Thursday, February 9, 2012

I'm 'bout to be FAMOUS.

Super Bowl XLVI Social Media Infographic, or

Whose Team Can Most Brutally Insult Their Rivals, Including Those Non-PC Swear Words We Can't Publish But We Can Include in Our Data Aggregation.

Social media statistics are where my hatred of math and my love of solid proof come together. This is the result of 6 days spent drowning in nasty football fan tweets, comments, and updates.

Click to view full post and larger size. By yours truly (@sarahvyc) and professional G @sammirbb.


Are real New Yorkers Jets fans or Giants fans? Either way, I'm on my way.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Saks Fifth Ave Christmas Light Show

Recreating first date with that guy I made out with for a while. Aww.


Not nearly as good as the first time I saw it, which was apparently was the last year the classic show happened (2009).


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Does it Have to Do with Bacon?

Today I spent my morning fraternizing with my neighborhood. I've actually spent a good deal of time bopping in and about the area recently, which is mostly due to a preponderance of Groupons I've been accumulating. And I can't go out and play these days without noticing just how Williamsburg-y Williamsburg is. I sat down to try and figure out what defines this place (aside from the obvious but cryptic blanket term, "hipstery").

What's really difficult is trying to understand why I love living here, yet simultaneously can't imagine having a real conversation with most of the people I see walking small dogs on the streets, balancing glasses of whiskey or bourbon in the bars, sipping espressos at the local coffee shop, or eating bacon-flavored cupcakes at restaurants. It's like feeling genuine kinship to an alien species. Well actually, I probably feel that way because I love people that drink cocktails other than vodka sodas, people who know enough not to order absurdities like caramel macchiatos, and anybody with the skill to make something like bacon into a dessert.

I think it's as simple as putting thought into what they care about and consume: they love hamburgers and fried chicken, but they get them with free range meats and wasabi mayo. They like being close to Manhattan, but not actually within its familiar confines. They'll buy records as supplements to their iPods, and talk about the differences in "sound experience." They cherish The Beard, but they also get haircuts...most of the time. It's the sort of mentality that embraces the standard, and then invents upon it. Even if sometimes that inventing is only combining past with present.

I think the problem that most people have with the Williamsburg peeps and hipsters the world over can be distilled into this: all the thought put into how things can be "improved upon" or "re-imagined" eventually culminates in characters that are condescending, conceited, and insolent. When you spend all that time trying to be better, and you think you succeeded, then it's impossible not to think you're better than pretty much everyone else. And usually it's only youngish twenty-somethings ("Millennials") that are naive enough to think they've figured out where the rest of the world has gone wrong. Also, for some reason we all seem to end up looking and acting the same in our pursuit of what's 'edgy.' 

Unsurprisingly, Williamsburg ends up being a small village of young people who think they do it better than everyone else. And it may be true, at least on the food/bar scene; they come pretty close. But they end up coming off as kindof hateful kids. I still love it here because A) I'm a Millennial, so I too think I can come up with solutions to all life's problems, B) I like being around people that are always doing different things, and C) I like a good bacon marmalade.

Everyone here is young, everyone here thinks about the future, and everyone here lives out the hypocrisy of liking nice things while trying not to be a Rich Dude. It's absolutely true that it's obnoxious. That's why I don't talk to anyone but my roommates. But nevertheless, I'd rather be around obnoxious people who are trying to do it better than people who are passively agreeable. That's why I moved to New York, after all.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Dream Like a New Yorker - You'll Live Longer.

New York is the way it is because of the people that live here. The people are the ones who give the city its personality and its energy. They create the standards that all newcomers eventually end up adhering to, once they’ve been here a week or two. And they’re the ones that help teach those incoming New Yorkers how to be New Yorkers.

One of the things I love about New Yorkers is that they’re so optimistic. That’s a sortof counterintuitive observation if you watch a lot of Law & Order, but it’s true.

When times are tough, New Yorkers will take jobs waiting tables or working retail to make ends meet. But they’ll never stop believing that it’s “only temporary.” Everything they do, whether it’s working late nights at an especially crappy bar or cleaning apartments, they always know that it’s only until the right opportunity comes along. Everyone here has a dream – that’s why they moved here. There’s a universal understanding that Right Now is only temporary, until One Day comes along.

One Day, I’ll have HBO.

One Day, I’ll have my own apartment.

One Day, I’ll be able to take my girlfriend out for a nice dinner.

One Day, I’ll be doing what I love.

Everyone I know seems to be having an incredibly difficult year. But a common strain in our conversations is that “once January and the new year come along, things will be better.”

Of course, this sort of mentality can be just as annoying to endure as it is endearing – god knows I’ve met enough actors just “waiting to be discovered” to last a lifetime. But in times like these, it’s a quality that’s both necessary and wonderful. It makes being unemployed easier. It makes working at Best Buy tolerable. And it makes packing into studio apartments like sardines in bunk beds almost romantic.

The dreams that all New Yorkers hold are what set them apart from the rest of the world. New York is the city of ambition. Even in our deepest recession since the Great Depression, our TGI Friday’s servers are working happily for all those holiday season tips, so they can buy a new camera to film that new piece that will truly make their filming career. And I love that that optimism is always present here in New York, even when things are at their most difficult.

Thanks to sagriffin305 for the photo.

