This City is No Fairy Tale

New York City is a place that thousands flock to throughout the year.  It is a melting pot city, the home of all things Broadway, hosts one of the largest most prestigious marathons in the country, has history and memories on every street, and a beautifully lit iconic skyline at night.  But it’s still a city.  And no growing functioning city is beautiful, perfect, and some dream come true… Not once you get up close and personal with it- like in bed together up close and personal- that’s for sure.

Let’s preface this post with a big old heartfelt “I’m sorry”!  Cause I am sorry if what I’m writing bursts anyone’s bubble, but it will come out sooner or later.  I’m not sayin’ you should visit if it’s something you want to do… or that you shouldn’t move here if it’s the place you are supposed to be.  All I’m saying here, is don’t come with pre-conceived fairy tale ideas of the city, cause you will most likely be disappointed.

What exactly am I talking about?  A lot of the day to day things.  The little things that only exist in this way in New York– that give this city a uniqueness, but that also get down right annoying at times.

Some examples?  Sure why not…

The homeless taking up, stinking up, and yelling through the train cars.

Doggy doo along the sidewalks waiting for your unsuspecting shoe.

A great and diverse array of smells around every corner.  Some you with you could enjoy always or get a bite of whatever it is that has gotten your attention, others that you wish to NEVER smell again.

Trash… basically everywhere.  Along the sidewalks, often escaped from it’s bag.  Blowing in the wind.

Train delays.  You did everything right- got up on time, had everything ready, left your apartment with time to spare walking to the station, got on the train– so far so good, right?!  You are moving right along from station to station until you feel the breaks bring the train to a screeching halt and your conductor come over saying there is “train traffic ahead of you”.  And would you like to know why there is train traffic ahead?  Most likely cause some dumb-ass won’t “stand clear of the closing doors” so they have to ding ding-ding ding several times before they finally close.  And if someone has pulled the emergency break, or the track signals are malfunctioning, or goodness forbid someone has decided to jump on the tracks.  Well, you can kiss being to work on time goodbye.  (this is one I deal with on an almost daily basis… so it hits close to home).

Waiting in ridiculously long lines for just about everything you do- from going to a show (ok, there should be a legit line here), to grocery shopping… where most times I stand in a line longer then it took me to get the items I’m trying to buy!

Paying way to much for everything… like just the cost of living, and I’m not talking fun expenses.

You never really see this side of the city when you are getting VIP transportation in your tour bus, seeing everything from atop the Empire State Building, and only hitting up the manicured parts of town when you are on your feet on the street.  Getting into the city, down and dirty with it… way uptown, on side streets, during all hours of the day and night.  Thats when the real life side shows itself.

Of course, if I didn’t love some of that… or find that the beauty and opportunities far outweigh the frustrations  I wouldn’t still be here.  Maybe it’s not that bad.

Share, comment, like, follow, visit, etc!

lovealways,  christiane

Beauty in Simplicity- Sunset

Seldom do I write a post on a whim. Is just the sort of blogger I’ve become. Usually because a post requires photo and video editing, or content collection and editing, but most often simply because I don’t have time to sit, write, and publish a decent post all in one go!

This evening however, I’m out on a walk and extremely compelled to sit with the sunset and write a post. (So please excise typos and such- I’m writing from my phone).

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That’s what’s in front of my right now. And I realize I feel completely at ease. With the wind the sun the water and me, I feel content. I feel small and humbled but I feel beautiful and thankful to be right here, right now… Living in the moment.

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Living in New York I’ve discovered how much I, we as a city, rush around and seldom remember to stop and smell the metaphorical roses. To take a moment and realize where we are and what we have. We go non-stop and even in the thing we do to “relax” ourselves (like yoga for example) we rush to class, with it would go faster, and never stop thinking about what we have to do next.
Walking through the park to my current landing spot, I actually heard geese honking overhead. If your in NYC you know nature sounds are often few and far between, if we are ever even outside long enough to listen. But I did- heard them before I saw them- changing their “V” formation as they flew South for winter. Into the sunset.

