I Summer Love’n – New York

Well, it’s here, finally; Summer!

I hope you are as excited as I am.

Wow what a busy end to the school year.   Since the last post from Belize, I had;

  • Providing an Honour Guard to greet the Governor General’s arrival in Sioux Lookout
  • opened and closed DHS’s Production of Willy Wonka Jr
  • Scored OSSLT tests in Toronto for 11 days
  • Attended briefings in Ottawa for the International Air Cadet Exchange
  • Instructed on the Air Environmental Training Course at 8 Wing, CFB Trenton
  • Spent a night at CFB Borden
  • 3 Drama endtask presentations to evening audiences of family and friends
  • Multiple trips to TBay and Winnipeg which include celebrating the Air Cadet League of Canada’s 75th Anniversary and being elevated and knighted as a 4th degree Knight of Columbus.
  • Parades, Birthday Parties, Grad Parties, Award Banquets, Retirement and year end parties and who knows what else!

As you can imagine, I was really looking forward to the end of the school year, and this year was special.   Not only did I get to celebrate the DHS Grad as committee member and MC of the grad ceremony, I also got to attend my nieces graduation from Beaver Brae!   Madison has always been very important to me and I can’t imagine what this next portion of her life holds.

After school ended, I needed to spend some more time in my classroom, tying up some loose strings, but I did manage to spend some time on the Winnipeg River with Julia and Cole, as well as re-take my first jump course and watch Madison and her friend take their first solo jump from 4000 feet.

It is hard to believe that the last time I jumped out of a perfectly good plane was 19 years ago, and this year I got to watch my 18 year old niece as part of her graduation/birthday present.   All I can say is that it is an awesome experience!

Now, first stop of the Summer NEW YORK CITY; the Big Apple!   I’m here for the Broadway Teachers Workshop, so excited!   This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.   I planned the trip with 2 extra days before the workshop starts and 1 extra day at the end.

It was just last week that I realized I’d be arriving into NYC on July 4th; Independence Day.   There must be something about me, this city and holidays, as the last time I was here was for New Year’s in 2012/2013.   I got to my apartment about 6:30 pm, there was still lots of celebrating to do!  I headed out to the ‘Festival of Independence’ at Seaport.  I caught the Macy’s 4th of July Firework display on the banks of East Hudson.

Seaport provided us with 3D glasses that made the fireworks even more magical!

I ended the evening with a walk through the financial district visiting the Bull!

Now I’ve been to New York before, and will be back again [May 2017 with students from DHS] so I was looking for some different experiences, things I still like to do, but not necessarily the touristy things, and as a result I decided to do some hiking, who would think I came to a big city, just to get out of the city?

However, it has been my experience that although you may be lost in a concrete jungle you are never truly far away from nature.   I’ve found many great parks and nature experiences in most major metropolitans that I’ve visited.   Last time in NYC it was the High Line and Central Park, this time I needed more!  So I headed out to the East Hudson and Breakneck Ridge.

I planned my route and had no idea how ambitious it was, the distance was manageable; about 15-16 km.   I read the contour lines and knew where I’d have some ascents and decents, but was still not prepared for the terrain and how difficult those ups and downs would be.

The  train ride was pretty, views of the Hudson during the full hour trip.

Although, the train ride was expensive, and the hike kicked my butt, I am extremely glad that I hiked and completed my route.   The views were awesome, the challenge was rewarding, the peace, and serenity was real, and I had a lot of alone time to think and recharge.

This tree was so zen, I stood and stared at the light shining between the roots and the rock.   

I don’t know what it with me and meeting people who like to run on mountain trails, but I did encounter the same runner twice.   The first encounter was very brief, during the second he asked if I had some water to spare, so I gave him a drink.    I asked if he was an ultramarathon runner, and he responded that he was actually a Spartan Athlete.   This took some research.  Lending him water while he was in his need demonstrated some of my own Spartan attributes.

Day 2 resulted in a little sleep in, then I decided on a self guided walking tour of some of my favourite city parks and districts.

I don’t know why Washington Park is one of my favourite, it does get some airtime in the movie August Rush, it was the first real landmark I recognized (at midnight) on my first trip to NYC, and in it’s simplicity it is beautiful.

Although there was no love music in the park I did see this George Washington quote under the arch which spoke to me;

Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair the event is in the hands of God

It made me wonder what I am doing, in all areas of my life and not just in education alone, to raise the standards of wisdom and honesty to build and repair the world we live in and the people in it.  Washington must have been a wise man, with strong ideals.   I hope the people of the US remember the ideals of it’s founding fathers as they go to the election polls this fall.

Washington Park is also close to NYU and I love universities and places of higher learning, maybe that is part of the love I have for this park.

It’s hot in NYC during the summer, felt like 39 today so why not get some ice cream.  This Pumpkin Gobbler was delicious!

Willy Wonka, and the cast are still in my thoughts, and low and behold a few reminders of them today; I am excited that some will get to experience this city with me next spring, and feel for those who can’t.

Okay, next on the food tour, 2nd City somehow showed up on my Instagram feed of something I might like, probably because of all the food pics G posts, anyways I decided that I’d have to eat here when I came to the city.   They are a Filipino fusion restaurant maintains traditional flavours and blending it with trending recipies.  The Adobo Boritio was perfect!

My hike took me through Grenwich and West Village, to Christopher Street Park and through Chelsea and many little parks and building along the way, ending at my favourite park; the HighLine.   

The HighLine is an abandoned railway and is an ecological oasis within the city, and is a hub for many.

Save the Bees

The views of Empire State are second to none from the parkway.

As I returned to my apartment I visited the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.   It’s hard to imagine such an important influential time and group of people who were living the artist/musician lifestyle and the fact that so many people grew up and lived in such a small area.   It reminds me of all the great musical talent that comes from Dryden; we are a town that lives and breaths music, and makes me wonder how we extend that to theatre?

After a short break, I was back downtown to take in the Star Wars and Power of Costume Exhibit.  I am a huge Star Wars fan and I think this continued my transition to being here for theatre, and to grow and reconnect with that inner director and drama teacher.

Well I guess it is back to the reason I came to this city.
I knew that this part of the trip would keep me immersed in city life, but also theatre life, getting to meet and experiencing some of the industries bests. Which is part of the reason why I was okay getting out of the city and finding some different experiences.

Last time I was here I got to see 3 Broadway shows; Phantom of The Opera, Rock of Ages, and How to Succeed in Business without even trying starring Daniel Radcliffe.

My Broadway experience started with meeting Jhett Tolentino. Nea, one of the caretakers at DHS grew up as neighbors with Jhett, and now she is in Dryden and he is in New York working as a leading edge Broadway Producers. I was supposed to see one of his shows Tuck Everlasting but it unfortunately closed before the workshop started, so instead I just got to bring him a present from Nea.

In true, Filipino standard this was not just a drop and go session, we talked went out for Thai and he insisted that I see Something  Rotten!

I have been in love with the music of this play all year, but had no idea it was currently on Broadway.   They play is about Shakespeare and his successes and another playwright and his lack their of, with references to many other musicals.

I ended the evening with a walk through Times Square.

Tomorrow the Broadway Teachers Workshop starts.   So excited!


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