For @jleeinnyc

Thursday, November 18, 2010

How To Date Someone And Live Out of Your Purse

Dating someone in New York can be difficult. Take, for instance, a friend of mine who is soon to enter the film production industry: her requirements for any sort of future boyfriend are first and foremost, that he be understanding of the kind of schedule her job demands -- i.e. 15 hour days and the necessity to pass out from exhaustion as soon as she gets home at night. Consequently, her ideal romantic interest would be someone who is also in film production and/or okay with rarely ever seeing her.

Most people have things they're here to Accomplish. Even if they have a day job that they're not inclined to spend long nights at "for the love of it," they're usually working on a side project that's the real reason they're here in New York...and not some suburb of Sacramento, or something. Or if it is the day job they love, like my friend, then they're there for 15 hours a day because THAT is what they're in New York to do. Or maybe they're here just because they love the lifestyle, a.k.a. being out all night, every night, getting wasted and meeting pretty people.

The point is, with all this Accomplishing happening all the time it's hard to make time for relationships. Most people generally want them, and like them while they're happening, because it gives you a partner to take on the city with. Friends are often busy with work or dates or their other group of friends. And they're not getting sex out of you, so you can't really rely on them. So you end up hanging out pretty much exclusively with your significant other when you're not at work. But the thing is, if you're squeezing in time with your lover from the hours of 8-10pm most nights and weekends, then you're pretty booked up. And let's face it, you're not making any friend time or spa-time...or blog-writing time. Take that into consideration, and all you'll have left is a Sunday night dinner date.

And so, balancing time becomes crucial for New Yorkers in a serious relationship. You have to choose what nights you're seeing each other based on where, geographically, your day will end in the city and thus which apartment it's more convenient to stay at. ("I'm in Midtown because I ended up lost in a middle eastern grocery store. I guess let's stay in Queens?" "Well, I'm down in the East Village, so maybe we should just go to your place in Brooklyn...") And, you have to know in advance these things so that your purse holds an extra pair of underwear, a clean shirt, your phone charger, and perhaps an umbrella. And you have to factor in MTA travel time for everything. Then you have to plan when you're seeing your friends, so that those relationships don't die. And finally, you have to make sure you have some private time every week so that you can pluck your eyebrows and wax your bikini line in glorious solitude.

Advice for those aspiring to boyfriend-dom or girlfriend-dom: buy two of every shirt and tell your significant other to get over the fact that your shit will be living there when you're not. They're New Yorkers -- they should be able to deal with claustrophobia. Also: your eyebrows might end up getting a little wild.

Thanks to chadmagiera for his picture of that useful-seeming underwear/cigarette store.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Enabling an Idiocracy (Or, Why Chicken Tenders are Ruining Society)

Because I stay at my new real-person job until 7pm half the time, I don't have the time to write as much as I'd like. Also, I try not to play on my blog at at work because they frown upon that. As a result, I took what was going to be an angry Facebook Note by a friend and redirected his energies to what I like to call "guest-blogging." Having a guest-blog means I don't have to write myself. (And also, who really reads Facebook Notes? He should thank me for saving his thoughts from oblivion.) And finally, he happens to share some ideas about humanity that I myself have harbored at times. Working in the service industry is enlightening, and teaches you a lot about how disappointing your fellow human beings can be. I like the title, Why Chicken Fingers Are Destroying Our Society and Our Economy. He has a different one.

Enabling the Idiocracy
The fact that businesses can net MILLIONS a year with horrible service, despicable management, and an appalling lack of cleanliness is the direct result of abundant tourism and a complete lack of responsibility on the part of consumers. Mega-chains in midtown Manhattan have learned that accountability doesn't exist when you have no expectation of even one repeat customer. Work just hard enough to keep the health inspectors away, and the mindless masses will pour their money into you because they can’t think outside the box, and you're familiar.

"Enabling the Idiocracy" should be the title of a very long book directly aimed at the drones that wander in off the street to drop $75 on burgers for two, only to leave NYC thinking "wow these people are filthy assholes". When will people learn that customer choice might be what drives a democratic economy and the “American Way”, but it is also a responsibility that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

So many times we hear people exclaim, “This restaurant is filthy and over-priced, someone should complain to the manager!” while sitting over their fried chicken tenders in a mid-town Manhattan mega-chain.

So many times we hear people exclaim, “Those paparazzi are horrible people! They need to learn to respect people’s privacy!” while standing in line at the grocery store reading an USWeekly they’re about to purchase along with some frozen fried chicken tenders.

I’ve made the unfortunate decision to become underemployed, and am now dealing with horrible managers, a filthy, unsafe work environment, and unruly co-worker conduct, but I don’t blame the establishment. I blame every single customer that decides to walk through the door. It is the consumer that enables this idiocracy.

So for the sake of all that is good and right in the world: Stop spending money on filth. Stop eating at mega-chains. Start realizing that the bathroom is filthy because of you, the service is horrible because of you, and chicken tenders have come to represent all that is wrong with the American Diet because of you.

Become a more responsible consumer.

Maybe if that happens, I can go back to blaming “the man” again for all that is wrong in America. I love chicken tenders. You can follow @jleeinnyc on Twitter for more of these lessons, and links to entertaining stories & shows about working in the service industry. Thanks to IndyDina with Mr. Wonderful for the picture of chicken.

Friday, November 5, 2010

For the Love of Star Trek and Universal Equality

George Takei is my hero. Who else could call Clint McCance a douchebag as part of the Trevor Project's "It Gets Better" Campaign?

Also, today I learned how to embed a video, so I'm going crazy with it in a Star Trek theme.