Monthly Archives: June 2010

My Most Brooklynest Night

Filed under living in new york is neat, living in new york sucks so hard
Tagged as , ,

Anyone who’s lived in NYC for five minutes can tell you that the electric company, ConEd, sucks. Now that I’m nearly halfway to becoming a “real New Yorker” (they say it takes 10 years, and if how New York you are is based on how much you despise all other New Yorkers, I believe them), I have a few horror stories of my own. But Monday night’s takes the cake.

On Monday morning, I posted about tiny and therefore easily air-conditioned apartments being a good reason to never leave Manhattan, and Bachelor Girl said, “At least you live in a place where you will not DIE without air conditioning.” I should’ve known it was foreshadowing.

So, my friend Tessa was staying with me, as I mentioned, and after work that day, we met up with her-friend-who-I’ve-also-hung-out-with-once, Mark, and my friend Ash at Caravan of Dreams, a raw organic vegan restaurant that goes against everything I believe in but is delicious. Afterward, we went for a couple of hours of karaoke, which turned out to be amazing, because I somehow only make friends with people who have incredible voices.

Tessa and I got back to my apartment at around 11 p.m. and sort of started getting ready for bed but then ended up chatting for 45 minutes or so about how much better we are than everyone else, how people try to ruin our lives because we’re so great, the usual. And then all of the lights went out. Had I been awake alone and, say, in the bathroom, I would’ve freaked the hell out. As it was, we sat in shock for three seconds, and then I realized I was holding my BlackBerry and scrolled the trackwheel on it so the screen would give us a little light. The air conditioner was oddly still on, so I went over and switched it off to see if that would fix anything, and then we went to my bedroom window to see if the whole block was down, but the houses across the street were still lit. Tessa has some experience with fuse boxes, so she went to work on ours, flipping everything every which way, but nothing changed. I tried to turn the air conditioner back on, but of course it wouldn’t work anymore.

We slipped on our shoes and trudged out to the street, and while the houses across the street really were lit (with one smug asshole surfing on his computer right in front of his bay window), neighbors on my side of the street were all filing out of their houses in confusion. A ConEd emergency truck parked right in front of us and set about making some horrendous noise as it worked on the cables below the street, no doubt waking up anyone who had been sleeping peacefully and hadn’t noticed the power go out (my roommate).

We stood outside for perhaps 15 minutes, figuring 95 degrees and a slight breeze was better than 95 degrees and a non-functioning air conditioner, and then a girl from my building came out and announced that ConEd had called and left her a message about how it was a planned outage meant to last anywhere from two to six hours. WHO PLANS AN OUTAGE ON THE HOTTEST DAY OF THE YEAR THUS FAR? And who thought midnight, when there’s nowhere to be except your apartment, was a better idea than, say, noon, when most people are at work, anyway, and everyone else can just walk down the street to an air-conditioned coffee shop? Oh, ConEd.

The thing is–despite the fact that:

1) we had to sleep through the sweltering heat that night with no relief,
2) the two to six hours ConEd promised turned into twelve, and
3) Kamran’s Manhattan apartment has free and unlimited air conditioning,

I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. All of us hanging out on our stoops, my landlord’s non-English-speaking Italian mother coming out of our building in her housecoat, an old lady who still had electricity yelling from her window for everyone to shut up and let her sleep . . .

It was so Brooklyn.

Reasons to Never Leave Manhattan

Filed under living in new york sucks so hard
Tagged as ,


My long-time Internet friend Tessa of LiveJournal fame is in NYC for a couple of days and is giving me the immense pleasure of hosting her in my Brooklyn apartment. Which means I had to, you know, actually go home to my Brooklyn apartment for the first time since it got hot. I asked my roommate earlier in the summer if he’d help me install our ginormous window unit, and he informed me that air conditioning is not necessary and that all struggling artists go without it.

So I told him I’d see him in the fall.

But I went home yesterday afternoon to prepare for Tessa’s arrival, dragged the air conditioner out of one of our many closets (because you have many closets in Brooklyn, which is perhaps the only reason to live there next to cheap beer), politely coerced my roommate into helping me lift it into place, and learned that if I kept perfectly still and sat directly in front of it, I wouldn’t sweat.

I also learned that an air conditioner meant to cool a 350 square foot apartment doesn’t cool a 900 square foot apartment. And if I just lived in Manhattan, there’s no way I’d be able to afford a 900 square foot apartment.


The Case Against Cars (Especially Taxis)

Filed under living in new york sucks so hard, my uber-confrontational personality, stuff i hate
Tagged as , , , ,

I hate taxis.

I don’t think cars belong in New York City in general.

