A Raccoon Grows in Brooklyn :(


Emerging from a hipster bar in Brooklyn the other night, I encountered a rodent. But not a rat, squirrel, mouse or other unwelcome, yet expected creature.

At first, I thought, that humpedback cat is huge! Then my double-take identified a masked face and hand-like forepaws. The realization stung: it was a RACCOON. A huge, casually walking-in-my-neighborhood raccoon.

And I just paid $9 for a craft beer.

My true instinct to scream is finally – after many years – disappearing. I’ve been beaten down by New York City nonchalance. Like the time I was in the locker room at a New York Sports Club and a mouse streaked across the room. I screamed, but the other ladies didn’t rush to put their clothes or even stop talking.

Or the time I was at the movies at Lincoln Center and someone announced that a rat was in the auditorium. There was no screaming or a mass exodus. Instead, the moviegoers simply lifted their legs and kept munching popcorn. (I guess they’d been doing core-strengthening exercises.)

Yet, still after 15 years, I’m still not cool about the rodent situation.

So back to that night… I grabbed my phone to take a photos of the masked bandit. He was walking pretty slow, but I fumbled and soon he was between cars and I was too afraid to follow his hump-backed, masked ass.

So missed my opportunity. I wanted to immediately post on social media about my sighting and warn my neighbors. Before doing so, I ran a quick Google search to see if raccoons were a common sighting in Brooklyn. To my surprise, they are!

The search revealed stories and photos of Brooklynites and their pesky visiting raccoons. One of the more chilling stories was of a Brooklyn family who was watching TV and heard the cat in the kitchen eating. Only then, they realized that the cat was sitting on the couch with them. A raccoon had figured out the cat door and helped himself.

There were other stories and photos I’d prefer forgetting. Like this one. And This one. Although the video commentary about this drunk raccoon spotted at a Brooklyn workplace (“YO, this son is liiitttt”) is definitely more entertaining than my last Netflix binge.

So now, in addition to the bears, giant rats, abundant, constantly proliferating and apartment-dwelling mice, alligators in the sewers and coyotes on the loose, raccoons are added to the list of things we just have to deal with.

What’s next, armadillos?

Your Balls Don’t Get Their Own Seat

ImageTaking public transportation is usually pretty great. You have time to read, no car traffic to fight. What’s more, it’s an efficient and cost-effective way to get around.

There’s just something about summer that stirs up my irritation at the things we straphangers have to put up with.

Men who take up two seats

Dude, your Metrocard doesn’t entitle you to a second seat to air out your balls. You don’t get to sit all wide-legged and then get mad when I ask to sit down.

Candy-selling kids

When does school start again? I’m so over these kids going through cars selling candy. Were they set loose by some opportunist dentist? Or maybe it was Dr. Z.

Short and funky

If you don’t wear deodorant, please don’t hold the handrail at the top. Instead, use the pole and avoid lifting your arm and fumigating the room. Short people who come to breast level and act like they want to lay their head right on your breasts also need to move out of the way.

Yes, you deserve a seat, but…

Disabled people who have a choice of available seats but pout or get angry because they prefer a certain seat.

Sick passengers

The “sick passengers” who cause constant delays on the L and F train. For years, I was convinced it was just models, artists or novelists who needed a sandwich. But the other day, the sick passenger was on the car I was in. Witnessing that she was an elderly woman, I felt bad about trivializing. But there has to be a better way to get sick people aide without, in this case, causing an L train stoppage for nearly an hour!



For some balance, here’a a list of things I love about the subway. 

  • Men — gentlemen — who stand or yield when a seat becomes free.
  • People on the “L” train on the way out or coming back from an evening. It’s like theater.
  • The Eastern Parkway-bound train on Labor Day. The party starts there!
  • Any train on a warmish Halloween. I’ll take shirtless hot guys any time.
  • Little kids going on field trips. They are just so freaking cute.
  • Morning commuters — they are generally silent, spend their time reading, and it’s fun to guess the kind of job people have by what they’re wearing.
  • Riding the train after a concert or ball game. Everybody on the train has just come from the same event and the energy is INSANE.
  • Air conditioned cars — you gotta admit the freezing train feels pretty good after being outside or standing on that hot platform.
  • Great ad campaigns. The ones that have us talking. Haven’t seen any of those in a while.
  • This tribute on the way home after MJ passed.
  • Being on for 30 minutes with chatter all around you and none of it is in English.

I Have a Gym Membership and Stilettos. I’m Not the Long Walk Kinda Girl

I realize that men who want to date us tell us the things they think we want to hear. Unfortunately though, we’re all very different and what sounds great to one woman will sound like torture to another.


One example is the long walk. Glance over a few online dating profiles and at least 90% of the straight men will mention that they enjoy long walks.* Meet a new prospect while out and about and when asked what they like to do, at least 50% of men will say they enjoy long walks.* Who the hell wants to go on these walks and what kind of shoes is she wearing? What is the weather like? How does her hair hold up? You bitches need to stop telling men this is what we enjoy. You know it only takes one of us to say this and men hold on to it for life.

And men, I know you can show up in jeans and fresh sneaks, but check out what a woman has on before suggesting a stroll. Just so you know, there is no graceful way to hike through the cobblestone-lined Meatpacking District in heels (and do you really want us to walk past the Louboutin store?). I know the long walk is a cheap date, but unless we’re at a minimum, strolling over the Brooklyn Bridge, it’s also a boring one.


