Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Unique New York Experience

by Lisbeth Eng

“Isn’t everything in New York unique?” you ask. Perhaps a valid question, but in my forty some-odd years in this city, this was a new experience for me. The setting was Yankee Stadium. What could be more iconically “New York” than that?

But then reality shifted and I entered what I will call the “Alternate Baseball Universe.” Three friends had persuaded me to join them at a Yankee game. (My arm still aches from the twisting.) Now it’s not that I don’t like baseball, but being a life-long, die-hard Mets fan, this was not easy. That, and the one hundred dollar ticket price. But I later found out that the regular price for these tickets was $150 and it included food and soft drinks, so it was really quite a bargain.

I was told before I arrived at the stadium that this was a luxury suite. I had been in one once at Shea and it was quite lovely. A private room for about 25 people with your own bathroom and covered open seating facing the action. It was a playoff game in 2000 and I had gotten the ticket through my job. (Not the romance writing job, but the rent-paying job.) My co-worker and I seemed to be the only ones interested in the game and I got the feeling that the other “fans” were out-of-town business people just there for the free food. When the score became lopsided – I think the Mets were losing by seven runs – the others retired to the comfortable living-room-style suite and watched a football game (!) on the television screen provided. My friend and I remained outside in the now-empty covered seating section, leaning out of the opening, cheering on our team and trying to capture the feeling that we were actually attending a baseball game – a playoff game, at that!

Though the Mets lost that game (they went on to become the National League Champs that year – we won’t talk about the 2000 World Series) it was a pleasant experience. I enjoyed all the hot dogs, hamburgers, French fries and chicken fingers I wanted and even got a free Mets cap to take home.

But back to the Alternate Baseball Universe. Riding the D train to The Bronx, I pictured a similar setting for our Yankee game – a covered luxury suite with an endless supply of typical baseball-stadium fare and all the bottled water or soda I wanted. We had already been told beer was extra. Bummer. When we got to the stadium we had no idea how to find our seats. A lovely young woman with a pin-stripe-adorned “May I Help You?” sign pointed us toward a guarded glass door. That led to an elevator and we got off at the level for “Audi Yankees Club” – that’s what it said on our tickets.

This was not a luxury suite – it was a restaurant seating some three hundred guests! Instead of French fries and hamburgers we feasted on lobster fritters, pan-fried soft-shell crabs, shrimp cocktail as big as your hand, sautéed asparagus and very rare filet mignon with béarnaise sauce. No kidding. Oh, and there were fries – sweet potato fries. The miniature pastries on the dessert bar were as tempting as any delicacy from the finest bakery. But lest anyone feel deprived (or forget that he was inside a Major League ballpark), hot dogs were provided, along with potato chips and popcorn. The food was wonderful and gracefully dished out buffet-style by servers wearing chef hats inscribed with the famed “NY” logo.

Yet that wasn’t the weirdest part. Our seats were arranged dinner-theater style before long tables all facing the field. But between the “regular” fans and us was a huge glass picture window. Here we were, watching a baseball game from inside a hermetically-sealed, soundproof, climate-controlled restaurant. We couldn’t even hear the National Anthem (we stood anyway since they piped in the soundtrack) or the roar of the crowd. It was like watching the game on a humongous TV screen, and to underscore the TV-like ambiance, the play-by-play telecast of the entire game was piped in, too.

We were attending a baseball game…but it didn’t feel like it to me. During particularly exhilarating moments – the scoring of a “go ahead” run or a breathtaking defensive play – excited fans are often moved to high-five the complete strangers seated near them. Yet this would have felt unseemly within the sophisticated milieu of the Audi Yankees Club. We were there at a ballpark, but not really there. All the action unfolded before us but we were removed from it. Part of the experience and much of the fun of attending a baseball game is to be among the other fans, not separated from them by glass. Fans are collectively referred to as the “tenth man”. We are part of the game and our “root, root, rooting” for the home team helps spur them to action. Sequestered within our opulent isolation booth, we became observers, not participants.

I don’t regret my expedition into the Alternate Baseball Universe of the Audi Yankees Club. (Yes, there were brochures hawking the luxury autos on a discreet rack near the exit.) The food was wonderful and the company agreeable. It just wasn’t an authentic baseball experience.

Now, this is where I usually make some obscure connection from my blog post to my upcoming World War II romance novel. Hmm…. World War II… war…. Well baseball is a little like war…. Ok, that’s a stretch. So I’ll just refer you to my website at for more info about In the Arms of the Enemy, coming October 1 from The Wild Rose Press. See, I can write a blog post without gratuitous, blatant self-promotion!

Oh, and in case you’re interested, the Yankees lost.

BIO: Lisbeth Eng is a native New Yorker who works in the finance industry by day and plugs her soon-to-be-released World War II romance novel In the Arms of the Enemy every chance she gets. Visit her at

Sunday, August 15, 2010


by Maria C. Ferrer

“Fast is a (Sexy) State of Mind” ---Rachel Kramer Bussel

Fast Girls.

You know who I mean. Those women who are always dressed to the nines: their skirts a little too short, their blouses a little too tight, their cleavage a little too exposed. Their eyeliner is black and sharp, their lipstick bright and confident, and they walk with the greatest of ease on towering heels. Men flock to them, take them home and call them the next day.

You see them at work, on the trains. You remember them from high school, college where they seemed to know something you did not. They still do.

If you haven’t guessed, I was not a “fast girl” growing up. I wasn’t a wallflower either, as I preferred the label, G.D.I. -- God Damn Independent. But, I dreamed. I wanted to send up a signal and have Billy Joel throw me a line but Catholic guilt was better at stamping out hot-blooded passion than a cold shower.

Now as a grown woman, I AM a Fast Girl in that I am in control of myself, my body, my desires and, especially my reading material.  I just read FAST GIRLS: EROTICA FOR WOMEN, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel (Cleis Press). It’s an excellent collection of short stories about strong, confident women in control of their sexuality and their fun.

Like Tracy, in Kayla Perrin’s “Temptation,” who at 37 isn’t afraid of getting it on with a 20-year old stud with the hots for her. Like Kirstie, who makes room in her dorm shower for three extra guests in “Communal” by Saskia Walker. (Talk about conserving water!) Like “That Girl” by Cherry Bomb, who offers no apologies for being promiscuous because she enjoys being “hot and spent, tangled between sheets, skin on skin….”

Even in their submission, Fast Girls are in control for nothing will happen without their consent. Take Claire in Rachel Kramer Bussel’s “Whore Complex.” Her lover Adrian treats her like his private whore, and she allows it. She even allows him to offer her services to others. Why? Because Claire enjoys the rewards just as much as he does.

And, finally, how about a good-girl Fast Girl like the heroine in Charlotte Stein’s “Married Life”? This wife is horny and frustrated by her missionary-position-once-a-month husband. She wants sex and she wants it now, but no one will do but her hubby. So when she discovers her husband is a closet hedonist, there is really only one thing to do -- punish him, wickedly!

Yes, Yes, Yes!!!

As Rachel Kramer Bussel states in her introduction to FAST GIRLS: EROTICA FOR WOMEN, “Fast is a (Sexy) State of Mind.”

Fast Girls are bold, free, confident and in full control of their lives and their beds. Fast Girls doesn’t mean naughty or slutty…unless they want it to.  Are you a Fast Girl?♥


For more info on the book and its editor, click here.

To order from, click here.

Maria C. Ferrer enjoys reading all about fast girls, daring men and deep, dark, mouth-watering desires. If only her life were full of the same. There’s a New Year’s Resolution waiting to happen!