got a pocket full of dreams
ot3! - white collar
monanotlisa
Three new things I learned about New York today (that I'm sure every New Yorker knows):

1. Manhatan* Manhattan is eminently bikeable.

I do not recall the city being this bicycle-friendly, but the last times I was here in the company of friends and family: A larger number of people pedaling in the city are more of an effort. Today, I found a recommended bike repair & rental store on Amsterdam Ave, off the beaten track for tourists:

While not cheap, thirty-five dollars did give me a bike, a basket that comfortably fit my handbag, and two locks from 10am to 6pm, a full day. I biked from the Upper West Side to Central Park, looping down the West Drive there, and from the corner of Columbus Circle I checked out 7th Avenue. Rode over to Chelsea, to the West Village and the I made it back via 8th Avenue to basically Columbia University from Greenwich Village in 45 min, and that is already counting the long Eastern loop around the Jackie Kennedy Reservoir -- by the Met and the Guggenheim.

In any case, for those of you not into running red lights, glaring at tourists, and generally being a little too swift, there are bike lanes everywhere, most people observe them, and car drivers are amazingly non-aggressive (this is NOT true for many cabbies; keep an eye on them). Yes, even the tourists. I'm just being my usual international grumpiness society self.

2. The food & drink varies widely, as it does in presumably ever other place in the world. I'M JUST SAYING THIS BECAUSE READING THE NYT HAD MADE ME THINK DIFFERENTLY.

Before getting the bike, I had already ambled to a gluten-free bakery that is genuinely spectacular in the scones department -- if you're ever in Manhattan Valley, you *must* check it out: Tatz Gourmet Sweets. You know I'm an amateur baker; you know I cry every night over the taste and texture of certain baked goods since May 2013 when I stopped eating wheat, rye, and barley (or, for WTNV fans: wheat and wheat by-products). But these babies were not "good-for-a-gf-pastry", they were better than most scones out there.

Lunch was spent at an Asian fusion restaurant. Verdict: Lili's 57 is decent quality, absolutely -- some of the freshest tuna-avocado rolls I've had in recent history -- but overpriced. I've had better papaya salad too...but it may be unfair comparing NYC to Sydney for South-East Asian dishes. I'm not being a snob FINE I TOTALLY AM but 'tis a long way.

Coffee was had in the Chelsea Market (Ninth Street Espresso), and it actually made me choke. I'm not a coffee drinker for a reason, and that reason is the sour taste of a lot of roasted coffee beans. Sure, my stomach isn't overly fond of coffee, but it's mostly my tongue that takes offense at acidity. Yelp tells me loads of people consider this place the non-plus-ultra of coffee bars, but like every other Eurosnob, I have a vivid taste memory of Italy, of its hole-in-the-wall espresso bars (caffè! doppio!). So, another no.

Then again, I genuinely enjoyed, down in the Village, the Black Cow milkshake they made for me at Hamilton's Luncheonette. The place has super-mixed reviews, but I thought, OLD-FASHIONED SODA PLACE HOW CAN THIS BE WRONG? And it wasn't: vanilla ice-cream and milk and root beer syrups, mmh (I consume root beer roughly twice a year, but then I love it, a lot).

So far, there's also some wine and appetizers at Bistro Ten 18, and I've already voiced my opinion elsewhere. I know, I know. What a time to be alive, and to have been so lucky in life I can afford this and so much more (I'm not being sarcastic; I wake up every morning thinking that surely, this streak must end soon, and I will be tossed back into misery).

But so far it's good.

3. Summer In The City is maligned.

Most summers in NYC are hot and humid, I understand...but this is extremely lovely, so far: dry and warm, perfect weather for bike-riding, strolling, and sitting until late in neighborhood cafes and bars *cough*. Also, while I expected Labor Weekend to be the, err, fourth circle of hell, I was pleasantly surprised: Lots of New Yorkers have clearly fled the place, and as a result the traffic isn't intense, and nor are the people. Many of whom are tourists, of course. Those can be more easily intimidated, I guess (see above no. 1). All in all this was a fabulous day.

* I miss FRINGE, you guys -- show and fandom!

