The Witty Wordsmith

New York, late winter, the sky is an intense shade of grey. The trees remained bare of any lively bright leaves. In the midst of the eerie grey, a remarkable bit of sunshine played peek-a-boo behind a rainy cloud.

On such an idyllic winter’s day, I set off on foot for St. Nicholas Park in Harlem. It’s a most wonderful park, which fades into hilly fields of green. Regardless of the cold, I’ve always adored sitting on a park bench and reading a good book. Quality time with a book is my ideal form of therapy. I fade into a character’s shoes and forget any of the day troubles.

On one riveting expedition, I sought a most wonderful park bench. As, I picked a perfect little spot for literary madness, the cold winds penetrated through my layers, and pea coat.

For once in my life, I shivered. The goose bumps on my arm grew more sensitive. At that point, I had to look elsewhere for a romantic date with my used book from the Strand bookstore.

I wandered through Harlem’s Hamilton’s Heights neighborhood. It’s the perfect backdrop for any quirky film (Wes Anderson’s Royal Tenenbaums was filmed there). The brownstones are eccentric yet sophisticated characters in their own right.

The hills have provided an escape from the quintessentially Manhattan painting. Bay windows, dramatic stoops and old world charm could inspire poets, painters and playwrights of life to create a proper work of art.

While heading up the hill toward Broadway, I was craving a hot chocolate from the Chipped Cup (my favorite coffee shop, uptown). On that pleasantly quiet Sunday, everyone had the same idea.

The quaint coffee shop was filled with patrons. I was disappointed, since I just wanted was to read a good book. So, I headed back down to 145 street.

To my disappointed, Dunkin Donuts was also filled to the brim with people. I didn’t want to go back to my apartment, since I was really craving a coffee shop. Instead of giving up hope, I took an unexpected turn.

The Eighth avenue subway provided the ears with a classic sound, which only a raspy record player could rival. I found my reading spot, a seat on the subway platform. Even though, the subway has many distractions, I’ve always found it an easy place to concentrate on a book there.

When the A train arrived, I boarded it merrily. I even found a seat. However, distraction found me. “Why don’t you put a chip in me, so you know where I am at all times, said a girlfriend to an equally angry boyfriend. They fought. They whole train watched. Trying to hold back laughter, I tried very hard to not loose concentration on my book.

The arguing heightened into theatrical satire. “Fuck it, I can’t think with this racket going on. At least, there aren’t break-dancers on this train, ” said I. “Showtime,” yelled a boy with a boom box.” Break-dancers with a giant boom box appeared from the blue to everyone’s annoyance.

My eyes didn’t leave my book. Anyhow, my brain was completely distracted. I made it to West 4th Street. Randomly, I decided a cannoli would be amazing.

So, I boarded the F train to Second Avenue and ended up in the East Village. I headed up First Avenue and into the old world charm of Veniero’s (legendary dessert restaurant in the East Village). I ordered a cannoli and opted for a cappuccino rather than a hot chocolate.

I took out my book and found a swell place to concentrate. It only took a long walk, two trains and another somewhat long walk to find my literary Zen. Regardless, my literary Zen was a whole lot better with a delicious cannoli accompanying it.

Celebrity

I don’t own a T.V. (love it, but doesn’t fit in my budget), but my father does. I take up surfing every time I visit him, channel surfing that is. There are the reality TV shows on Bravo, endless hours of CNN and my favorite, IFC’s Portlandia.

When chimes 2 AM, the endless vodka sipping and Botox injecting reality world of Bravo fades. In it’s place, appears the grand dame of late night T.V., the infomercial. It dominates practically every channel. However, in the midst of potato slicers and pimple creams shines a rainbow.

That rainbow comes in the form of QVC & the Home Shopping Network. It’s always on and features a star-studded cast of characters. From Suzanne Somers to Joan Rivers, everyone has a fashion line. Why buy a pair silk pajamas at Target? You can always buy a via QVC. There’s also the possibly to chitchat with Suzanne Somers on how marvelous those pajamas fit.

Speaking of marvelous, that word dazzled me. I wanted to design something too. However, I didn’t go to fashion school. I harkened back to my childhood.

My great-aunt always knitted. She would watch the Price is Right (game show), while sewing together everyone’s Christmas presents. Mittens, socks and fashionable hats were her specialty. Even in the midst of retirement boredom, she always found excitement in her knitting.

