May this be better

Oh dear blog readers.   Yup, here I go writing again.  But this time I make no promises to write everyday or about all that I do.  Clearly, my personal goal to try and live in the moment and my full time busy work schedule takes away from my time to sit quietly in bed and write long posts.

Instead, as I near my 2 year New York-iversary, I’ve decided to post at least once a week… and for a while I have a feeling there will be a lot of catching up on past events.

Oh there are so many things I want to share.  But as I am chillin in the living room with a nice Riesling, take-out, and Mulan (oh, and 2 silly cats), I can’t write it all now.

So I’ll let you know what I want to share with you in the days to come: HALF MARATHON!!  like I ran one and it was amazing.  Job promotion… and ALL the things that come with that… ugh.  City adventures, new friends, and new goals.  I’m sure there will be some personal venting and all that good stuff, but all in due time.

This is what I will leave you with— April 19th (Yes, also the same day of my first Half Marathon) marked 1 year to that date that I have been living, deciding, and surviving on my own.  Never knowing where you will be sleeping tomorrow night makes having a safe, cozy, beautiful home so much more amazing.  I can see how much I have grown in that time and where I haven’t.  But mostly to never give up on and stay true to yourself.

<3always, Christiane

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Running- Through My Eyes

So, I was running the other day… yes, what else is new?

I was running through Central Park, my required 5 mile run for half-marathon training… ok that’s kinds cool but what does it have to do with eyes?

And I was in total awe of how beautiful the park was with the setting sun sparkling off the snow and ice, which was covering the ground and trees.  It looked something like a winter wonderland.  A silent white glistening undisturbed other-world.

I suddenly had the desire to show everyone what beauty I stare at when I run.  I wanted to share that with everyone.

It’s the same way I feel when I’m running Hudson Greenway/ Riverside Park path and the George Washington Bridge appears for the first time in the distance around a corner, peeking up from behind the trees.

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Or the way I felt on New Years Eve on the downhill final mile of the run- New York City all lit up for the night coming into view in all it’s splendor and glory.

I don’t know how to show it.  To share what I see.  And I don’t know if any of you would care.  I can’t find words to do the view justice… and I can’t stop a run every 2 minutes to take more pictures.

So what’s the point of this post?  
I don’t really know.  I do know that I haven’t written in ages and that when I’m running these are just things I realize.  I suppose, what i see is so often what keeps me going.  I’m almost finished with week 2 of training and it’s starting to take me to places that are truly challenging.  I know it will only get harder before it gets easier and I reach the final prize.  And when I’m somewhere in the middle of a run and my mind starts to talk me down and get tired I start looking around me.  I put myself in the present moment and open my eyes to truly see what I’m in.  I distract my mind with light and shadows and eventually it clears and is calm and quiet.  My body takes over and I look on.

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I had someone ask if I get emotional when I run… or when I’m done with a run.  My reply- Yes.  “When I do a really good run- in time, distance, or just feeling- I get a little choked up at the end (and sometimes in the middle when I hear my mile count and get really proud of myself).  Partly because it’s over, and partly because- in that moment- I feel so powerful and amazing”.

I’m discovering how personal running can be.  It’s become more then just a workout routine for me… more then just a way to lose weight or make myself forget about how lonely I am.  It’s a time when it’s just me.  I have to be honest and true to myself and no one else.  It comes down to myself- body and mind,  my shoes, and the road(or the tread mill).

I still have a long way to go to 13.1 miles… then eventually the big 26.2.  In fact, in about 12 hours I’ll be out on a 5 mile run to wrap up this week.  But the only one who’s gonna get me there is me. 

What keeps you moving?  Comment, Share, Like, Follow, Tweet (@nychristiane) or Instagram (@nychristiane).

lovealways, christiane

Sharing is Scary Part 2: “Solo” in Progress

Happy Friday fabulous readers!

