Tag Archives: NYC

nj exit 12, bear left!


after spending a good part of the summer in upstate ny, i saw a lot of wildlife, much different than the wildlife i see in the city. the one thing i was hoping to see and didn’t, was a bear.  and i really wanted to see a bear.

i’ve been spending time at my friend diane’s house in nj. she lives on 6 acres in the woods and her yard backs up to 40 more acres of wooded land. the other night around 9:00 pm, while relaxing in the living room with diane, her friend richie and her daughter, i thought i heard a car door close.  when i asked if anyone else heard it, diane and her daughter instantly jumped up and yelled, “bear!”   wasting no time, they ran to the garage and opened and closed the electronic doors to make noise which they hoped would scare the bear away.

while diane and katie were busy attempting to scare an unseen bear from the driveway, i opened the sliding glass doors in the kitchen and stepped out along the side of the house.  assuming the bear had taken off into the woods, i was looking straight ahead into the woods and calling for the bear.  i really wanted to see a bear.   so that you have a clear perspective, here is the layout:

diane's house laurie calling bear 

hoping to get a close up photo of the bear that i was still not convinced existed, i was holding my camera (which you may not be able to tell from the above rendering).  i called for the bear several times before seeing a dark shadow moving slightly up in the woods to my right just a little bit.

i wondered, if that’s the shadow, where is the actual bear creating the shadow?  i looked harder into the woods, squinting and trying to focus into the dark woods.  knowing that i was very close to this shadow and presumably, the bear, my body seemed to go into “survival” mode without the help of my brain because i became extremely nervous and began to get a bit shaky, but continued to watch the slow moving shadow 20′ away and call for the bear.  i could hear diane screaming, “close the door! close the door!”   when her words registered in my mind, i thought of the possibility that the bear had not run into the woods, but was still around the corner from me right in the driveway.  this prompted me to look to my right at which point i realized the bear was in fact not in the driveway, but standing approximately 12 feet to the right of me.

diane's house laurie calling bear 2 

this was by far the biggest bear in america.  rather than looking into the camera as he appears to be in this picture (that i lifted off the internet for obvious reasons), he was actually staring straight at me.  eyeball to eyeball.  his head was at least one foot higher than mine (i am 5′ 4″ tall).  he was just standing there staring at me the whole time i had been calling him!  i have seen a wild bear once before and i have never, ever, seen such a behemoth creature in all my life.  at a speed rivaling usain bolt, i flew into the house.  

it took the rest of the evening for all of us to calm down enough to switch subjects and think about anything else.  diane had seen this same bear before and was relieved to know that now someone else had witnessed this particular guy, as she always thought that the people she told about ‘big bear,’  thought she may be exaggerating about his size.  he was easily 900 lbs  and the size of a small car. 

as you can probably imagine, it was a little nerve racking for me to take ivan out after dark from then on.  for the next couple of nights we stayed close to the house.  diane had her spot lights replaced and now the side yard can be lit up like wrigley field.  

last night i turned on every light outside and let ivan out to relieve himself around 8:30.  as i waited for ivan to finish up, i thought i heard some rustling in the bushes just about 10 feet away from me.  it wasn’t loud and i thought it was probably just the cat, but  i interrupted ivan midstream,  and yelled for him to get into the house, just in case. when i came inside, i asked diane if the cat was out, to which she answered, “no.”  

i went into the kitchen and opened the blinds covering the sliding glass doors to see if anything would appear from the bushes.  in the small grass area between the kitchen and the woods was a bear sauntering by and looking directly into the kitchen.  he looked to be about 500 lbs.  when the screaming began, he walked slowly into the woods . . .

( photoshopped bear walking by diane’s kitchen window – again, i missed the photo op, but this is what it looked like)

diane's house bear kitchen

i never understand why people are afraid of the city.  really, it’s a much less dangerous place to be.

“Adopt the pace of nature:  her secret is patience.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

missing leaves


they won’t be back until spring and i’m missing the leaves already.

houston st grafiti subway (2)

♥ 

“What a person believes is not as important as how a person believes.”
 ~ Timothy Virkkala

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hairy turtles


strolling through central park, i found myself wondering, what has happened to the turtles?

central park ducks turtles birds (24).

“Everything in the universe has a purpose. Indeed, the invisible intelligence that flows through everything in a purposeful fashion is also flowing through you.”
~ Wayne Dyer 

♥ 

like it was yesterday


Thomas Sept 11 Thomas & Peter  WTC 2001

2 of my brothers volunteering at ground zero 12 years ago.
god bless every one of us.

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“As for those that carried out these attacks there are no adequate words of condemnation. Their barbarism will stand as their shame for all eternity.”
–British Prime Minister Tony Blair

thong man’s summer outfit


missing the city . . . .

although the country can be nice in the summer time, i am really missing all of the things i love about nyc.  i miss central park,  the dorm-room apartment building drama, i miss my neighbors – and people in general, i miss walking to places and i miss thong man.

here is an old post i will re-read & reminisce . . . .

walking ivan tonight i ran into the opportunity i’ve waited 3 years for.  i actually had my iphone camera handy when  thong man came running up 2nd avenue.   unfortunately he wasn’t wearing his nude pantyhose because they are way better than the black body stocking he was sporting this evening.  this must be his summer outfit.

