Tag Archives: life in NY

The Longer I Live Here ……

…… the more I love this city.

That’s not to say that it doesn’t have its faults.
Because it does.
As does any city.

The streets are FULL of obnoxious drivers who lay on their horns …… even and especially when the cars in front of them are unable to move …… unless they want to plow through pedestrians who have the right of way.
I’m a little touchy on this. I’ve been known to give the evil eye to the horn blowers, and …… if their windows are down, ask them what the heck they expect the other drivers to do.
It’s a waste of breath and energy.
They don’t care.
I think they just like to lay on their horns.
I’m working on letting go of this one.
It’s a work in progress.

The sidewalks are full of sidewalk rage (as opposed to road rage). Not always and not everywhere. But every once in a while you look up and see a pedestrian barreling towards you and you instantly know that he/she isn’t going to tuck their shoulder in at the last minute. If you don’t tuck yours …… someone, or perhaps both of you, is going to end up with a dislocated shoulder.
I have avoided this thus far. Though I think there have been several close calls.
I think it’s the New Yorker’s way of playing “chicken”.

But these things are a small price to pay for the fun, excitement, entertainment and just plain weirdness of living in this amazing city.

I can understand most of the weird stuff. I get the sidewalk rage. I don’t get the over usage of car horns, but as I said, I’m working on letting that go.
I get the total awe of first time visitors, which makes them stop smack dab in the middle of a busy sidewalk and stare at their surroundings. Especially near Times Square where one might be bowled right over if one stops too long.
I understand how people can get lost in the Park and I try to help them as best I can.
I also get that the subways can seem seem very overwhelming to first time users, though it really doesn’t take long to understand them.

However, there is still one thing about the subways that I do NOT understand. In fact, I have yet to meet anyone here in NY who does get this particular thing.
I’ve thought about sending it in to Jimmy Fallon, or Stephen Colbert, or maybe Matt Lauer. But I’m doubtful that anyone can explain this extraordinarily bizarre item.

This is it:
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This is a sign that you can find inside most subway cars, stating the emergency instructions.  It tells you what to do in case of, 1. Fire, 2. Medical Emergency, 3. If you need the Police, and 4. If you need to evacuate the car.

If you’re like any good New Yorker, or a so-so visitor, you read these signs so that you’ll know what to do, or not do, in the event that an emergency happens while you’re lucky enough to be riding the subway.

Go ahead and read through the instructions.
I’ll wait.
Don’t worry …… I’ll catch up on Fallon while I’m waiting.

Done? It doesn’t really take that long to read through them.
Did you notice a prevailing theme throughout these instructions?
There were two.

First of all, above all else, no matter what happens, or who’s attacking you, or what weapons are present, or even who’s on board (like say, the President of the United States …… and yes, I know that’s highly unlikely), or for any reason WHATSOEVER …… do NOT PULL THE EMERGENCY CORD.
No way.
No how.
No matter how much carnage is in the car.
Or how high the water level gets.
Or how hot the fire roars.
Or how many people are having heart attacks.
Or how many people claim to be suicide bombers.

Do NOT, EVER, EVER,EVER, pull that cord.
And, although you can’t see it in this picture …… the emergency cord is just above this sign.
In every car.

Which begs the question …… what in the hell is the cord for?!

The instructions also tell you to notify a crew member if any of these scenarios occur.
Which might lead you to believe that there are crew members floating all over the place in the subway cars.
You would be wrong to believe that.
Dead wrong.
Excuse the dark humor there.
🙂

I’ve only noted one crew member on any train. And he/she is the person in charge of driving it. All alone in their little cubicle, somewhere in the middle of the train.
So good luck with letting one of them know that the car you’re riding in has suddenly become combustible.
Or loaded with a suspicious white powder.
Or gang bangers.
(I’m kidding! There are no gang bangers in NY!) 🙂

If you’ve never been to NY, please come visit this amazing city.
There’s more to do and see than you’ll most likely have time for.
Transportation is easier than you think.
Make yourself at home.
Don’t be afraid to ask for directions/help.
Don’t be afraid to eat off of the many food carts around the city.
You can feel totally safe in Central Park.
And Times Square.
Even at night.

Enjoy every part of the city.

