Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Feels Like Home

It feels like an appropriate week to finally post these pictures of our place that I took a few days ago, but never got around to uploading.

Appropriate because we spent an awful lot of time in the only little square in Manhattan on which we can lay claim (for a 15-month lease, at least) with Wednesday's storm prohibiting much else (save one trip to the recycling closet and a quick step out onto the deck for a picture of snow).

The entryway/hallyway:
(Noelle, you get the credit for the Jacobean. I saw it at your place before I ever saw it at Target. And so began this sordid love affair that consisted of me visiting the rug aisle and standing and deliberating and standing and deliberating every time I went to Target. I wish I had an entire room for the full rug, but the runner added a needed dose of color to this space.)

First left, the bathroom:
Second left, the kitchen - and I left a few dirty dishes in the sink just for you, dear reader:
I don't know if I ever mentioned this mirror before, but how 'bout it?! Rescued from the garbage, scrubbed for bed bugs and the sake of our sanity, then spiffied up with a little love and black paint.
Third left, the bedroom/dining/living room. These pictures made me laugh, almost everything in the room shows up in every shot, regardless of the angle. Ah, the studio:
Another mirror worth mentioning. You may remember the other piece of mirror snagged from a landfill future last summer that met its perfect mate at a flea market in Chelsea (incidentally, it's reflecting my other sweet flea market find - the sun dial on top of the armoire. Many thanks, Ashley, Ali and Joy!). After all the requiste Home Depot trips for wood filler, paint, brushes, sandpaper and mirror hangers and a few trips to Duane Reade for bandaids and Neosporin (there were a few casualties, mostly on Noah's hands), this puppy finally made it on the wall. I'd probably send the guy who sold it to me to an early grave if he saw what I did with its four gilded sides, but I think it packs a lot more punch in robin's egg blue...
We weren't so sure we could make a go of one room living, until we met the roofdeck and decided it would all be worth it next spring. Ah, say it again with me... spring. That storm may have kept us indoors a little too long, and maybe that's the reason for my crankiness the rest of this week... But it sure did make for a pleasant view of Battery Park.

Friday, February 5, 2010


It has been brought to my attention that I am not hip to the streets.

Said another way, no matter what the title of my last post may suggest, Noah and I were neither the recipients nor the distributors of two free amphetamine tablets taken as a stimulant.

Ben - ny {ben - nee}
-noun. pl: ben-nies. slang
Shortened slang term for the amphetamine "benzedrine," specifically used in literature of the Beat generation.

Sorry to those of you who only got as far as the title and then, worried the big city had finally taken its toll, began hatching a plan to save our souls.

And to you, Grandma, for the inevitable panic attack.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Two Free Bennys.

Do you ever wonder how effective cereal box promotions are?

"Send in three UPCs and $1.95 for shipping and handling and you, too, can be the proud owner of a Florida Marlins baseball helmet cereal bowl."

A few months ago I was in the cereal aisle doing my typical scan for yellow price tags that indicate crazy good, or at least better than $6/box, deals on the stuff and the deal du jour happen to be Kellogg's Raisin Bran.

I threw a few boxes in the cart and was on my way. It wasn't until I got home and read the promotion on the boxes as I lifted them from bag to cupboard that I realized it was for a free DVD. Period. No strings attached (well, there are always strings. I'm definitely in a database of cheap-os somewhere.). No shipping fees. Nada.

And score - The Sandlot was one of the options. Clearly, the prospect of Benny "the Jet" Rodriguez (oh, how we used to swoon...) showing up in my mailbox in 30-90 days was worth buying another box or two of cereal to round out the requisite 5 DVD "tokens."

So I did it. And I was not ashamed.

I noticed the deal was still going when Kellogg's went on sale again, so I grabbed a few more boxes and commenced another 5 token collection.

I am not too proud to admit that two tokens awaiting three more companions made the move last fall. Yes. I, Allison Riley, made a concerted effort to safeguard two pieces of cardboard cut from a cereal box in the midst of moving all our earthly possessions from one end of Manhattan to the other.

I am a little too proud to easily admit I felt a distinct moment of dejection when I realized too late we'd tossed a box before cutting out the token.

But victory comes to those who persist (and evidently to those who consume unnatural amounts of cold cereal...) and yesterday, I hit my token quota.

The scene was just as ridiculous as you might imagine. Maybe worse.

A girl in a tailored suit and heels, working intently at her desk in an office somewhere in the heart of the Big Apple. Checking "Benny and Joon" on a cardboard order form whose reverse side bears a portion of what used to be the Frosted Mini Wheats logo and neatly sliding five colorful cardboard tokens into an envelope bound for a P.O. box in Battle Creek.

I felt a little foolish during my 10-floor descent and kept the envelope pressed against my chest as I crossed the lobby to the mail slot so nobody would notice "Free DVD Giveaway" scrawled across its fibers in red ink. I blushed and laughed at myself a little as I dropped the watermarked envelope into the slot, knowing full-well the rest are likely to show up written in crayon.