Sunday, May 31, 2009

An afternoon in Central Park

The unplanned plans are always the best. Where someone calls you up impromptu and says "we're meeting at x place in an hour- see you there" and then 8 hours later...
That's what happened this afternoon. Here is my friend nameless at the picnic site.

This afternoon's plans were to meet for a picnic in Central Park- for some catch, strawberries and laughs. It started raining half way through- but we ducked under some trees for 20 minutes and then kept going.
On the way home we stopped by the Tavern on the Green for "1 drink" (which turned into 3)- and laughed so much we kept getting dirty looks from the more somber "proper" guests surrounding us. Here is Elizka and Caroline.

Finished off the evening with some pizza at a local. (It was good- but not as good as Rome offered last Sunday!!)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The residential tourist

As summer hits I'm struck by how many people are coming to New York to visit. (I used to be one of them). I'm lucky to live here as it's really a place people get excited about visiting. But living here day to day you get caught up in routine and forget about the things that make this city so great. This summer I want to take advantage of where I live and continue to not just live in this city- but to "tour" it.

Tonight Sherry and I walked along the Brooklyn bridge and have dinner off of the island. I'm sure there is some amazing history to the bridge. But we missed our walking tour because we ran into Chris (see earlier post).
But I reasoned- I can read about the bb and I'd rather have run into the old friend.

I was quite taken with how charming Brooklyn was. Of course it's far too hip and cool for me. But I can go over and dip my toe in before scuttling back to the city.

A view of Manhattan's skyline at sunset.


A reminder that Manhattan is an island.

Me on the bridge. (insert interesting history factoid here).

Old places and new faces

Ok I really just wrote that title to go with the previous post. It was an old place (Rome) but the faces weren't new. It was me and my friend Jen who is a friend from Toronto (so not new).
Regardless- I haven't posted about my trip to Rome. Mostly because I didn't have any pictures due to the fact that my camera was stolen. Then I thought I'd be clever and draw some crude pictures of the coliseum and St. Peter's Basilica but it turns out I don't have a drawing program on my computer (odd for a MAC). So... I have now stolen pictures from Jen's album and am posting. What's missing is my first day where I did the most touristy things- like visit :
- Roman Forum (loved- was the last one out- they had to kick me out)
- Palentino
- Piazza Venetia (loved- such great views. I got a GREAT photo of this giant horse statue...)
- Pantheon
- St. Peter's Basilica (I actually took some video of the inside because I didn't feel as though the pictures were truly capturing it's magnificence.)

yup. pictures and video.
ok you know what? Just writing about it makes me sad. I know that I'm lucky nothing happened to me. And I'm lucky to have been in Rome in the first place. And yes I've traveled a decent amount with nothing happening to me (knock on wood etc). And I was just too relaxed so that's what happens- your bag gets stolen. But that doesn't mean it still doesn't suck. And everyday I miss something that was taken.
But onwards we go. And here are some pictures of Rome from day 2 and 3 after I met up with Jen. You'll just have to imagine the first day and a half...
One thing I love about Rome is that the aqueducts that were built 2000 years ago are still going strong and all throughout the city there are water fountains with fresh mineral water from the earth bubbling up. It was cold and delicious.

This is Trevi Fountain which is a result of the natural pressure from the aqueducts- and not an artificial mechanization the way that fountains are in north america. For all of the fountains in Rome (and there are hundreds) there is no 'turning them off'.

Here we are having wine and pizza at a cafe by the fountain. The weather was amazing while we were there- 30C and dry.

Inside of the Pantheon. Originally a pagan temple. The only source of light is the hole at the centre. The floor is concave. The walls are metres thick. It was very cool.

This is the outside/front of the Pantheon.

And of course, the coliseum. I loved it most of all. This time I was able to tour the inside.

At twilight.

Me inside.

This is the dome of St. Peter's Basilica from the Spanish Steps. SPB is another favourite of mine and I was so happy I was able to experience it again.

I think the biggest thing I will say is that I fell in love with Rome quite a few years ago. And I'll be honest- I was a bit worried that seeing it again would present itself in a different light. It would be like seeing the hot guy from high school that you were once in love with. And you had a great love affair and you have such great memories. And then you see him years later and he's got a pot belly and he's bald. And he's not so great afterall. I didn't want Rome to be the fat bald guy.
But it didn't disappoint. It was just as magical and wonderful as the first time- and I fell in love all over again.

