Saturday, December 6, 2008

Crooked Still

Went to a concert last night by a band called Crooked Still. We first saw them at Joe's Pub a year ago and have totally gotten into them. Since that last concert, their lineup has changed as their cello player left, to be filled in by a cello player AND a fiddle player.

Concert last night was at an East Village bar called Drom. Decent space but the bar is awkwardly placed so standing room had an awkward view esp with columns in the way. The Joe's Pub concert we went to was WAAY more awesome if only because the crowd then was so much more hyped. The crowd at Drom seemed to be more interested in catching up with friends rather than paying attention. I dunno... maybe I felt left out?

In any case, Crooked still was still an awesome live show. Maybe I was jaded by the atmosphere but I really didn't get into the music till halfway through. A lot of their new stuff seems mildly mainstream and mellow. All of a sudden, the energy by the band really picked up. Lead singer was pulling her own twists on the songs (phenomenal voice by the way), banjo was picking a storm, cello and fiddle were wailing, bass was solid as ever... it was a great show overall. Of course Ali couldn't stop dancing the entire time.

Yup, pretty much the only bluegrass I'll listen to.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

First Snow!!!!

It is with much giddiness of a school child that I announce the first snow of the season! well, at least in the white plains area... well, at least for me!

For whatever reason I couldn't get a good shot of snow falling.... but here's a snapshot from the WHI train station. There's snow there I promise.
Giddy giddy giddy giddy...


Sunday, November 16, 2008


Job site at 11 PM and raining...



As I'm sure Ali has indicated, we've been complete slackers w/ posts. Finally worked through some of my apathy/sloth (and work) to provide a short post about the Smashing Pumpkins concert we went to: White Crosses at the United Palace Theater. Keep in mind that I've been a Pumpkins fan since Siamese Dream though I can't say that some of the later albums have been on my Top 10 playlist. As with every artist (e.g. Metallica), artistic evolution often leads to different sounds than what initially drew a listener, leading to much gripin' about how they "just don't sound like they used to." I'll admit I'm one of those listeners; I respect the evolution, I just don't have to like it. Point being, while the concert was really fun overall, I couldn't really appreciate a portion of the set. Each to their own....

Highlights: Soma, Disarm, Galapagos, Cherub Rock, Zero (pic below)...

BTW, design-wise, the theater was a really cool old-school building; ginormous and had a classic feel to it. Here's what it looks like from the outside. I love how Manhattan offers so much in the way of cool architecture. This one was a hell of a subway ride away.
- H

PS. What the hell is up with Dinosaur BBQ? It's one of my favorite BBQ joints, but at 11 PM on a Friday night, how the HELL is it a 1-hour wait for a table? The place closes at midnight damnit.

PPS. Concert audio courtesy via

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

But the shoes make it all better...

Just received the Sigerson Morrison shoes I ordered from Target... A few strategically placed sequins will improve my mood any day... - A

Monday, September 29, 2008

You know you're in NYC when...

... you realize the sweet-looking, grandmotherly WHITE lady sitting next to you on the subway is in fact the one blasting Jay Z through her headphones. That woman must have some seriously bling-bling knitting patterns... -A

Monday, September 15, 2008

We're really not that different from....

any other animal in the world... safety (and dryness) in numbers... Union Square during a ridiculous Saturday afternoon squall.
Love the man in the plastic bag... that's evolution for you.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Strange Name for a Store

We bought produce here the other day... and it LOOKS ok... but I keep staring at it wondering, WHAT DO I NOT KNOW?! -A

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Summer Days

Cape Cod, Summer 2008, me and a buddy enjoying the last twinges of summer. Nuff said. Hope y'all enjoyed the lazy days!


South Indian Dosas

Because it would be uncool for me not to put in a shameless plug, this man has the BEST dosas available in Manhattan. Go forth and support yer local foodie stall.

(see? I'm not anti-veg, just anti-stupid-ads-that-try-to-scare-people-into-veg) see previous 2 posts for context.


Camera Blurb

This picture came out pretty cool. Late night on 57th St with a slow shutter speed on a Panasonic point-and-shoot. Anybody know how to really dial in the manual settings on a Lumix FX-33?