This entry was originally posted at Dreamwidth and has comment count unavailable comments. Feel free to comment there using OpenID.

Rain. Sun. Wind. Warmth. What??
justin! - ub
monanotlisa
It's raining in New York City. But it's also warm. I. Um. I may have forgotten how that works, after 2+ years in California.

Guess I should have gotten hipster rainboots after all? Am honestly at a bit of a loss as for what to pack for a not so much wild but definitely wet NYC Labor Day Weekend...

This entry was originally posted at Dreamwidth and has comment count unavailable comments. Feel free to comment there using OpenID.

That Writing Meme
notebook
monanotlisa
Writing...right. It's that thing I used to do and miss a lot.

So!

1. Describe your comfort zone—a typical you-fic.

2. Is there a trope you’ve yet to try your hand at, but really want to?

3. Is there a trope you wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole?

4. How many fic ideas are you nurturing right now? Care to share one of them?

5. Share one of your strengths.The rest of the numbers - full meme textCollapse )

Give me up to three numbers, and I'll answer!

This entry was originally posted at Dreamwidth and has comment count unavailable comments. Feel free to comment there using OpenID.

New York, New York
respect the hat - white collar
monanotlisa
Postponing other purchases for now, seeing as there is, finally, travel on the horizon: In December, I will be heading down to Australia again, overnight in Hawaii, to see my sister and her family for the holidays.

But, more relevant to more of you, I shall be in New York City over Labor Day Weekend! Comment with your contact data (screened & safe with me, of course :).

This entry was originally posted at Dreamwidth and has comment count unavailable comments. Feel free to comment there using OpenID.

Girl!John always makes me sigh in happiness.
girl!john - sga
monanotlisa
Let's try a Fannish FiveThree list, shall we? Works I have enjoyed recently, in reverse order:

1. Marvel's Hawkeye (2012) - comic

These comics are the story of Clint Barton, Human Disaster, and Kate Bishop of Young Avengers fame. She's Hawkeye; he's Hawkeye. They're both Hawkeye. It's actually not very confusing, because as Kate tells Clint at one point, Spoilers!Collapse ) While, bless the creators, not wearing skin-tight clothing or flirting her way through the world. Kate is portrayed as highly attractive, because the world would tilt off its axis if superheroes were suddenly not superhot too, but she's never over-sexualized.

2. Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy - movie

I was glad I saw this in a theater, and on an IMAX screen to boot. I was also glad I paid not a cent for it, though (one of my colleagues took me for free). After all the exceptional Marvel Cinematic Universe films lately, this one was...not terrible, but a total throwback when it came to gender and race, even characterization. GotGCollapse ) That said, the rest of the plot was deftly executed and the whole movie well-paced, with a fantastic soundtrack that I immediately started listening to off 8tracks.

3. Belle (2014) - movie

This film was a bit of an eye-opening experience for me, because a seemingly relevant subset of Pre-Victorian and Victorian works bores me. (Yes, I know I am the only person on the planet to feel that way.) But thanks to the centered script and Gugu Mbatha-Raw's performance, Belle held my interest from start to finish. It's not a preachy or outrageous film by any stretch of the imagination -- in fact, the thing both [personal profile] thelastgoodname and I remarked upon was that it is actually rather conventional in its storytelling. But it built its characters and their relationships so carefully, so conscientiously that it remained compelling -- sweet but not too sweet, containing realistic moments of horror and darkness but staying away from ~the gritty~. Highly recommendable. Read [personal profile] selenak's much better review of it here!

This entry was originally posted at Dreamwidth and has comment count unavailable comments. Feel free to comment there using OpenID.

It's been real.
cleavage! - sga
monanotlisa
Life, I mean.

No complaints, really. I know; that's indeed coming from me! In the recent few weeks, apart from being over-worked and keeping up with my exercises and such, I have managed to

1. indoor sky-dive during a Department Offsite (with obvious team-building elements) down in the Bay,
2. climb across various ropes and ladders in the treetops and zipline through the forest with a bunch of Bay Area professionals, as well as swim in Lake Tahoe,
3. enter a friendly baking contest at work and gaze lovingly at my creation for a sad Monday,
4. show this beautiful house and enjoy an artsy Oakland dinner with a former colleague of mine from ye olde place of work in Germany who currently & temporarily works on the East Coast for one of the big players in my field there, bringing his little son and his once-again-pregnant wife, and
5. celebrated the German World Cup victory with friends and workmates at a sports bar down the street from my house (all of us painted black-red-gold, of course).

