Tag Archives: NYC

Poetic Fist Fight

3 Dec

A few friends and I often partake in bar trivia at an establishment in Manhattan on Tuesday nights. Trivia begins at 8:30, so we usually try and arrive around 8pm to make sure we get ample seating/table space for our writing materials, beers and sometimes food. On this particular night I arrived at 7:30 because I grossly overestimated how long it would take me to get to the bar from my new office. When I arrived, there was another event going on. I walked in and saw a middle-aged woman standing up at a microphone reading some ridiculous poetry with zero passion in her voice. As a matter of fact, she sounded like a teacher reading a story about ponies to her first graders just before nap time, except her poem was about the birth of her son…it was interesting, but you can only make a cesarian section sound so poetic before it sounds like a scene straight out of a Wes Craven film.

It was clear that I had stumbled into some kind of older, open mic poetry night. Dammit. So, to kill time, I went to 7-11 for a hot chocolate. They didn’t have those mini marshmallows, though, so I left less than satisfied with a still-tasty hot chocolate in hand. I drank that in record time on my way back to the bar. During this time, I had only managed to kill 15 minutes, but that meant 15 minutes less of that poetry I’d have to hear. Well, to everyone’s dismay, including the employees at the bar and the trivia master, the poetry night ran over by 15 minutes to allow for the “Godfather” to say a few words and recite a story and poem and then sing a song…a man next to me mouthed the words along with the “Godfather” and clapped and whistled upon completion. He was super into it, I was super annoyed.

When poetry night was finally over, most of the older folks started to clear out for the turnover to trivia night which consists predominately of guys and gals ages 21-35 from what I can tell. I, along with a friend, waited for tables to clear that fit four people as we were expecting two more in our party. I scouted a table where the women who previously occupied it were preparing to leave. My friend and I hovered, patiently, as other tables opened up and were immediately occupied by trivia-goers. After about 10 minutes of continuous hovering, I decided to place my belongings down on one of the benches at a table where cesarian section woman was sitting. Her and a colleague were chatting but sitting far enough from each other that they managed to take up three tables in the process. I waited patiently, again. Finally, after the woman was now there by herself, nursing a 96% empty glass of water, she put her feet up essentially on my belongings, so I just went and took a seat next to her feet. Then, the dialogue began:

Woman: So are you taking over my table?
Me: Yeah, our trivia is about to begin and you appeared to be leaving.
Woman: Well, I wasn’t.
Me: I’m sorry, I really thought you were leaving. Your friends all got up so I thought you were too.
Woman: I wasn’t leaving. (At this point she FINALLY takes her feet off of the bench she had them resting upon) You could have asked.
Me: As I said, I am sorry, it looked like you were leaving. I can move…
Woman: You could have asked.
Me: I said I’m sorry. There’s no reason to have an attitude…
Woman: It’s not an attitude, I’m just saying you could have asked. Get some manners.
Me: (Appalled at this point) I said I am sorry and I will move.
Woman: Get some manners. (Storms off)

It was too bad she stormed off like that, I didn’t have enough time to tell her how much I resonated with her poem being a cesarian child myself. Darn. So much for that missed opportunity. Never fear, though, because I made sure multiple employees heard about it afterwards. They found it wildly entertaining…I have a feeling they’re not the biggest fans of that poetry night either.

Moral of the story? Just because you wear a purple sweater and read three sub-par poems at a monthly open mic night for middle-aged folk does not entitle you to put your feet up at a bar once your event has gone over and thus prohibited a WEEKLY event from starting on time. Talk about manners.

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To The Guy Who Sold Me Fake Blink 182 Tickets…

12 Sep
Who I didn't get to see last night...

Who I didn’t get to see last night…

I met you in Union Square where you sold me what I now know are fake Blink 182 tickets. I don’t know why you do what you do, I don’t know why you did what you did but I just cannot understand it. Does it make you feel good, taking people’s money like that? Of course it does. It mustOtherwise, why would you keep doing it. I doubt anyone has a gun to your head, but if they do–duck and run!

