Preparing for the Blizzard

Blizzard scene, 2016
Outside my apartment window at 11am

A week before the actual event, every weather report predicted a major blizzard would be hitting the east coast this weekend. Along with these dire warnings were  also admonitions to all New Yorkers to prepare for the worst including cancelling all weekend plans (which I dutifully did with no charge for rescheduling!).

So I woke up very early Friday morning ready to “prepare for the worst” trying to control my crazy urge to race across the street (literally) to be first person in line at the Gourmet Garage at 7am when they opened.  I was only able to stifle the urge when I realized I didn’t need any groceries! Instead I headed to my discussion class (very well attended despite the  bitter cold temperatures and dire warnings) then out to lunch with a friend-all the while still fighting the irrational need to bolt out of class or the restaurant and rush to the nearest grocery store to buy something, anything just to acknowledge that I was acting like a responsible New Yorker and could be just as prepared as everyone else! I vaguely wondered how responsible I would appear standing in (on) a long line for hours to purchase an apple.  You may have already guessed, that’s exactly what I did, except that by some miracle I had timed it just right, only two people were ahead of me. In addition to an apple I also purchased a pint of blueberries, 6 eggs and a bag of black licorice-bring it on, I am so ready!

This morning I awoke to hear NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio and Governor Mario Cuomo declaring a State of Emergency and a prediction of 20-25 inches of snow!  I quickly became mesmerized by the scene outside my window and in the late morning saw two people cross country skiing, on Broadway (lest you are worried, I saw them out of my apartment window!).

I find it odd that even though I am not working anymore I still feel I should use this day to take care of a few things I never have time for, like cleaning my closets, working on the Ukraine report I am preparing for my discussion group and learning how to add photos to my blog, as you can see I actually did it!!! Now on to the report and my closets (or maybe not!).

To my many (Hah) blizzard affected readers, stay warm and safe and if you have no reports to write or closets to clean please consider posting a comment on how you are spending (spent) your snow day and maybe even add a photo or two:-)


The Perfect Fried Egg


Recently another new-ish friend invited me to join her for a New York Times Insider event. Even though I had no idea what a NYT Insider was it sounded very important! In my determination to say “yes” to new experiences I immediately signed up and learned, much as I hate to admit this, Insider status is available to anyone who gets the print and online versions of the NY Times! Even though I discovered that my elite status wasn’t so elite after all it was well worth saying yes.

The evening featured a discussion with the charming and very funny Times Food Editor Sam Sifton and Julia Moskin, one of the top food reporters.  Both were excellent speakers and seemed to be having a great time telling us about their current work and their years as restaurant critics.

Sam regaled us with one especially amusing story (at least it was amusing to Sam and to us) about Julia’s determination to make the perfect fried egg which involved 17 attempts, OY!  In my humble opinion, no matter how much I might desire that “perfect” specimen, 17 tries might be  a tad excessive (fortunately my reputation doesn’t depend on it!)  Just in case you too are devoted to egg perfection this link will show you the details -I have to admit the eggs do look delicious!

We also enjoyed hearing about Julia’s participation in the tasting of the Times Thanksgiving recipes, wine included, which appear annually in the Food section- what a tough job!  Lo and behold when my Thanksgiving edition of the NYT arrived a few days later there on the front page of the food section were featured articles and recipes by  Sam & Julia (see I told you I am making new friends everywhere I go!).


A Few Observations About New York & New Yorkers


Because I’ve lived in NYC part time for 3 years and full time for another 3 years I feel fully qualified to pontificate about some habits of NYC dwellers -here are a few of my initial observations:

1. They don’t like to walk on sidewalk grates. I’ve often seen large groups of people who would, at any other time, leave slower pedestrians in the dust, fall into line behind the slow walking texters to avoid walking on the grates.

2.      After patiently and politely waiting for passengers to exit a subway car some NYers  will mercilessly elbow aside anyone, parents with small children included, to board first.

3.    The undisputed best seat in any subway car is at the end of  the bench. This seat   side allows for elbow room on at least one side and less crowded access to the door.

4.     It’s easy to spot a NYer crossing the street, they watch the traffic, not the light and often do so in unison.

5.    NYC dogs have a culture worth writing an entire blog about and I will, soon!

6.    NYers often wear all black (at least the real ones do!) Perfect example, I sometimes use a car service to get home from the airport-the first time I called for my pickup the dispatcher asked me what color clothing I was wearing so the driver could identify me. I immediately replied “I live in NYC, what color do you think I’m wearing?”-fortunately he had a sense of humor and we  both laughed at my cleverness (which is probably the same clever  answer he hears from every NYC passenger!)

7.   There is a sense of casual acceptance of things that create amazement and wonder in the likes of a transplant like me. Events such as outdoor operas shown on a jumbo-tron on the Lincoln Center Plaza for 10 days every summer, the free New Years’ Eve party in Central Park including music, dancing and incredible fireworks and the Winters Eve Festival on November 30th when entire blocks of Broadway are turned into a holiday party and include the lighting of the Lincoln Center Christmas tree, food tents selling tasty morsels from local restaurants and live music on almost every corner providing a sense of  togetherness and sheer fun.

8.    Then there is the unusual and unique tradition of waiting “on” line (NYers never wait “in” line like Midwesterners) for up to 6 hours on a Saturday morning in July or August to get 2 free tickets to attend an outdoor production of Shakespeare in the Park for that evening. Full disclosure, my friend Nicole arrived at 6am, I brought lunch at 11! By the time I arrived to entertain her everyone was on first name basis, total strangers were deep in conversation and saving eachothers places for a bathroom  break or coffee run. NYers find a reason to party even at 6am! Ya gotta love it!

How NYC Became My Home Town

An incredibly accomplished friend who held a major position in a very large organization recently confided that she never goes to events alone in NYC, not to a movie, the theater or even a restaurant. It has nothing to do with feeling unsafe she assures me, she has no trouble going out alone anywhere else in the world,  just not in New York City her hometown! Let me back up a moment, I lived in Ohio most of my married life but 6 years ago,  at the gentle urging of my daughter who lives in Westchester, I decided to rent a small apartment for a few weeks to see if I liked the NYC lifestyle. A lovely woman I met at that time told me NYC was the only place a woman could do anything alone and not feel conspicuous or uncomfortable. She was SO right!  From the   minute I arrived in my temporary “digs” I discovered I had always been a New Yorker, I just hadn’t actually lived here!! I continue to tell anyone who is willing to listen that life in NYC makes me feel like a kid in the proverbial candy store. But as noted by my highly accomplished friend this might not be the ideal lifestyle for everyone, I just know this is where I belong.


My New Year’s Resolutions…..For Other People



text when I’m behind you, especially on the subway steps, I’m always in a hurry!

take up two seats on a crowded subway train (or even if it’s not crowded).

clog up the checkout counter while you slowly and absentmindedly put your credit card or cash away, or even worse…. get to the checkout counter and dig through your oversized bag to find your wallet (how come you don’t know what you are required to do when you get to the cashier?!).

Push in front of everyone waiting for the traffic to clear at the corner so you can wait for the traffic to clear first!

eat your onion laden salad or sandwich on my subway car or on my flight.

forget that your iphone flashlight is still on after you’ve finished reading the restaurant menu or found a seat in the darkened theater, it’s shining right in my face!

AND to all my wonderful friends, family (and loyal readers:-)  I will trust you to make your own resolutions, but to me you are perfect! Keep being your loving, supportive and amazing selves. I am truly grateful to each of you and send my wishes for many more years filled with good health, happiness and the opportunity to fulfill your dreams.