Showing stories tagged with: nyc

The Value of Consistency

<p>This morning Juliet went to grab a coffee & cherry-cheese danish from <a href="http://www.atlas-cafe.com/">Atlas Café</a> a block away. We've been indulging lately 'cause we're out of grinds and I love those danishes (but still not coffee, despite a post-Jane effort to learn).</p> <p>There were none in the display, but they handed a bag to Juliet that they'd set aside, and said they only got a few and didn't want us to miss ours. Awwww.</p> <p>It's not something you imagine when you picture it writ large, but New York is easily the neighbourhoodiest place I've ever lived.</p>
Name
This is what will show up as the comment author
Potato
Type in the word 'potato'. This is advanced anti-spam technology.
Comment
I might delete your comment for reasons including spam, annoyance, things I wouldn't want my mother to read, ruining surprises, etc. That said, I do love receiving comments.

Donuts

<p>I was smiling. And hungry. And breakfast was 30 minutes away. Like a mirage, in the distance, I spotted -- or was it? -- a Donut Pub. Walking onward in the crisp morning, one thing became inevitable.</p> <p>There was a brief hesitation when I realized I had the responsibility to choose all twelve types with speed and accuracy; "Just a mix," I abdicated, "heavy on the chocolate is probably good." I cringed a little as he used excessive amounts of wax paper -- one sheet for every two he withdrew from the trays. Around number eleven, I spied my favourite. "And an apple fritter, please." "Those are a different price," the man behind the counter replied in that uniquely gruff but friendly New York style. "But I'll put one in anyway." Apparently having had his generosity triggered, he proceeded to sprinkle round-dough balls over the box.</p> <p>He closed it up, and began quickly and deftly bundling it up with string. "You've done this before, I see," I smiled. "Too many times" he said with a weary smile.</p> <p></p>
Name
This is what will show up as the comment author
Potato
Type in the word 'potato'. This is advanced anti-spam technology.
Comment
I might delete your comment for reasons including spam, annoyance, things I wouldn't want my mother to read, ruining surprises, etc. That said, I do love receiving comments.

People Watching

<p>At 6th Ave, on the L. The doors sit open; we're blocked by train traffic.</p> <p>A man, seated, perks up surprised and shouts a name muffled by my iPod. He bustles out of the train, gives the named woman a handshake and a hug. A few gestures later the wander off down the platform. Random encounter worth changing plans for? Absent-minded rider-man? Confused meeting point?</p> <p>Who knows. City livin'. </p>
Name
This is what will show up as the comment author
Potato
Type in the word 'potato'. This is advanced anti-spam technology.
Comment
I might delete your comment for reasons including spam, annoyance, things I wouldn't want my mother to read, ruining surprises, etc. That said, I do love receiving comments.

City Livin'

<p> "You go to hell! Like yo' motha! You an' you motha are goin' to hell!" -- Angry man yelling at another angry man outside my building </p>
Name
This is what will show up as the comment author
Potato
Type in the word 'potato'. This is advanced anti-spam technology.
Comment
I might delete your comment for reasons including spam, annoyance, things I wouldn't want my mother to read, ruining surprises, etc. That said, I do love receiving comments.

The Gentlemen Must Have Pants

<p> Josh and I joined a bunch of my workfolk for a dinner out, and then went with one of them to a bar her friends were at, called (and located at) 230 5th Ave.</p> <p>We walked in the door, a little confused 'cause it looked very residential. Once we decided we could just go through, a an short, elderly man said "Excuse me, ma'am. The gentlemen must have pants."</p> <p>And so we left. </p>
Name
This is what will show up as the comment author
Potato
Type in the word 'potato'. This is advanced anti-spam technology.
Comment
I might delete your comment for reasons including spam, annoyance, things I wouldn't want my mother to read, ruining surprises, etc. That said, I do love receiving comments.