I should have known the tickets were fake. I got a burning feeling in the pit of my stomach immediately after I bought them from you that they were. They didn’t feel quite right. They were on the thick side and somewhat glossy. The ink looked a little too bold and prevalent on the backdrop of the ticket. They were fake, but it was too late so I just told myself I was being paranoid. You had already disappeared into the crowd of street performers, coffee-drinkers and commuters. I was stuck with those tickets.

You said you were a fan. You said you wish you could go but work got in the way. I believed you because I didn’t have any reason not to.

So I showed up to the venue in Brooklyn. Nervous, but incredibly excited. My favorite band was playing and I couldn’t wait to see them go on. I passed through security and waited in a small line. The girls in front of me got turned away because their tickets wouldn’t scan. Their tickets were fake. At that moment it felt like my entire body was on fire. The burning sensation had spread and I couldn’t handle it. For at that moment my fears became a reality and I learned that people like you actually exist. Finally, it was my turn–my tickets didn’t scan. The tickets you sold to my friend and I were fake. But you knew that. You knew I would travel all the way to Brooklyn by way of the L train which I had made it my life mission never to take, but for Blink 182 it was worth it. But this would end up being for nothing but disappointment and tears. Yes, I cried. YOU made me cry.

I didn’t get to see them play any of my favorite songs–like “Stay Together for the Kids” a song about divorce which I relate to tenfold. Or “Dammit” or “Carousel” or “Man Overboard” or ANYTHING. Instead I was stuck listening to “Adam’s Song” alone in my room and any Blink fan knows how depressing that can be.

It’s not about the money. You robbed me of an experience that I will never get back.

People go to concerts for the experience–they want to feel the music they’ve listened to so many times through their headphones and car stereos. They want to see it, hear it, feel it, live it. I wanted all of that too. Yes, I’ve seen Blink 182 live several times but this show was special. It was a charity show, which makes what you did all the more disgraceful. But it wasn’t just me, it was DOZENS of fans. Dozens of people who just wanted to escape for a few hours. The bouncer told me he counted at least 50, and from the description another girl gave me of the guy who sold her fake tickets, it was you. You and a friend or a group of guys setting out to just make some money.

Sure, maybe this was my fault for not examining the tickets closer but I just never thought that this would happen. I have too much faith in humanity sometimes and my excitement for having found someone to sell me their tickets clouded my judgement. I should have known. I should have known…

I should have realized that after I was stood up two times by who I believe to be two different people I arranged to meet to buy tickets from that I wasn’t meant to go to this concert. But I wanted to so badly. Third time’s a charm, right? You were the third, so I guess that saying doesn’t always apply…

But this isn’t my fault. It’s yours. You knew I was excited to see them–otherwise why would I have sought you out? You took advantage of me. Yes, it could have been worse and you could have written the script for The Craigslist Killer Part Two, but you didn’t. So, thank you for that. But I’m still upset with you.

I’m not angry, I’m just upset. I am hurt, and I don’t even know you. You did seem like a nice guy, but I suppose that’s how con artists are, right? And don’t think for a second that’s not what you are because that is what you are.  I found myself wondering last night if your parents know what you do. Do they know when you say you’re “going to work” that it means you’re just in a basement somewhere putzing around with paper and ink, gearing up for your next fake-out? Does your mother know?

Blink 182 will come around to New York again sometime soon I’m sure and you’ll get down to business making your fake tickets again–but I hope you don’t. I hope you stop. You cheated over 50 people this week. FIFTY. Isn’t that enough? I couldn’t sleep last night knowing I had been cheated–could you sleep knowing you were the cheater

I know you’ll never see this letter and I know this letter won’t accomplish anything except for helping me get my feelings out in the open and somewhere other than my mind. I know you’ll keep manufacturing and selling fake tickets. I know you’ll spend the money in a way that makes you happy. I just hope that maybe, just maybe, some of that money you made by ripping off 50+ people will go towards something good. Maybe a charity–maybe a few dollars in a homeless man’s change cup. I must restore the same faith I had in humanity that led me to thinking no one would ever make and sell me, or anyone for that matter, a fake ticket and apply it to this scenario. I must hope that the money isn’t going towards something negative, even though it sort of already has. Wherever you are, I hope you’re happy because in the end, everyone deserves happiness, but just know that in this scenario your happiness comes at the expense of others.

