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May. 26th, 2009

Movin' on Up

News flash. My blog and I will both be moving up in the world in the very near future. This blog will be making a move to Wordpress.com and the new link is http://soxandthecity0407.wordpress.com/ so stay tuned for new content over there.

I myself am moving on up to the Westside, specifically to the hood formerly known as Hell's Kitchen, before calling it that was oh-so-ghetto and taboo amongst realtors.

May. 24th, 2009

But Mighty Fine only Gets me Somewhere Half the Time

Ok, to start off I may as well clear up my identity crisis. My formal name is Caroline, but I go by Carly. I guess I like being able to identify with both names, but it gets confusing since I've met so many new people in NYC. Before hearing Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" made me wanna kill myself (because it is the unofficial anthem of Bandwagon Red Sox fans), that song was my ringtone. In any case, I'm a definite fan of Andre 3000's "Roses" and can identify with many of the lyrics in particular the lyric "but mighty fine only got you somewhere half the time, and the other half you were either gettin' cussed out or comin' up short."

The other day, I stopped into a random Uno's on the UES to catch some Lakers action and, as is always the case when I frequent bars alone, was immediately accosted by some random dude. I was wearing my Celtics T-Shirt, making for an easy "yes I'm from Boston" conversation starter. This guy, also by himself, was rambling on and on and was a Yankees fan. I mentioned that the Phillies are my favorite NL team and I was hoping to catch a game live and he told me he had spare season tickets. He insisted on getting my number, which I stupidly gave (the whole 617 thing enhanced that "yes I'm from Boston" vibe) and I followed up about those tickets the next day.

When I sent the text "how much do you want for them?" I meant it as a mere formality. I was convinced that, since I'm cute, he was just offering me spare tickets he couldn't use gratis. But, ya know, I wanted to be polite and pretend I had any intention of paying. His response was "$70 for the two of them's good." I guess they were grandstand behind home plate. Non-story short, I passed simply because I was offered a last minute work gig and figured it'd be better to make money than spend it. But I was still a little peeved he wasn't just trying to invest that ticket money on the fourish hours of quality time I'd have to sit in close proximity to him making small talk.

Boston V New York

I hate to break it to you Bostonians, but I'll tell you from the get-go that when I weigh the pros and cons of living in New York versus living in Boston, New York definitely comes out on top. I'm approaching a full year of living here and it's starting to sink in what I miss about Boston (Brigham's ice cream) and what I don't (the T). This list is ongoing and contributions from you million readers out there are welcome.

Have you ever been to a Red Sox game and had to leave early cause it was pushing midnight and you had to make the T elst be stranded miles from your car/home? Of course you have. We all have. And if you worked the service industry circuit as I did, you know the agony of having to pay $40 plus tip for a post-midnight cab home on slow nights when you don't make much. One time, I was watching the Academy Awards at my grandmother's house in Lexington and because we got sucked into the program, I missed the last red line train back into Boston by literally one minute at 12:20AM. I then had to use the $40 in spending money that was supposed to hold me over for three days on a cab back to Southie.

There are certain little things I miss about Boston like the convenience of having a Dunkin Donuts every tenth of a block. If I have a Double D's craving here I sometimes have to make a major detour. On the subject of coffee, I just want to say that Chock Full Of Nuts sucks. The first night I arrived here, I picked some up at Duane Reade since it was much cheaper then Dunks and I ended up throwing it away cause it made me gag. Other Boston chains I dearly miss are Papa Gino's and D'angelo's (at least when they had their good rare roast beef in stock instead of that metallic-colored old stuff). The Boston product I certainly miss the most is Brigham's ice cream. One of these days I'm going to accidentally order "Jimmies" on my ice cream from a black vendor and get the look of death. At least the fact all the ice cream here sucks will make that awkward situation relatively avoidable. And no, Pinkberry and Tasti D'Lite (AKA chemical-filled-air) don't do it for me.

Duane Reade also sucks, by the way. In Boston, you could always choose between Walgreens, which has enough selection for you to do a mini grocery trip and pick up random items like $10 coffee makers, and CVS, whose rewards program always yields coupons, unlike Duane Reade, where you can go well over a month without earning a $5 coupon.

