9/11 Memorial, NYC, Uncategorized

My JFK Day

As I was about to turn off my radio to head to school the host starts laughing and says; “get this, some idiot ran their plane into the World Trade Center in New York City. Buddy, those are pretty big and hard to miss {chuckling with co-host}. . . . . . . oh wait, we just heard this is quite serious, we will keep you updated as we know more.” The time was 6:55AM in Utah (8:55AM in NYC).

Every T.V. in our cafeteria was on, every student was silent. They were replaying the second tower getting hit over and over. It wasn’t real. It couldn’t be. The T.V. stayed on in my first period class for about 10min before my math teacher decided there was no reason to watch anymore. We argued then proceeded to ignore everything math related until a science teacher came by to tell us that the Pentagon was just hit and nobody was teaching.

My generation had just encountered it’s JFK day.

Sept 11 Mem

Walking down the stairs I feel a breeze rush past me. “Just get out and run”. Some pillars still stand, adorned with patches and pictures, memories and an unmistakable pain and burden. Videos are on, surrounding you, calling out all the details over and over. You want to move on but you can’t, but there is more so you do. Going deeper the blood starts flowing faster, harder. Whispers, echos, penetrating and yet emanating from everywhere. A quilt with words of encouragement from an elementary school in Colorado lines one wall. Behind, the whispers become louder. Closer, louder. A mother, a brother, a son, a sister. They all have something to say. A memory, a message. Every face, all 2,977 of them smile down on you. You want to smile back, but it hurts so much.

Deeper still, reaching past the heart and into the soul. But there is one corner that seems it should be reserved for Hades. It’s dark, it’s filled with doom. It is the worst thing you have ever witnessed. ‘Turn away, it’s not right to look’, you tell yourself out of respect, but you can’t. They stand outside windows, waving t-shirts of white, searching for a savior that will never come – and so they jump. They fall, they plummet, they know what’s coming. But it’s only their bodies going to meet Hades at Styx, because the moment they took that last step their soul ascended, free from the smoke and pain and fear.

The details are endless. You could go through 100 times and still see something new – and each time will not be easier, but harder. They tell you to give yourself 90minutes to go through. But how can you only give this 90 minutes of your time? It will take days. It will take reading every little detail, it will take telling everyone around you to go see it.

Eventually I will be bringing my own children here. They will probably come home from school one day, asking what I remember about that day. It will strike me how strange it is that they don’t know. How could they not know? Then, while I tell my children everything, I will pray that they never have to experience anything like this. Yet in my heart I think I know this isn’t true. For every generation seems to have their day in their history that shakes their world, so I will just hope that they can take it all in and remember it all like I have. We can build a memorial and a museum, make documentaries and docu-drama movies to be passed down through the generations, but it is up to the individual to hold those memories in their heart. To never forget but always remember without the aid of a memorial.

The true memorial should always reside in your heart.

Standard
NYC, NYC Dining, Uncategorized

Bites with Budda(kan)

When you go out to eat you are not only looking for good food. Sure, that may be the first thing you think about, but location, atmosphere, energy, etc can truly become what makes the experience complete (unless the food is horrible, then all these other things are negated).

Think about your most memorable dining experiences (the positive ones). Close your eyes and open your senses. What do you see? What do you smell? How do you feel?

The Jailer escorts you to your table. As he opens the cell you slide on to your cold, metal seat. Soon the sweet aroma of BBQ ribs wafts by and you remember you’re hungry. After you fill yourself to the brim you search for your server, hoping they haven’t left you to rot (eventually, after a lot of digestion) behind bars. But hey, I guess if you can’t afford your meal they have an easy way of keeping you there! This was the Old Salt Lake City Jail restaurant in Salt Lake City. Even though I went when I was 10 or 11-years-old, it is still to this day one of the greatest dining experiences I have ever had.

