Z. Madison

For when you're relaxing at home or killing company time - Z. Madison's here for you.


Consider Yourself Warned

At approximately 5:30pm today, all US Starbucks stores will close for three hours for employee training.

According to a spokeswhore, the training "would foster enthusiasm in its 135,000 U.S. employees and improve the quality of drinks made by Starbucks baristas."

Not one to shy away from a great opportunity, Dunkin' Donuts, "to ensure that no coffee lover is denied a delicious espresso-based beverage," will be offering lattes, espressos and cappuccinos for a buck.

Drink up!

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Yay! Snow! Yay!

The text awaiting me this morning from the Manfriend was an ecstatic proclamation that the school he teaches at had called a Snow Day. No two words in the English language can create such joy and mirth as "Snow Day" to children and apparently, those who educate them. My company had issued no such decree so I sloshed my way to work like everyone else unlucky enough to have to clock in.

Around noon, two new words brought out my giddy inner child via a message from HR. The email's subject line said "Emergency Closing". That's right, the agency was officially closing at 2pm and ordering everyone out so we could safely make it home. I practically skipped in my wellies to the subway.

I always love seeing the neighborhood blanketed in snow. To me, there's nothing more beautiful than brownstones on a winter day. Here's a few shots I took on Second Place:

The second brownstone in from the Carroll Street station exit on Second Place, has really unique foliage in the front yard. I've no idea what these plants are, but they always seem more suited for somewhere in Florida than in Carroll Gardens. I love this shot of them all nestled in snow.

I'm also a big fan of the above yard a few doors down from the Florida Brownstone. The owners of this brownstone keep the yard pristine. Immaculate even. The grass is manicured to perfection and greener than any competitor on the block, even in the winter. I've always admired the cherubic fountain pictured above, even more so in this weather.

I'm also a HUGE fan of this hot mess at the end of the block. Clearly for very different reasons. It's difficult to detect the sheer amount of crap the insane owners wedge into their 6x9 plot. Since moving to the hood nine years ago, I'm always delighted to see what new flamingos or gnomes await. Come Christmastime, not only does a three foot tall Santa in his sled and eight reindeer join the fray, but so do Tin Soldiers, candy canes and, I shit you not, a full on manger scene complete with Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus.

Last, but not least, we come to the Social Club on my corner. I've been fascinated with this club and the grandpas who are members (Well, except for you Frankie, you dirty old man!). It's always beautiful to me, no matter the weather or season.

I'm now going out to play in the snow while it's still around. I suggest you do the same.

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The F Train Follies - Puking Edition

To borrow the opening line from one of my favorite books, tonight was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

I had a work function at Cipriani on 42nd Street. One of my brands was a sponsor of an annual modeling event. As my management and I chatted up a few of our favorite clients, an invitation was extended to be their guest at the annual 'to-do' in Switzerland in early April. I was in shock when they insisted I come as their guest as this is an invitation I'd been coveting for a couple of years now.

Giddy with excitement and pondering where I'd go shopping for a suitable cocktail dress for the high-end dinner that would be awaiting me in Geneva, I opted to take the subway home (and save a few precious pennies for said cocktail dress). Herewith ends the Best Of Times scenario, as most blog posts featuring the NYC Subway system do.

This time, though, I cannot entirely blame the MTA. True, something was a rye on the F line as I had to wait a half hour for a packed train to arrive at Broadway/Lafayette. No, our misery begins with the packed car stopping at Second Avenue upon which the masses squeezed thier way on. I was crammed near the left-hand mid-car door when a 20something girl in a fuchsia parka slithered her way to my immediate left.

By the time we crawled one stop closer to Brooklyn at Delancy Street, I noticed girlfriend wasn't at the top of her game. Out of the corner of my eye I could see her beginning to slouch, rest her head on her extended left arm. Yet, it was the sighs that really tipped me off.

As we approached East Broadway, only one thought crossed my mind: What would I do if this girl suddenly began to puke. And just then....she did.

