Sometimes I really wish I could avoid using cheesy post titles but New York is too full of cliches and you just have to go with the flow.
Kind of like the inclusion of that picture in the post. No I will not be writing about cupcakes but look how pretty this Snickers cupcakes from Crumbs looks admist beautiful Bryant Park!
I wrote about seeing Merchant of Venice a few weeks ago but have yet to comment on my experiences on the great Broadway. Whenever I would come to the city for vacation we made sure to pack in a show a day no matter how tired I might be… Yes, I may have missed half of Bombay Dreams because my eyes were shut but, by golly, I paid for my ticket, sat in that seat and therefore can add it to my list of shows seen.
This time, I’m in New York not for vacation but rather to work. But you can bet I was getting atnsy when I realized I still hadn’t been to a show after a month in the city. Thankfully my residence realizes us college kids aren’t shelling out hundreds of dollars for theatre tickets so offer great discounts to shows almost every week. I jumped at seeing La Cage Aux Folles and American Idiot. Each ticket was only 20 dollars… Yes, the seats might be the epitome of nosebleeds but it did not take away from the great performances that I witnessed.
La Cage just won best revival of a musical at the Tony Awards and Kelsey Grammar was the biggest name in the show. It is more or less a drag show but these men were amazing. They bent themselves in ways I never thought possible, their voices were outstanding and I was truly moved by each and every song. This show was funny but also had a great and touching message.
Then comes American Idiot which I saw this past Tuesday with Courtney. This was a completely different show… or was it more of a concert? It was 90 minutes of Green Day songs strung together by a story revolving around three young guys. The set was great, their voices were amazing and I never found myself bored. Court might disagree but that’s the great thing about theatre… Everyone has their own opinion!
I’m hoping to squeeze in one more show before I leave next weekend when Kelly visits but we shall see!
My recent computer crash led me to many realizations. One of which is how important entities like blogs, facebook, and emails are to keep inventory of things like pictures, papers, and memories that may be lost when such an event occurs. I wish I was good at journaling, printed out pictures, and more organized so that my hard drive crashing did not feel like the end of the world. Unfortunately I’m very tied to my computer so feel like I lost a lot but dealing with the issues as they arise and trying to believe that “everything happens for a reason.” Anywho… I haven’t blogged in awhile due to time constraints and figure now is a great time seeing as I took a break this past weekend from the crazy NYC life to travel to the not so crazy Perry, Iowa for a family reunion!
Where the festivities took place!
We haven’t had a family reunion in ten years and this one was more special because it brought together some of our extended family that I have never even met before. My dad comes from a family of eleven kids so our side alone is pretty huge.
Almost all the family!
When you add in his cousins you can only imagine how big it gets.
We had a picnic on Saturday and church and brunch on Sunday. In a flash, I was back on a plane headed back to NYC.
It was a whirlwind but even this short trip had a great impact on me. It’s so comforting to be around a hundred relatives knowing that you are all connected by the greatest bond of all that is family. Our shirts read “They had to invite me… I’m family!” and it’s one of life’s greatest blessings. They’ll always be there for you because they have to be, for better or for worse.
I almost missed coming to this reunion because we thought it might be too hard to get there and not worth the travel pains. And while United did try to stop me from getting there (as seems to be my luck with flying lately) I made it and even just a few hours united with these people was enough for me to feel truly happy and lucky that I come from where I do!
Shakespeare in the Park is a NYC summer staple. This year the Delacorte Theater is doing the bard’s The Merchant of Venice and The Winter’s Tale in repertory throughout the summer. Now to get tickets you can go about it three ways:
1. Wait in line early in the morning (you pick- some people get there at 6am) for the ticket distribution at 1pm. There’s no guarantee if you’ll walk away with tickets though so this can be a bit risky. I’d recommend picking a day and making it an event! Get there early, bring a picnic, games, books, and enjoy spending the morning with friends and walk away with free tickets! Then you’ll have the rest of the afternoon to do what you please until you return that evening to catch the show.
2. Put in your name for the virtual lottery online. Me and four other friends have tried this multiple days and so far not be successful.
3. Go standby. This is what we ended up doing yesterday evening and it was a success! We showed up at 5 pm, laid a blanket out on the pavement and took our chances. For three hours we read and chatted while listening to some saxophone music. Eventually it was 8pm and time to see if we were going to get tickets or not.
Not only did we get tickets, we were front row center for one of the most amazing (ok, the most amazing) Shakespeare productions I have ever seen.
