Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Near misses

A man got his hand caught in the subway door during my commute home from work the other day, the way you do when you're thrusting your arm in, trying to stop the doors from sliding closed. But this man's hand was very stuck. He couldn't draw it back outside the car, and the doors weren't opening to let him slide in. The train sat in the station for a few seconds...and a few more seconds...and the man tugged on his hand and craned his neck down towards the conductor's car, because surely the conductor must see that his hand is caught? All eyes in our car were on this man, who, it suddenly became distinctly possible, might momentarily be dragged off before our eyes. Stop, I wanted to yell, someone's hand is caught! but I knew the conductor couldn't possibly hear me, so all I could do was draw in my breath.

Finally, after an eternity of seconds, the doors conceded and sprang open. The man staggered into the car. Five more commuters piled in behind him.

Riding home around 9PM tonight, the woman across from me was knitting an electric-blue something -- a scarf, it looked like. At 7th Avenue she stood up, setting her work and the ball of yarn in her tote bag, and walked to the train doors. As she walked, the ball of yarn toppled out of her bag and onto the floor, dangling by an electric-blue strand, but she didn't see it. She leaned out of the train doors to check the stop, and the ball trailed behind her -- and then it kept rolling right into the gap, the one you're supposed to mind when stepping off the train. She tried to fish it up by pulling the string, but the ball stayed down below. She tried again -- and now the train doors were about to close on the dangling string. I had a vision of the ball of yarn catching on something, of the force pulling her through the doors, of an arm being caught, a face smashed against the glass. All I could do was draw in my breath -- and the doors started to close, and she let the half-finished electric blue scarf fall from her hands beneath the tracks, joining the ball of yarn.

She walked back to her seat with a funny pout, the same one Sarah made when I told her this story. I know that expression; the one New Yorkers make that says "did anyone else witness this totally bizarre thing that just happened to me?" They had. We pouted with her.

"I'm so sorry," I said when I caught her eye. "Thank you," she said.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Pick your apples, not your nose: a Sage Advice guide to the fall harvest

On our way home from a wedding in Connecticut this weekend, we took a side trip to Lyman Orchards in Middletown for some apple-picking (and, as it so happened, some egregious kettle corn consumption). We did a LOT of apple taste-testing. Here are a few I brought home with me:

Yellow Delicious: Did you know there's a difference between Yellow Delicious and Golden Delicious? Well, there totally is. In fact, they are two completely different kinds of delicious. While GD is that grocery store apple we all know and love (see below), YD packs a lip-smackin' punch of tartness, like an apple Jolly Rancher. Highly recommended for those of you who like Sour Patch Kids.

Golden Delicious: Many of our party expressed that this is their favorite kind of omnipresent grocery store apple, but they are even better when picked directly from the tree -- unfailingly crisp and delicious, never mealy and mushy. Unless you try to eat a rotten one, but you wouldn't do that.

Jonamac: I heart these the best. They somehow manage to taste like the watermelon Jolly Rancher. Sweet and awesome. Apple-y heaven.

Rome: We had high hopes for the Rome apple. We even skipped down the orchard path singing "Ro-ome if you want to, Rome around the woooorld!" But Rome was a major letdown. Its skin was incredibly tough and it took forever to chew, leaving a mealy taste in the mouth. (I abhor mealiness in apples, in case you can't tell.) And the payoff -- the flavor -- was just not there. Next!

I can't remember the name of this variety (it was either the Macoun or the Empire), so I'll just call it
Red Menace: This is one bad-ass apple. It's dark red -- blood-red, you might say. It's a bit smaller and rounder than those other apples; almost plum-like. A very comely fruit, indeed. It belongs in one of those Lolita Lempicka ads. And the taste is sweet and juicy in an almost magical way.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Thinking way too hard about The Devil Wears Prada

I skipped the book, but eagerly anticipated seeing the movie over Fourth of July weekend. I can deal with fluffy movies much more willingly than mediocre writing. Life is too short to waste on bad books, I always say -- but for some reason this does not apply to movies. Maybe because movies are shorter. Anyway. Devil Wears Prada the movie was not bad at all, and tons of fun -- perfect vacation flick to see with my mom and sister after a day at the beach (we sent dad to Nacho Libre). Loved the cast, particularly Meryl (of course) and Stanley Tucci.

But, you know. Being vaguely familiar with the publishing industry, there are some details I just can't sit silent on. Curse my liberal arts education for molding me into such an incisive critic. Warning - spoilers ahead.

1. Who, tell me WHO goes on a magazine job interview without bothering to look up the name of the editor-in-chief of said magazine? Especially if the job in question is the assistant to the editor-in-chief? Dear lord, what were they teaching this girl at Northwestern?