Just make sure that you DO NOT, EVER, NEVER, NO WAY, NO HOW, NO MATTER WHAT ……
pull the subway emergency cord.

I think, that if you can figure out what the role of the emergency cord actually is …… you might win a key to the city.

Maybe.

Maybe not.

I’m not sure about that.

There’s a lot I’m not sure of.

Pulling the emergency cord is not one of those things.
Don’t even think about it.

If I ever get up the nerve to pull it, I’ll let you know what happens.
🙂

On The Way Home From Church ……

……these are the sights I saw.

Today is NY Marathon Day.
All day long.
This city knows how to party.

This building was lit up for the marathon:
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I followed this girl with shiny red patent leather shoes and a very stiff petticoat. I have no idea where she was heading or if this was a costume. New York, being New York, means that it was probably her every day wardrobe.
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As I turned the corner to my neighborhood, I saw that the barriers were still up, although they were just about to be taken down.
Barricades up on Columbus Circle and down Broadway towards my apartment building are a very wonderful thing.
As long as I have proof that I live there.
If not, those barricades can ruin an evening.
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But it’s wonderful to be able to just walk leisurely down the street …… IN the street.
It was quite lovely.
And it appeared that there were still people finishing the marathon (it was around 6:00 p.m.)
Trust me …… no judgement here …… I’d have been in a coma after mile 3.

I’m looking forward to just hanging out with Gracie tomorrow, while doing laundry, ASL homework, and apartment cleaning.
I’m supposed to go see a screening of a movie called “Brooklyn” tomorrow night. I don’t know much about it, which is kind of how I like it.

Speaking of not knowing much about something, well, kind of …… today I went to see “Misery”, starring Bruce Willis and Laurie Metcalf.
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I didn’t expect a lot from this show. I only went because I was offered a cheap ticket.
But I was pleasantly surprised. Bruce did better than I thought he would. I had no doubt about how Laurie would do …… I think she’s a terrific actress.
So it was better than I had anticipated.

But the audience …… the audience totally sucked.
It would seem as though none of them had ever seen anything by Stephen King. Or anything on the disturbing spectrum.
Because most of them seemed to think this was a comedy.
But it was not.
I’ve never seen the movie, but I’ve heard enough.
And I’ve read enough Stephen King (before I swore off of him after reading either “It” or “Pet Sematary”…… I can’t remember which.
But either one was enough to do me in.)

Anywho …… the woman who sat next to me and I both agreed that it was an altogether stupid audience.
Americans just don’t seem to do well with mental illness. Or death. Or the macabre.
And so they laugh.
I’d hate that if I were one of the actors in that play.
Considering that they had to deal with that …… I think they both did an extraordinary job.

So there you go. A sort of theatrical review. Or maybe just an audience review.
Either way, you get what you pay for, Peeps.
Ha!

Have a great Monday.
🙂

Halloween ……

…… in New York City is a wee bit different than most places.

First of all, there are apartment buildings instead of houses.  And there are retail shops instead of homes.  Most of the the shops and restaurants give out candy.  I’m guessing the better the restaurant, the better the candy.
Of course that’s only a guess.

There’s a street near me that’s blocked off to all traffic so that children can go trick or treating safely.  And with tons of fun.  The stoops of the apartment buildings are decorated.  Adults stand outside of them, in full costume, and hand out candy.  The streets are crowded …… and full of amazingly costumed children/adults/pets.  Gracie seemed to be one of the best dressed dogs.  Not because I thought so (because I didn’t) …… but based on the comments of passer-bys and the tons of people who asked if they could take her picture.                                                       Go figure.
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This is the start/welcoming point of the NY Marathon, which starts tomorrow morning and locks all of us who live in this area into our apartments.  Seriously.  Our buildings will be surrounded by police/security/cement blocks and all leaving/arriving is frowned upon.  Until after the marathon.  Sounds like a good day to sleep in, right?  🙂

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People lined up outside of apartment buildings to get their candy:
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This little one was a subway car.  His parents did a great job on it!!
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My precious Gamma Phi Lady Bug:
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The street continued to be blocked off on the other side of the intersection.
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We wandered around for a couple of hours.  It was fun to watch all of the wee ones and their families.  Sometimes, it was also bitter sweet.  I’m sure it feels that way for all parents of grown children.  Not just those of us with dead spouses.                                                                               But it was nice to re-live the fun memories.