A huge perk of living here is the existence of express trains. When I lived in Bay Ridge, 10 miles out of Midtown, I could make it to Midtown in 45 minutes, thanks to the N train. Getting from way Downtown to Grand Central is all of three train stops, unlike the B line, stopping every half block to load up babushka bag ladies struggling to scrounge up change for their fare while juggling their groceries. In Boston, the green line is notoriously inefficient, while the Orange line is notoriously ghetto. The blue line passes every half hour or so if you're lucky and the red line is the closest to efficient and normal Boston has to offer. New York may offer 24 hour service, but getting home late at night is a nightmare. I really can't justify cab rides outside of emergencies on my budget, so I suck it up and take trains late at night. If that night involved having some drinks, I usually need to pee my pants by the time I get home, since trains take 20 minutes to show, then make local stops, and if you have to switch lines, you can tack on another 20-30 minutes.

Happy Hour is of course another favorite among Boston transplants. The practice and the term don't even exist in Boston; people just refer to an "after work crowd" at bars and 2 for 1 drinks are illegal. It is nice to be able to buy wine instead of "wine product" directly at the grocery store up there, however.

After so much time here, it's clear that this city is full of Boston transplants. There are countless Boston bars, half of which I've stumbled upon purely by accident. You can always find someone to keep you company while watching a Boston sports game and you're only a spontaneous $15 bus ride away from getting back to all the best things Boston has to offer. I moved here to get involved in the entertainment biz instead of LA because, let's face it, New York is still the East Coast and I can relate to New Yorkers. I walk fast, wear a lot of black and I'm neurotic and bitchy as fuck. But I'll always be a MASSHOLE at heart.

May. 3rd, 2009

Dry Spells

Sorry I've been slacking guys. Longest writing dry spell in quite some time. So, on the subject of dry spells, I was hoofing it down the street in my beat up black pumps yesterday because I was running late to meet friends at a bar for the Kentucky Derby and was afraid of missing the extremely brief race. Two trashy guys decided to size me up in my frenzied state, which I usually am able to drown out with my ipod. The first said "you look like your feet hurt in those heels." Tame. No biggie, although I do take pride in the fact I can walk forever in heels and handle it. I wouldn't be caught dead wearing sneakers over my pantyhose to and from work like those loser secretaries on their commutes to and from their dead end jobs. But the second guy's comment got to me. He said "you look like you haven't been fucked in a good year." Who says that? And what about me gave off a "I ain't gettin' no love" vibe? So of course I went ahead and dignified it with a response, "Excuse me? Fuck You!"

The derby was a pleasure to watch, but it was frustrating not to have a clue who the horse overtaking everyone was until the race was over. The noises of the bar drowned out the broadcasters and NBC decided not to bother keeping the four leaders posted in writing the entire second half of the race. A guy standing right next to me had bet on #8 and couldn't even tell his horse had won until several seconds after the race had finished.

My sister and I are extremely sensitive to certain noises and get very irritable about them. She, for example, will shoot you the look of death if you chew your gum too loud and I will do the same to girls tapping their cheesy fake nails. Elaine's gripes on Seinfeld about the guy in her college class sipping coffee too loudly, to the point it drives her to drop the class, is something I can absolutely relate to. Yesterday, this one broad put a major damper on the experience of watching the Celtics win because she kept letting out these absolutely ear piercing shrieks when reacting. She was a Bulls fan, but watching my team win over hers wasn't quite as satisfying as decking her in the face would have been.

Apr. 26th, 2009


Capping off a perfect weekend with a sweep and an amazing play, extending our tremendous winning streak. Ellsbury is the man and by the time I came up with the "Benny the Jet Rodriguez" Sandlot reference, it was already posted on everyone's facebook status.

Apr. 22nd, 2009

All Things Happen for a Reason

One friend of mine is always saying "everything happens for a reason" and I think the mantra does her well. She has a stellar social life, success at work and never lets things get to her. Today, for the millionth time, I told someone I transferred from Tulane to Boston College and received the response "Oh, cause of Katrina, huh?" No, not cause of Katrina. It was exactly a year before, in 2004. Lucky timing.