I think people who think they need to drive or taxi everywhere when there’s a perfectly awesome subway and train system are dumb.

I think if people didn’t take cabs everywhere after 11 p.m., the MTA would be forced to provide better after-hours service.

I’ll admit that I’ve enjoyed a ride home in my friend Beth’s car from time to time. I’ll admit that after a 5-hour dinner with Kamran, it feels good to be dropped off at his doorstep and rolled inside. And I’ll admit that our trip to the Hamptons last weekend might not have even been possible if my group of friends didn’t have four cars. But for the most part, I’d love to see cars banned in the city, and I’d happily give up my quick trips home from late-night karaoke if it meant there weren’t any taxis on the road.

More than cabs themselves, I hate the people who drive them. I really do. They’re generally smelly, generally unfriendly, and generally the worst drivers you’ve ever seen.

They cut each other off.

They nearly run over pedestrians at every turn.

They drive infinitely faster than the streets allow, leaving their passengers bumped and bruised.

It costs $2.50 to $3 just to sit down in one, which is already more than it costs to go as far as you want in the subway, and then you have getting charged for standing in traffic to look forward to. They expect to be tipped for their awful service and will grunt at you no matter how much extra you give. Hilariously, the default tip on the touchscreen payment system in the back of every cab is 20%, and it only goes up from there.

And my absolute biggest cab peeve is the way some of the drivers will cut across four lanes of traffic to pick you up. I understand that this sort of service should please me, but they inevitably have to drive an extra half-block to make it all the way over, and no, I’m not taking a walk down the street just for the pleasure of watching you almost cause three accidents, thanks.

Yet on my way home from the Hamptons on Sunday, I broke down and took a cab. My friends Ash and Michael had dropped me off near the 7 train in Queens with even more stuff than I’d left with: my purse, a bag of clothes, a bag of leftover food, a bag of my Rollerblading gear, and my Rollerblades themselves. That coupled with the fact that it was approximately 4000 degrees had left me more in the mood to eat the cold tails off a glass of disgusting cocktail shrimp than walk to Kamran’s apartment.

Oh, also? I had fallen down and hit my head on the asphalt on Friday while trying to learn to Rollerblade with the help of my friend Christine, so there was a searing headache to help me along. Oh, and also, I was stupid and got ridiculously sunburnt on my back and shoulders, so carrying anything on them was out of the question.

So I stood on the street outside of Grand Central, and I let a cab driver make a U-turn on 42nd Street to pick me up, and I paid him $5 to drive me a mere 2 avenue blocks and 1 street block, and I felt like it was worth every penny, even when he grunted at me.

Not only because I couldn’t hold on to those skates for another minute, but because while I’d been waiting outside of Grand Central, I’d tried to flag down a previous cab, but he’d been cruising at approximately 90 MPH and had whipped past me before slamming on his brakes. I knew he was waiting for me just a little way down the street, but my bags were on the ground, and there was no way I was going to pick them back up and walk with them. He eventually started honking at me, and you can bet I didn’t so much as look his way until he sped off again.

I win!

Kammy from the Block

Filed under creepy boyfriend obsession
Tagged as

Kamran’s thinking about applying for a clerkship once he graduates from law school, which means he’d spend a year writing opinions for a judge. Seeing as he’s a genius with 800 degrees, I’m sure he’ll end up with a super-important judge, but he’s not convinced:

Kammy from the Block

By “scrappy immigrant”, he means “snobby Persian who was raised in Laguna Beach”. By “science background”, he means “B.S. in physics from Caltech, Master’s and Ph.D. in physics from Princeton”. By “night-school J.D.”, he means “working by day as a patent agent and letting his law firm pay for his J.D. by night”.


The only reason I mention this–besides the hilarity of Kamran thinking he’s a gangsta who made it off the streets–is that it means he might move me to someplace like Pasadena or Chicago or D.C.! The horror. What could there possibly be to blog about in those God-forsaken places?!

I’m Going to the Hamptons!

Filed under living in new york is neat, par-tay
Tagged as ,

As you’re reading this, I’m on my way to spend the next four days with eleven of my closest friends in THE HAMPTONS!

The apparent view from our back deck

Our house has a pool! And I’m bringing my new Rollerblades so my friend Christine can attempt to teach me to skate on the boardwalk and fail miserably! And we’re going to have “Top Chef”-style cooking competitions! And my friend Chantee says she wants to be on my team because she “trusts my palate more than most Food Network stars'”! And hopefully we’ll escape the weekend without anyone getting alcohol poisoning or accidentally sleeping together!

It’ll be my first time there, and just the idea of it makes me feel all snobby and pretentious. I love that.