Thursday, January 28, 2010

Where in the world is...

I don't know where the hell Carmen Sandiego is, but I'm here in Ohio. And despite the slow-pace of Midwestern lifestyle (at least in comparison with the Big Apple), its been a busy week trying to find my groove, unpack, work and miscellaneous shenanigans.

More posts later, tater.

Monday, January 18, 2010

New York Public Library

I'm ashamed to confess that after living in NYC for over a year, I have never been inside the New York Public Library. I went on Saturday looking for some peace and quiet to do some freelance work. However, I was a bit too distracted by the amazing decor that I had a hard time focusing (that and there was oddly no place to plug in my laptop in the computer study room I was in).

Anyhow... take a peek at some of my quick snapshots and visit promptly if you haven't. I look forward to coming back in the warmer weather when the scaffolding is off of the building for another gander.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Spookiest. Run. Ever.

So what did Tessa and I do on our hot Friday night in NYC? Well... we went for our belated tempo run. We had to do 7 miles which was exactly the distance to and from Roosevelt Island including a loop of the island. It was perfect... I have exactly one week left in my sabbatical in Manhattan before I return to my boyfriend and all of my stuff in Ohio... and I have never been to that island before despite the lure of a nice running path and a super cool tram to Manhattan.

We ran past the super cool lighthouse on the northern tip. And then back down to the southern tip... where the path stops and doesn't go to the very edge because of a metal fence. That fence had a gated door that was open tonight. And the allure of a brightly-lit super spooky abandoned insane asylum on the other side. Now under renovation and always lit at night, it actually goes by the name of the Renwick Ruins or the Smallpox Hospital. Tessa said she had never gone to see it because its too scary. I was pretty freaked out too but thought we should at least walk up and get a closer peek. So we did... not too close but just close enough to be spooked about the asylum ghosts that may be haunting at dark on a Friday night. But we survived... and then we had to suffer the achy run back.

Here's some more about Roosevelt Island's Renwick Ruins from a favorite podcast of mine about NYC history, the Bowery Boys... so interesting:

The almost fairytale Gothic structure was designed by James Renwick -- most notable for St Patrick's Cathedral, Grace Church, and the Smithsonian Institute in D.C. -- as the location of a hospital for smallpox patients. It was built in 1856 using labor from the neighboring lunatic asylum.

Roosevelt's relative isolation made it an ideal spot for a smallpox hospital, and the rooms were soon filled with hundreds of patients, many of them poor immigrants too distrusting of our country's immunization practices, or Union soldiers shipped here to recover from the illness. Within twenty years, the New York Board of Health took over the building and made into a nurses residences and school maintained by City Hospital. That too was then abandoned when City Hospital was transferred off of Roosevelt to Queens.

Luckily the deteriorating structure was saved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission in the 60s and has only been preserved to the extent that its structure is maintained. It remains beautifully spooky to this day and a testament to the notion that not every inch of New York real estate need be functional.

I've Missed You Too...

Hello, blog. Have you missed me? Special shout-out to Mademoiselle Danielle over in Paris who has been begging me to re-visit you. For all you blog-fans, you better thank her!

Well, its been an eventful 6 months. Crap, has it been that long? And the 6 months before that I was kind of a slacker blogger with little substance. But its a new year and lots of new changes are beginning so its a good time to reinvigorate my favorite family, friends & follower updater (sorry Facebook status updater. I do love you too.). So... I will re-hash a quick 6 month summary of my personal life so I can resume without guilt.

Okay, so this isn't in particular an item on my life list so I'll try not to gush or start rambling too much about my love-life. But in June of 2008, I got a lovely LinkedIn message from a past love from about 10 years ago. We had lost touch and hadn't emailed in about 6ish years. I had often thought of him over the years and vice versa. Oddly enough, I thought of him a lot when I was in the pain of mourning my cousin last March. I guess deep in my mind, he was more than just an old flame and my subconscious knew he could comfort my sadness. LinkedIn messages led to a few emails and photo exchanges which led to a week of daily 2 hour phone calls... and pretty much daily calls since and visits to Ohio/NYC/and in-between every other week over the past 6 months. We knew pretty quickly that this was a big re-connection. And although I've always been convinced I didn't need a man to be happy (and still do), I've never been happier in my life than in the last 6 months. Soon, I made the decision I swore I never would... I moved back to Ohio. And you know what? I could not be happier that I did.

