Archive | October, 2009

The Guggenheim and the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum on New York’s Upper East Side don’t seem to get as much love as other big players in NYC, like the Met and the MOMA. They also don’t have snazzy nicknames (I suspect these two observations are related). Rand and I tried coming up with some, but the best I could muster up for the Cooper-Hewitt was “The Coop”, which sounds like a museum dedicated to eggs (I’m not necessarily saying I have a problem with that, esp. if they included an exhibit on the Cadbury Cream Egg variety). For the Guggenheim, we came up with “Goog”, which, while not incredibly catchy, is far superior to Rand’s other suggestion of “The Hymie.” (more…)

photo courtesy of Darren Copley, via

photo courtesy of Darren Copley, via

This post was originally about 4 different “Dick Moves!” but that was good for no one, and particularly not for my sense of love towards my fellow man.

I was a bit down this afternoon, frustrated with the rude folks I’ve encountered while traveling, frustrated with myself for not handling things better. I felt burnt out from the last few weeks of travel, and it might very well be that I’d lost my sense of enthusiasm and patience somewhere along the way. Quite possibly somewhere in Newark Airport. (more…)

The day that started with my trip to Roosevelt Island continued to be a good one. In fact, it might have been one of the best days I’ve spent in NYC in a long, long time. After all, when one day is so charmed that it spans TWO whole blog posts, well … you know you have it good. (more…)

I have a bit of a  love/hate relationship going on with New York. There are times when I truly believe (and could never be convinced otherwise) that it is the greatest city in the world, and everything beyond Manhattan is just one long suburb.

Other times, when the girl at the Zabar’s breakfast counter forgets my latkes, when the doorman at our hotel is a total d-bag, or when the umpteenth person has shoved past me at the subway station, I start to long for Seattle, and our passive (rather than outright) aggressiveness.

This, fortunately, is a story about a very good morning. (more…)

and filing bankruptcy isn’t one of them! YUK YUK YUK!

Err … sorry. Clearly the promise I made on Monday is getting to me, and I’m already starting to crack under pressure. And really, I shouldn’t be so hard on Norway for being so obscenely expensive. Because even though food and shopping are completely out of the picture (and honestly, how can they expect a girl to live?), the museums and parks are really quite reasonably priced, or even free if you purchase an Oslo Pass.

Oslo Passes are available all over the place, and you can get them for 24, 36, or 48 hours. The 24-hour pass is cheapest, obviously, but the problem is that there are only so many museums you can see in one day. Of course, the expiration time is written in pen, so if you wanted to be dishonest, you could easily change the time on your Oslo pass.

I COMPLETELY DO NOT ENDORSE DISHONESTY OF THIS NATURE. I mean, just because Oslo is ridiculously expensive, and you’ve spent tons of money there, and Norway is one of the richest countries in the world does not give you the right to commit fraud by extending the validity of your Oslo pass for a measly 5 hours. No. Absolutely not.

But hypothetically, if you wanted to do that, it would be really easy. (more…)

Please excuse me if I am a bit more frugal than normal for the next few weeks. If I start frantically clipping coupons and hoarding pennies, do not be surprised. If I pass out, please get me a cookie, as it means I have sold too much plasma.

It’s all Norway’s fault.

While we were there, we found that Oslo had dethroned London as the most expensive city in the world, which isn’t all that surprising. By comparison, London seems downright reasonable. New York seems dirt cheap. I haven’t noted too many specific restaurants, because really, it’s a crapshoot. But hey – you don’t go to Norway (or anywhere in Scandanavia) for the cuisine.

Here’s a rundown of some of the meals we had, and their prices. Try not to let your mouth hang open like a trout. Because I did that, and apparently it’s not a good look. (more…)

Sigh. So, as you might remember from yesterday’s post (because I not only pretend I have readers – I pretend I have loyal ones), we stayed at the Grims Grenka hotel in Oslo. Or, as I like to call it, Torvald’s House of Design and Mystery. While we were there, we experienced a Dick Move, followed, over email, by an Awesome Move. Since this has never, ever happened before in the history of time, I am unsure of what to do. Here’s what went down:

Norway, as I mentioned, costs a bloody fortune. This is because everyone in the country gets a share of oil revenue, plus they have free healthcare (someone please, remind me why Socialism is evil again). Their currency, the kroner, never dropped, being that it had oil behind it, so a once very expensive country is now a mortgage-your-house or trade-in-your-firstborn-child-to-pay-for-lunch country. This might be a problem, because I’m pretty sure we already traded in our firstborn to skip the security line at Sea-Tac a couple of weeks ago. (more…)

— Note: I wrote this post last week, but like a fool, didn’t have access to the photos until after I got home. Sorry for any confusion.

At the time of writing this, I’m in Manhattan, sitting in what might be one of the scarier hotels my husband and I have had the pleasure of patronizing in our many travels. The hotel itself is passable (a solid two-and-a-quarter stars on the Everywhereist Scale which I  just made up this second). But between drunk hotel guests dancing in the hallways in Speedos, and rogue toilets that made a break for it (but made it only so far as the hallway), don’t be surprised if I abandon this post and wander off into the New York night.

That being said, this post is not about New York. No. This post is about the craziness that is the Grims Grenka Hotel in Oslo, Norway. It was awesome and horrifying and impractical and wonderful. Kind of like living in the bedroom displays at IKEA. It looks great, but at some point you realize you’re showering in the middle of your living room, and it all falls apart. (Note: I am well-aware that IKEA is Swedish and not Norweigan, but I find willful ignorance of other cultures to be rather charming.)

Plus, the staff at IKEA warned you against getting naked in their showrooms and you’re facing a lifetime banishment. Weak. (more…)