Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Thats hot.

And no, I don't mean Paris Hilton getting out of jail. (Though I must say she looked the most attractive I've ever seen her with her natural, make-up free skin.) I mean it being 83 degrees at 9:30 in the morning (though weather.com says it feels like 88 due to humidity). Ick. It is hot. And hot in New York is miserable. It is not refreshing, cool breezed filled hot. It is not warm, soak up the sun hot. It is humid, sticky, thick stinkin hot. Keep in mind for those of us who don't make more than, say $50,000, and probably some of those who do, we can't afford to take cabs everywhere. And that means public transportation. And I promise you, if its 83 degrees outside, its at least 10-15 degrees hotter in the underground subway stations. Some may imagine its cooler down there, out of the sun. But just imagine millions of bodies occupying this space daily (which is open to the street above through vents and stairways, etc). It is like a brick oven. I feel like a frickin deep dish pizza sitting down there in the AM. And it doesn't help that:

#1 I am a natural sweater.
#2 I am on medication that makes me sweat more
#3 I have to walk at least 5 minutes to get to any subway station
#4 I am a natural sweater who is on medication that makes me sweat and I have to walk at least 5 minutes to get to any subway station.

It is seriously embarrassing. My damn eccrine and apocrine sweat glands (that's a little anatomy and physiology talk for you) are on overload and people often stare at me. Some even ask me if I'm ok. And I look up at them with water pouring out of ever pore in my face and say, "Yes, I'm fine thanks." Damn Minnesota nice. Oh well....my co-workers and I are planning a rain dance later this afternoon and we'll pretty sure it'll work. So we're hoping for some great thunder storms tonight and some breezy 70 degree weather tomorrow. Hope all of you are staying cool. Stay away from New York for a few days. We don't need any more bodies heating this place up!!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Arts Guy, Volume 1

Lauren asked if I wanted to blog this week, so i took her up on her offer.

The New York Blahs

I love New York City. It is the best place to live in the world. However, when things go wrong in NYC it becomes pure Hell.

So, as Lauren has stated, I work for Broadway general managers (similar to a producer) in Times Square, the busiest, most annoying place in the United States…unless you are visiting, then it is great. Side note, you can tell who lives in NYC when walking through Times Square. Anyone who is walking extremely fast, weaving in and out of the masses of people, muttering obscenities under his/her breath, is living in NYC, the rest of the people are tourists. Anyways, one of my bosses is moving to North Carolina in a week and he needed stuff to pack up his office belongings in. So being the bottom of the totem pole, I am sent to Staples to pick up a 24x20 20 box, a 20x18x18 box, a 30” tall packing tube, and 175 feet of bubble wrap. Despite Staples being 7 NYC blocks away, this shouldn’t have been a problem. But, the boxes, when not put together, are the size of me, and they only come in packs of 3. The tubes come in a double pack. The bubble tape is fine. I can barely carry the stuff. When I finally make it to a register, the cashier decides to say she is closed and makes me walk up the stairs with all of this stuff to the registers up there. Finally, an angry employee rings me up, and I head my way back to work.

As I start walking, the binding of one set of boxes breaks. So I take my fingers and wedge them in between what will become the flaps of the boxes. I’m caring the other set of boxes in my fingertips of the other hand. The tubes are under my chin. And I’m carrying the bag of bubble tape by my pinky. I make it two blocks with multiple stops to rearrange and realize there is no way I can carry this back the next five blocks. So I walk in to the middle of the street and try to hail a cab while still holding all of the packaging supplies for my boss. No cab driver wants to deal with me. 5 in-service cabs pass right by me before I get picked up by a very nice out-of-service cab driver who must feel very sorry for me. He gets me to my location, which is right off of Broadway. This is an extremely busy street, packed with cars and thousands of pedestrians on the sidewalk. I’m trying to unload everything from the cab as quickly as I can. It’s not working. Tubes are rolling in the middle of the street. Boxes falling every which way. I’m a mess. And not one of the thousands of people helped me out to carry something to my destination, let alone just helping me out of the middle of the street. I’m about to get hit by cars, and want to yell at someone to give me a hand, and cry. Eventually I make it back to work. The boxes are partially damaged, but my boss is very appreciative! Probably because he just avoided an hour of Hell.