Now I live in New York City. I live in a place known for having every food you can every think of (all all the others you could have never imagined). Some are simple holes in the wall that just have food so superb the order line runs down the street. Some provide views of the entire city with delectable dining above it all. New York restaurants are featured in late night shows, TV shows and movies. Needless to say, when dining in New York City, you have very high expectations.

Buddakan is one such place. However, it is deceiving in the beginning. While the entry/bar area is decorated very tastefully, it’s nothing to make you truly excited for your evening ahead. With your first round of drinks down the hatch, the host comes to take you to your table and you stop in your tracks as you approach the staircase.

Buddakan

The picture just doesn’t do it justice

You finally hustle down the stairs as you realize the rest of your party is already at the bottom of the stairs and you will definitely get lost if you aren’t with them. Walking past the grand table with its chandeliers emitting the perfect soft glow, you imagine a feast with royalty seated around (or the cast of Sex and the City apparently as well). Walking through an archway you see tapestries draping some walls, scenes of angels taking you back to the 14th century, while another wall features many faces and colors of Buddha. You smile, you’re completely at peace and your stomach hasn’t even been satisfied yet!

I would proceed to post a picture of the food and discuss how delectable it is (and it truly is), but we ate it all to quickly for me to capture it. Instead, I’ll skip to dessert and just tell you that you NEED to eat here. If simply for the jaw-dropping view at the top of the stairs, it is a must experience while in New York City. It’s an amazing experience that stimulates and satisfies every sense, leaving the diner with nothing more to desire (rather than maybe just to stay and admire the scenery a little more while you try to finish that last bite of of your sweet dessert that has capped off everything so perfectly.

Buddakan dessert

I almost couldn’t eat it it looked so cool (almost that is)

So close your eyes, open your senses, and find yourself at Buddakan where the vision can never leave you, and if you’re afraid it is, you’ll just want to come back again for a refresher.

Standard
NYC, NYC Subway, Uncategorized

The Subway Symphony

“Ah, music,” he said, wiping his eyes.”A magic beyond all we do here.” Albus Dumbledore

 

Music has been in my life since I can remember. From my mother’s lullabies, to 7+ years of playing in band and a lot in between, music has been something my whole body yearns to have on a daily basis. It doesn’t just settle the buzzing noise between my ears, music calms me body and soul.

New York City has every type of music available for every type of person. There are symphonies and operas; jazz clubs and discos. New York City is the home to The Juilliard School (a place I used to dream about what it would be like to go there), Broadway, Central Park concerts, and The Carnegie Club featuring Frankie and the gang on Saturday nights (oh I could sit and listen and sing and dance forever here). Ellen’s Stardust Diner is known for its server’s singing performances, as they are all aspiring Broadway stars (and I would venture to bet this is the same with 75% of the rest of the servers/hosts in the city, that or aspiring actors). Yes, music has permeated every part of this city you can think of and more. But one of my favorite places I have found music in this city is in subways.

When I first moved here I was going through the subway station at Times Square when I saw a children’s Mennonite choir singing hymns. I’ve seen the saw violin, the one-man band, an astounding opera singer, and a blues group that could almost take you straight to the Delta if you let your eyes stay closed long enough. While some of these are people simply looking for a way to get by, many (like more than 350) are a part of the MUNY or Music Under New York presented by the MTA Arts for Transit. This amazing program, started in 1985 shows so many talented, amazing people. But it’s sad, while these professionals sit and play for hours, hardly anyone takes the time to stop and notice them. Remember when this happened in D.C.?

