Archive for the ‘Summer’ Category

Summer, It Turns Me Upside Down

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

There are two things I hate about post-Memorial Day.

The first is the beachgoers that travel to Fire Island, the Hamptons and Montauk every Friday afternoon and Monday morning. They all travel on my LIRR line. Why are most of them annoying?

  • They pack three full-sized suitcases for a two-day weekend. I was able to go on a six-day Alaskan cruise with one carry-on.
  • There’s an abundance of grating Long Island accents. You’ll, like, hear, like, the word “like,” like, interjected every three seconds.
  • They’re glued to their cell phones, usually involved in some drama than invokes the grating Long Island accent. Peace and quiet doesn’t exist on Friday afternoon trains anymore. Pre-Memorial and post-Labor Days, you can hear a pin drop on the 5:09.
  • They are often accompanied by yapping pocketbook dogs.
  • They have no respect for daily commuters. They think their pooches and Vera Bradley duffel bags deserve a seat, when neither carry a ticket. They also block the aisle. The daily commuters loathe them. We talk about them before the summer starts and how much we hate summer Fridays.

Well, they’re back with a vengance. (more…)

Under The Sea

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Well, even though my creative energy has been zapped, I was able to muster a slight recharge this past weekend so Lex and I could construct a five-foot replica of an R-36 Redbird for the Coney Island Mermaid Parade. Yes, us crazy cats are going to march in the parade carrying the replica, which has been decorated in marine life, to commemorate all the reefed subway cars. They are now now part of the underwater ecosystem!

Took us about two days to go about doing so, and involved a lot of cardboad, paint and posterboard. But it looks great, even though we took some creative liberties with it. We’re sure to get yelled at by some foamers. We’re not going to publish photos until after the parade, so come see us or even march with us.

Other than that, life’s been good. Not much has been going on, except for work.  Haven’t traveled since Atlanta, but tried to relive the experience by ordering grits at the deli near my office. New York grits ? Atlanta grits. I highly suggest you stay away. Even McDonald’s has been trying to bring Southern cooking up here, but their attempts to copy Chick-Fil-A = ultimate fail (in fact, a Tulsa Chick-Fil-A was letting people trade half-eaten McDonald’s chicken sandwiches for the real thing). They were giving away their chicken sandwiches for free a few weeks ago. I had one for lunch, but it was bland and slimy. Ugh. But I did discover that a Chick-Fil-A does exist in New York City, at NYU’s student center. I have to see if I can sneak in one day – my co-workers and I are on a mission. Yes, I work with a bunch of Chick-Fil-A addicts. If you’ve never been to one, go – your life will never be the same.

Did go to my annual work Mets game the other day. Boxed seats, sushi, Cracker Jacks – who could ask for more? Had to leave before I saw my name on the Jumbotron, but we always get pictures later. Weird that it’s probably the last time I’ll ever be in Shea Stadium. Chicago is also in less than two months, so that should be exciting. I’ve never been to the Midwest before, unless the boondocks of Western Pennsylvania count.

Nothing much else to report, but I suppose a recent scorecord is in order. Presenting Amanda vs. The World, Part IV: (more…)

Fall Is In The Air

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

Summer technically does not end until next week, but autum is in the air, and as McDonald’s chimes, “I’m lovin’ it.”

Trees in Islip have already started turning shades of crimson and gold, and Starbucks has begun stocking my favorite hot caramel apple cider again. I’ve slipped back into cozy sweaters and hide under my down blanket while sleeping. School buses wake me up in the morning, and the smell of freshly-cut grass has been replaced by wafts of random chimney smoke or burning brush.

It’s difficult to peg my favorite season. When summer rolled around, I was more than eager to dip my toes in the ocean, build castles in the sand and partake in barbequed hot dogs and hamburgers. Yet, I still have a yearning for my backyard to be blanketed in white, my dog running around with a big snow beard on her snout. However, there’s something about crocuses peeking through melting ice and cool spring breezes.

I think I’ll take (E). All of the above. I’m happy to live in a place where there’s four distinct seasons.

The Crashdown of Crabula

Sunday, August 12th, 2007

My bronchitis is almost gone. It’s been a strange bout, since it did not gradually build up and gradually go away. However, I’m glad it’s over for the most part, because I have a business trip in Florida from Wednesday to Saturday and don’t want to be sick.

It was quite hot today, and after finding out that the Metro New York Ballon & Music Festival would put us back at least $75 with admission and the cost of food, Lexcie and I decided to go to the beach instead. We couldn’t find the sand toys before we left, so we went to CVS to buy some new ones. However, CVS’ stock was cheaply made and expensive, so we decided to buy a $1 spatula and $1.49 tumbler instead. Lexcie wanted some cardboard to stabalize sandcastle tunnels, so we hijacked some boxes from behind Boston Market.

The drive to the beach took an hour instead of 15 minutes, due to an accident and subsequent congestion on the Robert Moses Causeway. We had planned on going to Robert Moses Field 5 to meet my sister and her family, but by then, Field 5 was closed to overcrowding and we had to go to Field 4. (Turns out my sister was at Field 4 anyways, but we walked in the opposite direction.) We set up camp near the water, and began building the transit-oriented village of Crabula. While Lexcie dug a foot-and-a-half subway tunnel using a tunnel boring machine (the spatula), I built condos using the tumbler. When finished, the sand-village was made up of two subway tunnels, an open subway station (complete with a platform), three tumbler townhomes on top of the right-of-way and thre high-rise tumbler condos. A moat and a levy protected the village, which was aptly named after I found a singular blue crab leg while swimming and put it on top of one of the townhomes.

