Heat Wave

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

So today in class I received the following text message...

Concerned, and slightly doubtful of the potential for a heat advisory in Manhattan, I checked the weather.  And I found this...

Just further proof that New Yorkers have no clue what life is like in the rest of the country.

Moon River

Monday, June 18, 2012

"I am always drawn back to places where I have lived, the houses and their neighborhoods. For instance, there is a brownstone in the East Seventies where, during the early years of the war, I had my first New York apartment. It was one room crowded with attic furniture, a sofa and fat chairs upholstered in that itchy, particular red velvet that one associates with hot days on a train. The walls were stucco, and a color rather like tobacco-spit. Everywhere, in the bathroom too, there were prints of Roman ruins freckled brown with age. The single window looked out on a fire escape. Even so, my spirits heightened whenever I felt in my pocket the key to this apartment; with all its gloom, it still was a place of my own, the first, and my books were there, and jars of pencils to sharpen, everything I needed, so I felt, to become the writer I wanted to be." 
(Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany's)

By Your Side

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Today on the subway, riding home from a lovely day of shopping and a movie in Union Square, a stranger fell asleep on my shoulder.  Seriously.  I immediately stood up to get away from said stranger, at which point she kind of flopped over.  And I thought to myself, what in the world am I doing here?  I got off the subway a stop early to pick up a few groceries at my favorite neighborhood market.   This is pretty much exactly what happened (minus the avoidance of an arch enemy)...  

Wouldn't you know, Tom Hanks wasn't there to save me.  So I got took my groceries and got in another line.  And I don't need someone to come in and save me, but it sure would be nice for someone to want to every once in awhile, you know?  

And I thought to myself...

"Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life - well, valuable, but small - and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn't it be the other way around? I don't really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void. So good night, dear void." 
(You've Got Mail)

Thank God For Hometowns

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Ooooooooooookkkkkkklahoma, where the wind come sweeping down the plain.  And the Thunder come sweeping through the nation.  I mean, it's just so exciting. Everywhere I turn in New York lately, someone is asking me about the Thunder or Oklahoma City.  I was riding home on the subway the other day and overheard a conversation between a group of guys about how great Kevin Durant and the Thunder were this season.  They have, pretty much, taken the country by storm.  Thunderstorm, that is.  

I've never been a professional sports fan.  I grew up in Oklahoma, where the Friday night lights of high school gridiron and Saturday college football defined life.  Big 12 country is college town after college town.  We love college sports.  But something happened when Oklahoma City got it's first professional basketball team.  That NBA team became a college team, and the Thunder fans claim Oklahoma City just as much as they claim the Thunder team.  Because we're that kind of town.  We believe in our people.

Here's The Chief and I at one of last year's playoff games...

And BFF Steph and I with Rumble, the Thunder mascot.  He is just pretty much the coolest person I've ever met.  And I've met some people.

There's been a lot of talk about my hometown lately, good and bad.  Lots of stereotypes from New Yorkers who have never been west of the Mississippi or south of the Mason Dixon Line (where is that, by the way?).  No, I didn't ride a horse to school.  I've never slept in a teepee.  I have no knowledge of proper farming procedures or livestock.  I grew up in a city with over one million residents.  But it's still a small town.  And it's about more than basketball.  It's about what happens to Oklahoma City when the whole world is watching. 

Because the last time the whole world was watching, our city looked a little different.  A little darker.  A little sadder.  And no, the Thunder didn't change Oklahoma City, because our city had already been changed.  But that day 17 years ago didn't break Oklahoma City...it showed the world the strength and faith of what it means to be an Okie.  Because we are proud to be Okies.  And those "Team is Family" shirts everyone at the Thunder finals game is sporting tonight?  It's because Oklahoma is family.

I ran across a couple of great OKC articles worth sharing, clearly written by authors who get what we're all about.  Good stuff people...

"They want people to see it. They want outsiders to understand what happened here, how it changed the lives of everyone that day and every day going forward. Every time Oklahoma City general manager Sam Presti acquires a new player, he has them visit the memorial. It's the only way to fully comprehend the horror of what happened. You never really recover from losing 168 locals, including 19 children, as well as just about an entire block of your downtown. You never stop thinking about how unfair life can be sometimes, how one lunatic shouldn't be able to carry that much sway. Presti wants incoming players to understand the stakes. You just joined an especially close-knit community that's bonded forever by a horrific tragedy. This is like nowhere else you have ever played. You have to understand why they're wired this way. He encourages them to glance around the stands during their first home game, to remember that every one of the 18,000 fans was probably affected by the bombing in some way." 

