I Am Eleven

I am a summer baby, so eleven found me looking forward to school. I had a little over a month before school started again, but I was looking forward to it because I was starting secondary school that September – I was finally a high schooler. I was a little nervous as well. They randomly assigned classes so I was also worried that I might not be in the same class as the few St. Margaret’s friends that were attending Queen’s College with me that year. And there were ten houses and I chose Austin (C) house, what if none of my other friends chose that house? Then of course there were the classes, what if I couldn’t cut it at this school?

But, mostly I was looking forward to the new school. It was an exciting year, eleven.

I’m not randomly thinking about eleven, there is a reason. I watched a film yesterday called I Am Eleven where filmmaker Genevieve Bailey traveled to fifteen countries and interviewed different eleven year olds asking them questions about life, love and other mysteries. It both extremely funny and insightful, I enjoyed it and it really causes you to think about life and how we live.

I think the most eye-opening piece of the film for me was when the kids were asked what they would change if they could. One girl wanted longer weekends and another wanted a home. A lot of children around the world (and in America) face different challenges and some are fortunate to live a life where the only thing they have to worry about is getting up for school and hanging with friends on the weekends, I wish all kids could experience that, but that’s just not the case. This is something that will stay with me, that I will need to think about and consider a bit more. How can I help those less fortunate? How can I bring awareness of the issues? I think this film really encourages that sort of thinking and I think it’s important for children to be exposed to the differences in the world around us. 

Check out the trailer below and if it’s showing in a theater near you, I do hope you to go! 

Do you remember when you were eleven?

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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.

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[image from If/Then site]