“By George, I will take up knitting, said I. Coincidentally, my friend Rachel had been knitting up a couture empire. She kindly invited me to a dinner party/let’s teach Anthony how to knit party. On a pleasantly cold New York evening, I went from the 14th Street subway to the ever-thrilling M14 bus. While heading cross-town, I was delighted to take on a new hobby.

When I reached Rachel’s apartment in Stuy Town, the smell of roast chicken was like sweet perfume for the soul. I enjoyed a few glasses of wine. After an amazing dinner, the knitting lesson started.

She showed me how to stretch the yarn, and then stick the needle through. I giggled a bit. The needles mirrored chopsticks. If I could eat with chopsticks, this would be quite easy.

I tried it out and the yarn wouldn’t budge. She showed me once again how to properly stretch the yarn and commence with the knitting process, but no luck.

I wasn’t quite getting it. Regardless, I could envision myself with a homemade scarf, strolling around the East Village. I gave it another shot. The yarn wasn’t budging.

Then, I realized is my brain not functioning from the glasses of wine and big dinner? I think so, said I. After another shot, we called it a night. Even though I didn’t quite getting knitting the first time, there was no giving up.

Knitting a scarf remains my goal for the year. Even though, I didn’t quite get it the first time and maybe not even the second time, I will be triumphant. Like the folks on QVC, I look forward to saying marvelous a whole lot, once my homemade fashion accessories are born.

Illuminate Yourself With A bright Red Tie

The immense fog of San Francisco married the flurries of Alaska. Afterwards, they traveled east to New York for a dream honeymoon. They made their presence known, engulfing the city’s tenement masterpieces into a sea of grey.

It was a sight to wake up to. While, a part of me, wanted to order food from seamless web, watch endless documentaries ranging from fashion photography to the art of sushi making and (just plain) hibernate, the Indiana Jones in me longed for an adventure.

Rather, than having wanderlust about the lost arc or being chased by a giant rock, I got all dolled up. I placed by tortoise shell glasses on, which accentuated my navy blue pea coat.

Something was missing. I dug deep in the far reaches of my closet. My archaeological dig did not produce a missing link to the T-Rex family, but I did find a precious relic.

“My red tie, here you are, ” I said to myself. I tied it over my grey blue shirt and put my favorite grey cardigan on. It was more Upper West Side than Indiana Jones, but it was most fitting for adventure seeking in the city.

I gained fuel at my favorite diner on Amsterdam Ave. Afterwards; I walked up 72nd Street toward Central Park. In the midst of snow and intense grey, New York lacked color. It was the equivalent of fading into an old black and white film. The only hint of color was leaping from my fiery red tie.

The pitter pater of snow persisted. I reached the imposing apartment blocks of Fifth Avenue. Snow banks, Barney’s NY shopping bags and well-heeled ladies in fur coats created a most quintessential Upper East Side memory.

I walked toward Lexington Avenue with the intent to grab the 4/5 train downtown for an afternoon nosh (snack) and cappuccino. While craving my adrenaline rush from a coffee bean, I experienced a cinematic moment. Truman Capote referred to Lexington Ave as charmless.

Walking from the East seventies to the fifties.  Lex (which I walked on a million times or so. Lex is how we refer to it here) was actually proving to be quiet lovely. Old bookshops, cafes, mom n’ pop restaurants, pre-war buildings and side streets with imposing brownstones birthed a classically New York scene.

I saw the F train station at 63rd street. “How wonderful, I’ll take the F train to the Lower East Side,” said I. When I reached the station, it was a confusing mismatch of platforms and escalators. In my whole history in New York, I had only been lost on the subway once.

This time around, the lack of platform signs indicating uptown/downtown confused me. I was officially lost in translation and on a Queens bound F train. Rather than becoming flustered, I thought to myself ” oh this train stops in Roosevelt Island (an island in the middle of the East River), I’ll just switch over to a downtown train there.

When I stepped off the subway at Roosevelt Island, curiosity captured my heart. I saw another intense set of escalators, which were so high, I wondered if I would be dancing in a sea of clouds.

The explorer in me wanted to see a part of the city, which I had never explored before. As I leaped out of the F train station, the snow morphed into a light dusting of frost.

Roosevelt island was filled with steel and glass modern apartments. However, one sight would be the red tie to an otherwise colorless day.

My eyes met the Queens-borough Bridge. It jutted across the island. The tram moved slowly (there’s a tram which takes residents from Roosevelt to Manhattan) in the midst of the background of the Manhattan skyline.