As promised, I’m continuing to work on and share dance performance and choreography. In this post I’m featuring the first rehearsal footage of a brand new piece I’m working on. This solo, untitled to date, is being performed by yours truly at the moment. I have always feared sharing a piece when is it still very much in progress, because things will change, be added or taken away, and people don’t always take well to seeing mistakes. However, I want to keep working on this piece and I feel like I will be more motivated if I have an audience to share it with. This is also helping me overcome my reservations and hesitations of sharing my original work.  (the link is at the bottom of the post… in hopes that you will read the post then watch the piece!)

 

With this piece being in progress, I thought I would talk a little about the many aspects and pieces that come together to begin work on a piece of choreography, at least as it applies to me. Each dancer and choreographer has their own process and method of working, so do not define the “choreographers way” as what I’m about to talk about… this is just my way.

 

MUSIC

Music is an important, but not totally crucial aspect for dance performance. Many pieces are done with and without music, sometimes the dancers know the track before getting onstage, other times it may be a game of chance. Some choreographers prefer not to use music with lyrics, not wanting the movement or the audience’s perception of the movement to be affected by the preexisting tone of the music.

Personally, I like to choreograph with my music already chosen. I don’t mind pieces with lyrics, but I’ll usually look for one that will compliment the style, movement and “story” of my dance. Often, when I hear a piece of music, I can already start to see the movement come to life in my head… this is how I know it’s something I want to work with. However, it’s not always the first piece of music that ends up fitting for a piece of dance. For this solo, I had chosen a very different piece of music, one that was very personal to me, and would fir well with the track for “Shaded Blue”… but at this time I was not motivated as I should be, to choreograph to it.   The piece I ended up choosing, “Elements” by Lindsay Stirling (check out her site and music!), found me. It came on a co-workers Pandora Radio station on day and I was hooked.  I could feel the creative juices starting to flow and I wanted to start creating right there in the middle of work… I know this was a piece I had to work with.

 

MOVEMENT

I like to create and set movement that is comfortable in my body. If I’m working on a piece for myself, or without a particular performer in mind, I will create using movement that highlight my strengths and show my body the way I want. On the other hand, if I’m setting movement on a particular dancer(s) or working with someone specific in mind, I will choreograph to highlight their strengths, while staying true to my form and style. For example, the opening solo to “Shaded Blue” which was specifically designed for Emily! I’m not at all adverse to making choreographic adjustments in the future, to make any piece a better fit for the dancer.

I have a tendency to pull from the variety of styles 

 

STRUCTURE, FORM, FUTURE

Some choreographers have a piece already mostly set, either in theirs heads or on paper, then the rehearsal process is just getting that out onto actual dancers. Others prefer to create as they go… maybe having definite points or movements that will happen as a given time, but the rest come together like a puzzle as they work. I am a little of both I think, depending on the piece. “Shaded Blue” was 90% written out on paper before I ever set foot in the studio with it and dancers. While changes and adjustments were made throughout the process, most of it is as I originally set. This new solo, on the other hand, is very much coming together each time I get in the studio to work.  While I have some ideas for the overall look and direction of the piece, I don’t always know what’s coming next… so much of my rehearsal time, right now, is playing and seeing what comes out.  The rehearsal process will be for another post… Yay, something to look forward too!!

In my head, this piece is a sister piece to “Shaded Blue” (premiered in the last Sharing is Scary post). watch it again! While “Shaded Blue” was more so movement for movement’s sake, this solo is a little more aggressive and the character is troubled. There is more tension on the stage and she is always looking off to something else… something just off stage… something she can’t have. The movement is more angular and sharp and I actually love the silhouette look I got in the studio! The music adds to the driving element, while being light and easy to listen to… and believe me, I listen to it a LOT!  the first week of working on this piece, I listened to the track every day on my 45 minute train commute, just to get it in my body and lear the music, phrasing, and character.  

When this piece will be finished… performed… with or without “Shaded Blue” is beyond me.  Right now I’m working on it so I can keep creating and to have something special to share with you all!  I would LOVE to reset Blue with this piece when it’s done… but I also don’t want to rush myself so I truly create something I’m proud of and enjoy.  (“Shaded Blue” is by far my favorite piece of Modern/Contemporary dance I’ve done… so this new one has a big sister to live up to)!!

