Monday, June 29, 2009

The Moon and New York City

1st celeb sighting was in North Carolina...while boarding the flight to LaGuardia I immediately recognized Sharon Lawerence...the actress who played Dennis Franz' wife on NYPD Blue and who had an affair with her best friend's son (played by Brian Austin Greene) on a Lifetime movie! She was on our flight...not in first class but actually 3 rows behind me...people were very rude, just taking pictures of her while she was trying to find her seat...I refrained. But here is a picture I found on the internet!

Well, I may have made a mistake when I first bought my ticket (I thought it was a 7:00am flight...turns out it was a 7:00pm flight) but it turns out that flying into NYC at midnight is pretty darn cool. Looking out over the city lights was awesome and the moon shining down over the city immediately put that song in my head....if you get caught between the moon and New York City...anyway, it was great and of course the place was jumpin'! My cabbie got me to the apartment by 12:30am so all was good.

My new friend, Chris, was waiting for me and we stayed up late talking like we were at a slumber party....turns out her family was skeptical too about us sharing the apartment before her departure to Europe but it was actually the best thing! We woke up on Sunday morning and went to her gym for a "definition" thighs and glutes are screaming today :) She is a member of the gym were Elaine met John Jr. on the Seinfeld episode....VERY nice/upscale...I have a week pass that I intend to use. We showered and dressed there and then hit the city big time....bought a subway/bus pass and went straight to Harlem to see the Apollo and the Michael Jackson memorial wall...even got to sign the wall...from there we went to Bank Street College which is the college I am attending then on to Chinatown...opposite ends of the earth. When we arrived in Chinatown she was somewhat upset that no one asked us if we wanted to buy anything...turns out the police had just done a sweep so everyone was on the down low...but not to worry within 5 minutes we were approached by a young asian women with the hook-up for Coach....we followed her for about a block and a half at which point we began following a young man who escorted us to a rolling Coach Warehouse! We hopped into the back of the vehicle with blacked out windows and an automatic light that came on when the doors closed...all very clandestined and I'm sure illegal! But I got a great deal on an over the shoulder small bag...great for NY! From their we went to Times Square and had a piece of the best cheesecake I have ever had....can't remember the name of the restaurant but I can get back to it! Strolled through a street festival and was sad because I was full...they had every imaginable food on a stick you can think of and I LOVE food on a stick! We hopped on a bus and went back uptown to our neighborhood...a quick stroll through Pottery Barn and then I went to Central Park to finish my book while she went to mass....lying (or laying...not sure which Robie) in the park reading was just too much fun! After mass she met me in the park and we went for a walk, people watching adventure....had a beer at the boathouse, watched people play with remote control boats on the lake and had a 10 minute massage before heading to the Emerald Inn for a beer and cheese sticks! It was a long day but very informational and I feel really comfortable with my location.

I was going to upload pictures to give you an idea of where I am living but my computer is not cooperating....1/2 block from the W69th street exit of Central Park, that's close to Tavern on the Green....rumor has it that Robert De Niro lives on the same block just caddy corner from my apartment...I'll let you know if that is true!

Monday started a little hectic...Chris needed to get up at 5:15 to make her flight....she didn't hear her alarm and woke up with a start at 6:15! She was up and out the door in a flash...hope she has a great time in Europe! I went on and got up to shower and fiddle around then caught my bus to school....have been here ever since.

Was a little nervous but after orientation I am feeling much better! Have a lot of work ahead of me but I'm no further behind in my reading than anyone else in my program....there are 7 of us first year students....4 for creative writing and 3 for art! All women and very nice! Again, I am so thankful for the school system that I am in and after hearing where everyone else comes from and I happy to be from the South!

I will keep you posted periodically and I will add pictures to Facebook and the blog if the computer will quit being so finicky (Jessica loves that word)! I think I am headed to Coney Island on Saturday and then will be back in the city to catch the Macy's Fireworks over the Hudson River....hope everyone has a safe and fun Fourth of July!

Much love!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Summer in Alabama...sweat, bug spray and burning bridges!

Summer is here and the heat and humidity are sweltering but there is nothing like a Friday night at camp to get your summer kicked off just right!