Its funny... I spent the last ten years playing big city hotshot. Getting glammed up. Shopping at Saks for designer ensembles. Rocking stilettos so high that they should really have a health-advisory-warning on them. Climbing the ladder at work and in the design world. And just trying to be as glamorous and far away from the little farm girl I grew up as. Deep inside, I knew I shouldn't hide that friendly & sentimental Midwesterner who missed her family and the quiet of the country and small towns. But it took a man from the past to remind me that although its fun to play dress up, I'm just as special being the same person I was way-back when. He loves me no matter what I wear, where I live, or how successful I am. And finally... I do too. What an amazing man that can show me that.

- THE JOB(S): dbox has been great to me. Like every company recently, we've had a few bumps in the road but because of their quality, much less so it seems than pretty much any other agency out there. And, even better, unlike my previous gig that left my insecure and unconfident, they've made me feel capable and talented to rock any project. I don't want to sound conceited by any means but, damn it, I've been designing a long time and my eerie good memory along with my attention to details has made it inevitable that I would become one of the best at what I do. In most cases throughout my whole career, I end up the sole art director/designer on most projects because I earn the trust from both my boss and client to be able to do it all. So its time to retire the insecure and scared designer and embrace my new life and my new business finally. Its scary as hell but somehow without any effort or push or requests for referrals, I've got new business requests flying at me -- and amazing dream clients at that! I've worked hard to get here and I'm finally more than ready and entirely inspired.

- THE RIDE: I did it. #4 on the list. Ride a century bike ride (100miles) in honor of my Uncle Ray. My Uncle Ray passed away a few years ago from cancer but not without leading a life that inspired. He struggled with spina bifida his whole life and despite having been told as a child he would never walk... his determination and persistence made it inevitable that he eventually did. Beyond that, he additionally went on to ride TWO century bike rides. For a man that I walked with a severe limp his whole life, I sat at his funeral and listened to these stories and thought about how I should try a century ride too... I didn't even OWN a bike then either. And he could join me as my angel and ride in his third century ride. So on a very rainy day on August 31, 2009, my sister Tessa and I taped photos of my Uncle Ray onto our trusty bikes and took off to ride 100 miles out to Montauk from Babylon, Long Island. We were tested for sure... Tessa had three flat tires and though we started out tentative, by our third flat we were practically an Indy 500 pit crew. We had our tears, irritations with one another, sang songs along the way, and I think I prayed about 40 exhausted Hail Mary's during the last 10 miles uphill. I've never been so muddy, cold and wet. And our 8 hour prediction turned into an 11 hour reality with the weather and tire problems. Ironically, the rainy storm was remnants from Hurricane Daniel. So apparently the angel of our lost cousin Danny decided to also join us and play a trick on us that day... that's just like him too. But we enjoyed it nonetheless... and finished proudly and without injury.

What else...
I'm training for my THIRD full marathon. Who would have thought? Do I get extra credit for finishing #1 on my life list three times?!? When I wrote this list in April 2007 I hadn't even done my first half-marathon and I had only been running for about 4-5 months. Who would have thought the little unathletic, clumsy girl would become a runner?!? I'm still unsure of it... we'll see how many marathons it takes before I finally feel like a real "athlete" rather than some sneaky regular person posing as one. All I know is that this marathon will be on my 32nd birthday. What a great way to assert how young I actually I am!

Lastly, life is just good all around. Friends and family are healthy and happy. My life is on the cusp of finally finding a better balance and peace with the patience and help of some amazing people in my life. And if you would have told me one year ago, that my life would be what it is now and I'd be so happy... 1. I wouldn't believe it. 2. I would be pretty proud of myself.

Although I have to do better on my blog updates, I know. Life can't be perfect now, can it? I'm making a list now of other things to update you on from the past 6 months too -- weddings, design projects, vacations. So stay tuned. I swear I will write again before another six months go by!!!