Certainly a whirlwind. No time to actually write every day. I probably couldn’t do that even if I wanted to.
Impressions after a week: busy as hell, soooo many people, hot and humid, love, heart, power, beautiful, the ARCHITECTURE and the art are out of this world, Central Park was gorgeous, Twin Towers memorial: the energy. The city breathes with electricity.
Ok, now to the nitty gritty…
Time Square: intense, insane, lights, people. You gotta visit it but only once is really all you need.
After that Luc wanted to take us to the financial district so we went on a mini walking tour with Luc as the guide.
We stopped in at the Twin Towers Memorial where we explained to Vivi what happened on September 11, 2001. I got to recount where I was when I first saw on TV the first plane crashing into the first tower. The whole place had this energy… it’s really hard to explain it. It was a peacefulness and heaviness and it would have been easy for me to cry if I let myself. “Moving” doesn’t do it justice. Vivi was interesting to watch as she took in all the information. You could see that she was sad, introspective, wondering…
Then off to the financial district where we saw the New York Stock Exchange, the bull and Fearless Girl. Fearless Girl is an interesting story and how much disruption she has caused. I kinda love it.
Then to the Staten Island Ferry where we were off to a concert. We saw Lady Liberty from the boat. Onto a bus that a lady was very upset that we were making her late by putting in the bus tickets the wrong way. Oops! We get off at the stop that Luc has found and we walk through probably the worst part of Staten Island. Hypodermic needle on the ground, the loudest music in someone’s yard… I was suddenly wondering if we wandered into the wrong area of town. Nope, one more side street and we come out to the concert area.
We park ourselves on the lawn (hardly anyone there at this point). A little while later someone comes by to talk about voting for someone on Staten Island – a democrat. We explained that we aren’t from there but then engage with him to find out a little more about the political state of Staten Island. From what I gathered, Staten Island is probably the poorest of the boroughs. They are a republican area, but so close to converting to democrat. He said that it’s hard to know how close because people are afraid to put signs on their lawns and show who they will vote for because of the volatility and hostility. He also said that people were so sure that Trump wouldn’t get in (like a joke almost) that people didn’t go out and vote. It was interesting talking to him getting a first hand look at someone who is trying to make a difference and the struggle since people are holding their cards close due to fear.
More people showed up, the music started and it was awesome. We all got up and danced. What I was present to was the diversity with the people and ethnicities around me. I was also present to how un-diverse Victoria is with its British upbringing… The second act, Las Cafeteras, came on and they were so f’n incredible. They spoke of pushing back, police brutality, challenging the status quo… they definitely had some very strong positions and feelings. They are trying to make a difference with their music. So much respect for them. Their music was soulful energy. Goosebumps. The rain started to fall, we had to head home but I really felt moved by the music and the message that they were delivering. People are trying to make a difference in this world, let’s stand with them and create love, diversity and energy that the world is craving.
Walking across Brooklyn bridge. Wow. What a crazy experience. If you don’t like mass mobs of people that clearly can’t walk on the right, they stand in the middle, cyclists yelling at you, and not a stitch of shade, don’t go here. But of course do it once in your life as the view and experience is pretty cool.
After the bridge we split with Jaedyn and we headed down to the piers at Brooklyn Bridge Park. The piers used to be decrepit but they recently fixed them up and now each pier has a different theme. One that we saw was strictly basketball, ping pong, rollerblading, etc… The next one was a garden that you could walk through. The next one was a scocer pitch (more like 6+ soccer pitches), the last one was volley ball. The walkway to see the piers was beautiful. It was stinking hot. Vivi was hungry and Luc and I clearly weren’t agreeing. Patience… Always practicing patience.
We ate, doused our heads in the water park and took off we through the streets of Brooklyn. I liked Brooklyn and could see how you could spend a lot more time in this area of New York.
We met back up with Jaedyn in Times Square and bought tickets to see the Book of Mormon for the two of us.
We had time to kill so we headed to Strawberry Fields in Central Park and took in the Imagine mosaic. Where we listened to some dudes singing John Lennon songs on their guitars. Looooooved it.
Luc and I wanted to get a drink and the girls wanted to get some food so Jaedyn scouted out a place called “The Ribbon” where we drank wine/beer, ate ice cream and everyone tried a $1 oyster. Mixed reviews from the girls. I thought it was delicious!!
Jaedyn and I headed off to the show and Luc and Vivi went their own way.
The show was phenomenal. Sooo funny. Singing and dancing on Broadway – it can’t get any better than that. I would highly recommend watching it. I learned a lot about the Book of Mormon! And it was totally inappropriate – so of course it was perfect for me.
Jaedyn wanted to head to MOMA and we wanted to head to the Museum of Natural History so we split for a good portion of the day.
The MONH was pretty cool. There’s A LOT to see. We also went to an extra exhibit called “Senses” that I would recommend. Only thing that was kinda crappy was you couldn’t bring your own food into the museum (I know, expectations again. Ugh…). We had about 4 hours in there before we were kinda museumed out. Too bad cuz there was sooo much to see. And it really reminded me of the Night at the Museum movie. I would have loved to spend more time in the dinosaurs exhibit.