I got off to a rocky start at Tulane academically and spent my entire sophomore year trying to compensate for the GPA damage inflicted by my careless froshie behavior. As an Italian major, I had planned on studying abroad in Florence junior year since day one, but the administrative staff of the study abroad office were complete sticklers to the program's GPA requirement.

The summer after sophomore year, I was officially denied entry to junior year in Florence due to "insufficient GPA." There was literally a checklist with other reasons such as "you can't speak Italian for shit" or "You couldn't handle living abroad," none of which applied to me. Of a list at least a dozen reasons long, there was one lonely checked box by "insufficient GPA." I had a 2.89 and needed a 3.0. The fact I had lived in Rome and spoke better Italian then many other applicants didn't matter. I was bitter and I didn't want to go back to dumpy, smelly New Orleans.

I spent the summer trying to scramble together a plan B. I applied to Boston University last minute in June and was rejected. Then I enrolled in only three courses at Boston College and, while studying that semester, applied to stay. Luckily, I was accepted and while I spent the entire latter half of my college career fulfilling core requirements all over again, I found myself in Boston in October of 2004, instead of Florence or New Orleans. I don't often think about what a stroke of luck that was, that I found my way home in the nick of time. If I had been in Florence, I undoubtedly could have found Boston natives since Florence is the study abroad mecca, but it would have involved watching the Red Sox games at 3:00AM at Planet Hollywood among people who were relatively indifferent.

On one final note, I'd like to add that I graduated cum laude from Boston College thanks to getting a clean slate and starting over with my GPA after transferring. Kiss my ass Tulane Studay Abroad office staffed by grumpy menopausal career admins.

Stayin' Alive

I logged in to Yankees.com just now, with the innocent purpose of checking their upcoming schedule and came across this ad featuring Jeter, along with Tiger Woods and Roger Federer. I must say, I'm a fan.

If I could have any celebrity I wanted, I would take John Travolta in 1976 over anyone current. It seriously doesn't get any sexier then him in Saturday Night Fever. He's one of the best male dancers ever to grace the planet. My first apartment in New York was in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, which is a neighborhood strongly associated with the movie and formerly prominent in the 1970's disco scene. I hated the neighborhood, but my former landlord out there sold me on it based purely on the fact Saturday Night Fever was based there. I'm a major disco dork with an old school Travolta fetish after all. I've written about 900 papers on Studio 54 and know obscure disco one hit wonders. Now I realize that the bridge the guys in SNF kept messing around on was not the more well known Brooklyn Bridge, but the Verrazano, which connects Brooklyn to Staten Island, a place I am proud to say I still have never been (things may have been different if the bridge was pedestrian friendly).

Speaking of John Travolta, I had a fun Fenway experience related to him. When he was filming "A Civil Action" in Boston back in 1997 or 1998, my mom snuck my two friends and I into Fenway for the filming of a Red Sox game scene that was ultimately cut. All three of us had major crushes on the Grease version of the now aging scientologist celeb. My mom kept boasting "I own Fenway," since she was able to sneak us in thanks to her knowledge of the stadium coupled with gentle, aging security buddies.

Once we made it into the park, we approached the area behind home plate where hundreds of extras were being given directions to watch a ball go foul, cheer and so on. One of the production assistants came and grilled us, saying "Are you SAG?" Back then, I had no clue what the Screen Actors Guild was, nor did I realize how strict productions are about allowing unofficial extras to infiltrate a scene. Of course, now that I am shoving my way into the TV industry, I realize it makes sense; extras are paid, albeit minimally, and they can't allow just anyone on set according to protocol. Either way, we got a sighting and a picture of a bloated John Travolta. And because we weren't allowed to be in the scene, we gorged on the Dunkin Donuts bagels and doughnuts provided on set while watching the shoot.

Apr. 21st, 2009

On the 6

Don't be fooled by the semi-precious jewelry that I got. I'm still Carly from suburbia. Lexington, Mass. to be specific. Where self-righteous liberals who live vicariously through their overachieving children run rampant and nobody actually has a Boston accent cause they're too white collar.

