The Blonde Gets It… In The End

As it goes with most things noir… The blonde always gets it in the end.

Here’s Will Bunch’s column from last month about Reality Winner, questioning why she’s getting the longest sentence for a leaker in history — after releasing some of the truth about Russian hacking that the current scuzzy administration didn’t want you to see.

I am still dealing with the bits and pieces of the CA wildfires, but let’s just hope these disgusting dye jobs get it in the ultimate end…


Stay rad and hold on tight, Lovelies! xoxo – gg




So, my dreams of warbling Christmas carols like a torch singer in the streets have been dashed. There’s a monsoon today.  And one predicted for tomorrow as well.

Also, several readers have pointed out that there are in fact many other fine neighborhoods in New York City and that my staunch defense of the upper west side might be overstating things a bit.

Sorry everyone… 😦  I can only say I was feeling feisty.

New York Torch Song…

For those of you who know me, it should come as no surprise that I have always longed to be a torch singer. One of those warbling women in fabulous evening wear. Women with melodramatic names like… The Lonely Sparrow or The Siren of Song. I really think I could do it. Especially during the holidays. I could make a great debut.

Now, NYC loves to sing. I realized this the other day when I walked out my door on the upper west side (a neighborhood some might characterize as dead, but who would quickly realize he is wrong were he to attend the opening ceremonies of Fall Fashion Week with its cavalcade of skinny people traipsing through Central Park all clad in Chanel, or were he present for the JVC Jazz Festival, or even the weird Indian Prime Minister’s 30,000-person “be-in” last month. It’s far from dead up here Frenchy. And you know you love it. I see through you like pantyhose).

But I digress…

New Yorkers love to sing. I know this because while standing there the other day feeling as though the opening of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue were my sworn anthem, something happens:

Out of nowhere, a bike messenger whizzes by. He is crooning “Night and Day.” Yes, Sinatra is probably best known for singing it, but I feel like Ella’s version has more momentum…

You’ve got to get past the “tom-tom” section… but then, all the minor chords kick in and it’s like sinking into a warm bath–water layering leg over leg. Lullaby of Birdland is even better for this feeling:

At the singing cyclist I chuckle smugly on my doorstep… it’s so cultured here… even the bike messengers have perfect pitch… ha, take that everywhere else… Flat much?

I head for the park to suffer through yet another daily run that Marvin has prescribed as part of my physical renaissance, it happens again. Singing.

Now, runners, as a universal truth, are a self-loathing lot. Have you seen their faces? They’re always squunched in agony, disgust and an unavoidable “oh shiiiiiit!”

It’s true. Look:


Botox doctors should partner with Nike and co-market the doody out of this.

So, I’m plodding along (not in Chanel) feeling mundane, when an awkward squadron of 15 year old girls comes running along, all in formation and singing:

I swear it’s the antidote to running. These girls were so unmiserable.

Cut to later in the day… after I’d had a shower… I’m in the print shop on the corner. (I don’t own a printer anymore. As far as I’m concerned, printers are from hell. Let some other patient yahoo sweat over things like toner. Bleck. As far as I’m concerned, toner is for hair (to reduce brassiness) but back to the topic of New York singing…

Lately, it seems all I do is deal with contracts and proposals, all of which require paper and real signatures. One lawyer I know said he’d had an email from the state courts saying that they no longer accept emails because it was too much work and to just fax things… Fax things? What is this, 1987?

And so, I’m in the print shop, and I’m trying to fill out these dumb Fedex forms, but the owner, who sits in the corner like a mob boss, is singing.And singing. It’s not strident. It’s Fleetwood Mac. He’s singing lyrics like, “you can go your own way… because a landslide brought me down…” The problem is that I’m am writing what he’s singing. I ask for another Fedex label. I want to tell the owner to shut it, but I can’t… I need these guys. it’s Saturday, and I need 10am Monday delivery. I hold back. NYC loves to sing.