After that we meandered through Central Park. This was really cool. I wish so much that we had rented bicycles and seen more of the park. It just turned out that the weather wasn’t that great when we were there so we were always expecting rain. You’ll see from the photos below where we visited. I REALLY enjoyed the park.
We went home that night and I coached for the first time while away. This is living my dream. I created a coaching business to have while we travelled around the world. This night was the first night that I got to experience exactly what I had set out to do. I’m thrilled that I did it and accomplished what I set out to do. One more example of setting a lofty goal (one year of coaches training and a trip around the world) and achieving that goal. This was not insignificant and I’m pretty proud of myself.
Hop on Hop off tour. We got a killer deal ($100 for the 4 of us) that I’m sure no one could negotiate again unless you had some set backs the day before. My suggestion is to talk to one of the people on the street who try to sell you the tours and get their number if you don’t want to go that day. The day before you want to go, contact them and let them know when you want to go and for how long. Ask for the rate. And then stick with that guy. They work on commission so show some love and humanity for this guy and stay with him. We had some small set backs trying to arrange meeting him and so he discounted our tickets from $150 to $100 for the 4 of us. When we finally went to meet him we were there early at the spot. There was another guy there trying to sell us tickets as well that would not take “no” for an answer. Finally our guy showed up and several other “sellers” came up to us and said that we were “good people”. I think this is because we stuck with our first guy and didn’t let the guy in front of us talk us into getting cheaper tickets (which he couldn’t because we had such a sweet deal).
Top View was our choice of Hop on hop off. It was a great little tour but waaaaay too long at some of the stops especially since we were sitting on the top of the bus sometimes in the blazing sun. What a great way to see all the neighbourhoods of New York in a day. We got off at the Guggenheim (to pee), the Empire State building (to see it and some lunch) and at the Highline.
I actually called in to a work meeting during the tour. There was some big organizational changes that were happening that day. Pretty interesting to see how things are changing and I’m not there. Feeling a bit disconnected now, but still the pull back to what I left is strong.
The High Line was really pretty. We didn’t walk the whole thing but how beautiful it was. If you haven’t seen this place, it’s definitely worth a stroll through. Pretty unique that they have transformed an old railway line into this green above ground walk way.
Luc left us there. He went to meet a buddy he hasn’t seen in years and me and the girls made it back home for me to coach again and be coached. When I was coaching, I was outside at this little park where I had already seen a marmot a few days before. While I was sitting there reinventing myself and all my projects, I suddenly saw a glimmer. And then another. Huh? What’s going on here? Suddenly I realize it’s fireflies. Sooooo cool. A few minutes later, what the heck is that scurrying on the ground? A FREAKING SKUNK. I shit you not. It scampers under a car where many people and dogs walk right by it and have no idea it’s there. I suddenly start to think about the story of Curious George I’ve read to my girls so many times. A few minutes later it scampers back toward me. I’m in awe at the wildlife I’ve seen in this one park not that far from my place. The things that go on here.
That night I catch up with a few friends by way of phone. Fills up my happiness banks to be able to connect with people back home and hear what’s going on for them. I think the best thing is actually hearing their voices and their laughs. That makes me smile more than anything else.
A late late start as we had some paperwork and bills to pay. The insurance claim for the delayed luggage won’t get filed by itself.
We headed down to Grand Central Station and check out the enormity that it is. Then off to the New York Public Library. This building is immense.
We then headed back over to Brooklyn to visit with another friend of Luc’s, Celine. She used to live next door to him in Switzerland and has been here for the last 18mos. She shows us more of Brooklyn and we had some great talks about gentrification and politics. So interesting to hear about how gentrification benefits and hinders. Thank you Celine for being an amazing tour guide. I can’t wait to meet back up with you again at Christmas time!
After an amazing Indian meal, we said good bye to Celine and head home. Catching the last night time skyline in the park with the marmot, skunk and fire flies. Vivi rescues a fire fly in a spider’s web and it’s her first interaction with the glowing bug. The next day they saw the marmot and fed him cherries. The skunk was only for me.
We’re packed and ready to go with so much luggage. We leave the luggage at the Airbnb and head to the park for the day. Then onto our first Uber experience (Jaedyn is a pro so schools us at how it’s done). I’m sitting in the Newark airport right now writing this.
It was a teary goodbye to Jaedyn after we put her on a plane back to Victoria (we’ll see you at Christmas sweets!). We had such a good time with her. I enjoyed all the laughs and connection with my girl. It wasn’t all easy for all of us all the time (small place to live in for a week) but what a great memory we made in this last week together as a family. It’s not often anymore we’re together that much.
Luc, being the best person to find you the best deal, got us some credit cards a while ago that had access to some lounge areas in airports. And wouldn’t you know, a lounge in this airport. So we’re sitting here in the corner, charging our devices, eating free food, there’s an open bar and I really couldn’t ask for more. I might feel like a celebrity right now. LOL!
I loved New York. I coached my first clients on the road here. We got to spend a whole week as a family. I’m so grateful for this incredible life and opportunity I’ve been given. I’m connecting with my friends back home and it’s absolutely awesome.
I’m a tiny bit concerned about the time change that’s about to happen (+9 hours) but I’ll trust that it will all work out as it will. You’ve got my back universe.
Onto Europe. See you soon Paris.