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Friday, July 29, 2011

That Time I Walked Out of a Job "Interview"

Since I am in desperate need of a new job, I'm not in a position to turn down interviews.  Jenna first started calling me about an interview while I was in NYC.  She told me that her company worked in the health and wellness field and had many opportunities available.  It was clear that she didn't have my resume since she knew nothing of my work history or education and didn't disclose the name of her company, rendering a Google search impossible.  It was also clear that she was calling me from her personal cell phone when my calls, which she never answered, only returned, went straight to an at capacity voice mailbox.  We played phone tag over several weeks and darn if she wasn't as persistent as she was vague.

I agreed to meet with her one evening, since the "Wellness Center" office was fairly close and I had the time in my schedule.  When I entered the office, I was greeted by fairly loud, upbeat music and a small crowd of what I could only assume to be fellow job seekers.  Great, I thought, a group interview.  A small woman came up to me to ask who I had an appointment with.  As it turns out, this was Jenna.  She asked again about my work history and I gave her a resume. We had a pleasant get-to-know-you conversation in the midst of all the other would-be candidates.  When I asked more specific questions about the company, she told me that there was going to be a group presentation to explain the details which would be followed by a one on one interview.  There was also some training being held later that night. Whoa?! Training?! I knew I wasn't in the position to accept an offer that night, especially since it wasn't my only interview of the week and could already smell something fishy about the situation.

The presentation began with a powerpoint slide show.  Several slides in, I glanced the phrase "direct marketing" and started to look for an escape route.  Of course, I had to be sitting front and center.  The presenter went on to talk about the products their company sells, mainly a diet pill.  Strike two.  I have several friends who work in direct marketing as Arbonne consultants and even tried my luck with Mary Kay right out of high school.  My Arbonne friends love their work and products and, if I were to venture into direct marketing, it would probably be with Arbonne.  Secondly, I don't believe in diet pills.  They tempt me every once in a while, but as someone who struggled with eating disorders for years, I consider them dangerous and psychologically addicting no matter how effective they are or aren't.

I had to get out.  I may have audibly let out a sigh of relief when, about twenty minutes in, the presenter dimmed the lights for a brief video.  I grabbed my bag and scooted for the door. I looked for Jenna, as I intended to politely excuse myself.  She was nowhere to be found, but the presenter noticed me and asked if I wanted to go home. Like I had a boo-boo, or something.  I informed him that I wasn't interested in direct marketing.  He thanked me and we went our separate ways.

The next evening, Jenna called again.  She called to find out why I left and to see if I wanted to come back for a second "interview".  I told her the same thing I told the gentleman the night before, that I was not interested in direct marketing.  I also added that I was not in favor of diet pills, but was rather an advocate of natural wellness.  She claimed their product was all natural.  I hadn't stayed long enough to get an actual ingredients list, so I can't say for sure, but I doubt that their pills fit anywhere into the healthy, organic, vegan, or natural categories.  I also asked her how she'd gotten my number in the first place.  She couldn't give me a name, but told me it was probably a friend who'd referred me, since they work mainly through referrals.

Moral of the story: anytime you are called by an interviewer on their personal cell phone, any and all days of the week, wanting to set up an interview through a vague company at 7 pm on a Tuesday is probably not worth your time if you are seeking professional employment.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

NYC in Photos

Since my camera broke several days into my trip, I was either camera-less or borrowing my boyfriends.  This meant that many of my posts didn't have and snapshots to go with them right away.  I thought, rather than go back and amend all prior NYC posts, why not just post 'em all, album style? Enjoy!
In Central Park: First thing we did together : )
@ The Fireworks: Tired and sweaty from a
long day of travel and walking

By the Jackie O. Resevior on our way to The Gugg
The Guggenheim

Me, in somewhat recycled but favorite outfit

@MoMA's Free Friday Nights

Broadway Boogie Woogie: A favorite

My squirrel friend in Battery Park

@ The Cloisters

Cloisters Garden

Another garden!

