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Archive for the ‘New York City’ Category

a very late post

I have not been keeping up with my blog. I doubt there are too many readers left out there, but I thought I would try to pick it up again. It seems like midterms ran straight into Thanksgiving and finals are now just around the corner, but I will try to post a couple of time to get out some belated updates (can updates be belated?)
First, Dan came to visit over Halloween and election weekend. A run-down of the visit can be found on Dan’s blog.
One of the most memorable moments of the visit for me was at 11pm on Nov. 4, when the networks finally announced the name of our next president and west Harlem erupted in cheering. Dan and I grabbed our beers and ran out to our front porch to see the fireworks being shot off from the barber shop down the street. People were cheering on the sidewalks and giving us high-fives on our porch. Shouts came from second and third story windows and the ambulances and firetrucks cruised down Broadway with their sirens cheerfully roaring.
Dan and I do not take enough pictures when we are together, I guess because we are just having too much fun to be bothered (corny, I know), but here are a couple from the trip.
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In front of the Brooklyn Bridge
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Flobots in NYC

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I ran the race for the cure today and it was the first time I have ever raced in this kind of humidity. I hadn’t ever before sloshed through my own sweat the way I did today. I am not complaining though — hooray for summer! It was a day I was glad to be in the city. Standing at the start line looking at the architecture down Central Park West was topped only by Steven Colbert first asking his six year old son if he had ever wanted to be a dictator before and what he would say to 20,000 people, (“That’s a weird question, Daddy.”) and then firing the start gun. After an amazing brunch at my friend’s house, I met up with my old roommates at Buttercup Bakery — the people who responded to the trans fat ban with, “We think it is really tough, thank goodness we only use butter so it won’t affect us.”

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I’m Back

My feet are blistered. There is trash on the sidewalk.
And this weekend I was in a water gun fight with one friend and 30 complete strangers near Union Square.
I’m back in the city, and so far, it’s pretty good.

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From our front porch…

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Morir Soñando

Apologies for the Spanish titles, it is just what happens when I start reflecting on my experiences in West Harlem. Whatever you are doing right now, wouldn’t it be better with a free iced coffee? Dunkin’ Donuts is having Free Iced Coffee Day! In connection with the event, they are also donating 80,000 bucks to the Police Athletic League’s Youth Leadership Program. The PAL is the group that shuts down 151st street every weekday during the summer so that kids in West Harlem have somewhere to run and play some hoops. Free Iced Coffee day has helped me work towards one of my goals of enjoying the food of West Harlem and Washington Heights before I take off for the summer. So far I have had a farewell serving of pineapple on a stick, sliced oranges, a cheese empananada, un morir soñando, and free iced coffee that naturally comes with milk and sugar, (I can tell you that very few people in Washington Heights drink their coffee black.) Morir soñando means to die dreaming, which is what would happen if you were hit by a bus while enjoying one of these Dominican beverages made from fresh squeezed juice from two oranges and one lime, a touch of vanilla, chopped ice and evaporated milk — amazing. I was dressed for work when I bought one from the Dominican man by the laundromat and we started making small talk about the upcoming Dominican elections before he asked in a grandfatherly way if I was married and told me I had a good figure — I can tell you these morir soñandos will take care of that quick. I wonder how many of them I can get in before beginning my diet of Starbucks for the summer.

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Just for people who might need a laugh…
The other day it was clear and warmish (still hat weather, but better than the depths of winter) as I left to take spot on her morning walk. I put on my work clothes and a spring jacket and we walked down to the park. The pups were running out of food though, and I wasn’t going to be home in time to get to the store that night. So I tied Spot up to a post and ran in to get a 20 lb bag of dog food. As I walked out of the store it started sprinkling. But by the time I had gotten to spot and was fumbling at untying her leash, it started to pour. I hurriedly freed spot and we begin running towards my building. Me in my semi-professional clothes with a 20 lb bag of dog food over my shoulder and a standard poodle pulling me along excitedly as a sheet of rain opened up on us.

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New York City celebrated Valentine’s Day by releasing its new condom design.
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The old version is on the left and the new one is on the right.
The original NYC condom used letters similar to those of the subway markers to create brand recognition, but apparently MTA (Metropolitan Transport Authority) was picky about how and where the condoms could be advertised because they didn’t want to confuse a poor tourist who might accidentally mistake a condom for a subway stop. So, the city department of public health redesigned its brand to look slightly less like the markers. The guy behind one laptop per child is responsible for the new look. The actual condom, a premium lubricated Lifestyles latex condom is unchanged. The city department of public health increased the number of condoms distributed in the city from 250,000 to 1.5 million per month when it introduced public condom requesting online. (i.e. any business owner can request condoms via the web to be brought to his establishment within ten days.) Creating the first NYC brand condom on Valentine’s Day 2007, doubled that number to 3 million condoms per month — which, in a city of 8 million people all included, isn’t half bad. Hopefully the new look and advertisements further increase the numbers.
Check out the ads. I like the latin one and the jazz one.
And just for fun, here is Spot’s Valentine’s Day picture, with her new Valentine’s Day present.
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