Sometimes I love to read provocative books on the train to try and get a rise out of people. For example, I recently read a book "Ghettonation" that I picked up off the Black history display table at Border's in February. While riding the 2 train to and from work, I couldn't help checking my peripheral views for judgmental looks from black people who might have wondered who that white girl thought she was reading that ish in public.

In honor of Saturday's amazing weather, I decided to get out of my near windowless downtown apartment and take a long-ass walk (in 4" heels thank you very much). Having walked over seventy blocks, I hopped the 4 express train (I admit it wasn't really the 6) back from Grand Central. Many pinstriped jersey wearing passengers on the train were clearly coming from the Bronx post-Yankees-game. I was completely oblivious to the 22-4 football score beating they had just taken, but still relished the fact I was reading Bill Simmons' "Now I Can Die in Peace," an ode to the Red Sox' 2004 season, in front of them.

On the subject of Bill Simmons, my father and I had a long conversation about him recently. Dad, who considers himself an original, old school Bill Simmons fan, is not as pleased with his writing these days as he once was. While I think the man continues to be hilarious, I will admit he has lost credibility with me as well. As my friends and I agree, he has gone a little too Hollywood. His transplantation to L.A. has finally taken its toll, a transformation with glaring evidence in two recent columns; one in which he predicted the Lakers would beat the Celtics last playoff season and, more notably, his recent article dedicated entirely to the Oscars with no mention of sports.

I am eager to finally read "Now I Can Die in Peace," which I bought back in April of 2007, because not only was it written when Simmons was at the top of his game, but it will help me relive the playoff season that provided some of my best all-time memories.

The other day, a friend and I were wondering what the hell happened to Keith Foulke, the reliever we acquired from the A's who will forever be immortalized in pictures of the 2004 World Series' final out and immediate celebration. Turns out, not only does he share my birthday, October 19, which as I always say, falls on crucial ALCS games season after season, but he is 37 and pseudo-retired, playing in an independent league. The guy's got a baby face and since he came from the ever youthful A's organization, I had assumed he wasn't so old by baseball player's standards. Either way, he definitely got to be part of something awesome toward the end of his career. And if you don't know, now you know.

There is one thing I must come clean about. Pinstripes are goddamn sexy. Sorry. Hope that doesn't make me any less of a Sox fan. The Phillies have always been my favorite NL team, so I will channel some of my pinstripe loving energy their way, instead of toward the Yankees, provided they don't face us in the World Series, as they should have this past season.

Apr. 18th, 2009

Someone's Having the Best Week Ever

I don't know what's gotten into me that I haven't managed to muster up a few comments about Wakefield's near no-hitter and tonight's kickass comeback. Regardless, both events have fueled the insanely good mood I'm in, which will only improve with tomorrow's Celts/Bruins playoff doubleheader and outrageously nice weather. The prospect of our first Yankees series next week and the NFL draft serve as a reminder that this is one of the best months in sports; a transition month like October.

I want to give a big thanks and shout out to Red and Denton of survivinggrady.com for adding my link to their blogroll. Their approval means a good deal to me and I'm confident some of their readers fall under my target audience. I will post to my heart's delight when my writing chi decides to find it's way back home. Don't fall off the edge of your seats with anticipation in the meantime.

Apr. 15th, 2009

Foul Weather Fan

Spring has most definitely not sprung yet. Yesterday, it was pouring rain with howling winds and today, it's once again chilly and gloomy. With Dice K and Lowrie just placed on the 15 day DL list and Beckett suspended for six games, things aren't quite looking up for the ailing Red Sox. But April showers bring May flowers, as the saying goes. We aren't as terrible as the Nationals, but things can't get much worse; they can only get better. Besides, I'd rather the Sox get off to a rocky start and work their way up then do a great job and suddenly bomb a la 2006 season.

In other Boston sports news, Kevin Garnett is a major source of concern and the hopeful Bruins have to, once again, face the Canadiens in round one of the playoffs. I would like to think of myself as a faithful, foul weather fan, but I'm trying to be a realist and an optimist at the same time.

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