McDonald’s France: Restaurant and Community Center

So in America we get a bad rap for being overweight and eating fast food , which is universally blamed on McDonald’s. I have been surprised however, by how much the French love, I mean, LOVE McDonald’s! It doesn’t matter what time of day, what neighborhood or what meal that place is always poppin’ in Paris! You think going to McD in Times Square is a nightmare? Try the McD in the small community of Les Lilas on a Saturday…forget about it!

These places are fancy! McD here is actually comfortable. You want to stay and linger for hours. You can meet up with your friends, have a study session, take a nap, whatever. There are couches, lounge chairs, fire places and play rooms for children. There’s a group of old poeple in my neighborhood, who I’m pretty sure go there everyday and spend the day hanging.

Anyway, anything else I wanted to say was already written in this article. Check it out! Pretty interesting…

http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=2906

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Where the Freaks at?

Okay, I haven’t been on here in over a year, officially making me a blogger! Many apologies.

So for those of you who don’t know, I live in Paris France. No big.

I spent the summer in L.A. and then rolled up in Paris mid August. L.A. was a nice break from New York, but I was itching to get back to a metropolitan area. I had officially become a New Yorker and not having access to public transportation, freaks on the streets, and food from carts was slowly killing my soul. I knew Paris would fill the void NYC left…

After recovering from my 2 weeks of jet lag, I looked around Paris and wondered to myself, “where the freaks at?” To my dismay, almost all Parisians are dressed and in their right mind. Sad life.

So I discussed this with my friends hoping they would agree with me. I said to Bridgette, “Have you noticed there are no freaks here?” Bridgette disagreed, ” What!? I see so many weird people here!” I was disappointed, “Yeah, but they just aren’t worth my time. I would never blog about them.” Bridgette realized my problem, “Maybe that’s because you’re from New York.” “You’re probably right.”

Since Anthony is pretty eccentric I was certain he would agree with me. One afternoon we were sitting on the steps outside of the pantheon and I asked him, “Have you noticed there are no freaks here?” He disagreed, “WHAT!??! There are plenty of freaks here! I could dress up like Water World and by next week everyone in Paris will be dressed like Water World!” I guess I’m alone in this opinion. It’s probably because I’m from New York…

Well, I wasn’t willing to accept that Parisians were borning. I set out on my own Anthro adventure to prove that Parisians weren’t boring! I was having lunch with a French friend and I asked him what Parisians did for fun, “Well, we go to bars, hang out in cafes, have house parties, go to the cinema and in the summer we have picnics by the river. Paris is pretty boring.” Maybe this was just one mans opinion? I asked a waiter what Parisians did for fun, he laughed and scoffed, “Parisian are boring. we go to bars, cafes, and have house parties. That’s pretty much it.” I asked about 3 other people the same question and got the same answer. Maybe the Parisians were right? At least they know this about themselves? Right?

Now that I have the answer from the horses mouth, I can accept the truth about Parisians and conform accordingly. Accepting them has really helped me to enjoy them. Then it was time for me to face my own truth…New York ruined me.

After living in New York for awhile, whether you like it or not you become a New Yorker. This means you are not impressed by anything. Even if you are now in one of the most impressive cities in the world.

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Friends don’t Let Friends Holla and Drive!

There’s this cute cafe up the street that I go to once a week to use their wi-fi and set up my “office” in the back corner. When I receive phone calls I step outside so that I’m not talking so loud that others are disrupted (HUGE pet peeve! Loud phone talkers in cafes!).

So, I’m sitting outside on their bench and there’s this hoodie sitting in his car yelling at every single woman who walks by…Normal stuff like, “eh ma, you gorgeous! Gorgeous!” “Gurl yo hair is fine!” “Yo, watchu doin’ you wanna kick it wit me?” “I love all women, black, white it don’t matta!”Like I said, normal stuff.

You know the saying, “what goes around comes around”? Check it…

As the hoodie is pulling out into the street and simultaneously yelling at some lady, “Eh ma! You beaut..” He hits a man driving by in his sparklin’ new Lincoln!!! It was nothing serious. I start laughing so hard my stomach hurts!!! The man stops so fast and gets out to inspect his car, the hoodie hesitates and then gets out of his car. No damage was done, so they part ways.Karma my friend…

I hope he thinks twice before hollarin’ and drivin’!

Posted in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, Humorous, NYC, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

It’s the police???

This just happened and it was so funny I had to report right away!

