Friday, November 22, 2013

Dinner with Friends

This week we have been meeting up with friends almost every night. The other night, we met up with an old friend of Nicholas' and her husband. They cooked us a homemade meal here in Manhattan (!) and then Pablo played music for us. First serenading us on the piano, which took my breath away. His is Argentinean and he first played a tango. Nicholas requested my favorite tango after that, and he started humming and then figured out part of the song. He is one of those kind of musicians. So impressive. After several more beautiful songs, he brought out his accordion. It was one of those NY nights, where you have no idea what to expect and it ends with a private concert.

And I would walk 5,000 miles...

Nicholas and I seem to be on a mission to walk everywhere we go in Manhattan. I am obsessed with walking the city- you see so much more than taking the subway or cab. So many little shops, restaurants, bars that you would otherwise miss jump out at you.

Last weekend, we walked for hours and hours both days. Each evening, we were exhausted. To the point where I had to lie to my feet on how much further. "Only 10 more blocks guys, you can do it!" To which Nicholas would remind them and me, "No, no. It's closer to 15. Maybe 18..."

Especially when it is a gorgeous day, I refuse to sit in traffic or go underground. We zigzagged around the city, walked it up and down and only stopped when we found the shop we were looking for or took a break for a meal.

I've rested my feet up for another weekend of walking excursions starting tomorrow!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Show biz

Broadway Lights

Last Friday, I huddled down in the Meatpacking District at a coffee shop to get some work done and shoot out a bunch of emails. I spent the better part of the day there.

A woman had been sitting behind me the whole time, our backs were to each other, so I never saw her face. A couple hours later, a guy showed up and asked if she was still working, to which she replied yes. He said he would wait.

Of course, I heard all of this because I am in NYC and no one has any personal space. The conversation of strangers become part of your own world. So, not thinking about it much, I continued powering through what I wanted to accomplish.

At one point, the couple got in a strange argument. The first moment I started to pay attention, the woman with nagging voice says: "Say it, say it!!"
Man, softly: "You're not who I thought you were."
Woman, angrily: "Say it! Say it!!" Tell me I'm a b*tc#! and you hate me!"
Man, apologetically: "You told me I didn't have a chance. And, you aren't who I thought you were."
Woman, settles down a bit: "Then,.. get to know me."
Man, shyly and sweetly says: "I would if you weren't acting like such a, such a..."
This continues on a loop for a minute or two. With the nasally, Jewish woman screaming "Say it! Say it!" and the quiet, sweet, semi-loserish sounding guy, saying, "You aren't who I thought you were."

Then, the woman asks the man, to tell her about this other woman. The man then says something about how she is a trapeze artist (Hey, it's NY).
Woman, quietly and a bit eerily: "Wow, she must have a great body."
Man, disgustedly: "I don't know why you always have to say things like that."

The guy eventually mentions that he has never had a real girlfriend and hopes that it works out with the trapeze artist, who also is a barista.
Woman: "Wow, barista, huh? She must have a really great body."
(My expression was a flat out tilt of the head with a question mark covering my face... Barista = great body? What is the logic here...)
Man, again, disgustedly: "Why do you always have to say things like that."

The conversation is repeated again. Almost verbatim. This time, the woman explains how her roommate passive-aggressively left her a note on her door that morning that covered 7 post-it notes. I assume she is telling this story so the guy will feel sorry for her. He offers her his Red Sox cap, as a keepsake, a momento of their friendship.

Woman, exasperated and sanctimoniously: "I was right. This was all a performance. Just admit it."
Man: "What are you talking about? What was a performance?"
Woman, changes gears again. This time, softly: "Get to know me."
Man, clearly at a loss: "I can't get to know you. You aren't the person I thought you were."

This conversation goes on and on. In a circle. It is believable all the way through the third time. When they started the fourth round, I started to go crazy. Thinking these folks were mentally disturbed. I felt sorry for the guy, who had tried to get out of the conversation from the start. Each time, trying to find a way to end whatever was going on between them.

Man, almost stuttering, but slowly says: "Sooo, sooo, soooo... what are you... saying?"
(You could almost hear the hope in his voice that this was the final nail. That this thing was going to end. But this woman was persevering. Who knows why.)
Woman, sweetly: "I just want to know about her. Tell me. What is she like?"
Man, gullibly answers: "Oh, she is great! She is really nice and we have a lot to talk about."
Woman, like a flip switched, bursts with anger: "Oh, she must be beautiful!!! She has a great body, doesn't she?"

And, ladies and gentlemen, it goes on.

Earlier, I looked around the cafe and noticed another man watching them at the beginning of this insanity. I again looked up to see how he was handling this. To my surprise, he didn't seem agitated or incredulous. What was the look,... amused? How?! I wished I could just turn around and see what he could see. Why did it ease his frustration?

When the fighting couple stopped the banter, I decided I needed a refill on my caffeine and turned around to ask the woman, who happened to be the closest to me, if she could watch my things. I figured I could trust them, since everyone was watching them and they were not going anywhere. Once I had turned around, everything became clear! What I saw made me laugh :) And relax.

Why had I not thought of this earlier? Why had I not considered my surroundings? Hello, we are in NYC! Of course they would have scripts in their hands! Rehearsal in session!

She said sure and off I went to get another coffee. When I came back, they were discussing their strategy for the roles and changing it up. I turned around and asked if I could offer my unsolicited opinion.