It provided me with the holy grail of New York memories. I strolled around the island a bit and finally headed downtown. After entering the subway, I could officially say “I’ve been on Roosevelt Island.

After exiting the Second Avenue subway station, I marveled at the grey skies. The snow stopped. I walked toward a coffee shop, which had vintage rock n’ roll posters and plenty of electrical outlets (to charge my phone). While trying to resist the temptation of heading inside Katz’s, an epiphany came into my brain.

That particular day with it’s snow filled skies, Kodak worthy pictures of the Queens borough bridge & overall happy spirit, will remain one of those special nostalgic memories. “Wow, sometimes, I really am the Indiana Jones of Manhattan. If Indiana Jones wore a bunch of cardigans and wrote a blog, of course,” said I.

Thirty Candles

“Wow, I woke up in my cardigan,” said I on the moment I turned thirty. It was the best weekend ever and a most proper to end to my twenties. I called my father up to declare, “I am thirty.” Since, it was a Monday, I took the subway to work and had my morning bagel, while anticipating the big Chinese dinner, which awaited me that evening.

After a feast of scallion pancakes, fried rice and the crowing jewel of the meal, scallion pancakes, my friends & I walked around Chinatown. As we headed toward Mulberry Street, Chinatown met Little Italy. Along the souvenir stands, Italian restaurants and pastry shops was a little gem. “Oh look everyone, it’s the Christmas shop,” I said with eyes wide open.

I could hear everything from Frosty to the Snowman to “All I want for Christmas” (obviously the Mariah Carey version)” vividly in my head. We stepped into a galaxy full of ornaments, fancy chocolates and other Christmas knick-knacks, which were beautifully presented. In contrast to being a jaded New York thirty-something, I was still in awe of the holiday season.

Growing up, I watched and re-watched the Flintstones’ and Jetsons’ Christmas special. I also remember one year, my great-grandma bought us a Christmas tree. My parents decorated it with Technicolor lights. Kitschy decorations gave the tree a quirky appearance.

When I hit my teen years, Christmas trees weren’t as common around the house. Instead, we’d head to Newport Beach. This typically meant, a family dinner at the California Pizza Kitchen, The Cheesecake Factory and/or P.F. Chang’s. Upon moving to New York years ago, I made an effort to get into the Christmas spirit.

After my birthday, the trees formed narrow canyons along New York pavement. The smell of pine was intoxicating. Apartment windows from the East Village to Brooklyn Heights were adorned with austere Christmas trees, shining brightly against the icy New York night.

In January, the theme is “fuhgeddaboutit.” The narrow canyon of Christmas trees disappear. Instead, the pavements became cemeteries for Christmas trees, signaling an end to the holiday season. While walking on East Seventh Street, I too was in awe of all the trees thrown out like yesterday’s rubbish.

Heading further east toward Tompskins Square Park, early in the evening, I saw the Holy Grail. “Oh my, it’s a fully lit Christmas tree,” I said with an innocent grin. “Christmas maybe over, but it’s still somehow alive and well in Alphabet City/East Village. Thanks to this vision.” I admired the tree a bit and was hungry. “Off for Indian food, see you next year Christmas.” To my favorite Indian restaurant, I went, joyful to not be jaded.

Think Unicorns

Pretzels, potato chips & goldfish (sushi’s cheesy cracker cousin), all foods I thoroughly enjoy. However, one life event made these delicious foods, a forbidden fruit. Let’s back track. It was a quiet Sunday afternoon in the East Village. I wandered around First Avenue, pondering life deep philosophical questions. Should I have Indian for lunch? Or Thai?

There was a tingle in my mouth. Wow, something just doesn’t feel right. I called my dad. “Antoine, have you not been wearing a scarf over your mouth?” he asked with a stern tone. ” No, I never do,” I replied. ” It’s bad for your teeth, wear a scarf. It’s too cold out there,” he replied. I didn’t believe I could actually get frostbite in my mouth, especially after being quite accustomed to New York winters.

The next night, the temperatures dropped dramatically. As expected, the Polar Vortex had become a part of New York daily life like the deli or a metro card. Regardless, of the Polar Vortex, I took advantage of the empty sidewalks. I had a most magnificent walk on Manhattan Avenue in Harlem. Everything was quintessentially adorable and bursting with character. Sadly, the beauty didn’t diminish the pangs of pain, which eventually developed in my mouth. “Ouch,” I said.

