Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Since We've Been Home

And, for a completely random post that never made it out of my drafts box... 
A few photos:

Even mini golf in New York is suddenly a city experience!
These two, I just die.

This was taken just after we returned from a week+ away from Scott.  Tatum could not get enough of him once reunited!
And, FISH.  I had never really considered going to the fresh fish market a few blocks over, but one day we just went in and now I frequent the shop fairly often! 
It was a bit of work to eat but very good and a nice change in my meal rotation.
Sweet girls at the beach.  Oh, beach days... I'm afraid they're over for now.  Too bad we don't have Jetblue benefits in the winter when we could really use some sun!

Monday, October 27, 2014

New York is Breaking Me

Scott says that nobody wants to read a Whaaa-mbulance, so if that's you then stop reading.  Because this is definitely a poor me story.

I boarded the bus home from Target in the Bronx with Tatum and the folded stroller in my left arm, my metro card, 1 Trader Joe's reusable shopping bag, and 1 giant (and both heavy) shopping bag in the other arm. 

The bus was crowded.  All seats were taken, and there were plenty of people standing.  I pleaded with Tatum to stay by me, "Hold onto my leg!" while I maneuvered the folded stroller and all my things into the isle.  The bus jerked forward and we both lost our balance, stumbling a bit but maintaining composure.  It was then that a 20-something black man offered me his seat, the single "Priority Seat" behind the fold down priority bench also marked as "Priority Seating."  The man sitting there was in a wheelchair with a pop-out foot rest, wearing a face mask and gloves.  He was extending through all 3 seats.  

Twenty seconds into the ride he turns around, almost-shouting, "That seat is PRIORITY seating.  You not allowed to sit there."  I look up, semi-alarmed, and see the faces of several others around who are saying with their expressions, "Spare me, you need it more than anyone else on here, please sit."  After all, I was still standing, Tatum was the one in the seat.  And also, the seat wasn't originally empty, someone gave it up FOR me.

The statement associated with "Priority Seating" on the MTA website is that "If requested, you must give up your seat for elderly or persons with disabilities."  And I was never asked to give up my seat for an elderly or person with disabilities.  Just for a clarification."

A few more seconds pass and he turns again, "If you don't gonna listen to me, then read the SIGNS!  Just read the signs. Read up there!"  Pointing wildly.

My strategy in these situations is to be silent.  Nothing I say will better my situation, and could likely be used against me.  So I was quiet as graveyard on Halloween.

Another thirty seconds pass, and he turns again "You must not be able to read!  HUH?!  Yeah, you can't read, that why you sittin' there."

He's really lucky that I didn't feel like vomiting.  Because I probably would have stopped restraining myself by this point. ;)

The comments kept coming for about seven more stops:
"You just gonna sit there like nothin' wrong... you just gonna sit there."
"This wouldn't fly downtown ya know.  This would NOT fly downtown."
...30 more seconds pass...
"This wouldn't fly downtown.  You gonna get a ticket ya know that?!"
<Tatum begins chanting "TICKET! TICKET!"  -- you're not helping our cause, child.>
"You just can't read.  Cuz you not allowed to sit there."
"You have no respect.  No respect for us."

The consistent jabs stressed me out.  I put up with at least something every day as a mom in New York, but this was extreme.  I try to let things roll off me and realize that I'm not the crazy one in this town, but such bold, persistent affronts really got to me.  I still spoke nothing.

As he stood up and walked off the bus, he turned around and right in my face (Bad breath to the max, remember I have a super sniffer these days...) "You think you can just sit there because YOU WHITE!  You just do whatever you want.  No rules.  No regard.  You just do whatever you want because you WHITE.  And that baby of yours?!  She gonna grow up just like you.  Breakin' da rules and doing whatever she want just because she white."

Another middle aged black man audibly laughed when the man gave the jibe about me being white.  He made eye contact which spoke "That is NOT true.  He is crazy."  It felt nice to have an ally and know that I was not alone, even as the only caucasian on the bus.  But still, this whole discrimination thing goes both ways, and it is for real.

Once off the bus, the man stood feet away from his wheelchair holding his camera phone up to the window, taking a picture of me-- I'm sure with the intent to turn me in and get me ticketed.

The people around me began blocking his view of me and commenting on how crazy he was. One guy even said "Man, Halloween's not 'til Friday, what a creep!"

After arriving home to see that Scott had done the dishes before leaving for school, I just cried in gratitude and emotion.  After calling to thank him and relay the story, Scott brought home a Levain cookie to show me that New York does after all, have good to offer.  What a gem.

Friday, October 17, 2014


The first day couldn't have been more beautiful!
Central park in the fall, I tell ya.  It's pretty nice living here. 
It was fun to do something new on our list with the girls-- remote control sailboats!
Little did we know that this would be our big chance to see Natalie Portman in real life!  Queen Amidala!  Props to Heather for getting this great shot!

To the MET rooftop for some views!  