Then, after work, I’m dying to get back home. I get down to the subway. It’s packed. I’m not getting on until 2 subs arrive at the very least. So I decide to walk the 60 blocks home. As I said before, NYC is the best place in the world. And a 60-block walk may sound terrible, but it is the best thing I do for myself in a long time, until I get to block 55 out of 60. I’m walking under scaffolding on the side of a building that was under repair. And there must be a pigeon up there somewhere, because a huge thing of poop hits my shoulder, splashes on my neck and runs all the way down my arm! Not only am I gagging as I walk home, I have to pass by tons of people sitting outside eating their dinners at fancy restaurants.

This is one of the days, in the best city in the world, where the Devil decided to surface and wreak havoc on us natives. Well at least this native.
-Scott Witebsky (AKA- The Arts Guy)

Friday, June 22, 2007


Check out the post from 6/22/07 on Bicoastal Bosom Buddies for a sad update on our beloved Gossip Gangster.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Shakespeare in the Park

So my boyfriend is crazy. He told me he wanted to get Romeo and Juliet Shakespeare in the Park tickets. Shakespeare in the Park happens every summer. The Public Theater puts on a couple productions each summer in this great outdoor theater in Central Park. Last year, Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline were in Mother Courage which Scott saw. This year, Lauren Ambrose and Cameryn Manheim were to play Juliet and her nurse respectively. Scott was excited. So excited he convinced me to get up at 5 am to meet our friend (and his classmate) Sing and get in line at 6 am for these tickets. Little did I know when he convinced me to do this that they didn't hand tickets out until 1 pm. We would be sitting in line for 7 HOURS! However, despite my grumbling, Scott convinced me to go, and we had a great time! We were behind about 10 people so we knew we were going to get tickets. It was just a matter of waiting. The man in front of us was sleeping (as many were) and he was snoring like a freight train. We were in line for about 15-20 minutes when a group of 3 kids and 2 adults got in line behind us. I had a bad feeling about this...and it turns out the (apx) 9 year old girl that belonged to the man was an absolute terror. But we still managed to enjoy ourselves. Here are some pics of the memborable morning:

This is our friend Sing. Honestly, who looks this cute at 6 am??

Obviously not us.... :) Btw, we're eating Ritz crackers here....the only food we thought to bring. Luckily, the people from The Public had this deal worked out with "Andy's Deli" (some mediocre deli that delivered to the line in the park). Phew! We were hungry by the time we got our food around 10:45!!!

This is the dog we deemed a "weiner fox". (Looked like half weiner dog, half fox). Scott couldn't believe how many of these dogs kept walking by us....until I pointed out that it was the same dog. His excuse was that he was tired. Psh. Whatever. ;)

This picture is a little hard to see (and I need a new digital camera because my zoom feature no longer works). But this is the line. And it goes way beyond what you can see in this picture. (Past those trees in the back). Good thing we were in the front!
And here we are...7 hours later with our 4 tickets to Romeo and Juliet. (We went w/ our friend Huling as well). And the show was fabulous. As Huling said, this is what Shakespeare is supposed to be. It was moving and fresh. (And both Lauren Ambrose and Cameryn Manheim were great, as were the guys who played Romeo and Mercutio (the latter of which we saw last fall in "The Pain and the Itch" off broadway. Another fabulous play). Despite the exhaustion I felt Monday morning, I'd say the experience was well worth it. We may even do it again next month to see A Midsummer Night's Dream. Yes....we're nuts.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Law and Order SVU episode waiting to happen