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All to sudden I feel like it’s dark, the sun has set and the day is over. We always ask for just a little longer, but maybe what we have is just enough. Take every moment as it comes and for what it is. Else you just might miss one that’s beautiful and amazing.

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Now, as the sun says goodnight, so do I. Till another day and another post (sooner than later) brings us together again!

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Love always, christiane

Stand Clear of the Closing Doors: NYC Subway Culture

Happy Sunday everyone!  My New York people, are you out enjoying the weather? To quote the New York Times,   “unseasonably warm”– but I’m totally OK with it!

If you’ve even lived in or been to New York City and traveled by subway, I’m sure you will be able to relate to this post. Underground is a whole different culture, playing by it’s own set of rules, with it’s own set of problems and frustrations.

As someone who lives here and travels by train several times a day, I’ve seen a lot of strange and annoying things… and I’ve smelled even stranger. I thought a piece on “train culture” would be interesting and would give me a chance to share some of my top favorite train experiences.

Mostly, it’s all about the people. Sure, sometimes the MTA system screws you over and never tells you your train will be out of service or running local when it should be express. Or you get stuck in a tunnel without cell service- so you can’t tell your boss you are gonna be late for that important meeting… but some of that wouldn’t be so bad if you were just able to sit in piece and deal with it alone. Instead, you are surrounded by people, tons of strangers… all trying to get to someplace.

The weather, the time of day, the temperature outside and inside the car, all of these affect the commute and the people on the train. I’ve seen full out fights start because people won’t move into the center of a car and someone else can’t get in, so they push and shove and piss someone off.

It’s not always bad, thank goodness. When men stand and offer their seat to women, when someone holds the door cause they see you running to the train, those that you share a moment with when there is a crazy homeless person on a screaming rant and the train has stalled out in the tunnels. Remember that post a few weeks ago, “OH the 1 Train”? While I seriously disliked having to stand and have that guy hit on me the whole commute, the girl I ended up chatting with later and the other passengers who shared in a laugh at my facial expression was very fun.

Usually though, as soon as you descend down those stairs underground, the rules all change. We fight for seats, we push and shove to get into a crowded car, and we all deal with annoying things. Here are some of my favorite subway irritating moments… at least to date. Pictures and “definitions” are all mine… as are the titles themselves for that matter.

The Poll Hog:

Definition: Leaning a large portion of one’s body on the center polls that are meant to over a place for multiple people to hold onto when standing on a moving train and offer stability so one does not fall and the train lurches down the tunnels.

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I only understand this one when the train is nearly empty or you are the only one standing. But when you are one of many on a crowded train—DON’T LEAN!! Suddenly there is so many fewer options for everyone else to find a place to hold onto. I’ve been one of 10 people holding onto one poll before, but in the blink of an eye, one person can hog a whole spot and the rest of us might just be outta luck. I don’t know what makes some people feel so entitled as to do this!

The Leg Spreader/ The seat Hog

Definition: Taking up more then one seat per-person. For men, most often accomplished by sitting with legs spread. For women, most often accomplished by allowing ones purse to have a seat of it’s own.

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I’m sorry if it’s uncomfortable, or you really don’t fit in the seat, or you don’t want to keep your personal belongings in your personal space… but you don’t need 2 seats on the train. What? You don’t want someone sitting next to you… or you think you are better then everyone else and you need more space? Oh GET OVER YOURSELF!! It’s rude, it’s also unslightly. And then glare when someone brave enough comes over and squeezes in. In a city where everyone thinks they are entitled either because of who they are wearing, what they do, what they Don’t do, how old they are, and on and on… it’s almost expected, but totally annoying. And I know, it the spots were reverse and I were taking up 2 seats… well, it wouldn’t last long!

The Chicken Wing

Definition: Someone who holds onto the bars and totally forgets where their elbow is… or that they have one at all? Or that it MAY be in someone else’s face! So it reminds me of something like a chicken wing, just flappin’ around wherever.