It’s the holiday season…a time where even the most media-phobic can’t escape the vocal stylings of Michael Buble. He is everywhere, a constant caroler. My youngest daughter says that most carolers should be arrested for disturbing the peace, but I don’t agree. Who’s to say that caroling or unmediated voices in the street (Christmas, jazz or otherwise) can’t be a powerfully disruptive force much like the printing press or the interweb? Ok. It may be a stretch, but in my decrepitude, I still believe that the right song can shift a moment from dangerously awkward to comically curious, from inauthentic to real admission. Admission that a certain might have been just one of those things:

So, I’m going to sing with the bike messengers and the print shop guys on Christmas eve. What kind of crazy, noisy city, a supposedly tough, unforgiving city, let’s people sing like this? One that let’s them live out their torch singer dreams? Only one that would whisper… and-a-one, and-a-two and a…

Only Manhattan.


My New Roommate

I have a new roommate. Or at least I did.

Now, I know I’m self-selecting here about NYC and vermin, but I got up to go to the loo this morning and there was a roach the size of a dinosaur right there next to the potty. I should have been ok with it, I went to grad school here, but I screamed like a teenage girl in a horror film and ran to hide in my bedroom. This is why people in NYC have dogs I whisper-yelled to myself. Dogs are required. They don’t have to be big dogs, just bigger than a rat or a roach–which is this case would be a labrador.

Just for the record, I try very hard not to live in squalor, but I’d been away for 10 days, and with it being winter here, it sort of makes sense that nefarious creatures of this kind might consider my empty apartment their very own AirB&B, but I was not prepared. No way. This guy was big.

Frantic, I scanned around the house for a heavy or hurl-able object to kill the uninvited guest. Shoes, no. I like them all too much. Books, not an option. I like them too much as well. Then, I remembered seeing a stack of telephone books on the front steps of my building. I am seriously convinced that this is why god invented telephone books–to kill bugs without having to get too close. I grabbed the first cashmere sweater I could find. Forget pants, I needed a phone book with 8 million numbers.

Standing in the bathroom doorway with the telephonic equivalent of the OED, I realized the little asshole had crawled into a tiny space between the sink and the commode–one that was too small for a Manhattan telephone tome. What to do?? I’d heard somewhere that you shouldn’t kill roaches like this anyway as it releases a kajillion eggs directly to in your house. Oof. Then, it came to me… (because I was super tired from flying everywhere)

Chemicals. I love chemicals on all fronts. Especially, when it came to that cleanse Marvin put me on last August. Bloof. Chemicals are awesome.

So I formulated my plan. I would go to the 24-hour market on the corner, the one with the bi-polar Puerto Rican lady where the prices change all the time. They must have something along those lines. I can’t be the only one in the hood to deal with this. But first… If I was going to wage chemical warfare on a giant douche bag cockroach, I needed coffee.

Now, NYC is supposed to be the city that never sleeps, but our Starbucks doesn’t open until 5:30 AM. It was 5:29… I bundled up and since I couldn’t get into my bathroom, I rifled through my purse for some Listerine pocket packs. Morning breath is like Chernobyl and I had to make sure the baristas would let me in. As I sat in Starbucks gulping my Venti blonde, a Christmas song came on… “It’s a Marshmallow World” by Darlene Love. (  It is NOT Darlene. It is so not a “whip cream day”.

Coffee finished, I made my way across the street to the 24 hour bi-polar market. I bought everything they had.


When the woman at the register paused at my selections, I quickly explained that I did not live in squalor, but had merely been away for 10 days and that a roach had moved in. What? It’s happens, no?

Once home, I dug through my closet for a bandanna to use as a makeshift gas mask. No luck. I ended up wearing an old green Hermes scarf I never liked.

Bomb can in hand, I staged a full frontal assault. I sprayed and sprayed and sprayed, but the mothertrucker would NOT die. He was like a zombie apocalypse cockroach. A half a can later, my bathroom was a nuclear wasteland, but he was dead. I leaned against the kitchen counter, pulled down the hermes and calmed myself. Then, it suddenly occurred to me: what to do about the corpse removal? Somehow this seemed even worse. I couldn’t bear the thought of a paper towel. Roaches have squishy juice it them. I don’t yet own a broom to sweep him out the door. (I’ve been slow to nest) Then, it came to me: I would use the vacuum. I love my vacuum. I checked the body size relative to the hose… In less than a second, he was gone.

