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Posts from the ‘City Living’ Category

the time i missed my connection…

i imagine these two are busy at work finding my future hub.

I imagine these two are busy at work finding my future hub.

I was recently given the gift of abundant free time and beyond getting the opportunity to spend as much of it as possible at my favorite place in Manhattan, the community pool, I have been focused 100% on self reflection and improvement. As such, I have taken a break from the world of online dating so that I can work on being a person that I would actually consider dating. I am only 2 weeks into this apparent 7 week process, however love can’t be stopped so I was fortunate to meet my soul mate on a Brooklyn bound 4 train this past Saturday.

Meet might be a slight overstatement. It was hard to fully assess our companionship due to the fact I was entrenched in a novel and listening to my self improvement summer mix and he was devoted to his Michael Jackson travel tunes, however he had a positive energy, glasses, and no wedding ring so I am fairly certain this was true love. I wasn’t sure if I should say anything considering I am not totally self evolved as of yet, but I did remove one of my ear buds to invite any sweet nothings he wished to whisper in my available ear.

Unfortunately, the universe must have gotten its wires crossed and the sweet nothings were only the latter. I am persistent so I put forth a final hail mary and scoped out Craigslist Missed Connections, as I was confident Future Mr. B was likely there searching for yours truly. It was here I had my second surprise of the weekend. I have never really perused this website before, however I had a very romantic vision of the site filled with hopeless romantics chasing after love at first sight that just so happened to pass them by. The two people that happened to be reading the same tattered novel, swept away in a crowd of rambunctious teenagers, a meaningful glance that should have been more, the picnickers that got separated in a tizzy of Summer Stage attendees. I am here to tell you it is not this.

Missed Connections did NOT house the romantic message I was certain would be awaiting me, however if someone regretfully missed out on a threesome with a married couple at Niagra in the East Village, lost their “sweet” harness at Eagle Bar, or you are in search of the name of the charming gentleman that felt you up in meatpacking you should probably check out Craigslist because your connections await you. I, on the other hand, will be continuing my practice of avoiding Internet dating until I am fully prepared for true love and my eyes have healed from the assault that was Missed Connections. There were photos. Photos that I can never unsee… And if you happen to be that tall bespectacled gentleman from the 4 train… well then this worked out nicely. Until next time!

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adventures in office gossip

Like most people, my workday is often very busy with distracting things such as conference calls, spreadsheets, and meetings, leaving very little time for life’s most important topics. I am often forced to learn every detail of my colleague’s dating lives in minimal time. As such, it’s important to strategize. Here are my tips on maximizing gossip sessions.

Get to the point. When recapping a date, nobody needs to know how the food was prepared. It only matters whether or not he picked a decent, convenient spot, and how smoothly the check was handled. Just kidding I need every detail of what you ordered, ate, how you ate it, how it tasted, whether or not you met the chef, what exactly you each said, the tone with which it was said, and whether or not the night ended in a kiss. But be concise. Just don’t spare any single detail.

Recap emails can be helpful. Details are hard, but necessary for the joy of your enraptured audience, so be thorough. All feelings and any important dialogue should be noted to expedite group analysis. Always take particular note as to how the date ended. Did he set a time to meet again? Did he say I will talk to you tomorrow or I will talk with soon? Note body language and facial expressions. Photos would help….

Text updates are key. Bathroom breaks are perfect for live date updates, which allow your dateless friends to feel included and for you to feel important. It’s nice for everyone. This also is a nice timeline to follow when putting together your date recap e-mail.

Explore all channels when rehashing dating challenges with friends at work or anytime. Having a hard time determining if that hottie on the ferry is single? Hit the app store. Between tinder, OKC, match, bumble, coffee meets bagel, howaboutwe, and plenty of fish (is this still a thing? that can be discussed as well) you will find out swiftly. Mid day catch-ups are perfect for best practice sharing with single coworkers on emerging platforms outside of the boardroom. Within moments it’s possible to find nearly any single male in the tri-state area with current technology so make sure you stay connected.

Make an agenda. During gossip sessions you want to make sure everyone gets to share and give input to make sure all can weigh in and take part in the fun. An agenda is a good way to make sure you stay on schedule and cover all updates evenly.