Global Warming Doomsday

I may be somewhat ignorant of the actual hard numbers associated with this argument but, somehow the scientist and engineer (and the gastronomist) in me refuses to believe in the validity of the claim on the bus.

Keep in mind that I am certain that meat production contributes quite a bit to climate impacts (transportation, harvesting, processing) but there's absolutely no way that eating vegetarian or using animal-free products don't have similar impacts.

Chalk one up to the doomsday/fear approach. Cause that really worked in grade school.

BONUS: The website that they refer to is soooo legit-sounding. Click on the picture to zoom in; it's not even worth repeating here.

DOUBLE-BONUS: speaking of global warming, can the owner of the Chevy Cavalier that was parked outside of the Kips Bay Loews please stand up? I'm talking about the one that had 8 solar cells mounted to various surfaces of the car, and very likely was powering the 6-inch fan inside the car. That was awesome. Talk about grass-roots... (I had a picture that has since disappeared... boo)


First Day of School

Wish me luck... it's been quite awhile. :) -A

Getting Ready

I would like to personally thank design undercover for posting this poster - as it will be my mantra for the next two years. :) -A

Friday, August 29, 2008

Back from a Hiatus

So I am definitely enjoying the wonderous marvel of wireless internet.... using a cellphone company's wireless PC card... currently on the way to the Cape with some friends and looking forward to a wonderful long weekend. Just wanted to update you and let you know some more posts are coming your way since Ali has been dominant as of late...


Friday, August 15, 2008

Where Did the Time Go?

Orientation starts on Tuesday... I'm down to my last few days of freedom. But very, very excited... -A

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Ah, The Dog Days of Summer...

Which, in NYC, primarily affect the subway platforms... Three cheers for century-old air cooling methodology! -A

Holy Crap...

If you didn't catch the opening ceremonies on TV last night, look for clips on YouTube - the Chinese seriously know how to put on a show! (Well, they did invent gunpowder...) My favorite was when the final torch bearer FLEW INTO THE AIR and "ran" around the top of the stadium to light the torch - HOW MUCH DO I WANT THAT JOB?!?! Impressive...

Of course, not sure if all those fireworks are helping the pollution problem. But they were pretty damn cool, that's for sure... -A

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Who're You Gonna Call?

Heron and I had the perfect mid-week date - with delicious takeout from our neighborhood gem Sushi Suki, we snuggled up on a blanket to watch Ghostbusters in Carl Schurz Park. The setting was perfect - a small neighborhood event in our cute little park, cooled by the river breezes. The organizers even provided free popcorn! -A

*Didn't have a picture of the movie event (held on the basketball court) - but here's the park! Isn't it pretty?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Pink Sequin Atrocity = High Style?

I've been following The Sartorialist for a few years, inspired by his photos of New York and European street styles - and I admit to a secret fantasy where one day, if I dress really really well, he might just see me on the street and snap my picture. Seriously, this would pretty much be the highest style compliment ever, right up there with Stacey and Clinton surprising me with a $5000 BoA card to "just keep doing what you're doing". (A girl can dream, right?)

But one shouldn't mix up "boldness" with "total insanity"... I'm pretty sure Stacey and Clinton would tell this poor woman that even beyond the atrocious fabric, the juvenile style does her chest and waist NO FAVORS, and from now on, could she please save the toddler fashion for when her 2 year old is attending an Alice in Wonderland tea party... why this is even made in adult sizes boggles the mind. -A

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bulletin Board Redo

Being unemployed has given me the time and energy to devote to those little home projects which normally get ignored - like a week ago when I spent 3 hours on a marathon filing session (strangely satisfying). Last weekend I finally attacked our bulletin board. Purchased to store all those potentially useful paper odds and ends, it got orphaned in our skinny, dark hallway and basically became the place where coupons went to expire. (Wish I'd thought to take a "before" picture, but just imagine vertical paper piles.) I decided to clear those off and given the location, go with a motif that lacked deadlines: postcards, baby pictures and other happy thoughts. Extra bonus - now those items are off of our fridge, where their main purpose seemed to be falling down and irritating me in the morning.