Just a little Tiffany (@the Met)
One of my SoHo finds. The light fabric was
great in the heat

Me & Hatshepsut know how to pose!
I love his sense of humor!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Art & Sugar

My last full day in New York City was certainly full of excitement!  The main event on our agenda was to take advantage of the two-for-one Metropolitan Museum of Art/The Cloisters admission and see them both.  We'd intended to see the Met first and then rush up to The Cloisters before they closed, but we accidentally got on an express train that changed our minds for us.

The Cloisters
When we got out of the subway, we walked through the beautiful Fort Tryon Park which boasts incredible views of the river and beautiful and well maintained flower gardens.  It would be a great picnic spot, just saying.  By the time we arrived at the medieval looking building, I was glad for the air conditioning.  We spent a few hours looking over the artwork and admiring the architecture, some of which was actual pieces of old monasteries and the like that had been shipped over from Europe.  I'm so glad to have a boyfriend that likes going to museums and engaging in thoughtful conversations about the work in them.  I was a very happy girl that day.

A chapel in The Cloisters
One of many lovely gardens

We knew we weren't going to have enough time to see all of the Met, so when we got there, we took a moment to grab some lunch (the Met cafeteria puts potato chips on their mac & cheese, just sayin') and pinpoint the galleries we wanted to see the most.  For The Writer, it was the Arms and Armor and I wanted to make sure we got to the Egyptian wing and temple.  We also managed to make it through some of the painting and photography before the guards decided it was time for us to go.  I'd wanted to see the McQueen exhibit, but we'd heard the wait was an hour and a half and we didn't have that much time there.  Unfortunately the exhibit will be closing a mere three days before I return to Manhattan.

Since we'd had a late lunch, we weren't quite hungry for dinner when the museum closed.  We were, we decidedly, quite ready for some ice cream.  On our way to the subway that would take us down to Lula's, I spotted a sign in the window of Purple Elephant Cake Boutique that said they had vegan cupcakes.  While neither of us are anywhere close to being vegan, The Writer's lactose intolerance keeps us on the hunt for dairy-free treats and vegan is always a safe choice.  We stopped in and got a few cupcakes, even though we were on our way to eat ice cream.  He had a vanilla cupcake with chocolate icing and I had a sweet-n-salty vanilla cupcake.  I used to never be a cake person, I preferred fruity treats like pies, but this trip ruined me. I officially like cake.

Not letting the fact that we'd just had super sweet cupcake deter us, we continued downtown to Lula's and enjoyed our vegan ice cream cones.  Dinner, at this point, was out of the question.  We were too full on cupcakes and ice cream.  We did feel quite kiddish, having had every kids' dream dinner, so we decided to go to FAO Schwartz because what kid doesn't want to go to a toy store after a sugar-filled meal?  Unfortunately, it had closed by the time we got there. Bedtime, I guess.  Plan B was to stroll casually through the lobby and shops of The Plaza hotel, just to check it out.  I wouldn't mind staying there sometime, that's for sure.

We walked around the park area for a bit before grabbing some groceries and heading to bed.  It seemed the sugar rush we'd ingested was no match for the mileage we'd covered that day.

*Photos by The Writer. I borrowed his camera for a few shots, but most (not obviously taken with a webcam or otherwise cited) are from his camera, as mine is broken : ( *

Friday, July 22, 2011

Bargains, Bubble Tea, and Boats

Who doesn't like to sleep in on a Monday?  Since The Writer's "weekend" begins on Mondays, that's exactly what we did.  Even though we knew we had a lot to pack into his last two free days of my visit, we still got off to a pretty slow start.

Once we did get moving, we went down to check out Century 21, a store of hugely discounted designer duds.  We'd gotten off the subway right by the World Trade Center site, but like I'd noticed before, there wasn't much to see.  Once we got to Century 21 it was a madhouse.  The deals were certainly good, so I understand the rush.  The Writer found himself a new gray Tommy Hilfiger suit for over half off!  We left the store in search of the tailor shop they'd referred us to (my love has long arms, apparently) and some lunch. What an experience the tailor shop was! The older Italian gentleman running the place shared that he's been working in a tailor shop since he was seven years old.  Now that's a family business!

