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Things That Are Undeniably Better When You Live In A Big City

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from Friends, Sex and the City and How I Met Your Mother, it’s that bad things happen when you leave the city. As a New York suburb dweller myself, I can say with certainty that things are just better in a big city.

As Phoebe Buffay once said, “You can’t move out of the city. What if you want Chinese food at 5 a.m.? Or a fake Rolex that breaks as soon as it rains? Or an Asian hooker sent right to your door?” She had a point.

Somewhere, someone is just waiting to deliver everything you could ever need

When you live in a big city, there are endless services tailored specifically to meet the needs of people, like me, who have vowed never to pick up takeout, never to use a mop, and never to walk a dog. As long as you have the money to pay, everything you could ever need and desire is at your fingertips, and quite literally — just click a few buttons on your computer and you’re now the proud owner of a Seamless account, an affordable maidservice, and a daily dogwalker. And you know what? You’re employing others, therefore boosting the economy. So selfless.

The food service industry

Forget all the endless permutations of food you can get in a big city, things like Ethiopian, Thai, and Mongolian. But the actual foodservice industry just runs so much more smoothly, even if it is nearly impossible to get onto a rooftop bar on a Tuesday evening in May.

People in a big city are used to fast paces, and that includes the foodservice. On a single city block you can be surrounded by easily a dozen or so amazing eateries just waiting to cater to your every foodie whim, because at least they’ve earned another customer in this cutthroat culinary world.

And when those restaurants fail, there are always the most succulent delicatessens, corner bodegas, taco carts, dirty water dogs, soft pretzels dotted with glistening rock salt, and of course, there’s Seamless. Didn’t we mention that already?

Big city food = better food. Easy as that.

You can go anywhere you want without having to drive

Pulling out Hopstop or a transit map, I can map out half a dozen ways to get to point b without having to deal with any one of these: rush hour congestion (usually), annoying bikers, traffic, underground smells, and/or other people at all. When you live in a big city, not only do you never have to drive a car, but you can also take full advantage of the myriad forms of public transportation, and bend them all to your iron will.

And when all else fails, there’s Uber.

The world is a slightly smelly museum exhibit

It takes 30 seconds to walk a standard city block, which means, with the right shoes, that you can hypothetically walk anywhere in your neighborhood and never be bored.

Walking up and down a city is like being a tourist all over again, because there is no shortage of [...]

The post Things That Are Undeniably Better When You Live In A Big City appeared first on PopCrunch.

Five Books Every Fashion Lover Should Check Out

If you’re like me and love fashion and books almost as much as you love breathing, then this list is for you. I have compiled a list of five books for every fashion lover to sink their teeth into. These books shine a spotlight on revolutionary designers, classic dresses, and fashion icons that have changed the face of fashion. All of them are excellent to read and to display.

So grab your fall sweaters and chunky blankets, and settle down in front of the fireplace with a good cup of tea and delight in these beautiful worlds of style.

1. Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

by Andrew Bolton, Harold Koda, Tim Blanks (Contributor), Susannah Frankel (Contributor), Solve Sundsbo (Photographs)

Alexander McQueen is arguably the most imaginative designer who ever lived and this book explores his entire career’s work. You will be able to experience his provocative use of themes such as religion and sexuality in this beautifully crafted book featuring interviews and quotes from the artist himself. This book was published in conjunction with the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibition of the same name.

2. Fifty Dresses That Changed the World

by Design Museum, Michael Czerwinski

This book features 50 of the most iconic dresses worn throughout history, featuring beautiful images of celebrities and royalty. This book also features commentary on why these dresses have become so iconic in the world of fashion.

3. The Sartorialist

by Scott Schuman

This beautiful book features images of well-known icons and street fashionistas from the famous blog of the same name. With commentary from Scott Schuman himself, this book is sure to inspire new and inventive ideas for your own fashion adventures.

4. Women in Clothes

By Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits and Leanne Shapton

This book is a great collection of surveys that were given to over 600 women, including well-known names like Lena Dunham and photography and feminist icon Cindy Sherman. They answer questions about personal fashion and how to build a better closet.

