life in and around NYC is insane

Thursday, July 31, 2014

So what do you think?

I'm thinking this is a "no". 

What, already? The August wantable accessories box

What a nice surprise!

I got the Casey necklace -- two delicate pendants with pretty pink stones.

The MacKenzie necklace -- an orange and teal necklace, very bright, summer colors.

Fergie earrings -- light blue, orange and ibory.  Very large but lightweight.  Very weekend.

The Alana ring.  Pretty mint stone.  But I've got very small hands, the ring may not work for me.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Product review

I tried all of the Ipsy products except the sunscreen.  Liked the BB cream, it's smooth on the skin and blends well.  The lip balm was soothing.  Don't know why they call it "tinted", though, as it doesn't leave any color on your lips.  Knew Id love the eye shadow, I've used bare minerals before.  Used the bronzed sparingly, and it wasn't as dark as I feared.  Pity the customer service sucks.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Bye bye

Cancelled my Ipsy subscription today.

Is anyone surprised?

Products were decent, I liked the eye shadow and the lip balm. Customer service sucked. What happened to me in July happens to a substantial number of customers every month. Every. Single. Month.

Not good service, not my cup of tea.

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Les Halles Downtown

Restaurant Week in NYC, there are all sorts of specials to encourage you to dine out.

And so we found ourselves having lunch at a lovely bistro on John Street.

Outside it's a hot summer day, but inside it's dark and cool, lovely dark wood bar, panelling, furniture. The rooms are long and narrow. Very charming.

The menu is French but not frou-frou. Lots of hearty meals, even at lunch.

I ordered from the special "Restaurant Week" prix fixe menu. You get an appetizer, entree and dessert. Portions are smaller than the normal menu and choices are limited, but you can have an excellent lunch for a reasonable price.

I had a duck appetizer. It was slow cooked to the consistency of a pate, and was served with garlicky toasted bread. Very nice.

Main course was steak with bernaise sauce, frites and salad. The steak was served medium rare, as I requested, and was so tender and juicy... The potatoes were cut shoestring style and fried to an incredible crispness.

Dessert was Nutella creme brûlée. I love creme brûlée but had never had it flavored like that. Creamy, with a sugar crust, but not overly sweet or cloying. That and a cup of coffee made a nice finish to lunch.

Les Halles Downtown on Urbanspoon

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Another this and that

So Becca moved out of her student apartment over the weekend. Her furniture is now stored in a unit at a public storage facility. She's already talking about finding a roommate and getting another apartment.

I usually prefer to give my money to organized charities, but last week I gave $2 to a woman who was very likely an addict. She earned it through sheer audacity. A group of us were standing, waiting for the train, and she walked up to one man and told him she'd just gotten her period "real bad" and had no money for tampons.

I like having the word "consultant" as part of my job title. And I'm still enjoying lower Manhattan. But the commute is killing me.

Yesterday was Eid, a Muslim holiday. There were a lot of men gathered at the mosque when Becca and I drove past it on our way to the train. Becca had no idea that the large house behind the fence had become a mosque.

The mosque is next door to a Hindu temple, and on the same street as half a dozen churches and an Orthodox synagogue. We live in a very diverse community.

Jen is really looking forward to her 8 day trip to London and Paris. She's go in with a friend from college. She'll be gone during that week between the end of camp and the beginning of school.

She's happy to be moving up to the middle school with her student. She really likes this boy.

I can't believe the summer is half over. Time is truly flying!

And I almost forgot to mention.  I follow Scott Shannon on Facebook and Twitter.  I got a shout out from him on the air last week.  I didn't hear it and no one bothered to tell me!

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Bento Sushi & Noodles

Still in search of decent Financial District lunch spots, I came across this place on Broadway. Like most of the places around here, it's a counter service restaurant with a limited menu and a handful of tables. And it's relatively inexpensive.

I ordered a Bento box and was satisfied with my meal. I had chicken teriyaki over white rice served with Gyoza, California roll and a side salad. The fish was fresh, the chicken tender and flavorful, the dumpling light and delicate. Portions were a bit small but satisfying.

Small issues. The Bento box comes with a choice of California roll or salmon nigiri, bit no one asked me for my preference. When I asked for a paper menu to take with me, the cashier had no clue where to find one. I found it myself. And the utensils and condiments are located in front of the cashier!s station, which is fine if you're buying repackaged sushi, but if you have to wait for your order it becomes very inconvenient.

