Saturday, December 29, 2007

Charlie Bit My Finger -and- Hope

I've been telling everyone (and I do mean everyone) about this clip...

I loved it so much I posted it on my MySpace page and I'm sharing it here in my BLOG.

Simply titled Charlie Bit My Finger - this is a short, hilarious clip of two kids. I don't know why it literally made me laugh til I was crying...is it because they're kids? Is it because the older brother sets himself up? Is it because they're British and just too cute with that accent? Is it the baby brother's guilty giggle?

Or is it all of the above?

I'm not sure...but I can't stop watching it. It's after midnight and I'm still playing it.

Click on the links above to check it out. If you visit my MySpace page...not only will you find the Charlie Bit My Finger clip but you'll also hear a song by an artist named Hope. She's singing her beautiful song, Who Am I To Say. Remember her name...she's one to watch.

Enjoy!
-J

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Tuesday

Merry Tuesday.

That’s what I say when I’m blue on Christmas. I'm not a deep blue...but it's not the kind of Christmas I like...so, I just try and look at it as some random kind of day off.

I wasn’t sure what to do with my day…it is Christmas…but all day I’ve been having a hard time finding that feeling of Christmas. I have a Christmas tree and there are present under it…but we all know that isn’t what it’s really about.

It’s about the spirit of Giving and being with the people you cherish in your life. Lots of people have called to wish me a Merry Christmas...but I haven't been answered the phone for fear of being a downer to their day.

Because of a lot of different factors…Christmas found me on my own this year. I was walking that delicate line between being alone and being lonely. I wish I could say that my toes bend on that line…but in fact I’ve spent time on both sides most of the day.

If I had today to do over again and differently...I would've found some way of doing something for someone else...volunteering...something other than have a small pity party.

I slept in…talked to my Brother and then made the decision to get out of the apartment. I didn’t know where I was going or what I’d be doing…but I knew I needed to get out. From my bedroom window the skies were solid blue and the streets seemed very quiet. I wanted something to do in the city…

I hit the streets and headed downtown. I’d thought about seeing a movie…but decided against sitting inside a dark theater on such beautiful day.

So…I got off the subway at 59th street and walked over to 5th Avenue. I decided to check out the windows again – this time in the daylight – and see if I could snap better, clearer pictures. Since it was Christmas day…I figured the rest of the city would be quiet as well. With the city being in a quieter state – I decided to (finally) visit Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center. Perfect.

As I walked across 59th street I had my iPod playing a mix of my favorite Christmas albums (I’ll share my Top 10 Christmas CDs in a minute). When I got to 5th Avenue, I realized I would not be alone.

The streets were packed. The sidewalks were overcrowded and slow moving as curbside sales of Coach purses and Rolex watches were spread out everywhere. I couldn’t get anywhere near the windows of Bergdorf Goodman’s.

I made my way down to Rockefeller Center…snapping some photos of the Atlas and St. Patrick’s Catherdral…the Christmas tree…the ice skating rink…and Rockefeller Center itself.

I bought my ticket and headed up. The ceiling of the elevator turns clear so you can watch the elevator shaft as you ride up the 64 stories.

There are three observation levels and each is more breathtaking than the one before. Amazingly thick glass wall allow open, unobstructed views of Manhattan.

A picture is worth a thousand words…so I’ll let them do the talking…(see below)

Top Ten Christmas CDs that Should be in Your Collection:
1) Christmas Stays the Same - Linda Eder
2) Christmas to Remember - Amy Grant
3) My Kind of Christmas - Christina Aguilera
4) Home for Christmas - Amy Grant
5) Broadway Cares Home for Christmas - Various Artists (it's worth purchasing just for Lillias While's version of Silent Night)
6) Wintersong - Sarah McLachlan
7) These Are the Special Times - Celine Dion
8) Christmas Memories - Barbara Streisand
9) Christmas in Velvet, Vol. 1 & 2 - Regeneration
10) Christmas in Velvet, Vol 3 & 4 - Regeneration





The skating rink at the foot of Rockefeller Center...Rockefeller Center - towering into the sky.



The tall building with the white top is the Bloomberg Building. At its base you'll find The Container Store at 58th and Lexington Avenue. The glass walls allowing incredible views of the city. St. Patrick's Cathedral...from above. The interior of the Observation level leading to the exit elevators and two additional (higher) observation levels.



The Empire State building, the observation levels, the Chrysler Building and Met Life building that is located right behind Grand Central.





Me at Top of the Rock...a wintertime Central Park and the Upper West Side are in the background. Another shot of the glass wall on a lower level and my Christmas tree.
Two short videos shot from Top of the Rock. video video

Thursday, December 20, 2007

7th Time's the Charm(in)

I’ve heard the 3rd time is the charm…for me…it was the 7th.

I was off today and spent most of the day cleaning around my apartment, running errands, etc. I decided, kinda at the last minute, to venture down to Times Square and try…yet again for the Young Frankenstein lottery.

