Sunday, September 30, 2012

First Foray into Brooklyn

Went to one of the many flea markets in Brooklyn yesterday with some people.  It was a food smorgasbord in Williamsburg on the waterfront of the East River.  Loved it!  Such amazing food.  I got so fat there, I can tell.  But I embraced it.  This is Debra and I with our falafels.   I don't even know how to spell that word.  Good thing it is on the sign in the background.  It was not listed in spell check.

After leaving the waterfront and walking through Brooklyn for a long time (which I loved, I have mentioned how much I love walking around this place, and please, I ate so much that I needed a little exercise), we found the Ample Hill Creamery, where I had my third frozen ice cream-ish treat of the day.... 


It was excellent, of course, and my afternoon in Brooklyn was deemed a total success by me.  Yea for exploring with new friends!

More of why I am in love with New York, and other musings.

I have now been in the Big Rotten Apple for three weeks.  I still love it, and don't intend to not love it any time soon.  I have started auditioning, and all that crazy business.  I have also started temping for a little bit of income here and there.  I move to Harlem tomorrow, to the 6 month sublet I have set up.  I am really excited to be in Manhattan.  Jersey City is not that far, but it feels so out of the way that I am looking forward to the move.  I am also looking forward to being in a bigger ward, with hopefully more opportunities socially.  I have not had a ward like that for a long time, not since before I was married, actually.  It is going to be kinda crazy, you know, going to church and knowing someone may or may not be checking you out at any given moment.  But it will be good for me.  Who knows, maybe it won't be like that at all.  I haven't been yet, so stay tuned.

In a recent post, I talked about how moving to New York was very much a new start for me.  It is that, and since coming, I have realized something even further.  I think I subconsciously thought of myself as Recenly Divorced Nicole.  I truly never thought about that until arriving here.  With moving, and a clean slate and all that, I feel like my divorce is no longer part of my recent history.  Sure, I will always have it, and it is a large part of who I am.  I don't mean to say that I want to pretend it didn't happen.  It is a VERY important part of me, but it is no longer a qualifier to my identity.  I no longer feel compelled to share that information as part of my recent history upon meeting someone.  As of now, I am just Nicole.  People don't know anything about me here, so now I can let that kind of information happen in the natural course of things, instead of feeling like it is my personal elephant in the room.  I don't know if that makes any sense.  But I am no longer Recently Divorced Nicole.  I am just Nicole, and THAT IS AWESOME!

As a wise man once sang, it's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life, and I'm feelin' good.  Or, you can just watch the music video for what I have just decided is my new theme song.  How's that for cheesy and over dramatic?  Get over it and watch, or listen, or whatever:

And with that, I think I am done baring my soul on this blog for a while.  I could be lying, but I have done some pretty emotionally open writing on here, and I am tired of being so serious and heavy.  For now, I just want to show you my new life in New York. 

So, here you go.  A few pics from my first few weeks here:
Bryant Park on my first day here.  I was so tired, but just had to get out in to the City.  So happy to be here!

I arrived the day before 9/11.  This flag is a the WTC site, just hanging from the crane.  So stoic and beautiful.  I love my country.

The site of WTC One being rebuilt is awesome. 

You can barely see them, but if you look closely you can see the two sky lights shining up into the night, symbolizing the two towers.  This was on the evening of 9/11.  It was a very poignant day for me, and again, so glad I was there, and so grateful to live in this great country.

This is a store front on Bergen Street in Jersey City right by my first apartment.  It makes me giggle a little bit.

This didn't even happen on 9/11.  WTC One, all lit up.  God Bless the USA.  :-)

Sometimes, as you are walking through the subway station, you see your friend on a poster for "Mama Mia."  And you take a picture and upload it Facebook immediately.  Yes, that is my old friend from Les Miz days, Graham Rowat.  In spandex.
And then, sometimes you go on girl dates with Debra Weed.  Shake Shack and Porgy and Bess?  I think YES.


Oh my gosh, I love it here.  So much.  I am consumed with the sights, sounds, smells (some not so good), people, charm, history, eccentricities, craziness, and all that is New York.  I am so happy to be back.  I arrived on Monday the 10th, exhausted.  But instead of settling in to my temporary sublet in Jersey City, I changed my clothes and headed right back into Manhattan.  It felt so good.  I just kept staring at everything around me.  I still do that, while trying really hard to NOT look like a crazy tourist.  But I can't help it.  I am enamored with this place, even more than I remembered, and I haven't gotten over the grandeur yet that is New York.