I convinced myself, it was nothing, just an unrealistic case of frostbite in my mouth. When I rose from slumber, the pangs of pain arose with me. “Shit, I think I am going to have to see the dentist.” Casually, I browsed the Internet to make an appointment. As I bit into my croissant sandwich, all hell broke loose. I was in too much pain.

In a great panic, I made an appointment. There was something cool and hip about my dentist’s office. There were plenty of Rolling Stone magazines to read and good people watching from the Union Square crowd.

My dentist walked in. He looked more like a recent art school graduate than a traditional dentist, which put me at ease, since I am in the creative field.

He brought me for an X-ray and as expected, bad news. ” Yeah, you have a wisdom tooth, which needs to be pulled out. This going to be harder, since you’re 30 and they typically get more imbedded within the gum as time goes by. Oh and you also have an infection from this. You need to take both teeth, he said.” I opted for only one tooth, since it was cheaper.”

While numbing my gums for the archaeological dig, I braced for madness. Also, I prepared myself for a voyage into a mystical land, which mirrored English countryside. It had unicorns and jellybeans blossoming from the ground. “Okay, kiddo are you ready? He asked. “Oh yeah,” I said terrified, but said with great confidence. The digging began.

The dig for the tooth intensified. I could feel the pressure as he strategically dug for that precious relic. A few minutes later, I experience a tug and surprise, my wisdom tooth came out. “Congratulations, do you want to take a picture for your friends to see?” he asked. Naturally, I pulled out my iPhone and snap. Then I went my merry way to Walgreens for some fun medications.

After my adventure in the pharmacy, I took the N train to Times Square (where I transfer to the West Side trains). Naturally, I was in terrible pain, as the N, Q & R trains stopped running properly. Feeling loopy from surgery, I tried to take a cab home, which didn’t quite work out for me. In the middle of chaotic Herald Square, I schlepped it to Seventh Avenue and got on a 2/ Uptown train.

The subway was itself typical sardine can. I desperately wanted a seat. The thespian in me had an idea. Back in 1988, when I was 4. I pretended to be dizzy, playing to my unsuspecting cousin’s emotions. All I wanted was a soda and I knew I could get it by being dramatic. I was ready for performance, but no need. The subway emptied at Times Square and I got a seat.

Arriving at my apartment in Harlem, I opened up the fridge and ate cheese. I had to consume the cheddar like a mouse, since I could barely move my jaw. Two pills went were taken and the pain was gone. Eventually, I started feeling normal. However, booze and crunchy foods were out of the question.

Until the next episode of dental surgery, I will jam out to “Geek Stink Breath” by Green Day. The music video reminds me of my journey into the land of dentistry and teeth pulling.

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,600 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 60 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Jack-o-lanterns And Lattes

“I just wanna jump in a big pile of leaves and snow,” said I. In the intense oven-like heat, I felt more like a roasted chicken than a smiling polar bear. However, the loving memories of fall brought a sentimental tear to my eye.

In New York, fall isn’t simply about golden and orange leaves. It represents “coming out of the closet.” The coming out ceremony, involves my sweater and cardigan collection. After months of hibernating, the couture was ready to hit the fashion forward sidewalks.

Stepping out of my modest Manhattan apartment and feeling that crisp cold air was inspiring. Not only was it ideal outside, but also the fashion was better. From the concrete to the subway, everyone was dressed in their fall best. However, I still needed that special something to really represent the change of season.

“Pumpkin spice lattes are back,” proclaimed a friend. As, I nearly fell out of my chair in glee; a tear fell from my cheek. After finding out about the pumpkin spice comeback, I quickly joined the caffeinated bandwagon.

I made the trek to Starbucks and took the first sip. It was quite sweet, sickeningly sweet and I loved it. At the moment, fall had officially arrived. Goodbye humidity, hello Halloween and Thanksgiving madness.

Film School Nerd

Every great civilization and individual, experiences the dreadful dark ages. From this time of recession, a renissance of art & self-expression is typically cultivated. In the dark ages, otherwise known as high school, I underwent my own time of recession.

On a simply gorgeous spring day, my mom uttered the words, which would change my life. “You’re grounded. I saw your report card. Are you daydreaming too much again?” I shook my head. “No.” In actuality, I was jet setting into the land of daydreams, where fashion, interesting people and cappuccinos ran wild.

