If I can make it here, then I can make it anywhere… New York, New York!

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How I Became a Celebrity Stalker… I Mean Connoisseur!

I am a big, huge and sometimes crazy fan of movies, TV shows, reality television and magazines. You name it,  I have probably seen it once. I subscribe to US Weekly and People and occasionally pickup some of the tackier celebrity rags. What can I say, I enjoy them. I read them with pride on the subway or at the gym. I will not be embarrassed to tell you some of my fave shows are True Blood, Friday Night Lights, any Real Housewives season, Modern Family… the list goes on. Each television season, I have to breakup with a least one series… I mean I have to have a social life too!

I guess it will not come as a shocker to you, I am very knowledgeable about A to Z list celebrities. So I am not sure if  living in New York has helped or worsened my addiction. The most outrageous part is I feel so comfortable with the famous folk, I actually said hello to Jennifer Lopez like we were life-long friends. She looked at me like I was a lunatic.

Russell Brand

To date I have seen the following: Alec Baldwin (I love him… but I know how he feels about the paps) Adrien Brody, Mel Gibson, Jack Nicholson, Daisy Fuentes, Andrew McCarthy (he still looks as good as he did in Pretty in Pink) Fergie the Duchess of York, Donald Faison (the dude from Scrubs and Clueless) Matt Damon, Dustin Hoffman, Eva Mendes, Russell Brand (he was signing autographs for fans, good guy) The crew of The Today Show, Regis and Kelly, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey (we will be BFFs one day) Liev Schreiber, Angelina Jolie sans Brad Pitt, Paul Simon, the cast of  The Big, Bang Theory, Joey McIntrye (dream come true for the 10 year old me) Kimora Lee, P Diddy, Russell Simmons, Denis Leary, I got a pedicure next to SJP (that’s Sarah Jessica Parker!!) And that’s not all…

So, while I know these people are like you and me, with more money and notoriety,  I still get excited when I see someone famous. I do what every fan would do… try to snap a pic, then post to Facebook so I can have bragging rights and then I  call or text my Mom. You never know if  being recognized by me may make them feel cool or if  they will come at me with an umbrella like Britney Spears! Just to be clear,  I also get excited when seeing sports stars, politicians or any sort of newsmaker. A famous person is a famous person. A polite warning to my newbie celeb watchers… Keep your distance!

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Pregnant in Heels: my feet hurt for these women!

Have you seen the new TV show on Bravo, Pregnant in Heels? I caught my first episode the other night and was reminded that there is a completely different universe than the one I’m living in. Namely, pregnant women living in New York City who have a completely different reality than my own. I don’t know about you, but I’m only 16 weeks pregnant and my feet complain after just hearing the word “heels.” These women teeter around in 4 inch heels at 39 weeks pregnant through the cobblestone streets of NYC!

Mina and her husband, Herman

The episode I viewed is titled “Clueless” and there couldn’t be a more apropos title. The show is hosted by a really cool woman named Rosie Pope who is a “Maternity Concierge” and basically caters to affluent pregnant women who know more about spending money than raising babies.

The first woman on the show is named Mina Au and has never even held a baby before. She thinks that her husband and the nanny can do all the diaper changes, after all- “there are people for that.” Mina couldn’t understand why Rosie said the dog’s “pee pad” had to come up when there’s a baby crawling around the apartment floor. Diaper pail, what’s that? I need one of those?

Michelle and her husband, Gary

The second woman on the show is named Michelle Shaeffer, a Catholic woman married to a nice Jewish man named Gary. Michelle can’t understand why Gary has a problem raising their daughter Catholic, after all  it is “her” daughter. Apparently they never once brought up how they would raise children with their two different religions. Rosie brings in Lisa Oz (Dr Oz’s wife) to mediate the heated discussion and manages to bring the couple to a compromise.

The first 45 minutes of the show I kept asking myself “Are these women serious? OMG! Wait till that baby comes!” Somehow Bravo manages to humanize these princesses in the last 15 minutes so you don’t completely despise them, but it still amazes me that there are women out there so self-absorbed. I know it’s reality TV, but some things can’t be edited by Bravo producers.

Being a toddler mom and pregnant myself, I don’t know how these high-rise Mommas do it in NYC. My hat is off to them. I love being able to drive my car to the grocery store and not worry about lugging car seats into cabs every time I want to run an errand.

