Friday, August 25, 2006

Elmo is black!

I took a vacation day today and feel like watching Oprah is like WHAT YOU DO on a vacation day. I suppose the topic of the show must have been "dream jobs" or something like that because when I flipped to ABC she was interviewing the woman that runs Jimmy Choo. At the end of the fabulous shoe segment she welcomes Elmo from Sesame Street and out walks a black man! And his name is Kevin Clash (so soap opera-ish).

I was totally stunned. I could only half listen because I was on the phone with *honey* (or LC as I will refer to him from now on), but this straight-looking, normal-seeming tall, bald, black man is the voice of Elmo! Too crazy. LC took the words out of my mouth when he promptly said "I'm thinking of all the white housewives in Oregon who are staring at the TV screen disillusioned by the fact that their child has been watching a black puppet all this time." Someone somewhere (probably Oregon) fainted today because of the Oprah show. I'm sure of it. Maybe I'm behind the eight ball and everyone knows the story of the real Elmo, but for me it was a shockingly pleasant surprise. To learn more about Kevy-Kev
click here.

Monday, August 21, 2006

I found heaven... a bitchy Japanese lady at Tab Tos on 5th between Ave A & B.

This restaurant is a complete hole in the wall. And I love it. B took me there for dinner and warns me that the food is amazing but the owner is a total bitch. So of course, I'm down (I love women with attitudes!).

We're strolling down the street catching up when B stops at a rickety old door that opens to a 8 square foot room with four tables in it and says "we're here." I happen to love tiny places on the LES but even I was thinking I thought we were going to dinner, not your friend on welfare's crib.

So we arrive and I let B do the talking because I'm not even sure how this whole size-of-a-double-bed restaurant thing works. He steps just inside the door, signals to the waitress that we're a party of two and swiftly steps back outside. That's when I realize that alas, there are only four tables IN THE WHOLE PLACE (as in no back room) and that the waitress is the evil sushi Nazi. She doesn't allow people to stand in her restaurant. It's either sit and eat or stand outside and wait. She owns the place with her sushi chef husband and I guess therefore feels that ordering her customers around is acceptable.

In her defense, she has every right to be rude because she knows good and well that the food will keep people coming back. We had the best meal and were shocked when the bill showed up and was only $30!! Please be patient while I recount all of the food she brought to our table. Ahem:
  • Two salads that were the size of dinner portions. She drizzled the tastiest dressing over the greens and topped it off with five generous portions of seared tuna. TO DIE FOR. I'm telling you. At any other NYC restaurant this salad alone would be $30.
  • A bowl of Miso soup.
  • An order of salmon ceviche. SO GOOD.
  • A HUGE spicy shrimp roll.
  • A HUGE some other roll that B got. DELICIOUS
  • A regular spicy tuna roll.
  • A regular some other kind of tuna roll that B got.
  • Two little candies to top it all off.

I rolled out of that restaurant. It's been a couple of hours and I'm still stuffed. For the prices, I had no idea this place would serve up so much food.

All of my out of towners, you will be visiting this place when you come in town so learn to love sushi!

Bottom line, if you're looking for atmosphere, or even for a waitress that doesn't look at you like you're wasting her time when you ask for water, this is not the place for you. Although I must say...after the stories B told me about how bad he'd seen her act towards other customers in the past, I really feel like she was partial to the 'fro. We connected. In fact, I love her.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

My secret gift

I'm home on a Saturday night enjoying my lovely apartment and relishing the money that is staying in my pocket.

So *honey's* birthday falls two weeks before mine and both special days are approaching fast. Yesterday he challenges me with giving him a creative gift. As in, I'm not allowed to buy something I think he'll like, stick in a box and hand it to him. I have to be more creative than that. I can spend money, but only on props for the gift I'll "do" and not "give"... but no money for a gift itself.

With this news he tells me that he knows EXACTLY what he's doing for me (and the same creativity rules apply). First thoughts? No fair! But after a little roommate brainstorming I have come up with the perfect gift. Only thing I'm worried about is trumping him because his birthday is before mine. Oh well, he'll have to deal. At least he has a couple of weeks to tweak his plan if I totally blow him out of the water. Which I definitely plan to do!!

I haven't been this excited to turning a year older since September 15, 2001.

Come on, 26!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Thank goodness for tacos

So here is the progression of my evening...

Your Girl: I was deep in thought on my walk home after leaving an event for beauty bloggers and publicists. My thoughts are interrupted by a hand on my shoulder...I turn to see who must have accidentally brushed against me with an odd amount of force...

Dude: Hey, Natural. How are you?

Your Girl: I'm fine. Rolling eyes out of Dude's sight but secretly happy that he called me "Natural"

Dude: Where are you from?