It's a bit of a hike from my office, but it was a decent lunch option. I wll probably be back.

Bento Sushi & Noodles on Urbanspoon
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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Wantable cosmetic box

Disappointed with my IPSY experience, and already satisfied with my Wantable experience vis a vis the accessories box, I ordered the Wantable cosmetics box just a few days ago.  It arrived the same day as my IPSY box. 
In some ways it's unfair to compare the two.  IPSY costs $10 and provides sample sizes.  Wantable is $36 and send full sized products.
Wantable also gives you a receipt telling you what you receive and how to use it.  Nice touch.
I got Liberty Republic Spellbound Nail Lauer Belladonna,  Glam Natural Lip Cream Love Affair, Ofra Bright Addiction Eye Shadow in Ocean Blue, and Vincent Longo Dew Drop Blush in Desert Rose.
All of the products look fun as useful.

Ipsy - finally

So when I came home yoday, there it was.   My IPSY glam bag.  A cute pink bag.

Inside I found 5 items.

1.  A sample size pur- lisle sunscreen.   SPF 30.  Worth a try.

2.  A sample size derma e BB creme.  Light tint.  SPF 25.  I want to try a BB creme, so this is very welcome.

3.  Bare Minerals eye shadow.  Two shades.  It's not a full sized compact.   The shades are passion and muse.  I've liked other Bare Minerals products.   This will be used.

4.  Pixie tinted brilliance balm in Unique Pink.    It's a pale pink.  Pretty.

5. Pop Beauty Sunkist ed Bronzer in Secret Sunshine.   Looks a little dark for my complexion.  But I'm willing to give it a try.

Worth the $10?  Clearly yes.

Worth the aggravation?


The 9/11 Memorial

A very emotional day yesterday.

Every American who was old enough to be aware of his or her surroundings in 2001 has a 9/11 story. The shock, the fear, the horror of that day is indelibly imprinted on our collective consciousness, and each of us adds his or her experiences to our memory and understanding of that day.

I'd spent most of my career working in lower Manhattan or Jersey City, but in September of 2001 I was fortunate to be with a Long Island based law firm, and with no court appearances scheduled in the city that day, my plan was to go to my office and focus on paperwork.

I was driving to work, I had the radio on, and Scott Shannon was interviewing a man who had just seen an airplane hit one of the towers of the World Trade Center. During the interview, the witness suddenly exclaimed that a second plane hit the other tower.

I think I knew in that moment that the world had changed, and not for the better.

I watched the rest of the morning's events unfold on a small TV in the firm's gym/rec room.

I was so lucky to be elsewhere that day.  I knew people who died, people who lost loved ones, people who were displaced from their homes, people who emerged from the site covered in ash and dust.

Ditto Drew. He was supposed to start teaching at a school in lower Manhattan in September 2001, but fortunately landed a job in a district on Long Island.

Since then I've watched the rebuilding and revitalization of lower Manhattan. Walk through the Financial District now and you wouldn't know it was the site of such devastation almost 13 years ago. It's a thriving, crowded neighborhood, different from what existed before the attack, but just as vital and exciting.

I knew I'd have to visit the memorial and museum. And Saturday was the day.

I've been a regular commuter through the World Trade Center these past ten years, but Drew hadn't been down there since . . . Well, he's not quite sure, but probably before 2001. So it was interesting to see the neighborhood through his eyes.

Remember that the original World Trade Center was not just the Twin Towers. It was a 16 acre campus, with 7 office buildings gathered around an open plaza, with an underground shopping concourse connecting three subway lines and the PATH trains to New Jersey.

The rebuilt World Trade Center has office towers on the northern part of the campus, and will eventually have a transit hub as well.

But the southern part of the campus, along Liberty Street ...

The memorial is a serene plaza, with beautiful trees. Where each of the towers once stood is now a reflecting pool, a full acre in size, with water falling down . . .deep down, many stories below street level. Very peaceful.

And then you enter the museum. There's a cavernous space, dotted with a few artifacts. A fire engine. The antenna that sat on top of the North Tower. The last beam of steel removed from the site. How the towers were built, and how Philippe Petit tight rope walked between two towers.

There's a room with the photos of each person who died.

You can see the actual slurry wall.

Drew and I both shuddered when we found the sign that used to sit on the street, telling people all abnout the World trade Center.

But nothing prepares you for the intensity of the "September 11 room".