Most of all don’t get discouraged. This amount of emotional energy may be exhausting and cause you to wonder if it is worth it, but there is nothing better than sharing with girlfriends, helping each other primp before an exciting first date, slightly obsessing, and immediately banding together to plot impending doom on anyone that falls short of our fairly low expectations. It may seem tough at times, but I wouldn’t have it any other way! As long as I am married in CT by next June with a pony, a shared yard with my bestie, and a minivan. Just kidding. I’m not kidding. I mean whatever happens! 😉 Happy trails to all my single ladies! Read more

How to live life better.

I have been anxious about what to share in this long anticipated return post, as my life is overridden with fascinating news and anecdotes. However I couldn’t really land a theme so instead I shall share some generic wisdom I have gathered over my years. There are little things I do to try and deflect from the squalor in which I reside. * These little tricks have gotten me through some tough pest ridden times. Hopefully they’ll help you. In this first issue, I’ll cover 3 categories Rodents, Insects, and Snakes.
Rodents
A mouse in the house? First try picturing him wearing a top hat or comedically eating an oversized triangle of cheese. Not working? Purchase a gigantic orange tabby cat and commence life’s enjoyment.

 

Keeping it gangsta

Keeping it gangsta

Insects
Cockroaches it you squeamish? I’ve tried using my ninja-like skills to sneak up and slyly stomp them, but it’s hard to be ninja-like while openly weeping in galoshes. The best strategy here is to gently place cat near infected area and commence prayer.
Snakes
Garden snake? Or new best friend? You decide, but I say befriend the enemy! They smell fear. Also name him Snakey- it’s emasculating**.
Soooo, that is basically what I’ve got for now. Likely a midlife crisis to follow in the next week or so, stay tuned.

*Note I live adorably.

**My actual tactic for each category is to first call my dad in hysterics followed up with an immediate panic-stricken call to my super.

Sunshine on the horizon.

Hello Daylight Savings!

photo (35)

I for one could not be happier for signs of spring. It’s been a hard winter and I, along with all other Northerners could use a little sunshine.  This first week was a little hit or miss, but I definitely feel good things on the horizon. The beginning of spring is always a joy for me because everyone completely overreacts in the sweetest way possible.  Here are the things I adore about the launch of spring:

  1. Once the temperature is above freezing and we don’t have hurricane force winds, New Yorkers shed all sense of clothing. Men immediately don shorts and boat shoes (which I love for many other reasons) Women, essentially wear as little as possible. It’s a win for everyone
  2. Smiley New Yorkers make for a happy Marissa. Spring literally feels like all NYC residents have entered a giant production of the Sound of Music (the happy parts) and it is simply gorgeous.
  3. Picnics become a part of my reality, which means my picnic backpack comes out of storage!
  4. Happy Hour is one of my favorite things and finding new rooftops and al fresco options is somewhat of a sport. At the first sprout of a crocus, restaurants open their doors and set up outside seating and you can rest assured this gal is there with a cocktail. Or 5.
  5. Concerts galore begin to pop up.  Okay all of these are not a part of the first signs of spring, but teasers begin. Summer Stage, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pool Parties (maybe they’ll come back??) There is legitimately free music as far as the ear can hear.

So enjoy New Yorkers, you deserve it. I hear it’s supposed 55 today, I’ll meet you in Central Park with some of my world famous Sangria.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The things I face.

pasta-types

 

The past couple of months have been what a diplomatic person might call interesting. Not bad, mostly awkward and uncomfortable,which I guess in my life would actually be considered standard,  I’ve endured first date over the table sweaty hand holding, not once, not twice, but thrice. Side note, this is incredibly strange to me and it has never happened to me before. Handholding seems aggressively intimate for a first meeting and if you grab a hand that’s beyond clammy, and this very considerate lady provides you an out, such as over the top gesticulation, TAKE IT. Don’t repeat the offense. It’s uncomfortable for both of us.  Anyway, the handholding is not my point, I have been derailed.

So that’s been happening, I’ve started a new job, which is a new exciting journey, but also a little bit scary. New culture, new responsibilities, newness all around. Okay I can handle it, I am an adult. Being alone with a homeless transient pleasuring himself while staring me down in a deserted subway car was mildly nerve-racking, but I’m a survivor. The most anxiety inducing experience of the past couple months?  An all out blowout amongst Upper East Side WASPS in the grocery line at  my favorite grocery destination, Agata and Valentina.

Picture it.  Saturday morning. The aroma of the finest specialty foods wafting all around. Cheese and pastry samples for all. Suddenly the beautiful murmur of seafood mongers and the banter of pastry chefs is shattered with the screeching of self-righteous shoppers. Hand crafted pastas are flying, specialty meats askew and nearly half of the line weighing in on who was to blame. It was legitimately frightening and I, one who is not necessarily known to shy away from confrontation, was genuinely afraid. I ran. I hope everyone survived the blood bath. I am not willing to find a new shopping routine. Enough change already. Happy January loves.