Evidently those two hours just plain wore out my lady bug:
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This is her, passed out cold next to me as I type this.

I went to a show today called, “China Doll”.  The following pictures will tell you who starred in it:
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Yep, Al Pacino.  Yes, THAT Al Pacino.

I’d love to tell you that it was an amazing show and that he did a wonderful job.  However.

It seems to me that Mr. Pacino (how’s that for respect?!) plays the same part now, no matter the vehicle.  A stuttering, bumbling, old man who doesn’t appear to be able to remember his lines.  It was disappointing, to say the least.  But …… it was Al Pacino.
So there’s that.

Anyway, it was something to do.
Tomorrow I’m going to see Bruce Willis in “Misery”. You know, that horrific Stephen King story that starred Kathy Bates and James Caan in the movie (which I’ve never seen).
I’m not really looking forward to the story, but hopefully Bruce and Laurie Metcalf (Roseanne’s sister on “Roseanne”) will do a good job.

In between all of that I’m trying to catch up with “Scandal”. Which involves re-watching some of the episodes I’ve already seen because I can’t always remember which ones I’ve watched.
Growing old sucks.

I hope you all have a fun and safe Halloween.
🙂

Thank You ……

…… to those of you who understood.
Or tried to understand.
My last post.

It was nice not to have to read the “judgey” posts that some people have written in the past.
No judgement is needed.
At least, not in my opinion.

I write what I write …… because it’s inside of me and I need to get it out.
Yes, I could write it down ……. and then delete it. But I don’t believe that’s what I’m called to do.
I write it down …… and publish it …… because there are so many others out there who feel what I feel.
And so we connect.
This is my calling.
It certainly won’t change anything.

Jim is dead.
I know he’s dead.
I know he’s never coming back.
No matter what I want.
No matter what I wish for.
He’s dead.

Someone asked me this yesterday: “Are you still grieving?”
I was a bit surprised by that question.
I answered truthfully.
“Yes, I will always grieve for him. Always.”
But I’m no longer in the dark, cold, all-consuming grief that once was.
Thankfully.

His death no longer occupies my every waking moment, my every thought, my every breath.
But I will grieve for him until my last dying breath.
This I know.
And this I can live with.

But my days, my life, are not consumed by my grief.
I continue to live.
I continue to find joy.
With grief in the background.

I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching lately.
Truthfully, it hasn’t been a difficult job.
Before I continue with this post, I need to tell you that I am not writing this as a “woe is me” post. I’m not looking for sympathy, or a “poor you” attitude.
It is what it is.
And it’s for me to deal with.

I never took Jim for granted.
Hard to believe?
Probably.
But if you were to read through all of my journals …… you’d see that it’s true.
I always thanked God for giving Jim to me.
Always.
I never took him for granted.

And now, I know why.

I never, ever felt good enough to have married him.
I never, ever felt that I deserved him.
Ever.

I have no idea why …… I wonder if anyone ever knows …… why they feel so undeserving.
But I did.
I’ve never felt that I was “good enough”.
And I certainly never felt “good enough” for Jim.
Never.

I was so thankful for him. For the gift of him. To be his wife.
No, we didn’t always agree on everything, nor did we always get along on certain points.
But we moved past that.
Always.

And I was always so thankful that he was in my life.
I was thankful for our beautiful, wonderful six children.
But more so, for him.

So when he died …… it almost made sense.
I was never good enough.
And that finally caught up with me.

I didn’t deserve him.
And so he died.
I finally got what I deserved.

So here I am.
Living life without him.
Not the life I wanted.
Not the life I’d planned.
But the life I deserve.

And now I have to navigate this road that tells me that God does indeed love me, but on which I feel most unloved.
I have to move past these feelings of being unloved, undeserving.
And I hope that I will.
I’m trying.

It’s easy enough to say, “God loves me”.
It’s all together different to really embrace it.
It’s a work in progress.

I am a work in progress.
I don’t think I’m the only one.
So to those of you who find yourself on this path …… hopefully we can navigate it together.

My mind knows that I’m good enough ……in God’s eyes.
My heart just needs to catch up.

Settling In ……

…… to my Fall schedule here in NY.
I think.