We got some sandwiche from Pret (baguette!) and started walking towards Battery Park for a picnic.  Along the way, I spotted a bubble tea street vendor.  I hadn't had bubble tea in such a long time. For a while, I was working at a coffee shop that made it and could have it any time I wanted.  Unfortunately, those days were over but I was about to rekindle my love of bubble tea just as I'd reawakened my love of baguette sandwiches.  The Writer was not a fan of my litchi bubble tea.

The Writer being silly
After our little picnic, we decided to investigate Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island ferry passes.  I wasn't initially interested in going out to see the landmarks, but it was something The Writer had really been wanting to do, so we went. I'm so glad we did!  We didn't spend too much time on Liberty Island where the Statue of Liberty is located because we wanted to make sure we had plenty of time in the Ellis Island museum.  We got back on the ferry after snapping some photos and walking a bit on the island.
I had to give it a try

I admit I haven't been much of a museum person in the past. Maybe it's because I'm usually being dragged through them by my parents who are either moving too slow or too quickly, but I really enjoy them with The Writer.  He'd been to the Ellis Island museum before so he knew which parts were absolutely necessary to see before the last ferry left.  Seeing the giant rooms where the incoming immigrants waited and hearing their stories was so interesting.  I wish we'd had a little more time to spend out there.
On Liberty Island with the Manhattan skyline in the background
Tired from our busy day, we had some Asian Fusion cuisine at Alpha around the corner from his residences.  I had the best spicy tuna roll that I've ever eaten there.  It was absolutely delicious.  The Writer had the sesame chicken, which I sampled and found was delectable in its own right.  After dinner, we decided to get some cool treats at Rita's.  Their melon/tropical flavors are just what I want when I'm craving something cold and sweet.  I had the honeydew again, but this time mixed it with cantaloupe and passionfruit as well.  Our night ended with a long, lovely stroll down Broadway in the Upper West Side.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hell on a Sunday

Hell's Kitchen, that is.  I went down last Sunday to check out the Hell's Kitchen Flea Market while The Writer was at work.  That place made me wish I'd left more room in my luggage!  Along with the many booths of vintage clothing, antiques, and unique jewelry finds were several different yummy looking food vendors.  I grabbed a New York slice from a shop on a nearby street then chose some delicious dessert from a Je & Jo ice cream stand.  Their organic ice cream carried quite a price tag at $4 per small cup, but it was so rich and creamy that it was easy to savor every bite of my Fresh Mint with Lemon Lavender Shortbread Cookie Dough.

The Clutch & Sunnies
 Refreshed, I spent the next few hours sifting though some strange and wonderful goodies and came away with some great finds.  I found a envelope clutch with a tag that said it came from GAP.  I'm not sure how old it is, but the lady at the booth was only asking $5 for it, so I bit.  My other find was a pair of nearly vintage sunnies.  I've been needing a new brown pair and these were a new shape for me.  They're a little scratched, but I like them so much and was able to talk the seller down a bit from his original asking price, so I took them home.
Me with my new shades
I left Hell's Kitchen for the same reason I had to leave SoHo.  If I didn't, I would have kept buying which would have been very bad.  I'm broke nonetheless, but that's not the point. Ha!
I relaxed at Borders until The Writer was out of work.   We were both pretty wiped out, him from a long work week and me from the sun. Poor me, right? 

We took the subway down to Chelsea for a quick and easy dinner at Blossom du Jour.  I had an organic vegan eggplant parmesan sandwich and he had the Midtown Melt.  Both sandwiches were so good! It was hard to not want to order a second. I think we both ended up eating a significant portion of each other's meals as it was! 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The 411 on the 3-1-1

I am strictly against the idea of checking luggage when flying, at least for myself.  I know I'm a chronic over-packer, so the carry-on only rule helps me narrow down my selection.  It also saves me from having to wait for my luggage to arrive at baggage claim and subsequently having to drag a giant suitcase to my final destination when traveling alone.  There's also almost no risk of the airline loosing your luggage if you don't let them man-handle it.