“Hello My name is Marissa and I have a cat.”

When I first picked up my new fluff ball of perfection from Animal Control 5 beautiful years ago I told myself “Self, don’t get too weird with the cat thing”.

I then immediately began to get extremely weird with the cat thing. It started innocently enough. I live alone, I have a fear of rodents, a cat could both serve and protect. I would just be a girl who happens to have a cat. Nobody really needed to know. Having a cat didn’t need to define me by any means. Until I realized they make cat Rasta wigs… and bowties… and my mom discovered a bevy of other cat sundries including the most flamboyant Christmas outfit one has ever seen.

The next thing I knew my life was consumed with cat eccentricities. Photos, more bowties, more cat costumes, a holiday card. Needless to say I have taken the cat lady thing to a whole new level and I have to say I am totally okay with it. Here are some of my favorite cat themed items for your viewing pleasure.

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I don’t regret this in the slightest. YOLO.

I look at this every day before I go to work.
I look at this every day before I go to work.

This was a gift from mom, hanging proudly in my bathroom.

This was a gift from Mom, hanging proudly in my bathroom.

I think after this mom gift I had to talk with her about toning down the kitty gifts. This I do regret.

I think after this one from Mom I had to talk with her about toning down the kitty gifts. This I do regret.

The fact that he wears this hat even for a moment illustrates his angelic nature.

The fact that he wears this hat even for a moment illustrates his angelic nature.

My so called budget life.

The other day I looked at my bank account and I was assaulted with the fact that I have a balance of $46.15. Don’t worry I don’t have to move into a cardboard box yet, I have a few more months of craftily shifting funds from one account to another before I need to dejectedly wave my white flag, however I decided it was time to create a budget. In the event you are as confused by this concept as I am, a budget is possible when one comprehends the amount of money one produces and then determines a reasonable amount of said income to dedicate to predetermined categories.

The ideal would be to allocate a percentage of income to necessities such as bills, housing, utilities, and sustenance with a surplus to put into another nebulous concept called a savings account.  Since I digest tangible goals more readily than whimsical theory, I have broken this down into some general guidelines for myself. Here is what to do, or more accurately what not to do.

  1. It is time to accept the fact that you absolutely must take public transit everywhere you go. I don’t care that you are sweating profusely on half of Manhattan and it take 3-17 times longer than it should reasonably take to get anywhere, get on the damn bus and don’t get off until you aren’t on the brink of eviction.

    *Note this is an inaccurate depiction of NYC public transit.

    *Note this is an inaccurate depiction of NYC public transit.

  2. Stop acting like a college frat boy. You know how to cook, steam some vegetables… the Seamless guys are frightened. Your credit card almost got denied today because you ordered something that was NOT Seamless. You have a problem.
  3. In relation to point 2. It is actually not fiscally responsible to buy new clothes vs. washing the ones you already have.  Additionally if you steam more vegetables and order less seamless you might fit into more than 3% of your wardrobe. This is a win-win.
  4. Maybe consider cutting back on Happy Hour. Cheers is a great show, but bartenders should stop knowing your name. It’s sad.  Unless you are the bartender from The Girl and the Goat in Chicago. If you are, my name is Marissa and please call me immediately.
  5. I think this is a good start; let’s not go bonkers here.

I hope these financial tips help you as much as I hope they help me. Suze Orman would be proud.

On perks.

Welcome! I have moved and I am glad you are here! Now that the formalities are out of the way, I can get to the imperative topic I would like to explore.

Today as I was taking a shower, or possibly three, I got to thinking. There I am, showering in my miniscule NYC tub, curtain sticking and most likely depositing mildew onto my body, and I got slightly depressed. It was just yesterday that as a perk of my best friend’s puppy sitting, I was rinsing off on a Chelsea rooftop, no curtain in sight, surrounded only by unadulterated urban views. This was after playing with a fantastic puppy all day, swimming in a private pool, and popping bottles of bubbly like a boss.

Today wasn’t the first day I felt let down by my at home shower experience, however the recent dip into the waters on the other side caused me to be a little skeptical of my own dwellings overall. Between my microscopic shower and a recent fly situation, I am basically living a step above the streets. What is this shambles in which I have allowed myself to reside?