Now, even though it’s over, I’m still traumatized. It’s vermin PTSD. When I dropped my reading glasses just a half hour ago, they skittered across the floor and I yelped like a fucking Chihuahua. (Again, need dog). It’s bad. I think I’m going to have to sleep with the lights on tonight. What’s also very clear to me is that I’m going to need a new roommate. He doesn’t have to be an NFL linebacker or tight end, he just needs to be really super brave when it comes to pests. I’m posting an ad on Craigslist.


PS – for those of you who know Sophie–please do not relay this tale your kids (who are her friends). I don’t want her to be afraid to come home for Christmas.

Wanted: New York Yoda

Ok, this is a question fraught with peril: What do you do when the wisest person you know is you?

Now, I want to qualify this with several exclusions:

-You can’t be related to me.

-You have to have a deep-to-moderate level knowledge of Manhattan real estate. (I know everyone says that Manhattan real estate is like check-in at an Italian airport, so I need someone who can navigate that kind of scenario)

-You need to be someone to whom I might willingly admit my deepest failings (again, who is not related to me)

-You need to be someone who is highly skilled in the dark arts of dissembling, should that be a requirement–as I will need a tutorial.

-You must be intuitive and able to make the right decisions in the moment, on the the fly, with really solid plan “B”s.

-You cannot be my beloved dry cleaner who, while being the wisest person I know within a 5 mile radius, was arrested (along with his Pops) on a felony charge for protecting his mother. (He was in his 20’s so it kind of doesn’t count here)

Job starts immediately. This not a hired gun position. Barking spider voice of Yoda not required, but a plus. All applicants, please apply with subject heading: Yoda Gig.

I’m serial (as our beloved nanny Teodora would say… when she actually means “serious”)


ps – I said I was gonna love NYC anyway, right?

There’s Something About Teddy – Part 2

For those of you who missed my last post, There’s Something About Teddy – Part 1, let me quickly bombard you with an episode recap:

Last time on Gotham Girl, our heroine found herself trapped in a 1990’s rom-com, without furniture, and at a crossroads in her New York life where Michael Buble was her bitch:

We begin this week’s episode with a second rom-com montage that will serve as a future mushy wedding song:

Warning: You will not be able to listen to the entire song without throwing up in your mouth.

Enter Teddy (AKA Black Santa) my unexpected “fat friend” from Serenity Movers who would soon change everything…

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Now maybe I am making too much out of things, but this aging rom-com hack has done her share of divorce digs and she’s made a solemn vow (or series of vows):

1) to never buy IKEA ever again. Just going to Ikea results in self-loathing, depression and fights with loved ones. I am done with that bitches!

2) to never assemble a single piece of piece of cheap furniture for the remainder of my life (Allen wrenches and particle board be gone!)

3) to have an actual floor plan so that I never spend another sweaty Saturday shoving furniture around my living room, scratching the renter’s deposit out of my hardwood floors. (I need that money!)

So, in walks a smiling Teddy with a clipboard…

“Hey, hey, hey, baby… This is how we gonna do it today…” Then, he pauses, looks around as if in a trance and I think, “Oooh, is this the serenity part?”

Because at this point, I need some. In the past 24 hours, I’ve logged at least 100 blocks looking for “the right” shower curtain (so long muffin top! Power walk this mother trucker!) And all I want is some sign of the familiar. A dust bunny from my old apartment would do. Some small bit of structure would have me swooning.

All at once, the revelation hits Teddy. “Wait… I know this  place… I moved a couple out of this place 2 years ago!”

“Shut up!” I guffaw, pushing Black Santa and his clipboard. (Involuntary Elaine-from-Seinfeld moment) Out of 8 million people in this beautiful city, he had to walk into this joint.

