Thursday, May 27, 2010

A few of our favorite things

We've heard what you guys loved- no worries, we've been hard at work doing as many as possible (sorry Trevor, the helicopter ride looks great, but we're on a budget...) I'm getting ready to post those next week, Friday is your last chance to recommend something we should do in the contest! In the mean time, here are a few of our favorite things that we've discovered on our own:
The Apollo Theater on Amateur Night.
Trying to describe it is going to be difficult, but I'll try my best: A little American Idol but with about 30 times the energy and drenched in soul. The hosts sang and tap-danced and had us sing along. I think my favorite part was the little dance competition they had to start it off- they host grabbed four random people and had them come up on stage- then he had them show off their moves... The first lady was pretty good- a harlem local. The next lady was also from harlem, but wore a huge hat and was pushing 70. She had a hard time walking up on stage, so I was entirely surprised when she broke out a two step.

Staten Island
Not so exciting to visit, but I decided that if I ever actually work in New York, that's where I would want to live... mostly because it's only a 25 minute ferry away, and so unlike New York (There are green hills and actual houses...seriously!)

Toys R Us in Times Square
We've been there twice already- it's a 3 level toystore with a 4-story ferris wheel inside! They also recreated most of new york out of legos, and have a life-size barbie house. I know this sounds sell-out, but I liked it a little better than F.A.O. Schwartz.

Seaport
A fantastic part of town that has a very So. Cal vibe. I had probably the best fish and chips since london there. Cameron loved trying to decide how big of a sailboat he wants when he grows up.

I'm still in the market for a favorite pizza place and a great shoe store... anyone have one to recommend?

I'm not dead yet!

To all individuals concerned with my general well being:

It has been a few weeks since I got lost in Harlem. I'm happy to say that I have not gotten lost since then. Perhaps even more astonishing, I have not yet been mugged. As this is the case, I would like to formally retract my fear of New York City.

Now for two very different stories. The first is very placid, soothing and perhaps a bit mushy. The second is disturbing.

For those of you who don't know, I found a job showing apartments for a real estate company. As part of my job, I have ventured to Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. (I actually haven't made any money yet because its 100% commission...). As I show the apartments I get to talk with all kinds of people; from university students to professors to doctors and construction workers. They all have different interests and priorities. I talked with one guy about the human condition and the fall of democracy, another about trauma patients, and still another about drug dealers.

I have learned a lot about these people specifically, and one thing about people in general; they all want their home to be a safe place. One where they aren't criticized or made fun of by roommates, one that is clean and free of bugs, one that offers protection from the heat and cold, and one where they can be loved. Some people don't find all of this, and it has made me very grateful that I have always had a home like that. So, thank you parents, siblings, former roommates, and especially Kim.

Now, lest you think New York has made me go soft, here is the second story. This is the point where you should stop reading out loud and proceed with caution. Human waste is involved.

I was riding on the "A" train when seven or eight teenage girls ran from their end of the train car to mine screaming "I'm going to puke!" and "That is so gross!" and "Get me out of here!" I was alarmed that I was going to be puked on so I maneuvered to avoid being hit by any vomit that might escape from the nice school girl. Only then did I realize the cause of the nausea. A very large, very stinky homeless man was peeing on the floor of the subway car as it was driving down the track. Gross. He then proceeded to pull down his pants, squat against the wall and relieve his bowels. Very gross.

The girls, myself, and the rest of the train riders conversed about our shared horrific experience and at the next stop, moved to the next train car. I went in to work and asked if it is normal for the 4th car on the northbound "A" train to be used as a homeless bathroom. The answer was no, but I no longer set my bag on the floor of any subway cars.

Thank you for reading,
Cameron

Monday, May 24, 2010

Truth on the Subway

Someone in this city is a poet/romantic disguised as a punk kid.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Today Show

I guess you know you're a party animal when you get up and go to a concert first thing in the morning... at least the kind of party animals that still make it to work on time...

