Monthly Archives: October 2011

Halloween snowed out?


The Big Apple has seen a trace of snow as early as October 10, but the earliest measurable snow occurred on October 15, 1876. 

Yesterday, on October 29th, measurable snow was certainly.. well… measured. As I trampled through H&M in search of bright green tights, fitting of any self-respecting Robin Hood, I miraculously found a lovely woolly jumper. Not my intended purchase, but nevertheless, with my newly acquired tights in a shocking flavour of green and my warm woolly number I exited onto Lexington Avenue surprised to be now under a barrage of white pellets of cold. Streaming down from the sky, these icy gifts were determined that they had not arrived too soon. The population tended to disagree but alas to no avail. Measurable snow kept falling and I made an unofficial record of over 12 hours of downpour. Not the optimal situation for a green tights’ outing (but let’s just say that jumper must have been fate? and not simply a shopping weakness on my part).

Halloween, yes the holiday of death, brujas (witches in Spanish-I am still working on that) and all things sinister, is shockingly huge in this country. I was quite amazed. Wandering the streets of the Big Pumpkin I was greeted by Mario (of Nintendo fame), various tellytubbies, masks of Family Guy’s Stewie and Shreks galore. Basically all manner of insanity being beaten down by the snow.

Most of the time I am unphased by the plethora of oddly attired people treading the streets of this great city, but last night was brilliant. I could play “Are they dressed up?” on the subway, which basically involves me guessing to myself whether the person is in “costume” or merely day wear (a game originally devised by me). This is a much preferable game to “Look at that rat! Ooh there’s one!”, which is a common distraction I have played many a late night waiting for my ride home.

But, you are probably wondering if my green tights got their special outing? They didn’t. They remained hidden beneath my cosy jeans and I made my way home, accompanied by a fully grown clown, a bee keeper and his bees and some cold looking couples who clearly didn’t prepare themselves for a Halloween of snowy slush.


Friendly Fires


My first concert in the city (10 months in-oops) was this week. Invited by a new resident tourist in the city, let’s call him Giles, we ventured after work to the lonely food vacuum that is Hell’s Kitchen. Our venue for the night was a large warehouse get-up namely Terminal 5, resembling not at all an airport terminal but quite fitting nonetheless for a music venue.

Having never heard the band (this is no reflection on them I am somewhat clueless) I had eagerly caught up on their hotly admired repertoire in the pre-gig 48 hours build up. Quite the fan now I was a little too excited to see them in action and moreover actually to see what they look like. I was NOT to be disappointed. After a strange warm up act that managed to bring cousins and neighbours up on stage with them to bop around, the Friendly Fires entered stage left and I was delighted.

The lead singer, Mr Fires (aka Ed Macfarlane), was immediately the focus of my evening. His mesmerising, energy fueled (simply joyful) dance moves were the main spectacle. His extraordinary motion affected me greatly. It was verging on addiction by the end and I was unable to contain my delight at all. At points it was tantamount to hysteria.

Verdict on Friendly Fires? Impressive. The enthusiasm and clear love of the music was contagious and the crowd in Terminal 5 were as frenzied as the band.

It was a late school night but a memorable triumph overall.

I love you Mr Fires!



Maybe it is because I am tired this morning and overly sensitive but I started searching for Adele tracks on Youtube (I have stopped now just in case I go and weep at work, which would be awkward). Here is my favourite.


Tom Hank’s Thumb


Sometimes the internet is just too much information. Now I should start by laying out one point from the get-go. I LOVE Tom Hanks. I have LOVED Tom Hanks for most of my life. I LOVED Tom Hanks even before I LOVED Alec Baldwin and certainly before I LOVED Jon Stewart. In fact, it has been a lifelong admiration for the “Big” man. In particular, I feel very strongly about Forrest Gump.

Forrest and his Jenny

In fact, I recall only weeks ago standing in Chatham, Cape Cod, in front of the library on Main Street (to sneak some mostly lovely internet), and, supported wholeheartedly by Daddy Ashbridge, we were debating with Mummy Ashbridge on the merits of this flick. She, it seemed has never really appreciated it’s genius. I have seen the movie so many times I can take myself back to my very own living room in the North East of England, tucked up in a duvet, probably with chocolate, tears rolling down my cheeks. Tom Hanks, this is a feeling I can call to mind and body with intense clarity and I thank you for that. I can even give myself goosebumps at the thought of you losing your Jenny.