5. Champagne Supernovas

By Maureen Callahan

Okay, so you love fashion, right? Do you love the 90s as well? This book is for you! It explores the 90s fashion scene including trends, models, designers and muses.

Let these books show you how fashion has evolved and how the styles from yesterday are inspiring the looks of tomorrow.

The post Five Books Every Fashion Lover Should Check Out appeared first on PopCrunch.

What My Male Friend Taught Me About ‘Nightlife Sexism’

foodnfestivities.com

On a Saturday night, getting into a trendy New York club isn’t exactly difficult, but it is fraught with stressors: if you’re a woman, you need to look a certain way. A short, tight skirt is basically a necessity, and you won’t get in if you’re not wearing heels: that’s a given.

As a man, you also have your own set of dress expectations; I knew someone who was barred entry to a rooftop bar for wearing boots. But mostly, as a man, you’re expected to shell out big bucks. There are certain gendered politics associated with nightlife in big cities, and a hell of a lot of it is sexist.

This past Saturday night, for my friend’s birthday, we picked out a place in Midtown, a bar on top of a trendy hotel, with killer views of the city skyline — just a few rooftops away from the Empire State Building.

By this time, I knew the drill. Women can call promoters who will walk them in, sit them down at a table gratis, and let them drink their booze for free, because bringing in girls means that the men will come, and the men are expected to have deep pockets.

On this specific occasion, I found a promoter on Instagram, where they like to advertise their services. I was organizing this event on behalf of my friend, and so we all sat together in the afternoon, hammering out the arrangements. I texted the promoter, telling him all the necessary details: where we wanted to go, how many people there were in the group (3 girls, 1 guy), etc. But I also included another necessary detail: my Instagram handle.

I’ve learned this from experience, from contacting possibly a dozen promoters in my life, both in New York and elsewhere (most notably in Las Vegas). They always ask you for your Instagram handle. If they’re that polite.

So this time, I included it in my introductory text, because by now I know the drill. When my friend’s boyfriend, the “1 guy” in our group, saw the text, he asked me why I included that essential bit of information.

I told him, “Promoters always ask for your Instagram so they can see if you’re hot.”

Incensed, he said, “That’s disgusting.”

Fully in agreement, I nevertheless shrugged my shoulders as if it were no big deal. “That’s the way it is,” I told him.

And that is the way it is. I’ve had several experiences where some girls in my group were denied entrance to a trendy bar or club because they wore flats, or because they weren’t a size 4 and below. In this world of manufactured fun, “hotness” is a commodity, even a currency. I showed my Instagram to prove my worth to a man who held the power to control how much fun I had that night, and more important, how much I spent.

In this world of trendy nightlife, you trade your appearance for a comfortable table, no lines, and free booze all night long. Of course, he may hang around and feel [...]

The post What My Male Friend Taught Me About ‘Nightlife Sexism’ appeared first on PopCrunch.

Improv Everywhere Turns NYC Crosswalk Into A Dance Floor [WATCH]

The improv group Improv Everywhere have released a new video, and it may have pedestrians cheering (and cab drivers cursing).

The video was staged outside Penn Station in New York City at the crosswalk on 7th Avenue, one of the busiest spots of the city, as the station is traversed by thousands of commuters every day. The video shows the dancers “accidentally” bump into each other on the crosswalk, a daily occurrence for any city dweller, and then transition smoothly into a dance routine!

According to the Improv Everywhere website, the “mission” was staged several times, each segment completed before the “Don’t Walk” countdown sign reached zero, thus endangering the safety of none of the participants and angering no impatient NYC cab drivers (a true threat).

The best part of this video, in my opinion, is seeing the joyful looks of pedestrians on the sidewalks, who have truly enjoyed watching this impromptu performance. Commuting, especially into and out of Penn Station, can be a truly hectic and stressful experience. This performance imbued the commuters’ days with a little bit of whimsy and happiness, and the ensuing video reminds us all that it’s the simple things that often bring the most joy.

As a New Yorker, the description of the video rings true:

Walking in New York City is very much like a dance. Between the tourists and the texters you find yourself weaving in and out of people, quickly darting from side to side. Busy crosswalks come with the additional pressure of racing against the clock, which only heightens the dance-like environment.

