September 30, 2010
September 28, 2010
Yesterday, I found out a friend of mine was moving at the week’s end so being in the moment, I scrapped earlier intentions of working out and scrambled to find somewhere for us to meet for drinks in Midtown post-work.
This area of the Big Apple can be tricky. It has some of the most wonderful restaurants, but subsequently, the prices can be too much for my Off the Market, In the Moment, On a Budget self. So I nixed my big-spender notions of lounging with champagne in the Algonquin Hotel lobby or bellying up to the infamous King Cole Bar at the St. Regis in favor of another idea given to me by NYMag.com: Sofia’s Wine Bar.
The magazine has never led me wrong, but with Manhattan, the truth is you just never know (though let’s be honest, my toes were hurting so much from walking four avenues in heels that by the time I got there, I would have stayed put no matter what the spot looked like). As it was, Sofia’s swept my friend and me off our tired little feet.
I arrived early and ventured in to the dimly lit, brick-walled café solo and looking lost but was made to feel immediately at home by the handsome Italian bartender who greeted me with “Hello Bella.” Swoon. My friend came in moments later, and we were given our pick of seating in the cozy restaurant as another handsome Italian, our waiter, arrived to offer suggestions on the more than 80 wines offered by the glass. Though we were one of “those” tables that couldn’t commit to a choice right away (we hadn’t seen each other in months and had to catch up before focusing on the menu), he was patient and even brought a few selections for my friend to taste before making her selection.
The service had already won our favor, but we were further wooed by the simple, homey touches. Mix-matched plates and dishtowels serving as napkins created a feeling of sitting in your Nonnna’s kitchen. Small plates were available, in addition to the standard antipasti, and we happily shared a margherita pizza between us, which was both tasty as well as the perfect portion. Amid bites, I think we said “I love this place,” ten times. And let’s not forget, you can always tell a quality spot by the restaurant’s WC, which I found to be cozy (as strange as that sounds) with fun touches such as olive oil handwash.
In the Moment: Already dubbed a Critics’ Pick by New York magazine, I expected the spot to be packed. But despite our last minute plans, it was easy to grab a table when we arrived and we were never rushed, despite the fact we were slow to both order and eat.
Off the Market: Sofia’s is a great spot off the busier avenues for catching up with friends and significant others, but it’s also Off the Market Friendly. Unlike some other venues, I would be totally comfortable enjoying a glass solo at the bar, chatting with the friendly staff. In fact, a few people were winding down their day without giving off the “weird single guy” or “girl wanting to be picked up” vibe.
On a Budget: The price point mid-range, but the service, food, and wine were most excellent, and the ability to split a meal won us over. The breakdown: $22 on half a pizza and a full glass of Sauvignon Blanc. This is a must-know-about spot for anyone working in Midtown who wants to avoid the crowd of P.J. Clarke’s or the exorbitant dollar signs of hotel bars.
Sofia’s Wine Bar
242 East 50th Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenues)
September 27, 2010
-Watching my beautiful friend walk down the aisle-such a precious moment!
-Laughing as the groom practically forgot his line-is it "Yes" or "I do"????
-Seeing a former flame with his gorgeous new girlfriend (and her beautiful Louboutins!) and not feeling jealous, despite my single status....
As I was thereby able to flirt with the many single (thank goodness) males, many of which are friends that I've had crushes on throughout the years. And I was overdue for some crushing!
-Tasting frozen mojitos for the first time-they're even yummier than the original.
-Being the first on the dance floor with two of my friends-after an awkward few minutes, the rest of the group took pity on us and got jiggy with it Will Smith-style. I'm pretty sure I busted out a Roger Rabbit at some point in the evening as well...
-Grooving with the groom for "Single Ladies"-he rocks it better than Beyonce herself!
-Trying (and failing again) to catch that darn bouquet. It pays to be tall in this contest but regardless of the outcome, I somehow still walked away with the bouquet at the end of the evening. That's got to count for something!
-Drinking the largest beer of my life at Jeremy's Ale House-it took two of my little hands to not spill this 32-ouncer. A career as a beer maiden is not in my future.
-Dinner at Artichoke pizza-a first time visit for me and a must-stop for future pizza cravings in the East Village.
-Ending the night with karaoke at Planet Rose and a rendition of Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire with buddies A. and P. Had a blast, but my heart still belongs to Sing-Sing even though the bartenders at this bar despense free NYC condoms- since when are karaoke bars a hotspot for getting lucky?
-Being one of the last ones standing and still getting in bed by 10:30pm. And that, my friends, is priceless.
So now that wedding season has concluded, I can't help but feel a bit sad. There are no more bachelorettes, crazy Kozak moments, or let's face it, free dinners in my near future. So if any of you are wondering whether to pop the question, DO IT. I'm counting on you because 'til next year...
I'm Off the Market & In the Moment!
September 23, 2010
September 22, 2010
A colleague of mine asked about the progress of the blog last night. Was I turning down dates left and right? Am I pressing palms with the publishing folk I know for possible book deal leads? No, I'm not on track to be the next Candace Bushnell because instead of being out and about in the city's hotspots, I'm home trying to maintain my sanity by setting up traps.
