Tag Archives: New York City

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:

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 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:


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.


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.



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.



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.

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.





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?  🙂




People lined up outside of apartment buildings to get their candy:

This little one was a subway car.  His parents did a great job on it!!






My precious Gamma Phi Lady Bug:
















The street continued to be blocked off on the other side of the intersection.

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:
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:
IMG_1921 IMG_1923
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.

We Survived ……

…… Snowmageddon 2015.
A misnomer, if you will.
Or even if you won’t.

So yeah.
The storm of the century has moved onward.
And upward.
And left a much smaller impact than was anticipated.
This is exactly why I never took cover during a tornado warning while I was growing up.
Me thinks that weathermen/women doth forecast too much.

The worst part of this massive snowpacolypse is the dang snow plows.
Yes, they do an amazing job of clearing the streets.
All night long.
And when a street doesn’t have a great deal of snow on it, the scraping sound of that blade on cement sounds like a plane landing.
Right outside your window.
Sweet dreams.

Here are some pictures I took throughout the day/evening as the great Blizzard of 2015 barreled its way towards us.














So yeah, it’s over.
But it certainly was an adventure.
If you watched the non-stop weather warnings and press conferences.

Tonight I braved the snow and headed to the theatre.
And I did not fall.
It was 26 degrees when I left, but it didn’t really feel that cold.
Not to me anyway.

When I left the theatre it was 23 degrees. Not much colder but the wind had picked up and it was very cold. Like 11 degrees cold.
And it certainly felt like it was 11.
But again …… I did not fall.
Score one for me.
I’m not sure who I’m competing with, but I’m ahead and that’s all that matters.

In other news (because there’s almost always other news, isn’t there?), I am on week three of an elimination diet. The goal of the diet is to get rid of inflammation in your body.
And it’s a pretty drastic way to go about it.

For three weeks (this one’s for you, Mom —-> “Thrrrreeeeeee weeks! And when thrrrrreeeee weeks are up …”) you can’t have any dairy, meat (except for turkey and chicken), wheat, oats and almost all other grains, processed food and chemicals, sugars, pretend sugars, oils (except for olive mostly), juices and …… alcohol.
And it’s just as fun as it sounds.

Actually, it hasn’t been too bad …… except for the last couple of days. I’m getting bored with the limited diet. You can have all fruits and veggies (though less of the starchy ones), mostly unlimited. You have to eat three meals a day and two snacks. And each time you eat, you have to have a specific proportion of protein to fruit and/or veggies.

You can find info about the TQI diet (To Quiet Inflammation), also known as The Abscal Way, here.
The woman who came up with it also published a “cook book” to go along with her book. It’s very small and pretty limited, but it has a few really good recipes.

So you endure that for 3 weeks, and then for 2 weeks you start introducing foods to hopefully see which one(s) cause the problems.
This diet has a large amount of great reviews by people who’ve done it. It sounds like it really works for most people.
As most of you know, I’m not like most people.
Sigh ……

I haven’t really noticed a difference yet, so I may stay on the elimination phase a week or two longer.
And then again, I may not.

Next week I head to Tampa for Camp Widow East. I’m looking forward to it, as usual.
When I get back from Camp, I’m unpacking, doing laundry and re-packing for a week long trip to Houston.
I’ve been missing Texas a lot lately.
I know!! What’s up with that?
It’s not the cold and the snow …… I love that and will certainly miss it when I leave.
But I’m ready to spend some time back home.

Although I’m not ready to have to deal with a dead refrigerator and a dying dishwasher.
Yep, the fridge stopped working.
I have no idea what the problem is, but I’m guessing that I’ll be buying two new appliances.
I’m trying not to scream.

Hopefully Son #2 will be able to get a repairman to come over and, very hopefully, fix it.
Please, God.

Speaking of Son #2, he’s moving to Austin at the end of next month.
I’m excited for him and, truthfully, a little excited for me.
But I’ll certainly miss him.
I like his company and I’ve really appreciated his being there when I’m not, to pick up the mail and keep things mostly in order.
It’ll be very different when he leaves.
I know I’ll feel sad, but it will also be nice to have the house to myself. And I’m looking forward to turning his bedroom into a nice guest room. That will keep me busy for a while.

After I get back from Texas, I unpack, do laundry and then re-pack and pack more. Five days later Son #1 and I are going to Spain.
Madrid, specifically, but I’m hoping we can also go to Barcelona.
For those who are on the new side here, he went to school there for a semester and really liked it. I went to visit him and I fell in love with Madrid.
He decided that he wanted to go there for his vacation this year, and he asked me if I wanted to come along with him.
I know!!
I’m excited.

Gracie will probably be fully traumatized by the first of March.
But then we’ll go to Texas for a couple of months so hopefully I can coax her off of the ceiling in that time.
I’m not taking any bets, though.
In the last few days she has started letting me leave a room, or go into the bathroom and shut the door (!) without having to get up and follow close behind.
Of course she is.
Because I’m leaving on Wednesday.
Poor Daughter #3, who’ll be left behind to puppy-sit.
I don’t know about her, but I just LOVE to hear the ear-piercing screams and whines from my dog …… said no one ever.
Again, poor Daughter #3.
I may have to bring her something from Florida.
Like a puka shell necklace.