One of the only problems that comes with flying with carry-on luggage only is the TSA's 3-1-1 rule.  The other problem lies in the shoe department, but this time, the shoes were easier to cram in than that little bag of liquids.  For those who are unfamiliar, the TSA allows each passenger to have one quart sized bag of liquids, each of which must be under 3.4 ounces each.  For women, you quickly realize how many products you use when you are trying to cram them all into a tiny clear bag.

Say Yes to Tomatoes Trouble-free Face Wash, decanted
shampoo/conditioner, Patricia Wexler Acne Spot
Treatment (tucked behind)
So, how do you decide?  If you're staying with a host, think about what's most likely already in their bathroom.  Most people have shampoo and conditioner.  I brought my shampoo because I know The Writer has some, but it's VO5, which irreparably damages my hair.

Think about what you can buy there.  When traveling to some locations, particularly internationally, it may be worth the $50/round trip to check a bag, rather than to find yourself running around a foreign country looking for body lotion.  However, when traveling domestically, chances are, you'll be able to find amenities when you get there and for less than $50.  I left my shower gel, body lotion, and shave cream at home.

Mary Kay Firming Eye Cream, Sephora Waterproof Makeup
Remover, Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer, Paul Mitchell
Hot Off the Press heat protectant spray, Say Yes to Tomatoes
Totally Tranquil Facial Lotion
Along the same lines, consider the cost of a product. For me, I knew I could find shower gel, but it would get costly if I picked up a whole can of heat protecting spray or glossing cream when I got there. Luckily, I found a travel size can of Hot of the Press at my salon this past weekend.  Specialty items will most likely need to be brought with you.  What made the cut for me: Paul Mitchell Hot of the Press, Sephora Waterproof Eye Make-up Remover, Mary Kay Eye Cream, Urban Decay Eyelid Primer, Fekkai Glossing Creme, Say Yes to Tomatoes Facial Wash and Lotion.

It definitely took some maneuvering and some trial-and-error before I got it all to fit.  I didn't worry about my mascara or hand sanitizer, since I've never had the TSA stop me for having these items loose in my bag.  I also luck out because I'm a Bare Minerals fan, so no liquid foundation to squeeze into the bag.

Once I arrived, I purchased shower gel and lotion, both at $2.99/piece, shave cream at $1.99, and a travel sized hairspray for $.99 for an overall total of less than $10, which means I saved $30-$40 that I could use for other fun things on my trip!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Saturday in the City

Last Saturday, whilst still in New York City, was a really significant day for me.  I was able to meet up with my second cousin, J, whom I have not seen in ages.  We hadn't seen each other for the better part of 10 or 15 years and we've both changed so much.  Last time I saw her I was still wearing training bras, if that's any indication of how long it's been.

We met up in the lobby of The Writer's residence/hotel and walked down The Highline to The Village.  I wore my teal maxi dress from SoHo because it was very sunny and I knew we'd be walking a lot and I wanted to avoid weird tan/burn lines.  A strapless dress was my best attempt and an even tinge of red.

J took me to her favorite coffee place, which was at the entrance to a theatre space. We sat and continued on our catching up.  During our day-long conversation, I came to a greater knowledge of the history of that side of my family.  So many things make more sense now than they ever did before, since many of the events that shaped the dynamic of that branch of my family tree happened long before I was born or able to understand them.
I'm fairly sure that this coffee shop made some of the most legitimate espresso drinks I've ever had, and, you know what? I don't even think there was a latte on the menu. Flavored syrups? Nadda.  It was absolutely one of the best cappuccinos I've ever had.

After our caffeine, J took me to her studio space.  She went to school for dance and is still really involved in the creative arts.  Let me tell you, this space was amazing.  Five stories up from the street, the massive windows of the corner room looked directly out onto many of the rooflines of the other buildings.  The architecture was breathtaking!  I told The Writer so many times while I was in NYC that the artistry of the buildings is one of my favorite things about the city.  It's inspiring!

