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Amber’s Brooklyn

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Bitches Get Shit Done

I felt like a total badass this week.

I’ve recently been made the president of the coop in our building (it’s like being president of the home owners association). As such, it’s my job to write the checks on behalf of the building, which is technically a very small corporation.

We had a roof issue that needed to be resolved, and this involved our building being ensconced in scaffolding three stories up, which blocked all but the tiniest slivers of sun from getting through my windows. It was pretty miserable, but worse when, weeks after the roof repairs were done, the scaffolding remained.

“Send the check, the job is done,” I was told. But… the scaffolding was still up. There was also, I’m not kidding, a JUG OF PEE sitting on the ledge of my living room window outside that made me queasy to look at.

After a few weeks, I got stubborn: no check until EVERYTHING was done, including the scaffolding coming down. I figured, why would this company bother paying a group of workers to take literal tons of wood and steel beams apart and put them into storage when they could leave it up, then move it whenever they needed it again? Especially now, while it’s covered in snow. I just knew it: they were planning on leaving it here, possibly for months, holding my windows hostage. I made the call: no money ’til it’s done-y.

My stance caused a few eyebrows to raise in the building; the guy downstairs is buddies with the owner of the company that did the roof repairs so he was eager to get them paid (he also rents out his unit, so didn’t have the misery of the dark building to deal with daily) and another board member agreed with me, but was hesitant to rock the boat. Still I stood firm.

The next morning, the scaffolding was being pulled apart.

I am a New Yorker, and a businesswoman, and you cannot fuck with me.


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How Emily Margolin Helped Me Find a Home

It has been my motto for years, and it’s been even more true feeling since becoming a business owner: I do business with people, not companies. When we were apartment hunting, I was worried about finding a New York City real estate agent that I trusted, that was thoughtful and smart, and that realized that I am looking for a HOME not just piece of real estate for my portfolio.

Enter Emily Margolin.

She is bright and happy which made her fun to work with, and she was honest about the properties we looked at even when that meant we were walking away from something that would have given her a good commission. I trusted her completely. New York City real estate feels shady quite often, but this was not the case here. When we finally found our apartment she was genuinely happy for us, and I completely adore her! We talked about how our businesses dealt with great big life moments, and how we both feel it is an honor to do the work we do. I’m basically throwing my hands in the air right now hollering, “This! Thiiiis!”

We went straight from the closing to a a bar for champagne, and I took this photo of her.

Thank you, Emily, for helping us find our wonderful little home in Brooklyn, and for your excellence.

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By the Power Vested in Me, on Valentines Day

Aimee and Becca eloped over a year ago in Hawaii, a mere two months before the state got marriage equality. With a baby girl on the way, they decided it was time to make it legal. A small group gathered around them in a bar in Brooklyn on Valentine’s Day, and while snow swirled around outside – a far cry from a beach in Kauai – I stood up on a bar stool and legally declared them married. I hadn’t met them before, but they were friends of Jesse and Johanna, so I knew they had to be excellent, and they are.

No one is more of a grumpus about Valentine’s than I am. It makes single people sad and puts lots of pressure on couples to have the BEST DAY EVER. Not my thing, but this was absolutely perfect. I love love. I love marriage. I really love babies. I’m also a big fan of pizza and beer, and now, Aimee and Becca, too.

Congratulations, ladies. I am over the moon excited for you.

p.s. Their “wifey” tee shirts are from Forever 21, and I might need one.

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In Which I Get my Wallet Fixed in a Fantastic, Dusty Old Shop

One of the best things I’ve bought for myself is this travel wallet from Kate Spade, which is currently on sale for $99.

Leaving your house when you live in NYC is like traveling: you’re completely self-contained until you get where you’re going and can put your stuff down again. In between point A and point B, everything has to stay in your hands and on your person, instead putting your cargo in the trunk, your purse on the front seat, and your iced coffee in the cup holder. It was a huge adjustment when I first moved here, but I got good at taking everything I need with me.

This wallet was the first major switch. It holds 17 credit cards, my passport, a pen, and has lots of room for different currency, receipts, and important pieces of paper. It also opens like a paperback, so I can unzip it as I run down the subway steps, hold it half-open with one hand like a book while I slide my MetroCard out, swipe through the turnstile with my other hand and glide through, and then tuck my MetroCard back in and zip as I step into the subway car. It’s one big, efficient movement I’ve managed to perfect, and I will shamelessly admit I feel super cool doing it.

After a year, the zipper came off. Biana pointed me the aforementioned Kate Spade sale and I was tempted, but brought it to my local shoe repair shop instead. In five minutes, and for the five dollars I insisted on paying him, he had it good as new. My grandmother will be proud.

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My Name on the Cake

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In one of the more “Oh, Brooklyn, you are so cute.” moments I’ve had in a while, I ordered this cake not from a form, but by walking from my apartment to the French patisserie down the street from me [Trois Pommes in Park Slope], calling the baker over, and having her join me in a brainstorming session.

We literally had a daydream about cake.

“No chocolate.” was my only rule (Patrice is allergic.) “Anything else is game.”

We ended up doing peanut butter cake with a peanut butter and raspberry jam filling and cream cheese frosting. It was childhood and love in cake form, and there’s a huge hunk of it left in my fridge because it was so rich my friends all tapped out after one piece. Wimps!

Happy weekend.

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