2. That isn't how fashion people actually dress. But the New York Times already went over that.

3. Vogue = silly and frivolous. New York Magazine, on the other hand = paragon of intellectual virtue. Wha?

4. Duh! He doesn't want to hire you; he wants to sleep with you!

5. Except for the coat-and-bag-throwing thing, the Devil... not so devilish. OK, maybe a little bit at the end. But still. Andie, you ride around in a town car gratis, for christ sakes, and go home each night to Adrian Grenier -- stop your bitching already.

6. OK, this is the part that really gets me. She leaves the evil fashion magazine because working there is hard, and because she was forced to make a decision that benefitted her while disadvantaging one of her colleagues. And she goes to work at a newspaper instead. Because newspaper reporting is neither difficult, nor does it ever involve competitiveness or backstabbing. Also, newspaper offices are sepia-toned and entirely free of flourescent lighting. Uh-huh.

Speaking of Adrian Grenier (will someone please tell me how to pronounce his last name?) reminds me that my next installment of Entourage is arriving tonight via Netflix. Hoodehooo!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

"One mildly bizarre trait of mine is I enjoy being useful."

Sarah, who's in a position of authority at her workplace, has lately been reviewing resumes for an entry level job opening, and the other night she was entertaining me with tales of cover letters. Writing a cover letter is not easy, as we all know -- I'm pretty sure I still suck at it -- but hearing about other people's cover letters is fun. The standout of this particular group, by far, was the person who wrote "One mildly bizarre trait of mine is I enjoy being useful."

Sarah and I have been mulling over this phrase quite a bit in the last few days, and I think it's safe to say that its joys are endless. It is a true gem of usage and style. "One mildly bizarre trait of mine is I enjoy being useful."

The best part is picturing other people saying it.

"One mildly bizarre trait of mine is I enjoy being useful."

"One mildly bizarre trait of mine is I enjoy being useful."

"One mildly bizarre trait of mine is I enjoy being useful."

"One mildly bizarre trait of mine is I enjoy being useful."

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Viva New York!

Whatever happened to Grimaldi's?

Whatever happened to the West Side bike path?

Whatever happened to five different languages in one subway car?

Whatever happened to "If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere"?

Whatever happened to the descent into Laguardia where you look out the plane window at that amazing skyline and think, "This is the most awesomely beautiful city in the world and I must have done something great in a former life to have the fortune to wake up here nearly every single day"?


**This post has been brought to you by those annoying Move To Philly "ads" everyone's been talking about.

Really Awesome Things

It's difficult to say which of these two things I'm more excited about:

NY Times - But Will It Play in Manhattan? (aka, Topshop is coming!)

Variety.com - '80s idols to reunite for 'Coreys'

Truly, we are living in a golden age.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Best. Blog. Ever.

Cute Otters

Need I say more?

Monday, June 12, 2006


Today I finally joined Netflix.

It's not that I didn't hear about it two years ago along with everyone else; it's just that I'm generally slow to embrace new trends and/or technology, even if (like Netflix) they are the MOST INGENIOUS INVENTION EVER. Also, I'm more of a movie-goer than a movie-renter, because there is no movie theater popcorn in my home, and movie-watching for me is mainly a front for popcorn gluttony. However, I've long loved the idea of Netflix, even though it's taken me so long to make use of it. This is truly what the Internet was meant for: making our lives easier, while enabling laziness.

My first order of business was to queue up Troop Beverly Hills, because we are having a Troop Beverly Hills party this weekend. Next in my queue (queue: funnest word to type? yes.) is Season 1, Disc 1 of Entourage. I already know that TV series are going to make up the bulk of my Netflix rentals. After Entourage, I'm going to blow through Deadwood, Weeds and Season 2 of Veronica Mars. Then, if I don't want to cancel my membership yet, I may start in on the Sopranos, which I have never seen (see "slow to embrace new trends," above; also see "has not had HBO since lived with parents, OK?").

I think it's quite possible that the very first movies one rents on Netflix offer a window into one's innermost soul. Think about it: unlimited access to an entire library of weird wonders that you might not have thought of in years, AND no one ever has to know that you rented them. If ever you were embarrassed to check out "She's All That" for fear your snooty Brooklyn video store clerk would sneer at you over his thick-framed glasses (this is pure conjecture -- my local Extreme Video isn't much for hipster clerks), Netflix offers you a safe haven.

Obviously, my soul is that of a person with '80s nostalgia who lacks cable or DVR. Someone else I know (who lives in my building and shall remain nameless) kicked off his Netflix subscription with Top Gun, Mary Poppins and Dances With Wolves. I'm not trying to judge; I'm just saying. Tell me: what were the first movies you 'flixed?