REPORT A PROBLEM
Jonathan R., 48, Midtown West, 8/1/17
1. Starbucks barista scrawled "Jungle Gym" on his venti cup. Would've been a low point except she did it on purpose. Or so he thought because he also thinks she winked at him.
2. When he reached for the subway pole, the guy wrapped around it moved aside two inches to accommodate his hand.
1. Chipotle line too long, had to make do with BonChon.
2. Cute Barista at Starbucks, still on duty at lunch, doesn't react when he tells her his name is "Jungle Gym". Scrawls "Bunghole" on cup.
Monica P., 76, Upper West Side, 8/2/17
1. Woke up at all, a miracle, given she thought she was going to Jesus last night upon choking on what she swore was a chicken bone in her tuna salad.
2. The corner store had one lone pint of half and half so she didn't have to "make do" with that powdered crap her daughter brought over last week.
1. A toy poodle who reminded her so much of her Mitzie (RIP) ignored her greeting on Amsterdam.
2. Bagels are too big these days. And bakeries too fancy.
Molly W., 22, Murray Hill, 8/3/17
1. Totally found By Chloe using Google Maps and didn't get lost like last time
2. Looked better in skinny jeans than girl from yoga who isn't even that cute anyway
1. Burger at By Chloe was NOT the best ever and could swear it was smaller than last time, sat next to ugly girl
2. Phone ran out of charge, got lost walking home, had to ask some old guy who must be like 45 for directions and swear he wanted me to do stuff with him in thanks.
Heather J., 42, Upper East Side, 8/4/17
1. Took a risk, bought unsalted almond butter at Whole Foods, actually liked it better than salted, thrilled that the option to salt is there if desired. 2. Coveted garden apartment on East 80th left lights on at night, affording view into living room, which is not as nice as she would've thought, jealousy quelled a bit
1. When perfect blonde lawyer she temps for asked where she lives and she said UES and supplied the address, lawyer sneered and said, "Please. That's YORKVILLE."
2. Fell off treadmill. Again.
Mark T., 41, Chelsea, 8/5
1. Didn't confuse cucumber and zucchini this time, can finally make those "zoodles" he's been dying to try.
2. Cute guy at gym is no longer wearing wedding ring, stopped wearing socks only clueless straight man would wear.
1. Hairline receding? Love handles? Encroachment of arthritis? Or just bad lighting in locker room and lack of sleep?
2. Filthy woman on subway singing Adele off-key, sneered at him because he wouldn't give a dollar, accused him of being racist, even when he told her no, it's because she has no talent.
Cal, 58, Midtown East, 8/6
1. Bread was fresh at Subway, counter babe gave even more extra cheese on his sandwich than usual.
2. Elevator fixed, don't have to walk up two flights of stairs to apartment after long day at work.
1. No one he swiped right on Tinder swiped right for him, saw one of his picks in line at Chipotle and knew the reason she was laughing with her friend was because they recognized him.
2. Forgot to pick up shirts at cleaners, wishes he hadn't cheated on wife, would still have wife.
Marlena G., 98, Morningside Heights, 8/7/17
1. Woke up, got out of bed.
2. That muffin (blueberry?) was wonderful.
3. Went to bed.
1. Realized needlepoint is boring, abandons half-done "sampler" she started in March.
2. Can't find knitting needles as possible substitute activity.
3. Trying to be one of those upbeat "98 years young" people takes too much energy.
4. Doesn't even like tea anymore.
5. Toast isn't that exciting either.
6. Misses her cat, sister, parents, husband, car, teeth, dancing, and Guiding Light
7. Thought she had a sourball candy in pocketbook, was wrong.
Josh M., 5, Upper West Side, 8/8/17
1. To make up for bad lunch at day camp, rode subway with dad to McDonald's to get fries, Dad said it was "top secret" and not to tell Mom!
2. Mom made mashed potatoes and fried chicken to make up for bad lunch at camp!
3. Roscoe, the dog, slept with him on his bed!
4. Found a dollar bill in shorts pocket!
1. Feels weird about not telling Mom about fries.
2. Tummy ache after dinner.. From secret? Too much food? Can't finish chocolate pudding, his favorite.
Greta S., 26, Greenpoint, 8/9/17
1. Finally finished all six seasons of GIRLS, doesn't have to worry about spoilers anymore, can freely converse with friends about it.
2. Amazon Pantry delivery of microwave popcorn arrived, no need to leave house for a week, perfect timing since unemployment checks end this month anyway
1. The series finale of GIRLS was totally stupid.
2. No matter how much weight lost, still feels fatter than Lena Dunham.
3. Ugh, no clean underwear.
4. That guy from OKCupid is ghosting her for no good reason.
6. Seriously. Whatever.
J.T., 54, Hell's Kitchen, 8/10/17
1. Hot young guy at gym, the one who lifts shirt up to check out his own crazy abs, asked if he needed a spot, and when he accepted, HYG practically tea-bagged him. Unwittingly or not, it still happened.
