Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Power of the Phone Camera

I have a problem. I own a great little blue cannon digital camera, but I won't use it. I don't know what it is? I do not/won't look like a tourist in a city that hosts many of them. I am a New York fledgling, I can't be carrying around a camera. Think what that could do to my image? :)
So, when I come in contact with something I feel is "blog worthy," I capture it on my phone camera. Not the same quality, but does save me from the dreaded tourist title. Here is a menagerie of photos I have taken over the last few weeks that I want to share.

Here I am inside St. John the Divine. This is the LARGEST cathedral in the WORLD! The naive stretches 3 football fields long and that pic above is the largest rose window in the world. I have been to Europe and seen some amazing cathedrals, but this one takes the cake for size. It's a monster!

This is a sign that seems a bit of an inconvenience, if you are dumb enough to own a car in Manhattan. However, if you are just a normal dweller in such neighborhood, it's a piece of exciting news. Every time they block the street off to film a movie or TV show, they have to say what they are filming. This was for "Premium Rush" that stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a bike messenger in NYC. After they had filmed about 3 weekends in a row in my neighborhood, I saw him! Very cute in person and as a biker!

"Will you marry me?" written in the sky on the Upper East Side one sunny Sunday.

Fall is coming! I wanted all of the yummy treats at Dylan's Candy Bar on Lexington. Fun Fact: Dylan's is owned by Ralph Lauren's daughter, Dylan. Wouldn't it be fun to be a candy heiress?

First day of School flowers from Mama and Papa Thames! They are so sweet!!

Last weekend, I went on a Women's Retreat with a church I have been attending called Apostles Church. It's an amazing place in the city that provides such a great community of people that want to serve big G and this city. I have been very blessed by it. What do donuts have to do with it? Well, the highlight of the retreat for me was the "make your own donuts" night. This is my creation and it was a sweet ending to a great retreat where I met some fabulous new friends!

Thanks for taking this picture tour with me. It may occur from time to time on the blog. And if you come visit, don't worry, I will let you use your camera.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Yankees heart Iced Coffee!

I want to let yall in on a little tip: you want to make a friend in NY, bring them iced coffee! These people can't get enough of the caffeine concoction. I believe it's the secret to Dunkin' Donuts success. You just thought it was the donuts but it's not so.
It's not as though I am not familiar with this drink, and would see some Starbucks customers drink it in the summer time in Texas. However, I never felt the need for it. If you know me, you know I don't drink calories, unless it's champagne. So the milky, sugary treat didn't appeal to me. However, I can say my thoughts have been swayed, a little bit, thanks to my friend Brian.
Side note: Brian and I teach together at Lyceum Kennedy and being that there are only four English teachers, we bonded immediately. He taught in Harlem public schools the last few years, so we have fun comparing public and private schools. I enjoy listening to his crazy stories about those schools. He also has a four month old named Miles, after Miles Davis, which I think is the cutest!
Anyway, I was giving Brian crap about New Yorkers obsession with iced coffee, so he zanged me with the question, "Have you ever tried iced coffee?" Ouch, he find the weak point in my argument. The next day, a little DD iced coffee awaited me. It was a pumpkin spice iced coffee and it was a yummy little taste of fall. Thank you to Brian for introducing me to this new facet of caffeine.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

the culprit

Holy Catfish!

Living in NYC isn't all glitz and glamor 24/7 kiddos. You get to deal with some special things, like this little friend that Carly and I met in her apartment recently. I want to stress it was in her apartment, not mine, although it can happen anywhere. (no worries Rooms) You may not be able to tell but this is a giant hissing cockroach. It came running out of the hallway, hissing at us violently, with it's big black antennas searching for something or someone to devour.
I have heard tell of these monsters but never seen one up close and personal. They are HUGE and fast! So Rooms and I were jumping around and trying to find some sort of weapon to defeat that little bugger. We finally decided to trap it under a glass, but not before it had crawled up the wall, under the couch, and over Carly's bag, in which she responded with "it has no right to violate my bag like that." The things that come out of her mouth when we are under attack are so classic. (see rat story below if you're lost)
After that little beast circled the cup about 500 times and tried tricking us by playing dead, Emily came home and bravely threw it over the balcony. I am convinced I heard it hissing all the way down. Sick. It's probably still out there, somewhere, but I hope it gets eaten by a rat. Then Carly and I will have come full circle.

We put that coffee cup on just in case, he was a big cockroach!
Fela and Fashion Night Out

What a fun New York week I have had! I got the chance to see "Fela" on Broadway! And, the best part, it was FREE! My friend from Amarillo, Todd Briscoe, hooked me up with some free tickets to see this wonderful musical. Fela is based on the true life of Fela Kuti, a Nigerian, who invented a new sound called "Afrobeat," a sound that combines drums, horns, and electric guitar. He played his music at his club, "The Shrine," and filled it with lyrics used to attack the military dictatorship that oppressed Nigeria in the late 70s. It was more like a concert than a play. I loved it! Such energy and the dancers were incredible. They were dancing barefoot which just seemed so painful to me. A beautiful story and an inspiring message! And the cherry on top was Patti LeBelle was there playing Fela's mom, chill bumps for me and the whole audience. Thank you to John Son for going with me and especially Todd for the tickets!

Fela set-Welcome to da Shrine!

Then, on Friday, to continue my exciting week, I went to Fashion Night Out. FNO was started last year to bump up the economy and man was it fun! It's a night where all the boutiques in the city stay open late and have lots of promos and free stuff. Everyone gets dressed up and goes out to see all the beautiful people. My friend Kelsey and I went with a few of her sweet friends out on the town. Our first stop was at a boutique in Soho with free champagne and pizza. (pretty much my two favorite things) As we were getting our champagne, I thought the bartender was a little awkward. I couldn't tell if he realized I was not high society and shouldn't be there or what? (but nothing stops me from free bubbly) Come to find out, it was the dad from Gossip Girl who was bartending. I don't think he knew what was doing and that's why it was so uncomfortable for him. Star sighting, didn't even realize it. Then we walked over to the meat packing district and went in some shops and had a free "hair touch up" at the John Frieda salon. We ended the evening in the east village with a beer to celebrate a fun girls night out.

Kelsey and I under the lights!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Bonjour Frenchies

After a glorious month of relaxation and exploration, I rejoined the working world this past week. I am working at Lyceum Kennedy, a French American School. The children are educated in a bilingual program where they receive 60% of their instruction in French and 40% in English. I am teaching first grade English and also working with small groups of kids in grades 1-5 that need extra help. The school is quite diverse and has lots of different countries represented. I even have kids that speak three and four languages. They are six, I feel dumb.
So, last Tuesday, I put on my hopefully fashionable enough for the french outfit, and set out on the daily commute. When I walked out of Grand Central, where I had been previously picking up the 20 odd kid's books that exploded out of my backpack, I saw a sign of hope. Yes friends, it was the Chrysler Building. It was just shining in the morning sun, my favorite NYC symbol. I knew then that this was going to be a great school for me!
I will cut the romanticism, but I did in fact have a great first week! The staff are very friendly and positive and FRENCH. They have the most beautiful accents and I just like to sit and listen to them. This usually happens at lunch when they are picking at small salads and fruits, and I am downing a Pb&j with baked Cheetos, but it's all good.
I met most of my kiddos on Friday at Open House and look forward to a great first day of school with them tomorrow. They are precious. I adore children that speak other languages. They say, "Bonjour Miss Thamer." I love it!!

Side note: I do not speak french. However, a frog on YouTube taught me the alphabet over the weekend, and I am well on my way to becoming at least a little bit French!