Showing posts with label life in New York City. Show all posts
Showing posts with label life in New York City. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The sum of all fears

Awful news yesterday, of course: An AC unit fell six stories from an apartment window, bouncing off an awning below and striking a 67-year-old man on Second Avenue.

While reading through the retweets about this story on Twitter, a theme quickly emerged: Many people said that getting hit in the head by a falling AC was their worst fear/nightmare. Well, sure — why not?

Life always hangs in the balance, particularly in an urban environment. So there's always something to put the fear in us, often driven by the media ... getting mugged ... worrying about terrorism ... falling cranes... exploding manhole covers... finding bedbugs... seeing your new neighbor move in with a drumkit...

As for falling objects, well, in a bit of gallows humor, I told @Eden_Brower that yesterday's incident took my mind off thinking about cars hurtling out of parking garages and landing on me. For awhile, anyway.

Perhaps this is a good reminder ... maybe you want to walk on the other side of Ninth Street where the parking garage is between Third Avenue and Second Avenue....

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Critters on the loose in Manhattan! (NOT on the menu at Serge today: Possum)

While walking to a dumb lunch appointment today up in Midtown ... I saw five police cars parked along Madison Avenue in the 30s. Several police officers and passers-by were staring at the trellis next to the door at the French eatery Serge.

A makeshift barrier was set up outside the restaurant, which was not yet open.

Uh, so why are we all standing here looking at the trellis? A building maintenance man and bicycle messenger said in unison, "Possum!" Well, sure enough, a possum was hovering in the corner....looking pretty menacing...

So we all stood around like a bunch of dopes while the police officers figured out the best method of humanely trapping the possum. That left people time to theorize. "How do you think he got here?" Well, said one man, "I've seen possum in the Bronx." Another man chimed in, "I bet he took the subway!"

Yeah, OK....the police eventually got a little cranky with so many people — now maybe 40 strong? — milling about.

Back up, people!

We did. People new to the crowd said things like, "What is it, a gas leak?" Tourists took photos.

A few minutes later, an officer approached the possum with an apple-picker-looking thing. The possum was placed inside a plastic trash can and carted off... We didn't hear where the possum was being taken. People stood around for a few more moments, seemingly disappointed to see the free entertainment come to a conclusion.

[Oops...Thanks to the's an opossum in the Western Hemisphere...Apologies...]

Important news: New York City is the sixth-best place in the country for "good hair days" (Yeah, suck it L.A.!)

Interpret this survey as you please. And how did we finish behind Anchorage? Don't they have to wear hats year-round?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Posts that I never got around to posting: This passage from someone's blog from a long time ago

After dinner, my girls took me to Bowery Wine Company. Bowery Wine Company is a really cute, smallish bar. A group of guys bought us all tequila shots as soon as we walked in the bar. We spent the rest of the night there talking, laughing and drinking lots of lots of shots. We stayed until about 3am and then decided to head home.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

On the edge

You probably saw the news accounts yesterday about the Mercedes SUV that plunged three stories from the parking garage at 12th Street and University Place. According to reports, the attendant accidentally threw the SUV into reverse by mistake. Amazingly enough, no one was killed — or seriously injured.

As the Post noted

The massive SUV catapulted through the sixth-floor window landing in a tangle on a roof between the two buildings.

"There's a f- - -ing car in my back yard," Frank Schwartz said. "I heard a guy yell earlier, but I thought it was just my crazy neighbors partying, and I just ignored it.

"That's what happens when you live in New York.

Uh-huh. True.

Still, have you ever looked up at the parking garage on Ninth Street between Third Avenue and Second Avenue?

Please be careful — and walk on the other side of the street.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thanks to some Internet haters, a nice story has an unhappy ending

There's a humdinger of a City Room post from yesterday....that resulted in one of the world's greatest blog responses.

Back story! Yesterday, City Room reported on a young Ivy League graduate who lost her class ring down a grate on 42nd Street. She wrote about the great lengths that some helpful folks from the MTA and Con Ed went to in order to help her retrieve the ring. She posted on this slice-of-life from the city on her blog.

Of course, this brought out some haters. While some readers enjoyed this one-of-millions-of-stories-that-unfold-here-each-day tale....others....didn't. From the comments:

First, I can’t believe you reported this story about this absolutely absurd space cadet who cost the city, literally, several thousands of dollars because she couldn’t get it together, after several years of having a too-large ring, to have it resized.

Second, and then you report the entire ridicu-blog. She sounds more like a high school kid.

Third, I find it hard to believe she graduated from Penn. Just doesn’t fit the known facts as we see them here.

Heartwarming this story was not. She needs to be reprimanded by a grown-up.


No kidding. How hard is it for this ditz to have her ring re-sized?

Maybe she should go back to Pennsylvania. I hope someone in the Con Edison accounts billing department sends her an invoice for her stupidity.


As a New Yorker, an Asian American and an Ivy Leaguer (Columbia University), my opinion is that Jean Hsu is definitely a pain in the butt. Unfortunately, NYC does continue to attract absolutely clueless individuals like her.

Meanwhile, the young woman with the class ring is upset...and the episode reminds her why she should "NEVER BLOG AGAIN."

In a post on her Essential Luxuries blog today, she writes:

But how is my uplifting story TWISTED by the cynical and narrow-minded people of the heinous Internet!!?! I am some stupid moron ditz who was practically asking for my ring to fall in a grate just so I could see how many people would be willing to come running to my beck and call. Wasting both time and money. WRONG, FOLKS.

She goes on to chastise the Times and Sam Roberts, who wrote the post:

Can I just first mention that for a reporter and editor of the New York Times, he wrote a completely disappointing and pointless blog. I know that my own blog is pretty pointless at times, but I also don't often think my writing or opinion is worthy of being published in the New York Times. And I write it to humor my friends who GET ME. And my pointlessness. But Mr. Roberts could DEFINITELY have done a better job in getting the ACTUAL POINT ACROSS about my story. Or at least formulating his own opinion about the situation.

Anyway, if you're interested, she sets the record straight today about what happened, corrects the Times and has words for each of the haters (like the one "ridicu-NAZI") who said horrible things about her.

Her last paragraph:

Before I depart, I wanted to take a moment to thank all my friends for being supportive, enjoying the story like they were supposed to, and ensuring me that all aforementioned haters have no lives and will be probably be really busy calling into WCBS tomorrow while listening to my radio interview. HI HATERS.