At the end of the day, I am sure I will fix the fly situation, and maybe I can get a new candle or something to spruce up my bathroom Feng Shui. And at least for one sweet second with my pool swimming, roof top mingling, and non-claustrophobic showering, I got to feel like Beyonce.

 

New York I love you, but you’re letting me down. Part Deux.

So where was I? Oh yeah I was taking about plants. I know you have been in suspense so let’s get right back to it. The remaining 5 points to my list. Without further ado.
6. Greenery. Speaking of Palm Fronds [which I had been], a little green space is totally necessary even for city living. It’s funny how after living in the city for about 6 months, if you visit friend’s apartments and as long as their one window doesn’t overlook a cement prison yard, it’s a view. The other day I looked out my friend’s window and I literally felt like I was in the rainforest. I overlook a courtyard and I feel like British royalty. Move over Will and Kate. Ahh and Harry… A little deprivation goes a long way.
7. Parks. Green space warrants 2 points. Central Park, long with many other parks, Brooklyn Bride, Prospect, and the highline, is amazing. Incredible I would say. Picnicking is my favorite sport and doing so in these locations brings me immense pleasure. Until I get hot. Which is immediately. At which point, I plummet into an abyss and just want to be within the nearest body of water as soon as physically possible.
8. Swimming. Love it. Could do it all day every day. I have the great fortune to live just steps away from The John Jay Swimming Pool. I personally feel like this classy establishment is the equivalent to a cabana riddled, swim up bar equipped South beach haven. The reality is you need to bring your own lock and you get frisked at the door, but hey water is water.
9. Restaurants. There are so many amazing restaurants. But due #5 on this list, I can basically only afford mediocre Vietnamese on the regular. This is actually a lie. This point is only a positive. The food in NYC is amazing despite what some snooty BK hipster indicated to me last weekend when he was touting the San Francisco “organic” restaurant scene. NYC has something for everyone and more.  In every price range, in every neighborhood, 24 hours a day. Sigh. It’s overwhelming.
10. And Finally.  Transportation. Ugh this one gets me every time. After living in Southern Florida for a mere year I came to appreciate the public transportation system in NYC immensely. I had to drive everywhere in FL and it really got me down. Although sidebar this did force me to drink substantially less and it was the healthiest I have ever been, but alas I don’t like to be forced to do anything. I love the fact that I can walk, subway, bus, or on a very rare occasion bike wherever I want whenever I want to in NYC.  But on days when I am most definitely late and have to wait 10 minutes on a rat invested platform, enter a steamy subway car only to be slammed against 50-100 other sweaty disgruntled commuters at which point there will most likely be delays due to “Train traffic ahead or an investigation at 14th St. I decidedly hate it.
So there you have it. Marissa’s guide to what is spectacular/awful about the greatest/worst city in the world.  I love it. I hate it. Could I really live somewhere else? Probably not. But only time shall tell….

Weekend Discovery: The Bus

This is not a bus.
So I am ashamed to admit that in the recent past I have held judgmental feelings toward the bus. I don’t know if it is emotional scarring from the Yellow variety of my youth or if the bus just conjures up extremely negative connotations on its own, but I never gave it a fair shot. In my mind the bus was a place for the drudges of society. A place where the homeless hobnob with the criminal and so forth. I don’t know if I watched a lot of gang related bus entertainment in a past life because these assumptions have proven to be the furthest thing from reality I could ever imagine.
 
This past weekend I made this glorious discovery and it will forever be imprinted on my mind. Throughout the weekend I dabbled in numerous modes of transportation. Cabs in the city, driving in the suburbs, a train, a subway, some heavy walking, and the piece de resistance, the bus.  I literally cannot write enough good things about this glorious experience [Author’s Note: I can write 6 good things about said experience]. Here is why the bus is the best thing ever. OR at the very least, better than the subway.
  1. You can’t fall into the tracks, which I guess never have done in a subway, but it seems super scary.
  2. It is basically like riding a really fun ride in Disney World, and by this I mean it is fairly bouncy and fun to sit in the middle accordion-like section.
  3. You can peruse the Internet the whole time and pin everything in sight. 
  4.  It is not covered in trash and urine. Huge plus. 
  5.  If it were to break down, I wouldn’t be stuck underground. Also never happened to me, but a major source of anxiety.
  6. It is a normal temperature. I know I have heat regulation issues, but the temperature differential between the world and the subway is absolutely not normal. 
This discovery is a huge game changer.  If anyone needs me,  I’ll be cruising around town on the bus. It is now what I do.