I just had a great week and a half with my friend J visiting me for a week, and then with Son #1 who came for the long weekend. The best part of their visits? We didn’t have to go and see everything. We enjoyed just hanging out with each other and seeing a few things.
I think I’m done with being the official NY tour guide.
Seriously.

Son #1 and I walked down to Times Square on Sunday and hung out there for a while. It’s a great place to people watch.
I took him by the Ed Sullivan Theatre so that he could see the new Stephen Colbert signs. That’s when we noticed signs in the window that stated (more or less), “If you want to get stand by tickets, come back here at 1:00 tomorrow”. And so we did. We were number 17 in the stand by line.
They told us to come back at 4:15, when they would randomly pick numbers to fill in the stand by seats.
So we explored the south end of the city for quite a while before heading back to the theatre to see if our number was picked.
And it was.
Whoop!

We had a great time being in that audience. We were up in the balcony, but had a great view of Elvis Costello and all things Colbert. It was definitely worth the two waits.
After that exciting day we came back to the apartment, heated up leftover Thai food, and watched “King Kong”, with Jack Black. Not a great movie, but it was more about the company than the movie.
I love spending time with my kids.
As does Gracie Lou. ❤

Today I went to BSF (Bible Study Fellowship), which is a great Bible study in any city. This year we’re studying Revelation, which should be a very interesting and exciting study. I’m hoping to make friends with other Christian women in NY and getting to know more people here.
It would’ve helped if my Uber ride hadn’t taken 4o minutes to do a 15 minute drive.
So yeah, I was pretty late by the time I got there.
But there’s always next week. 🙂

I came home afterwards to relax for a bit before I went to my very first Improv class at the theatre where I volunteer.
I wasn’t too sure about doing this, but I’m so glad that I went. It was great fun and I can’t wait until next week.

I left that theatre and headed to a movie theater to see a screening of a new movie called, “Truth”. It’s about CBS and Dan Rather and all of the crap that went down with him and them.
It was very good.

Tomorrow I’m heading to the Meredith Vieira show with my friend, Kelley. That should be fun. Even if it’s not, Kelley and I always have fun together. In fact, there’s a huge chance that we might get thrown out of the audience.
Maybe.

Then tomorrow night I’m going to another movie screening of something called “Room”. I’m not too sure about this one, but hey, it’s free.
We’ll see if “free” makes it worth while.

Thank you to all of you who commented here, on Facebook, by email, or text on my previous post. It helps more than you can know. I’m always humbled when I write something that connects with someone else. Your comments let me know that I’m not alone. And that’s huge.

That’s it for tonight. I can’t keep my eyes open so it’s time to hit the hay before I type something very, very embarrassing.
Yes, it’s happened.

Good night one and all.
I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday.
Oh, and be sure to watch/record the Meredith Vieira show. Who know what/who you might see?!
🙂

A Surprise Around Every Corner ……

…… can be found in this city.

Seriously.
Every.
Single.
Corner.

I was checking out the neighborhood around my church yesterday since I had some time to kill before the service started.
Imagine my surprise when, as I was walking around a NYC block, I came upon this:

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I know, right?!!
Who would’ve thought there’d be a waterfall smack dab in the middle of the city?!

That’s not the only thing I discovered.
It seems that the church is not only behind a park with a waterfall, but in a neighborhood of embassies.
These two are across the street:
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They might not be as cool as a waterfall, but I think they’re pretty interesting.

After church I went up to the roof of my building.
As usual, the view was beautiful.
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That’s pretty much all I have for you today.
Other than the fact that it’s blazing hot here …… which I know makes my Texas friends roll their eyes.
But I’ve been surprised (though I’m not sure why …… it’s not as if this is my first summer here) by the intensity of the heat.
The temperature reads in the low 90’s, which made me think, “Yay!”. But in reality, temperatures in the low 90’s in a cement jungle, with as much humidity as Houston, makes for a pretty miserable outdoor experience.

Thankfully, if you live in NY you really never have to leave your building.
Truly. If you’re an agoraphobic, this is THE best place to live. Everything you could ever need can be delivered to your apartment.
Many times in less than an hour.
Even Amazon.
Though I may have to re-evaluate using that site, based on today’s news.
Innocent until proven guilty.
Except in the eyes of the press.