2. Actually pressed more weight than he ever has.
1. Fears he may have had a poppy seed stuck in his teeth while at the gym.
2. Empanada Mama permanently closed? Not in the mood for pizza again. Scarfs entire bag of Double-Stuf Oreos and the rest of the Cool Ranch Doritos.
Catherine Q., 42, Midtown East, 8/11/17
1. Found long-missing gym sock under the bed, can finally be paired with its mate that's been waiting atop the dresser for like two months.
2. Found diary from 1990 in box under bed, now has proof she was in love with Sam P. in sophomore year.
3. Mistakenly bought ground coffee at Whole Foods. What are the odds of that happening the same day the grinder at home breaks?
1. Found 1992 diary where Sam P. called her fat and broke their prom date. How did she forget that?
Chris E., 34, Financial District, 8/12/17
1. Hot friend of buddy on Facebook liked the selfie of him on the High Line in the new shades he wasn't sure he should buy because it was either them or groceries for the week.
2. Office lunch meeting cancelled, hightailed it to conference room and nabbed three sandwiches, four bags of chips, and two bottles of Poland Spring to take home.
1. New shades crushed underneath the lunch load in his pack. Fuckin' Poland Spring.
2. Too much mayo on sandwiches, spoiled after six hours without refrigeration. WTF.
Marian, 38, Upper West Side, 8/13/17
1. Finally weaned Max, doesn't have to worry about awkwardness of discussion with first grade teacher in a few weeks.
2. Lululemon pants feel a little looser, probably won't have to order next size up online as previously thought to avoid humiliation in-store.
3. That salad at Chopt was really good. Chickpeas rock.
1. Caught scowling at misbehaving unattractive child at Starbucks, told his mom Max never acts that way, and then Max acted that way.
2. Husband laughed at the incident when recounted over subpar dosas at Hampton Chutney.
Sondra, 35, Inwood, 8/14/17
1. Deactivated Facebook so doesn't have to see Jared's new profile pic with his new girlfriend and her hair that looks good even though it's gotta be a weave or at least a wig.
2. Didn't fuck up the oatmeal this time, so doesn't have to soak the pot or consider throwing it out and getting a new one to avoid soaking it.
1. Lisa said the new girlfriend's hair is natural and she's actually really chill.
2. Realized everything in closet is crap, nothing to wear, gotta lose at least 15.
Kevin, 1 day, Upper West Side, 8/15/17
1. Got much more space to move around in, kinda weird, but could be cool.
2. Mom's got quite the rack.
3. Everyone seems really excited to see me.
4. I have ten of these things called fingers and an equal number of something called toes.
5. I wasn't breach, whatever that is.
1. Too much light.
2. Someone smacked me on the ass, made me cry.
3. "Poop"? WTF is this shit?
4. Yo, where are my teeth?
5. Everyone's talking to me like I don't understand English.
Marvin K., 48, Tribeca, 8/16/17
1. Corn cobs on sale at Whole Foods.
2. Cans of organic black beans only 10 cents more than nonorganic at corner store.
3. Found recipe that uses corn and black beans that he's been looking for for months.
4. Kim brought salsa. Can't believe he forgot to pick up salsa. Hers was A+.
1. Too many beans. You do the math.
2. Too much corn. Do more math.
3. Got salsa on new white pants. Kim accused him of doing it on purpose so he'd have to take them off.
Lee, Chinatown, 21, 8/17/17
1. iPhone did NOT break when that pack of asshole tourists bumped into him while taking selfies while buying shitty crap fake-ass purses on Canal. Hairline crack was literally, like, a hair on the screen.
2. Grandma's dumplings still the best-kept secret in the neighborhood, tourists will never get their ugly fat doughy Midwestern hands on them.
3. Hot girl on subway was reading the same book he was on train, smiled at him.
1. Dropped iPhone in toilet.
2. Got needlessly offended when someone suggested rice to help dry it out
Dinner at Almayass to celebrate the 80th birthday (tomorrow) of my best friend. I can think of no better way to spend this rainy Friday night than in his company, in a dress like an actual lady (me, not him), laughing over stupid stuff like we've done for the 20 years we've been friends. That he won't even dream of letting me treat him to dinner, even on this "milestone" birthday, and when we split appetizers he eats less than half, speaks volumes about his character. No younger man can even hope to hold a candle to this consummate gentleman.
Corey C., Lower East Side, 19, 8/19/17
1. Found great spot off Grand to sleep last night, enough room for both him and Roscoe, the dog.
2. Sleeping bag dried out completely from night before.
3. Roscoe charmed a few people into some Gatorade and a few bucks.
4. Lady he thought would be stuck up gave him a big bag of food and didn't say anything about "prying" for him.
1. Starbucks out of raw sugar packets.
2. Wishes he had chopsticks for udon the lady gave him.
3. Mom hung up on him again.
I don't want to see you standing in the aisle of Costco with a pyramid of 5-pound flour bags to indicate how much weight you've lost on your questionable diet program that you won't be able to sustain for a lifetime. I don't want to see you flexing an arm that, although a bit less fleshy than the one from two months ago, still has nothing even close to the muscle in the arm of a flea. I look forward to the photos a year hence, from the neck up only because you've regained every flour bag and then some.
