Tuesday, June 28, 2011

To Market To Market

Well this will be the first of a 3 or maybe even 4 part blog series.  I just have so many pictures that an entry or two wouldn’t be sufficient.  This past weekend I went to Connecticut to visit my roommate Leah from Spain, and the change of scenery was just what I needed.  Leah lives in an adorable little town outside of Hartford that is not quite the country but not quite a suburb either.  I fell in love with all of the old houses with their sprawling front lawns and American flags flying proudly next to the front door. 
Leah's House
On Saturday I took an early train out of the city up to a little town in Connecticut where Leah was working at a farmer’s market.  Yes, her family owns a farm and grows all sorts of wonderful produce.  Leah is such the entrepreneur and in charge of all of their sales and orders, everything from little markets to restaurants to Whole Foods.  The entire time in Spain I heard all about her farm and the markets which she loved, so I was so excited to finally see them in person.

The most delicious bread we bought from the baker's tent next to us.

Never without coffee.

I can't remember what this leaf veggie was but they were enormous.
Saturday we were selling various types of lettuce, blueberries, carrots, sugar snap peas, and rhubarb.  It was so much fun to interact with all the people at the market, the buyers and other merchants.  However, I think Leah’s puppy Missy (but her name may change since Leah doesn’t like it) had the most fun of all, running all around and nibbling on sugar snaps the entire time.
Missy is just the cutest dog ever...besides my dog Amber.

Spain friends reunited.

Leah's friend Anna who lives in Connecticut, but that she met in Spain second semester stopped by the market too.  Small world.

A bundle of energy!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Beyond the Buildings

New York is filled with towering buildings, threatening to erase any remembrance of the sky from your mind.  However, there are little places around the city which defy the odds and keep New Yorkers dreaming of the blue freedom above.  Central Park, along with all the other little parks, in the city does its best to keep views of the sky alive and sometimes when I run in Central Park I forget that I even live in the city.
This weekend I discovered two new places to get beyond the buildings.  One is the roof deck of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  After a bit of searching we found the special elevator to the roof and it was well worth the hunt!  What met us were spectacular, panoramic views of the city skyline and sky as far as the eye could see. 
The second place is a bit of a stretch since it is technically not in the city, but it is still in New York so it counts in my book.  We took the 30 minute train out to New Rochelle to have dinner with my dad’s college roommate, and he decided to give us a tour of his beach club.  While driving there I couldn’t understand why he was so enthusiastic about it and part of it probably was just because “clubs” are much more important in the Northeast than they are in California, but that was not the whole reason.  When we pulled up it finally clicked why he liked it so much.  You were faced with beautiful views of the Long Island Sound mixing with the sky on the horizon; a stark contrast to the hectic, crowded city. 
Now don't get me wrong, the energy of the city is invigorating 99% of the time and I absolutely love it, but sometimes I need to step away and take the time to be calm for a moment and enjoy something as simple as the sky.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Bikes, Bridges, Brooklyn, & Bruises

Well I told you there would be plenty more to come!  Now you may be slightly confused by the title of this post, but I feel like the alliteration sufficiently sums up my Saturday spent with my dad and Kevin.  Let me explain:
A.   Bikes:  When the lines to take the ferry to the Statue of Liberty were longer than the one for the Disneyland ride for Dumbo at peak season, we decided it was not worth the wait.  Instead we rented BIKES in Battery Park and rode along the waterway which turned out to be the best idea we could have had.
If you look really hard you can even see my building in the background.

B.   Bridges:  Naturally we had to have a destination for our bike ride so we chose to bike across a BRIDGE, the Brooklyn Bridge that is.  Now the biking and walking path are side by side and both have two-way traffic which makes for an incredibly dangerous combination.  It is still a miracle that I didn’t hit a single pedestrian.
 Brooklyn Bridge

C.   Brooklyn:  After crossing the bridge, we found ourselves in BROOKLYN; a quiet escape from the busy city.  Grimaldi’s, New York’s most famous pizza place, lives in Brooklyn.  It has an hour and a half wait, but thanks to Hannah Lee’s advice we called in our order and only had to wait 30 minutes.  In the meantime we grabbed a delicious banana split down by the water…life is short so why not eat dessert first?  The pizza was great, but in my opinion it probably would not have been worth the hour and a half wait.

 Hope you weren't hungry when you started reading,
 because after looking at these pictures you will be starving.

 This line could give the Statue of Liberty line a run for its money.

Originally Kevin was mad that we didn't order more pizza, but even he couldn't finish it all.

 Finally some greenery.
Reflection of NYC in a motorcycle mirror by the waterfront.

D.   Bruises:  If you have ever heard about my dad’s vacations, you know that they are not leisurely, period.  It doesn’t take much to realize that I got my traveling bug from him.  Anyways, his trips mean one thing, lots of walking and by the end of the day my feet were throbbing and probably had internal BRUISES.  You see, after our bike ride the line for the ferry to the Statue of Liberty had disappeared, so we hopped on it to see the statue and Ellis Island.  We then proceeded to walk through the entire lower half of New York:  Canal Street filled with its knock-off designer purchases, Chinatown with its plethora of cheap souvenirs, little Italy which had more restaurants than you could count, and trendy Soho and Greenwich Village.
This picture perfectly sums up Kevin's nine days of traveling with my dad...
exhausting but they still had a great time.
 Note Kevin's creative pose.
 Ellis Island.
 Little Italy.
 So maybe we did get American food on the outskirts of Little Italy, but it was good.
 Street performers in Washington Square Park.
Empire State Building.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Aspiring Thespian

Well I am not actually a thespian and don’t have a huge desire to become.  However, Broadway plays do have a way of making you wish that you could sing and dance like the talented actors and actresses performing in them.  Since my dad and youngest brother Kevin are out visiting me in New York, we decided to see some plays this week:  Phantom of the Opera and Mary Poppins.
Show time.

