Monday, November 25, 2013


All I wanted was some sushi. An innocent enough request. My friend Margaret and I decided that we would try this little place in midtown that got some great reviews. We hit up H&M first for some sales then wandered to this restaurant. The tiny room boasted a fridge next to the front door, a small counter with two low stools and a smiling man at a counter-turned-kitchen area. We said –“um, we’d like some sushi please.” He smiled and pointed at the small fridge next to the door. In it were our pre-packaged sushi options. Margaret and I looked at each other for a moment then decided –okay, we’ll stay. Why not! Now the sushi was probably good when it had been cooked that morning. The rice was a little dry, but the experience was worth it. Never in my life have I dined in front of a mirror at a counter that I could barely reach sitting on my stool while a sweet Asian man smiled on. Not even when I was IN Asia. The experience was really great, and I will sum it up this way –oh, New York City! Then we went to get frozen yogurt. I will not soon forget this experience, but next time I want sushi, I’m going to an actual restaurant with fresh cooked rice and avocado that isn’t slightly browning. Thanks Yelp, for this suggestion!

In other news – I’m moving to Brooklyn on Sunday. I found 2 girls to live with and we have found a 3 bedroom apartment in a newly renovated building in the Clinton Hill area of Brooklyn. I will be much closer to my job and the area has many cute little coffee shops and restaurants, and,-joy of joys!- we will be nestled in between a Target and a Trader Joe’s just a 10 minute train ride away. I think this will be a nice change of pace, although I’m actually really sad to be leaving the Bronx. Yesterday was my 3 month anniversary in NYC and the time has flown by. I can’t believe it’s been that long. In that time I’ve started to make a home here and I’m excited about getting to settle into a new apartment for a year. We have no furniture (the other two girls moved here from California) so we’ll be sleeping on air mattresses and eating on the floor, but that’s what Ikea and Craigslist are for.

I’ve also had some visitors in the last couple of weeks. My friend Brittany and her sister and friend came up to visit and we went to the Statue of Liberty and the 9/11 memorial, two places I haven’t seen before. We spent some time in Central Park, went to a comedy club, went to the Highline Park, ate some wonderful food and went to the Chelsea Flea Market (which is a parking garage that gets converted into a flea market warehouse on the weekends).
The next weekend, a friend from Raleigh came to visit the city (I am friends with her friend Winter through my connection in Portland, Anna, and Kimberly and I share a friend in Raleigh, Elizabeth. Crazy connections – huge city, small world). Winter and I made plans to have dinner in Rockefeller Center, and when I showed up, who was there but Kimberly! It was so nice to be surprised by her and we ate and walked through the area. The tree had started to go up, but it still has all the scaffolding up. The ice skating rink is open. Christmas is coming to the city, and it is beautiful.

Speaking of Christmas, cold weather has come. It has snowed twice (it didn’t stick, but that’s not the point). I have started dressing like an Eskimo, but I hear the worst is yet to come. Bring it! We are forecasted to have snow on Thanksgiving day, so that will be wonderful. I will be in the city for this weekend, and we’re having a “Friendsgiving” with some people from church on Thursday and Friday I plan to watch movies all day and relax. I do work Saturday, although I somehow managed to escape the Black Friday craziness.
I will post pictures when I move into my new apartment!

