Archive | June, 2014

But WHY Is The Rum Gone?!

23 Jun

Ok. It’s time to go back to reality. Waking up at 5 a.m., motorcycle races at 3 a.m. (not that I’m apart of them, no I’m the lucky one trying to sleep while some dumbotrons think they should rev their engines down Fort Washington all night), our muggy apartment in the infamous city heat. You know that the reason kids have off in the summer isn’t because of the farm kids having to go home and help with crops as is the common misconception? It’s because the city heat was so fucking hot in the early 20th century that the rich families were like “Screw your education Victoria, you don’t need it anyways. We’re going out to the country so we don’t catch fire by just walking on the concrete.” And then all the schools were so empty the teachers had to be like “Whelp poor kids, looks like you’re free for a couple of months. Try not to get into trouble. See you in September.” 

But I’m glad to be back from my honeymoon last week. Ari and I went to St. Thomas for a week and the island is, in a word, enchanting. It is so gorgeous. Just look at this picture and try to imagine that being a real place. 

 

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I was *there* and I can’t believe it’s real. I’m from New York. I didn’t know ocean water could be clear. I didn’t know sand could be soft and free of used condoms and cigarette butts. 

Here are some things I learned on this very weird and special vacation. 

1. Their main industry is tourism. Meaning, as our bartender so eloquently put it, “You can do whatever you want. They really don’t like putting white people in jail.”

2. St. Thomas is a part of the US but they reeeaaalllyy didn’t want to be a state. They voted last year and it was overwhelmingly “Thanks but no thanks.” In an info booklet we got, it said “We can’t vote for the American president. But we do have a representative for us….who also can’t vote. Eh, what are you gonna do?”

3. Jews have been on the island since early 1700’s or before. The first governor of the island was Jewish. They have a beautiful synagogue there with a sand floor. As our guide, Cantor Diane told us, that was an old tradition, since so many Jews came from persecution, to muffle the sound of people walking around while praying. 

 

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Like sure, you guys can build an ornate house of worship – but keep quiet OK?! 

4. I decided before we left that I would only bring my phone for pictures. A whole week without e-mail, Facebook, texting, Snapchat, Twitter or wi-fi. And it was amazing. Sure, I would reflexively check my phone from time to time before realizing it was on airplane mode but we used physical maps to get around, we had only each other to talk to, we didn’t live document everything on Facebook. It felt rebellious. It almost felt wrong. “We are at Coki beach today. No one in the entire world knows we are here right now except for each other.” It’s a feeling that isn’t really captured on Shabbat when we turn off all electronics and just count down the minutes until we can turn on our Macs again. It felt adventurous.

I wish I could emulate that now that I’m home but it’s difficult. I find that we’re back to our routine. He’s playing 2048 or Facebook messaging his friends while I’m e-mailing my boss saying “Hold on…I’m listening…I just have to send this….” We’ll go out to dinner and I’ll text someone while we wait for our food. “Sorry, this is important. I just have to let her know that we’ll come by later…” and by the time I’m done, he’s checking imgur. It makes me profoundly sad. But at the time, I know it’s a necessity of life and as the months go on and Apple releases more and more, we’re only getting deeper and deeper in the quicksand that is constant technological connection and stimulation.  

5. Wow that took a dark turn. Here, look at this pretty sea turtle! His name is Duncan. We got to pet him.

 

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So there you have it. Sand, sun, sea turtles. Also rum. Rum everywhere and in everything. When you get off the plane; “Here’s a rum shot mon!” At the hotel; “All our drinks are rum.” At the COFFEE shop; “So that’s one ice mocha latte…would you like rum in that?”

It’s unbelievable. I vow to keep my honeymoon alive by continuing the trend and putting the caribbean flavor in everything. So if you’ll excuse me I have to go have some cereal and rum. Yum!  