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I experienced this one for the first time last week. It’s early on a Tuesday morning on a packed train, and I’m sitting in my seat (totally minding my own business) maybe falling asleep every few minutes… when I open my eyes and just a meer 4 inches away from my noise is some mans hairy elbow! Like it’s RIGHT THERE! And shift of my head, his body, or the train will send it smack right in my face! What got me was that the whole trip, he never seemed to notice how close his arm was to me or that I couldn’t move. This could have been remedied if he chose to pull his arm closer to himself, hold the bar a little higher, or angle himself another direction. As it was, I get this great picture and stayed awake the rest of the trip!

At Crotch Level

Definition: I think the name really says it all.

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These are the people who stand right in front of your seat (if you are sitting) and don’t bother to angle their bodies or hold on the to bar with one hand and turn sideways… NO, they stand square in front of you and we… if you are sitting your eyes usually fall right at crotch level. Then of course, as the train rocks and rolls down the tracks, they may swing closer or further from your face. Mostly it’s just awkward and uncomfortable. I understand, you have to stand, I’ve been there. It’s totally cool (but I’m glad to be sitting) just, like, I don’t want to be looking there for the next hour of my commute!

The Screamers… and all those Loud Talkers

Definition: People who treat the train car like their own personal living room. They talk, fight, laugh (cackle), scream, cry… or don’t stop their bratty children from screaming and crying… and don’t for one moment seem to care if it’s bothering every single other person stuck on the train with them.

I have had to look away or close my eyes and restrain myself from glaring at so many people, or worse- from saying anything. Especially mothers with screaming children who act like it’s totally fine that their child is crying at the top of it’s lungs and make no effort to silence them. This is about as bad as the adults who carry on for the whole world to hear. Don’t you care about your privacy at all? I mean, even if you don’t… just shut up! Or use your indoor voices! It’s not that hard and it makes the whole time on the train so much better for everyone.

These are some of my favorites… that are funny, worthy of a definition, and that I can get a pretty good picture of. The list of annoying, frustrating, and unique things on the trains also include, but is not limited too: the incredibly smelly, the drunk, the good the bad and the ugly musicians, the dancers (yes, like the kids who blast music and take up the whole isle to dance and usually hit someone in the face), the starers, and the napping (those lovely people who fall asleep and tip onto their neighboring passenger).

There is always something interesting

What have you encountered on a NYC train?  Anything fun that you’d like to share, please comment!  As always- follow, share, like, comment, etc!  and Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @NYChristiane

love always,  Christiane

Take Off, Hey Let’s Go Flying: Airport Adventures!

How many airports have you been through? For someone who did very little air travel until being a young adult, my list is growing quickly… Roughly 7 different ones to date… And I am always surprised at how different they all are.

Being from Atlanta GA, I am used to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (the worlds busiest airport- beat that!!) so needless to say, anything else seems very small and quiet. When I fly to New York, I prefer to go through LaGuardia verses JFK, it’s just cozier. And Will Rodgers Airport on OKC- with it’s one terminal and 24 gates- is by far the smallest I’ve ever been in.
While sitting in the St. Louis Lambert Airport, I noticed how much each airport reflects the culture and people of its location, while serving as international hubs for people from all over the world.
At LGA people are cold and things move fast, and JFK is just flat out confusing… just like NYC. In Atlanta it’s a friendly but strictly business attitude- especially when going through security, and in the Mid-West there’s a more cozy friendly slow paced vibe. Here people are more inclined to chat and wish you safe travels and a good day. I’ve come to love flying and passing through these various ports because I get to see the people and experience a taste if different cultures.

What do I not enjoy about air travel? The TSA security. I know it’s important but boy-oh-boy is it stressful. I’m always worried I forgot to remove my bail clippers or eye drops from my bag and they will be confiscated. Or that the one time I’m running late for a flight will be the time the security line is crazy long and I get stopped to have my bag checked. Hence, I’m always very early! To date, as I’ve yet to have a major problem while traveling, I still enjoy it. The exhilaration of taking off and getting to look out the window still thrills me. I spoil myself by always flying Delta direct to my final destination. The mobile app, which lets me check and adjust my seat is the best thing ever- I now always go for a window seat. The more I fly the more little tricks I learn to make the flight more enjoyable.

