Monday, October 25, 2010

Champagne Atop The Met

The first time I heard about watching the sun go down while sipping Champagne of the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art I knew I had to do it. When you're down on the city streets, NY is like a live wire. Energized, frenetic, always moving. You get used to it, New Yorkers move through the streets like needle and thread, weaving through people and cars. Or perhaps it's more like a carefully choreographed dance. People pass in front of each other with only inches to spare. The key is to not stop, not block, simply glide and weave. And somehow it works. But when you go up onto a rooftop that has views that stretch on forever, the frenetic pace of NYC falls away, the noise disappears, and you float, you find peace. And there is no better place to do that than in the October when the weather is cooling off, the leaves just starting to change.

Here is a video of my trip to the top of the Met!


Monday, October 18, 2010

Adventures in Brooklyn

In Webisode #2 I dressed up high heels and fancy clothes and went out on the town. But this week it's all about NYC going country. More specifically, The Crew and I took the train to Brooklyn and ate at the much ballyhooed Pies N Thighs.I hadn't been to Brooklyn since 1991 – and let me just say a lot has changed since then.

During that trip, the mystery cameraman, my younger brother, his fiancĂ© and I were visiting Manhattan. Dressed in our button-downs and flowery summer dresses we got in a car and drove over the Manhattan Bridge with the vague idea of making it to Coney Island. We drove over the bridge with relative ease and were feeling pretty good about the whole endeavor until we hit Flatbush Avenue. As it turned out Brooklyn back in '91 was not the perfect place for button-downed, flowery dressed Texans just off the turnip truck.Given the war zone look of the place - cars on blocks missing pretty much everything except their metal shells - we figured out our mistake pretty quickly. We made a hard right in hopes of getting turned around only to end up on a dead end street hemmed in on either side by parked cars. We sat there stunned for half a second until several fellows appeared out of nowhere and started sauntering our way – and they didn't look like members of AAA intent on giving us directions. The mystery cameraman has always been a good driver in precarious situations (I've been in the car with him when he managed narrowly to avoid another car pinballing against concrete barriers on an icy interstate) and he was at his best when he threw the car into reverse and drove backwards at a high rate of speed and as straight as any line drawn with a ruler.

We made it back over the bridge and I hadn't even considered Brooklyn since. But all these years later, now living in Manhattan, Pies N Thighs in Brooklyn beckoned. Brooklyn has changed dramatically over the years, and this time I found a perfectly nice neighborhood no different from a lot in Manhattan . . . and some serious pies and thighs.

I hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


You hear people say that it's impossible to change. But scientists will tell you that we are made to change, every cell in our body regenerating every seven years. And if our bodies change, why can't we? I think people don't change because change it is hard. It's uncomfortable, it takes effort. More than that, it takes looking deep and seeing what you may or may not be doing right. Change must be precipitated by the acknowledgment that we aren't perfect. While most people do lip service to this idea, it is just that. Lip service. Most people like to think they do everything perfectly – NEED to think they are doing things perfectly. That speech? Awesome. That presentation? Never better. That last purchase? That last conversation with a loved one? Perfect! But every once in a while something happens and we are forced to look deep. And when we do, if we see that we could be better, I believe the measure of a person is in what they do about it. Simply move on? Refuse to recognize what is there? Or attempt to do the hard work involved in becoming a better person. Because change truly is possible.

Of course POSSIBLE doesn't mean it is EASY. Behavior is in large part caused by a series of habits, and habits create neural pathways in the brain. Neural pathways help a body do things repeatedly easily. But when the habit is bad, it's hard to break that neural pathway, break the habit. In order to change, the habit must be broken, the neural pathway erased. Breaking neural pathways takes patience, perseverance. But it seems to me that a life well lived is one where at the end of it we have grown, we have not been stagnant. We have truly lived.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Linda Francis Lee in NYC Webisode #2 Night Out on the Town

Here is the new Linda Francis Lee in NYC Webisode #2!

Night on the Town

Linda Francis Lee in NYC Webisode #2 is up and running . . . A Night Out on the Town

Monday, October 4, 2010

Welcome to My New York!

Welcome to My New York!

I'll never forget the day I learned I was moving to the Northeast. I was a born and raised Texan, had never spent time north of the Mason-Dixon line, and was partial to big blond hair. I couldn't imagine liking the gritty land of Law & Order or more snow in a year than I was used to seeing in a decade – if that. But the minute I saw the Manhattan skyline rise up in the distance I fell in love.

I've been in Manhattan for twelve years now, years that have cobbled me into a very different person than the one I was when I drove over the George Washington Bridge. I've flattened my hair (sort of), know the best times of day to hail a cab, and no longer say things like "Aren't you sweet" to people on the subway. But am I a New Yorker? Not exactly. I am some sort of mixed breed now, a Texan living in New York – and as a writer, it's a perfect mix that allows me to be an observer of NYC in all its glorious contradictions. It is New York's energy, its excitement, its neighborhood gems that Outlanders frequently don't see or know about that I am going to share with you every Monday in my new video series, Linda Francis Lee in NYC. I will show you restaurants, shops (even grocery shopping!), things to do, places to see beyond the traditional tourist spots. I will give you a taste of what it is like actually to live in NYC. I hope you will come along for the ride!

So with no further ado, I present the very first Linda Francis Lee in NYC video!