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i am counting the days until august 14th when i return back to nyc – where i belong.

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* more thong man

“Of course life is bizarre, the more bizarre it gets, the more interesting it is. The only way to approach it is to make yourself some popcorn and enjoy the show.”
– unknown

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when i get my loft in soho . . . .


i am definitely getting one of these.

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tv

how cool is that?  and that man sitting in the chair could very well be my future husband.   right?Thumbs-up

“Never let life impede on your ability to manifest your dreams. Dig deeper into your dreams and deeper into yourself and believe that anything is possible, and make it happen.”
~ Corin Nemec 

sharing


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“I remember walking across Sixty-second Street one twilight that first spring, or the second spring, they were all alike for a while. I was late to meet someone but I stopped at Lexington Avenue and bought a peach and stood on the corner eating it and knew that I had come out out of the West and reached the mirage. I could taste the peach and feel the soft air blowing from a subway grating on my legs and I could smell lilac and garbage and expensive perfume and I knew that it would cost something sooner or later — because I did not belong there, did not come from there — but when you are twenty-two or twenty-three, you figure that later you will have a high emotional balance, and be able to pay whatever it costs. I still believed in possibilities then, still had the sense, so peculiar to New York, that something extraordinary would happen any minute, any day, any month.”
 ~ Joan Didion

a room with (or without) a view


do studio apartments even exist outside of nyc?  a studio is a room – just 1 room. sometimes the kitchen is it’s own little room off the main room but sometimes not.

studio

in this picture, this guy has partitioned his bedroom off the kitchen using a desk.  (note: this is the entire apartment.  there is not a living room hiding anywhere)

according to today’s post,

A median studio now costs $419,000 — up 19.7 percent from $350,000 for the second quarter of 2012, Elliman says.

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Life is not fair; get used to it.
 ~ Bill Gates 

funday in the park


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enjoy the day!  

this is a public service announcement.

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”
 ~ Walt Disney 

meet my new neighbor, sheik hamad bin jassim bin jaber al-thani


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post

Qatar’s filthy-rich prime minister has scooped up a palatial Beekman Place townhouse near the United Nations for $35 million — $15 million less than its asking price, sources said.

Last year, Sheik Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al-Thani made headlines when he bought real-estate tycoon Aby Rosen’s East 71st Street party mansion for $47 million, but soured on the place because it didn’t have enough privacy or security for his wives, children and gun-toting security detail . . .  ny post

“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
 ~ Buddha

Cool

what the beep?


it’s the start of memorial day weekend – even if it’s only 9:30  friday morning.   horns have been beeping incessantly since 7:00 am.  here’s what first avenue looked like out my window, from the united nations at 48th street to 51st street:

1st ave traffic mem day 2013 (4) 

and from 52nd up to 56th street:

1st ave traffic mem day 2013 (1) 

if i had to guess, i would say about 10% of the car horns were honking so much they made up for the other 90%.   it’s 9:30 in the morning –  shouldn’t these peeps be at work already?  i’m trying to find the happy in this.

i look forward to rush hour out of the city this evening and hope all of these folks get the rest & relaxation they apparently need.

happy memorial day!

“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.”
 ~ Dr. Seuss 

happy friday, new york (& beyond!)


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the perfect pigeon!

“You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.”
 ~ John Wooden 

babysitting in the city


here is the perfect recipe for keeping kids entertained in the city for an entire day – for free!

2 dogs (borrow from neighbors if necessary)

2 pillows

1 building maintenance man.

mix well and play.

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“If evolution really works, how come mothers only have two hands?”
~ Milton Berle

all for just $95,000,000.00!


 

 

5th avenue at 59th street:

781 5th ave 

 “Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.”
– Woody Allen

street vendors


the other day i passed by a street vendor selling decorative signage on 5th avenue.  this was by far my favorite sign:

smile   

i was a bit tempted . . . 

🙂

“You can turn painful situations around through laughter. If you can find humor in anything, even poverty, you can survive it.”
 ~ Bill Cosby 

 

loving tibet in ny


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“How people treat you is their karma, how you react is yours.”
– Wayne Dyer

where the heart is . . .


we’re home!

Ivan Aug 2012 (1)

and resting comfortably. Ivan Aug 2012 (3)

the wildlife in the apartment isn’t quite the same as in the woods upstate, but it also doesn’t move around when you’re trying photograph it.

ivan cutest dog ever oct 2012 (9)

“True humility is contentment.”
~ Henri Frederic Amiel 

how urban sprawl begins


it’s been 5 days on my country hiatus now and  i’m thinking of heading back to the city later this afternoon.  so far today i’ve seen 3 deer,  1 blue jay and a woodpecker and look what i found yesterday:

sheep columbia county (3) black cows (2)

i’m taking this as a sign from the universe that it just may be time to get back to the crowds in the city . . .

