Saturday, May 7, 2011
NYC may be one of the most cutting edge and exciting cities in the world- but there are drawbacks to living in the big apple. Living on a 5th floor walk-up, not having a dishwasher, garage, or washing machine, street noise, etc... However, one of the perks of living here is that everyone eventually comes to NYC for a visit- and when this happens, I get to catch up with old friends and family without having to leave my home.
In April, I was able to spend several days with one of my dearest friends from college- Eldon Kartchner. Eldon has had a rough couple years (to say the least). His beautiful wife Heather died of cancer leaving him a single father with three children. In an attempt to offer him some respite, me, Carlos, Wade, and Paul provided a few days of laughs, tears, and exposure to NYC.
His first night in town, we went to see the hit Broadway Musical "The Book of Mormon." I thought it was even better the second time! We went backstage after the show to meet up with another college friend Clark Johnson.
In addition to seeing Book of Mormon, we also saw Billy Elliot, enjoyed many good meals, countless heartfelt conversations, and one old fashioned piano party (naturally).
The weekend after Eldon was in town, my sister Kymberly came to NYC for one day. She had been working with her husband in New Jersey, and was able to sneak away for 24 hours. We packed A LOT into one day.
The night she arrived, we met up with my friend Wade for dinner, and then went and saw the new Bway musical "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert."
The next morning we got a VERY early start and went to a taping of "Live with Kelly and Regis."
After the taping we went downtown and did the usual tourist stuff. Staten Island Ferry, Wall Street, Group Zero, shopping on Canal Street, etc... It was a great day with my sister!
A few days after my sister left, I was able to meet up with my cousin Jenny, who was in town with her husband. It is always great to see family and friends in the city and show them some of my favorite places.
Wade, (AKA Microwave, Wayne, Darth Waders), one of my all time besties (going on around 14 years now) is in and out of NYC due to his work- performing on cruise ships (not a bad gig- traveling the world while getting paid to do what he loves). While I support his talent and work ethic, the greater part of me celebrates when a contract finished and he returns to his NY family (until the next gig calls him back to the open seas and adoring fans).
After a 9 month absence, Wade returned to us last month. We celebrated with a dinner party at Carlos's house.
A few weeks later, we again celebrated Wade with a birthday dinner at Film Center Cafe.
Wade, I love you so much! Thanks for your amazing friendship, humor, loyalty, compliments, talent, fashion sense, and all around extraordinariness (that's a word).
My friend Heather is such a do-gooder! She is a social worker by profession, but also spends countless hours of her personal time volunteering for local and international causes.
She has most recently been working/volunteering as the regional team leader for the UNICEF TAP project- an initiative to provide clean drinking water to needed corners of the world. A few weeks ago I did my part by attending a gala, socializing with friends, and having some cocktails- hey, we all have to pitch in where we can.
I am inspired by Heather and her contributions to the UNICEF TAP Project- it was a great event for a great cause. For more information about the TAP project- check out www.tapproject.org
On March 23, I started my day at 6am on a bus traveling upstate to Albany where I would spend the day advocating for services (housing, medical, etc...) for people living with HIV/AIDS. While on the way to Albany, I learned that Elizabeth Taylor had died (what would we do without facebook?).
It seemed fitting that on the day of her death, I could honor this artist and activist by carrying on a cause she spent countless hours, dollars, and energy fighting for.
Me and Elizabeth Taylor- we are practically the same person!
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Do you possess the ability to laugh at yourself?
Are you able to hear horrible and offensive things and NOT take them seriously?
Are you able to appreciate differences in beliefs, standards, and lifestyles?
If so, gird up your loins and hasten to the Eugene O'Neill Theater for the most outrageous, hysterical, and brilliant live theater I have seen in years!
Thank you Book of Mormon for restoring my testimony that great musical theater still exists.
Special shout out to my dear friend of over a decade CLARK JOHNSON for his brilliant portrayal of a Mormon Missionary (what a stretch!).
Monday, March 28, 2011
On a recent flight back to NYC from Salt Lake City, I was bumped from my 3:00pm flight until the midnight red eye. Having a few hours to kill in SLC, I immediately called one of my oldest and dearest friends- my old college roommate, supermodel (seriously- after 4 kids) and uber talented forever girlfriend Brittani Nordberg Brown.
Britt came to get me, and we spent the evening eating sushi, gossiping about our friends (past and present) catching up on kids (hers), NYC life (mine), and work (ours). Even though Britt and I have only seen each other a handful of times in the past decade- every time we do meet up, it is like no time has passed. Above all else, that has to be the #1 defining characteristic of a true friendship.
It was so So SOOO great to see my old friend- as well as her ridiculously perfect husband (TRENT ROCKS) and her gorgeous kids.
I hope you enjoy these horrible/wonderful pics of some of our past times together. I sure had fun going through old photos from the college years. I love you Britti!!!
Following my trip to CA, I had a connection flight in SLC. I made a somewhat spontaneous decision to not catch the connection, and instead, head up to Idaho to spend a few days with the fam.
My sister was having a lumpectomy (benign cancer-free tumor, thank goodness) and so I was able to spend a few days entertaining the kids while she recovered. We hit the movies, The Craze Arcade (where Mitch hit the jackpot), Sammys burgers, went to Wyatt's basketball game, and had a sleepover at Grandmas. Come on, I only have a few days a year to win their affection- I have to make every minute count!
In addition to spending time my amazing parents, sister, and kiddies, I was also able to spend some time with my awesome cousin Jared, my dear Grandma, and the always entertaining Aunt Nancy. I love my family!
I love San Francisco. As a young kid, we lived outside the city and I have memories of going into San Fran to see The Nutcracker at Christmastime, driving up and over the steep city streets in the family car, and tearing apart round loaves of sourdough bread bought at Fisherman's Wharf.
Going back as an adult is even better. We got to do all those things (well, not see The Nutcracker), PLUS have cocktails, dance all night at an 80's club, and sleep in a hotel (not the backseat of the station wagon).
We only had one day in San Fran, but we made the most of it. Dinner at Harvey's (as in Harvey Milk), dancing all night at Trigger in the Castro, and the double decker tour bus to catch see the city sights.
... AND, the company couldn't be beat!
Sunday, March 27, 2011
I have been very lucky to have been able to travel extensively around this country, as well as the world. I have seen some pretty spectacular places- but if I had to choose, I think my favorite spot would have to be the California Coast/Big Sur. It doesn't get any better than eating and drinking your way up the most stunning coastline with the people you love.
This trip was no exception.
Following our weekend in LA, we hit the road and spent two days driving up the coast (final destination San Francisco). We did almost the identical trip Paul and I made in October- Santa Barbara, Los Olivos, Solvang, Cambria, hiking in Big Sur, Nepenthe, and Carmel.
Not only was the location and experience amazing, but two days in the car with your best friends is always good forced bonding time (especially when Paul pulls out the question books).
Los Olivos Wine Tasting:
Before/After beach feet: