Monday, September 29, 2008

Colbert Report

I went to a taping of the Colbert Report tonight, an experience that I can only describe as a most unfun way to watch a super funny show.

4:00 pm- leave work and head for 54th and 10th Ave
4:15 pm- stop at Starbucks for a tall nonfat hot chocolate and slice of pumpkin loaf...yum!

4:30 pm- arrive at studio. 50 people already in line in front of me. We've been told we'll go into the studio at 5:15pm
5:45 pm- line starts to move inside

6:00 pm- through security. (search is more thorough than at the airport!) Waiting area is tiny; only 2 bathrooms for over
100 people; at least there's a tv that is playing clips on the show.
6:40 pm- clips of Steven FROM 2006 are NO LONGER FUNNY. We are crammed into the waiting room like
commuters on the subway.

6:50 pm- studio doors open and people are escorted to their seats. The studio is cool...lots to look at.
The funniest prop was a head shot of Harriet Miers.
6:55 pm- warm-up comedian comes on and is funny...for the first 15 minutes. But once we were pushing 45 minutes
of stand-up I was DONE! We had been waiting so long that the fireplace DVD that plays on a tv screen
in the fireplace clicked over to a screen saver.

7:50 pm- Mr. Colbert FINALLY decides to grace us with his presence. Apparently rehersal started late, which was the
cause of the delay. But considering the fact that we'd now been waiting for a 30 minute show for almost 4 hours,
I was NOT impressed.
7:55 pm- show begins. The guest was Paul Begala and "The Word" was 'oh ye of little faith.' Funny stuff!
Stephen didn't mention the debate but did talk about the economy.

8:30 pm- show's over. You are only allowed to attend a taping once every 6 months. No problem, don't anticipate a desire to
go back ANYTIME soon.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Tunnel to Towers Run

I was fortunate enough to have Katie visit me this weekend so we could both run in the Tunnel to Towers 3.5 mile race through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel this morning. The race is in memory of Stephen Siller, a fire fighter who on 9/11, after the bridges and tunnels closed to traffic, put on all of his gear in Brooklyn and ran through the tunnel to rescue people from the Twin Towers. Stephen did not survive but his memory lives on in this run and a foundation in his name.

I imagined that the run would be emotional. That was an understatement. I was crying as soon as we walked onto the approach to the tunnel and a girl was singing "When a Hero Comes Along" on the main stage. Not soon after, performance artist Michael Israel painted a giant picture of the Statue of Liberty while Neil Diamond's "America" played in the background. Had "Proud to be an American" come on, that would have been the end of me.

The start of the race itself was fun-- it's not very often that one gets to run through a toll plaza and through a tunnel. I was surprised how long the tunnel is and how hot it got.

But if I thought I was hot, I needed only to look around for the fire fighters and soldiers running with all their gear to remember why I was out there. Periodically, groups of people would also start up "USA" chants that reverberated through the tunnel.

there was a large UK contingent!!

The light at the end of the tunnel (no pun intended) was a welcome sight.

Even more wonderful was the sight of the fire fighters, wearing their dress uniforms, holding American flags and wearing large photos of their fallen brothers around their necks. That was that sight that I heard made the race so special. It was incredibly moving and gave everyone a real boost.

High school choirs, bands, cheerleaders, flag twirlers and other performers kept everyone's spirits high as we ran along the waterfront for the final 3/4 mile or so. My final push came as I could see the final corner but heard "hooo, hooo, hooo, hooo" getting closer and closer behind me. A large contingent of Army guys came running by and lead the way to the finish.

I hope to make the Tunnel to Towers an annual event for me...and my friends and family, hint hint!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Where's ET?

Where have I been?

I feel like I've been stuck in traffic jams on the East Side all week. It's astonishing what kind of gridlock happens when the world's leaders come to town for the opening of the UN General Assembly-- everyone gets a motorcade and the NYPD takes the OVERWHELMING force approach. The president's motorcade came by and not only did all the streets between the Waldorf and the UN get closed to traffic, pedestrians were kept 1/2 block away on every side of the street for a good 10-15 minutes. If you don't need to do it in DC, I can't imagine why you need to do it in NYC. Craziness!