“No TV, no movies and absolutely no music,” said mom. My eyes grew wide open with fear. What’s my life without a riveting CD collection to keep my right brain in creative/arty mod? I read books, which luckily were not banned. However, I had to find a way to keep my stimulation away from Bermuda Triangle of boredom.

In the common world of American high-school students, I grew up in a cluster of track homes. I took my walks after school along an undeveloped land. It was a little hostess cupcake of nature, until I stared to the left of me. Freeways and more track homes reminded me, ” oh yes, I really do live in suburbia, tear, tear.” As the dust flowed into skies of grey, I decided to say  “Fuck it, I am going to write a movie.”

Not yet acclimated to lap tops, my father took me to the drug store. I bought a pair of inexpensive notebooks and a few magazines. Turning the dull notebooks into a lively piece of art, I cut out high fashion advertisements from the magazines. I then started working on my screenplay.

“Breakfast in New York, Lunch in London, Dinner in Tokyo,” was the title. It was a witty romantic comedy about a journalist doing a story on a jet setting Central Park West socialite. Act I was the typical “boy meets girl” fare. I plugged away with my pen, turning the white bland pages into a world filled with glamour and wit.

While suburban surroundings left me with a lack of stimuli, I turned to my characters’ lives for escapism. There were escapades in Madrid, polo matches in England. Quickly, my characters arrived in ACT II. The story progressed in Paris. In a most cliché manner, the journalist and socialite fell in love with the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower bursting into romance.

By act III, the story hit a less than fabulous speed bump. While digging through my backpack, I noticed act I went missing. It was nothing, but a silly notebook. However, as I writer it was though a body organ had gone into oblivion. I cried and realized the emotional connection I had with my work.

The next morning, I bravely asked my Spanish professor if I had left my notebook in class. He nodded “yes.” Fireworks exploded from my head in joyful glee. By the look on his face, I could tell he didn’t approve of the Versace ad adorning the cover, which made me feel very, very hip. The saga of “Breakfast in New York, Lunch in London, Dinner in Tokyo” commenced.

Act III took place in Tokyo, where the journalist loses the socialite’s love. He regains and they live happily ever after. At the end, they both ride camels into the sunset with a backdrop of Egyptian pyramids. After writing an entire 3 act film in long hand, I considered my fete, a huge accomplishment. I thought it was a film that could be made and change the world, even though it was formulaic romantic comedy.

Eventually, I was let go from being grounded. The whole screenwriting experience led me to film school, where I received a BA in film. I didn’t grow up to be the next Quentin Tarantino, Wes Anderson or Sophia Coppola. Instead, I found my calling in advertising.

Today, I work in the creative department of an advertising firm, with the goal of becoming a copywriter. I live in my own New York City apartment and enjoy the very stimulating environment. While my teachers and mom complained about my daydreaming, as I grew into a writer, I realized it’s called “being creative.”

Wandering Brooklyn

One magical Saturday afternoon, the humidity levels dwindled. My brain, which was in a constant state of ” I am schvitzing. Somebody get me an iced latte from Dunkin Donuts,” suddenly awoke. As I peered into the graceful skies above Manhattan, wanderlust ran rampant.

Although, I couldn’t go play on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, drink a beer at a London pub or enjoy a fashion show in Tokyo, I went for the next best thing. “Today, I am going to have a day trip/staycation in Brooklyn.” I waited in the excruciating heat of the F train station and was excited. Brooklyn has always provided me with many wonderful adventures. However, I rarely leave the city. The idea of going out to explore the familiar captivated my imagination.

Excitement grew, as the train arrived at the York Street station in Dumbo. Walking into the intense grey of Brooklyn was more charming than a box of cannolis on a winter’s day. I started my adventure. There was the industrial steel, so beloved by New Yorkers of all ages. The apartments of the wealthy and hip stood out like a country music album in a sea of hip-hops 45s. Although, there was the bourgeoisie factor, creative energy still dominated the plateau.

I longed to enjoy a day by the water at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Strolling along the cobbled stone streets, the most cinematic picture in New York dominated the sky. The overlapping of the Manhattan Bridge with the Brooklyn Bridge (in the distance) underneath grey skies was simply inspirational. In the distance, Manhattan with its skyscrapers, red brick project buildings and the FDR (highway). I played tourist in my backyard, snapping away with my camera phone.

