Singing Aloud

when no one is listening…

Archive for the category “My New York”

They see me riding, my Citibike …

chartAfter a year of admiring the shiny (and not so shiny) bikes at a distance, I finally gave in and got a Citibike key. It took me about two weeks after getting my key to psych myself out enough so that I actually got ON one of the bikes1, but I did it and I like it.

I started in August and I saw a significant lift in my biking that month, am definitely looking forward to September.

Being Citibike user I’ve learnt a few things, and so I will now share my observations with you.

  1. It’s actually quite easy to use Citibikes – well, after you’ve read the instructions.2
  2. It’s also very easy to return the bikes, as long as the location has power.3
  3. The actual riding of the bike in the city isn’t as bad as I thought it might be. Though I do feel safer when riding on a protected path and would go out of my way to use one.
  4. Sometimes riding on the other types of bike path opens you up to cat-calls from people in their car.
  5. It’s always good to have hand sanitizer handy. ALWAYS.
  6. If you’re going to be taking a bike from, right after someone else returns it, you will most likely not like the experience of that person’s sweaty palm imprints on the handle bars.
  7. Hold the silver metal part when you are trying to loosen or tighten the seatpost clamp.

Now that I’ve ridden Manhattan, I’ve finally used all its major forms of transportation – I feel like a local. Happy riding.

1. It’s scary riding a bike in the city!
2. How did I miss the whole, remove bike by lifting seat instruction?
3. There was one time when three stations were not accepting bikes and my time was running out. It was a race to find an open kiosk! What an adventure (no, not really).

If/Then – You will enjoy it!

IfThen

I really love living in New York.
I really love working in New York City.
I especially love when Broadway Week rolls around!

I had the privilege of seeing Idina Menzel in the new broadway musical If/Then; it was excellent. It’s the story of native New Yorker and urban planner, Elizabeth, who returns to the city from NYC from Phoenix after divorcing her college sweetheart turned husband.

Elizabeth always thinks about the what ifs – what if she hadn’t moved? What if she made a different decision, would this decision have changed her life? Would her life be better or worse for it? Essentially the story branches out from one moment in the park after her return form Phoenix.

For the two paths she has two nicknames, the path where she stays with her new neighbour, Kate, in the park – the Liz path – and the path where she goes with Lucas to his protest – the Beth path. There were many quick changes in between to differentiate between Liz and Beth but if you think you’ll get easily confused trying to follow the action, listen to the music and keep track of the storyline, I would suggest reading a quick synopsis about the show before venturing to watch. This way you’ll be less confused and be able to enjoy the show. However, I found that it was really easy to follow which story you’re watching and didn’t have a problem keeping them separated in my head.

The soundtrack was good and sometimes funny. I really enjoy listening to Idina Menzel sing, and since she has such a powerful voice I was a little worried that she might stick out from the rest of the cast and it might become “Idina and the rest of them”; but LaChanze (Kate), Jenn Colella (Anne) had such powerful voices themselves and James Snyder (Josh) was a wonderful singer, that I had no reason for concern.

The set was minimalistic yet functional with bits and pieces of fresh elements – LED subway map and the home set were really great!

Overall I absolutely enjoyed it, definitely worth it if you have the time. As an added bonus, here is an article I found – Jason Tam Reveals 10 Things Fans May Not Know About If/Then.

~*~

[image from If/Then site]

Matilda: You will soon C there’s no escaping Trage-D

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Matilda: The Musical has a cast of extremely talented kids, a catchy score and a story that will touch your heart. 

The first time I felt the urge to see Matilda on Broadway was when I saw the cast perform Revolting Children on the Tony Awards. I did some Youtubing and found some videos of other bits from the show then I did some Spotify-ing and listened to the soundtrack, I was hooked! I had to watch this show.

Finally, I got the chance! The cast is mostly children and they did an excellent job acting and singing. There was definitely a lot of energy to the show and Miss Honey and the Trunchbull were excellent, though I think my favourite adult actor in the show was the Librarian, she was so funny!

The set was decorated with letters and sometimes had some amusing bits (“Soot” in the fireplace). The kids did a lot of the rearranging of the set, moving props on and around the stage. I think my fave part was the school gate when they sang the School Song and stuck the letters in the gates. That’s one of my favourite songs in the show.

I can go on, it really is one of the cutest shows on Broadway. And can I add that they made a Doctor Who reference? Awesome! :)

[Image from broadway.com]

~*~

Something has changed within me, something is not the same. I’m through with playing by the rules of someone else’s game. – Elphaba; Wicked

Five Things (12)

This post is brought to you by Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – particularly the part where Hermione accidentally put cat hair in her polyjuice …

Next month is NaNoWriMo and I’m probably not going to do one of these Five Things posts … unless I’m in procrastination mode, then I’ll probably do quite a lot of them! 