Old faces in new places

So my friend Sherry and I are standing on the corner of Broadway and Chambers this afternoon- heading down to the Brooklyn bridge. It's pretty busy, it's right downtown and a beautiful afternoon. People everywhere.
Though Sherry wants to get going I see a Starbucks and make her stop so I can go for a mocha. On the way I look up and see this guy who looks vaguely familiar. I pause and do a double take and I see that he seems to recognize me. And it's ... no it couldn't be... yes-yes, it is... a guy that I went to high school with in Calgary *ahem* a million years ago!
so completely random.
We were both blown away because it was so unexpected and I think we'd only seen each other once since graduation- and even that was years ago (geez- how old am I anyhow?!). He lives in LA now, just in town for a few days with a friend.
We chatted, got more or less caught up- and I took a picture of him in the Starbucks with my new iphone.

He's doing well and it was great to see him. It was also good to be reminded that New York really is a tiny tiny place.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Going to Rome

what are you doing next weekend?? Me? Oh well- glad you asked... I'm heading to Rome.
For the weekend.
I love just saying that.
It's completely
But I'll be ridiculous while I can be.

I haven't been to Roma in about 10 years.
And even then only once.
Will see the Vatican.
And St. Peter's Basilica
Have gelato by Trevi Fountain.

See my friend Jen
and get out of the city.
I can't wait.
Pictures to be posted next week.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Whirlwind weekend with a wedding.

I was in Toronto this weekend for all too short of a visit. I didn't get to do all I wanted to do and see everyone I wanted to see- but there will be other trips. (Although given it took 7 hours to get home yesterday I'm not sure I want to go back!)

I saw Star Trek on Friday night (give it a 7/10) and a wedding all day Saturday. We also made it to RV's birthday bbq (in between ceremony and reception) all dressed in our wedding finery designed to make the other guests feel shoddy and under-dressed.

Us at the start of the bbq.

The wedding and reception were both beautiful. It was a Catholic ceremony with a full on mass, and though there was lightening outside- none of it made it to our rows (I will say that our rows were suspiciously quiet throughout all of the prayer and response). And Lisa was, of course, stunning. Her husband is Scottish so the men all wore kilts.

Here is most of (some of?) the gang at the reception with the bride.

4am post reception found me and Rob practicing our "Model" poses- (launched in 2006). "Smile with your eyes" - treasured words of the esteemed Tyra Banks.

And finally Sunday was a quick catch up brunch where three girls compared notes on our lives and realized we are all living the same one- months apart. There is comfort in that but funny enough- no learning.

And did I mention it took me 7 hours to get home?? And that I didn't drive but flew? In an airplane? Not made by the Wright brothers? And it was a direct flight? 7. hours.
But I'm home- and will not let the journey home diminish the joy that preceded it.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Like a really bad savings plan

I just did my FIRST US tax return and Uncle Sam owed me money!!

Monday, May 04, 2009

The more things change.

I haven't been inspired to write lately... I don't know why. And as this is meant to keep friends and family abreast of my goings on- here are some goings on since last I wrote:
- I got rocked at work last week (this week is looking better but will be able to breath after tomorrow)
- Bedroom renos continue and I'm looking to paint - because I haven't already painted enough this past year. Blue or Copper?
- I watched High School Musical 3 and for the first time in a long time I didn't find the teen movie a guilty pleasure. I found it painful. Like fast forwardly bad.
- I'm going to see "Star Trek" this Friday and am looking forward to it
- I'm particularly looking forward to it because I'm going with my friends in Toronto (it is a summer tradition to go for sushi and then to see the summer blockbusters and as I happen to be in town for LP's wedding I get to join)
- I had sort of met someone and have since discarded that same someone. This is a good thing because while he's a good guy, he's not the guy.
- I reached my boiling point at work last week and I have a very slow boiling point. But at least I learned what my threshold is.
- I went for a run in Central Park (in New York) and reflected on the changes in my life since I used to go running in Centennial Park (in Calgary).

It's funny how some things are so very different and yet some things are so very much the same.