Category Archives: New York

Nuances of life in the Big Apple.

The (un) Standard Hotel

This past week I’ve been staying in Manhattan for work and I’ve had the great pleasure of staying at The Standard Hotel in the meatpacking district of Manhattan. After spending the past few days here, I’ve realized that this has to be the swankiest, sexiest hotel that I’ve ever stayed at.

The elevators, painted completely black with the exception of a mirror on the back wall, have two oval windows cut out of the side, which have a large LCD panel behind them. Playing on the screen, is this video dubbed “Civilization”  by Marco Brambilia, which is a photshopped montage of various movie scenes all mashed together. You can watch the video below, but it doesn’t do it justice when you’re riding in a black elevator with creepy music and this video playing.




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Being in The Bean

First off, let me say mazel tov to my sister Bailey and her husband Max on their wedding this past weekend. It was great to share this event with them, but also get to see friends and family that I’ve not seen in years.

Since last Monday, I’ve been in Boston for the festivities and work, but as much as it’s fun to be here I’m very glad to have gotten to New York this afternoon. For me, the city of Boston is an amusement park except most of the people that are there with you aren’t very pleasant. I love the city: Running along the esplanade, Copley Square, the MBTA, Somerville/Cambridge, and even the taxi drivers (and the town taxi rule). I am not, however, such a fan of the people.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my family and friends that live there. It’s a good portion of the remaining people in the city that I don’t really like. Take for example yesterday afternoon while I was running down the stairs at Park Street station from upstairs at the Green Line downstairs to the Red Line. People were disembarking the train downstairs and I knew that it was likely my train. I politely (and clearly) said excuse me to two girls walking side-by-side down the steps and hurried by. The girls, who looked to be in their early twenties, replied “You are excused!”

Is it wrong to rush by someone to grab a train, if you say ‘Excuse me?’ _I_ don’t think so, but maybe I’m the one in the wrong. Perhaps this can only be explained by the other strange phenomenon that Cool Jesus had witnessed at the Park Street stop. Personally, I feel it’s the city as a whole and I will attest that even some of my other Bostonian friends have been starting to experience it as well.

So here I am in NYC with 4 days left to see a Thunderstorm, the weather is looking very promising. Especially with highs in the upper 90’s tomorrow. Yikes! Welcome to New York City in August.

9/11

Hard to believe it’s been 7 years.  I was just a young 24-year-old kid when America was under attack.  I remember every detail of that day vividly.  I woke up in the morning just like every other work day.  I drove north on Route 93 just like I had been doing all summer.  Just as I hit Somerville and the Schraft’s building, Howard Stern and the gang broke the news of the plane hitting the first tower.  They, and most of the Western world, thought it was just an accident, so they treated it lightly.  By the time I reached my office, the second plane had struck and the world knew it was no accident.  We all changed that day.  It was my generation’s JFK and RFK rolled into one.  I’ll never forget where I was, who I was with, who I called, and what I did that day.  It was all a blur, but it’s remained crystal clear in my memory.  I ended 9/11/01 by driving straight to my precinct voting station and voting in that year’s local primaries.  It was my way of using citizenry to not let the terrorists win.  Each year, on each successive anniversary of 9/11, we cope a little better, we get a little bit more normal, we get on with our lives as usual, but we always remember.  Here’s to hoping that we’ll always remember, but we’ll always remember to not let the terrorists win.

Weather..

It’s about time. It’s finally becoming more seasonable (read: Damn Global Warming). After departing the Northeast, I was eager to enjoy the warm californian winters while the Northeast froze.. but it wasn’t until recently that the mercury has begun to fall in New York & Boston while maintaining a balmy 60 degrees here in the Silicon Valley.

Most of the New York and Boston areas enjoyed lovely weather right up until the last week of January or so, when winter has finally set in. There were points in December & January where it was even warmer back home than it was in lovely California. Some folks out here have been pretty disappointed in the crummy winter we’ve had. I mean, it’s dipped into the 30’s three times now.

So, while it’s true that it has been a little colder than normal in the Golden State, it’s definitely a nice change. Especially when I typically galavant around in just a fleece or a hooded sweatshirt. I’m also starting to develop that “Boy, I’m glad I’m not in Boston” mentality, when I look at my Google Homepage.

That being said, if you’re looking for a break in the winter weather.. you know you’ve always got a place in CA to visit.

Weekend Activities


Besides the flurry of packing that was done over the weekend, we actually managed to get out of our house for a little bit and head into the city for a weekend adventure with my dad and his girlfriend. Considering that I’m not working in the city, this is (most likely) one of my last trips over the river to the Big Apple.

The four of us ventured over to the South Street Seaport district of Manhattan to see the . The exhibit was extremely interesting: a collection of dissected human bodies and explanations of each body part. The bodies are sliced at different levels to see how the different muscles or organs connect together and function as a unit.

