Wednesday, December 7, 2011

It's Christmas Time in the City

No city does Christmas like New York. You just want to sing "Silver Bells" each time you step out on the street. Store windows are festive, colorful, and amazing. Every other block features a Christmas tree stand like the one pictured and the evergreen fragrance permeates the air. If you can read the sign, the Christmas tree stand in our neighborhood is the ORIGINAL Christmas tree stand. We caved in when we moved here and purchased a fake tree which has proven to be all right, but had we known that the original Christmas tree shop was right around the corner, we might still be enjoying the fragrance of a fresh evergreen Christmas tree.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Signs of Winter

I have blogged about how New York dresses up for winter by putting on winter doors. But there is a more beautiful sign that the season is approaching. Many of the sidewalk trees are surrounded by short decorative metal fences and during the holiday season they are either filled with pine boughs or my favorite, winter cabbages. My errands last week took me to the Upper East Side and this is what I found. We are enjoying the beautiful Autumn weather and bracing for winter. And while we can, we will enjoy the blending of the two seasons.

Monday, October 17, 2011

It's a jungle out there

I saw four new sculptures in my neighborhood today. Two elephants are at Columbus Circle, a bear is at 67th & Broadway, and I spotted Donald Trump's hair at Lincoln Center. No one will fault me for calling that piece of work on his head a sculpture. The wind was blowing about 15 mph and his hair didn't move. I think he must pay someone to "style" it for him and someone to tell him it looks good. I only caught the back of the Donald because I couldn't get my phone out of my backpack fast enough and the security guards wouldn't let anyone on the plaza while the Donald was filming his commercial. Or maybe I was stopped because I yelled out, "Hey Donald, nice rug!" Who knows?
At any rate the other sculptures are lots of fun. (see this website for more details

Friday, October 14, 2011

Life does exist outside of NYC

This blog was to document my activities in NYC, but recently I had such a great experience that I wanted to share it. I will justify this by saying that everyone in the photo has been to NYC since we moved here. My sister and her husband recently returned from a two year humanitarian mission to Turkey for our church and to celebrate their return, all of my siblings and our spouses gathered together in Salt Lake City for a reunion. We went to two amazing shows, went to the temple together, ate some great food, and also were able to have a reunion with all of my aunts and uncles and cousins on my father's side of the family. I can't even express how delightful it was to spend time with family. I am grateful for family members who spend more time figuring out ways to love one another than to criticize; I am grateful for in-laws and a husband who just go with the flow; I am grateful that we will have eternity together because it is really hard saying "good-bye" at the end of such wonderful visits.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


We had so much fun a couple of years ago at the US Open, we decided to repeat our experience----only with better seats. Paul wrangled us such good seats I felt like I was Roger's doubles partner. A friend who was sitting with us leaned over and said, "It is taking every bit of self control I have not to yell out, 'Roger, I love you.'" You can understand where she was coming from even if you are married to the most handsome man in the world (and I am).
It was a great day and there is a good possibility we will return next year.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Earth, wind and ......

This past week we had an earthquake that lasted 10 seconds and a hurricane that didn't even last that long. We were prepared, however. The mayor did a great job getting everything buckled down in anticipation of Hurricane Irene's arrival early Sunday morning. Paul and I had our 72 hour kits ready, we had filled our bath-tubs with water in case we lost power and they couldn't pump water to our apartment, and we had two bags of M&M's. We went to bed Saturday night thinking that we would wake-up to trees and cars floating around the flooded city streets. Nothing happened. We had lots of rain and there was some wind, but nothing as strong as they had predicted. Battery Park City, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and places in NJ and CT certainly took the brunt of the hurricane. They had one reporter stationed near where we live and she had the audacity to report that the upper west side was in great shape. This after many of our friends and family had called and sent emails saying that they were praying for our safety and even suggesting that we were very brave to have stayed in the city when we could have fled. Please don't tell them that we hardly noticed the hurricane and actually we didn't even feel the earthquake either. Don't worry, Mother Nature, we still hold you in high regard.