So it’s about 1:45am and me and Annie are watching a movie, Maggie is reorganizing the bathroom. Nothing out of the norm. All of the sudden I hear our buzzer ring. I sit for a second to think about who it would be 1) because everyone is home 2) We arent expecting anyone 3) It’s 1:45 am. The rule in our apartment is that if we don’t know the person at the door we DO NOT let them in. Good rule of thumb right?

The buzzer rings again so I go to answer, “It’s the police! Open the door.”I don’t necessarily believe him, so I get advice,  “ummmm Annie apparently the police want in?” She jumps out of her half asleep state, “DO NOT open the door!!! We don’t even know if it’s the police!” Honestly I kinda agree with her at this point. You hear stories all the time about things like this and it’s really hoodies. So I ask again, “who is this?” The man is slightly agitated, “THE POLICE! Now open the door.” I still don’t really believe him. The buzzer is rung again and held into for about 5 seconds. I call for Maggie, “Maggie supposedly the police are at our door. What should I do?” She instructs, “well you should probably let them in, it’s not like they can break in the door if it’s not the police.” Annie yells down the hall to Maggie, “NAH AH! DO NOT OPEN THAT DOOR! WE DONT KNOW IF ITS THE POLICE!!! If it is the police they have their ways of getting in! It’s the police !!”I didn’t know what to do at this point. It felt like I had the angel on one shoulder telling me what to do and the devil on the other. The truth is, maybe it is the police, but what if it’s not? We do live in Bed-Stuy after all. So I say to them over the buzzer, “uuum sorry, I’m not the super, I’m not going to let you in. I don’t even know who you are.” He literally yells, “OPEN THE DOOR! ITS THE POLICE!” Well I’m thinking, “do not get loud with me!” Annie actually says it, “oh no, if that was the police they have no business yelling.”

Whatever, if it’s the police they”ll figure it out. I go back to movie with Annie. Annie is dozing off and all of a sudden I hear footsteps. I calmly walk down the hall to Maggie, “Maggie I hear footsteps, do you hear it?” No joke, Annie rolls off the futon and crawls on her hands and knees to the bathroom where me and Maggie are, “WHAT!!! FOOTSTEPS!!!! OH MY GOSH!!!” I start cracking up and Maggie tries to be the voice of reason, “they can’t break in, it will be fine.” Annie’s hysteria continues, “SHHHHHHHH! SHHHHHH! Can we call the guys are something!? Did you lock the door? What if someone shoots through the windows!!?” I assured her, “yes, I locked the door.” Maggie walks to the door, “no you didn’t lock it.” “Yeah, I did. The chain lock is broken though.” Maggie reports back to Annie, “It’s fine I don’t hear anything anymore.” Annie crawls back to the futon. I say jokingly, “Hey you should call the police department to see if they actually sent someone.” Without hesitation Annie grabs her phone. I stop her, “I was just kidding you can’t actually call 911 for that.” Annie turns to me, “why not?” I shrug my shoulders, “eh, go ahead. It will be good material for the blog.” Annie calls 911…

Turns out it was the cops. They ring other doors to get in.

We never let them in. Its 2am in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. Can ya blame us?

Annie hangs up, “You know I would die for you. I just don’t want to get shot.” Within 2 minutes shes snoring and I’m writing.

Maybe next time we”ll believe them?

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Freedom!!!

This happened about 3 weeks ago but I am just getting to it…

I absolutely dread working at the Hair Factory. Sure it’s only 1 day a week for 8 hours, but it’s the longest most dreadful 8 hours ever! Today was a normal day for me. 10:50am I was walking the 4 blocks uphill to the Hair Factory, keeping with tradition, on these walks I think, “today will be the day I quit!” Of course I never do. Like it or not, I need the extra money, and its easy money.

I open the salon, settle into my desk, pull up the schedule and wait. I never know what I’m waiting for, but something interesting always happens within the first 30 minutes. Today I waited for Mark to burst into the door and freak out over his electronic add not working.

Mark has this ginormous flat screen t.v. horizontally mounted in the front of the store, it’s the first thing you see when you walk in. Kinda tacky, but whatever. Anyway he likes to have the home screen of the website displayed on this t.v. It serves no other purpose except to prove we have a website. When he came in that morning he started to freak out because the screen wasnt on. Naturally he blames me, asks me why I turned it off, what happened etc. etc. The truth is I don’t know why it’s off, nor do I know how to turn it off or on. I try explaining this to him. He doesn’t believe me and continues his rant. I thought to myself, “yes, by the end of today I will tell them I’m quitting at the end of March.” Mark then leaves for most of the day.