Strangers, Neighbors and Siblings

1 Jun

I like working Sunday mornings. Not because I get to wake up at 5:17 a.m. but because Sundays are slow and I can spend most of the time on BuzzFeed DIY learning how to make a sundress out of an old garbage bag and some mason jars.

I also like it because early Sunday mornings walking through Times Square, with nothing but random joggers and the odd homeless person, is kind of peaceful. It’s a quiet moment that’s really rare for the most crowded triangle on the planet. Usually I walk from Columbus Circle undisturbed, just listening to my ZZ Ward playlist that gets me pumped to be sitting in a control room all day.

Except today.

I was walking with my headphones in when the guy about 10 feet in front of me stopped in front of an Argo Tea cafe which was closed. He was wearing black skinny jeans, boat shoes and a beige blazer. With his glossy bedhead he looked like a mix between a Disney star and a British pop singer. He stumbled over to the heavy round stands that hold umbrellas for the outdoor seating during the day, but when the store is closed, are left outside. He started kicking them, pondering their existence. He looked up at me.

“Excuse me. Um, I’m not from here. Can you please tell me what these things are? I’m not from New York.”

I took my headphones out. “Well, they’re used to hold umbrellas in place when the cafe opens. I guess they don’t have them where you’re from…?”

He shook his head. “I am so fucked up. I’m from Indiana.” I noticed he sounded like he was (fucked up, not from Indiana) He started walking next to me and I thought “Oh God am I going to have to walk the whole way with this guy?”

“Hi, my name’s Aviva. I’m from here.”

He held his hand up for a high-five.

“Chris. Are you going to work? I can’t find my hotel.”

“Where is it?”

“43rd”

“Well, we’re on 56th. You just keep going this way…”

Then from behind us we heard “Chris?” and turning around saw a black guy in roughly the same outfit.

“Oh man!” Chris shouted, “Hey! This is my best friend! And this is Olivia” he gestured to me. “I can’t believe you found me, man! Olivia is going to work. I think she’s late though.”

Even though I was actually 25 min early to work, I grabbed the opportunity.

“Yup, a little late! Good luck with your hotel and um, be careful!” I yelled as a turned down 54th even though I usually walked straight to 48th. Who knows what those crazy mid-westerns could be up to at 6 a.m.

Speaking of overly-friendly people, here is an update on my neighbor Tom. I borrowed an egg from him to make banana bread and he was *over-joyed* to lend me one. He invited me in and asked if he could get me anything else. He suggested he, Ari and I share some wine together, and I dropped off some banana bread when it was finished. He slipped a thank-you note under our door. I live next door to Mister Rogers.

An update on Susan, my 68-year-old ballerina friend, I saw her at the grocery store and I hid because I’m awkward.

But something else I’d like to share with the class is that I learned some valuable relationship advice from a TLC documentary this week. It wasn’t Four Weddings or 19 Kids And Counting (maybe stop counting kids and spend some evenings watching a movie Duggars, just a thought). It was Extreme Bodies. Because I am oddly fascinated with any and all congenital defects (for no reason), I was watching an episode on conjoined twins. The chances of having a conjoined baby(ies?) is about 1 in 500,00. Not that rare if you think about it.

They were interviewing Lori and George, the world’s oldest female conjoined twins are 47. They are attached at the skull. They also have almost polar opposite personalities. George is tidy and into NASCAR and country music. Lori is messy, wants to be a mother and loves junk food. In her interview Lori explains that their relationship is a compromise. That in order to coexist, they have to learn to respect the other’s wishes, to share and communicate. They are literally stuck with each other. Now, I know that friendships and relationships can in no way compare to having someone literally sharing your liver, but if these people can have the patience and optimism to live physically attached to their siblings then most of us can probably learn to get along more effectively right?

Anyways, that’s what I am thinking about as I sit at work and watch the new trailer for This Is Where I Leave You. I am also thinking about getting some Jamba Juice on my way to the Israel Day Parade since it is so gorgeous out. Enjoy the sunshine!

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