Summer Weekend in New York

This weekend. Ohmygoodness, this weekend.

I kept getting the “I can’t believe we live here” moments. Clearly I’m still not 100% adapted to NYC life, but this city is just so amazing, so big, so beautiful. I have such a love for it and I’m so excited that we live here now.

Friday night we went to a friend’s birthday party. It was on the roof of a building in Hell’s Kitchen, and the view was out of this world! We were looking toward midtown from the north, so there were skyscrapers galore. And you could see light just radiating from Times Square. I’m still blown away. We had lots of fun celebrating our friend’s birthday and we met a lot of other cool people – it was a really good time!

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We laid low during the day on Saturday. I slept a lot because I’m recovering from another cold. I feel like my body’s trying to build up immunity to this city, because I’ve already been sick twice since moving here… meh. But I still love New York! Anyway, I spent more than a fair bit of time sleeping until it was evening, when we ventured north near Riverbank State Park for a get-together at Davis’ coworker’s apartments. I had a lovely time getting to know the cool people he works with and eating delicious Greek food. There was this one dessert – I think it was called “galaktoboureko” – that was so incredible, it was like I was eating sweet air. (I just remembered that they sent us home with some – I may indulge after I finish this post.) And one of the women there had the most interesting stories! She lived in Italy for two years, so we spent some time talking about everything Italian. She even spoke Italian to me and I could understand what she was saying! I think once we’re more settled here I want to find a language partner or group or class so I can keep learning.

This morning we woke up and got ready to get our 1920s on! We had gotten tickets to the Jazz Age Lawn Party (http://www.jazzagelawnparty.com/), which is a huge celebration of everything 1920s-related. They had gramophone exhibitions, they had hats and suspenders for sale, they had two jazz dance floors and a place to take a picture with a paper moon. I outfitted myself in a purple flapper dress, sparkly headband, and pearls. Davis had gotten suspenders and a pipe just for the occasion. The party took place on Governor’s Island, so we rode the subway and took a ferry in our cool ensemble. We made friends on our journey and ran into an old classmate of mine, then met up with my friend Lauren and her roommate Meghan to spend the day with. I had packed a picnic, so we ate cheese and sandwiches and grapes and prosciutto and felt very classy. We danced and oogled at the fantastic costumes of others. There was this one woman who looked almost like Jane from Tarzan, it was so cool! And lots of people had very detailed flapper outfits. Then, out of nowhere, it started to pour! Before then it had been rather hot and humid, so the coolness of the rain was welcome, but the wetness was not! It was actually rather hilarious to watch everyone run for cover. We cowered under the parasols that Meghan and Lauren brought. Once the rain was gone, the fun began again. Davis bought a pair of 1920s-themed sunglasses that look pretty cool on him.

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The man in the pink in the top picture is Michael Arenella, the man who thought up the party and conducts a lot of the music for it. This was its 10th anniversary, and tickets were almost sold out!

I was so grateful for the shower I had when we got home and the (obscenely long) nap I took earlier this evening. We’ve had a very relaxed night, but after such a busy weekend, it’s really nice just to chill! Hope everyone else had a great weekend too – still can’t believe we’re lucky enough to call this city home.

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Speaking Italian

This inner happiness comes over me when I see something in Italian.

The flow of the sounds in the words – it’s just so beautiful. The i’s and e’s at the end. The way the syllables roll off my tongue, lifting at just the right moment. It’s a language filled with life and love that is far different than the blunt English words I speak every day.

I want nothing more than to be able to speak and understand these beautiful words. I want to travel the country of Italy again, trying new foods and speaking to the people in their native tongue. Everything about that place is just full of life in ways I have never experienced anywhere else.

I need to motivate myself to learn. I need to find a language partner, to speak it whenever I can. My goal is to become more proficient before visiting again next summer for our honeymoon.

Oh Italy, why must you be so far away?

European Nostalgia

Suddenly I miss Europe real bad.

Maybe it was because I just saw Midnight in Paris. Or maybe it was because I decided to scroll through all the posts I wrote while over there. Or maybe because I made myself dinner from fresh-ish ingredients, and while it was good, it was nothing like it was there. And all of a sudden, it was like a wall of emotion hit me.

Like how simple life was. How beautiful places were, how wonderful things tasted. Just… everything. I miss it all. Okay, maybe not you, mosquitoes… you were the bane of my existence while I was there. But apart from that, everything else.

How churches just were, and how people were religious but not in an overbearing way. How it was just worked into their culture, their life. How seamless it all was. How natural it felt to go in and pray, since everyone else was doing it too.

Or how life… life was just so beautiful. It still is here, don’t get me wrong, but things are just different. Slowed-down, relaxed, less fast-paced. Maybe it’s because everything there has been there for, like, at least 100 years. Because roads aren’t usually paved and are instead cobblestoned and because there are statues from all eras all over the place. Because the sky is big, the water is bluer, the air, while occasionally smelling of cigarette smoke, seems more fresh.

And most of all, how wonderful my writing was. I’m very critical of myself, but reading some of that stuff… it was like, damn, I can write! And this feeling doesn’t come over me often, let alone for fifteen or twenty posts at a time. My words just flowed. No struggle. It was natural, it was graceful, and it is something that I’m always going to have.

Okay, Sarah, it’s time to pull yourself up and do something. You’re going back to Europe! Not today, not even this year, but somewhere around 604 days from now, it’s very likely that you’ll be on a plane heading over there once again. So don’t worry: it’ll be there. Right now it’s time to do something here. Like dye your hair purple since Halloween’s this weekend.

Yes, yes, I think it’s time.

More Musings…

I don’t have much to say today, but I do have a few things to mention:

1. My laptop’s monitor broke a few days ago, so I am without a computer currently (or, well, at least until I get an external monitor, which hopefully will be soon). And I must say, while it hasn’t been terrible to live without a computer, it is a bit inconvenient, so posting may be few and far between until I do indeed get a new monitor. Le sigh.

2. I found the coolest website before my monitor went kaput (which was yet another reason that I’m so sad that it is broken). It’s http://www.learnitalianpod.com/, a site that teaches you how to speak Italian via voice lessons – for free! They have a whole bunch of different levels, and I got to listen to one of the beginner episodes before all of my technology problems, so right now, I can carry on a very basic conversation in Italian. Seriously, how awesome is that?!

3. I’ve realized something: karate is like firebending. And thinking of it like this really helps! I somehow focus more when I think, “Okay, you can do this. Push fire out of your fists. Go.” I am aware that this is an incredibly dorky thing to say to myself. But man does it feel awesome to pretend you’re in a class with other young firebenders learning how to control your power.

Commander Zhao in what appears to be a zenkutsu stance, forward punch. Which, by the way, is something I’ve totally learned (!!!).