And on that note… I should fork over the link to the new piece and let y’all see it for yourselves!  Here it is “Solo” 2014.  Please feel free to share, like, comment, etc!!  I love your feedback and support!  

 

Love always,  Christiane 

 

OH the 1 Train!

If you live in New York City, you know that the weekend trains are an insane mess… Even more so then the MTA normally is. So this weekend, while the A Train is not running up to my stop, I get to take the 1 Train. One never knows what to they are getting into and today was NO different.

Let’s backtrack:

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Shakiera may have beaten Pat at foosball, but I played winner and won! 😉 ❤
Last night I was out at a "going on tour" night out for one of my longest and best friends, Shakiera. (If you found and read last nights post, disregard that, it's been taken down… I should NOT write posts while out drinking and bar hopping! So my apologies!). I had an amazing night with wonderful friends… But getting home at 2:00am when I've been up sense 6:00am the previous morning, makes for a tired Christiane on a Sunday morning. This morning I let myself sleep in, read in bed, and eat late. How many times does one get to send off their friend on a year tour?! I messed this up with my former boyfriend and learned a lesson… Friends won't forget you when away on tour. It gives you time apart and great stories for the time you are reunited!

Then it was back to work. YogaWorks on the weekends is sunny, quiet, relaxing, and entertaining.

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Usually on Sundays I throw the windows wide open and sit with as much of me outside close to the sun as possible with a good book between class check-ins. And today was no different.

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The whole point of this preface is to put out there that I’ve been out and about for the past few days and so further work,p, while waiting for the 1 Train at 66th I just want to be left alone to listen to my music.

But does that happen today? NO. No no no it does not. No sooner had I gotten settled at my preferred end of the platform was i approached by a young man. At first I thought, “oh great, I have to give directions to one tourist who probably has no concept of East and West…” So I remove one earbud. Instead of asking for directions he starts flirting, FLIRTING, with me. A 28 year old part time doorman is flirting with my all the way up the line from 66th to 145th, and I about lost it. Dude, I’m sweaty, tired, recently out of an important relationship, working over full time, and trying g very hard to NOT be rude but I’m not interested!

Of course, as soon as he got off the train, my face relaxed and expressed everything I was feeling and wad noticed by a few people on the train near us who had noticed how much he was talking to me. One was a sweet girl who, I had over heard is also a dancer., of course this sparked a conversation between us and it turns out she just booked her first cruise job after moving to the city. We talked dance shoes a bit. She’s nervous and excited… But it felt so good to wish her the best of luck and assure her it will be a great experience as she got off the train. I’m usually not one for small talk on the trains but this was nice… Different. So to the girl I net today on the 1 Train uptown after 8:00pm today… I don’t know your name, but have a great trip!!
It feels like the world is giving me a chance to fix my karma.

Needless to say, tonight required a lovely glass of wine with dinner while watching one of my favorite New York City based movies, “The Devil Wears Prada”.

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And yes, I’m eating out of Tupperware crashed in the living room. #apartmentlive #lifesyle haha.

And that’s my big story for today. I don’t know what the universe has in store for me. One minute I’m wondering when I will awake from the lonely confusing nightmare I feel like I’ve been trapped on for the past 2.5 months… Another I’m tempted to hug a total stranger, but fellow dancer, on the train and wish her luck… Another I’m wishing I’d worn baggy pants and a T-shirt instead of trying to dress myself stylishly today so I’m left alone after work.
I don’t know.

But I do know I have a long day of work ahead of me tomorrow… So I will say goodnight and post this for your reading pleasure.

Follow. Like. Comment. Share. On Instagram @cadancer13

Thank you all for tour support! Maybe eventually this blog will start to take on a style or focus… But for now it’s just stories

❤ always, Christiane

Lights up in Washington Heights!

Hello beautiful dedicated blog readers! I know it’s been forever sense my last post, but life has been crazy and I’ve been running all over the place. This evening however, am in my new apartment and I finally have some relaxing down time and reliable Internet!! (Yes, this is a BIG deal)

So I’m hoping to entertain you with stories and pictures from the past few weeks as I truly made the transition to LIVING IN NEW YORK CITY!!!

