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 (1)

Oftentimes it’s difficult for me to keep resolutions because, despite the plotting and scheming to get things done, the change I want is frequently so tremendous that I become disillusioned when I can’t obtain my goal (or close to my goal) within 30 days.

I want to say that I will blog more, that I will talk more about what I observe in the city I call home, but the truth is, I don’t like sharing my thoughts and emotions with everyone. Blogging will always be difficult because of this; while I love the idea of the world wide web and the connectivity we have online, I will always prefer the casual anonymity of being a browsing wallflower.

In an attempt to write more and be more thoughtful and expressive, I’ve decided to start with a small step in blogging – I will record 5 things. And, keeping with small steps, these 5 things do not have to be recorded every week, but, I must records 5 things at least once a month. I’d like the things to be positive things, because life is too short to settle on the negatives. Maybe they’ll be things of interest to me, I don’t know what they will be, the only thing they cannot be is negative.

So … without further ado, here are five things.

— Thing One —

After the downer called 2012, the year started off on a great note when, while texting that my service ended late and that I would probably be heading home, I found out that my friend proposed and his girl said yes! It was such great news to hear at the onset of a new year. Thankfully I got to see them for a bit and express the full extent of my excitement for them.

— Thing Two —

I saw a swift answer to a prayer. Without getting into too much details online (but, you can ask me about it offline, I’d love to share), I found myself in a tough situation and I sent up a desperate cry for help and it came, in the form I requested. It was just the boost I needed and I’m thankful for the reminder of the all-knowing God that I serve.

— Thing Three —

Earlier this week I went to Carnegie Hall for the first time. I am constantly astonished by the culture that oozes out of the pores of New York City. Where else can I see Wicked on Broadway, then take a train north to the Met and then go a bit west to find Lincoln Center and see an Opera? I love that it’s brimming with art in its many forms.

I am often surprised by the inner workings of humans as expressed through the things they build so, when John and Hank Green were hosting a Night of Awesome at Carnegie Hall, I hopped online to get a ticket. They entertained a sold out hall, just two brothers from the middle of nowhere, one a bestselling author and the other an internet intellect. Both brothers started a community called Nerdfighters through their Vlogbrother YouTube channel.

Now, before you think that this is too geeky for your tastes, the core message of the Vlogbrothers is being true to yourself. I would rather my teenagers watch their channels as opposed to the constant barrage of low level entertainment that forces them to be something they are not – to confirm to a societal norm. The fact that they sold out Carnegie Hall is astounding in and of itself. This means that there are enough young people in New York City (and those who have access to NYC) who have been influenced by these guys, enough to sell out Carnegie Hall. For me, this is mind-boggling.

These guys are the influencers you want to pay attention to.

— Thing Four —

On the same vein of expression in arts, I also saw a ballet at Lincoln Center this week! They were presenting Tchaikovsky/Balanchine pieces. Tchaikovsky is a great composer who composed the famous Swan Lake piece and Balanchine is a famed choreographer. I actually read the biography of Gelsey Kirkland, Dancing on My Grave, for a Ballet class that I took in college, and since then, I’ve always been interested in George Balanchine pieces.

It was a beautiful night, first they did a shorter version of Swan Lake, the ballerina was amazing and I was very impressed with her cavalier. The second piece was the  Allegro Brillante, the lighting on this piece was pretty neat and I loved the costumes on this piece the most. Finally they performed to Suite no. 3. During this piece there was a little fumble, a company dancer got in the way of the male principle and I thought, for a moment, that they were about to do a lift (which was confusing as I’ve never seen a female lift a male). However, they had a speedy recovery and the show carried on.

Overall, it was a wonderful experience. I’m such a fangirl of the Lincoln Center, I love the complex, love the theater, love every bit!

— Thing Five —

Another yes! Or two! This weekend has been packed with surprises and proposals! First, my lovely friend, J, was proposed to on Friday night. Then, on Saturday I found out a college friend proposed to his girlfriend, only to discover that the girl was a friend from my old High School in Guyana. This world is such a small one! Overall, a wonderful end to a lovely week.

Well, that’s five, it’s late and I’m falling asleep…

~ * ~

Ballet: Sleeping Beauty

Lincoln Center

If you’re in New York City, one of the biggest attractions is Broadway! And right next to Broadway you have the Ballet – at least that’s my opinion. For those who are unsure, there is no singing, or speaking, only just dancing at a Ballet, and yes, the style of dance IS ballet.

One of the most popular ballets is The Nutcracker – which I’ve seen a few times. It usually runs during the winter season as it tells a the famous story of the Christmas present of the Nutcracker toy coming to life. This past Sunday I saw the Sleeping Beauty ballet.

Sleeping Beauty was choreographed by Peter Martins and George Balanchine with music from Tschaikovsky. The dance was performed by the New York City Ballet company and it tells the story of Princess Aurora.

The Story

King Florestan and his Queen held a christening for their new born princess and Aurora’s fairy godmothers were invited to bless the infant with their gifts of virtues. During the blessings, as the Lilac Fairy was about to give the last gift, the evil Fairy Carabosse crashes the christening and, furious for not being invited, casts a curse on the infant. When the princess turned 16 she would prick her finger on a spindle and die.

The Lilac Fairy uses her gift to the infant to counter the curse: instead of dying the princess will fall into a deep sleep from which she will be awaken by love’s first kiss.

On her 16th birthday, Princess Aurora accepts a gift from an old woman – the Fairy Carabosse in disguise. The gift turns out to be a spindle and she pricks her finger and falls to the ground. Her mother and father are distraught until the Lilac Fairy reminds them that she will not die, but will sleep until a prince awakes her with a kiss. After this the Lilac Fairy puts the entire kingdom under a sleeping spell so they will remain sleeping until the princess is awoken.

outside by the new fountain

One hundred years later the Prince Désiré was hunting in the forest and during a time of solitude receives a vision from the Lilac Fairy of the Princess Aurora. He begs the fairy to take him to the princess and the Lilac Fairy leads him to the enchanted Castle.

The prince reaches the princess and awakens her, and with her the entire kingdom. There is a wedding and a celebration. Evil was defeated with love’s first kiss.

The Dances

Act 1 had three main sets: The Christening, The Spell, The Vision. My favourite parts were the dances of the fairies as they bestowed their gifts – The Fairy of Vivacity being the funniest – and the Vision set, with the best part being the prince trying to dance with the princess in his vision, but being cut off by the Lilac Fairy … rejected! =)

excited for the ballet

Act 2 had two main sets: The Awakening and the Wedding. The Wedding set included dances from the fairy-tale guests: The White Cat and Puss in Boots (absolutely enjoyable!), Princess Florine and The Blue Bird, Little Red Riding Hood and The Wolf (the little girl was so adorable!), The Jewels (Gold’s tights were well … tight) and The Courts Jesters.

The Grand Pas de Deux (dance between the prince and princess) was really good, but I think my favourite dance from all the different sets were the cats – of course there were a few “pas de chats” which is one of my favourite ballet moves.

The Conclusion

I loved the costume – especially the dresses of the courtiers in the wedding scene. I loved the set. I loved the music. I loved the dances. I loved this ballet and would definitely see it again!