The City (Not Constantinople)

Istanbul means “The City”

Beers at Pier I in NYC

The wife and I had family and friends over in our hood this past weekend; one couple we met for a bike ride in Riverside Park near our home, the other was at another apartment in our building.

We figure if we wait long enough, everyone will filter through our neck of The City at some point.

It’s like that line in Fools Rush In where the Matt Perry character goes:

There’s a spot in Central Park, the Bethesda Fountain, where if you sit there long enough, the entire city walks by.

That’s how I feel about New York City. Or, as we call it, The City.

I’m sure you do that too; you call whatever major metropolitan city around you simply, “The City.”

A Goose in Manhattan

Turns out, people have been doing that for centuries. There was a cover song that was popular when I was a kid called Istanbul (Not Constantinople) that had a line that went:

Why they changed it I can’t say People just liked it better that way.

Actually, the name “Istanbul” comes from the Greek “istimbolin,” which simply means, “To The City.”

Which just goes to show that we’re all probably more similar than we are dissimilar.

And I suppose even then, there was some couple in some part of the city that was wondering if they should move out to where there’s green grass and shade or stay in The City forever.

A Goose in Riverside Park

One thing that we do love about living here is that everything is just a stroll away. Then again, this may not always be a good thing.

Her: There are just two bags of potato chips here.
Me: Yeah, I forgot what I needed to get at the drugstore.
Her: You went out to get some ibuprofen and instead come back with two bags of chips?!
Me: (…) In my defense, they were on sale.

Location: the city, of course
Mood: patient
Music: Even old New York was once New Amsterdam

Guest Post: Alex Templeman

Some online dating tips from HDR in the UK

Honest Dating Review

Today we have a guest post with three quick dating tips from Alex Templeman at Honest Dating Review.

1. Being open, doesn’t mean being vulnerable
It is a tricky concept. On the one hand, we’re being told not to share all of our personal details online, then you hit the questionnaire of a dating site like eHarmony and they ask for details that are more personal than something like your bank account number.

But it’s important to remember that this information isn’t broadcast for the world to see so much as it will be interpreted and key aspects of your answers will be used to match you with like-minded singles. This is why people need to be honest and open in the questionnaires that most popular sites utilize because otherwise; you’ll just be matched with the wrong people if you are pretending to be someone you are not.

2. Too much is never enough
When it comes to the bio for your profile, how in depth can/should you be? The honest answer is; as much as you want. Or more importantly, as much as you’re willing to give.

At the end of the day, you’re on the site because you’re serious about finding a partner and getting that relationship – the more informed you both are the better.

Suppose you like video games and you think ‘nah, that is too geeky for a dating profile’ and then you might be paired with someone who hates them, then there is already a point of contention.

Now, in the reverse scenario ‘I love video games and love a relaxing night in with the PlayStation after work’ then when you get a reply from a potential match saying ‘me too! What games do you play?’ then all of a sudden you have a rapport with someone who has a genuine interest in the same thing, and a conversation has already begun.

3. Use Headlines and Pictures to Showcase Your Personality
Headlines have been used for centuries to catch people’s attention and make them read what is underneath, and an online profile is no different. No one is going to have much luck if they open their page with ‘Yeah, I would say I’m ok’. This is a time to be creative, have some fun and let your personality shine, because then you can be sure that the people that continue reading after that line are genuinely interested.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and as no one is likely to trawl through a two thousand word bio, so why not throw up a few pictures? At the end of the day, there needs to be an attraction there and profile pictures play a huge part of whether someone will look at your profile or not. And your picture should support your headline.

Note that the choice between a ‘funny’ picture and a serious picture is a hard line to walk; you don’t want to look like an immature joker, but you also don’t want to look like a suit who is married to his job.

So there you have it, if one line and a picture is all you have to sell yourself then make sure you make the most of it!

Use the above tips along with Logan’s tips to maximize your online dating, but most of all enjoy online dating – it’s an exciting, dynamic and ever evolving world that guarantees a great experience to people who use it, and genuinely throw themselves into the fun!

———-

Alex is the owner of Honest Dating Reviews and has worked on dating websites throughout his online career and partnered with many big sites such as Match.com and eHarmony.

If you liked this entry, get some more tips for just $0.99 with A Great Online Dating Profile at AmazonBN.com, and the Apple Store, as well as most other online retailers:

A Great Online Dating Profile

Rum and a Rye Smile

Don’t actually drink a lot of rum out and about

Old Fashioned in NYC

A wrassling buddy: We have to take it slow, I’m feeling old today.
Me: I feel old every day.

I’m supposed to be meeting my buddy Gene from Flow Athletics at some point this week. We were actually supposed to meet up for a glass of rum but I told him that I didn’t actually drink much rum out in the world.

In fact, when I’m out and about, I’ll more likely order an Old Fashioned with Rye or a Vodka Tonic or even just a beer. And the reason is because most places carry just regular rum, which I don’t drink except in a pina colada or a daiquiri (not a frozen daiquiri).