The tide started rising, so it was time to see what the Village of Crabula was made of. It survived about five waves before the moat became oversaturated and stopped channeling water away from the village perimeter. However, the subway station prevailed, and even as the lowest point in the village, it did not collect water (take that, New York City Transit).  One of the tunnels, however, did get blocked by a wayward Ziplock bag.

We then dug some more holes and built up the levy a little more, which worked for about three waves. But then one tidal wave proved too strong for the levy, which then washed away. We decided to stop building and hoped for the best. And the little subway station, townhouses and condos held strong.

But the tide kept getting higher, and water began gushing into the station, collapsing both tunnels. Then the condos sucummbed. That was followed by a tsunami, which totally wiped out the subway station and two of the townhomes. The Little Crabula Townhome That Could, which proudly held the abandoned crab leg, held on until the very last moment, when it slowly washed away as the wave pulled back into the sea.

And that’s what you get when a transit planner and real estate journalist build sandcastles.

The Village of Crabula  The Village of Crabula  The Crabula Subway Tunnel

The Crabula Subway Tunnel  The Mote Protects Crabula

San Francisco, Part I

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

Here I am, sitting jetlagged from my recent vacation. Given that it is only 8:00 p.m. in California, I am still awake. I told Lexcie that I was going to sleep, but I’ve failed. So, I think I’ll start a write-up about the trip. (more…)

WordPress Was Hungry

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

… and ate the long post I just wrote. Roar.

Anways, life continues on its busy way, which is quite a good thing. Last weekend truly began the summer craziness. (more…)

Busy Weekend

Monday, June 18th, 2007

I had quite a busy weekend, which seems to be the norm nowadays. That’s a good thing – I really shouldn’t sleep in late and let it waste away.

Although I get out of work early on Friday, I decided to stay in the city late to avoid the mess of Fire Islanders/Hamptonites/Montaukians on the LIRR. So a co-worker and I went out for a movie, dinner and drinks, since the boss man gave us movie gift certificates for a job well done this past month. We decided on Knocked Up, because I’ve heard nothing but good things about it from my friends. And it was actually a very, very good movie, and quite heartwarming. Although I am not one for crudeness, it actually gave a more real-life element to the movie. You could actually see a friend in that situation. I haven’t seen any of Judd Apatow’s other movies yet, but plan to check them out.

And even though I stayed late on Friday, my 8:30 Patchogue train was still packed with beachgoers. (more…)

Life’s A Beach

Tuesday, June 12th, 2007

I spent quite a nice weekend up in Massachussetts with Lexcie this weekend, and it was a nice break from New York City and Long Island. It was the first time I traveled up to Boston when I wasn’t the one driving. I had originally planned to take Fung Wah, until Jarid pointed out that Greyhound’s tickets are just as cheap. However, there was an accident on I-84 and we arrived an hour later than we were supposed to. Lexcie then gave me the grand tour of Boston, first stopping in Chinatown to eat at Peach Farm (where I ordered General Tso’s chicken, much to his expectation, haha), then walking up towards the North End to have dessert at Mike’s Pastry (by the way, if you ever go there, try the tiramisu – some of the best I’ve had!). The city is quite an interesting place. I definitely got a kick out of all the “hidden” T stations, especially the one that looked like it was housed in a 1700s court house of sorts. I think I’d like to go back in the day time and check out all of the non-touristy stuff I missed when I used to go to Boston with my cousins. Lexcie is quite a spiffy guide. Afterwards, we took the T commuter train back to Haverhill. I thought LIRR was bad, ending trains around 2 or 3 a.m., but every last T commuter train leaves at 12:10 a.m. (more…)

Thtuffy Nothe

Sunday, May 27th, 2007

Allergies have still not died down. Today was probably one of the worst – I was dizzy, felt sort of floaty and all I wanted to do was sleep. Every time I talk, my mom has to ask me to repeat myself because I’m all stuffed up and not speaking properly. Case in point, a phone conversation I had at work with a public relations guy in Florida:

Me: This is Amanda
PR: Oh, hi Amanda. I didn’t call to talk to you, even though I usually talk to you about Florida stories.
Me (confused, because I had called him 15 minutes earlier and left a message about a story I was writing): Oh? Who are you looking for then?
PR: Samantha
Me: Samantha?
PR: Yeah, Samantha left me a message about 15 minutes ago about some Florida story. I couldn’t understand what she was saying.
Me: Oh, that was me. And my allergies.
PR: That would explain it.

Allergies nonwithstanding, I’ve gotten Samantha quite a lot – in fact, ever since kindergarten. There was a girl named Michelle in my class who always called me Samantha. A nun in high school. And then there was always confusion when I worked in the health food store; someone would call and tell my boss, “I need to talk to Samantha about ordering something.” Then my boss would say, “No Samanthas work here,” and that person would hang up. I’ve seemed to cause all sorts of confusion in my life.

Yesterday was spent driving around Long Island. (more…)

The Sound Of Silence

Thursday, June 23rd, 2005

Ahh…. the first days of summertime: the birds are singing, the waves are crashing, the thunder is booming, the lawnmowers are roaring, the dogs are barking, the kids are screaming, the stereos are blasting, the cars are revving… ARGH! Stop the noise pollution!

I love summer. Who doesn’t? But the barrage of unpleasant clamor really kills it for me sometimes. What is it about the season that encourages others to turn up the volume and blast other’s ears off? (more…)