Everyone in Central Park who was looking at the eclipse, through goofy glasses or otherwise, people on the street who were stopping to gaze, kids with their homemade contraptions, breathless about what they'd seen as they walked home with their parents, the groovy woman visiting from L.A. who gave me an extra pair of glasses and her husband, the fella I went with, and I, who gave many people the opportunity to look through the glasses I was bestowed. and with whom I shared giddy, chatty awe and excitement, all made me love NYC even more than I already do.
In Chicago, we Uber'd like there was no tomorrow or public transportation or we didn't have legs. Although we took the occasional bus or train, for the most part we waited for a strange person in a strange car to pick us up and take us where we wanted to go.
I noticed one street ran from my friend's place in Andersonville to downtown Chicago, its New York-y part, a 6-mile walk according to my friend. I would've preferred to walk, no matter how long it took, and see things slowly, without the frame of a window. Next visit. Definitely.
I know it's hip to be too cool for school, but pffffffft. And I know that by saying "too cool for school", I'm automatically disqualified from being hip and/cool in the first place. You don't get points for being bored with everything around you, for having "Whatever" or its equivalent as your stock response, or for sighing with world-weary ennui when performing daily activities such as breathing, or for shrugging with lackadaisical languor instead of making the grand effort of actually speaking. I still marvel over simple electricity, and that will never change. Give me giddy over jaded any day.
I lament that NYC has lost its grit, its dirt, the grunge and the guts that made it so alluring, that gave it its rock and its roll, its swagger and its sway. I lament that it's been cleaned up, sanitized, anesthetized and antiseptic. Still, as I stroll along its streets, sashay up its avenues, turn onto its side streets, look up at its buildings, their stoops, the stairways leading to hidden basements, its balconies, windows, I realize, damn it, the architecture is still here, the stalwarts, the sentinels, the elders. And my spirit is renewed and my step, pepped.
The chocolate Bundt I baked as a surprise dessert to take to his place is too dense, it may be burned, and is just not up to par, and I tell myself it's not worth keeping at home, its calories not worth the guilt. I toss it in the trash and push it under some coffee grounds to avoid temptation of nabbing a piece anyway.
Still, I'm a very poor man's George Costanza, and I reach under the coffee grounds and grab a chunk to cram in my mouth. Just so the cake won't feel abandoned and unloved, of course.
Ethiopian delivery, I'm officially done with you. I thought enough time had elapsed since the last time I invited you over, that the months that separated us would've done a world of good and we would have gotten along like gangbusters. But no. You looked good, oh I won't deny that, and the first few scoops were decent enough, but then the old familiar issues resurfaced and I found myself indulging you out of a sense of duty more than anything else. I'm sorry, but when we meet again, it will be at your place. You're always better there, baby.
One of the places I work for has been acquired by another and now I have to submit bimonthly invoices rather than have the company automatically send a check midmonth. Several times, while either watching the "webinar" about invoicing or reading email about it, I got huffy and thought, "Well, what if I'm out of town on the days I'm supposed to do this?"
It took me inordinately long to kick myself in the ass and say, "Bitch, please. Arrange your 'out of town' crap for days that won't conflict," followed by, "How often do you leave NYC anyway, motherfucker?"
Fellas, I cannot stress enough the importance of underwear if you want to get a lady out of hers. No woman needs to see any iteration of "tighty whities", even if yours are so ancient that they're no longer tight and/or white. Those need to be retired immediately if not taken out back and shot to relieve the world of their misery. Anything "boxer" is preferred, whether knit and more fitted or regular cotton and a bit looser. But ain't no panties droppin' if you insist on droopy drawers that have seen better days and those days were decades ago.
Marina doesn't think they've reached the point where he can just text her boring stuff about how he's running out to the store to pick up some random stuff or that he saw a good movie on Netflix. He's supposed to be wooing her, right? They haven't even "done it" yet, she tells her friends in hushed tones over a barely boozy Sex and the City brunch, and he's already acting like they're so intimate that they c an afford to be mundane. Should she be flattered or exasperated? Is this crap even worth the effort of an emoji reply?
The scaffolding surrounding the building on the corner in May 2015 is coming down. While I liked using it as shelter from rain when waiting for my ride to the gym downtown, it stopped serving that purpose last year when I started using the gym a few blocks away. I won't miss the black shroud covering the building or the huge dumpster that's been street outside my front door for several months. Still, I wonder how the parents of the 2-year-old girl who died as a result of bricks falling from its fašade, the reason for the scaffolding's installation, feel.
I'm going to come right out and say it: Blackbird Pizzeria on South Sixth in Philadelphia is not that great. Each time I've been there, I've tried to convince myself the pizza was fantastic and the fries were to fry-die for, but I've only been saying it out of some sort of strange "loyalty" to a place to which I owe nothing. And it's not like the people who work there -- every last one of them "body modified" in some way and surly as all get-out are a bonus either. I'll save my pizza yen for Screamer's in Brooklyn.
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