Monday, November 11, 2013

26.2 miles

The New York City marathon last weekend was incredible. I have never been to a marathon - I know, it's crazy, you can't believe that I haven't run a marathon. The most I have ever run is a 5k, and I have never seen the point of running 26.2 miles or watching others do it. Yet there was something so energetic about it! To see thousands of people from all over the world running; setting goals and achieving them, running for a purpose or cause or with a reason - that was invigorating to watch.
I got to the meeting place in the morning when the weather was a brisk 48 degrees and we watched the elite runners come through (these are people who can run 26 miles in 2 hours. Umm, is anyone else blown away by this? I'm pretty sure my 5k took me an hour...) and then a steady stream of other runners hit the 24 mile mark where we were stationed. Some people had on costumes and accessories, they had their names written on their shirts, were part of a team and we cheered them on. Some smiled and raised their hands victoriously - others looked on the verge of tears. The energy and tension was palpable. For 7 hours we screamed ourselves hoarse as one after another the runners for Team World Vision passed by, and as we cheered on others. "Don't quit! You're so close! You're doing so well! This is amazing - YOU are running the NYC marathon." It was contagious. Don't get me wrong -I'm nowhere close to having any desire to run 26.2 miles, but for the first time I felt like I understood why some people run. For the Team World Vision runners - about 28 total- they were running for child protection. These individuals were avid runners who had been invited by WV to run and raise money for global child protection. Their goal as a team was $140,000. By the day of the race they had in over $207,000!! One guy ran the race in a tutu because he promised he would if he met his goal of $32,000. And this money is going directly to benefit programs through World Vision that are advocating on behalf of innocent, victimized children.
If that doesn't get you excited, I don't know what will.

Some of the Team World Vision runners

Saturday, November 2, 2013


I think my favorite thing about Halloween is seeing all my friends' children dressed up in their cute costumes. Instagram almost exploded with cuteness between 6 pm and 9 pm on the 31st. The subway in NYC did not almost explode with cuteness however - I'm still a little traumatized from some of the costumes I saw! The Empire State Building was lit up in orange for the evening and I tried Korean food for the first time with a friend. This weekend is the New York City marathon. I am very excited to be able to photograph and write a story on the World Vision team running the race this Sunday. I'll post the article once I have it written.
I also submitted an article to the website If you've never visited this page before, you should! It's a collection of work from people who have advertised professional photography services and are terrible. I've been laughing over this site with friends for about a year and finally decided to submit something. It's just a little blurb about my own evolving journey with photography and they posted a few of my pictures! You can click here for the article.

And a reflection. I have been thinking about the inevitability of change the past few days. I have moved around most of my life, and have spent time in different countries at various times. I have built relationships, put down roots and poured energy into friends and people; at times I have left, in other circumstances they have left. Sometimes, through no fault of our own, friendships change and people outgrow one another. We drift apart, we change zip codes, we marry, have children, go overseas, travel and gain new experiences that isolate us from others in some respects. And this can be a beautiful thing if we allow it to be. I have friends in Texas, Thailand, Chicago, Alabama, Idaho, Raleigh, Georgia, Africa, California, Iowa, Portland, Virginia, New Orleans, Australia, and many, many other places. They're like these beautiful roots that are spread out across the globe; people who at some point in time have poured into my life and people I have loved deeply. and ones I still have the privilege of talking to and visiting and sharing my life with. It looks different, but it's no less beautiful. Some view these changes as excuses to withdraw their love or refuse to invest in people because of the risk involved. That is an option, I suppose. It certainly would spare us the pain of loss and separation. Yet I firmly believe there's a richness that will be missed in living this way. I miss Raleigh and my dear friends there, but I realized the other day that even if I stayed in Raleigh and tried to hold tightly to what isn't mine, I would have lost it anyway. Because things change. And that's a good thing. I look forward to eternity when those of us who have put our faith in Jesus Christ are gathered together forever. With no pain, no separation, only joy and community together. This is the hope that we Christians live for and long to see. If you read my blog and you're not someone who has put their faith in Jesus, then I really want to share with you the beauty of being a part of God's family. Life gets hard. Being a Believer doesn't exempt you from suffering and hardship. What it DOES do is give you security  in Him and freedom to live your life free from fear of death, free from losing relationships with other Christians. You are welcomed into this community - you can find forgiveness, friendship, joy and eternal security. A family that may be spread across the world, but that one day will be together with Jesus. I'd love to talk to you more about this if you ever want to:)

 ESB on Halloween
 Fall has come to the city. Central Park is gorgeous right now!
 As promised, some pictures from Warby Parker!

