June 2, 2011

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

We all know the lyrics. “… don’t say that this is the end, instead of breaking up, I wish we were making up again …” Neil Sedaka had it down. Short and to the point. 

What Neil didn’t bring up was the actual dividing of property. It’s a pain in the ass - there are books, records, CDs, mixtapes (so 90s but so endearing), 8 tracks, joint purchases, pets, arts, farts, and blueberry tarts. That’s a lot of stuff to go through or a lot of stuff to load into your car very quickly and run away with before your once significant other finds out and decides that he wants to call the police on you. Its even worse if you live in Manhattan and storm out the door in a hurry, only to be  left awkwardly waiting on the street corner whilst attempting to hail a cab. Not such a smooth getaway scene. 

While the emotional damage, arrest and lack of your stamp collection is certainly devastating, it’s not the end of the world. The actual END of the world, or YOUR world, will come when you realize that you cannot go to your “shared places.”

Your Brunch Spot - If you live or have ever lived in New York, you know that brunch is a weekly standard. The buildup occurs over the week. Not only are you excited for two days off, but you are also pondering whether the omelet or pumpkin pancakes would be a better decision. Sweet or savory? 
From time to time, you may branch out and try those “new and trendy” places or some “hole in the wall that only serves farm fresh eggs that are from chickens that lay them outside of the restaurant by the dumpster.” Though you clip out these suggestions from New York Magazine or the New York Times, you still find that “your brunch spot” is the only place you want to spend your Sunday morning. I will now refer to “your brunch spot” from now on as YBS.
When it comes to YBS, you know the menu by heart, you could practically recite it-okay, okay you COULD recite it! And, when someone asks for a suggestion as to where to go, you’ll recommend YBS whole heatedly and tell them your top 5 things that you would order. You also say, “Tell Tony that I say hi and that I’ll be there next week.” Tony not only knows many details of your life but also exactly how you like your Bloody Mary. Tony is your server, your friend and an angel all wrapped up in a bistro style apron. He also sort of looks like Stanley Tucci. 

Your Bar - This place is one of your best friends. Your bar is basically a living, breathing organism. It’s where you go after work when you want to skip the gym, or its your only destination on a Saturday night. The bartenders have become your confidants - they are your version of The Golden Girls except that they are cute, young, hipster-ish men. They know your drink order and those intimate details of your life that you probably wouldn’t even share with your therapist. You love the music they play and know each of their iPods so well that you can ask them to put on a specific playlist and it doesn’t seem weird. Best of all, you’ve worked your way up the ladder to have a special tab (the arbitrary tab where you don’t need to put down your credit card because they trust you) and give you most of your drinks for free anyway. 

So Neil Sedaka, since you are the self-proclaimed expert on “breaking up,” what does one do?! Do you attempt to contact your ex to try and see how to split the assets? Do you trade off and rotate YBS and “Your Bar” like children - so that you will go to each place every other week? How do you tell Tony and your bartenders about the split? Will they take sides? Because let’s face it. Ultimately, Tony and Co. likes one person better than the other. Do you really need to face more heartbreak by having to discover this information? All those times you and Tony traded stories about maybe or maybe not seeing James Franco could have been a moot point because he liked your boyfriend better.

In any case, make sure that you have a strategy because the ultimate downfall would be seeing your ex sitting at your table at YBS or at ‘your barstools’ at ‘Your Bar’ with another girl who is probably a triple threat (toned, tan and tall). In this scenario, you are probably also in dire need of a drink, a shower and haven’t brushed your hair in weeks - you are most likely wearing sweats and have remnants of Cheetos all over yourself. Basically if it weren’t ‘Your Bar’ and the staff didn’t know you, they would kick you out thinking you were a hobo. 

So readers - the moral of the story is this: find a stellar bar or brunch place and establish yourself there. Any person you bring there will be impressed by how liked you are at your local watering holes and eateries. Because honestly, at the end of the day, the worst part about breaking up is having to break up with your version of Tony or your bartenders who have been faithful to you (even when your boyfriend wasn’t).

-Sara & Claire

P.S. - Neil, for your next pop single (if you need suggestions) consider a song titled, ‘sharing bars is hard to do’ or ‘I want to be making up with you so I can eat brunch too’.

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June 21, 2011

Grievances #005: Bluetooth Users

Ok. I understand wanting to be safe while driving. I get that. And for those drivers who are concerned about cell phone safety…feel free to use a Bluetooth. But this is where I draw the line. Who really irk me are those pedestrians who feel it’s necessary to use a Bluetooth whilst walking. Just stop, you look like an asshole. Is it that much of an impediment to hold up a cell phone to your ear? Is your hand/eye coordination that bad that you can’t possible focus on holding a phone and using your legs simultaneously? For one, you look like a complete idiot. Nobody uses Bluetooth earpieces except people who work at Best Buy or the AT&T store. I should note: these professionals also wear a cell phone clip on their belts. Do you really want to be grouped into that category? Secondly, you’re scaring small children. Whenever I walk by somebody using an earpiece, obviously I don’t see the earpiece, and I am led to believe that they are talking to themselves. And let me say, on the streets of NYC, I’m going to want to avoid any people that might appear to be screaming to themselves. Because really, anyone who uses a Bluetooth is also for some reason, always screaming.

Thus, the decision you should make is this: either throw away the ‘tooth’ or simply do not make phone calls while walking down the street. It’s that simple.


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November 10, 2011

Fairway: The Crowded Amusement Park of the Upper East Side


When people think of the Upper East Side, they think of a quiet remote neighborhood. Family oriented, kids running around everywhere, The Gap. Well, now Fairway can be added to that list. Fairway replaced the space where the bankrupt Circuit City once stood. Throughout the summer, everyone waited in anticipation for their new mecca and had a small celebration when the brown paper came off of the window. Opening day, everyone and their mom, literally, strolled in to check out the produce section.

There’s no denying that Fairway is a welcome addition to the neighborhood. Usually, due to my schedule, I find myself sauntering into Fairway at approximately 10:30 / 10:45 on a Monday night. I walk in like it’s nobody’s business, hit the deli counter to get food for work for the week and then casually meander over to the pickles & olives section, which if you haven’t checked out already - you’re a fool. Based on this late night shopping routine, I always pictured Fairway as being a peaceful shopping experience.

Due to stupidity and the foresight to do grocery shopping on a weekend - I made the mistake of going to Fairway on Sunday. I saw that it was crowded but figured, I’ll be fine, plus I’m already here. Three words: I was wrong. Fairway on a Sunday brings out the worst in of all of us - kind of like drinking on an empty stomach, it’s a bad idea.

Immediately when I walked in, I was pushed by small children, started dodging shopping carts like I was in the US Army’s boot camp, and was even yelled at by old patrons with canes for moving too slowly. Though I was trying to hit the deli counter - I felt that I was the one being slaughtered. After getting my body bruised and my ego harmed, I made it to the counter. This was the first time that I actually experienced having to take a number. It felt like being at an auction house, shouting, pushing and trying to make yourself visible until you get what you want, be that smoked salmon salad or a couple knishes.

After waiting for a little while with still a long time to go until my number was called, I realized that there was a way to cheat the system so to speak. If you wait for a lull and no one answers when a number is called, you just raise your hand and pretend it’s yours. I had weaseled my way to the front while I thought of this carefully mastered plan, then after waiting an additional five minutes - I sprang into action. “Number 42?” “…THAT’S ME.”

Lesson learned: Everything is fair game at Fairway on a Sunday.
Also, probably avoid Fairway on a Sunday at all costs.

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