There's more, but, y'know. We love lists of fives, we do.

This entry was originally posted at Dreamwidth and has comment count unavailable comments. Feel free to comment there using OpenID.

RECIPE: Chocolate-Hazelnut Torte (flourless, duh)
astrid fro - fringe
monanotlisa
Since I am up* against someone from the CIA**, I thought, babe, shape up or ship out.

* We're running this friendly bake-out at work to find out who can create the most delicious gluten-free baked goods. First contestant was our VP of Tech Engineering, who's a celiac; I will gently poke our HR colleague who has not just one issue but several food sensitivities. We can do it...and do it deliciously!

** The Culinary Institute of America, obvs.

Flourless Chocolate-Hazelnut TorteCollapse )

This entry was originally posted at Dreamwidth and has comment count unavailable comments. Feel free to comment there using OpenID.

(no subject)
this year's girl - btvs
monanotlisa
HOMG YOU GIRLS YOU MUST WATCH THIS!!!111
Source: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel: the Series
Music: We Are Complicated, Raheemdaplaya (Taylor Swift & Avril Lavigne)
Length: 02:47

complicated - vvc femslash show from shari on Vimeo

"#this sounds like the act 1 finale of a teenage lesbian jukebox musical"
-- tumblr user lovecatcadillac, re: the mashup


This entry was originally posted at Dreamwidth and has comment count unavailable comments. Feel free to comment there using OpenID.

The Skye's the Limit
olivia glasses - fringe
monanotlisa
The Marvel POC Characters Fanworks Exchange went live on the 8th, and [personal profile] crossing_hades wrote me a story!

Scratching the Ice (1432 words) by Persephones_Keeper
Fandom: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (TV)
Rating: General Audiences
Relationships: Melinda May/Skye
Characters: Melinda May, Skye (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Leo Fitz, Jemma Simmons
Summary: Even back in the early days when she was a teensy bit scared of her, Skye's always thought that May is kind of...well...hot.

I also contributed a little piece:

The Quiet Side (2292 words) by monanotlisa
Fandom: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (TV)
Rating: General Audiences
Relationships: Jemma Simmons/Skye, Leo Fitz & Jemma Simmons, Leo Fitz & Jemma Simmons & Skye
Characters: Jemma Simmons, Skye (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Leo Fitz, Antoine Triplett, Melinda May
Additional Tags: Fitz/Simmons (unrequited), Friendship, Friendship/Love, Femslash, Emotional Hurt/Comfort, Canon Compliant, Bisexual Female Character
Summary: Just a brief snapshot following the events of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S01E22, "Beginning of the End."

This entry was originally posted at Dreamwidth and has comment count unavailable comments. Feel free to comment there using OpenID.

Buffy icon for one of her most iconic quotations
buffy profile mmh - btvs
monanotlisa
Who has ten fingers, two thumbs, and a California Driver's License? That's right; this girl!

Took the written four weeks ago (with the kind DMV clerk scribbling "PERFECT!" across the sheet) and finished with the practical today: Yes, California does make you retake the whole thing, no matter how long you have had your foreign license.

To be fair, in my case it was a reasonable request -- I didn't drive often even when I had a car in Germany, and in the United States I had no car for longer than a week since 2012. And this one comes with a great perk: I get an Identity Card that I can use for air travel and for getting drinks in Portland, Oregon, where a bunch of doormen at bars and lounges won't let you in with anything but a passport...which just so happens to be the document that is not particularly wise to take along on a trip to a watering hole.

Next step: car purchase. If any of y'all have recommendations for small, compact hatchbacks, hybrid or gas</b>, let's hear 'em!

This entry was originally posted at Dreamwidth and has comment count unavailable comments. Feel free to comment there using OpenID.