After they acquiesced, I told them that I had been going crazy listening to them. They were repeating the same conversation over and over again and that I was about to turn around and tell the woman to just let him go.

Then, I told them how I had not been able to see them. But, from my observations, I thought she was a typical NYC Jewish girl and he a sweet, shy, semi "Turtle-esque" (character from Entourage) guy. Turns out, she was pretty brunette Australian and he was a dead-ringer for Ryan Gosling.

I said, if I were both of them, I'd change nothing. It was super convincing. Ryan's doppleganger beamed. She apologized for bothering me and explained that they did not have space in the theater to rehearse. I told them it was not a bother and that they were absolutely convincing.

Just another day in the life in NYC. Someone always putting on a show. And somedays, there are scripts involved :)

Making plans

So, like most other people out there, I make plans. Yes, most of the times my plans are a bit loose and flexible, as I know that my life these past 4 years has been unconventional.

While thinking about my next steps and goals, I came across this comic on Linkedin. Yep, this looks about right :)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

How do you thank the people in your life

who have done so much for you?

I have been so insanely blessed with so many wonderful people in my life and this past year is a testament to those friendships by the opening of their homes to me. I have literally spent more time in the homes of my friends and family than I have in my own.

It started in Washington, DC, where I was welcomed with open arms at the home of Shippy.

From there, I lived in the Real World Inauguration Style home- with my dream team on the Hill.

I moved on to Costa Rica with Ashley's brother and sister-in-law and then to CA for 3 glorious weeks in sunny SD with Lu and her hubs, before I spent a beautiful night with Corinne and her family in the LA area.

Finally landed back "home" in Seoul before I went to China to visit some of my really wonderful girls from IMD. Again, having another home open up to me.

The summer brought me to NYC where Miriam, Vivake, Hari, Marianne and Scott opened their apartments and homes. I guess it takes a village with me... :)

This fall, it's been Stacey in Chicago.

I ask WAY too much of my friends. I like to think Nicholas and I have a similar open door policy for anyone that actually wanders their way to our home. We make sure to keep things hospitable and have not been without a visitor in a long time. Even when we are not there, we make sure that our door remains open.
I kid, I kid. Although, from practice, I know it helps :) 
I believe in karma and hope that all of my stays have not made me an undesirable houseguest, but rather ensured that Nicholas and I never have an empty home :)

Friday, November 15, 2013

To warm the heart

Batkid in SF with Make-a-wish Foundation- Click to read and see the photos :)

This one of a mini slipping and falling :)

Google Reunion

Goooodbyeeeee my looooooooooovee!!!

Sorry- stole this from fb. I did not take ONE photo of us or you during my stay :( 
Right back at ya, Stace!

I cannot imagine how I would have spent the past few weeks if not in your presence! I could hear you jingling your keys laughing on your way in and I just knew there was a great story about to be shared! Your realness made the trip so much fun. Through the life that happened, we just rolled with it. I mean, what else are you going to do??

I loved our morning walks, our morning coffees, our semi-leisurely home-cooked lunches, our long talks, our attempt to run which turned into brunch :), our date day, our dinners out, the educational walk through the zoo, your insane network that you so generously shared... the list goes on and on and on.

I really hope the universe brings me back to you, sooner than later, in a more permanent form. But for now, I will just hold all of our memories SO close and giggle when I think 13.1 and eye candy :)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Off again, otherwise known as I hate good byes

For someone that leaves bits of her heart every time she has to say goodbye, you might think the lifestyle I lead is masochistic.

It's always bittersweet. Every. single. time I have to say goodbye to my husband, I am sad. I always have something lined up, somewhere with a loved one that follows, so I am also excited and happy. Saying goodbye to Nicholas, inevitably leads me to saying hello to someone else that I hold close to my heart.

The pattern continues. I then have to say goodbye to my other loves and have slight heart ache, but also joy that soon I will see Nicholas again.

A repetitive cycle that has at least defined this past year, if not the last two.

This time, I leave Chicago and some of my very best friends and family to go to NYC. Not only am I leaving my near and dear, but I am leaving a city that I have adored since my high school runs in Wisconsin that brought us here Thanksgiving weekend and then repeatedly, zillions of times, to visit Tony and all of my friends. The city I always said I would eventually move to, but haven't done yet. The city that has held my heart time and time again. Not because it has everything in the world to offer at all hours of the day with millions of new friends waiting to be met. Nope, that's New York. But because it has it's own special magic.

Chicago is a bit gritty and a bit edgy with amazing food and a skyline that all cities can envy with a slower, cooler pace than it's brother to the East full of midwestern charm.  Sometimes, I think it is more interesting than New York in the architecture and remnants of the past poking through the bridges, warehouses and pride. New York has gotten a bit mainstream.

I love Chicago and my people here. I will leave a piece of my heart when I board the plane this afternoon but I know I will find a piece of it when I land.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Morning Walks

Walking the streets of Chicago in the morning with Stacey to get coffee or breakfast is one of my favorite rituals while being here in the Windy. It's not an everyday thing. It's a once in a while, if I'm lucky thing. We have walked along the lake, through her neighborhood and the neighboring ones.

We talk about the future, the past, the present. Our goals, our dreams. The problems with the world. The good. Sometimes we just walk silently and listen to the crunch of the leaves.

Monday, November 4, 2013


I saw this posted on LinkedIn. 

I love that Coke responded to the original ad on the left by just editing the title :)