Harlequin Teen Rocks!

This was my second Harlequin Teen event and I feel so privileged to be a part of their community! I got the opportunity to attend a wonderfully bookish event at Trump SoHo where we had a spectacular view of lower Manhattan as we heard about some new releases and received news of Julie Kagawa’s new series! I absolutely love Julie Kagawa, so being one of the first to hear the new of her new series was exciting.

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Wedding, the Last

The final wedding of the season! The music was fun, the friends were awesome and the couple was radiant! I’m so glad I got to witness the joining of these two! Woot! :)

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Oysters taste … slimy?

I tried raw oysters for the first time! I won’t call it slimy, though that’s the popular opinion, I think silky might be a better word. It was a fun experience and I loved it so much I went again the following week!

My friends and I went to the Mermaid Oyster Bar in SoHo, they have a happy hour menu and their oysters were fresh (and delicious!) I tried both the East and West Coast types… I don’t think I have a specific preference, the west coast was meatier, so perhaps more filling.

Mermaid Oyster Bar also gave us a cute little chocolate pudding dessert and a Fortune Teller Fish when we received our bill. The chocolate pudding was made with dark chocolate and was delicious! A perfect end to the meal.

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Hiking! 

I went hiking twice in October! I love walking so hiking is pretty much one of my favourite things to do. The first hike was pretty easy, we went to Mohonk and took a wrong turn and ended up at Mohonk House – which is beautiful. The second hike was Breakneck Ridge and is more rock scrambling than hiking, that was awesome!

They were two very different hikes, the first one was more relaxed pace and you could chat the entire way. The second, while you could make stops along the way took more concentration as you had to figure out how to get up and then back to the road. Both completely different, but both lovely. :)

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Cinderella!

The San Francisco Ballet was touring NYC and performed Cinderella – I got to see it! :) It was fun and sassy! I especially loved the carriage scene – great concept!

Chistopher Wheeldon's Cinderella

image via Daniel Brodie

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Five Things (8)

These five things are brought to you by the sunny days of summer!

— Thing One —

I took a plane to Canada for my cousin’s 30th (again) surprise birthday party. His wife put it together for him and he was very surprised! It was fun hanging with my family for the weekend. I don’t get to do to Canada often because the price of tickets are often ridiculous – I mean, the flight is not even an hour, do I really need to pay 400$ for a round-trip? – and when there are folks driving up I usually cannot go due to work.

I had a great time there, the birthday was fun and the food delicious but, the best part was the cake! Not only was it delicious it was a beautiful thing to behold.

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— Thing two —

I went up to a retreat at Nyack college. First off, that campus is AMAZING! The views from the campus are spectacular, the grounds are quaint and quite beautiful and the buildings are fun! The retreat was also AMAZING. I had a great time and hung out with friends and met some lovely people. It was rainy the first night, but the next day the weather was perfect. A few of us went into town and the stores in the town were so adorable! There was a bookshop called Pickwick (I know, cute!) and I wanted to go in to see if they had any Dickens. Such a lovely place, I’m so glad I went away for the weekend.

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— Thing three —

I was at a conference where the speaker was talking about the power of word of mouth advertising and he mentioned a speakeasy that exists in New York where you enter in via a telephone booth inside of a hot dog shop; when I heard this I knew I had to go visit!

It was definitely an experience. They took reservations on the day off, but you had to call after 3pm! I called about 10-15 times before finally getting through and making our reservation. I think it’s a great spot for a small group of friends to relax and have a good time. I loved that it wasn’t crowded and that we were able to hear each other talk. It was strange, but it was really peaceful, I’d go back again!

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— Thing four —

I have a set of pink clubs, I haven’t taken it to out in about three years – since my black car! A weekend ago I did take them out, I went with a friend and her hubby to the driving range where I attempted to teach him how to hit a golf ball. For me though, the best part of the trip was seeing that I was better than I expected. I hit the balls about 95% Of the time and got it out past the 100 mark most of the time – which is pretty amazing since I only recall barely making the 75 mark. There were a few times where I even hit it past 150! I was shocked!

I forgot how therapeutic hitting a golf ball was, I think I’ll have to do it again!

— Thing five —

When you get the right group of people, the right music and the right mood, Karaoke is pretty awesome. I definitely had the right group of people this past Friday. I loved it! We wanted to go for an hour more, but alas, the rooms were all booked!

You know, I really love New York. It might not be as old as European cities but there is a lot of history here. I also enjoy the cultural mix. The fact that I can go to a speakeasy one night, Karaoke the next night and if I want some Korean food with girlfriends, I can find it if I just walk down a block or two.

shanella_karaoke

~*~

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