Pregnant in Heels gives a really unique glimpse into the lives of pregnant women who don’t live like “the rest of us.”  The host, Rosie Pope, is charming. I adore her London accent and her honesty with secondary infertility struggles on the show is endearing. She works with her clients with a unique blend of grace and straight forwardness. I can’t wait for the next episode to air!

If you’re looking for a new show to watch, I recommend giving Pregnant in Heels a chance. You can watch the show on Bravo, Tuesdays at 10 pm EST or watch full episodes on BravoTV.com.

Have you seen the show yet- what did you think? If not, what’s your favorite show at the moment?

Photos courtesy of Bravo TV

Reflections of September 11th..

With the recent turn of events these past few days and with all of the images of Osama Bin Laden and September 11th flooding back to all of us, it is important to think of what we lost that fateful day and cherish what we still have.  All of us can remember as clearly as if it were only yesterday where we were and what we were doing when we heard the horrific news.   For me, it was only until I returned home from work that evening that I actually saw the images on the television screen.   I remember picking up my twoyearold son right out of his bed while he was still sound asleep and just holding him for hours.  
 
There was an overwhelming feeling around the Country during that time to try to find a way to help or contribute in any way possible.   I turned to my emotions and a pen and paper and began to write.  I had been writing poetry since I was young, and had used that as an outlet to help me get through some of the greatest and worst moments in my life.  The words seemed to flow out of me and onto the paper, and within a halfhour, my poem was finished.  I turned on my computer and immediately emailed a copy of the poem to Mayor Rudy Giuliani.  I think I speak for so many of us when I say that Mayor Giuliani was such a reassuring and comforting force during that time, when all of America was in a sheer state of panic.   I wanted to be able to reach out to him and thank him in the only way I knew how to at that point in time.
 
About a week had past, when I turned my computer on to check my email as I did every day, and could not believe my eyes when I saw a response from Mayor Giuliani in my inbox.   I honestly sat there in a state of shock for about five minutes before even opening up the email to read it.   His email kindly thanked me for the poem, but it was this sentence that brought immediate tears to my eyes and will forever be a part of me for the rest of my life.  His last sentence read….. “I will be placing your poem onto the wall with the people who still remain missing.”    
 
During a time such as this, when we are all seeing the images and reliving the horrible moments of September 11th all over again, I would like to share the poem that I wrote over nine years ago: 
 
 
This is written to a City so special….
A City which stands for the USA….
Nothing will ever make us forget….
That horrific September 11th day….
 
A Part of you was taken from us….
A part that could never be replaced…..
Your majestic presence will forever have….
An impact on the world and in our hearts, an empty space…..
 
With our melting pot of communities….
On that fateful day, we have become one….
To continue to fight together for our freedom…..
For those terrorists will wish this fight they had never begun….
 
For they do not know who they are against…
Our Nation is something so unified and so great….
With our hearts glowing and our flags flying….
Osama Bin Laden…. You just wait….
 
Our Firefighters and Police Officers….
You are America’s Heroes, it is so true….
You make us proud to be Americans..
You should know the Nation is in awe and in love with you…..
 
For New York, we fight for you….
Nothing could ever bring this Country down….
We stand for everything that is right with the world…
With our Statute of Liberty in her American gown….
 
For the terrorists pulled down our buildings….
But our people we are the glue…
We will put this Country back together again….
For we love this land…. THE RED, WHITE AND BLUE…

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A Mother’s Love

Mom and me...back in the day

Sometimes I really believe my mom thinks I am still her little girl. I know it breaks her heart that I have chosen to live across the United States from her.  She will tell me, “you have to live your life!”  But I know she would prefer my life to be in Arizona not New York. My mother was a young pup when she had me, just barely 23 years old. So we have somewhat grown up together through the years. But she never let me forget who is boss. Nowadays, the disciplinarian is somewhat gone… but don’t think she doesn’t scold me when she doesn’t approve of something I have done (let’s be honest… she doesn’t need to know everything!)

Now when I call her in tears, her hug isn’t there to mend my broken heart or soothe the pain. Instead, she offers advice that usually makes me even more annoyed because all I need is to hear her voice to make me feel better. Except when her voice is telling me… “You can’t always get what you want,” which sometimes comes out in a song.  That’s when I get even more annoyed.