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.”
 ~ Lao Tzu 

5th avenue easter


i was never much into parades, even as a kid.  they always seem too crowded and uninteresting when there are so many other cool things you could be doing in the city that has everything. . .   then 2 things changed.   1. i got my press pass which allows me to get into open spaces away from the crowds and take photos without someone banging my elbow as i press the shutter button, or waving a paper flag right into the center of my shot.  and 2.,  last year when i discovered that the easter parade isn’t a parade at all!  the easter parade is just a whole lot of people aimlessly wandering around 5th avenue which is closed between 47th and 57th streets for the occasion.  people get all dressed up for the sole purpose of having their picture taken in their best bonnets and it’s crazy fun.  here are some of my observations about the nyc easter parade:

first, the easter bunny looks nothing like the white fluffy one i knew growing up in the suburbs of nj:

easter bunny statue 2013  (6 blue)

second, some people apparently confuse easter with halloween – which i like because halloween is my second favorite holiday, following my birthday:

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the creativity is amazing!  everyone wants to be seen and they all want to be photographed which makes a press pass completely unnecessary – when they see a camera, they come to you and pose for a shot.

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as you see, the ‘bonnets’ were exceptional which may have made this woman feel like hers wasn’t quite good enough to flaunt, so she just carried her bonnet.

easter 2013 nyc peeps (259)

i loved this guy because he had a great bonnet with a troll in it – and he also had awesome eggs.  he hand painted his eggs and filled them all with an intention of love – i love that!

easter 2013 nyc peeps (76)

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if i were the bonnet judge, these two would have received the 1st runners up award just for being so incredibly cool:

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but this lady would have received my vote for first prize.  not only did she have the biggest bonnet, i have to credit her for lugging it around all day with a smile on her face.

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subconsciously it may have just reminded me of the meaning of the day.

easter 2013 nyc church (1) copy

i hope your day was happy – blessings to all!

“The symbolic language of the crucifixion is the death of the old paradigm; resurrection is a leap into a whole new way of thinking.”
~ Deepak Chopra 

4 questions & the goy


my introduction into all things jewish came mostly from the weinstein’s.  debbie weinstein was my college roommate and one of 798 jewish peeps in my freshman year dorm complex which housed 800 people.  debbie always invited me to her parents home in boston for the holidays and it was there that i got accustomed to the seder rituals.  being the token goy, i didn’t have to actually participate in the prayer and hebrew readings so i was only familiar with the big picture and didn’t really know exactly what was going on.  the truth is, i was there for mrs. weinstein’s good cooking, and mr. weinstein’s  jokes – which were usually at my expense, but funny none the less.

after we graduated from school, i continued to go to the weinstein’s on jewish holidays and by that time i thought i had learned everything i needed to know about what to do at a seder – even though i never had to actually do anything. . .

then one year debbie’s brother mark got married and everything changed. this year, we had to go to mark’s in-laws for passover.  i guess they expected me to be jewish. or maybe they felt obligated to make sure i was aware of their collective suffering as a race. or maybe, debbie didn’t tell them she was bringing me and they were just pissed off about that – i don’t know.  whatever the reason, they were intent on teaching me how it’s done by making me to eat things i didn’t want, participate in the readings and pray in hebrew. with 5 or 6 seders under my belt, i felt like i could handle the situation just fine – until marks mother in-law asked me   if i knew the answers to the 4 questions, which i couldn’t quite remember.  i was mortified because i did know the questions were central to the seder.  i’m sure it didn’t happen this way at all, but i recall seeing dark red horns growing from my skull in the tiny reflection of her eyeballs.  i  blame mr. weinstein for my lack of knowledge because i’m positive he must have been making me laugh too hard to pay proper attention to this part of the ritual in years past.

this post serves to save all goyim who may be put in a similar situation this evening during a passover seder.  first, i would like to point out out that there is really only one question and four answers, which i would not advise pointing out to seder host.

here is what you’ll need to know:

Why is this night different from all other nights, from all other nights?

dont-know-icon

On all other nights, we may eat chametz and matzah. On this night,  only matzah.

On all other nights, we eat many vegetables.  On this night, on this night, maror.

On all other nights, we do not dip even once. On this night, on this night, twice.
(A vegetable (usually parsley) is dipped in salt water and eaten.)

On all other nights we eat while sitting upright, but on this night we eat reclining.

and you may also want to know that mark has since re-married a nice girl from a  nice family who i am sure, would not make me eat anything i didn’t want.  tonight i will celebrate passover in nyc with the enzer’s, as i have  since debbie moved to chicago. i will read, pray in hebrew, answer the question(s), have a good time with good people, and as always on passover, be missing mr. weinstein’s enormous laughter.

gut yontiff to all!

shalom.

Breaking Bonds
To break the bonds of anger,
To live with gentle pride.

To break the bonds of shame,
To live with humble strength.

To break the bonds of envy,
To serve each other in joy.

To break the bonds of guilt,
To accept all G-d’s gifts.

To break the bonds of fear,
To love with fullness of heart.

To break the bonds of lust,
To love with fullness of being.

To break the bonds of loneliness,
To receive a hand of hope.

To break the bonds of neglect,
To reach out a hand of help.

To break the bond of tears,
To see with awe and wonder.

To break the bonds of loss,
To rejoice in all G-d’s works.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and http://www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.