The day continues with extra ordinarily rude clients. It was one of those days where everything seems to be going wrong for no reason. Hour by hour my quitting seemed unavoidable. Today would be the day I give my notice. Freedom was on the horizon. I spent the latter part of my afternoon day dreaming about it. Yes, it would be sweet!

Finally 6pm rolls around. 1 hour left! Also, Mark returns. He asks me to come to his office when I finished with whatever I was doing. I go straight to the office. He begins, “So,  Louise hired someone full-time. We wanted to keep you on call though.” I ask, “So, you don’t need me to come back next Monday?” He hesitates, “No, the new person will have started.” I’M BEAMING!!!!!! “Cool” I say. “Do you want me to give you my keys?” Mark looks baffled at this point, “um yeah.” I’m grinning ear to ear and he looks shocked. I briefly stepped out to get the keys returning to his office he says, “so, we’re cool?” “YES! Totally cool! I feel great!” He is beside himself of course. I say thank you and bounce out of the office. I felt like I just lost 30 pounds! I felt like a  new woman! My last hour at the Hair Factory flew by! At 7pm I grabbed my bag, said bye and then…I WAS FREE! As I was walking to the train I was smiling   my face hurt! You would have thought I just won the lottery and wasn’t “let go” under the guise of being kept “on call.”

So, loyal reader, this is the last entry you will read about the Hair Factory. That part of our lives is over! As Jay-Z said, “on to the next one!”

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Can I getta a bite?

So I was with Kwaku about ready to get on the subway (train) and travel from Brooklyn to Harlem. It was after 10pm  so that meant the train was going to be local, stopping at every single stop, making my trip about an hour. I was starving. So I picked up a sandwich before leaving.

After waiting 20 minutes for the C train (most unreliable train ever!) it finally came. It was pretty empty so we sat down and I stating eating my sandwich. This hoodie gets on at the same stop. Everyone is minding their own business, even the hoodie! He wasnt do a “showtime” or rapping or asking for money, just minding his business, or so I thought…

About the 2nd stop in he comes over and towering right in front of me asks, “eh yo, can I getta bite of dat?” I stare at him with questioning eyes, “nah seriously, can I get a bite?” He was serious, “um, sure.” I proceeded to tear a piece off for him. He takes it, eats it and gets off the train. Kwaku looks at me and mockingly says, “you’re a good person.”

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Initiation

I had my first press with hot combs a few weeks ago, and it was incredible! For those of you who don’t know what a press is, it’s another term (typically associated with ethnic hair) for getting your hair flat ironed. Hot combs are what the press is done with, and it makes your hair incredibly straight!

Anyway, this one Monday business was slow as usual and Janet offered to press my hair, I obliged. Jessica washed my hair (which was, BTW the BEST scalp massage I have ever had!) and then Janet began…

“Guuurl yo hair is thick! Daaaaaang lookin’ at it I didn’t think it was gonna be this thick!” I reminded her, “Yeah, I told you it was. Nobody believes me when I tell them I have thick hair, until they actually put their hands in it.” She continues, “You sure your daddy ain’t black or somethin’, you got black hair.” I reassure her, “Nah, I’m about as white as you can get, there is nothing ethnic about me.” She bursts into laughter.

It took about 90 minutes to press all of my hair. I didn’t realize how much work it was to have your hair pressed! I kept moving my head, every time I did Janet threatened to burn me, I believed her. Anyway she was asking me if I knew about rap music. I told her I did and actually really like it. She was shocked and asked, “who you listen to.” I had to seize the moment, “Oh, you know, I really love Vanilla Ice (not true)” She lost her mind with laughter and told me I was stupid.

So she finished the press and my hair looked amazing! Considering all the work she did I wanted to preserve my hair as long as possible… She taught me the art of wrapping my hair!!! So I picked up some huge bobby pins and a silk wrap. My hair lasted a week!!

I gotta tell you what a hair wrap is. My first encounter with a hair wrap was on the subways of Brooklyn. I would see these girls on the subway lookin normal with their hair wrapped around their heads. I always thought to myself, “I wonder if they think that looks good?” I thought it was an actual hair style! However I learned on that day at Hair Factory that it’s a very effective way of keeping your hair straight! So basically you brush your hair around and around in circles and pin it in place, then you wrap it with a silk scarf to protect it, and sleep. In the morning you remove the wrap and pins and voila! Your hair is just as straight as the day before, no heat required!

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