If you are a Camp Winnataska person you know Friday night is Grail night...everywhere you look campers, leaders, staff, and directors are all wearing white...talking about searching for the Holy Grail, wondering who will be Galahad and waiting for sundown for the evening to begin! It's the last night of a week of fun for the campers! When the bell rings everyone lines up in front of their huts...all lights are off except in the chapel and the camp processes up the center of camp to the chapel for the play...Holy Grail. This is the story of King Arthur and his knights searching for the Holy Grail...the cast is made up of staff and leaders who have proven themselves worthy with their week of service not only to their campers but to God first. There are always too many leaders worthy of these positions and many are disappointed when not chosen. The play unfolds as the knights come back one by one to report of their search, none of which are successful...the final knight comes back with the story of Galahad's search and ultimate success at finding the Grail...but alas as he steps onto the 7th bridge it bursts into flames and Galahad is bourne into Heaven bearing the Holy Grail in his hand. The final paragraph of the play is delivered by King Arthur and is my favorite making it worth all of the hoopla...

"Oh, campers of Winnataska, knighthood is not dead. The pomp and pageantry are mere symbols of the ideals that still exist in the hearts of man. In our troubled world, the flames of knighthood are burning low. Let us, like knights of old, go forth in search of our Holy Grail. Let us keep the purity and courage that are the ideals of knighthood, and dedicate ourselves to a Holy Cause. Let us so live that we may be worthy of attaining the realization of our dream."

With that, the campers file out silently, taking a lit candle and making their way to Hillside which overlooks the gorge, the waterfalls and the bridge. When everyone has entered the bridge bursts into flames and you see Galahad running across the bridge then disappear as the bridge collapses into the falls.
The campers file out silently to their huts singing "Follow the Gleam"...when everyone is on the steps of their hut at a time the campers sing taps and then blow out their candles...all of camp is now dark and in the round chapel is a cross (I call it the Cross a go-go) lights up and stays lit throughout the night...these are the only lights in camp. Campers go into their huts and into their bunks to ponder the evening...during the night they hear the sounds of the Blackfoot Tribe (college boys on staff) "rebuiding" the bridge...scary as it may sound it is actually a very comforting sound to campers who look forward to it every year!

Having been at camp as camper, leader, adult coordinator, weekly director and program director...I look forward to the 1st Grail of the summer. One of my favorite girls (Rachel) was chosen as Galahad this week so I loaded up my niece Jessica and we went to camp to see the bridge. We didn't attend Grail but sat on the dining hall porch to watch the bridge from there...Jessica had to hide her eyes many times because the Blackfeet don't want her to know all of their secrets...this is her last year as a camper. Here are some pictures for you to see a little bit of what we do at Camp Winnataska...enjoy!

1st pic: Kelly and Jessica waiting for the bridge
2nd Pic: Rachel/Galahad running across the burning bridge,
3rd Pic: the bridge falling
4th Pic: Rachel and Jessica

Monday, June 8, 2009

Long time no post....

Wow, where do I start....January & February fairly uneventful....March - jam packed...snow day, spring break cruise to Mexico - my first cruise ever and I LOVED it!...applied to Grad School.
April...accepted to Grad School in New York City!!! I will move on June 27th and live in New York for 7 weeks! I have sublet a studio apartment on West 69th street right next to the park. I will be studying at Bank Street College and Parsons School of Design (think Project Runway). I will be earning a Master's in Leadership with a Focus on the Visual Arts. It will take me 3 summers in New York (YEA!) and 2 school years online! I'm very excited about the program but most especially that I will be in New York...somewhere I have always wanted to live for an extended period of time...not forever!

May - not a great month - end of the school year is always hectic! Watched a friend bury her 27 year old son...please continue to pray for the Towns Family.

Now it's June and I'm working at the Botanical Gardens to earn spending money for New York...I leave at 7:00pm on Saturday, June 27th....yes, I thought my flight was in the A.M. but in my haste to book in between classes....I didn't read too I will be arriving at midnight...oh well, it is the city that never sleeps!

Things/people to pray for:
Nephew Christopher
Sister Lucy
Niece and Husband Karen and Jason
Nephew Daniel
Niece and Husband Jennifer and Andy
Towns Family
Friend Katie Lincoln
Friend Sara Watkins
Friend Cindy Moon

Stay tuned for stories and pictures from my wild adventure in NYC!