Saturday, May 21, 2011

Little Italy, plus some ramblings.

I am way behind on documenting my time in NYC.  I've made a lot of great friends here, and we've done some really fun stuff.  The funny thing is, most of the friends I've made have all been people who go to BYU, who I just didn't know beforehand.  It's funny how I had to come all the way to New York to meet fellow BYU Comms majors.

It's pretty cool how awesome BYU is.  There are probably about 30 of us here, and everyone is interning at some pretty big name places.  There are print journalists interning at some major newspapers and magazines, broadcast journalists at some of the most-watched morning shows, advertising students at top ad agencies, and public relations students at corporate in-house internships and agencies.  At the end of our long days, we all come back to the same apartment complex and eat dinner together.  It's a really fun experience.

Last weekend, we went to Little Italy.  It reminded me so much of Boston.  When I lived in Boston (I interned on Mitt Romney's campaign in 2008), I worked in the heart of the Italian district.  It was gorgeous, and I really loved it there.  It was fun to be in Little Italy and get a slight feel for Boston again.  We also did some light shopping, (I said LIGHT shopping, Blake :) and then went to the Guggenheim Museum.  The Guggenheim was cool because I'm fresh off my interior design/architecture class at BYU and it's one of Frank Lloyd Wright's buildings.  The art inside was different though.  

I used to really love that sort of modern cubism style, so I recognized a lot of the Marc Chagall and Kandinsky paintings, but the rest of it, not so much.  They did have a huge impressionist section,  with Monet, Degas, and old school Picasso's (back when he painted and drew people as they are, not in the cubism forms he created later) and that was by far my favorite.  I've always loved Degas.

I think it goes back to fifth grade.  My mom coached the knowledge bowl at my elementary school.  The knowledge bowl was for overachieving, ahem, nerdy elementary school kids who wanted to learn in-depth about a certain subject, and would study year long before school and then compete against other elementary schools at the end of the year. 

I remember we had an all-girl team, and the topic was art.  That was the best year of my elementary school life, (and that's saying something, because I LOVED elementary school!) My mom spent forever making flash cards for all of us, and quizzing us in the mornings at the school library.  Most of what I know now about different types of art, and different artists came from what my mom spent hours countless hours helping me learn in elementary school, and not from my advanced art classes in junior high and high school.  Good thing it paid off, because who took home the gold in our matching Old Navy shirts my mom bought us? Only the Hillcrest Hawks. Don't mess...

After that I really wanted to be an art history major, but then I when I got to college I decided on English, then French, then political science, then finally, public relations.  (I think I'm starting to figure out why I haven't graduated yet...) But I still love art history, as more of a hobby.

Here are some pictures of what we've been up to, I'm a few weeks behind on this, but here's a start.

 This is a really cool vintage store we found.  We weren't allowed to touch the clothes without assistance because some were over 100 years old.  My first thought was "cool," which was quickly replaced with "sick, I don't want to buy some nasty 100 year old old lady outfits, I'd rather buy something that looks vintage, rather than actual vintage, there is probably still dead old lady skin cells on those things."

    Sidenote: Living here, I've quickly realized that if left unchecked, I could easily develop a debilitating case of OCD.  I have to hand-sanitize every 5 seconds, and when people breathe on my arm on the subway (Do not breathe on me, it grosses me out so bad.  Especially when it's nose-breath), I have to hurry and sanitize my arm.  Everything is so dirty here!
     NYC is beautiful, and the people are some of the most talented, successful, and interesting in the world, but with that often comes eclectic, crazy lifestyles, and often complete disregard for all things civility when it comes to public transportation.  I am constantly amazed at how awful and selfish people on the subway can be, but once we're out of the dark underground free for all, and back on the streets, they return to smiley, helpful individuals.  I somehow remember Boston being so much cleaner and friendlier than it is here.
   A few weeks ago, I was on a packed subway headed into work.  An old feeble woman got on and slowly made her way through the crowd.  There was one empty seat and she had almost reached it when a young guy ran behind her and sat down about 5 seconds before she could.  I was shocked.  I was standing, or I would have let her sit in my seat.  Nobody seemed to notice or care.  I wish I said something, but I think I just watch too much Law and Order because I thought maybe he would stab me or something.  (That being said, everyone I have met at work and outside of the subway have been extremely nice and helpful people.  It's just something about those tunnels, I tell ya.)