Grimaldi's pizza never disappoints.  The line generally moves pretty quickly, and it is just really fresh, fancy pizza!  I'd say Grimaldis (Or sister restaurant Juliannas, but having been to both within a single week, I preferred Grimaldis just a little bit, and it is about $2 cheaper) is a don't miss it!
It really felt like the good ol' days with just my sisters and no babies!  We love those kids, but boy do they change the dynamic!  Huge thanks to Rick, my mom and Phil (and Scott too!) for watching the children so we could be so fancy free!
Times Square at night-- a classic!
And probably my personal favorite part of the whole weekend:  Introducing the girls to eyebrow threading.  It was just really really great.

And, a great way to duck indoors during the torrential rainstorm of the world!
We headed to Chelsea Markets for some olive oil tastings...
and just a bowl of scallop bacon chowder with Amy's tangy sourdough bread.  This has to be one of my top 3 NY experiences.  I just love doing this- and it sounds fun/good every day!  It just never gets old!
Ah, relaxing on the high line.  Look at Tatum, so sweet.  
And the easiest freebie ever- insomia cookies!  The white chocolate macadamia nut was pretty delicious!
How we roll.
Such performers in the Lincoln Center. By day two we were tired of being "Ducks in a row" for photos.  
"Strike a pose!"
Oh gosh, Tatum LOVED her nose.  She wore that thing non stop for three days until it ripped in half, at which point we strung an elastic through both sides and made it wearable around her entire head.  She thinks she's a million bucks with it on!
This is my best Natalie Portman look alike.  Bold lip, perfectly placed beauty mark (thanks to Noelle) and flashy earring.  Done!
Heather definitely wears it best. 
Stefanie SHOOTS THE MOON!  Times were tough with a score of 58-3, it was my last chance/hand to shoot it, and with the ace duece I went for it!  Noelle had the cards and brains to support me and we won it big!  It's really too bad for Heather and Scott because they had really knocked our socks off!
Just a relaxing Sunday morning in Sheeps meadow.  The girls eventually got the hang of our 2 legged portable chairs. 
And last but not least, Waffles and Dinges!  I bought cookie butter at TJ's last week, so now all I need is pearl sugar and I can make these at home!
We couldn't keep Tatum out of the girl pictures.  Believe me, we tried.  She innately knew that we were doing a girl shot and she wasn't about to be left out!
 I kind of joke that anyone coming to stay with me can pay me in a key lime cheesecake from Magnolia Bakery.  They are like $8 for a teeny little thing, but boy are they delicious.  It's my favorite thing in this city.  So really, it's not a joke...  If you want to stay at my place, you can show your gratitude in buying me (my own) key lime cheesecake.  Enough said!
 P.S.  Noelle, how did I not get the pics from your phone to include here?!

Friday, October 10, 2014

This Week in Pictures

A friend gave me a few pieces of 2T clothes, the best of which was this princess nightgown.  Tatum absolutely adores it and also has been refusing to sit in her high chair as of late.  I pick my battles.
 CASTLE!  She is really proud and since building this at Imagination Playground has obsessed over castles at home too.  Tonight at dinner she lined up her milk cup, water bottle, yellow fork and bowl of noodles and announced "CASTLE, mama!" with those same two fingers of victory. 
 To get a tour at the Federal Reserve you have to book tickets within like the first 5 minutes of the date opening.  When Scott went on, this Tuesday afternoon tour was the only one available, and once on the tour people were telling us how they got up at 3 and 4am just to reserve spots.  They were interested (and likely miffed) that a child got one of the cherished 25 spots.  Our tour guide was really good.  Knew her facts and was interesting to listen to, focusing on impressive stats and fun facts.  We learned all sorts about the US economy and security of the gold bars in the cellar.  It is SUPER safe down there, and luckily they were taking inventory on our day, so we got an even better look!  Each gold bar has different quality and value, and the US stores them for free as a gesture of goodwill to other countries.  Our country destroys an equivalent of $4 million/DAY in torn and old bills.  And also, our tour guide was really proud and mentioned more than once that the new chair of the Board of Governors is Janet Yellen, a female.  When we were thanking the guide afterward for a spectacular tour, Scott commented on what a thrill it is to have Janet serving in this position, especially in this financial "boys club."  Our guide was so pleased with Scott, flattered and proud, then offered him her business card and an invite to get in touch with his classmates from Columbia for a tour in the future.  And this, my friends, is why Scott is loved by his professors.  
 Then Wednesday, zoo day.  We hadn't made it to the "pay what you want" day at the Bronx zoo yet, and since it was nice weather we decided we'd better seize the day.  Scott's classes are primarily at night and on the weekends, so a 2-3 hour activity during the days breaks up the studying and then he usually heads straight to the library or school for class after. 

