June 15, 2012 – or simply put: My Sista’s Big 19 Birthday
For the moment, I’ll brag about the weather out here. It’s been perfect. Extraordinary. Yes, I know this won’t last and will be rejoicing for the desert return come August, but for now, I’ll flourish in this 70 to 80 degree weather. (Side note: It’s rained nearly everyday for spurts at a time, and consequently, I had to purchase an umbrella. I realized I would drown by the end of the summer without one. Sad news: After less than a week in use, it broke. Umbrella-less Phoenician is back on the streets! Maybe it was just meant to be.)
To consolidate this post, I’ll break up my thoughts into the following:
1.) NY Travels 2.) D.C. 3.) Work 4.) Politics 5.) Sports
1.) NY: To go back quickly, when you come to NY, you must take the Staten Island Ferry. It’s free and gorgeous. I’ll attach a few more ferry photos to give a better sense of just how gorgeous the water trek is. Also, they did a befitting job with the World Trade Center Memorial. The pools of water are serene, and the new One World Trade Center right in the backdrop is stunning.
My awesome, friend-since-Shadow-Rock-Preschool-days friend Stephanie came into town last Friday until Tuesday morning. She’s working at a girls’ summer camp in Pennsylvania until August, so she was pretty awesome and arrived a few days early to hang out! We did New York the right way on Friday, D.C. on Saturday, Central Park and Bryant Park on Sunday and celebrated my friend Stacy’s 21st birthday at dinner nearby on Monday (happy bday, Stacy!) (I had to work during the day on Monday so Steph traveled the town). I couldn’t be more grateful for Stephanie’s friendship over all the years. We had a great time. I also met up with another ASU friend and thesis-partner-in-crime Jessica on Wednesday for the first time. We met up after work and made an evening out of it! And last night, another one of my friend-since-Shadow-Rock-Preschool-days friend Bryce’s parents were in New York visiting, so I met up for an outstanding dinner with them at this jazz Asian barbeque eatery. Thank you, Marcia and Brian, for a tremendous evening! Always enjoy meeting up with you guys.
2.) D.C.: Stephanie and I took a 1:15 a.m. Megabus, which is like a Greyhound, from NY to D.C. Friday night/Saturday morning. We arrived into Union Station in D.C. around 6:30 a.m., grabbed breakfast at Lincoln’s Waffles, stopped at the Supreme Court, Capitol, Washington Monument, White House, Vietnam, Korean, Einstein, Lincoln, MLK, FDR and Jefferson Memorials, walked over to Georgetown, went kayaking on the Potomac, grabbed some frozen yogurt, took the bus to Ben’s Chili Bowl, and then Metroed back over to Union Station to catch our Megabus back to NY at 7:30 p.m. that night. It was Steph’s first time in D.C., and I think we made it count! We met up with my friend Kyle, who graduated from ASU and is now at Georgetown, and spent the day with him. We had a pretty dandy time!
3.) Work is going well. We’re in the swing of things, and each day is different. I’m helping research stories, pitch story ideas, go out for a few camera shoots (like interviews, live shots, press conferences, etc.). They’re great people to work with.
4.) And not to bring politics too much into this, but hey, when one runs across something, I think it’s for the good of traveling thoughts and ideas. Last Sunday, the Puerto Rican Pride Parade closed down Lexington Ave. up and down the eastern end of Central Park. We were trying to slide our way into the park for an afternoon of Frisbee, but the parade held us up for nearly 45 minutes. Thousands – to the point where we couldn’t see the parade’s start or ending point down the straight road – lined the roads and created a patriotic circus of noise, commotion and celebration. We couldn’t help but smile. It brought me back to the enlightening, energetic days I spent in the Dominican Republic two years ago. The pride exuding from this parade was contagious. And it was happening in the middle of Manhattan. Puerto Rican flags, music, shirts, a dog with Puerto Rico bandana… the scene was overwhelming. At this point, I had to turn to Stephanie and ask whether she could imagine a, for example, Mexico Pride Parade in Phoenix. We couldn’t. Or right now in 2012, at least (Cinco de Mayo doesn’t count). That would be the day Arizona politicans – and I believe the people are influenced by the rhetoric of those up top – would openly accept a day in which one’s heritage and culture could be celebrated over that of our “American” values (i.e. ethnic studies). But it was just so easy, just so wonderful, just so joyous in New York. Someday very soon things will be different in Arizona. Someday soon in Arizona we won’t look at the Mexico flag as a threat. Someday soon in Arizona it will be widely held that varying cultures make a dynamically strong community. Cause that’s what I’ve seen in New York. It works. And I think today’s WH immigration announcement could speed up that process across the U.S. and, for us back home, even potentially shut down Central Ave.’s parade route for an afternoon sometime soon. The times are changing. Social progress doesn’t slow down.
5.) If you are not tuning into this NBA Finals between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat, you should. We haven’t seen a Finals series this great in a long time. Even those of you who say you aren’t sports fans, WATCH! James Harden, the beard man for OKC, is a former Sun Devil, and the play of these two teams is intense. And at this spot, I’ll also give a shout out to my NY basketball ally, Nick Po! We’ve been through every playoff game but one or two since shortly after our move into the dorms. And I’ll never be more appreciative for West Coast time where games start at the reasonable hour of 6 p.m. instead of 9 p.m. like they do out here. West Coast pride!!
So from here, I’ll bid adieu for the evening. Tomorrow, Jordan and I are headed to the music venue “Terminal 5” for the Fun. (that’s the name of the band) concert. I’ll link a video with one of their songs below this post. Check ‘em out! They’re pretty fun…eh eh? Take care all and have a tremendous mid-June weekend!! And happy birthday again to the best sis!!