Fun,NY

#69 Write a Poem About New York

funny

From Fifth Avenue's fashionistas

to Far Rockaway's fields,

this fast-forward frenzy folds

around a fleet of fellow New Yorkers.

 

From the Financial District's fortune makers

to Flatbush's factories,

the

fastidious

frenetic

famous and 

fearless

find forums to

fall in love

fight

futz and

follow their hearts.

 

Foreigners find us

fierce

flamboyant

flippant and

frightening, but above all

 

fun. 

 

It's all just so fun, isn't it?

Yes, it's all just a little bit fun,NY.

The Wonderful Land of Oz

#27: travel to Australia

few pictures = hours of relaxation

The serenity of this place put us at ease as we enjoyed the beaches of Brisbane, the beaches of Melbourne and the beaches of Sydney -- oh, and some city life as well.  I was struck by the warmth of the people and beauty of the place.  Easy, serene, calm, stunning, green, welcoming, comfortable, peaceful, vast and lovely would be a few words I'd use to describe Australia.

Under the Starlit Sky

#56: camp

We rang in 2014 at the Woodford Folk Festival near Brisbane, Australia.  It was gorgeous to sit on a hillside with thousands of others and listen to live music as midnight struck.  Here's to a year of magic and wonder.

Tap, Tap, Tapioca Everybody!

#11: take a tap dance class

While in Australia, we spent a day at the Woodford Folk Festival.  Easily one of the most well-organized and delightful music festivals I've ever attended, there was something novel and new to see or do around every corner.  Early on, we attended the Rhythm Junkies' Tap Dance Workshop.  Creating foot-stomping beats with 200+ people was marvelous.

Delicious Ambiguity

#99: write a poem for someone who requests it on this blog

My sweet niece recently sent me a charming handwritten letter.  She closed it by politely asking if she might request a poem.  I was happy to oblige.

I read a beautiful thought today about 'delicious ambiguity.' 

The idea that life is delightful because it is uncertain. 

So much of the beauty and the joy

Lies in the inherent mystery of what will unfold

The next moment

The next day

The next year

When one lives in the confidence, 

That the world will continue to offer up its bounty, 

It is then that we suck the marrow from life, 

Knowing that it will not run dry, 

While we are here to feast. 

So, pull up a seat, whet your appetite -  

A plate of the most delicious ambiguity is about to be served. 

From Dawn to Dusk to Midnight

#6: walk the entire length of Broadway

10 intrepid travelers gathered in the Bronx at 9am on June 1, 2013 to cross the bridge and walk the length of Manhattan.

Each had been assigned a series of blocks during which to plan 3 activities. 

The journey led us to previously-unexplored destinations - the oldest farmhouse in Manhattan, Alexander Hamilton's House and Zucotti Park. 

We reflected on what New York had taught us over the years, what were the stories of those we passed and where would we live if we could choose any neighborhood. 

We stopped for fresh mangoes, Hungarian pastries, homemade cookies and gyros to fuel our fire. 

13 miles and 15 hours later - just before midnight - 5 victors remained to bask in glory at the edge of Battery Park, gazing across the water towards Lady Liberty. 

And then they took the 1 train home.

30,000 Strong

#7:  do the Five Boro Bike Tour in NYC 

Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island

Bike New York's 5 Boro Bike Tour allows 30,000+ cyclists to ride through the city and experience it like they've never done before.  Entering the freeway is thrilling.  Riding over the bridges and down the off-ramps is exhilarating.  Cruising along 6th Avenue like you own the place is joyous.   

40+ miles of car-free roads on a sunny Sunday.  Perhaps this is just the way New York was meant to be seen. 

Pitching the City

#84: attend a neighborhood meeting

With NYC as my community, this was a pretty fabulous community meeting.   Held at St. Patrick's Old Cathedral in SoHo, the Municipal Art Society's "Pitching the City" event gave five idealists the chance to share their visions for improving New York.

Low Line = an underground park in an abandoned subway tunnel

+ Pool = a pool on the Hudson that is filled with filtered river water (think a huge Brita pitcher)

New Lab at the Brooklyn Navy Yard = a space to dream, design and build in big scale

NYFi = payphones as all-purpose, interactive information pods

IRT Powerhouse Reimagined = use this behemoth of a building for the beautiful and innovative

By popular vote, + Pool won with 36% of the pie.

Calm

#35: meditate every day for one month

peace.jpg

Mindfulness in Plain English guided me in this meditation practice.  You can find a complimentary copy online here.  I highly recommend this text for anyone who wants to teach themselves the beautiful art of mindfulness in daily living.

This March, I combined a month of meditation with a month of eating natural foods in an effort to bring my body/mind connection back into equilibrium after the long winter. 

The meditation was a lovely piece of this combination and I think I only understood how much it helped when I stopped practicing it in the first days of April.  It caused me to reflect and write this "Ode to Meditation" on the subway last night:

Is a rushing river calmer for having passed through a still and steady pool? 

Perhaps. 

Perhaps it is during this time of slowing

that the river remembers the sun and shady trees along the bank -

and so,

when it rushes on again 

nods to them and

acknowledges their presence -

even in his rushing -

thanking the stillness for reminding him of their being there.

Innards Peace

#49: eat "clean" for one month (no processed foods)

I used the blog 100 Days of Real Food as my guide on the rules of "eating clean."  This was a wonderfully challenging month during which I cooked more than I have all year. 

I also found delicious new combinations that I never knew I'd love so much, such as whole natural yogurt, honey and pecans mixed together - it is heavenly.  used the Recipe Index on the 100 Days of Real Food blog.  Pecan Maple Breakfast Cookies were a staple for morning and evening.  Peanut Butter Banana Smoothies became an afternoon indulgence or my version of late-night ice cream.

Overall, I loved this experiment.  I did feel much more healthy and whole.  I also - unexpectedly - developed an empathy for others with diet restrictions, whether through choice or biology. 

I only broke down 3 times - once to have Vitamin Water when my natural turkey didn't agree with me and I had to replenish electrolytes.  A second time when one of the sweetest 4-year-olds I know asked me to eat "popcorns" with him.  And third - three weeks in - when 2 friends celebrated birthdays with decadent mini cupcakes.

A Thousand Thanks

#82: raise $1,000 for an organization I love

thousand thanks.jpg

The American Cancer Society (ACS) has named itself the Official Sponsor of Birthdays.  How fitting that on my next birthday I have the honor of completing my first Olympic Triathlon as a member of ACS's DetermiNation Team.  Even better is the fact that I will be running in honor of the amazing woman who made my birthday possible.  I love you, mom.

A huge thanks to all of you who have donated to this fundraising goal thus far.  On March 11th, I reached $1,000!  Only $1,500 to go!

Underground Oasis

#12: get a massage

aire.jpg

In the heart of TriBeCa - in an overhauled 1883 textile factory - is a beautiful brick basement that has been transformed into Aire Ancient Baths.  Reminiscent of Roman baths with soaring ceilings and candlelight throughout, one is invited to move slowly through a series of pools - warm, hot, cold, salty and bubbling - and then enjoy the sauna and ultimately xperience a relaxing massage. 

I Heart Aruba

#29: travel to Aruba