I Love New York

I have really been slacking on the job lately! I’m finally getting around to writing about my adventures in January. I know you all have anxiously been waiting to hear where I’ve been, and I’m happy to assure you, the wait is over! This is just the first of 4 posts headed your way.

Right after New Years, I took the train from Virginia up to New York. The trip was originally my sister’s idea, but she spent the weekend with her in-laws instead. Since a few of my friends from SF were going to be in New York, I decided to still go up and enjoy a weekend with the girls.

IMG_1614I met up with my friends at one of their apartments in Soho. After dropping my bags, we walked to a couple nearby bars. Since the three of us are all whiskey drinkers, we started at a bar called Whiskey Town in the East Village. It was a little too loud for our mood, so after a round or 2, we migrated. The next bar, The Copper Still, was cozy, with exposed brick walls, wooden tables, candles, and nice cocktails. I enjoyed a delicious Manhattan (fitting, given my location), before we called it a night.

IMG_1620The next morning, I woke up early to meet a friend from my first ship in Midtown. He was one of the singers in my cast, and also served as a sort of big brother if I was ever overwhelmed or in need of advice. We grabbed a coffee and spent an hour catching up before I left to go to ballet class. A couple years ago, I spent 3 weeks in New York doing auditions and workshops, and this class, taught by Zvi Gotheiner at the City Center Studios, is the best I found. If you ever have the opportunity, take this class! Unfortunately, the calendar on my phone didn’t have time zone support, so I showed up an hour late.

I went back to the apartment to get cleaned up, then joined the girls for lunch at Lupa, a nice, but overpriced Italian restaurant. We actually heard the waitress complain that we were “another $30 table”. That $30 value, however, cost us $75. One of the waitresses there had actually been in The Nutcracker with me years ago at Oakland Ballet. Small world!

IMG_1615Next, we went to Rye House for afternoon drinks. Whiskey worked well to warm us up! We went to dinner at a delicious Spanish restaurant, Socarrat, and enjoyed vegetable paella and sangria. After spending time in Spain, my standards were set high. This restaurant was pleasingly authentic. Later that night, we met up with some other girls at The Leadbelly, a delightfully hipster bar near Chinatown. It was another late night, but we had a lot of fun.

IMG_1616My last day in New York, we rolled out of bed and went out for coffee. Next, we went to the MOMA, a necessary stop for the trio I was traveling in. One is an artist turned fashion designer, one is a graphic designer, and I’m simply an art enthusiast. While appreciating new work and reviewing some of the facts I learned in Art History back in the day, I also conducted a sort of anthropological study. The museum was filled with tourists! Noticing the different nationalities, personality types, and attitudes toward the art was very interesting. I was actually stopped by an employee asking if I was okay. Apparently my thinking face makes me look distraught.

We took a little walk, stopped for a snack at a French restaurant, and then went back to the apartment, where I forced them to watch my videos from the ship. Since we all used to dance together in San Francisco, they had a lot to say about my shows. Later, we walked around the block to get Thai food at Spice, and stopped by a dive bar.

IMG_1617The next morning, I woke up early to head to the airport. It was a quick trip, but was well worth the journey! In the midst of our city walking and bar hopping, we were able to catch up on each other’s lives. Even though the three of us hadn’t been together in years, we were able to reconnect instantly. I know they will be long-time friends, and I’m happy I was able to spend time with them!

Next up… cruising with the boy!

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Time for an Adventure!

One of the loveliest sunsets of vacation

One of the loveliest sunsets of vacation

My vacation has finally ended.  The past 3 months have been a bit of a blur!  I traveled a lot, and was blessed to be able to spend time with friends and family.  Here are some of the highlights.

Snow! Didn't see that in Australia!

Snow! Didn’t see that in Australia!

After about a week back “home” in San Francisco, I went to visit a very close friend in Portland.  We were mainly focused on catching up, but also managed to do some tourist activities.  She took me downtown a few times and convinced me, quite easily, that I should move to the Pearl District when I’m done with ships.  We also drove out to Multnomah Falls.  Due to heavy snow, we weren’t able to climb up the bridge, but the view was amazing!

Charlottesville, VA

Charlottesville, VA

I went back to SF for a training course, and then packed up my winter gear and went to visit family in Charlottesville, VA.  I enjoyed some much needed time with my sisters, took a few yoga classes, and played in the snow!  Unfortunately, I don’t know how to drive in snow, so I was housebound for most of my visit.  I’m now an expert at snow angels, however!

Snow Angel Pro

Snow Angel Pro

My next stop was Romania.  I went to visit a gentleman from the ship that lives outside of Bucharest.  Early in the trip, we went to Peles, a beautiful castle built in the German Renaissance style.

Peles

Peles

We also went on a tour in Bucharest.  Our first stop was the Museum of the Romanian Peasant, where we were able to walk around a village of sorts featuring houses, mills, and chapels in traditional styles from across the country.

Museum of the Village

Museum of the Village

After lunch at a Lebanese restaurant, we went to the House of Parliament.  It is the second largest government building, after the Pentagon.  We took a tour inside, during which I learned a lot about the country.  The decor is beautiful, and I was fascinated to learn that all of the materials used to build and decorate the building, except for one set of doors, are from Romania.

Parliament

Parliament

Towards the end of my trip, we went to Brasov.  We went up to a ski slope to meet some friends, wandered in the city, and took advantage of the nightlife.  It was a great week.  I was able to explore a new country, learn more about a special friend, and meet some wonderful people.

See ya, Romania

See ya, Romania

Upon returning to the States, I spent some time with one of my sisters in Northern Virginia.  From there, a friend from the ship picked me up to drive to New York.  There, I saw a few ship folks, including my roomie, and some recently relocated friends from SF.  I did a few touristy activities, like going to the MoMA and walking through Central Park, but mostly made the rounds to see my people.

Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park

My next stop was Texas.  I was able to spend a good few weeks with my parents, see my old friends perform with the ballet, throw my best friend a bridal shower, and do a photoshoot with an old dance buddy.  It was nice to be home, but I was anxious to get moving again.  I needed to feel like I had a purpose once more.

Bridal shower

Bridal shower

For the past few days, I’ve been back in Florida.  I just started rehearsals for my next ship, the Adventure.  In the past 3 days, we’ve learned a hip hop routine, a lindy, cha cha cha, foxtrot, and quickstep.  Only one of the dancers from my last cast is with me this time, so I’ve also been busy getting to know my new group.  So far, things are going well!  Check back next week for more updates from rehearsals!