 This was an escalator going down in a subway tunnel. It was actually a little creepy, and plastered with ads for Once Upon a Time in Wonderland

Friday, November 1, 2013


Only twice in my life have I overslept to the point of being totally late for where I was supposed to be. The first time was in college when I slept right through a psychology class. The second time was in Raleigh when I woke up an hour and a half after I was supposed to be at my nanny job. And I had about 3 missed calls from the child's anxious father wondering if I had been in an accident. While those were not shining examples of my punctuality, I was always able to throw on clothes and run out to my car and drive as fast as possible to my destination. When one awakens at 8:58 for a 9 a.m shift in NYC things change. I dressed quickly and scrambled downstairs, but as I have mentioned in a previous post, public transportation is completely out of my control. I walked as fast as I could to catch the 9:20 train, but due to the red lights at the street crossings, I walked up to the station as my train was pulling away. Most of the time, trains run every 3 to 5 minutes. Not on this fateful Wednesday. The next train was in 10 minutes. I just took a deep breath, turned on my music and waited. When the train ambled in at 9:30, it was packed with people and it's possible I could have gotten to work faster if I walked. I clocked in at 10:10. I was not in the best mood, and a co-worker greeted me with her signature 'hello' - singing off key. I usually robustly join in and together we harmonize in a way that can only be described as cats fighting. But today I was too frustrated to sing back. She sidled up to me as I explained what happened and she replied "well, it can only go up from here!" Which brought a smile to my face, as she was completely right. The rest of my day was fantastic, and I will regale you with more "crazy customer" tales as several of you have mentioned wanting more stories.

A customer excitedly approached the register with wrapping paper in hand as she exclaimed "this is recycled! I actually put back the paper I like better because this is recycled." Now I love caring for the earth as much as the next person, and think recycling is a good practice. But I thought this was a little over the top. As I bagged the wrapping paper in the long plastic bag made for it, she said - "now is that recycled? Because you know, I only use things that are recycled. Maybe that paper one?" So I bagged it in the paper bag and with a disappointed sigh she noted "it's only 60% post-consumer recycled" and walked away. Ok, lady. Go hug a tree now. Oh wait, we live in the concrete jungle. You can't.

Our lovely store is two stories and there are two ways to access the second floor- the elevator or the stairs which are directly behind it. Not really hard to find and well-lit for customers to find their way. There is no exterior door to the street that leads upstairs. I was on the second floor and a customer worriedly approached me and asked me where the stairs were. They were directly behind her, so I pointed her that way, not wanting to ask her the obvious - "how did you get up here in the first place? Did you really forget where the stairs were?"

A man purchased some magnets. $112 worth of magnets. I will say no more.

A customer wearing big sunglasses inside (which I've discovered since moving here is a big pet peeve of mine. You're not famous. Take off your shades. And if you are famous, we still recognize you. You look like yourself, wearing sunglasses) checked out at my register. But it wasn't the sunglasses that bothered me as much as her scarf. Which extended to her knees and was made completely of what looked like fox tails. It was disgusting. And just weird.

Yet another complaining customer chased me and yelled "you're the only employee on the second floor! I'm so mad. I need something to hold my silverware. Let me tell you, I called the hotline trying to get your phone number but you're not listed. You have made my day horrible and you really need to fix it." Yes, I am in charge. In fact, I was screening the phone call and decided not to answer because I thought it would make you more angry. You're welcome.

 After work I went out to dinner with my small group. We have decided that every other week we will indulge in an "ethnic food night." Last time was Ethiopian food, and this time we had Indian* food. Yes, I ate it with my hands, and yes my hands smelled like tika masala the next day. It's just that good you guys!

*random side note- I have officially been back from India one year. That's so crazy! It feels like yesterday in a lot of ways...