Mustache Sighting.

Beards. They’re everywhere. The NHL post-season Playoff Beard shenanigans promotes scruff on all participants’ faces (if they can grow them.. remember Sidney Crosby’s awkward facial hair?), more baseball players than usual have sweat dripping off their grizzly-haired faces, and I just saw a commercial for an upcoming show, Whisker Wars, which highlights competitive beard-growing. I personally am a fan of beards, but it seems like the mustache is being completely ignored. I grew up with a father that sported a seriously badass handlebar mustache, so maybe I’m biased, but this post marks the start of what I’m calling Mustache Sighting. I am seeking legit mustaches in any form.

Well played.

Roses.

I was shuffling home yesterday, looking for signs of life in my neighborhood (read: new places to buy/eat delicious meals) when I happened upon this. I have no idea what business or home resides in this building. I was too surprised to investigate right at that moment. Also, it had started to rain.

hmm..

But I want to open that rose-handled door. A lot.

Saucypants.

Last week I traveled to Phoenix, Arizona for work. I was put up in a swanky hotel replete with stellar amenities and mountain backdrop. I arrived looking like I always do when I travel — seat-mashed hair, sweaty complexion, and in heavy footwear (inappropriate in 90 degree weather) so I wouldn’t have to lug them in my carry-on.

Wild.

As I rolled up to the gorgeous Royal Palms Resort & Spa, I instantly felt that there had been some mistake. Me, at this place?!
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I was early and my room wasn’t ready, so I grabbed the shadiest table (I’m so, so pale) I could find near the pool. I looked around; the attractive Royal Palms patrons seemed to all be lounging in designer suits and cover-ups, silently sipping icy drinks. I ordered a quesadilla and a beer, which made the waiter giggle.
I was also reading and snorting aloud. Which is generally pretty attractive.

The landscape was beautiful, but what struck me was that everyone I encountered was so incredibly nice. Whether it was the attentive concierge or my coworkers out of the Phoenix office, I was blown away by the unfaltering smiles and happiness.

As my three days in Phoenix came to a close, I taxied to the airport for my flight to JFK. People anxious to return to New York crowded the gate. The gate agent was… exasperated. She pleaded with the impatient to be courteous. No one moved.

Gentle New Yorkers.

The night after I returned to NYC, I attended the Unknown Art Show at the Hudson Hotel. I saw beautiful, edgy, and innovative pieces created by local artists, and I felt the energy of the music and people in the basement space. It turned me on.
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Even though I savored the sunshine and warm pleasantness in which I was wrapped for a few days, I find I need an edge to my life. A different kind of positive attitude. And that is why I live in New York.
Brooklyn.

Easter on a rooftop.

For a weekend that was supposed to be dreary and wet, I’ve spent a lot of time outside. This hot spring Easter morning, I lounged on my roof, first with a cup of coffee then with a glistening bottle of Corona. My friends and I listened to music, gazing across other Brooklyn rooftops and the people outside. Someone was washing his car, a neighbor worked on his rooftop garden, and a couple sauntered outside dressed in suits, pastels and shoulder pads, ready for afternoon mass.

Spring in the city. Flowers blooming amidst skyscrapers. It’s beautiful.

Looking down 1st Ave.

Happy Easter.

Warm Air Sounds.

I can hear the subway creaking along the curves in the outdoor tracks that weave between the buildings in Bushwick, Brooklyn. It’s dark outside, just before midnight, and I’m having a beer with my window open. Today’s temperature nearly struck 80 degrees. A few nights ago I was shivering beneath my covers, thinking that Mother Nature is kind of a bitch. Today, she smiled. Spring in the city.

The warm air carries different sounds. The wind doesn’t whistle; it puffs. Baseball bats crack. People talk through smiles, their open jackets flapping. Sunglasses and squinting. Flowers for sale on the sidewalk.