 Little Italy
 Tori and I by the Italian flag inspired fire hydrant, with our ever-present H&M bags. Hey, when there's one on every corner...
 This reminded me so much of Boston
 And a 14 week pregnant picture, in front of the Guggenheim.  

Also, Blake comes Monday night.  I can't wait!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Looking up

First off, thanks for the comments on my last post.  Blogger deleted my post (as it did to many of you) and along with it, the original comments, but I think I read most of them before they were lost forever!  I'm 14 weeks pregnant now and feeling great.  We are extremely excited!

My parents came to New York last weekend.  I had only been here a week and a half when they came.  I like to think their sole purpose in coming was to visit me, and that my dad conveniently had meetings scheduled out here the same time.  Yes, that's how I'll view it.  We had a blast.  I was pretty homesick the first week, (something about moving into the world's smallest, smelliest glorified nasty dorm room will probably do that to you) and when I saw them I felt like I hadn't seen family in 20 years.  Alright, maybe I can blame a little bit of that on the pregnancy hormones, but still, I was really happy to see them.

I got to leave my gross little apartment and stay with them at the Waldorf-Astoria for a few nights.  My bed felt like I was sleeping on a cloud sprinkled with fairy dust compared to the little bricks they call mattresses at my apartment.  I felt like pretty woman, you know, the non-prostitute, Mormon, watered down, weekend version of pretty woman. So I guess maybe that analogy doesn't work at all..

Is it possible that I am being slightly overly dramatic when it comes to my apartment? No. I'm sorry, it's not. It is just simply that gross.

Anyway, back to the weekend.  On Saturday we went shopping and saw a bunch of fun sights.  We went to FAO Schwarz to see the famous Piano floor, of course, and then everything from Bergdorf Goodman to McKenzie Childs (which is adorable, by the way),  I had the best time with my parents.  They are so much fun to be with.  As I get older, and now especially as I'm going to be a parent myself, I start to realize more and more how incredible they are, and I am finally able to see more clearly the sacrifices that they make so frequently and without a second thought, things I didn't realize before.

This is a Barbie Foosball table at FAO Schwarz

This guy told my mom he would pay her $5 if he could take a picture with her

I received no such offer
 My cute mom in the elevator at McKenzie Childs, the most adorable store in the world

 Blake, I know you are hard-core and a hunter and everything, and I know you have killed giant elk and mounted their heads on the wall of your family's cabin, but I'm sorry, this is the only way I will let wild game be on display on our home. 

30 Rock! (Liz Lemon lives on Riverside Drive, and so do I... but strangely enough we have yet to run into each other in the elevator.  I'll let you know...)

 And we saw Mary Poppins on Broadway
 My niece Emma can probably do this.  We had to take this picture in honor of how crazy flexible that little girl is!

Central Park.  I miss you already Mom and Dad!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Thought You'd Like to Know

We're expecting!

We are ecstatic.

We find out what we're having next month.  (The latest: Blake thinks it's a girl, and I keep thinking it's a boy.)

Yes, it is hard to be so far away from Blake, but it's only for a short time, and soon we'll be together and planning for this new arrival.

I still can't believe there's a baby in there.  I just feel like I ate a really big lunch.  But when I think that there's a tiny person in there with hands and feet and hair (can you believe our baby already has hair for crying out loud???) I just can't believe it.  I can't wait until I can actually start to feel him/her moving.

Picture from last week.  13 weeks.  This is in front of the Rockefeller Center at night.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A little tour

Skyping with Blake.  He's coming to visit in 3 weeks! I can't wait!

This is the view outside my window

This is across the street from where I work.  I'm in that big black building right behind the sculpture.  I work on Madison Avenue.  It is AWESOME! This is Madison Square Park, I get to walk through it every morning.  Every few months they have a different local artist's work displayed in the park.  I am in love with this face.  It's the coolest thing in person.  It is so beautiful! I'm excited to see what they have next month.

Across the street in the other direction is the Flat Iron building.  How cool is this area? I love stepping off the subway every morning and seeing how beautiful my surroundings are.