Yesterday, that happened to be about 5AM- when we got up to go watch The Today Show's Summer Concert Series, which happened to feature The Script (Which is a fantastic band for those of you who may not know)! The line to get in the plaza where the concert was went around the block by the time we got there at 6:10, but we still managed to get a decent spot (which got better over the next 2 1/2 hours as many tourists that were in front of us had to leave). At about 8, The Today Show Hosts came out with their special guest for the morning...
which happened to be Cameron Diaz (didn't see that coming). Then at 8:30 The Script came on: It was pretty fantastic... Here's a little taste:
video
It was fantastically fun, and then I still managed to make it to work by 9:30- a great and energizing way to start a day. We're thinking about going again.

For those of you interested, here's how it all looked on TV:

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New Jersey, New Apartment

Not a new apartment in New Jersey, that's why I used a comma rather than a colon. However both did happen this week.

Our last apartment was on the 7th floor of the building, overlooking the Hudson and New Jersey. Cam and I decided that it really would be a shame if we could see New Jersey but we never went there. We decided on Sunday to walk across the George Washington Bridge into New Jersey.
It actually took us less than an hour to get across. The scariest part was all the bikers racing passed us. That and the fact that the bridge is so incredibly high! On the New Jersey side we found a park and Fort Lee from the revolutionary war. Here's looking back from the Jersey side. You can barely see it, but there is a little red lighthouse down at the foot of the bridge. That should help give some perspective about how huge it is!
Then on Monday we found out we are finally getting moved into our own room! For all you who have expressed concern about the size, I just wanted to let you know that it's much larger than I expected!
Although we love not having roommates anymore, we discovered that our shower doesn't really work. In order to make water come out the top you have to constantly hold the button, which is lame but hey- I'm just counting my blessings that I haven't seen any cockroaches in this room either.
Home Sweet Home!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Surprises

Cameron and I visited Neverland today! More commonly known as F.A.O. Schwarz or the toy store with the REALLY big piano, it was fantastic and awesome. We have a surprise for you:

video

Surprise # 2:

So a ton of my research for my internship about what moms do online has been on blogs—Shopping blogs and savings blogs and mommy blogs and a zillion other blogs in that vein. One thing that all these blogs have in common that I’ve always wanted to do is… have a giveaway!

So here’s what I’m going to do. We’re here in NY for a few more weeks. What I want you to do iscomment with the most awesome thing we should do while we’re here; it could be a restaurant you’ve been to, a cool historical thing you know about, a place where a movie scene was filmed… whatever!


We’ll do the ones that sound most interesting, and then pick our very favorite and bring the winner an *I (heart) NY shirt! Sound like fun? –Great! Let’s play!


*Should the winner already be the proud owner of a I (heart) NY shirt, a more original prize will happily be negotiated!


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My Internship

Here's where I work:

Here's what I'm working on:

Here's what I do all day:
Babies Everywhere...And they call it "research".

I guess I can explain a little more- I work at an advertising agency in Strategic Services, and my current client is Huggies. That means that what I do all day is research babies, products, and mothers. It's my job to know where moms are when they're online and what they're doing. It's fun- I guess of I'm going to be researching the same thing all day, I'm glad that it's something cute!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Brooklyn's Blustery Beach

We went to the beach yesterday and accomplished a major milestone. We touched the atlantic. The wind was gusting up to 40 miles an hour and all of my exposed skin is now smoother from being sandblasted, but I have one less ocean to go to. As a side note, the water is pretty much the same in the pacific and in the atlantic.
This particular beach is at Coney Island, which it turns out, isn't much of an island, its kind of a beach with a boardwalk, a whole bunch of cheesy carnival rides, and overpriced "food". Unfortunately only the cheesiest of the rides were running yesterday because anything over 10 feet tall was shut down because of the wind. But we tried to make the best of it anyway:

We walked around for a while

Kim had some ice cream

I tried to figure out the odds of winning a carnival game (0:1,000,000,000,000,000)

And we found a small child with ice cream all over his shirt
Thank you Coney "Island"

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Settling into the city

Well, it turns out we’re not getting moved into our own apartment for a couple weeks, so we’ll just have to get used to enjoying life with our roommates. It also thankfully has been less hot and gross- I even brought a jacket when we went out this evening. Didn’t need it though.