And I then I have my own revelation… Teddy probably knows where everything goes! Just like that, I snatch the clipboard away from him, “Ho, ho, ho Black Santa! We are making a floor plan!”

Teddy’s eyes catch fire. He takes the number 2 pencil out from behind his ear and we set to work… “Sophie’s desk goes here,” he sketches, “The bed goes against this wall, an L-shaped couch should go in that corner there, the flat screen TV on that side, and oh by the way, the back room should be used for meditation. What else??? The fridge is in the wrong place in the kitchen…we should move it now as you look kind’a skinny, girl…”

As the floor plan completes itself, I realize that Teddy is completely right..about all of it! Black Santa is my decorator. He’s just practically Feng Shui’ed my apartment. Next, we’re moving on to color palates… He tells me he has paint and fabric swatches in the van. Serenity Now!

I love New York. Take that Universe… ho, ho, ha!





There’s Something About Teddy – Part 1

I’ve been on love leave.

Somehow my life has turned into a 1990’s rom-com (or is it romcom?) In any case, we’re right at the part where the heroine still has no furniture, and is feeling like she needs to make a major change in her life, hang up the gloves, or some other metaphor that involves brooding. That’s where Teddy comes in.

Our stuff arrived the other day. Now, there is a colossal mountain of boxes in the living room. I feel like a sherpa.

Tenzing Norgay – Professional Sherpa

Doesn’t Tenzing have amazing teeth? And all without the benefit of Crest White Strips (or toothbrushes).

Most moves are beyond awful… your broken dirty stuff is held hostage in the street until you hand over $2k in small bills. The whole thing goes down like a drug deal. Part of you feels like a bad ass for having such a substantial wad of twenties in your pocket. The other part is just desperate to see your shoes again (and give them a big hug).

So, I’m waiting on my stoop, ready to hand over the ransom when the movers pull up. And this is what I expect to see:


Instead, in big block letters, the truck reads “SERENITY MOVERS” My mind reels… I think to myself  “Ok, this is either going to be a) very ironic… b) or just plain awesome.”

“Please,” I pray to the universe, “Can I have b? b would be so nice after the St. Tropez debacle…”

“No,” says the universe, “You can have a. Irony’s your life lesson and don’t you forget it young-ish lady.”

“But, b is so…”

“Don’t interrupt. a is what you’re getting. Game over, case closed, zip up your fly.”

I glower. This whole cosmic tough love thing is getting me down. Then something so unexpected happens. A gigantic black man who looks undeniably like Santa–except black–climbs out of the truck. A dead ringer.

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This just might be awesome. Ho, ho, ho.  Stupid universe…

More to come,
xoxo – gg

The Wrath of Yom…

Oof… the stuff I’ve had to do this week would give Machiavelli a boner.

I’m not sure of this whole philosophy, “The ends justifies the meanness.” Some in NYC might just call it “winning”, but there seem to be fewer and fewer of these types out there–except on Wall Street. They remain big gulp douches. It’s their sworn oath. In Gordon Gekko they trust.


Well, today is their last chance. Today is the last day of “I’m sorry” week. Technically, Yom Kippur is over tonight. Everyone has bagels and heaves a big sigh of relief between ravenous bites of doughy, loxy goodness.

The last of the apologies get pretty bi-polar. I was running in the park just now. I live right where those twin towers are (some would argue in squalor, but I like it)


And so, I’m running along and I hear someone shouting, really angry, “This is bullshit!” and I look over my shoulder and there’s this guy… He’s in his mid-forties, kind of barrel chested and he’s running behind a group of panting 15 year old boys. They are shirtless and measly. And so the guy, who I assume is their coach, keeps screaming, “Come on you little ass wipes!! Hurry the fuck up!!” And right as he’s saying this, we’re passing a playground full of moms, nannies and tots.