I've also been to the new Trader Joe's at Court and Atlantic. On the one hand, how cool! Located in the old Independence Bank building, the store is HUGE! Most disappointingly, however, the checkout line was no better than the TJ's at Union Square. Employees with "12 Items and less" and "More than 12 Items" signs still stood in the middle of an aisle at the back of the store indicating where the back of the line is. I'll be back some morning before the Cobble Hill yuppies and mommies with strollers are awake. But tonight I deposited my basket in the middle of the store and left empty handed. Pleasantly, Sahadis is just down the street, was half as crowded and just as inexpensive.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Stags, an independent comedy about "a group of friends from Manhattan coming to terms with middle age" is filming up the block this morning. It's a bit strange to see a pedicab in the nabe as they are completely foreign to Brooklyn Heights, but cool nonetheless. The scene has the female character storming out of the pedicab as the guy, looking dismayed, gets out of the cab with a 4-ft tall trophy and pays the driver.

I'm just happy to see my street actually featured in a film instead of used to park the food trucks and the toilets as is normally the case with other shoots in the area (ie. Burn after Reading, now playing at a theater near you:-))

The only mention of the movie I see of online is MySpace job ads looking for extras. Um, how about a 20-something hauling her laundry back and forth from the laundry on Montague on a crisp Saturday that's my BH:-)

Sunday, September 14, 2008


To my cousin Melissa and her new husband Willie who got married over the weekend! A lovely wedding for a lovely new family!

Here are all of the cousins on my mom's side and the couple's first dance as husband and wife.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Tomorrow marks my 2 year anniversary working in the big city and yet I'm still have firsts. Today it was a bagel, cream cheese and LOX!

A colleague offered me the other half of her bagel. "Thanks so much," I said, "I didn't get breakfast this morning." But as she handed it to me I saw little pink flecks. I hoped it was strawberry jelly but deep down I knew better.

What to do? Well I was hungry and it was a new New York Adventure so I decided to dig in.

Don't know how I would feel about a big slice of lox, but in little pieces I was pleasantly surprised.

Oh no, my transition to NYer-dome continues...

Friday, September 05, 2008


Another perfect pizza posting from Matt...

It was a Friday. A fine day for pizza. Anrurada was in town and we were meeting up with her friend's Madhu, Sas and Elizabeth. I suggested we meet at a New York City institution down on Houston st. (That's HOW-STUN street for all you non locals out there.) Arturo's has been putting out true coal fired oven pies for 50+ years to a mainly local crowd, thankfully. It offers many other classic Italian dishes and since it is not a pizza only place it does not produce the lines that, what I like to call 'New York Institution' pizza joints typically do. As we entered, we passed a front room with bar and seating and into a similar size room in the back, of which I believe there were two, and many available tables.

(Erin says: the walls were decorated with all sorts of pictures and a jazz band was playing in the background...great ambiance.)

We opted for two pies, a fresh mozzarella and basil along with a peppers and onions. The bread that preceded the pizza was warm with a nice crust, the top bread I have had at any pizza place in the city. The pizza was fantastic. For me it was second only to Difara. I had two slices of the fresh mozz and could have gone for more. The crust is the best pizza crust going, just crispy enough and just enough char. Not inexpensive though, a plain pie is $21 and toppings are $4 each.

(Erin says: $4 toppings are ridiculous. Matt is a pizza purist but I had some of the pepper and onion pizza too. That is such a wonderfully classic pizza combo!!)

Welcome to New York. It is also a great atmosphere inside, very casual and relaxed feel.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Happy Labor Day

Matt suggested a picnic in Central Park for Labor Day (and a certain couple's 18 month anniv...yes, we are still celebrating half year anniversaries:-))

The weather could not have been better so we packed up some chairs and a lunch of fresh baguette, cheese and fruit and headed for the Great Lawn.

People watching was fun...until we watched this guy take his pants off. He was wearing undies but no one wanted to see everything he was offering!

Lovely day, I definitely think a fall picnic is in our future (hint hint:-))!