T's favorite were the giraffes!  She just stared and stared.  When I told Scott I'd like to go on an African safari, he replied "Me too, I think that will be a lot of fun!  It's near the top of my list too."  Tatum piped in, "I go too, Mama!  I coming too!"  Ha, we'll have to see, child. 
 The girl is a ham.  I'm really enjoying these outside days because I remember all too well what a New York winter locked inside feels like. 
 Thursday we visited our friend's new baby boy!  He is such a sweet little guy.  And for the entire (maybe 45 minutes) we were there he never made one peep or fuss, he was awake and happy and perfect.  May this be a foreshadowing of my future.   Good job Joanna and Mike, he is precious!
 Not the best pic, but "Fry Rice" is a Hathaway staple.  Whenever I make rice for another dish I'm always sure to make more so we'll have some leftover for fried rice.  Special green bottle sauce, plenty of cilantro, egg, green onion, tomato, more special green bottle sauce.  It's all about building the flavor as you go. And adding fresh herbs at the end. 
 I present, my first attempt at the braided crown!  I'm getting pretty bored with my hair these days, so this morning I pulled up a tutorial and got to work.  (Side note:  It has taken many years to get to this point, but Tatum does sometimes play independently enough for me to do projects of my own without a constant watch on her.  I thought this day would never come, but it has!) I thought the braid went fairly well, but Scott says I better do some more practice before I wear it out.  This, in conjunction with my friends #40cakesproject has inspired me to do 30 days of all different hair styles.  Some simple, some elaborate.  I figure I'm going to have hair to do every day of my life so I'd better get some skills.  The only real requirement for it to count for my #30hairstylesproject is that I will wear it out of the house.  I imagine I'll post a few to instagram, but the thought of so many selfies is stressing me out, so I'll probably post them in photo strips of 5 or so here on the blog.  
 Scott found Yonah Schimmel Knishery on Yelp so we went to the Lower East Side to check it out.  Having Scott home is REALLY keeping me moving.  He is totally wearing me out.  Every day is something.  I knew I married a mover, but some days I just need a break.  But with his alluring agenda I always manage to pull myself together and come along.  
 This is the spinach knish.  It is basically potato, onion, cheese and in this case, spinach, all wrapped in a very thin bread dough and baked.  It was pretty good with some salt.  It's a Jewish specialty.  I'd eat it again, but I'm not adding it to my NY tour list.
 But Katz deli on the other hand? Now that's a pastrami sandwich!  The place was mayhem! Absolute mayhem.  Crowded as crowded gets, huge slabs of meat flying around, pickles, mustard, the works.  Jewish deli at it's finest.  The pastrami was everything it is hyped up to be, and it better be at $20/sandwich.  Yikesorama. 

 And for the best story of the week:  We were just walking through the streets of the East Village and perusing the stands when I came upon these glasses.  I acted nonchalant even though I really loved them, mostly because of the gold arms (is that what the sides are called?) and how they are small so they actually fit snugly around the side of my face instead of slipping or falling off every time I look down into my purse to get a dry diaper.  Anyway, I acted like I didn't even care, and Scott was like "Wow those look really good on you."  Then T pulled 3 glasses off the rack and this wandering vendor from like 3 shops down suddenly appeared acting like this was his shop too.  I put all the glasses back and asked for the price as I wheeled Tatum away from the scene.  The glasses were $10.  After paying $20 for a single sandwich, it wasn't really the right climate for me to spend another $10, even though I recognize that is cheap for a pair of good lookin' sunglasses.  

If you don't care about sunglasses, don't read on.  I just feel really victorious about this and am mostly posting this story for my mom, who will probably be equally as proud.
 So we leave the stand as quickly as possible to wander over through the Irish Tenement Museum.  Ten minutes in I mention to Scott, "Maybe I should go hang out in that Starbucks and send you with $10 cash to get a head start on my birthday shopping?!"  He was like "What are you talking about?  I don't get it." He'd totally forgotten all about the whole experience and honestly didn't know I was alluding to the glasses.  So I said "Forget it, I'm taking $5 cash and going to just ask.  If he says yes I get the glasses, if he says no then I'll know I tried and have no regrets." He's like "Your birthday isn't for a while, and we are coming into winter.  We just had an expensive lunch..." trying to discourage me.  But I know that $5 is ONE round trip subway ride and I was going to go for it.  So I head over there and walk toward the shop with a long, confident stride and shy smile.  I've had a lot of experience negotiating with vendors... I find the man and just say "Hi... I went through my wallet and I just have $5, do you think that'll be enough to buy the glasses?"  The truth is, I really did just have $5, and I don't want to be a big spender, so that really is all I was willing to pay.  I think they can tell when you are serious about walking away.  He said "Oh no... that won't even cover the cost..."  So I flashed a not so shy smile and turned my body toward the glasses.  He beat me over there, grabbing the exact pair I'd tried on and handed them over, "for you pretty girl, $5."  And that is how it's done.

And when I came back across the street toward Scott wearing the glasses, he grabbed them off of me saying, "You got them?  Give me those!  I'm wrapping them up for your birthday!"  Ha, yeah right, Good try!

We came home worn out (me) and wired (Tate), ready for the weekend. (Read: Scott in school so we can get a rest!!)