Going outside kind of sucks right now. It’s total icy badness in the streets.
cartoon by the amazing Allie Brosh – hyperboleandahalf.com
This was me the other day. Right as I was falling, I started laughing and everyone around me turned to help, but then they started laughing too and boom!… Epic banana peel.
When you have crappy-ish little NYC moments like these, it’s important to reach back and remember why you love this city. I have always been obsessed with movies about people who are just arriving in NYC and trying to make their way. There are heaps of them: When Harry Met Sally, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Devil Wears Prada-ish, Coming to America and The Out of Towners, to name a few (although the woman in Out of Towners is so crazy-shrill, she makes me want to gouge both my ears out with a white hot fire poker…that’s how much I can’t stand her).
My newest favorite moving-to-NYC movie is a little known flick called: Casse-tete chinois (Chinese Puzzle) about a writer-guy in Paris whose girlfriend up and leaves him for New York (with their children). Needless to say… he sublets his amazing Rue Du Bac apartment and hightails it to the apple.
I love this movie for a wild and wide variety of reasons…
1) the guy’s a really good dad–not cliche good– but good for reals.
2) he ends up living in an uber-shitty apartment in Chinatown with no furniture, and it doesn’t bother him one bit. He knows why he’s there. (the chitlins!)
3) he is obsessed with how complicated everything seems, which only makes for more mayhem.
4) he has imaginary conversations with Schopenhauer and Hegel, and he actually understands them. This totally blows my skirt up.
5) the last thing I love… is Audrey Tautou’s character. She only sees things as simple. Even when people are wetting their pants to tell her that things are not, she shrugs them off and makes one of those little Frenchy faces that says, “Beh, oui…but what can you do?” I identify with that girl… I’ve spent decades, since the time that I was a neurotic 7 year old, thinking everything was a mess. Now, I too shrug 🙂
So, if you need a quality flick to distract yourself while you are stuck inside because you no longer trust your gross motor skills when it comes to ice, Casse-tete chinois is a charming diversion.
I also think that when you are housebound… like when we all were when dealing with Junot (the sassy pregnant teenager of storms)… what better time to cook something completely fancy and impossible?
My latest idea came from Central Park. It’s squab stuffed with foie Gras and wrapped in prosciutto. I know… I know what you’re thinking, “Wait, squab? Isn’t that pigeon?” Yes, it is and it’s delicious. Besides pigeons are so damn dumb, Darwin would agree, they pretty much deserve to be eaten.
I’ll spare you the encyclopedic recipe. Suffice it to say, there is something gratifying about standing around your kitchen doing silly chopping tasks while doing your best impersonation of Julia Child and sipping a lovely glass of red, that just makes things right with the world. You may be asking… how the heck do you find squab, foie gras and prosciutto during a storm? Hellooo, it’s New York…the fine people at Zabars will gladly deliver these items fresh to your door. Only last week, my girlfriend Alisa and I actually bought prosciutto at Duane Reade in Soho, during a blizzard at 2am–they are open 24 hours and you never know when you are about to have a pork crisis.
Last, but not least… if you have watched every “meh” movie on Netflix and it’s still too slippery to brave the great outdoors, try getting your blood boiling with this wise little tome, What Would Machiavelli Do? The Ends Justifies the Meanness.
This book should be required reading for anyone moving here… Even if you are not trying to hold your own in a toxic work or home environment, you’ll still laugh your guts out. For me, it was particularly helpful as I am waaaaaay too nice, and it never fails to screw me… with work, with boys, with my editor… I need to be more of a rascal. So, while it’s practically zero out… now is the perfect time to brush up on my ruthlessness. It’s the ideal time to practice saying things like Linda Wachner, CEO of Warnaco, would say to her VPs… “You’re eunuchs. How can your wives stand you?” or also… “You can either eat lunch or be lunch… I’ll have you on rye with a gallon of Russian dressing…”
I know I have it in me… 🙂 XOXO – gg