Snowflakes in France

Reflections of a 20-something woman in publishing

Tag: NYC

Carnegie Hall’s Unlikely Audience

I remember high school orchestra concerts, we’d been practicing pieces, perfecting movements for months and months, culminating in this one performance in a huge auditorium, where, for the most part, only our parents showed up. Wouldn’t it be great, I thought, if the student body showed up like they did to football games every week? Cheerleaders getting the crowd pumped as we walked out on stage, standing ovations and cheers at every tricky run that was successful, and hey, it’s a concert, why not some crowd surfing?

Obviously, this is just not the sort of crowd you see at orchestra concerts. The crowd has to be still and silent to be able to hear the delicacy of the music, and if everyone stood up, the people in the back wouldn’t be able to see the fingers fly down the strings or the conductor’s loopy moves. It just wouldn’t happen. Or so I thought.

Last night Jon and I went to see the New York Philharmonic, with guest musician Trey Anastasio of Phish. The crowd was not typical for the philharmonic. At first I gawked at the loads of people coming in late, wearing sweat bands on their heads or large tie-die top hats. I know they’re Phish fans, but where was their respect? This was Carnegie Hall!  But as the concert continued, they hooped and hollered after particularly impressive sections, gave the orchestra a standing ovation after every single song, and when I took a general glance at the rows in front of me I couldn’t help but feel the crowd moving, yes even head banging, to the music. 

So I forgave the girl near the top swinging around a blue glow light, and the guy in front of me who tried to get everyone to stand up for the last song. The music was great, and the crowd was loving it more noticeably than any orchestra audience I could remember.


Among the Weeds, Daisies and Sky Scrapers

Over the weekend, Jon and I cut through the High Line Park on our way to brunch. As I was trying to describe this newly opened phenomenon to my mom, I realized that I didn’t really know much about it myself.


Courtesy of the High Line Web site

Courtesy of the High Line Web site



Sure, I’d been there a few times, and I thought it was an awesome space in the city. A natural and green place where people can walk and relax, looking down the cars for some stretch of land, 10 blocks? 15? I wasn’t really sure. I just liked it.

As it turns out, the park may have opened this summer, but the High Line has been there since the 1930s, when it was built to run freight trains above the city streets. But the last train to run on that line carried 3 cars full of frozen turkeys in 1980. The elevated rail was left to decay and weeds for about 20 years before people started working on its reuse.


Courtesy of High Line Web site

Courtesy of High Line Web site




Now we have a lovely, sunny park, from Gansevoort Street to 20th Street, and in 2010 that will be expanded up to 30th Street.

Driving about Town (and the city….)

Oh how under-appreciated are urban taxi drivers! 

I took my first Zipcar out for a spin today. Keyed in the parking garage code like a pro, tapped the Zipcar card to the windshield as instructed, and made my way to Jersey City’s Home Depot.


As a naive, public-transit user, I assumed it would be easier to drive than to PATH it over to this megastore across the tracks. Until I realized my destination was right in the midst of Holland Tunnel traffic. Even worse, I realized this at the same moment that I found myself in the middle of Holland Tunnel lanes — 7 lanes across! No escape!

Across the tunnel and into NYC I went, terrified, nail-biting, and constantly checking the clock, as I had only reserved the car for 2 1/2 hours. An hour later, I arrived in the Home Depot parking lot, safe and sweaty. 

A quick note: Driving in NYC wasn’t that bad; the Tunnel traffic was.

I brought home my wares from the glorious world of car-access: A grill, a box fan, a pile of framed prints from my old apartment, and various other treasures. When I began to gripe to myself about the hassle of parking, I tried to imagine lugging all of this stuff onto the subway and then carrying it several blocks. I stopped my griping.

Quite an adventure! I circled blocks looking for the best route among one-way streets, avoided bad neighborhoods in vain, and of course, accidentally crossed the state border. I ended up extending my reservation for another hour and a half. 

I think I’ll be better when I’m a more seasoned North Jersey driver. In the meantime, thank God for taxi drivers who know their way around better than I do!

Finding “Home”

Mmmm…I just made Green Pea and Bacon Risotto — something I could not have done without the help of 2 people:

1) My Mom, for sending me pots, pans, a wooden spoon and various other kitchen essentials (Thanks Mom!)

2) Jersey City food blogger: thursday night smackdown

I finally feel at home — no roommates, a computer that works, and a kitchen that is ALL MINE! Well, the boyfriend might dispute that when he moves in next week, as he’s really into meat and sauce. 

My home is a lovely 3-story townhouse with a deck, a washer-dryer, and a dishwasher! Let’s just say that it’s very difficult to get all three of those things in one apartment if you’re within 20 minutes of Manhattan. The place is old, built in the 1880s for laborers working on the Stevens Institute for the Stevens family.

That piece of history come from, where I found plenty of interesting Hoboken facts. Most relevant was that composer Stephan Foster, who wrote Kentucky’s My Old Kentucky Home, lived in Hoboken on the corner of 6th and Bloomfield in 1854, a year after he wrote the song. How fitting that I discover that when I finally feel at home. 🙂

(I’m signing off now, but I promise that I plan to blog at least once a week now that I have a new computer!!!)

And now, the next best thing!

If you hadn’t noticed, I took a 5 month hiatus from blogging. We’ll see how badly my writing has suffered because of it. But for now, a few updates:

1. Remember my last post in March when I was whining about my tiny room and the cold? Well it’s summer now, hot (finally!), and I have a 3 story townhouse with a deck! I can’t believe my luck.

2. Of course, the new place costs a bit more, which I’m able to afford because Jon is moving to Hoboken! He’ll be here on July 27th. Amazing how things turn around in 5 months…

3. Alas, I do not have a dog. And yes, I’m still aching with withdrawal every time one passes me on the street. I think pets must be more addictive than cigarettes.

4. Part of the reason I stopped blogging was that I basically gave up on my computer and its ability to function properly. Now I have a lovely one of these:

MacBook -- the most basic of the brilliantA MacBook. It’s much more capable.

5. I still have my job. Unfortunately I feel like this is something that has to be confirmed ITE. So much so that society has coined an acronym for the phrase “in this economy.” 🙂

They say that in NYC someone is always looking for a relationship, a place to live or a job, and no one ever keeps all three for very long. I hope I’m an exception!!!