The photos attached show me out on the pier just an hour after the worst of the storm had passed---see if you can tell if the wind is really blowing. The other photos are of the booksellers tables that sit on the street day and night. They were simply wrapped with tarps and rope and seemed untouched by the night's storm. These tables have been of interest to me for a long time. Each night, the booksellers just wrap the tables as shown and then the next day they show up and begin selling their books. From what I can tell no one bothers these tables during the night; this is a mystery to me and it also delights me.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Three Year Anniversary

While we have lived in New York City for three and a half years, we have only been in our condo for three years, as of July 26. I went back and looked at the photos from the very beginning of our journey to settle into the condo. When we first found this place, it was filled with all of the construction materials for the apartments below us, but that didn't deter us. We fell in love with the views and decided that this was the place for us. Buying a condo in New York is interesting, especially in a new building. You can set a closing date, but whether or not the building management company actually meets that deadline is pretty random. We had four closing dates and it would get to the day before we were supposed to close and they would cancel. Then I would have to re-schedule the movers, arrange to stay in our temporary housing for a little longer, and cancel all other appointments I had set up with utility companies etc. It was frustrating. Finally we get to July 26 and our attorney calls and says that he thinks it will really happen, but to sit by the phone. I wait and wait and then he calls and says, "be downtown with your certified check in 30 minutes." I scramble, run to the bank where they have the check waiting, grab a cab and turn the corner and the traffic is totally stopped. The cab driver turns around and says trust me? I nod and he turns around and goes in the exact opposite direction we needed to go. I kind of scream out, "I have to be at 100 Broadway by 1:00!" He turns around and smiles and says, "trust me." After going 15 blocks in the wrong direction, we hit the FDR and there is no traffic. He zips along, exits, winds through some tiny streets, and before I know it he turns around and says, "good luck." I jumped out and ran into the lawyer's office just as the clock struck one.
After the closing, I jumped on the subway and met Paul at our new home. The next day we moved in and the rest is history.
We never get tired of the views and find ourselves staring out the windows rather than doing our chores. While smaller than our other homes, we have managed to host many parties and family dinners and accommodate our children and grand children when they have come to visit.
It wouldn't be hard to fill up the guest room every night and for the first year, we were very willing hosts. With so many requests to stay at our place, we finally had to adopt a guest room policy which consists of three rules. 1. Family first. 2. We have to have met you before you can stay with us. 3. We have to be here. (Sorry, but if you aren't coming to see us you can't stay)
It's been a wonderful three years and I'll never forget my taxi driver who helped make this all possible.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

River to River Festival

Each summer the city hosts a festival celebrating venues between the East River and the Hudson River. Saturday Paul and I ventured down to the World Financial Center to see a performance by two groups. One was Australia's Strange Fruit and the Three Belles. These women came out and climbed up these long poles mounted on a base that allowed them to sway back and forth to music. Talk about needing rock solid abs! The performance was so much fun and made all the better by the nonchalant attitude of the women.
The second performance was by STREB and extreme action company. "Inspired by the Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas, Human Fountain involves performers leaping from as high as 30 feet from a three-story, open, honeycomb structure in order to create cascades of airborne liquid muscle. The outcome is a mixture of slam dancing, exquisite and amazing human flight, and wild action sport, which captures kids, adults and the general public's hearts, minds, and bodies." Wasn't it worth reading just to get to the part about "liquid muscle?"
We managed to fit in all this fun and even did some shopping and put in some miles on the bikes. A great Saturday.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

And the rockets red glare.....

Paul and I celebrated the 4th of July by riding our bikes down to Battery Park to salute the Statue of Liberty. It was a foggy morning so look carefully and you will see the lovely lady standing in the harbor. I remember my mother getting choked up every time a flag was raised or each time the flag was carried at the front of a parade. She cried whenever we saw something patriotic----memorials for soldiers, etc. I didn't understand when she tried to explain that she was crying because she was grateful for what the flag represented. And I assumed she was crying because my dad had served in two wars and she was grateful that he had returned home safely. As I teared up looking at Lady Liberty, I thought of my mom, and I now I understand.

