I decided to change CityDay to posts reviewing art. Like Salon I must change. So. I’d like to discuss Caprica, the prequel to BSG. I had the good fortune to see Caprica half at MTC (in the presence of Alicia Silverstone) and half in my apartment (with sushi). I can’t get this out of italics. Sorry.
Caprica was AWESOME. If you saw BSG, you know pre BSG Caprica was a den of sin and excess much like America. Now we get a whole show set in this sin and excess. The characters are really compelling. And the situation is fun. Virtual reality, exciting explanation about how the cylons are developed.
OK this was just a trial of the new format. I need to get back in the rhythm of the blog. Encouraging comments would probably make more posts happen. Just sayin’ my gchat status update fans :)

Looks like the Parisians might get their white Christmas! Everything looks really beautiful, but unfortunately the snow (along with the strike) is making transportation out to the suburbs – where i practice and teach – very complicated. Travel time his doubled since the drivers of the express line are striking for around 150 EUROS more a month in pay. Insane.

Anyway, I’ll have to say goodbye to Paris and hello to New York since I’m going to spend the holidays in the States. I’m going to arrive armed with all my gifts, which I got over here. I might have spent a little bit more on them, but the idea of braving the cold and holiday shoppers next week deterred me from waiting until the last minute, which is what I usually do. Anyway, Monday I’m off on my 10:30am continental flight to Newark. I’m happy it’s Continental because I would really like a new choice of videos, Delta’s December videos are pretty bad!

Once there, I’m going to be going to the process of getting a new visa called “compétences et talents” which is for athletes, musicians, artists and people who want to do special projects in France. I have my frist meeting at the consulate on Tuesday. I’m keeping my fingers crossed…

Last night I took a slightly different route home.  I walked up Seventh Ave with my co worker Liz.  Liz thinks everyone is fashionable on Seventh Ave since that is the Garment district.  You know, where the schmatta is made.  I didn’t notice any fashionableness but I did perceive how overwhelmingly crowded it was.  Yet at the same time I was so distracted by my monologue to Liz, it really didn’t faze me.  It was cold and I had a lot of thoughts on my mind.  I enjoy walking in the cold though and how it makes everything seem clearer, brighter, realer, even my own thoughts.

I think I’ve said before how crazy it is how many overheard conversations on the street are about people’s money issues.  That or real estate.  Anyway I got to thinking about how I have no luck finding money on the streets.  This morning I found a nickel.  I usually do find a ton of pennies because they are so brightly colored.  I was proud of myself finding the nickel, but then I felt stupid bending down to pick it up.

I avoid picking up the pennies if they’re upside down but a lot of times you can’t tell until you’re too close to the ground.  Then it feels foolish to back away without picking it up.  However when it comes to luck, one shouldn’t take any chances.

A mosquito woke me up this morning.

I think when you live in a place like New York, there’s the sense that there are treasures hidden all around you and if you just keep staring really hard you’ll find them.  I feel like the previous sentence would have made a great Sex and the City voiceover!

“I retreated to the landlocked La Hipica Restaurante, a tapas bar carved out of the palm forest in western New Providence, near the old village of Gambier. Overseen by Miguel Coello, a transplant from Madrid, La Hipica offers flawless Spanish tapas on a covered porch with an Australian outback vibe. Coello’s wife, Erika, runs a riding school here and the property includes a five-mile trail that happens to be on a migration route of monarch butterflies. It’s paradise.

My dad, stepmother and I sat at picnic tables and guzzled the local brew, Kalik, as Coello presented us with a spectacular array of tapas: garbanzos fritos, gambas, lomo and salchichon sausages. It was hands-down the best meal I’ve ever had in The Bahamas.”

It often seems as if I would never know anything about the place that I live in if I were not an avid reader of travel magazines, guidebooks and such. There are things here that operate almost totally underground, or that function primarily for tourists, or for a certain socioeconomic bracket, and so one never hears about them. Take for instance this tapas bar, La Hipica. The preceding paragraph about La Hipica is from a Financial Times article about recession vacationing. The article ends without giving a number or address for the tapas bar. So it seems as if you have to be very much in the know to find the place, since all you’re going to get is that it is “carved out of the palm forest in western New Providence, near the old village of Gambier.” That could be almost anywhere (how near is near?). Initial internet searches for the restaurant turn up nothing, and it is only after very diligent searching through all the equestrian schools that you are able to figure out roughly where this place might be. (It is nowhere near Gambier, really. It is actually near Mt Pleasant, or near to Lyford Cay). Anyhow, all of this is a challenge to me. Last weekend, I decided to drive out there for lunch. It is seriously in the middle of nowhere. You turn onto a dirt path and you drive and drive until the space opens up and there are stables and the signs for a restaurant. I was excited about finding the place and the prospect of eating there ( I had to drive all the way from the east coast to get there, which is far by local standards) but they had had a special horse showing, and so the actual restaurant was closed. But I am determined to return…

OK, so I went to Madame X twice this week.  The second time I actually saw the regular that I had met that first time (which I think I wrote about a week or so ago.)