Now we have a welcoming collage to greet us when we enter the apartment or head into the bedroom - a much better use of the space. Way more fun than filling out all those school forms... -A

Friday, July 25, 2008

Carl Schurz Park: Clouds and Fences

Yesterday was sunny and yet, still bearable - so I headed out to Carl Schurz Park to enjoy the river breezes.

(Incidentally, I had been calling this Carl Schultz Park up until 5min ago when I googled it for the link. Not that I haven't passed the sign about a thousand times... And now that I can spell it, I find there are all kinds of events going on - movies, music, knitting! Who knew?)

This tiny green oasis on the Upper East Side contains a surprising number of recreation options for such a small park (as well as Gracie Mansion), but we mostly love sitting along the East River and watching the DEP barges chug by. It's a small neighborhood-y getaway from our massive city...

On my way to the 6 train, there were some gorgeous sunbeams peaking around the buildings - I shot blindly due to the brightness but was fairly pleased with the results... -A

That's nice

So great to hear from you! Things have been a bit busy round here with work. The City's been pretty good, everybody's out in the Hamptons so there aren't that many people in the city. I'd go to the beaches if they weren't so packed. Plus there was a heat wave last week which was brutal. Be glad that you're farther north in the latitudes.

So what else is new? Oh right...

REPLY does not equal REPLY TO ALL!! I don't care that you miss New York pizza. Who the hell are you anyways? -H

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Why bother with it at all?

In all honesty, why? I'm coming home from work the other day, and it's stupendously hot. Some guy is on the platform. I get the baggy polo, requisite wifebeater, and baggy shorts. I do, really I do. But WHY, is it even remotely

a) practical
b) comfortable
c) fashionable

to have your shorts hanging on your person any lower than the lower waist? The dude had his shorts just above his knees. I can barely function and dress in the morning. How does anyone have the mental capacity to put on a matching outfit, head to toe, that INCLUDES your boxers, and then have the coordination to physically walk out of the house with a belt strapped around your knees?

Seriously man. Why bother at all? -H

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Pretty Pee Protectors

For those urban plants suffering from the scourge of dog urine, an inventive solution - plastic tulips serve both decorative and protective purposes, by giving Fido something indestructible to aim at. -A

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

In Glorious High Def

With the acquisition of a sweet flat screen capable of high definition, my trumpeting of the new wave of technological wonder has led to the inevitable line of conversation with friends ending in an increduluous, "you DON'T have CABLE?!"

Ranting about the cable company's evil empire is a post in of itself. I WILL however discuss the readily available and FREE over the air digital HD signals. After thoroughly ignoring the manual and twiddling with the remote, I was able to store all manner of basic network signals using my $14 radioshack bunny ears.

Wow. Wow. Granted I only get NBC and Univision clearly, with occasional bursts of Fox and CBS (depending on the direction and strength of the wind that night). But wow.

Let's put it this way. While sucking down a protein shake after hitting the gym, I switched on said TV. Field hockey Olympic qualifiers were nice. But not HD. Switch to NBC-HD. And Nashville Star was on. I am not a fan of country. Nope.

And yet I couldn't change the channel.

HD baby. Jewel was on the show. In glorious HD. Bonus. Finally switched to CBS to catch CSI-Miami. Yeah, there are some hotties on that show. In glorious HD.

In glorious HD we trust. -H

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Waterfalls, Water Taxis and the Brooklyn Ikea

After getting my butt handed to me last night by a certain boxing instructor at my gym, I've decided rest up today, with plenty of fluids and balanced meals. (And when I say balanced, I mean I balanced out my lunchtime salad with several mini peanut butter cups.)

So let's talk about wanderings from a time when I could walk without pain... On the last day of my parents' visit, we headed downtown to the South Street Seaport to check out the Waterfalls in the harbor. Interesting, but not as impressive as The Gates in Central Park a few years back... More entertaining was the yogi performing in the Seaport - I missed his better tricks with my camera, but they included stuffing himself into a 17-inch box, and putting his legs behind his head, propping himself on his hands and swinging like a pendulum. Wild...

