Just Keep Wrapping

I am royally loving this. Maybe you know, or maybe not, but Kate and William were visiting New York City just a few days ago. Monday started off with Kate lending a hand to volunteers at the Northside Center for Childhood Development and later her and the hubs enjoyed a basketball game of the Brooklyn Nets vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers topping it off with a sweating hug from LeBron James, while Tuesday they spent a portion of the day at The Door (an organization that helps New York’s disadvantaged children) and later that night they attended St.Andrews’ 600th anniversary dinner at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

There were even a few more things thrown into the mix between their arrival on Sunday and their departure on Wednesday – Wills flew to Washington D.C. to meet with the Prez, they also met the Clintons (Chelsea included) in NYC and a fashionable event for Kate to rub elbows with J.Crew creative director Jenna Lyons and Marchesa’s Georgina Chapman.

But my favorite thing that has recently been posted is Kate giving the royal roll of the eye to a woman telling Kate to “Keep Wrapping”. This is awesome. And I believe happened on Monday at the Northside Center. Welcome to New York hospitality Kate!

All Hail the Queen!

Movie Review ~ Begin Again

Scenes of New York City, British accents, music! I am sold. I saw the movie Begin Again this weekend and I really liked it! It stars Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Adam Levine – I mean seriously, can we just stop now. I love all of them. And they did not disappoint. Knightley plays a singer-songwriter who is discovered by a struggling record label executive (Ruffalo) and collaborates with him to produce an album recorded in public locations all over New York City.

If you know me at all, you know I love musicals. Plus if I love a movie or a song I will watch/listen to it over and over and over (repeat) again. And this has become my latest obsession. It was written and directed by Jim Carney, from the successful movie of Once. Which was also a fantastic movie. But I actually like this one better.

Keira, (yes, we are on a first name basis) had never sung professionally before and she took lessons with a voice coach and learned how to play the guitar. Impressive! The movie was sweet, poignant, fun and a new favorite for me. Just go watch it already.

Sweet Chick

Get thyself over to Sweet Chick pronto. Not only was this restaurant a perfect stop after a girls night out with the fabulous, one and only Jeannette Cornell; it was also the best fried chicken and waffles that I’ve ever had. It was SO good, that we showed up the next morning  for another round. Yup, you read me right – less than seven hours after shoving our faces full of belgian waffles and crispy fried chicken completely slathered in syrup in our stylin hotel room at the new Ludlow Hotel, we did it again. This time adding bloody mary’s to our brunch.

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Um, yeah. See what I mean!? Check out the link above for their full menu options but everything sounds mouth watering – Kale BLT Salad, Mac N Cheese, Bacon Wrapped Oysters, Duck Confit, and the Pickle Plate with watermelon rinds, okra, eggs, carrots and dill pickles is what I will be starting off with next time. They have two locations, Brooklyn and Manhattan. Check it out soon and I promise you will not be disappointed. Sweet Chick, I love you.

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Help Frankenstorm victims

New York has a special place in my heart. Yes it is the city that never sleeps, there are a bazillion things to do there at any time of the day or night and it has the most excellent pizza. I lived there for a year in my studio apartment the size of a toothpick. It was a time I will never forget. I had always wanted to live there and I finally made it happen. I loved every single crazy minute of it.

Unless you are living under a rock, I’m sure you know Hurricane Sandy hit the area hard last week. New York, New Jersey were hit the hardest – Homes are gone, some people are still without heat and electricity, their lives forever changed. I felt at a loss when my friends were on DAY SIX! of no power, gas a scarce commodity. I couldn’t do much from here except keeping them in my thoughts and prayers. But there are things we can do.

1. Text REDCROSS to 90999 to give a $10 donation. It is that simple! Red Cross has been on the front lines offering aid.

2. If you are a business owner you can start a disaster relief program by telling your customers you will donate a dollar, fifty cents, twenty-five cents (Anything!) every time they buy a product of yours. Or you can have your employees contribute to the program and you match their contribution.

3. Volunteer your help by joining Samaritan’s Purse. They are asking for volunteers of all skill levels to help with debris clean up and mud outs. You have to be at least 14 years old to volunteer. Visit their website to join a team.

4.  Give blood. Almost 100 blood drives were canceled due to Sandy, and the result is low blood supplies. Call the Red Cross and make an appointment to give blood.

5. Look towards your community, find an organization that is collecting supplies to send to the victims – Blankets, canned foods, clothing,etc. If there isn’t one set up for this in your community then set one up yourself!

I will be visiting the states in a few weeks and I plan on helping in every way possible. Much love to those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Here We Are Again

Here we are, September 11. Nine years, and I remember it like it was yesterday.

I actually arrived to work early at my office in Wilton, CT. Since it was a marketing/promotions agency we were lucky and had several televisions around the large space. A report caught someone’s eye and we began to gather around. When the news became more than a small prop plane hitting the North Tower, it was a 767, full of passengers, there were gasps and tears that filled the room. And then the second tower was hit. This was no accident, this was terrorism. And our world would never be the same.

New York City, only 45 minutes away on the train, and somewhere I had just been the past week. As the first tower began to crumble and gush towards the ground I held my breath. I prayed people had escaped, had freed themselves from the horror of the unthinkable. What seemed only seconds later, the second tower went. I was numb. I couldn’t stop staring at the screen. Where did they go? Who could do this to thousands of people?

The agency told everyone to go home. And I called my family back to tell them I was okay. I traveled a lot and had just taken that same flight from Boston to LA (American Airlines 11) a few weeks before. That thought still terrifies me to this day. In shock, my friend Jeannette and I went to the liquor store, I have no idea what we bought but we brought it back to my cottage in the Connecticut woods and sat in front of the television, glued to every word, every shocking scene replayed over and over again.