Montauk

<p>[Written on the train back from Montauk yesterday morning]</p> <p>I went to bed early last night, depleted from an accidental century from Babylon to Montauk point and with an early rise to catch the only morning train back to NYC.</p> <p>I woke up at 4, then 5:20, then 5:59, just in time to silence my alarm with waking anyone up. I'm on a train now, for which I was short on cash, and rescued by a stranger to the tune of $5.25. He's American, she's Japanese, and they're headed back to Tokyo.</p> <p>The ride was one of the finest I've ever done -- long, good company, gorgeous sunshine (from whence came some good tan marks), 25km/h tailwind, wide shoulders with only occasional rough spots, and a tasty (but overpriced) lunch in "The Hamptons".</p> <p>We got to the campground after 80 miles (ahh! 128km) and were told it was 4mi (6.4 in sane, metric units) to the lighthouse. Off we went! 10 miles (16km) later, we got there. Surreptitiously, we had celebratory beer on the rock beach (which had awesome surfing waves, except that each of which ended up with death on some hidden rock).</p> <p>By the time we got back, a century was completed. We collapsed, took off our most uncomfortable clothing, then began eating everything in sight. This was a supported ride, in that some other folks had driven and trained down with our stuff, which was lovely.</p> <p>I feel super-awake this morning, with only minor soreness. Still going to nap my way through the train ride, though. =)</p> <p>Hurray summer! </p>
Name
This is what will show up as the comment author
Potato
Type in the word 'potato'. This is advanced anti-spam technology.
Comment
I might delete your comment for reasons including spam, annoyance, things I wouldn't want my mother to read, ruining surprises, etc. That said, I do love receiving comments.

I went to the Bronx!

<p> You know sometimes if you haven't called your mum in a while, and you know you need to catch up, you feel like you need to find a good chunk of time before you pick up the phone?</p> <p>Yeah. Blogging's like that too. But too bad. </p> <p><a href="http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=2862515">I went to the Bronx!</a>. By bike. On Monday. Just barely went over the bridge to touch down, and then came back. I've now finally been to all five boroughs, four on bicycle, two only to touch down and return (Staten Island ferry being the other one.)</p> <p>Two more parties, a bunch more cycling, been across the Williamsburg bridge, ...[looks at last entry]...oh boy! Been to California by bus (64 hours. Not that crazy.) for three weeks of couchsurfing and working..then flew back. Went wine-"tasting" while I was there (I was the designated drinker). Lost my iPhone, started using my gPhone, started <em>liking</em> my gPhone a few weeks later, had my team shuffled a bit at work, and many other important things I'm forgetting. Oh, had a friend and his gf visit from Germany, had <a href="http://paulschreiber.com/blog/">Paul</a> come for a few days, and Josh is coming this weekend and my parents are coming next weekend. D was here somewhere in there, too. =) </p>
Name
This is what will show up as the comment author
Potato
Type in the word 'potato'. This is advanced anti-spam technology.
Comment
I might delete your comment for reasons including spam, annoyance, things I wouldn't want my mother to read, ruining surprises, etc. That said, I do love receiving comments.

48 kilometers

<p>I rode to what seemed to be the north end of the West Side Trail today, at about 155th St. I'm not sure if it actually was, but the path turned to dirt. Incidentally, that means I've now been to the Bronx, though I didn't realize it at the time. The transition between neighbourhoods as you go along the trail is palpable: on the Upper West Side there are lovely benches and nice wide spaces; through other parts there are people playing basketball on courts tucked under overpasses. Sometimes the path was side and split between pedestrian and cycle/roller traffic, and sometimes there was a half-meter wide pedestrian "lane". </p> <p><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/album/aYG32vlKF3cES9Ec4WSiVqNMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0#"><img class="right" src="/images/website/IMG_7698.JPG"></a>I had my first proper random encounter with someone I know, while cycling back down the path when I bumped into someone I'd met two nights before. Wait, actually, second random encounter, 'cause I met her after randomly encountering two friends at the cinema. It's almost like I live here.</p> <p>The return over the Brooklyn Bridge was by far the worst I've ever had, with people leaping out in front of me and not looking even when they were walking facing me. I accidentally scared one older woman ('cause I didn't realize she was older) who was walking right towards me as I yelled and gestured and she noticed rather late. Oops. It was my moment of being a jerky New Yorker, though only by accident.</p> <p>Tonight I had a long chat with the founder of <a href="http://www.ecosanity.org/">EcoSanity</a>, a Toronto-based organization that I like a lot for their uncompromising spouting of the truth, and their attempt to push the term "Climate Emergency" into the public consciousness. As an act of support I'm going to start using the term.</p> <p>Yesterday I had a Pi/Pie party for <a href="http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10194354-38.html">Pi Day</a> and that was pretty good. Less than half coworkers (partly because of lots of spouses [spice? spousen?]), which is good. I think people had a good time, and hopefully there's some momentum building. I really need to do something course-like to extend my social range, though. Maybe I'll go back to Yoga for a bit.</p> <p>On Wednesday I went to see "<a href="http://www.vampirecowboys.com/shows.htm">Soul Samurai</a> and it was totally excellent &mdash; the kind of stage show I like the most: slightly edgy, cheap and innovative, funny and well-acted. There was an incredible amount of stage fighting, which I think people fail to appreciate in this era of special effects.</p> <p>A very New Yorkey week, with a sprinkling of Toronto. </p>
Name
This is what will show up as the comment author
Potato
Type in the word 'potato'. This is advanced anti-spam technology.
Comment
I might delete your comment for reasons including spam, annoyance, things I wouldn't want my mother to read, ruining surprises, etc. That said, I do love receiving comments.