Time will pass and we’ll both forget about this. It’s a new day. I’m still upset but I feel better now. I’m sure you don’t care, but I just want you to know that just because you have my money doesn’t mean you’ve won. You’ll lose at some point and maybe then you’ll finally realize what you’ve done–what you’ve been doing–is wrong.

Thanks to you, I couldn’t be that girl anyone fell in love with at the rock show last night…

The Elderly

2 Jul

I feel like I really know old people. I mean, senior citizens. The elderly?

I’m really in touch with them. I may even be turning into one. I only shop at department stores, I love a good coupon and Mah Jongg is quickly becoming one of my favorite games. All of this may just make me Jewish, but I’d like to think I’m one with the elderly. Except I can still drive above 35mph and still stay within one lane.

A lot of people dislike the elderly. And after living with my grandmother for a few summers I can definitely understand why, but I think they’re more lovable than anything else. They’ve gone through a lot, most of them at least. Wars, depression, seeing their loved ones pass away and movie tickets used to be about 50cents, so give them a break because life used to be better for most of them.

The elderly are incredibly lovely, intelligent, bitter people. Well, not all of them are bitter but some of the folks I hang out with are. But then again, so are some of the younger people I hang out with. Even I’m bitter about some things in life. Like, a Sonic finally opened on Long Island but it’s still about 40 minutes away from me. That kind of bitter, I guess.

You’d be amazed–the elderly talk shit about each other! It’s awesome. There’s no other way to describe it. And they do it the old fashioned way–in person. They don’t cowardly hide behind a text or email (mostly because they wouldn’t know how to do that) they just say it without hesitation. “That woman is a pain.” “Oh, that Rhonda? She’s no good.” None of it ever goes above and beyond simplistic shit talking, but it’s just so great. And they gossip! I’ll never forget listening to my grandmother and her friend s discuss the Anthony Weiner scandal last year during a weekly game of Mah Jongg. Ironically, I tweeted about it. They don’t get Twitter, either, but they’re all at different levels of technological understanding. There’s the most basic level which I believe is where my mom’s mom is–they can use a cell phone but don’t know how to do anything else. They also can’t text. Then there’s a more advanced level, which is where my dad’s mom is–they can use cell phones, text, surf the web and send/receive emails. Then, of course, there’s what I like to call the super-advanced elderly who can do everything the basic and advanced elderly can do, plus more. This includes, but is not limited to, setting up and understanding the concept of wifi, changing ink cartridges and installing software.

One common misconception about old people is that they really like a good, quality sweater vest. Well, for the past few summers I’ve been living with my grandmother while working in the city and let me tell you I rarely see any sweater vests. My grandmother likes to wear “boxy” shirts, actually. Perhaps the lack of sweater vests correlates directly with the increase in the heat index over the summer but never mind that. Just know that sweater vests are not synonymous with the elderly.

They’re such a unique demographic in the sense that many of them don’t know what demographic they’re a part of. For example, my grandmother likes to see movies, but doesn’t necessarily go to films meant for her demographic, i.e. the time she went to see “Corky Romano,” that lovely Chris Kattan movie that no one, except for my grandmother, saw. Just the other day she decided to go to a Thai Chi class at the Y and hated it. The twist? She said it was too slow for her. Funny, you’d think she’d be too slow for it. But that’s just it. The elderly aren’t all they’re assumed to be. Yes they play Mah Jongg and yes they don’t understand how to turn on a computer but they’ll often surprise you. For instance, my grandmother still has the tolerance to book airline tickets over the phone. NO ONE does that anymore! But she does–and that surprises me. Not that she uses the phone, but her level of tolerance for actually speaking to someone over the phone in a day and age where the Internet is king. What’s the Internet? Just kidding, I’m not feeling that old. Also, she doesn’t have plastic on any of her couches. So, take that, society.