Anyway, I still went out today.
Though not very far.
I went to a movie with a few friends from my building.
The movie was in an Indie movie theatre that’s below our building.
So yeah, it’s pretty convenient.

We saw a foreign film entitled, “Phoenix”.
It was a very good movie.

Oh, and I also saw the new Meryl Streep movie, “Ricki and the Flash” last week.
While I didn’t think it’s one of her best, I still enjoyed it.
I mean …… it’s Meryl Streep.
What’s not to love?
And I happen to enjoy Kevin Klein quite a bit, too.
And then there’s Rick Springfield.
That’s all I need to say about that.

So there you go.
An update from THE city.
And a less emotional day.
Yay for that.

And yay that Tracy Morgan is going to host SNL sometime in October.
He’s come a long way on a very hard road.
And I’m looking forward to seeing him and hearing his humor again.

The End.
For now.

“She’s Going to Be Famous” ……

…… is what a woman told me yesterday while she was petting Gracie.

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Daughter #1 was in town and we were down in Hell’s Kitchen at a flea market and I was schlepping Gracie around in my bag. It was blazing hot and I think she was still tired from our two mile walk through the Park the day before.
She also doesn’t really care for walking where there’s traffic and a lot of people.
Oh, and hot cement.

So yeah, she was in my bag. I thought she’d draw less attention that way, but she has some inborn talent for drawing attention no matter where she is. She also has an inborn talent for making people smile. And even, dare I say, making some people happy.
It’s a gift.

It’s a gift more humans should have.
Or maybe work on.

But I digress.
Evidently, if this woman has a talent of foretelling the future, Gracie is going to be famous.
From her mouth to God’s ears.

I told Daughter #1 that maybe I should just sit in Central Park with her, day in and day out, to see if maybe a talent scout will discover her.
I’m pretty sure we both thought that would be a huge waste of time.

So instead, I’ve applied to have her trained to be a therapy dog. I believe she could be making people smile, who, for whatever reason health-wise, don’t have much to smile about.
We shall see.
While I’m writing this she’s evidently trying to dig to China through her dog bed.
I’m not all that confident of her intellectual ability to pass a course.
Any course.
Unless it’s for cuteness.

Oh, and she now has her own Facebook page.
It’s “Gracie Takes Manhattan”.
In case you’re interested.
I can’t blame you if you’re not.

In other news …… there really is no other news.
Not any “new” news anyway.
There is a bit of old news.

For the past couple of days my emotions have been brimming at the surface. You know, when you feel if anyone says, “How are you doing?”, the tears will flow over the dam?
There’s really no reason for it.
Other than the same one I’ve had for over 7 1/2 years.
I miss Jim.

Some days it just comes out of the blue.
I miss him.
I mean, I miss him every day. I think about him every day. But I don’t always feel emotional about it every day.
Thank goodness.

The missing of him rarely crashes over me now. But it does sneak up on me every once in a while, with no particular pattern.
As it has does done this weekend.
Maybe it had to do with D#1 going back home.
I don’t know.

All I know is, I was working at the theatre last night when my “boss” asked me what brought me to NY.
I get asked that a lot, and I rarely get emotional about it. I just tell the story matter-of-factly …… and say “thank you” when the person says, “Oh, I’m so sorry!” when I mention that my husband died …… and then I move on with the story.
I can’t leave him out of the story because he was in it from the beginning.

So I started telling her. And the tears started brimming, while I dug my fingernails into my palms, trying to keep them from falling.
I persevered and they didn’t fall.
But she saw them anyway.
Especially when I said that, yes, sometimes I feel lonely. But I feel less lonely in NY.
Still, loneliness can creep in anywhere.

So that’s where I am.
The tears fall as I type this.
I don’t feel particularly sad.
But, oh do I miss that man.
And always will.

I know that I am beyond blessed to live the life I live.
To have the children I have.
To have the parents and siblings I have.
And …… just as with Jim …… I never take any of this for granted.
Ever.
I knew every day that I was blessed to have him.
I know every day that I am still blessed.

But that doesn’t keep the missing of him from creeping up on me every once in a while and bringing forth tears.
Nor will it ever.

It’s the cost of love.
For there is a cost.
The deeper the love, the higher the cost.

But he was definitely worth the price.