After a day of reading and hanging out, we decided to stay home and watch the fireworks from our apartment. Six barges were in the Hudson River and perfectly timed fireworks were sent skyward from each barge. We not only had a great view, but it was air conditioned! We could see fireworks from several small towns in New Jersey, the Bronx, Harlem and somewhere on the east side. It was a delightful day.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Go ahead, make my day

Equinox, not the event, but the name of my gym is where you will find me most mornings. I leave about 6:00 each morning and walk the seven blocks to my gym for a spin class. The photo is evidence of how I look on the walk home----sweaty and not so cute. I walk past a senior living center on the way home and even on the cold days, several elderly people are sitting out on the sidewalk sipping coffee and socializing. One elderly man is always dressed very nicely and insists that I stop and shake his hand. His name is Bob. Without fail, Bob always says, "may I tell you that you are looking lovely this morning?" I know I don't, but I do notice that when I walk away I have a little spring in my step and a smile on my face. Today a new guy was sitting with them and he had to add his two cents by saying, "I like that wet look you have goin on."

It doesn't take much, so go ahead and make someone's day.

Monday, June 27, 2011

And the Tony goes to.....

As mentioned in the previous post, my sister Karen and her daughter Kira were here for a few days celebrating Kira's recent high school graduation. We were able to do so many things in the days they were here, but I think a highlight for Kira was standing outside the Beacon Theater (which is just a few blocks from our apartment) while the Tony Awards ceremony was being broadcast. We positioned ourselves at the back door of the theater and every award winner had to walk past us to go to another venue where they had the press and the actual award was given to them. They would then walk past us again, proudly holding their Tony, and walk back into the theater. Kira's great hope was that Daniel Radcliffe would walk by, but sadly he didn't appear. However, Bono did make an appearance along with Al Pacino, Robin Williams, Sutton Foster, all the winners from "The Book of Mormon" musical, the dancers from "Anything Goes", "Nunsense", "Memphis" and "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert", and the horse from War Horse. We saw lots of people who acted like they were famous, but we didn't know them.

Locks of Love

I walked the Brookyn Bridge two times this month. Once with my cousin Carolyn and her friend Patty and then again with my sister Karen and her daughter Kira. I am no stranger to the bridge because I have walked it a number of times and biked across a few times. And I have even read David McCullough's book about the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge. The Bridge celebrated it's 128th year this past May. However, there is something new on the bridge I had never noticed before----hundreds of locks attached to the wire fences, benches and bolts. We were curious as to why they were there and a little research turned up this result. Couples come to the bridge with a lock that has their names on it, they lock it to the bridge and throw the key into the river, forever locking their love to the bridge. So romantic! I am on the hunt for the perfect lock and before we leave this great city, Paul and I will lock our love to the Bridge. I get a bit weepy thinking about it.

Fleet Week

A few times each year, NYC hosts Fleet Week. On the first day, the ships glide up the Hudson River to the George Washington Bridge and then return to dock in the harbor for the week. This is just a glimpse of one boat as it floated past our apartment. We see the sailors walking the streets of New York in their bright, white uniforms. Some are appear startled and perplexed by the big city and bright lights. Others seem quite at home and are having a great time. And then there are those who are looking for love in all the wrong places.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Adventures with friends

Yes I have friends. A group of us have set aside the last Wednesday of each month to explore something new in the city. A few weeks ago we drove out to Teddy Roosevelt's family home on the north shore of Long Island. This month we were able to catch the Brooklyn Botanical gardens in full bloom. We have a list of things we want to do, but there was a hearty response to the idea that we explore the Short Hills, New Jersey Mall on our next outing. Crazy that a trip to the mall could seem like an adventure. With me driving, it will be an adventure for sure.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