This is the heart of the museum. A collection of artifacts, photos, audio tapes, film clips...the Twin Towers as landmark and icon. The February 1993 attack on the Trade Center ... I watched that unfold from my office in  Jersey City. The events and aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. There are displays devoted to the attack on the Pentagon and Flight 93, but the focus is on the events in lower Manhattan.

It's the first time I've gone through a history museum where I'd lived through the history being displayed.  It was like going back in time 13 years.  It was painful, it was cathartic, but it was so worthwhile.  I cried through most of the exhibits.

The newspaper headlines from that morning -- it was primary day, elections were being held.  The "missing" posters that were all over the city afterwards.  Ordinary things, like PATH quickcards.

What really made me cry, though, was the model of the Trade Center in its heyday.  How many times did I spend my lunch hour sitting on that plaza, by the reflecting pool.  Even when there weren't concerts, it was a nice place to bring your sandwich and enjoy.

Afterwards we walked down to Battery Park.  The Sphere, the sculpture that had graced the plaza of the Trade Center, is located in the park.  I'd visited it before, and wanted to show Drew. was gone!  Apparently the city moved it to another part of the park last year, and we couldn't find it.  We should have kept looking.

We wound up in Chinatown for dinner.  Our favorite Wo Hop.  A little mood changer after such a solemn day.

The new One World Trade Center, as seen from Liberty Street.

The last column to be removed from the site.


The slurry wall.

The new transit hub, as seen from the 9/11 Memorial plaza.

One World Trade Center, as seen from the Memorial Plaza.


The reflecting pools.  

A quote from Virgil sets the tone:

 The Survivors staircase.  The damage isn't from 9/11, it's from the wrecking ball before someone thought to preserve it.


The museum itself.

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Seen in the window of a recently reviewed restaurant

Oh my.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Oh how nice

The Ipsy bag was apparently delivered to my house today.

I've got weekend plans, won't be home until Sunday.

The big reveal happens Sunday night.

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

It's a miracle

The fearless glam bag has made its way to my local post office.

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Will it arrive in time? The latest on the Ipsy front

I know, I know, I'm obsessing.

DHL says that they're ready to transport the package to the USPS.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Oh my

My Ipsy bag made it as far as Secaucus, NJ.

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DHL reports the bag left their facility in Maryland this morning.

Any bets on how long it will take to travel from Maryland to Long Island.

Theater of the absurd indeed.

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Customer service fail

Got so fed up with IPSY . . . Emailed DHL to ask why the tracking information hasn't updated in almost a week. Did IPSY even give them a package to deliver? So now the website has been updated. Package arrived at DHL in Maryland on July 18 but was not processed until the 22nd. The comedy of errors continues.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Ipsy, oh Ipsy, where art thou?

DHL website hasn't been updated

Marketing lesson #1. Don't piss off the consumer. Especially in this day and age of social media.

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Earlier this summer my sister bought a hibiscus plant.  It sits in a pot on the front porch.   I suppose she'll bring it into the house when the weather gets cool in the fall.

It reminds us all of that first trip we took to Disneyworld -- me, my sisters and Jen (age 7 1/2) and Becca (just turned 6), and we stayed at the Poly.  There were hibiscus all over the resort.

The one on our porch has bloomed every single day this summer.

Harry's Steak and Cafe

Sooner or later, you knew here would be a business lunch. Well, we wound up at Harry's Steak and Cafe.

Harry's has been a Wall Street fixture since forever. Slightly below street level, the restaurant is decorated in dark wood, with wine bottles on the wall. Real steak house feel.

Service was quiet and efficient, though I was perturbed that no one offered us a refill on our soft drinks. Our party stuck to salads and sandwiches.

I had the steak sandwich -- tender slices of steak and melted mozzarella on a hero roll, served with handmade potato chips. Expertly prepared and very tasty. Would definitely order this again.

Harry's Steak and Cafe on Urbanspoon

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Monday, July 21, 2014


Just got an email asking me to review the July bag.

Today's IPSY email

Good to know I've received 20 IPSY points for my aggravation.

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The trend in fast-food Mexican is "build your own". You pick your ingredients and they assemble your tacos or burrito according to your instructions.

There are several chains that follow this formula. The first time I encountered it was at a Chipotle on Long Island. I was hooked.

I hadn't been to a Chipotle in awhile. There's a really good mom-and-pop near Drew's house, we go there often. And there's no Chipotle in Jersey City, so we had to satisfy our cravings at Salsarita's -- a similar chain. In fact, the joke was that Salsarita's was a poor substitute for Chipolte.