The difference between regular rum and aged rum is the difference between moonshine and whiskey.

Aging rum and moonshine makes them different, better.

Like most people, I suppose.

And at the few places that do actually carry aged rum, carry stuff that I already have at home – or stuff a lot worse than the stuff I have at home.

These are the trials and tribulations of a rum drinker.

On the other hand, chili and gyros are essentially good anywhere you can get them.

So it all works out in the end.

Location: 7AM, the middle of Jersey
Mood: beat tired
Music: I’ll admit I’m just the same as I was

Wondering about the burbs

Maybe someday I’ll move from here

Statue of couple in Riverside Park NYC
Last week was a bevy of activity because a tenant in my building found bedbugs in his unit.

Because I still manage the building, I was involved with the process every step of the way. That was annoying and a massive time suckage for me. So, despite having a number of meetings with clients and the usual workload, I kept having to run back home to handle hysterical owners and irritated tenants.

It’s enough to make me think of moving to the burbs – in fact, I dropped an email to my old college buddy who bought into the building with me years ago, but later moved out of the city.

He says he has no regrets.

Thankfully, the building’s bedbug situation was resolved fairly quickly so I was back in a New York (City) state of mind.

Still, we do talk about it, the wife and I. Maybe someday leaving the concrete jungle for some green grass and shade. But then we’d probably find ourselves with just each other. Which might not be a bad thing.

Me: Don’t be silly, I love everything about you.
Wife: Tell the truth.
Me: I love most things about you.
Her: There you go.

Location: a building without bedbugs
Mood: relieved
Music: folks like to get away, take a holiday from the neighborhood

Neufchâtel 2

Another entry on our possible pasts

Ship on the Hudson River

Her: What are you eating on that?
Me: Cream cheese. Kinda.
Her: What does that mean?
Me: Well, it all started years ago…
Her: Oh no…

Just had a bagel with cream cheese.

Check that, I just had a bagel with light cream cheese.

Well, that’s not totally true either – I had a bagel with a cheese called Neufchâtel, which I mentioned in passing once before.

Here’s the story: A fella named Bill tried to recreate a French cheese called Neufchâtel here in the states. But, because of the differences in milk, climate, cows, etc., it wasn’t quite right. So he added cream to it to make it more appealing, resulting in what we call cream cheese now.

English: French Neufchâtel is a cheese labelle...

Decades later, with improved technology, companies were able to better mimic Neufchâtel without the cream. As an added bonus, they realized that, without the added cream, it was naturally lighter in calories and fat.

But, because now everyone was more familiar with the name Cream Cheese over Neufchâtel, they simply called it Light Cream Cheese.

If you read this blog, you’ll see that one of the themes I have is how location influences things – sometimes for the better and sometimes not

My last entry was about accents changing as people move around. Or delicious oranges turning bitter somewhere else. Industrial waste turning to delicious rum after an ocean voyage.

I wonder what my life would have been like if we never came here? Suppose it’s a strange obsession I have with knowing my possible pasts.

Me:…and that’s the story of Light Cream Cheese.
Her: (silence)

Location: a building with bedbugs on the top floor
Mood: annoyed
Music: it’s still an obsession

The Past and the Virginia Tidewater Accent

Why is it the Top 40?


Did you ever wonder why the music countdown was always the Top 40? Why not the top 30, or 50?

The reason is because early jukeboxes could only hold 40 songs. So, decades later, we’re still constrained by figures and things that are no longer relevant.

I think about that a good deal: Why things are the way they are.

As I teach my fencing art and continue to wrassle, I’m ever vigilant to wonder if things are done for a good reason or if that’s just how things have always been done – and if the latter, why.

The core of the fulfilled life is the life that wonders why. And I think we all – in our own way – wonder about our purpose.

On a related note, I found the video above fascinating because you can hear how accents changed over time – how a UK accent can become an American Southern accent over time.

It’s a great commentary on how environment and time affects things to make the so different from what they once were that they’re no longer recognizable as what they once were.

On the flip side, though, I probably lie awake too long at wondering.

Lie Awake

Location: a building with someone that is starkers
Mood: irritated
Music: It’s simple and eternal, the sum of where we’re made
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There’s a food situation

Dinner at STK Downtown

Drinks at STK, Downtown
Got an invite to go to STK with my buddy Bridget and her husband so we met up with them downtown.

Me: I’ll need to prepare my stomach for all the meat it will be eating.
Bridget: I’m very excited for food!

Starters at STK, Downtown

The wife and I each had our own ideas on how to get to the restaurant after exiting the subway. We took my way, but the city gets crazy in the Meatpacking District and the streets make zero sense so we got turned around.

Me: Shoot, you were right, I should have listened to you.
Wife: You should always listen to the person wearing heels!

Bread at STK, Downtown

It actually ended up being perfect timing as we ran into Bridget and her husband right at the door to the restaurant.

Bridget: I have a gift for you too. (hands me a bottle of fine aged rum)
Me: Man, it’s like it’s my birthday!