How off is that? This is New York City after all so thankfully, a few furry visitors are not a reflection of our housekeeping skills. Kelly Ripa has even had them on the 60-something floor! Instead, it's a symptom of the cool weather, living above countless restaurants, the work being done in our building and most importantly--the tiny little hole that exists behind our dish washer that I'm positive serves as some sort of welcome mat for our little visitors.
It takes a few weeks to realize that they've arrived yet again. I want life to stay as blissful as before so for awhile, it's easy to ignore the telltales signs--such as unaccounted for rustling behind appliances when lights are off--because I just don't want to believe it's true. And then if you actually see a little guy? Well, they're cute! Just as sweet-looking as any pet so you foolishly convince yourself into thinking he's just passing through and no harm will come of him hanging out for a bit.
Then, it's too late. Hell breaks lose, and the mice take over my existence.
That was last fall, but thankfully, we're not as bad as all that this year. YET. And I'd like to think I've learned my lesson not to wait around when I get a whiff of trouble in the air (or see poop in the corner).
Now what about those TWO-legged rats running around the city and portraying themselves as cute-faced cuddlebuddies?
I want to say I'm doing a better job of detecting guys with bad intentions, but I'm really not sure. There are a few boyfriends from relationships past where I've only just now begun to wonder if I wasn't played. But there's a fine, fine line to walk so as not to become a jaded female in this city, and I prefer to stay on the optimistic side rather than remain bitter. I'm sure that this is to my detriment, but I lean towards thinking the human condition is innocent, kind and well-meaning until proven not. And frankly, a girl can get depressed if she thinks he said what he said to possibly get ahead in the game, and who are we kidding, I'm already walking along the edge after playing exterminator at 4am.
So time to go home and do some major killing tonight before we're overrun by the suckers. But before you pass judgment on our deeds, remember I gave you the benefit of the doubt.
Being sexy in the city will have to wait.
I'm Off the Market & In the Moment!
September 17, 2010
EXCUSE ME? So apparently, my control freakiness is also coming out in my singing in addition to other parts of my life. Which means that things are probably not going to go much better until I learn to let it flow.
Ok, so I'm hearing yet again I'm being told to take a break. Don't work so hard. Let go. Unwind. Don't worry, be happy.
I would like to coast a bit, but the more I try to just enjoy the ride, the more uncomfortable it is. It's like when I'm flying down a rollercoaster track at breakneck speed and while it's exciting, it sure is scary, not to mention, makes my stomach flop. If I release the bars to let my hands fly up, I may fly out of the car and splatter on the pavement next to the carousel.
So yes, being in control makes me feel much more comfortable, but it's obviously limiting my experience in various aspects of my life. What's the worst that can happen if I let myself go?
In singing, I may hit a wrong note. Well, I've done that before and lived to tell the tale (though I'm still haunted by my fifth grade talent show). OR, I may finally hit that awesomely high belt I know I can because I constantly do it in the shower or while bar-hopping (inhibitions lowered).
Similarly, when I've been relaxed and let relationships unfold, I had the best time of my life. When it started to make me nervous? I held onto it for dear life and subsequently, pushed it away.
I don't even have to explain how being organic affects acting, my other passion. All in the Method.
OK. deep breath It's pretty obvious that not only do I have to be in the moment this year, but I have to organically be in the moment as well. But the confusing part is how to get there. Do I really just let go and let life unfold? And does that mean hard work isn't as essential to having an open mind? Is it all about re-focusing your energy? Or caring less?
I'm sure fear is a big culprit, but I don't know how to get past it with out pushing myself again. So I guess I'll be stuck for the moment. And that is me being truthfully, organic.
I'm Off the Market & In the Moment!
September 15, 2010
- Woke up at 7:50am; snoozed until 7:55am. Breakfast & caffeine fix #1-Green tea.
- Running late so took subway. Hot guy radar is on & ready but NO RESULTS.
- Check voicemail, scan email, and caffeine fix #2-Diet Coke, only utilized in emergency situations
- 10:45am Conference call with novelist. Diet Coke has yet kicked in so I managed to jumble "reciprocity" when trying to explain social media.
- 11:45am Sprint two avenues and one block to Sirius XM to meet another novelist for interview. Manage bubbly yet power publicist demeanor while still casting sideways glances at National Hockey Players standing in elevator vestibule. Love the perks of the job!
- 12:45pm Primp on the run to lunch at The Modern. Manage to slow down long enough to enjoy decadent bites of goat cheese salad, monkfish, and Caffeine #3 & 4-iced tea- and #5-cappucino.
- 2:30pm Still starving (damn those small-albeit yummy-plates), check emails and fight the caffeine haze
- 3:30pm Powerwalk ten blocks to client meeting #3
- 5:30pm Bus it back (walking is overrated) to check email and inhale breakfast bar (oh how we fall from Danny Meyer amazingness back to FiberOne).
- 6:30pm Rush to St. Bart's Players audition; calm down long enough to sing moderately well yet totally forgot to act.