So I was excited to see a Chipolte just a short walk from my new office.

Sad to say, the bloom is off the rose.

I mean, the food was good, but nothing to rave about. I had a steak bowl -- rice, black beans, tomatoes, corn, cheese, sour cream and guacamole. Too much guacamole, my steak was swimming in it. It was a very large portion, and I couldn't finish it. Very expensive, too. I paid almost $15 for the bowl and a soda; a similar meal at Salsarita's in Jersey City, even adding chips and a dip, would be about $11.

So I was a little disappointed. It wasn't a bad meal, but there was no "wow" factor.


Chipotle Mexican Grill on Urbanspoon
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Songbird Salutes the 70's: Monty Python

OK, I admit it. I'm a fraud. One of the biggest cultural phenomena of the 70's, and I was not a part of it.

Monty Python's Flying Circus was cerebral, intellectual slapstick, silly and intelligent all at once. And raunchy. Very, very raunchy.

Show ran for 45 episodes on the BBC from 1969 through 1974, and spawned comedy albums, movies and even a Broadway musical.

But on Sunday . . .

Well, the surviving Pythons did a live show in the UK. It was broadcast around the world. Here in the US you had to go to a movie theater to see the satellite feed.

So Drew and I found ourselves in the multiplex Sunday afternoon.

OMG it was a funny show!

Wish I'd discovered them back in the day ...

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Ipsy saga continues

DHL site is back up, but hasn't updated since Wednesday evening. It's Sunday night.

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Ducks Redux

Fun evening.  They lost the game.  But at least there were fireworks.

Ipsy update

DHL site is down, package cannot be tracked.

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Another Fulton Street find: GRK

Fast food Greek style.

Simple concept, the specialize in gyros -- they spell it "yeero" so you won't mispronounce it.

Pick "sandwich" or "platter", pick your yeero meat , pick your tzaziki, and add a side if you ordered a platter, and you're done.

I chose a platter, with beef and lamb yeero, brown rice and traditional tzaziki . The food was served in a square tray - a nicely seasoned portion of meat in one corner, brown rice in the next, followed by salad (shredded lettuce and chopped tomato in a vinegarette -- too heavy on the vinegar), grilled pita bread, and a small dollop of tzaziki. Next time I'll order extra tzaziki.

They also serve fresh and frozen Greek yogurt. I just might give that a try, too.

Grk on Urbanspoon

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

The difficult moments in our lives

In a way, the existence of Facebook and similar social media sites has made it easier to deal with the difficult moments in our lives.

Yesterday I saw one of my cousins on Facebook, talking about being upset and needing to lean on friends and family.

A short time later, another cousin, from the same branch of the family, was also posting about being upset.

So by the time I received not one, but two voice mail messages from other members of that part of the family ...

Well, when I returned my cousin's call, I was already prepared for the bad news.

My father was the youngest of five children. His oldest sister was 14 when he was born. He became an uncle for the very first time at the age of 8.

Eventually the family would grow, and my father could claim 11 nieces and nephews.

But now there are only 10.

My cousin Adrienne, the eldest of my first cousins, the one who was just 8 years younger than my father, passed away Friday after a long illness. She was 79. She leaves behind a husband, three children, and several grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Right now I'm thinking of a little house in Hackensack. The back yard was separated from Rte 80 by a fence, so every time we drove through that part of New Jersey we could wave to Adrienne and her family. You could see the Empire State Building from the kitchen windows.

Eventually they sold the house (there are condos at the site now) and moved to another part of the state before eventually retiring to Florida. But the memory remains.

November 9, 1965. The Great Northeast Blackout. New York was plunged into darkness. But Parts of New Jersey were unaffected, not losing electricity ... But ....

Adrienne and her family were watching TV. Suddenly the screen went blank. They assumed there was something wrong with the television set.

Until they looked out the window, and the Empire State Building just wasn't there.

I will miss you, cousin Adie.

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Dunkin Donuts

I have a Dunkin Donuts app on my phone, I am very fond of their coffee (my usual order is a small French vanilla with cream), and their donuts and muffins. (but not their bagels ...)

We all celebrated when a Dunkin Donuts opened up near our offices in Jersey City, and cried when a partial building collapse took our favorite coffee shop away.

No such issues here in the Financial District, where there are many Dunkin Donuts stores.