I guess I’d better close and publish this post now. It’s almost midnight and sleep has not been a close friend of mine for a couple of weeks. I seem to stay awake until at least 3:00.
But hopefully it’ll come earlier tonight.

So good night to all (or good morning/afternoon if that’s when you read this).
Hopefully you’re all safe and warm if you live in the northeast.
Oh, I hope the rest of you are safe, too …… you’re probably used to being warm.

So ……

…… Christmas was good.
Really good.
And though you might not believe it, most of the time you would’ve been hard pressed to know that there were 9 people, a baby and a puppy in the apartment!
In fact, there were a couple of times when one of us noted how quiet/empty the apartment was.
That’s NY for you, Baby!!!
So much to do and see that your apartment doesn’t get cramped.

All of the kids made it safely.
Son #3 had a slight hiccup with United Airlines and ended up spending in the night in the Dulles Airport. After which he informed me in no uncertain terms that he in now done with that airline.
I didn’t pay too much attention.
I couldn’t blame him, but I still didn’t pay much attention.

Which made him all the more happier when, on his way home, his flight out of here was delayed/cancelled because the pilot didn’t show up for his shift that day.
To that I have to say this: Karma is a bitch, man.

It all worked out in the end. After several hours the found someone else and he did end up making his connecting flight out of Chicago to Oklahoma, so all’s right with the world.
As long as I don’t book him on United ever, ever again.
I told him that as soon as he had enough cash to buy his own airline tickets he could buy whatever he wanted, but until then, I would continue to go with the best deal.
Then he said, “Fine, I’ll start buying my own.”
Which makes one (or maybe just me) ponder: Where does he think that money will come from? Will it float down from heaven? Will he sell even more plasma??
Oh well, it’s grand to be 20 and oh-so-wise-to-the-ways-of-the-world.

Little Bit did pretty well, for a three old that was totally out of his element. He was a bit fussy at times but he was also chatty and laughing a good deal of the time. He’s such a joy to hold and talk to, especially early in the morning, which seems to be his favorite time.

The kid is growing by leaps and bounds. I think there may have been some items I purchased a few weeks ago that he never got to wear because he’s suddenly busting out!!
But that gives me a good reason to go baby-clothes shopping, so whoop!!!!
He did a great job on the planes and gave his mama some stress-free flight time. I was happy for both of them.

Gracie is doing well and still has my heart wrapped around her little stump of a tail. Mostly.
I’ve got to find out out to train her to stop nipping at everyone with fingers. Especially her two year old friend that Daughter #3 takes care of. He LOVES Gracie and she loves him back with equal abandonment, but she just can’t control her “love bites”.

OK, I’m going to end this now so that I can go to bed. I’ll go ahead a publish it, but I’m hoping to come back to it and add pictures and stories in the next day or so.
So please ignore all typos.

Happy New Year, Peeps!

Life Goes On ……


…… as does blogging.

Sometimes it starts with a new place.  As it has with me.                                                            And this blog.

I’ve moved from Texas to New York.  If anyone would’ve told me 5 years ago that I’d be living here, in NYC, on my own, I would’ve told them that they were crazy.  After Jim died, I knew that I would never leave Texas, never leave our community.                                                               It’s funny how time changes things.  And people. Some for worse.  And some for better.        I’ve been through both.  On many levels.  But now, in my second Part A, I’m seeing mostly better.

So I’m living in NY.  Mostly.  I still have a home in Texas and so I have to go back there periodically.  But I don’t stay long.  I don’t miss much about Texas.  It’s a very bittersweet place for me now.  My husband and I lived there for 16 1/2 years.  And it was mostly wonderful.  I never wanted to live in Texas.  In fact, I told him that I would live almost anywhere, but not there.                                                                                                                                            God has a big sense of humor, does He not?

Not long after telling Jim that I wouldn’t live in Texas, he was transferred there.  And so we moved.  And I hated it.  Hugely.  For the first year.  It took me that long to know that everything would be ok.  One full year.  That would later be a guide for me.  The “one full year” ruler.  If I could survive for a full year, then I knew I’d be ok.  Not that I used that ruler after Jim died.  I knew better than that.  I wasn’t foolish enough to believe that I’d be ok after only a year.  No way.  No how.                                                                                                                                      It took more like five.

And here I am …… almost six years out, and I’m ok.  In fact, I’m more than ok.  I’m really living.  And living as fully as I can.                                                                                                             Jim would be very proud.  I know I am.                                                                                         Not that life is perfect.  No life is.  These past 6 years have taken a toll on me, my children and our family.  But it was what it was.  And it is what it is.  Children are still growing up.  And maturing.  Sometimes that’s a very, very hard road.  For everyone involved.  Add to that a dead parent, and the road is almost impossible to traverse.  I know this much …… it’s impossible to come out of it unchanged.

I am changed.  My children are changed.  Our family is changed.  I never saw any of this coming.  I never pictured our family looking the way it looks today.  Thankfully.                         But it is our family.  For good and for bad.  It’s my family.

So again, here I am in NY.  And I love it.  Very, very much.  I’m starting the second part of my life here.  I don’t know how long I’ll live here.  Or if I’ll ever live here full time.  But I do know, that for now …… right now …… it’s where I want to be.  This city has been described as resilient, energetic and optimistic.                                                                                                                 So it’s the right place for me.                                                                                                        Because now …… 6 years later …… so am I.