To recap, when we last caught up I was still sleeping in a basement, working just 4 days a week, waiting for paperwork to be processed, and embarking on a new (sort of) relationship.

Well, in short now I am living in a lovely 3rd floor walk up apartment with windows, working a very long and solid 6 days a week, not dealing with and pending paperwork, and more in love and committed then ever to a very special person.

But a lot has happened in between… And here we go!

I was the first roommate to move in… And what did I do? After personally moving almost all ov my belongings in one day via trains, which took about 5 trips from Queens to the Heights and back… I slept on the floor for two nights and cleaned the entire apartment… Yes that’s right and it was rough-

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But so worth it. One, because I’ll be living with 4 men… So you know, start REALLY clean. Second, I would feel comfortable bringing in the new bed, clothes, food, etc knowing the kitchen counters had been Clorox-ed and the shower bleached.
Did you see that in the previous line…. New BED! And it’s amazing

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Kyle and I went out and shopped around, making decisions together and getting one we both liked and could afford. I, of course, went all out with pillows and coziness… And I regret NONE of it! It feels so wonderful to come home after a day at work to a room with a good fan and bed and food.

The other roommates are arriving one by one over the course of the month and, as they are all buddies from OCU (and I’m the odd ball out) I’m getting to know them and such.

Then speaking of buddies, I took a long weekend off work and traveled out to Bellport, Long Island and the Gateway Playhouse to see Kyle perform in “Buddy: the Buddy Holly Story”.

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The show was so good, and I really enjoyed getting out of the busy city. I could actually hear crickets at night and walk calmly down the side walk.

On dark theater days, Kyle will come into the city for a few days to spend some time at the apartment. The first weekend he stayed we made breakfast together-

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And dinner-

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Then we went exploring in out neighborhood and found this–

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Yes that’s the Hudson River and the George Washington Bridge I believe. This park is gorgeous and huge! Looking forward to getting my running back, especially now that the weather is cooling off again.

Basically I’m living the opening number from the Broadway musical “In the Heights”. But really though! Look up the opening number and actually listen to the lyrics and that’s my life!! Pretty cool.

What else, work is going well, now at 6 days a week. Which yes, is a lot, but I really enjoy going to work and as I work the evening/closing shifts, I have the whole first part of my day to do as I please. Recently I’ve been getting to the studio early and taking a Pilates mat or yoga class before getting cleaned up and clocking in. I’m really working in my core, flexibility, and tone… And yes, I know you’re thinking “well why are you not just taking more dance classes!??” And the answer to that is relatively simple… I don’t have tons of money right now… And I was more interested in having a bed to sleep in every night then class. But also, as an employee I get free classes… So why not use it!?!??!!! Plus it’s something new for my body and it helps me to do my job better– if I can help to recommend a class from personal experience guests are usually happier.

So that’s the job front… There has been talk of a possible promotion, but that’s still in the works and goes way over my head, to corporate, so it takes a whole anyway. But still, it’s a good sign.

So yes… That’s really where things stand for now. All that with many Target runs in between… Like really though. But on one of those trips we got a coffee maker and mugs, so my life is now complete!

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And if you can’t really tell, I have begun using Instagram… Sometime I’ll release my username and y’all can follow me… OR just ask for it in a comment here 😀 Eventually I’ll get FB updated as well! But one social media at a time, y’all should feel special for being the first ones.

I could ramble on… But I should go to bed. Christiane, it’s early… What the heck are you going to bed now for?? I know that’s what everyone’s thinking. Well, because I was up at 6:30 this morning for work and worked till 5:00 this afternoon… but ALSO because Kyle will be coming in from Long Island about 3AM and someone will be getting a call to let him in the building.., so may as well get a jump start on the rest. I’m excited thought because he will be staying here in the city for about 2 weeks between show tours, so we will be able to spend time together and explore the city together!!

So, until next time… Which I hope will be shorter then last time… Remember to like, comment, and share!

<3always, Christiane

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This is real life

it’s my real life and I’m trying to enjoy every minute of it!

Hi all, it has been an exciting week between work, outings, and adventures! Of course, my camera has been through it all, so expect lots of pictures! This can make up for the past few posts without them.

