Friday, June 6, 2008


I'm taking a break from blogging about NYC for something MUCH more important.

I'm wishing my little lover of ladybugs, my graham cracker crammer, my super snuggler, my lifetime love, a happy happy happy first birthday today!! I can't believe it's been a year...

I love you my angel.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Me N The City: Part 4 – Nobu 57 Loves Me, Sorta

We hopped in our cab and headed to dinner. We were both famished but happy now that our night was starting to take a turn for the better. We had gotten to see our movie, it was fantastic, and we got to sit together after all. Things were looking up.

When we got to Nobu 57 I wondered what we’d find. Would there be fabulous people milling about on the sidewalk smoking their “skinny” sticks and holding court on their Blackberries? Would the bar inside be like a photo shoot for OK magazine? Maybe DeNiro himself would there overseeing his domain? Or maybe – just maybe – since the SATC ladies had just attended the movie premier the night before a few blocks away, maybe they would be noshing on sushi at the table next to ours. Deep inside though I was wondering how things would bode for us. I mean, I didn’t have any “people” to call and make my reservation – I did that myself (the very first DAY they allowed for the date we wanted). A 515 area code probably doesn't hold a lot of charm in Manhattan. And I don’t have an even remotely famous sounding last name. Would we be treated as second rate? Or would our weeks of foresight pay off?

Once we got inside we were graciously greeted by two hostesses, and after giving my name, we were escorted up a grand wooden staircase to the main dining area and seated in a booth next to a window overlooking Manhattan. Life was good. Our waiter was prompt and engaged. He explained the menu to us without making us feel like bumpkins. The ideal, he said, was to order something off each section of the menu: an appetizer, something cold, something hot and then your main sushi choice. Neat idea but one glance at the menu told us that would not be feasible on our budget. Just a quick calculation in my head showed me that following the “ideal” would run us about $200 a piece.

Instead we opted to share an appetizer of edamame, split one hot dish (two tempura fried sea scallops) and then each choose two sushi rolls. That plus our two cocktails each still put the total dinner (including tip) at $200. But that we could swing. Granted, in Des Moines that would have cost about $50 bucks but hey… we knew what we were getting into (for the most part) when we made the reservation.

I’m sorry to say there were no celeb sightings but after my first Champagne martini on an empty stomach we were too busy laughing and chatting to look around or much care who was there. We were there to see each other, not to see and be seen.

Once dinner was over around 11:00 we realized that with everything the day had brought our way we just did not have the umph to try and go clubbing. We had however heard that sometimes the bar in the W hotel could be just as fab as the trendiest clubs, so we decided to cab it back to the hotel and grab a drink at the bar. A great idea in theory, however when we got there and plopped down in two overstuffed, low slung chairs in the bar area we knew there was no energy left in either of us to walk all the way up to the bar, jockey for position and try and shout out our drink order. Our only hope was for the cocktail waitress to make her way over to us. After twenty minutes of waiting, we gave up and just headed back to the room. We needed our rest. We had a big day of shopping ahead of us.

… to be continued.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Me N The City: Part 3 – The Concierge Hates Me

We zipped out of the doors of the W Hotel and off to find the Regal E-Walk Theater, which, according to our concierge was within walking distance. Hypothetically I suppose 1.1 miles is within walking distance. But not in 4” heels. Seven city blocks up and six city blocks over was not what we had in mind.

Click here to see exactly where we had to go....