18 Degrees Celsius

<p> Freedom is spelled b-i-c-y-c-l-e.</p> <p>Weather warm enough for shorts is awesome. So is sitting in the park with my sis &amp; nephew. I've never wanted wintry weather to go away as much as I do right now. (My knee still seems sub-par from a run two weeks ago, but I think I'm going to ride home sometime this week anyway and see how it goes.)</p> <p>24 hours of oncall and no pages so far. And a clean-ish apartment to show for it. Oh, also, I finally have a reasonable approximation of curtains in my bedroom, to replace the unreasonable approximation made of string and the squishy wrapping bag that my TV came in. It only took me 4 months, people.</p> <p>Baingan bharta (= Indian eggplant curry) under preparation.</p> <p>'sgood. </p>
Name
This is what will show up as the comment author
Potato
Type in the word 'potato'. This is advanced anti-spam technology.
Comment
I might delete your comment for reasons including spam, annoyance, things I wouldn't want my mother to read, ruining surprises, etc. That said, I do love receiving comments.

Experimenting with Schedules

<p> On Monday, I got back at 7:25 on an overnight bus returning from a trip to my parents' place north of Toronto. Straight to work I went, in by 8am (and in time for breakfast at work like a spoiled weenie) for the first time ever. I left at a reasonable time mostly 'cause I wanted to go home and shower/change after an overnight bus trip. </p> <p>Tuesday started with a 7:50am wakeup from oncall who wanted a bit of help. I'm the lead for my team now, so this kinda falls to me automatically. Dealt with that, and got in to work in time for breakfast again.</p> <p>By Wednesday I had decided this was a habit, caught breakfast despite catching the train the wrong way for one stop thanks to confused signage at my under-construction subway stop. (Yes, dear reader, I'm sure it was the signage and not me that was confused. One stairwell said "Manhattan/Flatbush" (i.e. two different directions depending on which of the two tracks down that stairwell you got on a train) and the other said "MANHATTAN" in big letters. Not wanting to get confused, I went down the Manhattan stairs, and got on the first train that came, which was headed for...Flatbush. Wednesday night the power went out. In the old days, I'd like up a candle and do in-the-dark things. But these days as a fancy pants oncall must-survive-everything guy, I have a laptop with a spare battery and a 3G/EVDO USB wireless internet magic. By 10:30 my first battery was dying and I didn't want to dig into the second one, so off to bed I went. </p> <p>Thursday's commute was brutal: too-full trains that you couldn't get on, slow, and generally unpleasant. This is what happens when you sync your clock with the other 8 trillion people here, though I'm not sure why it was so much worse than Wednesday or Tuesday.</p> <p>Today (Friday) I got up early and I'm trying to work from home 'til 9:30 or so, when things should calm down. I'm not sure if it'll work, since I've mostly been reading blogs and..err..writing blogs. </p> <p>Despite the fact that this week's experimentations were mostly the product of serendipity, it's good because my commute is really bugging me. The narrative right now is that I'm waiting until I can cycle for about four weeks straight, and if I still don't like my commute then I'm moving closer, either in a closer part of Brooklyn or more likely into Manhattan. That will take a while, since I have to find a new 'hood, weasle out of a lease without losing deposits, etc. </p> <p> </p>
Name
This is what will show up as the comment author
Potato
Type in the word 'potato'. This is advanced anti-spam technology.
Comment
I might delete your comment for reasons including spam, annoyance, things I wouldn't want my mother to read, ruining surprises, etc. That said, I do love receiving comments.