"It is impossible to fully understand the Oklahoma City passion and civic glue that Finals watchers will note, without understanding the echoes from that day."

And so we celebrate and Thunder Up and cheer like we've never cheered before.  Because it's about more than just basketball.  

So thank God for hometowns...

Lullaby of Broadway

Monday, June 11, 2012

I mean, you know, one day you're just walking home and you end up at the Tony Awards.  All in a day for a life in New York.

I fully realize how snobby this will sound, but Broadway musicals are my movies.  In the last year, I have been to a Broadway theater far more often than I've been to a movie theater.  Partly because I have a lot of visitors who want to experience the Great White Way.  Partly because I can get a Broadway student rush ticket for around $30, and movies can cost $20 here.  It's a no brainer.  So you can imagine that the Tony Awards are way more exciting for me than the Academy Awards.  Plus, how great is this...

I'm in the middle of my June intensive class session.  130 hours of class and study sessions in three weeks.  It is crazy exhausting.  Last week, I did six days of class from 9:00 a.m. to around 7:30 p.m.  Yesterday was my one day off, so I dropped in on the Broadway-themed spin class in honor of the Tony Awards.  The class was at Soul Cycle, which was literally right around the corner from the Tony Awards theater.  If you remember, Soul Cycle is where I saw Kelly Ripa that one time.  I loved loved loved it...it was just way too expensive.  But they sent me an email for a free class to "get my soul back," so I took them up on it.  And a Broadway-themed ride?  Best fun I've had in a long time.  

So on my way home, I walked by the front of the theater and found this...

But then I walked by the back of the theater and found this...

So much red carpet fun!  This was along Amsterdam Avenue from 73rd to 74th streets.  I got there just in time to watch photographers capture all the stars of the shows as they arrived.  All the news stations were doing interviews and tons of tourists were trying to figure out what was going on.  I stayed for about an hour, clearly having way more fun with that than the studying waiting at home.

And I mean, this just totally made my night.  Hello, Neil Patrick Harris...

I just adore NPH.  Love him in How I Met Your Mother.  Love him as Tony Awards host.  Love that I was in the exact right place at the exact right time to get great pictures.  So not a bad study break, you know?

Now, since you're wondering (or not, but I'm sharing anyways), here are the shows I've seen since living in New York (not including the ones I saw before I moved or on tour or stuff)...

Phantom of the Opera (twice)
Wicked (front row)
How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying (twice)
Jersey Boys
Nice Work If You Can Get It
The Best Man
Lion King
Billy Elliott

Probably seeing Rock of Ages next week for the second time.  I'm dying to see Once (staring a Baylor grad).  I have this goal to see them all, but the shows change fairly frequently, so we'll see.  But you know, nice work if you can get it...

You Never Let Go

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sometimes I am shocked at how many people tell me they read and love my blog.  It happens way more than I would have ever expected.  I just write about things I do and things I think and stuff.  Nothing fancy.  But sometimes I also forget just how wonderfully easy my life really is.  Regardless of what I say or think or feel, I have no real problems whatsoever.  

A series of conversations and social media updates and blogs this weekend reminded me just how good I have it.  Most of them can't be discussed right now, but my empathizer thinking style I've spent the last week of class reflecting on and examining is feeling for my friends and their struggles.  But one in particular can be shared.  So since I have so many readers out there, particularly so many who love God and believe in His goodness, a blog friend of mine needs your prayers...

two + two = home

Read Karlee's blog if you want the full story, or just pray for little Logan.  They love Jesus, and they know Jesus loves Logan.  And so many people are praying.  But they'd probably appreciate it.  

And for my other friends who have stories that aren't so public just yet, just this...

"I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You"

(Matt Redman)

Crazy Dreams

Friday, June 8, 2012

So I'm sitting in class at Columbia wearing my Baylor Gotham Bowl t-shirt.  My favorite Baylor shirt by far.  This is the one...you can tell why I love it so much.

It's from the 1961 Gotham Bowl game played at Yankee Stadium in New York City. It was only played two years (1960 and 1961).  My Baylor Bears won the 1961 game.  And when I bought the shirt several years ago, I thought...oh man, what if Baylor won a bowl game again?  How incredible would that be?

And when I applied for this doctoral program at Columbia, I thought for sure that I must be insane.  I was terrified to talk to the program director and even more scared of the interview.  I pulled my car over in the middle of a very dangerous South Oklahoma City neighborhood to read the decision when it finally hit my email inbox.  Because I couldn't imagine actually getting in.  Today I'm pretty much exactly halfway through coursework.

And there were lots of years of dreaming of living in New York City, since if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.  Never in a million years did I ever think I could make it here.

And I'm just thinking...