Kudos to Improv Everywhere for seeing the beauty and the opportunity in random, mundane events, and for organizing a bit of fun for the participants, the pedestrians, and those of us watching at home to enjoy.

The post Improv Everywhere Turns NYC Crosswalk Into A Dance Floor [WATCH] appeared first on PopCrunch.

Living With a Healthy Fear of Life

playbuzz.com

I’ve always had this thing with bridges. With water on both sides and under me, I get a little giddy driving across a bridge, especially when the road flattens and the sky creates this imposing dome that swallows the landscape.

I live in suburban New York, so often when I’m on a bridge, the New York City skyline is somewhere to be seen. As a passenger, there’s nothing I love more than to stare at that skyline, set against a gorgeous sky, and watch until it disappears behind trees at the other side.

But as a driver, I always feel this heady sense of fear, making sure to train my eyes on the road and not on the skyline. But sometimes I look up, and on the Throgs Neck or Whitestone Bridge leading to Long Island and back to the Bronx, I get this shock of fear through my system.

This happened to me recently: just looking up at that giant—the bridge’s steel superstructure—made me giddy, afraid, and excited all at the same time. It was something I hadn’t felt in a long time, if I may paraphrase Darth Vader.

When I was in high school, I used to feel that way before my drama club’s performances, standing backstage in the utter darkness behind those curtains, squeezing hands with everyone, hearing people in the audience shuffling, chatting and finding their seats, and listening to your own crazy heartbeat in your ribs.

I got that feeling when I flew to London for a study abroad trip, the first time I was ever on my own on an airplane. I got it when I moved to New York City for two months to complete an internship—a giddy, afraid, adrenaline-fueled feeling.

I don’t know why a bridge I cross often should inspire in me that kind of fear, but it got me thinking about the kind of fear I run from, and the kind of fear I should pursue to the ends of the earth.

We all have heard the phrases “No Fear” and ones along the lines of “fear keeps you from achieving your dreams.” And while that may be true to some extent, fear is also a reality of life, a necessity for survival, and it’s also a powerful motivator to spur you onto achieving your dreams, not giving them up. No one was ever fearless when pursuing something they desperately wanted. We’re all afraid of something, as we should be. Fear reminds us that we’re alive, that we’re taking risks, that we’re not cowering in our comfort zone. Fear is a sign of a life well lived.

Another quote comes to mind, and another bridge:

“You are alive. And you stand up and see the lights on the buildings and everything that makes you wonder. And you’re listening to that song, and that drive with the people who you love most in this world. And in this moment, I swear, we are infinite.”

That passage is part of Stephen Chbosky’s novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower and it’s sort [...]

The post Living With a Healthy Fear of Life appeared first on PopCrunch.

5 Ways Living In A City Is An Isolating Experience

fineartamerica.com

I’m someone who thrives on her own. I like being independent and by myself half the time, because it’s rejuvenating. But the other half of the time, I crave people. I’ve always said that the perfect place for me to live would be in a big city, because it’s the only place you can truly be alone in a huge, stifling crowd of people. It’s the perfect balance, so to speak.

And then I stopped to truly think about that phrase: why is it that it’s so easy to be alone in a crowd when you live in a big city? It’s not the same as crowds in the suburbs, or anywhere else. Outside of a city, there’s a different sense of community, and in any case, people notice you more. Growing up in the suburbs of New York City, I never feel more powerfully anonymous than when I’m in Midtown Manhattan.

At home, it’s the opposite. People are neighbors, not just other bodies who occupy space. They see you, sometimes judge you, sometimes evaluate you. There is no judgment in a big city. City folk have seen it all, perhaps. You’re just another body to them, and it’s both powerful and yet indescribably isolating.

We’ve all had fantasies of being invisible, and we’ve all read childhood stories of the downsides of it all. Being invisible is powerful — you can do quite literally anything you want, whether it’s stealing candy from the store or poking your bully in the back of his head. (Harry Potter comes immediately to my mind, apparently.) But at the end of the tale, the little boy (it’s usually a little boy) finds that being invisible means that no one can see him to shower him with love, and that the consequences of his actions are eating away at him. He reverses his wish to be invisible because it’s painfully isolating.