We then took a cab (my first NYC cab, I admit) over to The Bowery and got out by The New Museum. Before we went in to view the exhibits, we walked over to Teany for lunch.  My turkey, apple, and brie  baguette sandwich was one of my favorite meals of my trip.  It was served with the perfect side of lightly dressed greens...MMmmmm.  I fell in love with the baguette sandwich while traveling in France and haven't really found anything comparable in America until this past week.  Simple French fare is not anywhere close to being popular in the Midwest.

After a chocolate peanut butter brownie to finish off lunch, we headed back to The New Museum.  Several of their floors were closed for installation, but we did get to enjoy the Sky Room.  Since most of the buildings in Bowery and Greenwich Village are shorter by comparison, we were able to see all the way down to Downtown and the Brooklyn Bridge and all the way up to Midtown and the Chrysler Building and Empire State Building.  We decided the view alone was worth the price of admission.
A little rooftop lawn visible from the Sky Room

Incredible view from the Sky Room
J had to take off after a stroll through the surrounding neighborhoods and shops since she was speaking at and writing for a national conference this week and still had prep work to do.  I explored Union Square before meeting up with The Writer somewhat later for dinner.  We had hearty pasta at Don Giovanni's in Hell's Kitchen.  It was delicious and, I have to say, the salad that came before my stuffed shells was really impressive, not wimpy at all!

He and I decided to be a little touristy and walk through Times Square.  It was so jam packed! We finished up the night by taking a walk up 5th Ave. to Central Park before catching the subway "home".  Needless to say, I slept very soundly that night.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Morning After

Last night, after a slightly delayed and disorganized flight out of LaGuardia (I will be avoiding this airport in the future), I returned to my Midwest apartment to find it in a state of chaos.  For some of the clutter, I am to blame.  I forgot to empty the coffee grounds out of the machine and left some clean laundry un-put away when I left.  The rest of it, though, I am appalled by.  I'd always thought of my roommate as a fairly clean person, even though her bedroom is usually in disarray.  In my absence, I see the disarray has crept out from behind her bedroom door and taken over, most noticeably, the bathroom.  Yikes!

I woke up this morning feeling very unmotivated to whip the apartment back into shape, yet knowing it needs to be done.  For goodness sake, poor Bun's cage wasn't cleaned the entire time I was gone and reeks to high heaven.  I could certainly rant on about the poor puff ball being forced to live in his own waste for far too long, since he was not allowed enough exercise while I was gone either, but I won't whine.

I was also, upon waking, acutely aware that the sounds outside my window were not the sounds of Midtown.  Rather than hearing the police sirens, cab horns, and bus brakes, there was someone banging on my gutter and running various types of yard equipment.  I think I've actually come to prefer the sounds of traffic.

I need to get moving, to get myself into a new routine.  I have one less job than I did before leaving for New York, so my schedule is going to be pretty different now.  I'm hoping that a full-time position will come my way soon and my efforts to encourage that will take up time (and gas money) as well.

Today itself has so many little things on it's "to do" list.  I feel almost hungover from deliriously wonderful vacation.  The idea of staying in bed and putting off the day for as long as I can sounds welcoming, but the show must go on!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Manhattan in Heels

One should never take it to be a good sign when your first stop of the day is at the drug store to buy Band Aids for your feet.  All throughout my trip, I'd been seeing these women walking around in heels.  I'd brought one of my more comfortable pairs to wear with my orange Target dress and figured I'd give them a go on Friday.  I don't know how they do it!  I was silly to think that one or two Band Aids would make traipsing around Manhattan in four inch wedges bearable.  It did make me painfully aware of just how much I walk in a day around here.