My favorite is when I tell her I went out last night and I can just see her shaking her head as she tells me “Katrina Ann, you should know better!” She has given up on asking me about my dating life. Smart move!! And while, unlike my friends who talk to their mothers once maybe twice a week, I talk, text or email mine at least a dozen times a day.

What can I tell you, I love the woman! She may drive me crazy, nag  me, scold me and sometimes forget that my umbilical cord was cut 31 years ago but she is my mom and in my opinion one of the best around. So on this Mother’s Day weekend… let me leave you with some of Melody’s favorite sentences to her daughter.

*I love you
*Did you make your bed?
*You can’t always get what you want
*Katrina Ann, you should know better!
*I love you
*Did you call your Grandma?
*Are you dressing warm enough?
*When are you coming home?
*I love you
*You need to take better care of yourself
*How’s (insert name of one of my friends!)
*I love you
*Don’t give up
*I miss you
*****You are the BEST daughter EVER!!****

Ok, maybe not the last one… but I know she thinks it!

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I live on Park Avenue next to a Brothel

Park avenue street signNew York living in its finest.  It was almost perfect…. Almost.  Park Avenue apartment with a wonderful pedigree. Duplex… three bedrooms, two balconies, a fireplace and two great roommates. I could walk to work. I was surrounded by great restaurants, bars and coffee shops. Then my fairy tale romance with my perfect apartment fizzled.   We had new neighbors. They seemed nice enough to begin with. But then things got weird.   Men constantly coming in and out of the front door at all hours of the day and night.  In the middle of the night random dudes buzzing my apartment,  I assume mistaking the apartment numbers.   One day, I came home in the middle of the day to retrieve my left behind cell when I got in the elevator with one of the randoms. He was very handsome and polite; I was feeling much better about the situation until he took out his wedding ring from his pocket and put it back on. I almost tossed my cookies right then.

That very night I made a point to visit my Super,  Siam. He told me he and his wife were concerned with the high traffic coming in and out of the building. We discussed conspiracy theories.  I told him mine… I was living across the hallway from a brothel!! In my mind there was no other possible explanation… I only saw men visiting the apartment and it was always one lady answering the door. And by answering… I mean barely opening it an inch… and practically yanking the guys in. I slept better that night, I knew whatever scandalous things were happening in my building would soon end.

Unfortunately, a couple of weeks passed, my buzzer still buzzed late at night and men still came in and out of the building. That’s when the situation reached a boiling point.   I rode up in the elevator with,  for lack of a better term,  one of the Johns.   My neighbors, however,  did not realize I was in the elevator.  I,  along with the John.  was greeted at the door by several lingerie clad ladies. Um… Yeah. The John was immediately rushed in and I was left to pick up my jaw from the floor. I may be from Arizona but I have seen enough episodes of Law and Order to know this was not an ideal living situation. I got directly back in the elevator and went to see Siam. It was that very night that Siam with some assistance from the folks from NYPD made our neighbors leave. It wasn’t too long after that I said goodbye to Park Avenue. However, the call girl jokes remain a mainstay in my office.

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Looking for Love in Unusual Places

     As single ladies this day and age… we look for any sort of clue or sign that love is coming our way soon. Well, at least my friends and I do. So while in Las Vegas for a girls weekend… my jaded single New York friend and I took our search to a “higher” level…a psychic!  We called our hotel concierge to see if they could suggest a somewhat reputable psychic… they told us about someone way off the strip… which sounded like too much work for us. We then casually blew off the idea and decided to continue on our search for love on our own. However, the higher powers had another plan for us. We went into O’Shea’s which,  if you don’t know,  is a cheap sort of college way to gamble in Las Vegas… and low and behold… there was an in-house psychic. It was a clear sign… or a coincidence… but I am going with a sign!

psychic

     We each sat down, dropped $40 bucks and were ready to find out when/if we are going to find love!!   Kileen (our psychic) sat us down… we meditated and then she started flipping her cards. Kileen had an accurate reading about me. She told me I was hurt in the past and I was still getting over a bad relationship… blah, blah, blah. Yes, somewhat true. I did have a bad relationship in the past,  but I think I pretty much over it. I mean do I hold grudges… yes, but what girl who was burned by a boy in the past doesn’t hold him in a negative light??

     I starting to think my psychic reading was more like a therapy session… shouldn’t I be at least laying down on a couch or something. Every time I tried to throw out a question she continued to ramble on about finding the true me and being more self-confident. Good point.  I will definitely work on it but tell me if my Mr. Right,  father of my future adorable children is out there!! Long story short… my fifteen minutes of psychic fame were over and I had zero answers about my future! Was this a sign I am meant to be alone… FOREVER?!