Your Girl: Atlanta.

Dude: Reeeeaaaaally, I just got back from there. How long are you here?

Your Girl: I live here...but contemplating the move based on this encounter.

Dude: Ooohhh!!! I'm from the Bahamas. Where are you off to?

Your Girl: The drugstore and then home. Picking up my recently adopted New-York-speed-walking pace.

Dude: Well, I'll walk with you.

Your Girl: Grreeaaaat. Well let me just tell you now that I'm not going to give you my phone num...

Dude: Throws hands back in defense...Whoa! I don't need your number! That's fine! I'm a millionaire! I don't need your number, I can get anybody's number...!

Your Girl: WTF??!! This night is so going in the blog.

Dude: By the way, I just had sex, so...

**Crickets...looking around for a candid camera**

Your Girl: I REALLY don't care. So you're just roaming the streets trying to pick up girls?

Dude: Oh no, she's a girl that works at the airport. Can't remember how I met her. It was a quickie.

Your Girl: My lip curls in utter disgust. I'm not talking about your sexual experiences, I meant WHY ARE YOU STILL WALKING WITH ME.

Dude: Well, you said you lived here and that got me kind of exci....OOOOOHHHH!!! Look at that restaurant! See what you get when you walk around?! You know that's the oldest steak house in New York.... probably the world!

Your Girl: That's Smith & Wollensky and it says right there on the side of the building that it was founded in 1977. Pretty sure steaks existed before the 70s.

Dude: No, I think that's the place...hey let me ask this dude...floating towards a man perched on 49th and 3rd who was clearly homeless and had probably never tasted steak.

Your Girl: Later! Putting that New-York-speed-walking pace to work. Whew! Lost him.

UNBELIEVABLE. But I will say the night ended up well. I dropped my stuff off at home, grabbed my keys and my check card and made my way to Chipotle to pick up dinner (partly to make sure crazy man wasn't lurking around my doorstep). I do the Chipotle conga line while a disgruntled employee tops off my soft tacos with a bit too much sour cream. The friendly guy at the register gives me my total and I hand him my check card....which is when I realize that I brought my ID and not my check card. UGH! He consults with his boss in Spanish and they let me jet off with my tacos after I promise to come by tomorrow with some cashish.
Free tacos for dinner!
What a lovely ending to a very bizarre evening!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The NYC Dating Dance

My roomie and I were pondering the dating scene here and how it differs from our experiences in Atlanta over an Italian prix fixe menu yesterday evening. In Atlanta, if you see a boy that you think is attractive but you don't have the nerve to approach him, you hang back and look forward to seeing him next week at the same event, party or bar. If it's fate, fate will throw him at you when she feels the time is right...right?

NYC is totally different. A hard thing to swallow for single girls in this town is that the chances of running into the cute guy in the bookstore a second time is about as likely as Mariah Carey trading in her on-tour glorified pampers for a tasteful pant suit.

Ugh, Mariah kills me.

So I'm chatting away over grilled salmon at our sidewalk table about something that I'm sure was only mildly interesting, when I notice that I don't have her attention for a solid three seconds. She turns back to me and informs me of a cutie that is passing us on the sidewalk. They made eyes, there was clearly an attraction, but what does a girl do at that point? Maybe this is a bad example because no one's going to shout "eh shawtie" after someone that passes by while they're eating no matter what the city. But when you know your only chance is NOW, do you work up the nerve and make something happen? Maybe that was Mr. Right that floated by. Had she jumped up, followed him and asked him out, perhaps he would have appreciated her bold approach, noticed the junk in the trunk and fallen instantly in love.

Or perhaps we shouldn't try so hard and we should just let destiny do her thing.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Fill me up, Diddy!

I've always enjoyed spending time alone. For as long as I can remember, solitude has been something I've cherished and have looked forward to. Even as an adolescent I would lock myself in my bedroom listening to music for hours and hours and enjoying my own company.

When I made the choice to move to New York I daydreamed often what my life would be like once I got here. Who would I meet? What kinds of restaurants, clubs, museums, fabulous homes, retail stores, neighborhoods would I visit? Would I have one of those crazy nights where me and a girlfriend meet two random dudes at a bar, really hit it off and end up at the hottest club in the city with Diddy filling up my champagne glass and Pharrell making eyes at me from across the room?

As of 8:53 on August 12, 2006 I have had no run-ins with Pharrell. In fact, I lead a pretty average life. I go to work five days a week, do a lot of dining out with friends. Hit a bar or a nightclub every once in a while. But for the most part all of these outings are pretty mild. And I tend to spend a lot of time to myself. In this town especially, it's something that I treasure. When you can't walk three feet without passing three people, a stolen moment alone is like gold.