"Thank God even crazy dreams come true."

Told You So

Thursday, June 7, 2012

See?  I told you so.  I'm not lying about this new-found obsession with outdoor yoga.  And just to prove it, here you go...

These were from Open Air Yoga, taken at Turtle Pond in Central Park by Ellie Photography.  

Wouldn't it be so much better to do that instead of sit in class today?  Maybe I should stop blogging and pay attention to what's happening in class?  Ok then...

Live Those Songs

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Have you noticed how most of my blog titles are songs or lyrics?  You know how some songs just take you back or define a day or a year in your life?  I spend an embarrassing amount of money on iTunes...but you know, when it's only $1.29 at a time, it doesn't seem so bad.  This morning on my run through Riverside Park, I mad a mental list of my Year in New York songs...my New York soundtrack.  So here goes...

  • New York, New York (no, not that version...Ryan Adams)
  • Have You Ever Seen The Rain (Phillip Phillips)
  • Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters/Rocket Man mash-up (Matthew Morrison and Elton John)
  • Empire State of Mind (Alicia Keys version)
  • For The First Time (The Fray)
  • American Girl (Tom Petty)
  • To The Beat Of Our Noisy Hearts (Matt Nathanson)
  • Chasing Pavements (Adele)
  • Bennie And The Jets (Elton John)
  • 1973 (James Blunt)
  • Twenty Years (Augustana)
  • Better Days (Goo Goo Dolls)
  • I Ain't In Checotah Anymore (Carrie Underwood)
  • No Such Thing (John Mayer)
  • Last Train Home (Ryan Star)
  • Postcards From Paris (The Band Perry)
  • The Fall (Brendan James)
  • Sympathy (Goo Goo Dolls)
  • Hallelujah (Claire Bradley)
  • Forever Young (Bob Dylan)
  • I'll Cover You (Rent)
  • Stay The Night (James Blunt)
  • Colder Weather (Zac Brown Band)
  • Someday (Rob Thomas)
  • Carry On (Pat Green)
  • This Year's Love (David Gray)
  • Have A Little Faith (John Hiatt)
  • Twenty Something (Graham Colton)
  • Waiting For My Real Life To Begin (Colin Hay)

That's all for now.  If I was a better person, I would have made a playlist and let you listen to them all.  But until I become one of those women who gets paid ridiculous amounts of money to blog all day, I still have to do those other things like go to class.  But I figure that you're probably reading this at work instead of actually working, trying to kill time before closing time.  So waste a little more time and look them up yourselves.  And enjoy my Year in New York soundtrack.

City Love

Monday, June 4, 2012

Oh yeah, I have a blog.  Do not judge me for the delay between posts.  I did not forget about you.  But people, it's very difficult to have a job, get a doctorate, play tour guide, and blog at the same time.  Something was bound to slip.

But here's a quick recap...

Two trips across the Brooklyn Bridge with my two weekends of visitors.  Great weekends with some of my favorite Okies and Texans.

Doughnut Plant doughnuts.  Seriously, doughnut doesn't even really come close to describing the amazingness of these things.  The square doughnut?  Vanilla bean glaze with fresh homemade blackberry jam filling.  It's square so that you get a little bite of jam with every bite of doughnut.  But who doesn't love a square doughnut?

Kangaroo cup at Max Brenner.  I mean, there was plenty of dessert to accompany the kangaroo cup, but you've already seen those pictures.  Don't you just love that little pouch for the chocolate to melt into your coffee?  Genius.  (sidenote: spell check just corrected my spelling of the word genius.  figures.)

Bryant Park yoga.  There are promotional pictures of me doing what I'm sure are beautiful, perfect downward dogs and tree poses wearing adorable Lululemon outfits.  Or...very embarrassing, never to be seen pictures of me attempting to do yoga and falling flat on my face.  Either way.

Ran into these fun Baylor friends at Teachers College for a conference...

Went to Katz's Deli for the first time.  Total New York institution of a Lower East Side Jewish deli.  Also, where this particular scene of this iconic romantic comedy was filmed...

Oh yeah, seventh trip to the Empire State Building.  They should give me a punch card or something...you know, buy 10 get one free?  Totally worth it.  

Greenwich Village food tour with my aunt and cousin.  So much food.  So much fun.

Oh, New York...

Sushi at Morimoto.  Oh man people, oh man.  We just kind of wandered in off the streets wanting to look inside and ended up with three sushi rolls.  And it was way more affordable than you might expect...just $30 for the three.  Of course, had we kept ordering what was definitely the best sushi we had ever had, that might not have been the case.  Totally worth it though. 

And just because maybe it's true...

Love, New York.