As we trudged through the streets, swarming in and out of people, trying to avoid the ever-present sidewalk grates (not great for stilettos), we became ever more aware of how warm and humid it was. We had barely had time to reapply our lipstick much less shower before we left, and now we were starting to “glisten” on our walk across Manhattan. My hair, which had been carefully “reconstituted” was stuck to my face, my lipgloss, and going in every direction. My toes were quite unhappy at being made to bear the weight of my entire frame and my calves/shins were none-too-happy either. Now some four inch heels can at least be tolerable if not comfortable, and I’ve done my fair share of walking in heels – I do it everyday. I don’t even know if I own a pair of flats apart from one little neglected pair of ballet flats in the back of my closet. But I made the mistake of choosing my footwear based on outfit coordination instead of practicality and went with the cheap(ish) pair that matched my handbag perfectly instead of a more expensive but well-made pair. I can now tell you that throughout our 20 minute walk I cursed Jessica Simpson and her &%$^ shoes about 20-ways from Sunday. I now have even more reasons to think she is the Antichrist.

In addition, as we were walking, I distinctly began to realize that when the ladies in SATC walk through Manhattan dressed to the 9s they were apparently not in our neck of the woods. We stuck out like a sore thumb. People were gawking and whispering as we went by. And I doubt if it was in a good way. So now I am sweaty, tired, sore, frustrated, stressed and slightly embarrassed. I just wanted to get to the comfort of the cool dark theater. However no matter how many streets we crossed – no matter how many people we dodged or how many grates we sidestepped, the neon of the theater just seemed to get absolutely NO closer. At one point we actually stopped to ponder the possibility that we were indeed in the Twilight Zone.

We finally arrived at the theater, stopped by the ticket desk to pick up our prepaid tickets and realized it was 7:03. We were late. On opening night. For the first evening show. We bolted for the escalator since the movie was, of course, on the third floor of the theater. When we got to our screen we were delighted to discover it was only previews showing so far. Our joy was short lived however when we realized there were NO seats together anywhere in the theater. We had no choice – we climbed up the stadium stairs and chose two “one off” seats on the end of a couple rows not far from one another. Now on top of being late, tired, hungry, cranky, and sweaty we wouldn’t even get to enjoy the pinnacle of our trip together. I just wanted to sit down and cry – but I was too out of breath.

As the lights dimmed fully and the movie began, the couple next to me realized, somehow – miraculously – that they were in the wrong theater and left. My one break – my one ray of sunshine. I ran down the few stairs, hoping not to fall and break my neck, and grabbed Sarah. Apparently karma got a little tired of kicking us in the ass and decided to let us have our moment - together.

And a great moment it was. The movie was fantastic – it was all I’d hoped for. And seeing it in NYC was the cherry on top. The whole audience was alive – clapping, cheering, laughing, booing, crying, gasping – it was like we were at a live concert. I know the critics will hate it… but I know the fans will love it. I doubt there will be a sequel and in fact I hope there won’t. This was as it should be. Nothing more needs to be done to gild the lily. It’s time for SATC and its fabulous ladies to rest in infamy.

When the lights came up and we had dried our tears of sorrow and joy, it was time to head to dinner – FINALLY. Via cab! We headed to Nobu 57 ready for some pink drinks, great sushi and maybe a celeb sighting or two…

… to be continued.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Me N The City: Part 2 – Father Time Hates Me

Late, but hopeful, we hopped on our plane to take us from Chicago to New York. Well, New Jersey actually. When we booked our flights we just took whatever was the cheapest that fit into the time slot we had to work with. That put us flying into Newark airport. I’d always heard that Jersey was “just across the river” from NYC so figured it to be no big deal. Unfortunately when you’re late … it’s a big deal.

We got into Newark around 4:00. By the time we got bags and got out to the taxi stand it was 4:30. Yes, taxi stand. We didn’t have time (or so we thought) to take the train. As we approached the front of the line and told the “taxi master” where we needed to go (midtown Manhattan) he told us that would $66 plus tolls and tip. Holy crap. But at that point we had no choice. We hopped in the cab and off we went.

The flight in had been bumpy and turbulent, making even me – a pretty seasoned flyer – a little nauseous. Let’s just say the cab ride wasn’t any better. We zipped in and out of traffic, on and off of freeways, in and out of tunnels and screeched and zoomed through stop and go traffic for an hour. Yes, an hour.