The one closest to my office is on Fulton Street. It's got free WiFi, but only a handful of tables. If you stop in just before 9:00 on a weekday morning, you will be greeted by a long but fast-moving line. Very efficient service, the coffee is hot and the pastries are fresh. What more could you want?

Dunkin' Donuts on Urbanspoon
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IPSY again

Two emails from Ipsy yesterday. One was system-generated -- a NEW tracking code. This one works, sort of. Shows DHL got the shipping information July 16. Not the package itself, just the shipping information.

That's it. It hasn't updated. Today is the 19th.

Second email, from an honest-to-goodness customer service rep. I'll paraphrase. "We had a major shipping disaster. Sorry. It you don't get your bag by July 26, we will send you another bag."

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Deja vu

Remember how last summer Drew and I flew down to Florida? We rented a truck, loaded it up with his father's furniture, etc., and drove up I 95 all the way to New York.

Well, this year Drew gets to do that again -- in reverse.

We have friends who are moving to Florida. They're renting a truck and moving themselves. They asked Drew to help. They're leaving in about 3 weeks. Drew will fly home from Florida about a week later.

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Long Island Bagel Cafe

I've been curious about this place from the first time I spotted the guy in the bagel costume dancing on the sidewalk.

Typical bagel place, they serve bagels and breakfast sandwiches in the morning, and cold cuts and salads at lunchtime.

Bagels here are hand rolled, soft and chewy inside but with a shiny, crunchy crust. My "everything" bagel had a decent amount of toppings, and with just the right amount of the vegetable cream cheese (which had a nice ratio of vegetables to cream cheese).

Definitely the real deal, not like those imitation bagels they sell at the Dunkin Donuts across the street.

Long Island Bagel Cafe on Urbanspoon

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Ipsy update

So tonight I got a system-generated email advising that I now have tracking information, but that it may take up to 48 hours for the link to be activated  .I have NOT received a response to the emails I sent to customer service.  And no, the link isn't active yet.

I know, this is not an earth-shattering problem.  the sun will rise and set tomorrow regardless of what happens with my Ipsy bag.

But that doesn't mean I shouldn't be peeved.  I paid for that bag 10 days ago and still don't have it.

A company markets a subscription bag like Ipsy to attract customers.  Give them samples at a bargain price in hopes they will stick around and buy more product from your company, and in this internet age you want them to share positive experiences on social media.

 One of the hooks Ipsy uses is a waiting list, but you can skip the wait if you link your Ipsy account to your Facebook and YouTube accounts.

Smart plan, unless it backfires.

Customers buy these subscription products because they're fun.   the primary purpose of Ipsy is to introduce the customer to fun and exciting cosmetic products, to experiment with new things for a very little outlay of cash.

For me, there's a second element of fun.  My subscription bags and boxes are a little gift I give myself.  I enjoy the anticipation, I enjoy opening the box or bag and seeing what was chosen for me.    So when I logged into my account and saw what was supposed to be in my as-yet unshipped Ipsy bag, part of the fun was ruined for me.

You know, I'm not expecting to be treated as royalty for a lousy $10 a month.  But I do expect proper customer service.  And this month, customer service is definitely lacking.

All is fair in love and cheese

Just discovered another new lunch spot: Melt Shop.

As the name suggests, it's all about cheese. Melted cheese.

As a first timer, I stuck with a "classic". Gooey American cheese on perfectly toasted bread. Very nice.

The menu is somewhat limited, with all of the sandwiches built around melted cheese. You can get bacon, or chicken, or a burger. You can get sides like tater tots or tomato soup.

Their freestyle Coke machine was a bit disappointing -- no Dr. Pepper. But I will survive.

Another great find in the Financial District.

Melt Shop on Urbanspoon

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014


The waiting is the hardest part...

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Hale and Hearty Soups

Want soup but don't feel like dealing with Seinfeld's "Soup Nazi"? Go to Hale and Hearty. Trust me, the food is worth waiting in that long line. Although the place also serves salads and sandwiches, the star of the show is definitely the soup. There are far too many varieties to choose from, including daily specials. Soup is served with your choice of oyster crackers or bread, though you can also order a soup and sandwich combo. My favorite is tomato basil over rice.

There isn't much of a seating area at this location (other locations are larger), but even during a busy lunch hour I was able to find a seat.

Looking forward to my next bowl of soup.