Earlier this week I took myself into the city in search of Loemanns and DSW, both of which I found near Union Square area and both of which are HUGE. Like no joke, the Loemanns here has 4 levels and so many clothes! I walked around for a while and tried on some very gorgeous sunglasses (something coming up on my list of items that need to be replaced). After that I walked to DSW, which as you can see from the sign–

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is also enormous! I’m still holding out on shoes, as to get the most out of the pairs I have without risking hurting my feet. I tried on some very promising things… Then headed over to Starbucks for an ice coffee treat and some quiet time to check emails and enjoy AC.

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I walked around and enjoyed the park for a bit, read some of “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes”, my latest page turner, before hoping back on the very wonderful N/Q and heading home.

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Thursday after some early hours at work was roomie day with Megan who took me on a “5 Borough Thursday” trek. I met her in Washington Square Park, which I walked to from Union Square because I had to stop there again.

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After a brief walk in the park and surrounding areas, we headed to the Brooklyn Bridge, and yes… I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge! And took tons of pictures!!

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It was really beautiful to see the city from this view and we picked the perfect day, relatively cool and overcast without being too threatening weather wise… but it probably kept some people at home, plus it was a weekday. We got pizza and walked around DUMBO before heading back to Manhattan. Next we went to Megan’s favorite place, Bryant Park. This lovely park has free wifi and so many free summer events I don’t even know where to start– yoga, movies… Just some of the things I’m interested in!

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Finally, we headed back to Queens and stopped by another park! (I love NYC because not only do they take care of their many public green spaces, but people actually use these parks!) Gantry Plaza State Park is now one of my new favorite places.

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As you can see, the view is to die for, and they have lounge chairs and grass and trails and everything. Not to mention its beautiful. 🙂

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And that wrapped up our day out, and we made it in just in time, as the rain was rolling in.
Speaking of rain, it has been raining quite a bit here in NYC, especially on days when I have to be at work! :-p Which gets old fast. But work has continued too well, I think the director of the museum complimented our work, that’s nice! And July schedules should be out soon. Friday was National Doughnut Day and a co worker brought some in to share, so sweet! I took mine home and had it with a cup of tea while I listened to the rain outside all evening.

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Walking to work in the rain… Vs-

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The sun!

Yesterday after work, I spontaneously went out to the movies with a coworker from Rain Room. We took the walking scenic way of getting there, which was fun because she walked me through some very beautiful parts of the city. I’m enjoying getting to know the people I’m working with. We went to see new independent film/comedy titled “Frances Ha” about a girl who is a dancer in New York and her life… Sort of, something like that. It was good!

Speaking of dance… Yes I dance–

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Look at those, I know… That’s me!!!!!! And my brother, Jesse, performing our waltz is past semester at the 13th Annual Swinging Night of Tap in Atlanta. Huge special thank you to Mrs. Kathleen for these… And to all of DSoB and DCD for many years of lessons, performances, and work ❤ ❤

I'm looking forward to begin taking classes here in NYC now that I'm getting more settled.

On that note, I've been here a MONTH! It hardly feels like it, but it's true! I told myself a moth to see if this city and I got along, and as we have so far, it is time I start making plans to stay after Rain Room ends in July. I plan on spending this week updating my resume, looking at places I’d be interested in working at, and filling out applications. I would love to for for Mac/Apple, Swarovski, Gap, see if MoMA needs someone like me for anything else, something… And of course continue to look into the dance and theater world, Haha!

Ad that brings us to today! This morning I got up and went for an amazing run… I’ve actually gotten several good runs in these past few days (especially as the weather has been cooler in the mornings), so I am really happy. I really miss my running friends at Big Peach Running Co. in Decatur though… However, the VIEW I have to look at while I’m running here is pretty stunning, I’ll try to get a good picture for y’all one of these days!
Shower and brunch followed the run, then some cleaning of the room before throwing on a swim suit, grabbing a book, a towel, ice coffee, and heading back to Gantry Park for an afternoon of sun and scenery…

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Yes, that’s what I got to look at the whole time, talk about bliss! I walked around the park and took in all the angles of the sky line… And a lot of pictures.