After some lunch at Whole Foods with The Writer, I decided to check out Ground Zero.  I'd never seen the  former site of the World Trade Center towers even though I'd had several opportunities.  Truthfully, when I got there, there wasn't much to see except a construction site and part of a new skyscraper. I didn't walk around too much before heading towards the South Street Seaport.  The walk looked like a short distance on the map but it turned out to be quite long and crowded, especially in heels.  Due to the humidity and the threat of rain, I headed back uptown to rest my feet in Border's.

The Writer met me there after he got out of work and we went over to take advantage of Target Free Friday Nights at The Museum of Modern Art.  Still in my devil shoes, I hobbled around the galleries with the help of my love.  He was excited to see several pieces by Roy Lichtenstein, one of his favorite pop artists, and Van Gogh's Starry Night.  I could've spent a good part of forever in a smaller room with walls covered by four magnificent Monet's.  We were running out of time before the museum closed, but managed to see another favorite of mine, Mondrian's Broadway Boogie Woogie, before security herded us from the galleries.

Last on our agenda for the night was a trip to the Upper West Side for some Rita's Water Ice.  I hadn't had water ice in so long and it was just as good as I remembered.  I tried the new flavor, honeydew, and The Writer had raspberry.  I wish Rita's were as common as Starbucks, I would go there everyday.  Thankfully, bed was just a train ride away and I could finally take my shoes off and rest my exhausted feet.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Sugar High

Yesterday, I took a self-guided, judgement free tour of some of the sweetest places in New York.   I went a little further into Times Square to find M&M's World. Yes, it was a touristy thing to do, and I felt conspicuous with my bright yellow M&M's bag for the rest of the day, but how do you turn down an entire wall of multi-colored M&M's? I layered some brightly colored peanut M&M's into a bag and slipped down into the subway, like a little rat escaping the tourists and their cameras.

The Writer and I were planning on going to an outdoor movie in Brooklyn last night and I wanted to get some sweets that The Writer could enjoy, too.  I found Sockerbit pretty easily once I got down to the West Village.  Their bins of sweets make you smile instantly!  I filled up a bag of gummy treats for The Writer and I to share and decided to continue my search for sugars at Magnolia Bakery which was just around the corner and up a few blocks.  Tourists were lined up outside, to my disappointment, but I decided to wait anyways.  I wanted to try those cupcakes! I bought a box with one chocolate and one vanilla cupcake with buttercream frosting and a lightly sweetened coffee. Something told me that the frosting had enough sugar to compensate for my extra Splenda.  I was glad for the park across the corner where I sat to eat my chocolate cupcake and drink some coffee.  The little birds there must be used to Magnolia's customers, because they were quite bold.  I shared some chocolatey crumbs with a few sparrows who hopped up onto my table.

It started to look like rain, so I headed back to Midtown to wait for The Writer to get out of work.  Even though it didn't end up raining, the forecast predicted a 60% chance of rain, so we decided to skip out on the outdoor movie.  We ate dinner at Totto Ramen, a Japanese noodle restaurant.  Yes, it was ramen noodles, but it was so much better than what you'd get for $.50 at the grocery store.

Tired, we headed back to his room to enjoy many of the sweets that I'd picked up throughout the day.  They were so yummy!

I'm sad that I'm not able to post pictures, since I discovered that my digital camera's screen had somehow gotten smashed in my travels a few days ago.  Hopefully, I'll be able to have a few picture posts once I'm back on my Mac (I've been using The Writer's) and can get the cell phone shots edited and whatnot.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

New York City Solo

The Writer had to go back to work yesterday, which left me to explore the city on my own.  In all the times I've traveled to NYC, I've never had to navigate on my own.  I wasn't worried. I love subway systems and city grids, they make sense to me, unlike the winding country roads that swirl around until you have no idea who's cornfield you're in.

I hadn't slept especially well, so I spent a few hours in the morning reading in Borders and scouring Sephora's shelves for body care products that line up with my new obsession: paraben, mineral oil, and sodium laureth sulphate free.