What are your favorite flying moments? How many airports have you traveled through? I’ve yet to do overseas or cross country… But I’m sure it’s not far off. Comment below, share with friends, like just because you can, and follow the blog if you like reading personal stories and observations.

Carpe diem!

Love always, Christiane

I Can See the Stars

But really- I was out walking the other night, looked up, and stopped dead in my tracks– I could see hundreds of stars in the night sky. I’d almost forgotten they existed. I stood on the sidewalk in the dark for about 5 minutes, not budging- just looking and listening to the night.

I should preface this short post… I’ve left the busy crazy New York behind for 2 weeks and retreated to my summer cottage nestled between the bluffs along the mighty Mississippi River. Basically the polar opposite of NYC, Chautauqua is the perfect place to be right now.

When I return to the city, this blog will pick up again, but I’m enjoying some time without a buzz or a ding or a ring… And some time to reflect and listen to myself.

Which leads back to the inspiration for this post- not quoting a song on purpose- but I could look up and see the stars and I couldn’t look away. Being in New York, so bright and loud all the time, it’s near impossible to see the stars or hear the crickets or listen to yourself.

Full accounts of my trip, my thoughts, realizations, and workouts will be in posts to come. In the mean time…
What I would love for all of you to take from this quick post– remember to get away from your phone, computer, daily stresses and really take some time for you. Go someplace where you can look up and see stars. It will be amazing how humbled and beautiful you will feel.

Love always, Christiane.

What?! It’s not July 1, 2014

But it is… And I’ve been away for far to long.

To my dedicated blog readers and followers, my absence has been long and unfair…. I mean how else are you all updated on my amazing life? Well, that’s all about to change-

New month
New apartment
New job
New adventures
As well as lots to tell from my time away from the press

This entry is short, but it’s a promise- for posts and pictures and updates and surprises and more!

I’m still in NYC, no longer at MoMA. Back to running and falling in love with Pilates. I’ve made mistakes that I may never be able to repair, and I’ve hurt myself and others by trying to be a perfect fictional me. But that is no more…

So get ready to read, follow, like, comment, share, and whatever else one can to on here.

Better then ever, I’m BACK!

❤ Christiane

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Last of the Love Songs- a different post

Hello lovely, beautiful, handsome, and all around awesome blog readers and followers!

I know I’ve been away for a while again… And I will be back with a traditional blog post about life and adventures here in NYC… With fun pictures!

BUT this short post is a little different… Hence the title!

My roommate, Kyle Lacy, who also happens to be my best friend and my boyfriend all in one, needs our help.

He is an incredibly talented rising artist– musician singer songwriter producer actor etc… And his latest project is to record and produce a new EP Album featuring 8 or so brand new songs.

However this is not an easy thing to accomplish, requiring time and funding… Well, that’s where we come in!!! 😀

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Of course being the awesome girlfriend that I am, I want his music to reach as many new listeners and supporters as possible so I’m sharing it with all of you and hopping you will share it too–

He has started a Kickstart campaign to get backing for this new project and every little bit helps. There are also some Awesome gifts in return for supporting.

SO- if any you or your friends would like to hear the demo tracks, watch the promo documentary video, and maybe contribute a dollar or two to this new project

follow the links below and see what you think!

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For details and info on becoming a project backer:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kyleandrewlacy/kyle-lacys-new-ep

For the demo tracks:

http://soundcloud.com/kyle-lacy-1

For a direct link to the promo video:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=meUrbk7Ff9g&feature=youtu.be&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DmeUrbk7Ff9g%26feature%3Dyoutu.be

Any help or sharing is welcome, but please keep it positive. 🙂 And thank you all in advance!

And look out for more posts coming soon… I mean it this time!

<3always,
Christiane

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Ps: he came shoe shopping with me… Isn’t he wonderful!!?!!! ❤