OK, OK it is only a movie but I was moved alright!? And my love for Mr Tom Hanks grew exponentially from that day forth (and from an intially high baseline just to overemphasise the point).

So Tom Hanks, I thank you for a childhood (and young adulthood) of wonderful memories; watching films all cosy in my Kibblesworth living room with the rest of the family. Even when we sat for hours watching you talk solely to a football called Wilson, your resonating and warmly familiar voice, your comforting expressions have so many wonderful associations: Splash!, Sleepless in Seattle, even the “remake” You’ve Got Mail. I remember I saw Saving Private Ryan for the first time in a Florida Downtown Disney Resort cinema. I had just made a huge almighty fuss about being promised Tom Hanks in the biggest film of that year and then the outing had been explicably cancelled after a long day of swimming with dolphins and skipping around Animal Kingdom. Ooh I rarely perform a tantrum, but I was certainly not backing down. This is what you make of me Mr Hanks. A little monster in my teens demanding to see you. Well of course the dad backs down and we rush off to catch the trailers, another demand I was probably insisting on. When we walked in 5 minutes late, the only seats were the front row and, if you can remember the opening scene where the soldiers land in Normandy, it is a bloody mess. It is safe to say these scenes of traumatic evil war, at such close quarters, have stayed with me throughout my life. In fact, it was only months after that event that I was taken into hospital to do away with a troublesome appendix. The most vivid memories of that day related entirely to the shots of morphine I was given. My feelings were so strong for your work Mr Hanks, that as I was coming out of anesthetic, after the operation, I was reminiscing about how the soldiers must have felt in World War II as Medic Wade (Giovanni Ribisi) gave them the morphine shots. I am almost certain the nurses thought I was regressing back to a past life and may have even been channeling a wounded soldier. My mother assured them though that the movie “Saving Private Ryan” had had quite the impact on me. Who knows whether they bought that or not. They didn’t seem to think I was old enough to discuss morphine treatment in a World War setting.

So OK, I went off tangent with that one, but I hope it just reinforced my point. Tom Hanks you mean a lot to me. And I value your back catalogue of film gold.

But please, despite all of that, I really don’t need to see your mangled thumb. I just don’t. Your thumb, and it’s ongoing recovery from a recent incident, is your own personal matter and “liking” you on facebook was a decision I made to support you and your excellent career. A career that has often moved me to tears and laughter and just general film viewing happiness. But put your thumb away. Thank you.

Addendum: Even though I do not feel, at this time, it is my place to comment. I am truly delighted with the speedy recovery I and so many others have been observing over the last few weeks. Well done your thumb. It is really pulling through spectacularly well.

The Girl Effect


I posted The Girl Effect’s previous video in a blog post back in March.

This is one of their latest The Girl Effect videos. Usually I would waffle on in a blog-like manner about some inane topic, usually rooted in some form of sugary intake. But today, as I sit waiting for Friday afternoon to roll to a close, I felt inspired to blog some sense. And so this blog post needs no further introduction.

Just Pass it forward. Please.

It’s no big deal. Just the future of humanity

I found Kidan on Carrie Hensley’s blog. Read more on her site Free To Be Me.

Read Larkin Callaghan’s post on The Girl Effect here to get more information on where The Girl Effect sprung from and how awareness is so important.

And if you are not sufficiently moved by now (tough crowd) then check out The Nike Foundation’s “I dare you” video.

Now I dare you to sit back.

Go on. Pass it forward. You know you want to.

The Beauty Bar


“The Original Beauty Bar Served it’s First cocktail in the spring of 1995 at the former “Thomas Beauty Salon”. Paul Devitt found the forty year old salon, and converted it into a one if a kind beauty “saloon”.

The ever-eclectic crowd now gathers under the same chrome-domed hair dryers where blue-haired ladies were groomed and gossiped for decades.”

The Beauty Bar

$10 or a cocktail AND a manicure. Only in New York City! Oh no wait. They also have spots in L.A., Chicago, Las Vegas, San Francisco……….