This concert violinist was almost completely ignored, simply because we are too busy with our day to stop and listen to the music. I admit I get like this far more often than I care to admit, but the other day I really stopped and listened and discovered someone amazing. Erik Heger was 5-years-old when he happened upon 10 harps hiding in his grandfather’s attic. Being a badass soldier in WWII (as Heger put it), he looked up to his grandfather as his hero. When he discovered this other talent of his grandfathers outside of shooting down the bad guys, he decided it must be really really cool and the rest is history. Heger can play anything you can think of. From Katy Perry to Jazz and Blues, classical beauties and compositions of his own. And if you saw him on the street, you would not pin him as a harpist (at least I wouldn’t, coming from Utah, most harpists are pretty little blonde girls). I sat and listened and chatted with him for over 45minutes, and I could have stayed longer if I didn’t have to get home to make my husband dinner – Heger was simply amazing. Here he is playing Mad World from Donnie Darko:

Stop and listen to the music every once in awhile, even if it’s just for five minutes. That five minutes may be just the thing your mind, body and soul needed.

Standard
NYC, Uncategorized

Finding the Words

The Statue of Liberty stands tall and proud, welcoming all who want to live here but warning them that living here doesn’t come without hard work. She is the gateway to America and she is not to be messed with. This, along with the pride of a city, was on full display Monday, November 11 – Veterans Day. Bugle’s bopped and drum-rolls rat-a-tated and dress uniforms were on full display. You could feel it in the air, a pride that was infectious to all. We could all stand tall today.

9:11 spectators

All weekend I thought about what I could, what I should say. Veterans Day came, with a parade down 5th Avenue and people in uniform everywhere I looked, I figured that I would surely get inspiration. Nothing came.

Then it dawned on me. There are thousands of things I could say to show how I feel, on how proud I am of people like my grandfathers and my father. Then again, no matter how many words I said or how many hearts I may reach, I could never say enough.

WWII Names

Growing up I loved looking at all of the Navy memorabilia from my father. His pilot helmet often adorned my brother and my heads, and we loved freaking out our friends with his ‘live’ ammunition of bullets. One of my grandfathers served in WWII, the other in Korea and I wish they had told us more stories. I have been to military Balls with friends in college, dressed up in my dad’s flight suit for halloween and told my dad I would be the first female Blue Angel (pretty sure that duty was fulfilled by the time I was 13, but hey, a girl can dream). While I never chose to join the military myself (although to this day I still wonder ‘what if’) I honor and love every single person who chooses to serve in any way, shape or form. Anytime I see someone in uniform I just want to run up and give them a big hug. I want to thank them and sit and hear their stories.

WWII Memorial

I’m pretty sure randomly giving people in uniform a big hug is not socially allowed and would probably get me in trouble (or physically injured) somewhere down the line, but that’s how I feel. But that’s what I want to do. I want to show them all how grateful I am for their sacrifice, their service. And while I may not always agree with the places they go to fight, I always support them. In my mind a mandatory service in the military, like many other countries require, seems as necessary to me as does a job in the service industry. They are both service, one is just putting up with the ignorant, annoying person you are serving food to while the other is serving the people who call this place home yet would only defend it through a video game. Yes, I understand that I have never served, but let me say again that if told that one person from each family needed to go I would in a heartbeat. And you are welcome to comment, ‘well then stop talking about it and go now’, but I am at a new phase of my life where that just can’t happen.

I love the military. I love the order, the tradition, the history. I love the Navy a bit more than the rest, but that’s because my father, a former Navy Fighter Pilot, made sure I had the bias. I know the songs. I can play them all on my clarinet (nerd, yes). But most of all I love the people in each of those branches. I love that their heart and their conscience was strong enough to go there. I love that they will literally do ANYTHING to protect this country and all who inhabit it, no matter the cost.

9:11 Flags

I could go on and on about my love and respect for my veterans, but I will never say enough to convey my feelings and gratitude to a level I feel they should be. So please, let me just end with

I Love You. Thank You.

Standard
NYC, Uncategorized

Festivals and Food Poisoning

Celebrating our first weekend in the Big Apple I wanted to do something to really bring us into this new life. Fortunately for me, the city responded tremendously Saturday with celebrations and festivals galore. From an Oyster Fest across the street from our place to the San Gennaro festival in Little Italy and more, New York gave us plenty to take in.