It’s similar in a big city. You almost feel as if you’re invisible, because no one is paying attention to you. No one cares that you’re there. Isn’t that sort of insane?

1. You don’t know your neighbors

In New York, the stereotype is that people are mean. We’re not — we just like our space. So it’s common practice to virtually ignore your neighbors unless they’re annoying you. No neighbors will knock on your door asking for sugar or to water their plants, not unless you want to scare them into double-locking their doors and turning off all the lights. We’re scared of strangers, leading to huge roadblocks to you know, getting to know the strangers who share an apartment wall with you.

2. Independence is thrust upon you

In a city, you’ve got to learn how to take care of yourself ten times better than you would anywhere else. Dealing with landlords, bosses, roommates, personalities, responsibilities, schedules, and the stress of being in a city means you’ve got to grow up and take control, and learn never to rely on anyone else for help and support. Independence fosters a [...]

The post 5 Ways Living In A City Is An Isolating Experience appeared first on PopCrunch.

NYC Car Issued Multiple Parking Tickets While Driver Sits Dead in Front Seat

Even death won’t save you from New York traffic wardens, whose title even conveys the level of pretentious assholery that comes with issuing parking tickets.

Lately, NYC’s finest…at-basically-being-the-worst, have been decorating recently deceased 47-year-old Mamadou Barry’s car with parking violation tickets while he sat dead in the front seat. Nope, they didn’t call the real police, they handled it themselves. It’s only imaginable they additionally wrote the tickets right in front of his unmoving body.

The car was eventually found in a zone banning parking from 11:30 am through 1 pm with two parking tickets, one inside dated for June 23 and another on the windshield. The day police were finally called, wardens had ticked both the car in front and behind of Berry’s but not his vehicle. So there’s how to not get a parking ticket in New York City, already have two and be very, obviously dead in the front seat.

Because it seems unlikely no one noticed the Uncle Bernie-ing, policing are investigating if Barry was seen but not reported, or whether he had some really convincing googly eyeglasses. They are also looking into why he wasn’t given a third violation.

Barry’s death appears to be of natural causes and not from the shocking price of a NYC parking ticket. He was allegedly dealing with health problems that required medication and somewhat frequent hospital visits to which he would drive himself. If you have a car in New York, I suppose you should make the most of it; caskets are expensive!

What Is Casey Anthony Doing In New York City This Weekend?!

It's probably been a few years since you've thought of the infamous name...

Now, Casey Anthony may soon be resurfacing in the public eye in New York City, and if reports are correct, it isn't going to be for the best of reasons.

Here's what we know: according to reports, Anthony was spotted at a New York airport Friday walking alongside a public relations whiz who had previously negotiated a TV deal for her.

[ Related: Here's One Woman Who Was Brought To Justice Today! ]

That deal, which would've allegedly been a tell-all interview with a major network, fell through before completion, but her PR pro has been hard at work again.

And now, with Casey in New York with him and showing her face in public for one of the first times in years, a new TV deal may soon be brewing... and we can only guess what the financial terms might be.

Is it right for Casey to go on camera now, so many years after her acquittal?

[Image via Getty Images.]

Taylor Swift & Calvin Harris Ham It Up In NYC With A Yummy Hand Sandwich On The Steps Of Her Apartment!

How beautiful is this couple??

Like, seriously, we have hand holding envy right about now. Taylor Swift, can you hold our hand?!

Or if Calvin Harris wants to hold ours, we wouldn't be opposed to it!

The super hawt couple was spotted deliciously serving up a yummy hand sandwich as they made their way back to Tay Tay's apartment in New York City on Thursday afternoon!

[ Related: Taylor's NYC Street Style Is SO On Point ]

They're such a seXXXy duo!

Hold up, though! While we were too busy gawking at their love, we almost overlooked that shadow of an ab peering from side the of her overalls!

Just look at that definition!

All that boxing with BFF Karlie Kloss at the gym definitely paid off, eh TSwizzle??

[Image via Splash News.]