Mike&Sarah

Tag Archive: New York

Fireworks

Mike wanted to go.  But I didn’t.  Nothing within me thought it would be a “fun” memory.  Turns out, I was wrong.

M&S, just before the Fireworks on the Hudson River. 2010.

But first, I was concerned.  Maybe I have a  genetic predisposition towards a phobia of crowds and traffic.  Or maybe I inherited that personality quirk from my dad.  Regardless of the source, that phobia of crowds and traffic is powerful.  It’s not a traditional phobia, as in, a paralyzing fear, but rather a sense of angst, and frustration:  my goals are blocked and I feel powerless to maneuver myself through a mob of pedestrians or a traffic jam.

But Mike wanted to go see the Macy’s Fireworks.  And not from our rooftop.  No, he wanted to go to the Hudson River.  And he wanted to go early so we could stake out our spot.

Oh, I think I forgot to mention how much I don’t enjoy being hot.  And we just started a heat wave here in New York City.  It was at least 10 degrees hotter in NYC today than it was in Orlando.  What is happening in this crazy world?

So, it’s hot.  And it’s crowded.   And we’re not exactly sure where we ought to go.  We rode the subway, then walked a long time.  We finally made it to 47th Street and 12th Avenue.  The avenue was closed to cars and trucks so the people spread out blankets and chairs.  Some people had picnics, many were hiding under umbrellas to protect themselves from the hot sun (even at 6pm it was hot!).  We had our beach towels, a bottle of water each, and a few hard pretzel sticks.

I grew restless.  No books.  No magazines.  Hot, strong sun.  No sunglasses (major oversight!).  The concrete road we were sitting on was so hot I had to fold over my towel several times for a little more insulation.  Eventually (ok, maybe 20 minutes later) I was so restless I left in search of better seats or a deck of cards.  Which ever I discovered first.

Though our fireworks adventure started out on the “not-so-great-for-Sarah” side, Mike was delighted.  And my attitude turned around once we started playing card games.  (Mike won most of them and I was a good sport, not a sore loser.)  When the crowds rushed the barricades for good viewing position, we were ready to dash forward and won coveted spots along the metal railings.  To have a better view than we had, you would’ve had to buy a ticket for the INTREPID, the aircraft carrier turned museum docked in front of us.

It was a spectacular view and a spectacular evening.  Wanna see a bit of the show?  I shot a bit of the finale with my point and shoot camera.  Enjoy.  It was wonderful!

Day 3

Summer in the City Day #3:

So, today started early for me.  I went to Good Morning America’s Summer Concert Series in Central Park because Sarah McLachlan and Norah Jones gave a free concert.  The GMA website advises people to get to Central Park when it opens at 6am, but I wasn’t worried about being first in line.  I figured out the trains, navigated Central Park and found the concert location by following the music.  The performers were running sound checks and filming promo shots for the morning show when I arrived.  Forty-five minutes later George Stephanopoulos introduced the live TV performance.  Each woman performed a song for the program, and then played two more songs each for a web concert.

It was a smooth morning, even after I got turned around in Central Park on my out.  I still made it to my morning meetings on time!

After our training, development and planning meetings, our team headed downtown to the East Village to enjoy dinner at Khyber Pass, an Afghan restaurant.  (I tried the quorma with eggplant and lamb.)  We walked across the Brooklyn Bridge (1.13 miles long), then ate at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory (wow) before taking the water taxi to the South Street Seaport.  By the time we got home to Mid Town at 10.45pm, I was wiped out.

Tomorrow is a work day for us.  Our interns arrive tomorrow, and the students arrive on Tuesday, but we’ll get to take Monday off.

Today was long and tiring.  But a good day.

Downsizing

Garage sale.  DONE.

Donations to charity.  DONE.

Sell Mike’s car.  DONE.

Yes, you read that right.  We just sold Mike’s car to his brother and sister in law, and his nephews in Wisconsin can’t wait for the car to get home!  Selling that car was just another step in our efforts to downsize before we leave for NYC, but I felt sad for Mike as his car pulled out of the driveway and we waved good bye to his brother, for that car was his dream car.  He was so excited about his sporty little grey two-door Mustang.  We decided to keep my car for a few more months since it’s a 4-door sedan with more trunk space, and therefore more practical for hauling our belongings up and down the east coast over the next few months.

Sniff.  Sometimes you’d rather be sporty than practical.

Chaos

One of my girlfriends is on her way over and I feel some inner tension, though it has nothing to do with her.  She’s coming over to help me sort and pack up the remaining items after our garage sale this weekend.

But I feel a bit exposed.  The house is a wreck.  Mike and I tore it apart looking for more items to purge for the sale.  Now my friend is coming over to help put this “humpty-dumpty back together again” (and I need the help!), but I don’t want her to see  the mess.

It’s one thing to talk about other people’s clutter and chaos, but somehow, when it’s MINE, well, that’s when it feels exposing, humbling, vulnerable.  Ironic, isn’t it?  She’s fully aware of the chaos.  I think she even enjoys making order out of chaos.  She’s choosing to spend her free time with me, in my mess and chaos, to help relieve me of the tension and stress I feel when I think about my house.  It’s at the point where I feel a little stuck.  Her fresh eyes, perspective, and enthusiasm will be helpful.

Time for a deep breath.  Time to let in my friend.  Time to release the chaos.

NYC Visit

It was a great introduction to life in New York City because it was unpredictable.  Details, plans, reservations, trains – nothing went the way I thought it would.  

Our first of three days in NYC was on President’s Day, so the trains ran on the weekend schedule.  But I didn’t know what that meant as I stood on the frigid elevated platform in Queens.  I found out what that meant when it took over two hours to travel two miles to Morningside Heights in Manhattan.  Yes, two miles on the NYC Subway took over two hours.  But that was, in part, due to a helpful New Yorker who took me under her wing.  In the end, it seemed like I understood how to read the train signs better than she did.

Snow, freezing temps, crowds, lost hotel reservations, learning the subway system, arriving two hours late for an appointment, wearing the “wrong” winter coat (but GREAT walking boots I found online for $22!) kicked started three good days of asking questions, exploring the city and learning about ministry in the Big Apple.

It reminded me of when I first moved overseas – the cultural adjustment, lifestyle adjustment, expectation adjustment, attitude adjustment!  But just like my international experience, I found the people of this City ready to help.  Within a 10 minute walk, two people asked if I was lost or needed directions.  Perhaps our tourist status was obvious:  dragging my suitcase behind me while Mike and I debated our route and looked for street signs!


Mike and I are transferring from the global headquarters in Orlando to join our ministry teams in New York City.  We hope to move in the fall.  Visit our blog for updates about our journey!