The nannies don’t even flinch. Old hat to them. The mothers gasp and rush to cover their tots’ virgin ears. The tots are like, “whoa, hey… I have ears?” All at once, the coach slows, turns to the mostly gaping crowd of women, and says in a lower, much more responsible voice, “I’m so sorry. I am so sorry. Really, I am sorry…” and then continues on his way after the boys, screaming , “Come on you people!! Hurry up you little… f_er’s…”

The wrath on Yom rears its final head. Somebody give that man a bagel.

xoxo -gg

Rosh Hashanah: NYC’s Official “I’m Sorry” Week

This week was Rosh Hashanah; New York’s official “I’m super sorry” holiday. Everywhere you go, people are apologizing (or arguing about apologizing). My dry cleaner apologized to me. I don’t even know what for. A sweater? And you’ll hear men in yarmulkes kvetching, “I take that apology as a personal insult… a personal insult, I tell you!” The women’s apologies are more like an extra-aggravated form of grousing. Then, there are those who walk around with a look of perpetual shame. That would be me.

I have lost my mind. I’m not sure where I put it.

It’s probably somewhere in the smelly pile of laundry I call my life. I am not the most organized person. The other day I lost a cheese in my house. It was a stinky one from Zabar’s, so I suspect it won’t stay lost for long.

I was distracted when I lost my mind (and the cheese) because I was being sued. I was being sued, not by 1 group–but by 4–all at once. First time ever. I’ll spare you the gory details, but suffice it to say I was haunted by visions of being locked up in some Dickensian debtor’s prison, eating nondescript gruel out of a miniature wooden salad bowl. I had a moment there.

My accountant says debtors’ prisons don’t exist anymore, but that is of little comfort when the opposing counsel all say things like, “We’re coming after you personally Ms. Jones!”

And then I smile and say things like, “Knock yourselves out assholes… I don’t have assets… I don’t believe in cars, and all I own is a bunch of books and some mediocre art. Want to take my last dogeared copy of Hemingway?? Help yourself, poo poos. You want the house in Vermont? It’s a fantastic money pit– held in my 14 year old’s name, but go ahead.”

This gets their goat. And I mask my fear with prayers like, “Please dear God, let me have the tennis prison… I have great top spin and my serve is really coming along.”

But now, I only have one person suing me. It’s awesome.

No one sets out to be a Dickensian destitute. No one.

The other night I’m talking to this homeless guy downtown. His name is James Monroe (yes, our 5th president) and he is 67 years old. (I love old people. Their faces are so amazing) And so I’m asking him where he’s going when the arctic winter sets in? I’m expecting a whole shelter lament, followed by a litany of complaints about crowded, stinky, tubercular conditions, but instead James Monroe has a plan…

He and his friends are pooling all of their money to buy an old U-haul trailer.

I’m impressed.

“But wait… aren’t those U-haul things kind of spendy?” I ask. “Wouldn’t it be better to just put the money down on a section 8 apartment?”

He leans toward me. He is like a black Mr. Miyagi …  full of wisdom and subtle decrepitude.


“Nah, U-haul’s betteh. Portable. No credit check.”

And I’m about to laugh, when out of nowhere, a slice of pizza whizzes past my head. Black Mr. Myagi perks up. He is thrilled that someone is throwing pizza his way, but when I turn around to this seemingly charitable pizza hurler, she is the most disdainful, begrudging woman I have ever seen.

And I think, who on earth would be mean to or dismissive of black Mr. Myagi? Doesn’t the very fact that he is homeless suggest that a number of people have already been mean to him? He’s sweet and flawed, and America does not take care of its seniors, which is terrible beyond measure. We should be apologizing. And why shove pizza in his general direction if it clearly irritates you??? Why be so disingenuous when you have a chance to be generous? What is that?

As I mentioned before, I lost my mind this week. In its place was the head-spinning demonic kid from The Exorcist.  It was a bad, bad night after the pizza moment, and I have a lot of sorrying to do between now and Yom Kippur (the other holiday where you fast and think about all the ways you’re guilty and feel like doody) but I’m down with it. No soap box. I am so down with sorry.

xoxo – gg