I’m not exactly ready to board a Mah Jongg cruise (which my grandmother goes on annually) but I’d say it’s definitely a possibility in the future. If anything, I’m ahead of the game and will make a killing in the Mah Jongg teaching business when I’m older and looking for something to generate income after retirement. You may laugh now, but I shall laugh later. All the way to the (Zipper coin purse) bank!

My name is Allie, I’m 21 years young and I’m proud to say that I listen to the baseball game on the radio while my grandmother and I eat dinner supper in the dining room.

Conan in NYC

4 Nov

For those of you who don’t know, last fall I interned at Conan in Los Angeles while I was there for a semester. I had an incredible time, which you can read all about right here.

This past week Conan taped four shows (back where he belongs) in NYC to celebrate the first anniversary of his new show on TBS. My boss from Conan reached out to me and a few other past and present interns to help and work the show because they would need all hands on deck. Naturally, I accepted and drove home from school to work the last two NY shows on Wednesday, November 2nd and Thursday, November 3rd.

I was fortunate enough to be the costume intern for those two days, and was asked for specifically by the costume designer himself. Prior to arriving in the city, I had read online that Conan would be officiating a same-sex marriage on his show for one of his long-time staff members. It wasn’t until I arrived that I found out the costume designer, Scott, was the groom to be. I had the pleasure of working alongside Scott on the day of his wedding, and it was such an incredible experience. I also got to meet his wonderful fiance (and now husband) David. They are both such sweethearts. They truly deserve each other and a lifetime full of happiness. The wedding itself was very sweet and emotional. It was touching. Most of the staff had crowded into the aisles and doorways of the Beacon Theatre to witness the ceremony in person, and I was one of them seeing as I was working with Scott. It was truly something incredible.

Working with the Conan staff is always a blast. Not only is it a lot of fun, but it’s a great learning experience as well, and an excellent chance to build relationships and network. I got to meet some great people, and get back in touch with others. I also got to see one of my previous bosses, Andy Cohen, as he was the guest who walked Scott down the aisle to the chuppah.

I saw the Conan blimp, met Will Forte, exchanged glances with Jon Stewart and was in the theatre to witness the first same-sex marriage on television. It’s safe to say it was worth missing a few classes.

 

East Coast Quake

24 Aug

Today was a day that will always be remembered as the day the Earth kind of stood still. For today, the East Coast experienced a 5.9 earthquake. To be exact, the quake originated in Virginia and was felt in various states such as New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. When the quake hit, I happened to be sitting in a hair salon getting my hair did. My hairdresser didn’t feel it, but I did. First the chair started shaking and I mentioned “something is shaking” to which my hairdresser replied “It’s the vent. Sometime’s it takes a few minutes but it will stop.” But then I noticed the mirrors were shaking and that’s when the women in the back room yelled out “the room is shaking!” and that’s when my friend who works in Washington, DC texted me “EARTHQUAKE.” This is when I knew what I was feeling wasn’t just native to New York. So I took to Twitter, naturally, and found out more information in mere seconds than I could have by watching the news for 20 minutes. Friends of mine from various different states commented on the shaking they felt which indicated that it was felt in numerous states up and down the East Coast. Then, the jokes began. There were plenty about the debt ceiling physically collapsing because of the quake as well as pictures of the “devastating aftermath” that just had a lawn chair lying on the ground. I laughed…a lot. The one thing that angered me about this whole earthquake business was that everyone in New York was all like “oh snap! NY had a 5.9 quake! OMG!” well, New Yorker, no…no we didn’t have a 5.9 quake. You see, Virginia had a 5.9 earthquake…we just felt it here in New York. Come on! We’ve already got the best pizza, cheesecake, hot dogs and public transportation, let’s not hog something that rightfully belongs to a different state!

