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!