The first time I went with some friends and had a really delightful evening.  Completely unplanned.  Believe it or not, there was a speed dating event going on adjacent to where my friends and I were hanging out.  I almost did this, but then got up and left before I actually had to sit down.  I just didn’t have it in me to do more small talk.

At a certain point, we went upstairs to see a burlesque show.  I don’t know what to say about burlesque, except I didn’t fully enjoy it.  I found slouching down in the loungey area more enjoyable.

The second time I went with a date and sat the bar!  I’ve never sat at the bar with a date, that I remember.

As the winter sets in, my adventures around the city are decreasing.  Soon Maya L. will be here though, and I look forward to joint depictions.

On my cold walk to work today I noticed a lot of fat sparrows.  I realized they must be puffed up in response to the frigid temperatures.  Boy I was stunned when I walked out the door and was blasted by freezing air.  I never really warmed up on my entire walk.

The cold affects my life in a number of ways.  Last night for instance I was at a bar with friends.  We were all leaving.  I stepped outside to wait for them, feeling ill at ease in the crowded bar with no purpose other than waiting to go.  But once I got outside, I was immediately went back in, seeking warmth again.  Like an animal.

Here is another rating, brought to you by my own personal scale!

Paris Airport

INTERNET (none =0, high cost = 1, low cost = 5, free =10): 2.5

CLEAN BATHROOMS WITHIN A 5 MINUTE WALK OF ANYWHERE IN THE TERMINAL: 5

MULTIPLE EATERIES (take out, sit down, regular bars, sports bars, coffee shops, etc.): 6

SHOPPING (quality of stores, price of non-luxury items, duty-free selection): 4

DRUG STORE (cvs, rite aid, duane read, etc…yes = 10, no = 0): 0

EFFICIENT TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN TERMINALS (yes =10, no =0): 10

EASY TO FIND OUTLETS (yes = 10, no = 0): 5 (but only in terminal 2!!)

SECURITY (not too much, not too little, not too long a wait): 5

BAGGAGE CLAIM (not too long a wait, not too difficult to find): 4

FRIENDLINESS OF STAFF: 9

total score: 50.5/100 (50.5%)

I have my fair share of experiences getting my eyebrows waxed/threaded in the city.  I’d like now to impart my wisdom.

I used to get them threaded on sixth avenue, around 24th and 25th.  I’d walk up these stairs into a big open room devoted solely to threading.  During threading you have to put your hands around your brown and stretch your skin taut.  Then an Indian lady swoops in and starts cleaning it out.  The process is painful, the product is good, the service is cheap.  I was supposed to be keeping track on this card so on the 10th time I’d get, I’d get a free one, but I never did.

The next place I go to is waxing at this place near the restaurant Olana on Madison Avenue.  This place is expensive, but I like it because it’s convenient and usually not busy.  I no longer do threading because I don’t want to undergo the torture and I don’t feel like it takes much work for my eyebrows to be in a “good shape–” there’s a lot of material to design with.  Basically what I look for is someone who won’t start plucking like a madwoman.  I like it when the wax is hot and the job is basically done after four pull-offs (undersides and tops of brows.)

I travel a lot and I thought this was as good a time as any to start recording my thoughts on airports. I’ve developed a preliminary rating system for airports. I’ll probably see about 12 airports this year, so I think that will give me a good opportunity to get my thoughts about these strange, yet welcoming places down on…well, the blog.

Here is the rating system I’ve come up with:

Each amenity gets the airport a certain number of points. Points are based on the importance of the amenity. Of course different people have different views of the importance of what airports have to offer, but I tried to be as discriminating as I could. I think most heavy travellers would agree that I’ve chosen the most important things to be rated. But I’m welcome to suggestions!

Pittsburgh’s Score:

INTERNET (none =0, high cost = 1, low cost = 5, free =10): 10

CLEAN BATHROOMS WITHIN A 5 MINUTE WALK OF ANYWHERE IN THE TERMINAL: 8

MULTIPLE EATERIES (take out, sit down, regular bars, sports bars, coffee shops, etc.): 9

SHOPPING (quality of stores, price of non-luxury items, duty-free selection): 7

DRUG STORE (cvs, rite aid, duane read, etc…yes = 10, no = 0): 10

EFFICIENT TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN TERMINALS (yes =10, no =0): 10

EASY TO FIND OUTLETS (yes = 10, no = 0):10

SECURITY (not too much, not too little, not too long a wait): 5

BAGGAGE CLAIM (not too long a wait, not too difficult to find):n/a

FRIENDLINESS OF STAFF: 9

total score: 78/90 (86.%)

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