The first Saturday we were here, a few of us went to the temple.  I forgot for a minute that we're not in Utah anymore and the only session we made it to was in Spanish.  It was so beautiful.  It's amazing how much peace the sight of the temple can bring.  It's right in the heart of Manhattan, across from the Lincoln Center, and even though it's surrounded by huge skyscrapers, it seems as though it stands alone. It is a beautiful building.  Our ward meets here as well.  It's really cool to go to church in the temple! They have a chapel on the second floor. 

More pictures from Ground Zero

This is a continuation of the last post:

See the guys standing on the traffic light? Ground Zero is immediately to my right.

Seriously? An American Flag with Marilyn Monroe on it? Ugh don't even get me started on how much I hate Marilyn Monroe, and how grossly she is misrepresented as an icon and sometimes as an idol for young girls.  Tangent...

I think this is so funny.  This is my friend Tiffany on some unidentified man's shoulders, her BYU sweatshirt and all.  This is her being interviewed by the CNN reporter right before she interviewed me.  Right when we got there, a guy turned to her and said, "want a boost?" I thought is was so funny that she, without hesitation, got on his shoulders.  I'm glad she did though because she got this shot for me:  

Angela and Whitney.  These are some great friends I've made out here.  Keep in mind at this point it was probably 3:30 a.m. and we all had to be at work in the morning.  Finding a subway car that didn't have a sleeping homeless person in it was an adventure, I'm pretty sure we managed to score the only one.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Ground Zero (and an interview)

Well I made it! I flew into New York at about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, and then had to be at work the next day... that in itself was an adventure.  My flight got delayed big time, and by the time I got to my apartment, got settled, and finally got to sleep, it was around 4 a.m.

Work is amazing, I'm having a great time, and I have a lot to write and catch up on, but first I really need to address the events of last night.  I watched Obama give his address from my tiny apartment on  The feeling was very eerie.  It was almost as if the collective emotions of New Yorkers was palpable.  The feeling in the air immediately changed.  I knew this was going to be a big moment for a long time to come. 

I got a text from one of my friends here, she said "We're going to Ground Zero right now, meet at the lobbby"  I knew I couldn't miss that.  I had my pajamas on but quickly changed and ran out the door.

I had a lot of emotions on the subway ride over.  I was in 8th grade when the events of 9/11 took place.  I remember my mom being glued to the TV that morning.  Before even glancing at what she was watching, the look on her face told me that something of both extreme significance, and extreme horror had just happened.  At school that day during first period, my teacher walked into the room with an entirely different tone.  Although most of us had heard about what had happened already, we didn't understand the magnitude at this time.  My teacher was usually very strict.  I remember she walked to the TV and turned it on.  All she said was "nothing we can say or do here today will be more important than you watching this."  We watched the news coverage for 2 hours straight, no one saying a word.

When we stepped off the subway to Ground Zero, there was a huge crowd of people.  Men had climbed up onto traffic lights and lamp posts, waving American flags with makeshift flagpoles.  There were chants of "USA," and the crowd broke out into the National Anthem a few times.  I was surprised at how emotional I felt.  All of us, some directly affected by this terrible tragedy, some indirectly, were all united.  We were celebrating together.

Now, I know many people are saying that celebrating a man's death is macabre and contrary to the point we are trying to make. But for me, and I'm pretty confident for many of the people there, we weren't celebrating a death.  It felt more like celebrating the end of a chapter.  It felt like a long-awaited sense of closure, and sure, maybe it was tinged with vindication, but I'm having a hard time seeing why that is wrong.

Men were sitting on the curb sobbing at the memory of what happened there over 9 years ago,  a woman was standing off by herself holding a sign commemorating the loss of her young son during the attack.  Many of the people chanting "USA" along with the rest of us had personally lost loved ones that day.  Tell one of them that they shouldn't feel a sense of relief, and a spirit of celebration that they can now have an end to this chapter.

The death of bin Laden will not be the death of al Qaeda.  I know that.  But let it breath a little life into America.  It's a victory.  A victory over the taking of innocent lives.  It enables us to feel that sense of security again.  It lets the terrorists know that we will not back down.  President Bush was a very brave president to order the search for bin Laden.  I'm grateful that President Obama chose to follow in those footsteps.

I spoke with a CNN reporter at the scene. The story aired today.  Here's the video, my interview starts at 2:49

(If that doesn't work, click HERE for the link)

I took some incredible pictures too, but I'll upload and add those tomorrow.