Overall the entire exhibit was very educational learning (and seeing) each body part it’s functions, potential diseases and how it interacts with the other organs to create a complete system. Personally, I think my favorite part was the circulatory system — but I don’t really want to spoil the exhibit for anyone.

I’d highly recommend taking an afternoon and checking this out. It was a great experience and very cool to see the human body dissected in this way. It was very well done, and I wouldn’t say that it was disgusting at all. They ease you into the experience, making it a little bit easier to get accustomed to the idea that these are real bodies you’re looking at.

Two recommendations:
1. Bail on the audio tour — while they often come in handy, we felt that the information available at each display was often covered (and then some) by the text accompanying each exhibit.
2. Buy your tickets in advance – You can buy your tickets online and they will be held at Will Call. We probably saved ourselves at an hour by not having to wait in line, and I urge you to do the same!

An evening with ‘Madame’

Kim and I at the Cutting RoomJust last night, Miss Possible and I ventured into the city to go to a show with one of her co-workers and a few friends. We got the invite last week, but I neglected to read through the description — didn’t really matter, I knew we’d have a good time. The show was called “Madame: A comeback from abroad” featuring the “puppet” shown to the right.

I knew I recognized this character from the get-go, but couldn’t place her. Turns out, she used to be on Hollywood Squares as well as Solid Gold. Perhaps you remember her? In any event, it’s actually an interesting story. The original Puppeteer, Wayland Flowers, passed away in 1988 of AIDS and so too went Madame. Eighteen years later, the Flowers estate decided to revive the character and held try-outs for various puppeteers to take over. Joe Kovacs was chosen, and thus began the revived life of Madame.

The show was extraordinarily entertaining. Despite not really being a ventriliquist, after a few brief minutes you soon forget that he is even there and get fully engrossed in Madame’s character. She’s a feisty, bitter and perverse old woman with a ton of great one-liners. Overall, we had a fantastic time at this performance, and unfortunately is the last one on the series for Madame. She’s off touring for a while around the country, but will probably be back sometime. We definitely recommend checking her out, as the show was fantastic.

Urban Etiquette

In this month’s New York magazine, there’s a great article about Urban Etiquette. That covers everything from elevators, to ipods & cellphones to online dating etiquette.

Excellent read, even for those that don’t live in the Big Apple.. My particular favorite section is that written by David Cross (Tobias) about how to handle a celebrity encounter.

Pop goes the question

For quite some time now Miss Possible and I have been discussing our future and marriage. We’ve gone ring shopping, surfed the net for ideas, etc.. After getting a good idea of what she wanted, I was able to go to a small jeweler in Hoboken to custom-design a similar ring to Tiffany’s example that she had found — making a few adjustments to the stones, etc. Fortunately for me, the jeweler opened at 6am, which allowed me to leave for work a few minutes early and conduct all the business in the morning — so that MP was unaware that anything had been done.

Over the course of this month time, I struggled come up with the appropriate time and place to do this ceremonial presentation — as she had been expecting to receive the ring during our two-week camping trip next month. As it later turns out, she had even ruled out this expectation as she had thought that I had made no progress in terms of the ring at all. In order to surprise her, I had to come up with another adventure in which I could propose.
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Hoboken must be full of suckers

I’m not sure what’s worse.. first there was Matthews Advertising Escapades and now there’s the Sudoku master.

On my way into work this morning, I passed a wall full flyers advertising various things (Matthew was not on there). One blue sign caught my eye, which was someone selling Sudoku lessons. “For the low, low price of $35 per hour, I will teach you too to become a Sudoku master. Ever see people playing this addictive game on the train or on the bus and want to learn how to play too? Now’s your chance.”

There were 5 tabs of paper missing from the bottom. Hoboken must be full of suckers.

Back in Action

Well, I’m happy to be back here at Diatribe Headquarters. Things on the west coast were crazy, and coming back was even more hectic. I’ve learned that Red-Eyes have to be the least exciting way of travelling (especially when they’re delayed until 1AM, and arrive more than 2 hours late at their destination). Not to mention the ridiculous amount of turbulance, sheesh.

So, I spent the day pretty much in a fog while trying to wake up from the two Tylonol PM’s I had taken to sleep on the flight, and managed to make it through the day. Only to get to work on Friday, and promptly leave after coming down with either food poisoning or a stomach virus of some kind. Still not sure, but I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

I did end up missing the Hobokistan St. Patty’s Day Ritual (2 weeks early? You figure that one out), and witnessed the entire town dress up in green and start drinking at 10am. The relentless “WOOOO!’s” and bagpipes outside our window was impressive. Didn’t get to participate, but, so it goes. There’s always next year to act like an idiot, to celebrate a holiday two weeks early — that I don’t usually celebrate anyway.