I continued my stroll around Brooklyn Bridge Park. The tiny waves of the East River hit against a cluster of grey rock formations. Pebbles and lush green trees with hints of red hanging like ornaments, was indicative of a jolly holiday. “Who needs to take a train to some beach, when there’s such a deep sense of urbane serenity here,” were my thoughts. I sat on a bench and pumped up my iPOD.

A soundtrack of Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead, Bjork, Green Day, Cornershop & the Cranberries played as I took in the romanticized (and surprisingly filled) salt-water breezes. I felt creative and re-energized, just through a couple hours of peace & quiet. My Brooklyn adventures continued.

After Dumbo, I headed to Carroll Gardens & Brooklyn Heights, where I took in all the lovely brownstones, outdoor cafes and vintage shops. I returned to my apartment in Manhattan. It felt like I had taken a relaxing holiday and I didn’t even leave New York City.

Queens-landia

While New York’s swelters in humidity, the only ice seen on the sidewalk comes in a Dixie cup. Yes, those shaved flavored ices for $1 are the closest we get to slush for months. Daydreaming about the resurrection of Frosty the snowman and Starbucks holiday drinks always brings about nostalgia.

When I first moved back to New York, the city was an urban Eskimo’s dream. There was still ice-skating at Rockerfeller Center, long coats and mittens dominated the streets from Amsterdam Avenue to the Bowery. Snow pilled on to the sidewalks next to less romantic piles of garbage.

The most exciting news of all was the possibility of a blizzard. I had just started a new job and was staying on a friend’s couch in Queens, while I looked for a new apartment in Manhattan.

Queens is my former home borough. It’s a place, which seems largely untouched by high rise, steel + glass condos and designer shops. Instead, there were still butcher shops, mom n’ pop restaurants with quaint apartment blocks and row houses.

Like the rest of the city, Queens was anticipating a snow-magedon. I was delighted. After all, I was living in California, where snow was only viewed from a distance on top of mountains. Then there was fake snow, which delighted the masses at Disney land. Little did, I know something shocking was going to happen.

I took the subway back from Midtown and arrived at Tony’s basement apartment (where I was staying). He looked terrible. ” Hey buddy, you ready for that blizzard?” he asked. ” Yup, I am a snow bunny,” I replied. ” Good, you’re not gonna mind shoveling snow? I’ve got the flu and can’t do it,” he asked with a worried expression. Without much thought, I replied ” of course not,” then I realized what I agreed to.

I’ve lived through many blizzards, but shoveling snow always alluded me. Since, I was staying in a basement apartment, it was impossible to see the blizzard pouring from the sky. Instead of worrying about snow, Tony & I were good gays. We stayed in and watched a Golden Girls marathon. As we laughed at the hijinks of Rose, Dorothy, Blanche & Sophia, the whole shoveling snow adventure was in the back of my mind.

The next morning, I woke up. I turned on NY1 (our very own news channel). New York City was blanketed in snow, but Long Island had the worse of it. That meant my snow shoveling shouldn’t be too bad. I opened the door to find that the staircase (leading to the basement) had disappeared. Instead a tiny hill of puffy, pure snow had magically taken over.

Like any great adventurer climbing Mt. Everest, I took on the challenge. ” What fuck are you wearing?” Tony asked. He was puzzled by my wardrobe selection. “This is my cute, I am gonna shovel snow outfit.” I replied with great wit. “You look like you’re going shopping Bergdorf Goodman’s. “Here wear this and these boots,” he answered with a bit of eye rolling.

As I slipped into my new outfit, I looked more like a lumberjack ready for some logrolling. Tony stepped outside with me and showed me the whole process. “Now remember you gotta scrap the stairs for ice and be careful throwing it over the neighbor’s fence, ” with a stern look he handed me the shovel and away I went. It took forever and I kept throwing snow on myself, rather than in a nice pile.

Eventually, I finished one stair then another and so on. Tony stepped outside. He surveyed my handy work. ” You were definitely in California before this,” he said with a giggle. ” Ok, I am gonna buy some salt at the store. Just go to the Village and do what you need to do.” I once again, slipped into my cutest outfit and quickly (but with caution) bolted to the Village.

After a day of shoveling, I enjoyed a field trip to Washington Square Park. A few weeks later, I moved into my new apartment on 20th & the FDR. Rather, than shoveling snow I ended up admiring it from my window and playing in it. With the current heat wave, I can’t wait for winter. Once it arrives, I plan on jumping into a big pile of icy goodness.

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