We went grocery shopping again tonight- our third time since we got here Sunday. That’s mostly because the first two times we went everything was so expensive we didn’t want to buy anything and then realized when we got home that we still didn’t have any food (seriously though, 5$ for Raisin Bran? 2$ for a can of spaghetti sauce? Not the way I was raised!). There aren’t any grocery stores near us, just markets and little stands, from what I found the only grocery stores on the Island are Whole Foods and Trader Joes, which I was told was the cheapest… probably because they at least keep a similar price to their stuff in the rest of the country. Finally, I have food again!

Since I’ve been working every day, we’ve only been able to adventure after I get home around 5:45 (5+subway time) so we’ve only really wandered around our neighborhood and made one trip out to central park. Don’t worry, we’ve got some crazy stuff planned for this weekend that you’ll have to come back for! In the meantime, some pictures!

Monday's Adventure: A walk through Morningside park for FHE

Tuesday: Exploring our neighborhood- cam is standing just outside our building. That's the riverside church behind him- it's HUGE!
Wednesday: Finally we got to central park and explored the SW corner from Strawberry Fields to the castle. (Can you tell Cam's been craving green? we pretty much have just hit up parks)
Today I took a picture of under the subway station I get on to go to work every day- I have to go up the escalator to get up there. It's kinda dirty, but the light coming through it looks awesome.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Just a small town boy...living in a real big city

My first day in New York was... new. Yes, lots of new experiences. First, Kim went to work today and had a great time there. She probably wants to blog this herself, but she has her own cubicle, name plate, outlook account and phone extension! She had a great time at work today. I don't have any work yet, but we're trying to remedy that situation quickly; actually, I spent most of the day looking for a job.

I started out this morning by walking down broadway st. and asking every restaurant with waiters between 120th and 98th if they were hiring. I got 5 or 6 "come back tomorrow"s. So we will see what happens then. I also lined up two interviews for jobs posted on craigslist and started the application process with Columbia University. It was a good job hunting day.
Besides all that I:
  1. had lunch in my overheated 7th floor apartment
  2. took the subway all by myself
  3. accidentally ended up in the middle of Harlem (see #2)
  4. found out what "the projects" are (see #3)
  5. found a bus all by myself to get out of the middle of Harlem (see#4)
  6. got drenched in a freak thunderstorm
  7. applied to work at a hotel as I waited for the storm to pass
  8. bought groceries for 3 times what I would pay in Utah
  9. ate dinner with Kim in morningside park
and I didn't even get mugged once! I'd say that counts as a pretty good day. We'll see what tomorrow brings... hopefully a job!
Quality.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Live from New York!

After Whitney’s wedding yesterday, which at least by my reckoning was a success (and you can check out my FB for pictures) we got back to my parent’s late, started packing, and got to bed a little after midnight… which was less than ideal considering our flight to NY left at 6:20 this morning. Thankfully, it was uneventful.

When we got to the airport though, we decided that rather than spend $30 on a cab, we would take the bus. Although I wouldn’t say I regret that decision, it was certainly more interesting… our three suitcases trying to fit on a crowded, hot, muggy bus.

My favorite part was at one point the bus was completely packed and we got to a stop and 5 or 6 people were trying to get on. The driver asked everyone to move back, and people yelled from the back that there wasn’t any room. The driver said we weren’t moving until we made room, and a guy trying to get on was yelling in a fantastic NY accent, “Where is the love?” and “I can’t wait for the next bus, I have to get home for the basketball game!” Somehow we all squeezed on.

We finally made it to the I-house and checked in to our room… rooms? We ended up getting a little more than we bargained for. Our room is fantastically large- but our apartment has two other bedrooms that belong to two girls, on from Turkey and the other that we haven’t met yet. From what we understand this room is a temporary one, and the people in the studio we are getting should be moving out this week. We’ll see. In the meantime- this is us: very hot and tired, but thrilled to be in NYC!

Yup...that is a single bed with a cot rolled up next to it... they like to roll apart. No it doesn't work to lay the other way because the cot is ridiculously squish and the bed is quite firm.