One Hundred Fifty Dollars of Nom

<p><img src="/images/website/IMG_7022_small.jpg" style="text-align: center"><br></p> <p>That's from my first shop at the <a href="http://www.foodcoop.com/">Food Co-op</a> and in tune with my <a href="/blog/life/nyc/shrinking-feet.html">attempt at a dietary change</a>. Nom nom nom. I bought some canned pumpkin and coconut milk and cilantro, which tomorrow will turn into a delicious soup with any luck. </p> <p>When I got out of the store it was snowing, and by the time I had biked home with all that on my back and handlebars, there was a nice thick coating on the cars &mdash; snow is so pretty.</p> <p>&hearts; food.</p> <p></p>
Name
This is what will show up as the comment author
Potato
Type in the word 'potato'. This is advanced anti-spam technology.
Comment
I might delete your comment for reasons including spam, annoyance, things I wouldn't want my mother to read, ruining surprises, etc. That said, I do love receiving comments.

Shrinking My Feet

<p><a href="http://foodcoop.com/"><img class="left" src="/images/website/parkslopefoodcoop.jpg"></a>At 19:29:55, I plonked down in a plastic chair beside my sister at the <a href="http://foodcoop.com/">Park Slope Food Co-op</a> after riding straight there from work &mdash; "latecomers will not be allowed" the website said of the orientation session, so my timing was most superb. </p> <p>My sister tells me that, as they went over the various rules of the co-op working system I was nodding vigorously at their excellent policy choices, though I don't remember doing so. Every co-op member has to work 2.75 hours every four weeks. You have to pick a fixed shift (mine is 7am Wednesdays on week B of the four-week schedule), and some shift schedules are popular and thus full, and if you can't take an open one you have to plonk your name on a waiting list before you can join. If you travel a lot they have an alternative, more flexible system; if you don't like your shift schedule you can change to any other open one; if you can't make a specific shift you can trade, but if you just don't show up you owe two. If you fall behind you get suspended, but you have 10 days from the first time you're told you're suspended (at the door of the co-op, to get in) to correct clerical errors or make up your shifts. All very excellent, fair, and accommodating without needing a lot of flexible judgement calls. Apparently it used to be a lot more lax, and the co-op nearly collapsed. </p> <p>They now have 15,000 members and do $27M/y in business, so nearly $2000 per member per year, though it was unclear to me if that number included suspended and inactive members. It's the largest food co-op in the US, if I recall correctly. </p> <p>They have a strong <a href="http://foodcoop.com/go.php?id=39">environmental policy</a>, and thus this attacks one major prong of the food issue for me: where it comes from, how it's grown, and how it gets to me. The co-op is at a large enough that it's unlikely to suffer from small-scale issues like some farmers' market purchases can (driving a small truck of tomatoes is more expensive per tomato-mile than a large one), and it's careful enough that I hope I can shop there almost without thinking.</p> <p>The other prong is what I'm actually eating. Thus, complementing this, I've now spent three days dabbling in the diet I've had in mind for a while: vegan plus eggs and dairy only if they're organic and only inasmuch as I "need" to enjoy my food. (You can also call this lacto-ovo vegetarian with all animal products being organic, but I think that description, while perhaps more honest, would result in more confused times when people kind enough to try to match my dietary preferences misunderstand the parameters &mdash; "vegan", despite being incorrect, sets the scene better.) My sister has been buying a lot of "know the farmer" meat and I've been dabbling (bacon is yum!), but the aesthetic (and, somewhat, environmental) arguments just won't go away &mdash; this is descriptive, not prescriptive, though: I support what she's doing, it's just not the diet for me. But it forced my hand, somewhat: I've never really felt okay about eating factory-farmed eggs and cheese, but I've ignored it as too inconvenient. However, if my sister is managing to find this stuff enough to be eating it reasonably regularly, there's really no excuse any more. </p> <p>(Hah, I thought this "living alone" stuff might make me stop being a night owl, since the first couple "normal" nights were pretty early for me, but it's 2am and I'm blogging about feet.) </p>
Name
This is what will show up as the comment author
Potato
Type in the word 'potato'. This is advanced anti-spam technology.
Comment
I might delete your comment for reasons including spam, annoyance, things I wouldn't want my mother to read, ruining surprises, etc. That said, I do love receiving comments.