Now, for those of you who didn’t experience this little milkshake of a quake, it went a little something like this:

“Hey, I think the chair is shaking.”

“Yeah. That’s weird.”

“Maybe a train is passing.”

“Must have.”

And that was it. The way I would describe the brief shaking that lasted all of 15-3o seconds in NY was like the experience you get when you’re sitting in your car, stopped in a turning lane as all of the other cars plow past your vehicle and there’s that little WOOSH feeling. Either that or it’s the brief, subtle shaking your house has when you life a few blocks away from a train station. So, it wasn’t anything life-threatening–thank goodness–around these parts, but it caused some minor damage in certain areas. A friend of mine who lives in Virginia told me a few pictures fell off her wall and her glass of water spilled over on her nightstand. Nothing that a few nails and a paper towel can’t fix. I’m hoping no one had any damage greater than that, and at the moment no casualties have been reported.

Then there’s all of these snooty Californian earthquake connoisseurs with their noses in the air saying (in a french, wine country accent) “zis was no earfquake. Here in Cali-for-nnnia we have zee biggest earfquakes you will ever zee or feel. They shake le grapes and make our wine go bad.” And then the East Coast responds with, if you had snow you’d build underground shelters. We’re not used to quakes! We don’t have earthquake safety instructions glued to the hotel bathroom mirrors–we have emergency snow routes.

Just A (Long) Thought

28 Jul

Here’s a thought: what is it with graffiti? I mean, it’s art, I get it, but seriously what’s in it for you? I mean, think about it. Who just wakes up in the morning and says “hm, I’m going to risk my life by climbing to the top of a suspension bridge so i can put my John Hancock on display for all of NYC to see!” well, i definitely don’t. Regardless of why people do it, I just want to know why they consider it worth the risk. It’s the whole drug thing, isn’t it? You know, the reason why underage kids drink alcohol and businessmen chase cocaine: the thrill of doing something illegal–it’s a risk. I mean, I like a good risk myself, but only if I know there’s a zero percent chance I could get arrested for it…or die. For example, I occasionally will make a right on red when no cars are coming and it says no right on red, but I will never carry a machete in my backpack to an airport. I will eat Pop Rocks and chase them down with cola, but I won’t take five pain killers and chase it with a glass of Ramona Pinot. So, back to my question, why do graffiti artists tag billboards, bridges and other sky-high structures? Especially when there’s a lot of money to be made in the customization of shirts, hats and boxer shorts with bright colors and fun designs at Bar Mitzvahs and sweet sixteens across the nation. I mean, isn’t that the logical choice? The only risk there is that you have to deal with snotty 12 year olds and the occasional drunk uncles, but hey, you’re guaranteed a paycheck. Oh, and there’s a significantly less chance that you’ll fall to your death…although some of these party halls do have high balconies. Just stay in the middle of the room.

Justin Bieber: Breaking Hearts & Ruining Commutes

21 Jun

It has come to my attention, via Twitter, that the puppy of pop, Justin Bieber, will be in New York City tomorrow to promote his new perfume ‘Someday.’ He will be on hand at MACY’S in Herald Square for the release. Now, for those of you who don’t know, MACY’S is basically across the street from Penn Station where thousands, probably millions, of travelers rush in and out to get to their desired destinations. Seeing as Justin Bieber caused a riot and basically shut down a Long Island mall last year for an appearance, I think it’s safe to say that even the enormous, full city-avenue size of MACY’S Herald Square doesn’t have a capacity large enough for the Beliebers.

What does this all mean? Basically, commuting will be absolute HELL tomorrow. Sure if you like walking into your office covered in glitter from bumping into the handmade sign of a 13 year old girl on the subway, then your day will be fabulous! But for most, your day will begin with a crowded, boisterous, shrieking commute–and for once that high pitched sound you hear on the subway won’t be from the rust on rust, metal on metal, train/rail contact.

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