February 1 Paul celebrated his three year anniversary of living in New York. April 4 marked my three year anniversary. We have loved being here and look forward to a few more years in the city, although as Paul likes to say, "we will find someplace warm to grow old." Living in the city presents some unique challenges, but I am learning to deal with those. I am often asked the question, "what do you like most about New York?" I am sorry, there is not a short answer to that question. I love the neighborhoods in the city. I love that Mr. Tom at the dry cleaners knows my name. I love Central Park. I love bike riding in the city. I love that I know how to drive in this crazy city. I love that I don't have to drive in this crazy city. I love plotting out my trips on the subway. I love spring time in the city. I love living close to the temple. I love seeing friends on the street in the neighborhood. I love the old man who always waves to me when I walk to the gym and yells, "you're lookin' swell this morning!" I love discovering new shops. I love watching families navigate around the city. I love seeing famous people in my neighborhood. I love the views from my apartment. I love meeting Paul every night to walk home with him from work. I love that our grand kids love New York. I love the carousel. I love watching the boats on the Hudson River. I love our friends. I love having a doorman and a super. I love living in New York with Paul. Not a day goes by that I don't giggle and say, "I live in New York City!"

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spring Training

One way to survive the winter is to go someplace warm for a few days. Feeling the sun on your face and being able to run around without being bundled up is such a relief. Our spring training trip this year involved time in Austin with three of our families and then a week in Phoenix watching spring training baseball. Paul was able to connect with a few of the players from the past.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sorry, cameras prohibited.

I want to say it was nearly 25 years ago that Paul introduced me to a singer named Michael Feinstein. Michael plays the piano and sings wonderful old songs and Broadway melodies. He opened a supper club in the Park Avenue Hotel, Loews Regency Hotel, and we have always wanted to go there. This year we made it our Valentine's celebration and went to hear Brooke Shields perform. Okay, I know what you are thinking, BROOKE SHIELDS?? You are right, she can't sing that well, but for some reason the whole evening was very entertaining. Her band was very good, she can tell a great story, and she sang some good songs---just not that well. The room is very intimate with seating for about 75 people. About ten minutes before the show was to begin a group of people walked in and there was immediate attention paid to them. They swept by our table and yes, I could have reached out and touched Joan Rivers. I was a little hurt that she didn't stop and at least criticize what I was wearing.
Sorry I can't document this with photos, but cameras were not allowed.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Extra, extra, read all about it!

The congregations that meet in our church building take turns shoveling the snow from the sidewalks when it storms. We knew a storm was coming so Paul and I planned to get up early and go shovel last Friday morning. We got to the church which is right across the street from Lincoln Center, at 6:00 a.m. and began shoveling. The street vendors were setting up their carts for the day and even though it was snowing and cold, many people were out getting their morning coffee and newspaper. The newspaper vendor on the corner by the church had to cross the street to do something and asked if we would watch her papers. I stood by her wire stand of papers and brushed the snow away and then noticed a gentleman standing a few feet away. He had a cup of coffee and I looked up and said "good morning." He then said, "I'll take a copy of the NY Times and handed me $1.50" So I handed him a paper. Right after that someone walked up and wanted a copy of the Post. She handed me 50 cents and I handed her the Post. I had a chance to make one more sale before the "real"vendor came back. Selling papers on the street corner was a once in a lifetime experience and now what's next....singing on Broadway, riding on the Zamboni at the Ranger's game, sleeping on a subway vent, walking the runways during Fashion Week....the possibilities are endless in this great city.

Friday, January 14, 2011


You have to be a true fan to know what the title of this blog means. Paul and I spent last Saturday night in Madison Square Garden watching the Professional Bull Riders. As Paul likes to say, "It's five action packed minutes stretched into three hours." At least we got to wear our boots and Paul broke out his open road cowboy hat for the night. Alot of people stared at him on the subway and believe me, there were stranger people riding in the same car with us. I suppose they just hadn't seen such a handsome cowboy in the city before.