Another one is that so many man I’ve met over the past few years thinks that telling me they can cook will impress me. The, “I’ll cook for you” guy. Sounds romantic to some women, but the idea is not at all appealing to me. To me, I envision a guy in an apron covered with BBQ sauce and me in a life stuck in the house. As a part of this life, I imagine that I’ll wear Capri pants, won’t be able to name a new restaurant to save my life, will no longer have maid service and will say things like, “My God, movies cost $13 now?!”

I think this so-called holy grail (a man who can cook)  comes from some women being overly congratulatory to men who can cook. Why is this a big deal? If he’s over 30 and lives alone, isn’t it just a basic life skill? What exactly are we fawning over? Men should be insulted by this assumption that their competence in the kitchen is unusual. In fact, aren’t most famous chefs men?

Recently I met a guy who doesn’t cook. He said he lives in the city with plenty of restaurants and plans to take advantage of all of them. I’m totally smitten.

Random bar talk…

Have you met the I-hate-New-York set? These men begin a conversation by saying how they hate New York. You are from New York. You live in New York. We’re standing in a bar in New York City. Where can this conversation possibly go?

Not only does it makes you look super negative, but it makes you sound like you’re in the market for a minivan — which is never an appealing thought. In fact, I don’t understand how marriages survive once a minivan is introduced. While we’re on it, really any kind of complaining is the wrong way to start a conversation. The DJ being whack…it being hot… the food portions not being large enough…there not being any interesting people there that night (even though I’m there)… none of those are the right way to get a conversation started. Maybe you should take a long walk.

*Statistics based on a focus group of one.

Incredibly Clear Signs That He Is NOT the One

Me: [Showing him something on my iPad.]
Him: Did you really read all those books?


Me: You’re much younger than me.

Him: I’m comfortable with it as long as you are.
Me: We’ll see.
Him (later): So, do you live with your parents?


Him: What do you do?
Me: I have a corporate job and work in midtown.
Him: Oh, so you’re an administrative assistant?


Him: Do you live alone?
Me: No, I live with a dog.
Him: Is she well-behaved?
Me: No.


Him: Check, please.
Me: [Fork in air and still chewing entree.]


Him: I’m moving to Long Island next month
Me: Voluntarily?
Him: Yes, I’ll get more value for my money.
Me: Maybe, but you’ll be boring.
Him: [Blank stare]


Him: Which cell phone provider do you have?
Me (Pause trying to remember whether I gave him the real burner or the dating one): Verizon, why?
Him (excited): That’s great! We can talk for free.
Me: It’s 2012. You’re still counting minutes?
Him: See, here’s how it works. If I want to call you at like 3 pm, if we didn’t both have Verizon, I’d have to pay for it.


Him: All of a sudden, none of my credit cards are working for some reason. Could you pay for the drinks?
Me: [Hailing a cab]


Me: Where do you live?
Him: Upper Westside
Me (later): Which stop do you get on the subway?
Him: 135th Street

Feelin’ Some Kinda Way

Angry babyThe other day on my way to work, I dropped by McDonald’s for a cappuccino.  This particular McDonald’s is one of those locations that’s usually filled with confused tourists who have no clue of what they want to order and don’t realize that each register is  a separate line. I did my usual — cutting right through the confusion. I arrived in the front just in time to witness two women having a shoving match. The victor was established when she shoved her foe so hard that she knocked the cane out of her hand.

Turns out, the woman with the cane was trying to cut in line (just like I had just done), but she did it to someone who blew up and restaked claim on her place in line. Mad lady had gotten so worked up that her hairpiece was crooked, her lips were poked out beyond goldfish and her coat had popped open. Although technically she was the one who was wronged, her reaction was so extreme that she was the one who looked crazy. As I watched the woman stalk out — still a disheveled mess and still looking evil, I wondered if she thought the scuffle was worth it. Would she later regret that much anger over something so minor?

Although I’d like to think that I wouldn’t come to blows over someone cutting in line, I can somewhat relate to quickstart anger. Are there any really minor things that make you mad?  I’m talking face flushing, scalp tingling mad. But over things that aren’t actually a big deal.

Here’s my list of minor things that will without a doubt, send me off the charts:

  1. When I’m standing by the elevator and someone comes up and pushes the button, implying that I’ve just been standing there all that time just waiting for you to rescue me.
  2. When someone tells me “It’s up to you,” in situations that are clearly up to me.  I guess they feel the need to grant me permission?
  3. When I have to spell my name. Tina is just not that hard.
  4. When people criticize someone else’s taste in music, calling it trash or noise.
  5. When cab drivers don’t know where to go. Where’s Penn station? You gotta be kidding me.
  6. When people ask me how much something costs. First, its rude. Second, there are so many ways to look it up, folks.
  7. When people say I’m from Texas. I’m not FROM there, I just lived there.
  8. When people use tears as a manipulation tactic.
  9. When people use out-of-date slang. No one’s busting moves anymore. No one’s the bomb and don’t say “you go gurl,” cuz that’s gone.

Glad I couldn’t come up with 10 — I almost got worried about myself!