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Maybe the only little downer… I accidentally fell asleep on my chair in the sun for a good bit and didn’t apply another layer of sun screen before… And now… well… maybe I’m a little sore and red… But 1. I did it to myself so I can’t complain 2. I’ll have a great (slightly uneven) tan in a few days and 3. It’s summer! it happens! 4. I did get and apply some sun screen. It’s going to be cold and rain again tomorrow (while I’m at work) so I’m just incredibly happy I got to enjoy being outside today!

But I’m sure you are wondering how I’ve had all this time to sit about and write this long post?! Well, I’ve done the whole thing while sitting at the laundromat doing my laundry! Hahahaha, most of it anyway, the pics I’ve had to put in back at the apartment because that requires Internet connection.

And clocking in at 10:25 PM EST, Christiane has had a very relaxing productive day outside and is looking forward to work tomorrow and maybe been the rain!

I would… before I call it a night to put clean sheets on my bed, set an alarm for 5:00AM to go for a run and all… Like to thank each and every one of you following and reading my blog. Some of you I know, some I don’t… But thank you all! And please remember to comment, like, and share the blog!

<3always, Christiane

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June is bustin’ out all over

Name that musical!!

Happy June everyone!

Sense my last post, things have been running pretty smoothly…work and days off. The Rain Room has been running well, they got the leaks fixed and so far it has not malfunctioned again too much. And the lines have been growing every day, especially as the weather has gotten nicer. On that note- hello a week of nearly 90 degree weather and sunny! Ok I’ll admit, it’s been a little hot, but I’m loving it so much more then the cold rainy 50s we had earlier. Been drinking a TON of water and such on the job to stay hydrated.

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And look!! There is me at work with my fabulous red statement coat!

This past Friday was my last “free Friday” for the month (our schedules change for June) and I made cupcakes for my team of coworkers. I enjoyed baking them and relaxing before work that day, and I know they enjoyed them after shift. 🙂

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I’ve been getting many compliments on my outfits at work recently, I like that… Haha! Sometimes when I’m here in NYC and at work I feel like I should have a camera crew or photographer following my to take awesome city and adventure photos! Finding the right shoes for this city is still something I’m working on, but I’m waiting until the few pairs I have now totally die before I get some new ones… Always keeping my eyes open though and asking around what different people like to wear.

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I had Monday, Memorial Day, off from work and I took myself down to Madison Square Park and the Shake Shack again for a milk shake and a little walk around. It was a lovely day and it was nice to get out of the apartment but not be at work.

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I’m looking forward to continued exploration of the city and taking advantage of some of the free events in the parks and other summer events. I’ve been here for almost one month and as I’m still loving the city, I think it’s almost time to start looking for a more permanent job and place to live. Things have been working so well, hopefully that will continue!

Now, can I have a little sentimental moment? Please and thank y’all 🙂

As much as I love New York, there are so many things I am missing about home and Atlanta. Some things are sort of trivial– YDFM and good cheep coffee, decent prices in basic items in general!, fuzzy puppy dog and someone to take on walks, my car, pools and tanning being easy to access (which I really need to work on!!), my room, my own space, and my level of clean, running with Big Peach, or running 4 mi. a day in general, family, friends…. The list could go on. I miss having someone to love and spend time with… Someone special I can talk to and trust, go out on the town with or stay in with. I always see lovely couples on the train, in line at RR, or on the street and well, that’s just something else I miss. If I’m being too sentimental for any of you I’m sorry… But this is a side of things that I can’t forget about… In all my writing and time here, I have hardly cried or outwardly missed home, New York is amazing and work is wonderful, but home friends love are things I have missed and have the right too.

On a slightly different note, you know when you hear a new song that you really like, you can’t get it out of your head, and the you find yourself listening to it all the time?!??!! Well, I have come across some new music of one of my favorite artists and I can’t get enough!
I’m coming up with quite the summer sound track and for my commute every day 🙂

And on that note, I must get out and go grocery shopping, do some cleaning, maybe laundry, and who knows what else before work this evening!

<3always, Christiane