     As Kileen tried to politely kick me out of her beaded tent I asked the questions I needed to know.  Is he out there for me and will I have kids???  Her answer: Yes and you’ll have two kids. That was it. Whatever, I will take it. My silly girl brain needed that reassurance (even if it was forced and very brief) that maybe happily ever after is out there and waiting for me. I guess time will only tell!

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Getting Gorgeous in New York City

New York City

It’s going to be a fun weekend. Today, several of the contributors and I are piling in Carrie’s SUV and heading to New York City where we will meet up with Katrina for a day of fashion, fun & beauty…oh, and pampering!  Two of my friends are putting on a spectacular event in the city called Getting Gorgeous, and it is going to be fabulous!  Audrey McClelland & Vera Sweeney are the masterminds behind the event and, to be honest, I’ve never even met Vera before–but any friend of Audrey’s is a friend of mine.

This will actually be my first “event” as a blogger and I can speak for all of the ladies of  A Mom Knows Best when I say we are thrilled to get a little R&R, meet some other wonderful women and engage with the terrific brands that will be in attendence.  I really have to give Audrey & Vera  a hand for choosing terrific companies to allign themselves with.  We’re talking Degree, Lifetime Moms, Hanes, Sandals Resorts (BTW, who else is DYING for a vacation after our recent snow in New England?) Weight Watchers & Goody Hair…just to name a few!dad NYC

After hanging with the girls all day, my husband and baby will pick me up and we’ll spend the night with our good friends who have a daughter just two weeks younger than Paige.  The babies always have such a great time together and it’s so fun to see them interact!  Sunday I have a business lunch at a great little restaurant I’ve been dying to try, right by the water, before heading back to Rhode Island.  Crossing my fingers that Paige sleeps a little in the car.  She’s typically good for about an hour…that’s it.  Maybe it’s time to invest in one of those portable DVD players…although since she’s never seen a movie it might kind of freak her out.

Adventures in Finding the Perfect Lash

Without a doubt every single lady who has graced the cover of any fashion magazine or celebrity rag has them. They are long, shiny and make her eyes pop! Yes, I am talking about eyelashes! Lashes that would make most guys swoon.

Lash perfection!

Lash perfection!

While these cover girls probably have the assistance of fake eyelashes… I am not hating. I absolutely love getting all dolled up and stopping by my favorite MAC counter for a pair of falsies. But practical for the office or day to day… No! I think my boss would send me home if I strolled into the office rocking them. So I went on a mission to get those eyelashes I have always wanted with a little help from our friends in the pharmaceutical world. The golden ticket… Latisse! I was so excited,  I tossed on my Indiana Jones fedora… strapped on my Louboutin like Carrie Bradshaw (who am I kidding,  those cost more than my rent!) I put on some classy black heels and I was out. My first idea was to check locally… Canal Street?! Too shady. Local makeup shops… Nope. I then moved to the World Wide Web. There are several spas in the NYC area that offer it… but of course after you pay the $100 consultation fee. No thanks. I filled out an online application three times at one place. No call back. Called a friend of a friend’s shop, got a mean lady on the phone. She probably already has beautiful eyelashes and thinks I am a wanna be. Noooo dinero for her! How could Latisse be rejecting me and we haven’t even met yet?

Magical Beauty Serum

Magical Beauty Serum

  This was proving more difficult then dating! Then it hit me. Call my local pharmacy! Sure enough, they had it, but I needed a prescription from my doctor. Uh oh, he already thinks I am a nut. I seriously call the man for everything and always go to his office with my own diagnosis from Web MD.  Once again, he pulled through for me (I love you Dr. Barnes!) I eagerly dashed to pick up my magical beauty serum.  Latisse and I have now been together for less than a week, nothing yet. I do run and look in every mirror I see…much to the horror of my friends. But hey, I am looking for results. I need to have those long, beautiful eyelashes to wink at the single male population! In the dating world of Manhattan, you need every advantage you can get. Bat, bat, bat!

Are you  a Latisse or RevitaLash fan? Did you have side effects…red, itchy eyes, change in pigment color?  Or, do you think it’s too expensive and not worth the potential risks?  Share your experiences with me in the comment section below.

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