I've got a great New York story for you. SOOO Law and Order SVU (see link...its worth it). So the wife of an acquaintance of Scott was on one of those subway cars that was packed like a can of sardines. Let me just say from experience that those cars SUCK. You're around a bunch of dirty, smelly strangers and you have to be like skin to skin with them. So this woman manages to step into the car as one of the last passengers who fits and is close to the door. She is annoyed to see a "dirty looking" man heading towards her from the platform. He makes it onto the train too, the door closes and while she's standing there, she feels this man grinding up against her. SICK AND WRONG! I told Scott that at this point my elbow would have been in his gut and he would be doubled over in pain. However, this lady apparently doesn't have my violent nature, so she just queasily put up with it until she got off the train.

When she got off, she sort of glanced back to look at the guy and asked herself if she should do anything about it. She had just chalked it up to one of those crazy New York experiences when she gets tapped on the shoulder from behind. She turns around and this very large black man wearing chains is standing behind her. She's thinking Jesus Christ, what now? The man asked "Was there someone on that train who was bothering you?" And she said there was, surprised that anyone had taken notice.

Turns out this guy is an undercover cop and he and his partner have been tracking this sick dirty grinding-strangers guy all day! They first found him suspicious when he would wait at the subway stops and let a bunch of trains go by until a really crowded one pulled up. Then he would get on. Ewwwwww is all I have to say about that. So this wife of my boyfriend's acquaintance (who will remain anonymous) will be testifying at a trial for this guy and they're pushing the trial up because she's moving out of the state in a few weeks. Crazy shiz I tell you. Also, we learned that there is approximately 1 undercover cop on every subway train, most likely (in Scott and my opinion) looking for terrorists. But if they catch guys like this, that's an added bonus. Hotcha! Who would have known??
I thought that story was so great, I had to share it with all of you.

Volume 12, Edition 2: Ankle Update

New York Happenings: Volume XII, Part Duex, ANKLE UPDATE

Hey everyone,

As I'm sure you've all been losing sleep over the status of my ankle injury, I wanted to relieve some of your worry with an update. I saw an orthopedist yesterday who was quite nice and attentive, and it turns out there is no gap between my tibia and fibula (which is a good thing!) That means no ligament rupture. Just a regular ankle sprain that was probably exacerbated by walking around so much. Do you think my insurance will cover cab rides? Cause I sure as hell can't and that's really the only way I could minimize my walking right now. But it is good news. It means no surgery and no more boot!! Acually he was ok with the boot but gave me an aircast instead (see pic above) so that I wouldn't have to lug that heavy boot around everywhere. Honestly, between that and my heavy rolley backpack w/ my anatomy and physiology books in it (3 of them!) I felt like the ghost of Christmas past...lugging my chains behind me. Ok, I can't take credit for that joke. A doctor friend of mine thought of it. But I thought it was quite clever. So there you have it. I will have 4 weeks of physical therapy starting next Friday (God only knows when I"ll fit in 2 appointments a week), and then I'll be as good as new...hopefully. So thanks for your worries, well-wishes and prayers. I am still in one piece!!

Since I have your attention, I have to give an another shameless advertisement for my blog w/ my friend Meredith...our bicoastal cultural comparison blog entitled Bicoastal Bosom Buddies. Mer has been MIA for a week or so for personal reasons but you can still read the NY updates from yours truly including an interesting story involving a man with a bloody eye on a Bronx bus. Lovely. The site is

Hope you check it often!Hope all is well with all of you! Keep away from that crazy uneven concrete! Much love everyone and happy summer,