Sometimes I feel like I should be sending stories to friends back in Atlanta about wild experiences and a forever rising salary (because of course one of the other big NYC expectations is overnight riches). After all, that would be kind of fun. But being the laid back dame that I am, I'm perfectly content with my quasi-boring life. Sometimes I wonder, though, what others on the outside are thinking. Am I getting old? Or maybe just maturing? Or am I lame?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I'm pregnant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's only in e-mails that carry this much news that you should EVER use an over ambundance of exclamation points. Is the exclamation point losing meaning or something? Does it feel like it's losing ground on the question mark? With every passing day I get another e-mail from a reporter exclaming she's so thankful that I could get that image over to her!!!!! Is one exclamation not enough? I'm all about being friendly and enthusiastic. Heck, I use exclamation points, too. But five of them? About an image? You need to spice things up over there at XYZ magazine. And it's not just work...although I can tolerate it from friends because maybe they do miss me this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!much. I miss you, too.

(Still on the pill, kids)

I don't usually send along random things like this, but I thought this was just the coolest thing! It's amazing what the human body can do. Check this:

Monday, August 07, 2006

My new 'do

For as long as I can remember, I've had a perm. Every five weeks I made a bee line to the salon to get a touch-up and I didn't realize until recently that it was such a restricting, trapped feeling. Don't get me wrong, sitting in a salon chair can be theraputic. I got to listen to this hilarious gay black man that did wonders with a flat iron talk about every celebrity known to man. I never was one to unleash my personal problems on my stylist, but I did get to listen to other women let it all hang out...I've always enjoyed that (talking with people about their problems, that is). But still, it seemed I planned my life around trips to the shampoo bowl.

So about a month after moving to the Big Apple a novel idea struck me...I could wear my hair natural. It sounds obvious, but in reality I had never really even considered it an option for me. Going to the salon was like breathing. The big mental overhaul happened one day at the office when I was on my hunt for NYC hair salon. I found a few choices online and was trying to base my decision off of the opinions of strangers at Web sites like

The idea came out of nowhere but somehow made so much sense. It seemed like the absolute right thing to do...I was going to grow my hair out natural. So my on-the-job-hair-salon-research took a slight turn and I was now scouting out salons that specialized in natural hair. I found a dandy little place in Tribeca called Khamit Kinks. I did some research on the Web site and also realized that the best way to keep my hands out of my hair while it grows out is to get it in cornrows (ya never know who's reading). I must say they did an EXCELLENT job. I was so impressed with how neat they turned out and for the first time I felt really attractive in a different way. My head hurt like hell, but I felt pretty none-the-less.

I rocked the braids for a couple of months until I realized that $300 every month was not fitting smoothly into my budget. So I'm on a beach vaca with my *honey* and he decides on a whim that the braids must go and the natural hair must rock. So in a matter of minutes I was braidless....and nearly bald (just kidding....sorta). But I like it. A lot. It took some getting used to (having weave halfway down my back for the first time ever was kind of a treat with the cornrows), but the short hair is really starting to grow on me. Originally, I was supposed to keep the braids much longer and cut them out once my natural hair was a bigger, blacker 'fro. But *honey* couldn't wait that long.

So thanks to him I can now add all-natural to my long list of attributes sooner than I ever thought I would. And it feels really good.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

White boy puzzled

So funny...the girls that I hang with here in New York are smart, super fine black girls like myself. So last night we had dinner plans at a quaint sake bar in the East Village called Satsko and I was the only one that showed up on time at 8:30. So while I waited for them to arrive I got to know two young lads at the bar. Really friendly white boys, they were. Although it would be hard not to be friendly in a restaurant so small and cozy and neighborhood hangout-like.

So when my girls finally arrive I introduce them to the boys. When we get to our table (sans boys) one of the girls had me cracking up. She said that the guys looked at them so puzzled when everyone (three total) introduced themselves with regular 'ol American names. No Bonquishas. No names with African clicking noises incorporated. Just your standard Mary and Jane type names. I, too, happen to have an American name so I'm sure they were just all thrown off.

It was a small, jovial moment in our long night out, but it was the highlight of my night by far.

A whole new world

For as long as I can remember I've wanted to keep a diary. I'd do well and jot down my thoughts for a couple of weeks and then I'd forget and slowly my life on paper would come to an end. This is my grown-up attempt at starting a diary again. I won't be talking about my most personal issues because I've always felt that should be stored to memory (who needs to read about my undying love for Carlos in fifth grade?). But I will share my adventures in NYC, love and life.

Hopefully at some point I'll actually tell people about this blog.