Feeling rejuvenated from my lunch with The Writer, I headed down to SoHo for some shopping.  My first destination was Topshop.  I want to say that I loved it and never want to shop anywhere else, but that would be a lie.  I was most impressed by the shoes, however, I found the prices, in general, to be a little outside of my budget.  The clothes were of a higher quality than Forever 21, but had the same hipster shabbiness to them, for the most part. I did find a cute, vintage-inspired red and white polka dot dress that, if it weren't for the price tag, I probably would've bought.  It was 100% silk, and with the heat this week, I'm finding that all I want to wear are lightweight dresses.

I was about to give up on SoHo, but I decided to give a few more stores a try.  Right before a sun shower, I ducked into a little Japanese store with all kinds of interesting things.  It reminded me of a miniature, Asian Ikea.  I wish Ohio'd had one before I came here, because this store was stocked with all kinds of travel accessories.  After the rain, I stopped at another store that reminded me of Ikea.  This one had more furniture and housewares and made me want an apartment that needed decorating.  I then wandered into a little boutique stocked almost entirely of dresses and shoes. Ding, ding, ding!  I found a lightweight, black and white abstract print dress there.  It needs a slip,  but I can probably find one of those today so that I can wear the dress in the next week.

My last purchase of the day came from another boutique a little further down Broadway.  This one was crowded and less classy than I prefer, but I found the perfect maxi dress that I've been searching for.  I deal with a strange phenomenon when maxi dress shopping. Unlike many Americans, I have a waist and that waist needs to be defined by my clothes, otherwise I look like I'm wearing a sack.  Maxi dresses are particularly difficult to shop for, because so many of them feature a gathered empire waist and flow out from under the bust line.  These make me look like arms and a head perched on top of a prairie-like traffic cone. The tiered ones are the worst.  They may flatter thicker girls, but me? I disappear.  This maxi dress was different.  It's a slightly clingy rayon/spandex blend, is strapless, and features a drawstring waistline that falls not too far from my natural waist.  I love the teal color too--I see it being very versatile.  Possibly the best thing about it, it was only $19.99.  If you've shopped for maxi dresses lately, you know its hard to find a nice one on sale for even $30. and that's pushing it.

After that, I thought it best to remove myself from SoHo, lest I be tempted to keep shopping.  I took the train back uptown to meet The Writer for dinner at Otarian, his favorite vegan restaurant.  We had potato and spinach burgers and sweet potato chiplets. Yum!  We did some quick grocery shopping before heading home.

Later on, we took a nighttime stroll along the High Line.  It was every bit as cool as I'd imagined and I really enjoyed the quite walk with my love.  I'm having such a great time on this trip, I don't think I want to leave.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Hot Child in the City

It was HOT in New York today.  To escape the heat, The Writer and I went to the Guggenheim.  We got a late start after a lazy morning and took the subway up to the Upper East Side.  We crossed through Central park, around the reservoir, to get there.  It may not have been the most direct route, but the scenic stroll was well worth it.  Once at the museum, I was surprised by the size of the collection and exhibits.  Most of the art museums I've been too could take days to get through, but we made it through the Guggenheim in practically no time by comparison.  I found the Impressionist exhibit to be my favorite.  I forget how much I like Van Gogh and Seurat until I see their work up close. Fantastic!

After our self-guided tour, we wandered up and down Madison Ave. a bit to find lunch.  The counter girl at Marco Polo's Deli and Pizzeria was a little annoyed at life, it seemed, but our panini and Philly steak sandwich were just what we needed.

Next on our agenda was to go out for ice cream.  This was a first for us, as a couple, since The Writer is lactose intolerant.  We'd had dairy-free ice cream at home, but never been able to go out for a cone together.  In his explorations of the city prior to my arrival, he'd discovered Lula's Sweet Apothecary in the East Village.  We got a little turned around in the Village and my feet started to ache unbearable just as we found the tiny shop.  The guy behind the counter seemed so happy about his work and patiently offered me samples until I made my final selection (strawberry and cookies & cream on a sugar cone).  everything served at Lula's is all natural and vegan, so it's safe for The Writer's tummy.  Did I mention it was delicious?  I'm glad we finally found it.  Now we can go back all the time!
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