Wednesday night we saw Phantom of the Opera and it was your classic Broadway production with wonderful music.  I bounded into the theatre right before they shut the doors because I had left straight from work and to my surprise the ticket taker already knew who I was.  Turns out my dad made friends with her and put his negotiation skills to good use by convincing her to give us better seats.  The show was wonderful and we ended it with a somewhat chaotic stroll through Time’s Square.  It always amazes me how you can walk through the square anytime of the day or night and it will be alive and packed with people.  I still can’t determine its exact allure; maybe it is just the hoards of people themselves.
The famous Phantom of the Opera chandelier.

Kevin just loves taking pictures with me...

Time's Square...and it was this bright at 12 p.m.

Friday night I had another last minute arrival to our musical, but this time we weren’t so lucky with getting a seat change so we had the honor of sitting in the nose bleed seats.  Nonetheless the show was still quite enjoyable to watch.  I was surprised how they were able to change parts of the storyline, but still maintain the spirit of Mary Poppins.  Some highlights were when Mary Poppins flew away with her umbrella over the audience and the adorable children with their British accents who played Jane and Michael.  It may be peculiar, but I do have a thing for accents.
17 Cherry Tree Lane.
We love the back row.

Well that is it for tonight because I am off to grab my laundry which is waiting in the dryer on the third floor, but stay tuned for more updates of the father/ brother visit because it is a jammed packed weekend!

Monday, June 13, 2011

They Love Texas Because They Hate The Heat

Ok I will admit it; I started off being a bit of a poser.  However, to my credit, when 90% of your friends are Dallas Mavericks fans you can’t help but get caught up in the playoffs.  Let’s see, I have now been in New York for exactly 2 weeks which means that I have watched 5 NBA playoff games here.  A big group of us from UT, Baylor, and other southern schools made it a tradition of reserving a few tables at a sports bar to watch the Mavs and the Heat battle it out.  Some of them were literally die-hard fans, and the games were so close that they almost had some nervous breakdowns.  I find it funny that in New York, where they normally disapprove of all things Texas, the majority of people are Mavs fans… not because they like the Mavs, but because they hate the Miami Heat (I still don’t understand their reasoning for this just like I still don’t fully understand what all goes on in the game).
Me with two of the most intense Mavs fans I know...Ryan and Azar.

Anyways last night was what could potentially be the final game of the series; the Mavs were up 3 games to 2.  All they had to do was win this one game.  Since I had already become a Mavs fan, I decided a Mavs shirt was a must.  It took going to just about every sports store in the city, but we finally found some of the last ones, which goes to prove that New Yorkers really are Mavs fans.  As usual, the game was way too close for comfort and I even found myself biting my nails in between asking a million questions because I did not understand any of the calls.  However, as the final seconds ticked away and it was obvious that the Mavs had won, the place literally exploded.  People were crying, screaming and about every other emotion in between.  In that moment I could not have been any happier to be wearing my shirt and call myself an official Mavs fan.
Here are the final seconds of the game to give you a picture of what it was like.  Beware of loud noises though...you may want to turn down your speakers.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Adventures in Time Travel and Art Studios

I am so sorry that I have not blogged this week; life has been a whirlwind of a blur.  Working 10-11 hour days and exploring the city after I get off.  This past year I felt that I had hit the epitome of time travel and after I graduated life would start slowing down.  However, I was wrong.  Now that I have had a taste of the “working world”, I can honestly tell you that life will not slow down.  I guess that just means I will have to continue making the most of everyday.
My internship is wonderful.  I work with a fantastic team and cannot believe how much I have learned in five short days!  Unfortunately company policy does not allow us to blog about our experience, but y’all can rest assured that I am enjoying every minute of it.
Well since I can’t blog about work, I am going to blog about my friend Hannah.  She is the most incredible artist and is taking art classes this summer at Columbia.  In fact, she is one of only 12 students who were selected from thousands of applicants for this program.  Lindsey, Shelley, and I decided that we should take a little trip to visit her at her studio.  We even tried to dress artsy, but that just didn’t work out too well.  Anyways we loved seeing her work, and I think I am going to have her paint me a picture of Central Park with the Plaza Hotel in the background and the four of us hidden somewhere in the picture to help me remember my summer in NYC forever.
This is my favorite picture of her studio.

Here is the painting she is working on.

She got her inspiration from a picture her grandpa took
when he was a teenager of an old man named Claude.

But the picture wasn't turning out how she wanted it to...

So she just wrote over parts of it.  I guess when you are a true artist you aren't afraid of ruining your painting because you know that you can always paint over it.

We decided to take some self-timer pics, but we kind of missed our faces...

Someone said something...

And next thing you knew we were all putting paint on each other's faces.

I think the artsiest (if that is even a word) that I got all afternoon was taking a picture of my shoes.

Back to painting with a whole new color scheme in mind.

Self-timer worked a bit better this time.

Until next time.