By the time we got to the hotel it was 5:30, we were tired, cranky, hungry and in a hurry. Not a good combo for an evening that was the axis on which our entire trip spun. So much for our plans to be fabulous ladies of leisure strolling out to see a show as a start to a wonderful evening. As we checked in we realized we would have no time to shower much less time to get a bite to eat. We asked the clerk to have an appetizer sent up to our rooms, ran to the elevator as fast as we gracefully could and flew into our closet-sized room in a frenzy. Indeed – closet sized. The room had a queen sized bed and not much else, since not much else would fit. The bathroom had enough room for one … tough with two women staying there in full primp-mode. For $400 a night we were a little taken aback. We knew Manhattan isn’t known for large open spaces, but this was a little much. However at that point we were too “on a mission” to stop and consider it for long.

I sadly glanced in the direction of the shower and I pulled my wrinkled Diane Von Furstenberg dress out of my suitcase. We knew all we would have time for was, as my friend called it, “reconstituting”. We both ran around the room politely jockeying for mirror space, makeup space, and space to get dressed. We teased, sprayed, reapplied, changed and were out the door - somehow still feeling like we "covered in airport". We had hoped to be at the theater by 6:30 in order to get good seats. We left the hotel at 6:40. As we ran past the concierge we stopped briefly to ask if the Regal Theater was within walking distance. He said it was. Apparently he has never walked there in four inch heels….

… to be continued.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Me N The City: Part 1 – Mother Nature Hates Me

As most of you know, this past Friday was the opening night of the movie Sex And The City. Quite some time ago, my friend Sarah and I wistfully dreamed of going to NYC to see it. This past weekend, after a lot of planning, scheming and dreaming, we made that dream a reality. Since it was a weekend jam-packed with blog fodder, I’ll take this slowly so as not to overwhelm either you, dear reader, or my fingers.

If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, the flight there is apparently fueled by false hope. Friday morning came after an excited night of little sleep. I was soooo eager to get to NYC to be ab fab with my lifelong friend. The idea was to get to NYC early enough to have a leisurely late lunch, get showered, changed and perfectly coiffed, enjoy a drink at the hotel bar and then saunter over to the movie, arriving about 20 minutes prior to start time. That was the plan.

Since Sarah lives in KC and I in DSM, we were meeting up at O’Hare to fly to NYC together. That morning the sky was dark when I woke but not menacing. All the thunder and fireworks had moved on overnight. Of course what I didn’t realize at the time was that they had all moved *east* … to Chicago. When I arrived at the airport my flight was optimistically listed as “on time”. Liars. Within the hour we were notified that O’Hare was on “ground hold” (i.e. no one in, no one out) and that we would be delayed. My 8:20 flight turned into a 9:50 flight.

Once we finally got off the ground, we didn’t exactly make exceptional time. I landed in Chicago about two hours later than planned. Anxiously I checked the departures and was overjoyed to discover that our connecting flight to Newark was also delayed by weather and hadn’t left yet. We had about 10 minutes to make it. Since I knew Sarah’s flight had left KC before mine left DSM I sent her a quick text to make sure she was in the terminal and told her I was on my way to the gate. Once I got to the gate and realized I hadn’t heard from Sarah, I checked in with the gate attendant. She informed me that Sarah’s flight had just landed but had not gotten to the gate yet and that odds were Sarah wasn’t going to make it. The attendant had been kind enough to book us on the next flight however that flight didn’t leave until 1:10pm. Let me spare you the suspense…. Sarah’s flight didn’t cooperate, she didn’t make it in time and five minutes after the gate door closed Sarah sadly showed up to meet me.

Undaunted we grabbed a bite to eat and chatted until our next flight. While eating we went through the schedule in our heads. Our new flight would put us in Newark around 4:30. Uh-oh. The movie started right at 7:00pm and we knew opening night would be packed. We finished up our snack, hopped on our plane and hoped for the best….

… to be continued.