The new musical by Mel Brooks, Young Frankenstein, based on his film from 1976, has created a stir on Broadway for several reasons. The score, the direction, the powerhouse cast…but mostly because of the insanely priced tickets (topping off at an unheard of $450).

I love theater…but I wouldn’t (and can’t) pay that much for a show...any show.

Like many shows on Broadway, Young Frankenstein does offer lottery tickets for the front row – for $26. You arrive 2 ½ hours before the show, drop your name in, and then 2 hours before the show names are drawn.

I went to the beautiful Hilton theater and put my name for the 7th time. The young ushers who run the lottery recognized me. They said they loved that I keep trying. I explained that it is a perk of living in Manhattan. If I don’t win…I can go home.

Tonight…I won.

Not only did I win…I was the first name drawn. I couldn’t believe it when my name was called.

The girl drawing names said she thought she was more excited than I was…I explained that I was in shock. I had tried so hard not to get my hopes up that I was trying to take it all in.

The closer I got to show time, the more excited I got. By the time the show’s Overture started I was on the edge of my seat.

Most theaters, because of their age, the front row is so close, physically, to the stage that you end up with a crick in your neck looking up at the stage. The Hilton is newer and the orchestra separates the audience from the stage – providing enough space to see everything (with no strain on one’s neck).

The show was great. It was a great thrill to see Sutton Foster (I’ve written about seeing her in The Drowsy Chaperone last year and Little Women when I first moved to NYC) and an exciting experience finally seeing Andrea Martin and Megan Mullally (of TV's Will & Grace fame) on stage – both were show stoppers.

The show was a lot of fun…it had me laughing out loud. The show had the most special effects of any Broadway show I’ve seen – they could almost knock you out of your seat. Everyone in the cast gave 100% and were at the top of their game.

Anyone who’s seen the movie will love the musical…the show is almost lifted word for word from the film. I just recently saw the movie for the first time (I know, I know…where have I been) – and I can report that it stays exceptionally true to the original story.

Before the show started…I did a little Christmas shopping and needed to use the restroom. Well…wouldn’t you know it…for the first time there’s a public restroom in Times Square.
(click the link in the sentence before this one and read an article in the New York Times)

It’s sponsored by Charmin.

It is clean and…I don’t know how else to describe it…it’s a party. There are Charmin cheerleaders (click on the link above and the song you'll hear in the background is what plays 24/7)…a gift shop…a voting booth where you can vote for your favorite softness…it’s not to be missed. It’s number one in my book…whether natures calling you for Number 1 or Number 2.

I decided to blend in with the tourists and I snapped photos like I’d just stepped off the plane. The whole Charmin happy place was just too funny. I couldn’t believe the way it was done up and the extreme to which everyone went.

I can say this…I’ve never relieved myself …and had such a good time.

Is that a weird sentence?

Don’t know how else to describe it all…but there it is.





Here it is! No joke, this place is the $%^&.





The Hilton Theater - home of the musical, Young Frankenstein. The original movie poster and a poster for the musical.



A bit of the spectacle in Young Frankenstein...Sutton Foster with Roger Bart...Puttin' on the Ritz with the Creature...Megan Mullally making an entrance.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

New Traditions...NYC Christmas 2007

I worked all day…then caught a local train back to the city (Local train means my ride back to Manhattan will be 45-50 minutes instead of 22 minutes when on an Express). I slept the whole way, missing my usual stop at Harlem – 125th Street and waking up in Grand Central.

That’s happened to me before…after a long day. I fall asleep and miss my stop. Last night it was part of the plan.

I went from the Train to the subway and heading down to Union Square at 14th Street. From there I took another train West over to W. Village. I got out and met up with my friend CeCe. He’s subletting a great apartment in the heart of the Village. Very old and very fun.

From there the two of us met up with Elizabeth and her friends from Atlanta/now turned NYC neighbors: Erin and John (whom I call Biscuit. He’s a pastry chef. As nicknames go – It’s a leap, but it works for me).

The five of us walked to Starbucks were we ordered coffee or hot chocolate as dictated by our likes. We added a little “kick” to them and then headed out in the city.

We did a caravan of the department store windows that NYC is famous for.

First stop: Macy’s.

I can hardly even describe them. I can’t…I just can’t. The pictures will have to do it for me.

(see below)

From there we met up with Elizabeth’s roommate, Louis, and then together we were all back on the subway heading uptown. We exited at Rockefeller Center, just under Radio City Music Hall.

We each became tourists and start snapping pictures left and right.

(see below)

From Rockefeller we walked up a few blocks and tried to take in the brilliance that is the windows of Bergdorf Goodman’s.

Wow. If I was at a lost for words trying to describe Macy’s…this final stop blew me away completely.

Biscuit, Erin, Elizabeth and CeCe...adding a little kick to the coco. The folks at Starbucks welcomed us with open arms and didn't want us to leave without sharing our "recipe."


Biscuit and Erin gives their hot chocolates a kick ON the subway and then again in the station.







Macy's Christmas windows - 2007. The pictures can't do the detail justice. That's Elizabeth and CeCe checking out a Santa display that literally flips upside down. Having them in the picture shows just how big the windows are.