Afterwards, my mother was intrigued by the free water taxi to the new Ikea in Brooklyn and convinced us to take a ride. Good times - the ride across the harbor was great, and Red Hook's waterfront lovely. Even if they weren't, the gorgeous new Ikea and a fabulous outpost of Fairway, our favorite NYC grocery store, were well worth a visit. Just remember: no Ikea receipt, no ride back for you... we ended up buying lingonberry sauce and a hotdog just to get back to Manhattan. -A

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Ode to a Dead Tree

One of my favorite things about living in NYC is the incredible creativity of my fellow residents. Display found near York Avenue... -A

No means no

Dear Craigslist,

I understand that you are a bastion of frugality.  I do.  I really do.  But in the end basic economics really does win the day.  When you're absolutely in a tight budget, and you tell me so, you can't tell me the second email around that you've managed to scrape together an extra 5 Washingtons as your best offer.  

Especially when the somebody else had already agreed to pay my  asking price.  Supply and demand.  It works.

I know you weren't aware of the other bidder... but you really should get your Caps Lock fixed.  



Saturday, July 12, 2008

Three-One-One, Over and Out

Yesterday was my last day at the city call center - I'm taking a few weeks off before business school starts in the fall.

I'm proud to have played a part in building an iconic NYC institution, working with an amazing group of dedicated civil servants. I miss them already. -A

Customer Service Through Dance

This week Risa Jaroslow & Dancers were performing a piece in front of the Municipal Building, inspired by NYC’s own citywide call center. After 18 years of dance class and 4 years in the call center, I cannot express the joy this idea brought me – it was like a personal going away gift.

In execution, I admit a tiny bit of disappointment that they were so, well, serious about it (obviously the troupe does not share my irreverent sense of humor), but it was still fun to see art composed about my place of business. I even got picked to share my thoughts on city government (a little nerve-wracking), and they seemed delighted to have call center employees in attendance. I chatted a bit with Risa Jaroslow afterwards and while she expresses some strong views (one portion showed a dancer being relentlessly excluded from the group, which she referred to as “government giving the cold shoulder” – in another part dancers seemed to falling without a “safety net”), I liked how her work looked to gently engage the lunchtime crowd in examining their relationship with city government. -A

Absolut Kanye

On Friday's commute, I stared at this ad for at least three dumbstruck minutes - until I noticed tiny lettering on the side marked this as an ad for Absolut Vodka. And then I freaked out my fellow riders by snapping a picture. -A

Friday, July 11, 2008

Waiting for the M31

Shot this while waiting for the M31 bus - a somewhat mythical creature, which conveniently runs from West 57th Street to the east side near our apartment, though not always when we wish to take it. (It came eventually, this time.) Right before a summer rainstorm... -A

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Fashion Epiphany

One day, it was like a lightbulb went off in my head as I gazed into my closet - hey, I love cardigans! Also, I work in an office which insists on being 55 degrees year-round... so why do I not own more of this fabulous layering item?

So I bought the first one from the Gap - comfy AND affordable. (In fact, I may soon own it in multiple colors...) And I'm eyeing the second at JCrew... loving the orange, but may need to head to the store for a little in-person reality check on whether that color and my pale skin play together nicely. And people, who knows WHAT craziness will ensue come fall... -A

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Ikea Knappa Tulpan Lamp

It's a little unreasonable how much I love our new lamp. But Heron understands.

I think.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Be Kind Rewind

Rent Be Kind Rewind - this movie made us laugh out loud harder than any we've seen in awhile. It's perfectly cast, and showcases Jack Black's talents without the strained ZANINESS seen in his more commercial movies... Mos Def and Danny Glover are also fantastic.

If you saw it in the theatres, rent it for the mini-documentary on filming in Passaic, NJ... incredibly sweet. -A

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Map-tastic Tiles

When we finally own a bathroom, these will be going up in the shower. And then I will finally be able to learn all the world capitals and kick butt in car trip games.

Wall tiles by digitile, seen on the style files... -A

Sad Realities

I found the perfect wedding shoes on east side bride. They match my ivory-and-champagne dress. They are flat, befitting our plans to be married outside on a grass lawn. They are sequined, as are all things in my perfect world.