Spring is streaky, an in-between that never lasts. But everyone feels spring. It’s audible. And my ears perk up to happier people and their sounds in the warm air.

bloom.

Pionta Guinness, le do thoil.

Today is St. Patrick’s Day, or as I (and many of my fellow proud and pale Irish-people) like to say, Amateur Day. It’s become a day with a ready excuse to get wildly inebriated while wearing copious amounts of green clothing and accessories stamped with shamrocks. And this annoys me.

cute.

I have great pride in my heritage and specifically in being Irish. In fact, quite a few years ago, a few friends of mine gifted me a small (literally – it’s about 2″x2″) book entitled Being Irish… Contemplations on the Nature and Meaning of the Irish Race. It is in no way sincere, but here are some of the entries I enjoy (and identify with):

Being Irish means…
you swear very well.
you have no idea how to make a long story short.
there isn’t a huge difference between losing your temper and killing someone.
someone in your family talks too loudly.
someone else in your family can’t hear anything.
at least one person in your family is yelling right now.
at sporting events, for some reason, the people around you seem very uncomfortable.
you used to get embarrassed when you were younger–not so much anymore.

I think you get the point.

Part of being Irish is about being able to laugh – at your friends, at your family, and most importantly (and generally most often) at yourself. But really wrangling a definition for what truly embodies the Irish is elusive. The stubbornness, the freckles, the ferocious loyalty, the capacity to love and laugh, the bountiful joy and whiskey (I have Bushmills in stock) – the facets are many. So, on this St. Patrick’s Day, I say “Pionta Guinness, le do thoil” (A pint of Guinness, please). And if you are so inclined, read through some of my favorite Irish quotes, sayings, and blessings.

My middle name is Hurley. Boom.

“I’m fucking Irish, I’ll deal with something being wrong for the rest of my life.” – The Departed

“This is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever.” -Sigmund Freud, on the Irish

“We are all of us in the gutter. But some of us are looking at the stars.” -Oscar Wilde

“A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures.”

“Ireland is rich in literature that understands a soul’s yearnings, and dancing that understands a happy heart.” -Margaret Jackson

“Maybe it’s bred in the bone, but the sound of pipes is a little bit of heaven to some of us.” -Nancy O’Keefe

May the sun shine, all day long,
everything go right, and nothing wrong.
May those you love bring love back to you,
and may all the wishes you wish come true.

Sláinte!

White Girls Can Root.

Last week I read an interesting article on the declining interest of white people when it comes to the NBA.

In the article, Buzz Bissinger writes, “I also make a habit of asking every white sports fan I know whether they watch the NBA. In virtually every instance, they say they once watched the game but no longer do. When I ask them if it has anything to do with the racial composition, they do their best to look indignant. But my guess is they felt very differently about the game when Larry Bird and John Stockton were playing.”

I found this wildly intriguing. It’s true that viewership of the NBA is down and many complain that the NBA All-Star shenanigans aren’t what they once were, but on Saturday night, three white girls (myself and two roommates) hunkered down on a couch in Brooklyn, set our table with snacks and beer, and watched (and “ohhhh!”-ed at) most of the All-Star Game challenges, and returned the next night for the game.

Two of us even voted during the Slam Dunk contest (Blake Griffin jumped over a car. I mean, come on.).

Sick.

One other roommate was returning from a trip home to Pennsylvania, and when she arrived she found us lit up with the basketball festivities, shouting at the three-point shooting contest. She entered with her parents and grandmother. I thought her dad might weigh in on the competition, but it was her grandma who offered a comment on the shooting prowess of whoever was running around beyond the arc at the time. And as her mother walked by with groceries for our refrigerator, she paused to watch a struggling contestant.

“He’s not squaring his shoulders.”

I nearly died. It was perfect.

So, I don’t discount the numbers or research when it comes to the alleged dwindling interest in the sport on the whole, but this year the All-Stars put on a show. And we were very appreciative.