- 8:00pm Powerwalk across midtown to babysit. Swing by Subway and fight meatball urge and go for healthy turkey, with DORITOS. But baked version!
- 8:30pm Discover parents have HBO on Demand! True Blood-season 3, episode 1
- 9:30pm True Blood-episode 2. Wait for callback from audition.
- 10:30pm True Blood-episode 3. Wait for callback from audition.
- 11:30pm Give up on callback and chalk another audition up to "experience." Spend hard earned cash on $6 taxi from 55th street to Times Square where there are bodies on the street. Subway home.
- MIDNIGHT Discover #2 cute guy heading in building at the same time!
- 1:00am FINIS.
Must make a point to have more power days.
I'm Off the Market & In the Moment!
September 14, 2010
I was once working on a relationship book at the same time I had just started seeing someone. As a result, my Facebook profile was often flooded with tips and how-to’s from the book which made for interesting conversation between the guy and me, especially when I posted that every lady should have a Must Have/Can’t Stand List for potential partners. I’ve always had a rough draft of this in my head, but I was surprised when the guy actually asked if I had such a list and if so, what was on it. Instead of being truthful and forward, I jokingly said it was my secret, only alluding that laughter was a priority so he could thankfully, mark off that item.
During a low point of loneliness and exhaustion last night, I thought of my list, or rather lack of one. Now keep in mind, the list isn't meant to find a perfect person, but rather, a guideline for what qualities in a partner are important to you. Since I don’t have my qualities on paper, it’s no surprise that my Must-Have’s/Can’t Stands tend to get fuzzy once chemistry enters the scene. So what better time than now to create one while I’m Off the Market and (somewhat) clear-headed?
· Family. I’m not saying now or five years from now, but kids and pets are part of my picture
· Commitment. I need someone who will both pursue me as well as fight for our relationship if/when times get rocky
· Laughter. Enough said!
· A sense of adventure, found in the simplest form of just trying new things or in the most amazing form, a love of travel
· Ambition, either in his career or another passion
· Good finances. I don’t expect anyone to be responsible for my cash flow so I expect to be with someone who can take care of his
· Brains and a lot of ‘em. I’m a bit of a nerd and need someone who can actively participate in good conversation and better yet, witty banter
· Spirituality. Couples are better with it than without it, in my opinion.
· Attraction. Yes, it fades with age, but who are we kidding? If we’re not feeling each others’ looks, the road is going to look really, really long.
· Having to do all the planning myself. Yes, I’m organized and enjoy planning exciting adventures, but 50 years of doing all of it is not going to fly
· Close-mindedness. If it’s your way or the highway, don’t bother knocking on my door. I need someone who knows how to “agree to disagree” and “compromise”
· Slobs. I have a pile of laundry just like everyone else, but I don’t want to be someone’s maid.
· Excessive drinking and smoking. There, I said it, and I’ve probably ostracized half of Manhattan now. While I love, love, love margarita and Blue Moon, late nights out, and partying (and I’ve definitely had my fair share of mornings spent with head over the toilet), I also want someone who knows the value in taking care of himself for both his sake and his family. While this isn’t a deal-breaker per se, being constantly hungover makes it difficult to go on must-have adventures.
Strangely, I feel a sense of progress having made this list. I guess it comes down to figuring out what I want, which is what this year is all about.
I'm Off the Market & In the Moment!
September 13, 2010
I wasn't seeking these people out, but everywhere I turned, it seemed that New Yorkers were paired up like they were about to board an ark or something. And once you notice a few couples, you pick up on more and more and more. The people canoodling in front of me at Madison Square Park did not improve matters, but even more so, it really frustrated me that 1-I noticed at all and 2-I felt left out. I had just posted that I was acclimating pretty well to Off the Market living, too. Why am I suddenly missing being in a relationship?
Thankfully, I was saved from over-analyzing from my acting teacher when he bestowed upon me a good-looking scene partner who I'll be working with for the coming month(s) AND a scene by Dorothy Parker (how weird that only the day before I had been wanting a copy of her collection and here was not only my excuse to buy it, but live it out?).
Not familiar with Ms. Parker? Well, if you love quick wit coupled with martinis and 1920's fashion, you must check her out. Here are a few teasers:
"Brevity is the soul of lingerie."
"Three be the things I shall never attain: Envy, content, and sufficient champagne."
"I wish I could drink like a lady. I can take one or two at the most. Three and I'm under the table. Four and I'm under the host."
"I hate writing, I love having written."
"Four be the things I'd have been better without: love, curiosity, freckles and doubt."
Parker was a critic, a member of the infamous Algonquin Round Table and a writer in her own right; I'm working on one of her hilarious short stories, The Sexes, which takes a clever look at the ridiculous misspeaking which occurs between genders. Who needs relationships? I'll be busy fighting in the battle of the sexes this semester.
Before sparring, it's time to get to know my partner-quickly and intimately-while we figure out how to work together and whether we have the chemistry it takes to go the distance.
Hmm...sounds a bit like dating, doesn't it?
I'm Off the Market & In the Moment