Arrive

<p> It's with a decided sense of irony that I'm finally writing the complementary post to <a href="/blog/life/sabbatical/depart.html">the last one</a> from a flight from JFK (New York) to SFO (San Francisco). But it's true &mdash; this morning I got a kitchen table, four chairs, a rocking chair, and a beanbag chair to supplement the boxes of stuff my dad brought down with him from Ontario (thanks dad!). It turned my kitchen from a depressing one-fork town to a proper-looking place of cullinary enjoyment, and gave me more than the suitcase-load of clothes to rotate through &mdash; hurray! Now I just need some food in the cupboards! Moving is "the one thing" I really really can't do independently 'cause I don't drive, and my moving karma is at an all-time low, so if I'm ever in the area when you need help with a move, please let me know.</p> <p>It's good to be back at work, and I'm slowly settling into my new project and new location; it's pretty weird joining a team when you're the "most senior" employee (by start date) but are rusty and uncertain in your own knowledge from a long respite, and certainly in new turf with its own local culture. I'm not sure I navigated it superbly, but nor did I make an utter ass of myself. I hope. There are several former-Dubliners here too, which has been really nice for having a hook into the goings on of various teams and instant pints-after-work.</p> <p><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/rob.ewaschuk/ArrivalInNYC#5263887925908644674"><img class="left" src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/_ZCr5cqHXhA4/SQ0WLelAo0I/AAAAAAAAEhY/-fSu7fsOw0o/s128/IMG_6622.JPG"></a>I've started learning about New York a bit &mdash; <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/rob.ewaschuk/ArrivalInNYC">Hallowe'en</a> night was fun and involved lots of ambling around lower Manhattan &mdasah; but between work, settling in, hanging out with my sister and her fam, I haven't explore much still. There's no rush though, and it turns out it's a pretty big place so it may take a while.</p> <p><a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/rob.ewaschuk/ArrivalInNYC#5263888045088241746"><img class="right" src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/_ZCr5cqHXhA4/SQ0WSajo-FI/AAAAAAAAEhs/OnfeUBwo0rE/s128/IMG_6644.JPG"></a>My apartment is good &mdash; I always expect one unanticipated (or, when you're lucky, anticipated!) quirk in any place I rent, and in this case the "Frankie" subway shuttle is louder than I expected: no big deal during waking hours, and it's totally tolerable for sleeping with the windows closed...hopefully by the time it's the season to have windows open I'm used to it. The neighbourhood is hard to gauge. I've met a few of my neighbours, but haven't had much reason to strike out in the immediate vicinity of my building.</p> <p>I am delightedly shocked with the cycling in Manhattan. It's got a wonderful flow to it, and feels much safer than Dublin (with less attentive drivers making more sudden moves) and even Toronto (cursed streetcar tracks!). Most of my commute is on dedicated bike path on the Brooklyn Bridge (where tourists occasionally start walking across the bridge right in front of you and get a good fright) or the west side bike trail, which is basically uninterrupted cycling. It's really invigorating to have a long cycling commute again, and I'm already starting to be back in decent shape after the no-time-for-exercise election madness in September and October.</p> <p>So yeah, I arrived, just before I departed again. </p>
Name
This is what will show up as the comment author
Potato
Type in the word 'potato'. This is advanced anti-spam technology.
Comment
I might delete your comment for reasons including spam, annoyance, things I wouldn't want my mother to read, ruining surprises, etc. That said, I do love receiving comments.