As the days slipped by I went through many stages. At first I couldn’t stop crying, the destruction of our great city, the loss of so many lives in New York, the Pentagon, in Pennsylvania. Then I was angry, how DARE they do this to my country? Who the hell do they think they are? When I went into the city to see firsthand what Ground Zero looked like I couldn’t stop shaking my head while wiping away tears. So many posters of the missing. Have you seen my father, daughter, uncle, brother, mother, husband…….

The reason I had been to NYC a few days before 9/11 was to look for my perfect apartment. It had been a dream of mine since I was a little girl to live in the BIG city. Manhattan. And now? Now, I felt that I HAD TO. A few people were concerned, why move in now? After what just happened? And my answer was always yes. Yes, because of what happened.

And fifteen days later I moved into my tiny studio apartment on the Upper East side of 74th and 1st. Those were some of the best years of my life.

God Bless New York City.

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It’s BAD

 Before leaving New York I had to see Jeannie!

We went out to Cabana in Forest Hills, a “nuevo latino” restaurant that we have tried to go a few times before but there was always a long wait. This time, no wait and a table outside so we could do a little people watching.

We shared the Churrasco, which is a latin american style skirt steak marinated in garlic and fresh herbs accompanied by chimichurri and cebollitas. For a not too bad price of $24. Plus some tasty frozen margaritas to wash all the garlic down. After dinner, it was time to party! Okay, maybe not too much since Jeannie is an over-worked, mother of two stinkin’ cute lil girls, but let’s see what the girl can do.

At first, Jeannie said “We have to stop at every bar we pass and have a drink.” I gave her a look like she has lost her mind but nodded. Bar one, a beer for each. Plus this is where the garlic – chimichurri – cebollitas burps started happening. Oh man, you did NOT want to be near us when those things came out of our cute bodies. When we burped the first time, I was like “DUDE! Was that your burp? Whew! Gaaaaarlic!”  (Of course, it was Jeannie burping first, never me!) But we continued to burp and by now, we let each other know. “Careful, garlic on its way.” It was awesome.

The next bar we stopped at was the Irish pub. It wasn’t that crowded and it needed some music. So we dropped a few quarters in the juke box and played some Boston, some Lily Allen, whatever randomness we could find. We ordered a beer, burped some more, and then a guy started up some quiz game asking questions to all of the 10 patrons. Jeannie answered some quietly to me but I never could figure out why nobody was answering the questions. Were they dumb? Did NOBODY know any of the answers? I mean someone had to take a chance at “What is the first word Neil Armstrong said when he stepped onto the moon’s surface?” Hello, it’s THAT’S. As in, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” What is WRONG with these people?

The next question came up. ” What album of  Michael Jacksons had the most number one Hot 100 singles from any one album?” I thought it was Thriller but Jeannie said it was Bad. And she is one smart cookie. I couldn’t stand the silence any more and I screamed out “BAD!” The dude who was asking the questions turned and looked at me like I was growing a third head. He said “We are WRITING the answers down on paper. Please do not yell out the answers.”

Ooooooooooohhhh, that is why they were so quiet. As I was somewhat (but not totally) embarrassed, Jeannie and I ducked into the restaurant area and had a few uncontrollable giggles over it with a few more chimichurri burps just to spice it up some more. haha. Okay, bad joke.

And that, my friends, was my last night out in New York. And yes, the correct answer, was Bad.

NYC Take Three

NYC take three. Or should it be, take thee? I LOVE LOVE LOVE NEW YORK CITY!

Our last full day together, sniff sniff. The next day everyone will be flying back to their kids, their husbands, their normal routine. Except for me. My travels are only starting. But the Loos weekend in NYC was coming to an end. Again, sniffles.

Hurry it up gals, we got people to see and places to be. And what would be a trip to Manhattan without stopping at Central Park? It would be NOTHING. Nothing I tell ya.

Awww cute lil horsey. Is the taxi dude checkin’ me out? Or the horse?

Birds on a wire. (In front of the Plaza hotel)

Eight Loos. On a Rock. In Central Park, Manhattan. USA.

I always love a ride on the Central Park Merry-Go-Round. Yeehaw!

After the funness at Central Park we walked to the East Side to grab a burger. Cheeburger Cheeburger. And a Bloody Mary. Or Two. Most of the gang still needed to buy some tchotchkes, so back to Times Square we go. Bess and I needed no more New York themed stuff so since it was WORLD CUP month, we headed to the closest bar for a Bloody Mary. Or Two.

We did NOT go to Olive Garden to watch the game. GO GERMANY! GO USA! GO SPAIN!

Our good friend and SHS ’89 classmate, Kary, works at Shaffer City in the Meatpacking District. He was going to cook us up a dinner made specially for us. Yippee! If you go there, be sure to ask for Kary the chef to make your dinner. You will not be disappointed. I don’t have pics of everything from our 7-course meal, but here are a few of the deliciousness that was served up by the friendly staff.

Love oysters.

Meat, potato goodness in special sauce. Mmmmmm….

I was in heaven with the brownie dessert.

ALL of the Loos, with Kary, the chef. Thanks Goolsby!

Oh, you think that’s it? We are not done yet. The night is young. And the night calls for ….. KAROKE. Yo. Bring it 80s music.

 DELTA DAWN WHAT’S THAT FLOWER YOU HAVE ON. COULD IT BE A FADED ROSE FROM DAYS GONE BYYYYYYYYYYY

 

Be afraid. Be VERY afraid. Susie and I are rockin’ the mic.

There you have it my friends. The incredible tales of the Loos take over Manhattan. Until next time. I am Loo Loo Loobird.

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