Wednesday, July 8, 2015

April's Antics

“Every mighty king was once a crying baby!
Every great tree was once a tiny seed!
Every tall building was once in paper!
And so I dream my dream!” she yelled.
Eunice Akoth

March didn’t go out as a lamb.  But thankfully, with the longer days, April did, slowly, turn into a lovely start to spring.  It’s amazing how you could literally see it in people’s faces.  Coming out again after a too-long winter’s hibernation. 

At Simon Pearce
I was so fortunate, and grateful, to kick off spring in Vermont.  Albeit, not the Green Mountain State’s most beautiful season, it was wonderful to relax, and “be” with one of my favorite people.  Katie, came back from Sierra Leone for rest/work for a few weeks, and we escaped up to one of our favorite places.  Funny, I hadn’t been to Woodstock for three years, and found myself there twice in a month.  No complaints!   We literally “vege’d out” catching up on a whole season of “Downton Abbey” to emerge only for dinner (since we had no food left!).  It was a lovely dinner at Melaza Bistra (  Loving our long lazy lunch at Long Trail Ale, and really cherishing another lunch at one of my favorites, anywhere in the world, Simon Pearce, we both realized that as much as we love Woodstock, Vermont, we couldn’t live there.  Guess we are more citified than we thought.

Coming back to my new home town, I jumped in as usual with both feet.   The Central Park Conservancy treated volunteers to a very lovely reception at  “my” Boathouse.  It was a special evening with classmates of my training class who have become friends (amongst many others).

Lunch time entertainment
Once again getting lost on the internet, reading one thing, leading to another, I found out about a small travel show, called New York TravFest.  Speakers and groups I had heard before where speaking, so I was very interested.  Jumping in on the 11th hour, I did what I often do when I see events I want to attend; but not necessary pay for (need to be prudent!); I offered my assistance by volunteering.  A lady reached out, and I worked quite hard the week before the festival.  It was excellent at yet more cool spaces in my city.  I got to go/work at an event at the New York Times building in Midtown, extremely interesting and lovely.  The opening night party was at the very cool Mundo Restaurant in the Paper Factory Hotel in Brooklyn.  Saturday I spent at on the West side at 150 W 83.  And, finally, Sunday I spent the day in the Penthouse Suite with Meet Plan Go at the Hosteling International on the Upper West Side.  I will stay in hostels in a heartbeat if they are like this one.  (And this adventure may just turn into another of those part-time gigs I’m hoping to fill my time with!)

Within a few days of that great Festival, I found myself behind the scenes at the David Koch Theatre at Lincoln Center.  (The same theatre where I saw the lovely Sarah dance with the Boston Ballet last spring.)  The Women in the Worlds Summit was a mouth-dropping, inspiring few days of listening to some of the most amazing women in this country speak (“Hilary”, Barbara Streisand, Katie Couric, Angelina Jolie, Ashley Judd, Robin Wright with the real US Ambassador to the UN.  I missed Mary Robinson (former President of Ireland), Meryl Streep, Helen Mirren, Diane von Furstenberg. 
More spectacular were some of the non-famous women who came to speak.  A young Lady who left no dry eye in the theatre and earned one of the longest standing ovations I have ever experienced after performing a poem she wrote;   Eunice Akoth is a 12 year old sixth grade student at Kiberia School for Girls.  She came to the US with Kennedy and Jessica Odede.  From the program: “Kennedy is one of Africa’s best-known community organizers and social entrepreneurs…He started the Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO) movement…”  One of the many things Kennedy has done is open a school for girls in his hometown, Kiberia, a district of Nairobi, Kenya, the largest urban slum in Africa.  Again from the program about: “Born in the slums of Nairobi…her parents were unable to pay school fees, but at the age of 6, Eunice was accepted into the first class of students at KSG and quickly established herself as a leader.  Today, she is a confident girl who, despite her circumstances, believes she is made for greatness.  She dreams of becoming a famous and influential journalist so she can travel the word and report on the circumstances of girls.  She is also determined to come back to Kiberia so she can help her community.  She believes it is her duty to change the world.”   Watch for her.

Sugar and Plumm
Of course, amongst all of these networking/volunteer adventures, I played and kept up with friends.  Some of these new friends have come directly from amazing exploits in my volunteer world.  Alas, I have lost one such great Lady to Portland, Oregon.  But, of course, I wholeheartedly support Ladies who go for their dreams.  Before she left we had a Saturday night on the Town, literally.  Meeting down in the Lower East Side, we found a wonderful sushi place with an incredible happy hour and loved our time at Zest.  Popping to the UWS for dessert we delighted in a decadent Milkshake for grownups at Sugar and Plumm.  Farewell, Dear Friend.  We will meet again.  (I have never been to Portland, Oregon!)
my new city.

Playing in my Park (Central) with Family!
April ended on a lovely note with very special visitors from home.  My Cousin and her family came down to play over the Kiddos' vacation, and I got to play with them for a day!  Showing them my lovely new home, we then ventured to my Central Park but first stopped at Laduree ( a fancy macaron shop close to home that my cousin’s Daughter had done a school project on!  Taking them to my Sojourn for a light dinner was a delightful end to a special day.

On the Highline
The Standard West's Patio
The next day, a very Dear Friend and Husband came to play on the way to New Jersey.  We hit the ground running, after showing them my new home, and making our way Downtown near the new World Trade Center to find their hotel.  Starting at O’Hara’s close to their hotel, we had a perfect pub lunch.  We then meandered along the Highline, stopping for fun Margarita’s at the Standard West’s Patio.  Lovely.  Wanting another bite to eat before seeing a play, we stayed in the Meatpacking ‘hood and went over to Catch for some “munchies.”  If that weren’t enough, we did go to a show, a series of short plays about Central Park (a benefit of being a Greeter Guide, we were invited as guests).  It was okay.     

My work continues with Initiate Care.  I am getting more comfortable and really enjoy the teaching.  My “whipper-snapper” Boss treated us to a lovely Team dinner at a wonderful restaurant, Decoy.  Thanks, yet again, BM.  (He has managed to get some of the best restaurants/hotels in the city as clients.  Which I love!)  Another day we taught at Zuma,(( where upon we were treated to a Chef’s tasting lunch following.  What a true treat!  Spring is the crunch season for camps needing their counselors to get CPR certified, so that should (and did) help keep me busy!

The final Sunday of month had me sharing in a lovley brunch with 4th U Vday Ladies, and a dear Philosophy friend, at City Winery.  Following that we meandered further into the Village (still happy saying that) to CafĂ© Vivaldi to listen to Emir Gamsizoglu again.  He performed an amazing afternoon concert with Angela Dinkelman, soprano.  “Breakfast in Tiffany’s” was a true multi-collaboration of Schubertiades music interspersed with scenes of that beloved classic movie.  There was not a dry eye in the house as Angela ended the show with Henry Mancini’s  “Moon River.”

April ended on a beautiful note as I took full advantage of a Greeter  Eric and Gerry of the Horticulture team guided us through an area that I manage to get lost in most other visits.  It is so hard to imagine you are in the heart of the largest cities in the world here.  So very, very blessed and grateful.
Guide Wild Flower Tour through the Ramble of my beloved Central Park.