All over me, the girl next to me, the girl sitting down in the seat we were pressed up against and on the girl to her immediate right. It was like one of those dancing fountains outside the Bellagio in Vegas. Unfortunately for her, the girl to my immediate right got the brunt of it. As she "Oyed!", I turned to the cause of our shock. Fuchsia Coat hadn't said a word. Her eyes were half closed. She just stood there. So I asked her, "Are you OK?" at which she did a little half turn and exited the car just as the doors closed at East Broadway.

A good Samaritan gave us all some Kleenex to dab away the damage. I pointed out to my fellow victims that it could have been a helluva lot worse - the evidence proved Fuchsia Coat didn't have much of a dinner. We all handled it as well as we could and bid each other good luck with our coats at Jay Street where a hoard of unsuspecting passengers separated us and the space we were quick to vanquish.

So, to Fuchsia Coat, I sincerely hope you made it home ok. And to my fellow victims, I hope you, too, have a great dry cleaner.

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Best In Show

I get sucked into the Westminster Kennel Dog Show each year. Besides rooting for my beloved pugs, I'm in awe of the amazing variety of dogs romping about Madison Square Garden. Especially the insanely groomed and er, rather unique looking breeds (click here for Bill Cosby's winning Best In (freak)Show - 2007).

This year will not see a Pug King/Queen. But I'm confident the below clip prooves who's really master...

UPDATE: Uno, the beagle, just won Best In Show at Westminster. MK at Dlisted.com, you complete me. Thanks for the shoutout that made this hot bitch (with balls) the Hot Slut Of The Day!!!

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One Outta Three Ain't Bad

The last few times Accuweather forcast snow, well, let's just say their inaccuracy was off the radar. Imagine my surprise during lunch when I stepped out to an actual snowfall. No worries, I thought, as I carefully and quickly manuevered to and fro my favorite lunch spot in my new suede knee-high Calvin Klein wedge-heeled boots. The snow squall was bound to pass soon, like the freak bursts The Manfriend and I encountered on Sunday passing over the Brooklyn Bridge.

The sidewalks greeting me in the West Village when I left work told a different story. Not wanting to ruin my new CKs, I searched under my desk for a replacement footwear option. Shoes accumulate under my desk like mad. I always keep a pair of flip flops handy for the forgotten mani/peddie lunch appointment and since 9/11, there's always some sort of a comfortable shoe I can walk the few miles home in if need be. Since I've made it through the crunch of Planning Season (much like accountants have late night after late night during tax season, media professionals have a similar hell that lasts a couple of months), I've been cleaning up my office and get back to some sense of order by purging wayward magazines, forgotton holiday rep gifts and the sea of shoes collecting dust under the desk. Just the night before, in fact, I brought home my gym shoes and wellies.

Unfortuntately, my only remaining options to commute home in were a pair of red leather Marc Jacobs boots, beforementioned flipflops or black leather four inch stacked wood wedge heels. I opted for the heels and slowly (oh so slowly!) made my way through the unshoveled sidewalks of the West Village to the F train and to my apartment in Carroll Gardens.

There were only a handful of storefronts in either the Village or Brooklyn that saw fit to shovel their sidewalks. When I passed 3rd Place (which by the way was quite beautiful - it's amazing how a layering of snow can completely transform the city's look) I knew I was home free.

Third Place, Brooklyn

And the shoes? They'll soon dry. According to Accuweather, we're in for a warm up. Which means the shoes will likely return to their comrades under my desk within days.

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Deathwatch 2008: You're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat

Best known and loved for his role as Amity Police Chief Martin Brody in the Jaws film series, Roy Scheider has passed away. According to the AP, he'd been treated for multiple myeloma for 2 years.

Scheider was seventy five years old.

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Oh Hell Yeah!

Against all odds, Big Blue delivered last night. The screams coming from both within the Manfriend's apartment and surrounding vicinity were deafening as Bellicheck scurried off to the locker room like a feild mouse.

Eli, you truly did put on that Superman cape. Congrats on the MVP award. You earned it (and hopefully have shut up the haters for good).

Guess all that's left is to ask the Bossman for tomorrow off so I can stake my place downtown beneath the ticker-tape...

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