From the acting (Al Pacino and Jesse L. Martin were both in it) to the set design and lighting everything was spot on. All that set against the backdrop of Central Park it made for a superb evening. Now I have never been a diehard Shakespeare fan but found this show so easy to follow and captivating for its entirety.
When I told my boss I did this last night she replied with: “Wow you are just having such a New York summer and that’s great!” And ya know what? I could not agree more.
Fourth of July for me has always been a routine. Year after year we load up the car and make a four hour drive to Red River, New Mexico where my grandparents live. From there the day consists of watching the parade in the morning, eating delicious BBQ, participating in duck races, and then heading to the community house for egg tosses, three-legged races, and sack races. Later in the evening we head to Eaglesnest to light some fireworks and then watch the bigger show.
Sack races aren't my speciality
This year, however, I was back in NYC where I spent Fourth of July back in 2006. Without any big obligations, we decided to head to Coney Island for Nathan’s Hotdog Eating Contest.
I always catch this event on television so thought I might as well check it out in real life! Me and Court headed there and had to wait about three hours before it started but they had plenty of music and entertainment to keep us entertained.
Happy Fourth of July!
Then the hot dog eating commenced… Watching professional eaters stuff their faces with hot dogs for ten minutes can be a little nauseating but never worry, the sponsor of the entire event (besides Nathan’s) was none other than Pepto Bismol! I found this to be quite funny. At the end of the time limit, Joey Chestnut (who has one the past three years) came out victorious.
54 hotdogs in 10 minutes? Done.
After, we wanted to explore the island a bit! We found the boardwalk, checked out the beach, and headed to the amusement park to ride the infamous Cyclone!
It was a bit painful...
But so much fun! Then it was time to head back into the city. We headed to find a perfect spot to catch the fireworks along the river. After taking a few naps while waiting it was time for the show. It was spectacular and just as great as the last time I saw it. Needless to say, we were completely exhausted by the end of the day. Although it was an atypical Fourth, it was enjoyable nonetheless and there’s nothing like taking a day to celebrate all things America.
There are lots of ways one can relax after a work day. Put up your feet and read a magazine in your living room, go out for drinks with co-workers, or head to the gym to release some stress. Last Thursday, Bec introduced me to a new post-work activity that’s free in Bryant Park every Thursday: yoga!
We weren't the only ones who thought it was a good idea!
I met up with her and Court in the park and was really surprised at all the people there! I was also impressed by the organization of everything- they had Lulu Lemon yoga mats there for people who didn’t have their own, lots of yogis walking around to help bend and stretch, and a loudspeaker so you could hear the moves.
Even though we were in the heart of the city, you find it really easy to escape into your breathing and truly relax. I’m not a regular yoga practicer. I got into Corepower Yoga for a week while I was home but have not signed up for a studio since making the move here but I do love it every time I take a class and truly feel like it increases your flexibility.
Afterwards, we headed to Chipotle and brought it back to enjoy in the park. Overall, a very successful evening with the same relaxing effect as 2 for 1 drinks at the local bar.
Since beginning my coursework in journalism I have listened to speakers from all over. From attending the National Broadcasting Society convention in New York City to WE Media Conferences in Miami, I have heard all sorts of stories of success and failure from a number of media players.
This summer I get to hear from speakers at both my internship and through my college. We get weekly talks from producers, editors, reporters and executives talking about everything from ethics to writing and then answering our questions about how to get to where they are.
Not going to lie, after a little bit these talks can be exhausting. You hear the same advice over and over and sometimes it’s hard to resist running out of the room so you can take charge and continue on with your own personal journey. After all, when it comes down to it you will never get to where you want to go without actually doing it! Times like these I get anxious to graduate so I can begin interviewing and start my first real job.
However, until then, I love do love listening to and meeting with these people, reveling in their successes and laughing with them as they look back on their failures.
Yesterday, I heard a piece of new advice. Something that can be put to use now and makes a lot of sense. It involves one simple thing: a glass bowl filled with individual candy.
This particular man, a producer and editor for a nightly news program, suggested making an investment (what can candy and a bowl cost after all?) and placing it on your desk. Why? Well then when a senior producer walks by, the glittering gold of the Snickers wrapper will inevitably catch his eye. He will then realize that this little piece of candy is the perfect remedy to his afternoon slump. But how will he get this candy? He must introduce himself! Next thing you know, he’s telling his buddy down the hall that the intern has free candy and in a flash you’re making new friends and connections!
I’ve repeatedly heard the same tips- keep in touch with contacts, be eager (but not too eager) to take on any task no matter how big or small, remember people’s names, etc… but never before has someone mentioned something as simple as a candy dish! So I wanted to share it with all of you.