Hale and Hearty Soups on Urbanspoon
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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Ipsy July 2014 bag ... a bit peeved

So last month I subscribed to Ipsy.  For $10 a month, you get a bag of cosmetics.    My first bag arrived June 15, and with one notable exception, I liked all the products.  It's like getting a gift, half the fun of the subscription is unwrapping the products and seeing what they picked out for you.

I was looking forward to the July bag.  And that's why I am not happy right now.

Lat month's bag arrived June 15.  Today is July 15, and I haven't gotten so much as a tracking code.

The money for this month's bag was deducted July 7.  It's customary to deduct the cost of an item when you're ready to ship it, so I was curious why my bag hadn't shipped.

I went to the Ipsy website.

Ipsy is obviously having a major shipping problem, several others posted messages on the site asking where their bags are.

More annoying?  Even though they haven't generated a shipping code, when I signed into my account, I got a message about what was in the bag -- describing each item -- and asking me which one I liked best.  And because I linked my Ipsy account to Facebook, the website automatically posted messages to my wall about having received my Ipsy bag and loving one of the products that I got.

Not cool, Ipsy.  The delay is bad enough, but this was salt in the wound.

So I emailed the company.  And got an auto-generated response.  They'll get  back to me in about 3 days.

The way they build up their product and customer expectations, you'd think they were selling the Elixir of Life, not $10 worth of eye shadow and moisturizer.

I am probably going to enjoy the products if and when the bag arrives.  But my customer service expectations have not been met.  Ipsy fell far short of the mark.

22 Thai Cuisine

After my recent chicken teriyaki disappointment, I was really hoping to find good Asian cuisine. Couldn't find a Chinese place (I will have to keep looking!), but as I walked down Maiden Lane ...


Yes, Thai. You order at the cashier's station, then wait for the kitchen to cook it to order. Although there is a small seating area, most people do take-out.

I had Pad Thai with chicken, and it was perfect. Not heavy or greasy, not overly spiced or sauced. Just rice noodles, tofu, scallions, turnip, peanut and chicken in a delicate sauce.


Of course I will be back.

22 Thai Cuisine on Urbanspoon

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NYC characters

Spending more time in the city can lead encounters.

Case in point, the young man on the subway.  Tall, 20-something, looked just like Tom Cruise in Risky Business except he was actually wearing pants.

It's 8:30 in the morning, so crowded on the 2 train you can barely move, and this yutz is leaning up against a pole that's meant for passengers to use as a handhold.  I have no place else to hold on, and you really don't want to find out what will happen if I have to ride the subway without being able to hold onto something...

So as soon as he moves away from the pole to allow someone to walk past him, I grab onto the pole.  And he has the nerve to say to me "I was leaning against that, but fine..." -- just as four other hands reach out to take hold of the pole.

Or how about the woman who got off the train at 34th St. even though it wasn't her stop, because she had to get out of the way of others who were getting off the train.she got back on the train and stood blocking the doorway, and was genuinely surprised that other people wanted to get onto the train.

Got a good laugh from a young lady in the subway station.  It was hot and muggy.  She looked down the tracks at the empty tunnel and yelled  (loud enough for the whole station to hear) "Hurry up, train!  It's hot as an oven in here!"

Case in point, the young man on William Street.  I had just left the office, and I dashed into Duane Reade because I had a Tide Pen emergency.  Existed the store, used the pen, and was gathering myself together to walk to the subway when this young man approached.  Tall, 20-something, blonde and bearded, wearing a hard hat (huh?)  and smoking a cigarette.

"Excuse me, ma'am...I'm from Long Island and I've lost my phone."  I just knew this was some sort of scam to separate me from my phone...there's still a real, honest-to-goodness pay phone on Fulton Street, go use that!

Not to mention the homeless guy who appointed himself "doorman" at the Dunkin Donuts on Fulton St.  He blocked the door so you couldn't get around him, then when he opened it for you, he'd shake his cup, expecting you to drop a few coins into it.

And not to be outdone

Long Island has been fairly interesting of late.

Last weekend. ..I was alone in the car,  driving along the Seaford - Oyster Bay Expressway, when I spotted it.

A "Hello Kitty" car.


Pink sedan decorated all over with images of the cartoon feline, as well as hearts and the words "Hello Kitty".  License plate "H Kitty2".

The driver had a pink pillow tucked between her head and the headrest.

I would have loved to capture the image on camera.  But as I was alone in the car ...

Well, at least I was able to photograph this license plate for my Disney - loving friends.

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