As we headed out for a morning run, my husband and I saw tents and signs going up across the street from our place. My husband got really excited as we returned when he noticed the signs read ‘Oysters’. While my husband is a fan of food in general, oysters, clams and crab are three things that he could eat for every meal, every day (won’t he be excited to hear that this festival continues this weekend)!

Oyster Fest

Research has told me that this annual Oyster Festival is a New York staple celebration. Nestled on Stone St, a brick-laid avenue lined with restaurants and bars of all types, it takes one look to realize that may be an understatement. I’m rather certain the Park City population of 10,000 was crammed into this one brick-laid street with Snyderville Basin overflowing onto Pearl St. I didn’t know that many people could fit into such a small area! So my sister-in-law and I headed into the chaos, coming out 40minutes later having shared a bottle of Prosecco with some wonderfully nice strangers and finally getting the two beers we went in for, while my husband satisfied his oyster craving (he even saved us some!). Satiated and slightly overwhelmed, we left the crowd to the locals.

San Gennaro

Fast forward to dinner and we found ourselves in another massive group in the heart of Little Italy. If I thought Stone St. was crowded I don’t even know what do consider this! Rather than one street, it was simply people as far as you could see in all directions. Eventually we found a place to eat that didn’t have an hour wait – turns out there may have been a reason. While our food was delicious, our stomachs didn’t think so later in the night. I guess quantity comes over quality when at the demand of 100,000 people. Our stomachs didn’t turn before our personal bubbles popped however, and we quickly decided moving two feet every two minutes wasn’t quite worth it. However, we did not escape before trying Deep Fried Oreos! Shoot they were so good. Thank God I don’t go to fairs often, I would be in trouble!

Even if my stomach didn’t agree with all of the choices I made on Saturday (and yes, it was the Italian dinner, not the Oreos dang it!), I am slowly getting closer to the realization that this is my permanent residence (not quite ready for the ‘H’ word yet) and that’s not horrible – just a bit of sensory overload.

Standard
Uncategorized

From Snow Globe to City Streets – the beginning

Turn over a snow globe, twist the music knob, twist and watch the magic. A perfect world encapsulated within a small dome of glass. Every detail visible and protected. Impenetrable to any outside force. You gaze as your mind wanders, soothed by the music softly emanating from a tiny rotating box. Snow gently wanders down, settling on a street, a house, a lamppost – anywhere it can find a home. For most of my life, it felt like one of those flakes fell on me every time the globe turned.

Welcome to PC

In 1990, at only 4-years-old, I moved to a magical place called Park City. I remember the first day it snowed – daddy taught me how to make a snow angel, definitely one of the greatest things EVER! I grew up through the wild white winters and perfectly temperate summers and found myself lucky enough to attend college in state where my Greatest Snow on Earth© and mountains were never far. College ended and I wended my way back to those mountains, teaching in their schools, exploring their trails, watching them grow. If told I would live there for the rest of my life, I would feign hesitation but then say, ‘OK’ – Life was good.

Then came September 17, 2013 – A day that will live in my memory forever. That little girl, who spent all of her life in those mountains, taking in its fresh air, soaking up every ray, every powder turn, finds herself somewhere she only ever saw in the movies. Sure I had visited, been the textbook tourist at the Statue of Liberty, Broadway, Times Square – but a permanent resident? Fuggedaboutit!

NYC CP

A snow globe is only temporary. Eventually the music stops. Sure you can wind it up again and get lost in its music and magic, but the music can’t continue forever. That first snow globe will always be there, resting on its shelf ready for its next turn, for its music to play as its snow softly falls – but everyone who has ever owned a snow globe knows you can never just be entranced by one – the music box needs a separate harmony, a new tune all its own.

 

Looks like my new snow globe is shaped like an Apple. . . is this really where dreams are made of?

 

Standard