Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Rest of the Story

Ballerina and I were so delighted to see Romeo & Juliet! It was the last night of ABT's season at the Met. Sheer brilliance. Curtain call after curtain call after curtain call.

Ballerina was especially thrilled because Irina Dvorovenko, the daughter of one of her favorite ABT teachers, had the lead role. The audience adored Irina and swooned over her partner, the new principal from Italy.

New Yorkers love the ballet. Every time we attended, people were standing outside saying, "Need two. Need two." Like a rock concert!!

New Yorkers also love a good deli. We went to Katz's at the urging of a friend from church. He gave us the scoop on
  • how it works (five meat cutters work simultaneously, pick one and get in line)

  • how to order (know what you want before it's your turn and speak up) and

  • how not to completely look like a tourist (we failed on that one outside so we could have the photo op, but inside we looked like natives)!

Ballerina and I shared a roast beef sandwich the first time we went and a corned beef the second time. We couldn't finish either one!

Before we came to NYC, the Professor sent Ballerina a birthday gift card to Chikalicious, a dessert bar. Chika is a Japanese chef, trained in Paris, who makes the most unique and delicious desserts. Three courses of treats. Completely unhurried. Beautifully presented.

We were positioned to watch the preparation. Detailed. Precise. Rhythmic.

The final course marked the occasion. Three selections for each of us (Ballerina 2 and her mom joined us there). Which looks best to you?

With All Your Heart

What do a beautiful ballerina, a burly meat cutter and a petite chef have in common?

They each put all their heart into their work. And it shows.

Irina Dvorovenko, a principal at ABT, danced the lead in Romeo and Juliet. Breathtaking. Stunning. Exquisite. She danced with all her heart.

The Katz's meat cutter joked, called all the women "Sweetheart," gave samples as he cut, and made sandwiches with all his heart.

The petite chef Chika created perfect desserts – each a miniature work of art and a feast for the palate – with all her heart.

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men." Colossians 3:23

Friday, July 10, 2009

Down Under

The subway provides not only transportation for us, but entertainment. We've heard a variety show's worth of Motown, Mariachi, Chinese, classic, and other music styles.

We're used to the airline restrictions about carry-ons and luggage. Apparently those rules don't apply down under. If you can carry it, you can ride with it. Here are a few things we've seen.

Going to a potluck? Bring your casserole and come on.

Wear your swimsuit, bring a towel and don't forget the lawn chair.

Subway doesn't take you all the way to your destination? No problem. Bikes allowed. Skateboards and scooters, too.

Member of a band or orchestra? Instruments welcome. The bigger the better.

Don't want to pay shipping and handling for that new flat screen tv? Bring it on.

Time to renew our metro cards. Our month-long pass expires tomorrow. See you down under. I'll carry the groceries.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Liberty Weekend

We got an early start to the long weekend on Thursday night with student rush tickets (translation: inexpensive, good seats available on the day of the performance) to ABT's production of Sylvia. After the other moms and I purchased the tickets, I returned to the apartment to make dinner. Moroccan chicken with couscous, green salad with dried cranberries, salted pecans and feta, and French bread. Yum!

All six of us ate, changed clothes, and headed to the Met (ABT performs at the Metropolitan Opera House) via bus and subway. None of us had seen this ballet before. It was stunning! Gillian Murphy starred as Sylvia. Here's Ballerina with NJ friend outside the theatre (Gillian is in the poster).

Found out that van cabs can't won't seat 6 passengers. Cabbie said there were too many of us. Hmmm. Wonder what those extra 6 seats and seatbelts are for??? Not to worry. We retraced our subway and bus ride home.

Friday morning, we slept late. What a luxury! We then went to Century 21, a department store. Their slogan on the door, "Fashion Worth Fighting For," was the first clue to what was inside. Think TJ Maxx on steroids. Ballerina and I always love a good bargain and sometimes the hunt. We had a blast!

We then treated ourselves to a late lunch at Angelo and Maxie's. Every day we walk past this restaurant on Park Avenue. Every day we see the "Prix Fixe" lunch sign. This was the day to enjoy. Our three-course choice was salad, filet mignon, and New York cheesecake. F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S!!! Tasted even better when we saw the real menu prices!!

Ballerina and I returned to see Sylvia again on Friday night, thanks to some extra tickets. Diana Vishneva and Ethan Steifel debuted in the starring roles. Their performance wowed the audience and earned many curtain calls.

On Independence Day, we went to The American Girl Place at the behest of Ballerina 2. Was a sweet trip down memory lane for us -- saw dolls and books and clothes that are now stored away at our house.

We stopped in at St. Patrick's. I love it when a house of worship reflects the glory of God! What a spectacular display of beauty. The photo is from their site; ours is too blurry.

We then made our way to the Sansha store in search of pointe shoes for Ballerina. Despite the bad online review of the store, we found the salespeople to be quite nice (good lesson in not believing everything you read!!). Ballerina decided to return to her old favorites, Suffolk Solos. Sansha had shoes to fit her right foot, but the left . . . not so great. In a burst of optimism, we bought both pairs. (Ballerina's feet are two different sizes. That doesn't matter in a street shoe or in a ballet slipper, but it does in a pointe shoe. To make it work, we always buy two pairs at once. Pointe shoes don't have a left and a right so she still ends up with two pairs -- we don't have to discard one shoe from each pair.)

By then, everyone was hungry. The ballerinas were ready some McD's fries to balance out all the fruits and veggies I've been feeding them! With a hefty dose of cholesterol coursing through our veins, we headed to the Hershey store, then the M&M store (yes, three floors devoted entirely to M&Ms).

July 4th in NYC wouldn't be complete without a photo with Lady Liberty. Love the pointed toe.

We found her again down the street at Toys R Us.

I'll let Writer break the news to Sketcher that we won't be buying enough Legos to duplicate it.

To complete the July 4th trifecta (burgers and Lady Liberty were the first two, in case you lost count), the girls rode the Ferris wheel at the toy store. Don't think I've ever seen an indoor Ferris wheel before. Have you?

This year the Macy's fireworks display was on the Hudson River, to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's discovery of the river. If it had been on the East River, like it usually is, we would have walked to it, but Writer thought it unwise to go to the west side because of trying to get back to the apartment with the crowds. Like you, we watched it on television.

Ballerina tried on her pointe shoes again and determined that the left really doesn't fit well so we returned to Sansha on Sunday. They're ordering the correct size. Ballerina and I spent the afternoon together, exploring. We returned to Redeemer on Sunday night for church. The perfect way to end a great weekend.

P.S. Thanks to all of you who've emailed or called and asked about my injuries. I'm fine. A little bruised and sore still, but fine. And, I returned to the scene and got some comfy sandals. With the gift certificate, I paid a whopping $9.99 (plus bruises).

Friday, July 3, 2009

Falling Shelves

Just a quick note, sans photos, to tell about my little mishap yesterday. I was standing in the aisle of a shoe store, searching for the elusive comfortable pair, when I got hit by a display rack. Apparently a store employee and a customer were trying to go through the same narrow passageway, one of them tripped, hit the 5-foot display, and it came crashing down -- on me! My left ankle, hip and side are pretty bruised and sore, but nothing's broken (or so I think!).

After about 45 minutes with some ice and multiple discussions with various managers, I limped home. Signed a waiver that I wouldn't sue the store in lieu of a gift certificate! Will return later to get the shoes!!

Please pray for speedy and complete healing -- and that I find the perfect shoes.