Given all that, should it really matter they cost as much as my dress?

I mean, it's not like I haven't ever paid significantly more for shoes than the outfit they went with. Of course, that was when I wore an $8 dress to the high school prom... slightly different circumstances. -A


Flat. Screen. TV. Dilated pupils. Increased heart rate. Repetitive motion for continuous button pushing. Stupid smirk on face.

Yes, I am a tech geek. Hear me roar. -H

Dynamic is not Static

It's a funny thing how some things never change. In such a fast-paced world, where everything is super dynamic, information feeds through the pipeline, and you're forced to anticipate and react instantaneously, change is inevitable.

Today, your portfolio is riding high. Tomorrow, you could be bottoming out.
This morning, your project is on track. One hour later, you're putting out fires for a client.
Now, you feel like taking the subway downtown. A second later, the sheer number of people at the station forces you to cab it.

Change is inevitable. Things don't remain static. They can't. It's the nature of the beast.

Except for the BQE.

For those who are fortunate enough to NOT have to deal with THAT beast, the BQE is the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. The BQE is, essentially, a fossil. Unchanged, constant, trapped in its own world.

I refer not to its physical nature, but to its temperament. Simply put, the BQE is a bitch.

It doesn't matter what you do, when you decide to drive on it, how you decided to get there, the BQE will find a way to be a parking lot. Holiday weekend? Jammed. Everyone driving smoothly? Jammed. 3 AM and no DOT road work? Jammed. You sit there looking for a reason why the road is packed, and when you inevitably hit 30 mph, when you think, "Here's why traffic's been stoopid" you get nothing. Nada. Zip. Traffic just picks up.

Maybe it's tired of being a highway. Maybe it aspired to be a parking lot when it was younger. Maybe it just gets incredible happiness from essentially turning a 13-mile stretch of 6-lane highway into a veritable source of global warming.

Me and the BQE have been on a break for a couple years, and now I remember why... When driving from Brooklyn, traffic was at a maximum speed limit of 10 mph. With no let up after 5 miles, I hopped on to the Manhattan Bridge. No doubt the parking lot extended up to at least the LIE. This was of course, at 11 PM.

BQE, I hate you. Don't call. I'm not answering. -H

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Dear Craiglist

You are an integral part of life as an urban twenty-something. We find apartments, furniture and even love (or a mid-afternoon sexual tryst)... in fact, one of my friends made her living on your odd jobs list for months at a time.

But while I do thank you profusely for leading me to my last three not-too-overpriced apartments, one thing still bothers me. While we're buddies and all - and that's cool - at the heart of it, this is still a business relationship and as such it comes with a few expectations. You're just not very dependable, Craiglist. I mean, in the beginning while the post is new, the interest is hot and heavy... but then when it comes time to clinch the deal, all the anxious emails turn into no-shows. Why, Craiglist? What's with your fear of commitment?

For example, we recently bought new shelves, and turned to you to sell the old ones. A tall bookcase and matching media shelves of the popular Ikea Billy line, great condition, priced to move at $30 for the pair. (Seriously, that's an incredible deal, right?) We were inundated with emails and yet... no matter how ardently they expressed their interest, not one showed to pick up the damn shelves. After several missed appointments I finally called the most recent (for whose benefit we'd missed kickboxing at the gym, thank you very much) and demanded an explanation. His excuse was that he got drunk after work... and forgot. While I should have probably seen the warning signs - his brilliant plan would have been to carry the shelves 20 blocks home and btw, were they heavy? - still, this was kind of the last straw.

We did eventually sell the shelves to some guy from Jersey. Who had the gall to ask us to reduce the price by $10 "for gas and tolls". (We said no.) Then he wanted us to carry them down to his car. (Yeah, right.) But while we are glad the shelves are finally gone, we're not entirely satisfied, Craiglist. Selling perfectly good shelves for practically nothing should not be this painful! Please do try harder to be a little more reliable the next time, ok? We have this extra lamp we really need to get rid of...

Yours truly,

Ali & Heron

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Upper East Side Gripe

A little bit harder to hate the new high-rise in the pink evening light. But dammit, you're still bringing down the neighborhood. -A