The Upper West Side Is All Tricked Out For Halloween

I was wandering around the neighborhood today running some errands and enjoying the sunny and crisp fall day. Scroll through for a little seasonal slide show:

There's something so gorgeous and festive about the brownstone side streets. This one on 84th between Columbus and CPW looked great

Outside the Unique Boutique on Columbus and 83rd, a suitably creepy vintage mask

I snuck into the Pomander Walk on 94th between Broadway and West End

PS 9 Halloween Hop

Lobby on West End Avenue between 92nd and 93rd


Have You Seen This Unicorn?

I saw this sign posted on 73rd and Amsterdam. I really like whoever it is that put this up. I almost called the number, but I didn’t want to be disillusioned when it turns out to be some marketing message or something. I was a big collector of unicorn-themed goods (stickers, notebooks, stuffed animals) in my day. I used to draw unicorn heads in the front of all my books. Because that’s tough and pretty much screams out, “Stay the f— away from this book.”

Anyway. I hope they find their unicorn.

Why Must Halloween Be So Tarty??

Sexy Ghostbuster? REALLY?

As I’ve mentioned before, I love Halloween. I have dressed up every year since I was a kid wearing my mom’s homemade clown and angel costumes. In college and beyond, it got a little darker. I was Uma from Pulp Fiction, complete with huge syringe sticking out of my sternum. One year MILo and I horrified my mother by going as JFK and Jackie O–post-assassination. I had a lot of fake blood all over my pink pillbox hat. This year, of course, I’m going as Gaga, but would like to note that I will not be sans pants and no cleavage will be visible. (Not that I have cleavage.)

I’m sort of horrified by how costume shops market really slutty costumes to women. It’s a question of which came first, chicken or egg? Do women WANT to wear these “ho”-rrific costumes because it gives them a chance to let loose and be something they aren’t in real life? Or do they wear them because some huge misogynistic costume conglomerate has somehow convinced us that dressing like a Naughty Nurse/Slutty Nun is cool?

A classy seasonal top, as seen at an UWS Strawberry store

As we were wandering around costume shops looking for suitably cool ninja costumes for my two boys, Five came looking at women’s costumes with me. “Mommy, that’s a pretty dress!” It was basically Streetwalker Cinderella, a woman wearing a tight blue, short satin dress with garter belts decked with blue bows. Er, pretty.

I’m all for personal expression, dressing to feel attractive, and yes, even sexy. But please, let’s not walk around looking like we just hopped off the cover of Maxim. Much better to be ¬†Drunk Snooki or pretend you have leprosy with some gnarly fake wounds or something. Halloween should be about gore, not T&A.

Food, Wine, & Blue Shoes at 208 West 96

Wedged in between a few older buildings on 96th street between Broadway and Amsterdam is the shiny new condo development, 208 West 96. MILo and I got to go have a peek at the model apartment at an event meant to highlight the neighborhood and the new building.

Since I can’t pass up free food and/or wine, and MILo can’t pass up an opportunity to grill people about real estate, it was a perfect date night for us. Tony, a chef from Gourmet Garage gave us a cooking demonstration (mushroom fritatta using organic ingredients). We also got to taste some local wines from upstate NY. The Thirsty Owl, a white wine made from vidal blanc grapes, was delish and a bargain at $11.99. (And you can get it at the Whole Foods on 97th and Columbus, right around the corner. Coincidence? I think not.)

So let’s talk about this building. It’s sleek and modern with lots of automated bells and whistles. First, the Virtual Doorman. We talked to one of the developers about this, and apparently the front door is monitored by cameras which have actual humans attached to them 24/7. “And we promise they’re not in Bangladesh or Mumbai,” the developer told us. There’s a package room and a refrigerated room all operated by various codes, which allow you to get deliveries safely. All without the prying eyes of gossiping doormen. (Well, I love my doormen a lot. But this is a much better alternative than packages sitting on the stoop getting peed on by local pooches.) Read More

Come Sail Away With Me, Upper West Side!

Sorry I’ve been lax on my posts lately. I’m happy to report that my writing gigs are taking up a fair amount of my free time. (Yay!) ¬†However, I thought a quick mention of the amazing Beacon Theater was in order.

If you stand on Broadway and watch the scrolling marquee, it’s quite amusing to see what acts pop up there. For example, this month we have Styx on Oct 28, then Margaret Cho, then a John Lennon tribute. Oh, and “America’s Got Talent.” It’s so totally random. I’m waiting for the Willow Smith/Eminem double bill.

In the meantime, please enjoy this vintage video from these geniuses from my hometown. (I won’t mention “Mr.Roboto”):

There Are So Many Perfect Things In This Picture

I am in the Equinox on 92nd and Broadway pretty frequently. A few weeks ago, this beauty of a bike appeared in the window.

Turns out it’s a Derringer especially made for Equinox. Derringer has only made gas hybrid bikes in the past (um, I’m against fuel and bikes–use your legs!) but this is its first peddle bike. Isn’t it pretty? Only $2300. I’m hoping to win it.

And how fantastic is that poster? Look at the shoes. Not practical for cycling at all. I love it. I may just wear these to my next spin class.

Halloween Is Coming, And Everyone Is Willing To Look Like A Jackass

I love Halloween. I really do. Maybe more than Christmas. Definitely more than Valentine’s Day. I dress up every year and try to never repeat a costume.

Saturday we all went on a costume odyssey. Seven wants to be a ninja, because he wants a “big sword.” Of course he does. He’s a man. Well, he WILL be, hopefully, if I can ever teach him how to safely cross the street. Five hemmed and hawed (Star Wars? Animal? Scary ghost?) until he decided that it would really piss him off if his brother had a big sword, so he’s going to be a ninja, too. Read More