The last two weeks I have been traveling for work to the East Coast. I must say that each city I was in, New York, Boston, Philadelphia or DC, I felt right at home. Lady Hiva and I have a special place in our hearts for the large Eastern cities. We especially feel at home in Falls Church, VA. In many ways our hearts are still there. As I would travel to each city I would think, I LOVE it here. I wish we were moving here.
I like the energy of the city. And after living in Istanbul (a city of 20 million) and Manila I have even learned to appreciate the US “traffic” and how orderly it is! Other than seeing beloved people wherever I went, I also really enjoyed my daily runs. Whether is was down the Charles River, on a treadmill looking out a window over the city, around Harvard campus, through Times Square or Central Park, I loved seeing all the people out doing their daily activities. Actually, when you are running by you catch some really funny pieces of conversations—I guess that would make me a listen-and-run eavesdropper! Haha.
|Running in Central Park|
|Passing the New York, New York LDS Temple|
In these large cities you never really know what you are going to find. From the extremely friendly cashiers who are surprised someone is making conversation with them to the…different…people that you pass on the street, I found plenty to smile about. For example the Sbarro pizza maker who found enough time in our 5 minutes together to tell me about how hungry he is because he cannot eat after scratching the roof of his mouth on a tortilla chip (random, I know, but he was so sincere and open about it. To walking in front of Madison Square Gardens at night and see a policeman and two guys standing around a body that was limply strewn over a large decorative flower pot. As I walked by, one of the men that had been standing there turned to leave. He was toting a large homemade sign that read “Repent! Jesus is Real!” sign. I asked him if the guy was dead. His only response was, “If these people don’t come to Jesus, they are going to COME TO JESUS!” Or how about the guy walking down a busy street dressed, hat and all, completely of multicolored tulle (think tutu that exploded when it hit a Picaso mural on a brick wall). How refreshing it is to have diversity around!
I went to watch Mama Mia! On Broadway (the Peter Pan show was not available at the time I wanted) and it was fun to see the energy and power of the musicians and actors. However, my highlight was going to Carnegie Hall and watching Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Beforehand I attended a reception on top of the building and NYC is even more enchanting from that height.
I ended up sitting on the first tier up in the front so I was literally over the choir and the orchestra. It was magical. The choir director was so intense and where others were sitting with his back to them, I could see his animated expressions as he lead the orchestra and choir through the songs. I happened to be sitting the middle of an African American family and at one point the mom said, “They sing like angels!” It was even more fun to sit with them when Alex Boye came out to sing as a guest soloist. His voice is so clear and amazing and after he held an long note the room erupted and the family next to me showed their appreciation by raising their hands and yelling “Amen, BROTHA!”
|View of Central Park from the roof of Carnegie Hall|
|Choir members getting ready for the concert (they had to line up out on the street) I had fun watching them greet the diversity of NY foot traffic|
I missed having Lady Hiva with me the entire time, from going to the small market and street food vendors to seeing the concerts, I love to do things with her. Even going into MOOD (from Project Runway) was not as fun without Lady Hiva. Home will always be where she and Lucky Dragon are.