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Crazy New York

I was waiting for the bus last night for about 10-15 minutes and was quite annoyed it hadn't come. I hadn't had the best day: I went to see an asshole orthopedist who basically said nothing was wrong with me and as Scott says "made it sound like you were making it up" (see this article for some possible info why); then from E96th street, it took me over 2 hours to get to work (it should only take about 45 minutes) due to multiple train route changes (typical during summer construction) and because I got on the Bx32 going the wrong way, which I didnt realize until I had been on the bus for 15 minutes or so. I got to work with only 3 hours left and had to go directly to my 3.5 hour class. Needless to say, it was time to get home.I finally saw the Bx9 coming. It didn't make it through the stop light before my stop. I waited...(im)patiently, and finally the light turned green. The bus didn't move. Instead, it opened its doors and let someone off. (Picture multiple cars honking angrily at this point.) Finally, the bus pulled through the intersection and up to my stop. The driver put his hand out as to not let anyone on, and allowed people to get off. Sometimes drivers do this so people don't get too greedy and start to get on before others leave the bus. But this guy didn't put his hand down. Instead, he turned his head to the seat behind and across from him and asked a man sitting there (who's back was against the window I was looking at) if he needed medical attention. Medical attention?? This is where I come in!...I think starting to switch into future-emergency-room-nurse mode. The man must have said yes and the driver made an announcement to the other people on the bus that this was the last stop and they had to get off. Then I hear the guy with his back to the window say onto his cell phone "My eye is bleeding all over!" Sure enough, he turned around and there was blood running down his face from his eye. He had blood on his hand and his shirt. I'm thinking Direct pressure! I should tell him to put direct pressure on it! Not that it was even gushing...but I wanted to be involved! Soon, the guy started yelling at the other passengers who were exiting the bus "Quickly! Quickly!" I thought this was going to cause a fight as the last passenger in line to exit the bus was a buff, short short wearing jock type who just stared the guy down as he yelled directly into his face.Finally the last guy gets off the bus. All the passengers (and me) are crowded on the curb around the bus. (I was actually standing in the street as the bus was a few feet from the curb). The bleeding man steps up into the door way of the bus, a few feet above everyone, and starts yelling "FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU! I am the man! You are nothing!!" This guy is so adament that his spit actually hits me in the face as he's yelling. (Then I got smart enough to step up onto the curb like everyone else, and I dropped my hero fantasy. I wasn't going to get involved with this one!) All this time he is still on his cell phone, still bleeding. At one point he said something to the crowd like "I would die for all of you!" or something psychotic like that.Another Bx9 FINALLY pulled up behind the first bus and everyone hurried over to get a seat. The poor first bus driver was left alone with a possibly crazy or drugged-up man, though the driver seemed cool and collected as can be. I tried to listen to a lady who was telling the story of what happened but she was only speaking Spanish. Damn Spanish 6 didn't get me anywhere. Where are my Spanish skills when I need details like this?!? So I turned to the lady next to me and asked her what happened and all she said was "He got into a fight on the bus." How helpful and detail-oriented...NOT. But then I put it together. The person who got off the bus at the intersection before my stop must have been the other guy in the fight, and I would assume he was kicked off by driver. I was shaking my head in wonder when we were about to pull up to my stop where I get off to go to go on the subway into Manhattan. THEN 2 ladies walk directly in front of the bus I was on and when the driver honked, they flicked him off! Apparently it was disgruntled bus driver night because the bus driver yelled out the window at this "THIS IS THE FUCKING BUS!"...as in, why are you walking right in front of this vehicle when you're holding up dozens of people from getting home. Jerks. I told the driver I sympathized with him and all other drivers that night, and he mumbled for me to take care.Oh sigh, how New York amuses me. In other news, expect a blog from Mer soon. She's taken a brief leave of absence from blogging to deal with some not-so-fun personal stuff, but will return in great form ASAP! The "Eye"-Witness,~LB

Monday, June 4, 2007

Volume 12: May 07 (1 Year Anniversary!!)