Tuna at STK, Downtown

I told them about the last time I’d been in that part of the city. I was with Gio after he won a huge chunk of change in Atlantic City and we went to Blue Ribbon afterwards.

Me: Back when I was single, my friends knew that I never turned down an invitation. Especially one with a food situation.

Scallops at STK, Downtown

Bridget’s Husband: Do you gamble also?
Me: No, I just like there’s a food situation.

Poterhouse Steak at STK, Downtown

Ice Cream at STK

Location: my desk
Mood: stuffed
Music: Underneath the copper wires and the floorboards that creek
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First thing you do, buy yourself a whoopee cushion…

The Lighthouse and the Whaler

Bryant Park, NYC in Summertime
Met up with my boss and my buddy Johnny at The William the other night. We had some business to discuss.

Me: We’ve known each other 20 years. This may be the first time we’re working together.
Johnny: You’re the only person left I trust. I couldn’t let money come between us.
Me: That’s the thing. Money’s not my primary purpose. I’m interested in things money can’t buy.
Him: Wait two years. I gotta settle a few things.
Me: I know. It’s been 20 years. I can wait two more.


The weekend was hot so my computer kept crashing.

So I put on some tunes – like Venice by The Lighthouse and the Whaler – pulled it apart, and isolated the problem to a faulty fan.

While I was in there, attempted to swap out the CPU but that didn’t work because I didn’t have the right parts.

Still, was pretty proud that I still knew how to troubleshoot technology; I used to build networks and computer professionally before I became a lawyer.

Me: (to wife) I figure if everything goes to hell, I could always go back and be a computer guy. The only question would be how to start getting rid of my most annoying clients.
Her: First thing you do, buy yourself a whoopee cushion…

Location: Fall in NYC, I think
Mood: ambitious
Music: I have seen all the feeling and the rains
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The worst day I’ve had in a while

Google will replace a cracked Nexus 5 screen for free

Cracked Nexus 5 Screen

Was out in Brooklyn meeting a client in the summer heat two days ago. Got mixed up and ended up being 20 minutes late – and I’m rarely late. Not a good start to a rough meeting.

Grabbed a bus to avoid walking in the heat and, when it lurched, heard a crack in my back pocket. My less-than-six-months-old Google Nexus 5 just bit the dust.

Then I got home and got confirmation that I lost my biggest and oldest client; they hired an in-house counsel. All-in-all, a rough day.

But then I saw more headlines for ISIS and the poor fella that they killed.

And my friend – who works for a non-profit – told me that he just received an email.

It seems that, because of the ebola epidemic, prices for food and other staple items are skyrocketing. The people he works with in Sierra Leone  – who are a very, very proud people – were asking for a slight and temporary stipend to be able to afford food to feed their family.

How much were they asking for?

$20 extra. For the month.

Suddenly, I felt really ridiculous about my worst day.

It got even more ridiculous as I found out that, 17 hours prior to my cracking my Nexus phone, Reddit just released that Google Play would replace any cracked Nexus phone purchased through them for free.

20 minutes after I called Google, got an email that a new phone would be shipped to me free of charge in a week.

I’ve said a few times now that all emotional pain comes when your expectation of reality doesn’t match reality.

I’ve also said that I’ve got no complaints. I’ve got my people, my pad, my poison, and my person.

Couldn’t really wish for much more.

Google Red Nexus 5 replacement

While writing this, UPS came by with my replacement phone. In less than 24 hours. Amazing.

———–

The following are charities that work in Ebola-afflicted countries and all have three or four stars from Charity Navigator. Skip your morning coffee, send them a fivver, and feel good about the rest of your day.

Location: NYC, where there’s no ebola
Mood: so grateful
Music: Hold on, hold on, we’ve got the lights dear
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Still waiting for my real life to begin

More funny, more smart

Me: I think I’m the more funny one.
Her: “More funny?” Well, you’re certainly not the “more smart” one of the two of us.

It’s been one of the coolest summers I can recall – which is a blessing for a guy like me.

But at the tail end, the heat decided to return and rear its ugly head. I’ve been moving at quarter speed since Friday.

Speaking of which, it was a holiday, hence my not posting the other day. Didn’t do much except for catch up on some personal reading and some work here and there.

I have friends that are constantly doing…stuff. They’re traveling places, seeing shows, having parties – doing stuff.

In the summer, even the cool one we just had, find it hard to motivate myself to be as active.

Suppose that’s why I can’t wait for fall to come, because I think I’m my real self. My year begins in September.

Which reminds me of something I wrote years ago; I’m 41 and still waiting for my real life to begin.

I wonder if one ever feels like it actually has.

Or will I wake up and old(er) man, blink, and realize I’ve missed it all?

Angel at Columbus Circle, NYC

Location: middle of my life
Mood: hopeful
Music: On a clear day I can see, see for a long way
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The musings of an insomnia-plagued writer in the city that never sleeps.

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