Thursday, July 28, 2005


My apartment is big for NYC standards and I have a half bathroom all to myself.One wall is completely filled with a mirrors and the other has a towel rack. There is no real place to put a medicine cabinet or a standing cart. I chose to do something organizational. This is a huge step for me and I knew that I would be opening a new chapter on my life called "Organized Bean"!

My whole life I have lived in what I like to call an Organized Mess. This means that I know where everything is but no one else does and it appears to outsiders that it is a disaster.

There is a fabulous store in Manhattan called The Container Store. This place could organize a dump! There are gadgets and boxes and shelves for every kind of place you could want to organize.

So my first visit to the store was for something to organize my under the sink medicine cabinet. I quickly found what they call shoes boxes, which are clear boxes, that I decided would be perfect for stacking and filling with all my bottles of random lotions and soaps. I got them in a few sizes and hoped they would all fit. Happily, I carried my boxes home and sat on the floor in my bathroom and emptied out under the sink. This was not an organized mess. It was a plain mess.

After about a half hour, I had a beautifully organized cabinet. Yes, I understand that this is lame and very dumb but important to me in my new life.

My next project was to find an organizational tray for the keyboard draw on my desk. Another strange item. I ended up back at The Container Store where a girl named Myka gave me a choice of about 20 or so storage items that I could potentially use. I finally settled on a silverware tray that was perfect for what I needed and on clearance!

So now my room and bathroom are organized (slightly) thanks to the cool people that come up with great ideas at The Container Store.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Free Concerts

Last summer I was the queen of free outdoor concerts. I randomly found them or I planned to go to them. This summer I haven't gone to any until last night. And it was the best outdoor concert ever.

I love Central Park. When I walk into the park I feel like I am transported to a different state. I really don't feel like I am in the middle of the greatest city in the world. So enough of my rambling about how I love parks, just go out and enjoy them. Read a book under a tree or go to a free concert. (back to my main point:))

The NY philharmonic plays in a bunch of parks all around the five boroughs and Long Island. The biggest ones are in Central Park on the Great Lawn. I had the pleasure of meeting up with my roommates and enjoying wine and cheese on a picnic blanket under a big tree. The piece of land that we were sitting on was an almost unobstructed view of the stage. I could make out some of the instruments. They began to play and everyone around us became quiet for a little bit of time. My roommates thought it was going to rain at any second (which it never did) and they decided to leave. This left me alone to enjoy the sounds of the orchestra. I closed my eyes and was brought back to my days in band class and marching band. I looked up into the sky and had a beautiful view through the leafs of the buildings along the park. I could only see the tops of the buildings and it made me feel very lucky to live in NYC.

I enjoyed the music very much and at the end there was a big fireworks show. My other love is fireworks. They just make me smile no matter the mood I am in. So I watched and then packed up my blanket and walked home with a smile on my face.

Parks, Free Concerts and Fireworks all together in one night, I am one lucky girl.

Saturday, July 09, 2005


Ever since NY put the ban on smoking in bars, I have enjoyed nights of coming home without the stench of smoke in my hair. But last night was a night where I didn't even go out to a bar and I came home reeking of not only cigarettes but a cigar as well!

After a relaxing night of cafe dwelling, I boarded a train uptown. As soon as I sat down a man who was clearly homeless, dug a lighter and a half smoked cigarette out of his pocket and lit the cancer stick . I looked around the train car as the smell began to waft. Everyone turned to look at the man who was mumbling to himself ( why do I find the mumblers!!!). The man had blood dripping down his elbow and had thrown his legs up on the seat (This is now not allowed and punishable by a fine thanks to the MTA). I am afraid to walk through the train cars so I waited until the train arrived at the next stop which was 42nd street. I changed over to the express train even though I knew I would have to wait a longer period of time at 86th street to change back to the local. So I boarded the new train and breathed deeply. Ahhh, the clean air. Well as clean as subway car air can be!

I was slightly upset that now my clothes and hair had absorbed the odor of the cigarettes. The rest of that specific train ride was uneventful. I went to change back to the local train and knew I would have to wait a while for the next train. I stood on the platform and watched the men clean all the subway gunk out of the tracks. This is an interesting procedure to watch. One man has a huge shovel and he lifts up the sludge found between the tracks. Another man holds open a white garbage bag while man number 1 pours the gunk into the bag. It is actually quite disgusting to see. If that was not unappealing enough, a rank odor filled the air. It was a cheap cigar. I looked around the station to see why another person felt the need to pollute the already obviously gross subway air and my lungs. My eyes wandered and finally fell down to the tracks since I could not locate the person who was making me feel like I was going to puke. I began to watch to subway tunnel cleaners, when I noticed that a man who was standing in the gunk observing the other workers was smoking the cigar! First of all, why someone would want to smoke a smelly cigar is beyond me. Secondly, the man was standing there as if he was staring at a beautiful flower in a park. I guess if you work in the subway tunnels cleaning out garbage, you breathe in things much worse than cigars. Just like the man I saw sipping his coffee while straddling the third rail, subway workers lives provide much entertainment for me while I wait in the stations. My train arrived and I sat down and fished my book out of my bag. I grabbed my hair and stuck it under my nose. It smelled awful. Despite the fact that I hate the smell, it was an interesting night of illegal subway smoking.