Happy June! May 30th marked my 1 year anniversary of moving the NY. Can you believe it!! 1 year ago, I left my loving parents (tearily) and got on a plane w/ a one-way ticket to NY. I was ditched by super-shuttle and shared a cab with a guy named Monte who lived in Washington Heights. And today, I am sitting in my comfortable job at the Bronx VAMC, about to start class for my nursing prereqs (in T minus 75 minutes) with a big ugly boot on my foot (the taller of the 2 in pic below):

"WHAT?!" You say. What is this horrid addition to Lauren's up and coming New York wardrobe?

Yes friends, I have sprained my ankle. Possibly pretty badly (so the podiatrist thinks). It all began like this:
Almost 3 weeks ago now, I was walking down 43rd around 9th and 10th (on my way to the stupid UPS headquarters for reasons I won't get into now but that involve a well-intentioned though idiotic neighbor) and all of a sudden my leg buckled under me and I started to fall over. Though I caught myself, I felt a distinct wave of pain in my foot/ankle because the outside of my foot had inverted and I think I actually stepped o n it with the top of my foot, as if the outside phelange had folder under the rest of my foot...if that makes any sense. I turned around to see what had caused my semi-embarassing-quasi-fall, and saw some concrete that had eroded (like if a weed had grown out of it) and was about 2-3 inches above the rest of the sidewalk. I had stepped directly on it and my ankle had "inverted" , etc. Boo, who can I sue? So I was limping around the next few days but just figured it was a strain or a sprain. I tried to get back to working out, which I had been doing 4-5 times a week since January/February. I've lost 10 pounds so you can imagine my dismay when week 1 went by, and then week 2, and my ankle still hurt when I used it too often, despite my efforts to ice, wrap, elevate, and down bottles of ibuprofen (ok...I had a few a day...pills, not bottles.) So I finally went to the podiatrist on Friday and low and behold there is a gap (called diastasis) between where my tibia and my fibula (the 2 shin bones) are supposed to over lap which is suspicious of a ruptured ligament ( high ankle sprain). Unfortunately in the state of New York, a podiatrist can't treat anything above a certain part of the ankle so I have to see an orthopedist tomorrow to find out if I really did rupture my ligament and what I'll need to do to fix it. Worst case scenario: Surgery. Sick. So keep your fingers crossed that the podiatrist was completely wrong and didn't know what she was talking about and gave me this silly boot for no reason at all.

In other news, Scott got a job this summer working for Stephen Chaikelson, the head of the theater department at Columbia and a broadway producer. He's working doing lots of busy work type stuff but its in the industry that he loves so he is content. He gets to read new scripts, meet some theater-industry people, and hangout with some apparently friendly Canadians.

We have seen lots of great theater lately and will be hosting our 2nd annual Tony viewing party on Sunday after my last choir concert in which we'll perform Bach's B-Minor Mass (beautiful!! If you're in town, come see it; 6/10 at 2pm at Christ of St. Stephen's church on W69th at Broadway). Last year when we hosted this party, we had to rush to put all of our IKEA furniture together in about 4-5 days and in our rush, I put part of our IKEA coffee table on backwards so we couldnt' even use it. It was enjoyable though and I got compliemnts for making a mean taco. This year, we're thinking homemade pizza...and cheering for Coram Boy, Spring Awakening and Grey Gardens (the latter 2 have GREAT music which I highly reccomend).

Lastly, I'd like to introduce all of you to a new blog I am a part of called "Bicoastal Bosom Buddies ". It is a joint blog with my friend Meredith Cain-Nielson (my friend since we were about 3) who lived across the street from me on Ann Lane until she went to college in Cincinatti. I always thought Mer would end up in NY but low-and-behold, she is now living in LA (and staring in an Opera this month!) and I am in NY. So we are writing an experiment in comparitive pop culture and though we've been a bit slow in writing, keep checking back cause we plan on making it a big deal ( http://bicoastalbosombuddies.blogspot.com/) . :)

I hope all is well and if anything interesting becomes of this ankle injury, I'll keep you updated.

Love to you all,