I have definitely already had adventures on the subway trying to find things and ending up being really inefficient about it (you know how I abhor being inefficient), but I am just chalking all of that up to figuring this city out all over again.

Last week I was walking up 7th Ave and heard a girl playing "Rolling in the Deep" by Adele on her saxaphone.  Some other girl just walked up to her and starting singing, and they started this call and respond version of the song.  Totally impromptu.  And they were both GOOD.  Only in New York.

Right now while the weather is still so nice, I love to just walk everywhere I can.  So the other day I ended up in Greenwich Village.  I fell in love immediately.  I wish I could afford to live there.  Anyway, I happened upon this really cool little bookstore that immediately made me regret the purchase I had just barely made at Barnes and Noble.  Being in Greenwich Village made me never want to shop at a chain store again.

One of my goals in coming back here is that I really want to explore this city, and get to know New York like I didn't before.  I want to really know my way around all the different areas, and go to the museums, historic places, cathedrals, and do the things that will help me really know this place.  I want to be familiar with SoHo, Greenwich, Chelsea, the financial district, Hell's Kitchen, Harlem, Midtown (I kinda know Midtown pretty well already), anything on the East Side...and the list goes on.

Downside: Man, this place is expensive!  I knew it was, but it is still a shock to my system.  Dang.

Favorite new place I have been so far: The New York Public Library.  It is so old, beautiful, and stately, and BIG.  I could disappear in there for days.  I will be going back, any time I have some time to kill between appointments, auditions, etc.  Which certainly happens.

Check out this reading room.  I mean, REALLY.  I sat in there, and it was everything I could have imagined it to be.  Apparently, the NYPL has a copy of the Gutenburg Bible, so I went and saw it the other day.  It was really cool.

 This post has the potential to be really long, so I will stop here for now.  But don't be surprised if I make a few more posts today...just trying to catch up.  Then, if I am really good, I can post more often with shorter entries.  We can only hope....

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Last Weeks in Utah

I have some catching up to do about some really fun things about my summer, like my family reunion and doing Crazy For You.  This summer really has been a total party.  But I am going to skip ahead to what is a little bit more relevant right now, then I will double back.  I hate backtracking.  It is so inefficient, but, since I know myself well enough to know that I will not do 4 posts in one sitting, I just need to do the backtracking.  Bleh.  Anyway...

I also hate goodbyes.  I have finally figured out and accepted that I am terrible at them.  So, the last few weeks of being in Utah were hard, so fun, crazy busy, and lovely.  But it really is difficult and sad to say goodbye to people and places that mean so much to me while at the same time being so excited to move forward.  So, it was an interesting two weeks.

First of all, let me just say that when I am in goodbye mode, it pretty much equals vacation mode.  Lunch dates, dinner dates, activities, parties, sooo much eating.  I love to eat.  And I ate a lot right before I left.  I am not sure I have stopped yet, but that is a different post.

I went to eat awesome Indian food with my girls Katie and Chalyce.  We have been friends since high school, and I am only sad that our other high school friends couldn't make it.  But I love them, and even though we don't see each other much anyway, it was hard knowing we would not be in the same vicinity anymore.  That type of relationship where we all have our own lives, but live in the security of knowing we are always there for each other, and have one another's support, unconditionally.  I love those friendships.  They are priceless to me.  We finished off the night with Yogurtland, of course.

Carly Jean came to town, so we did the Einstein's thing with Amanda and Rob.  Dear friends, always the same love, always the same laughter.  So cheesy, and so true!  What you are not seeing is the awkward position my arms were in for this picture with Rob.  It was weird, and I am not sure what I was doing in trying to get close to him.  I will never know.

Labor Day weekend I headed down to St. George to see Mike and Sarah for a day.  We took off to Quail Creek to do some wake boarding.  I have not gone in so long, and it was really fun!

Mike and James and I.  James....I just want to squeeze him.


Lincoln, James and Sam, braving the big inner-tube.  What awesome boys.

I sure love Mike and Sarah and their crazy boys, and am sad I will miss Little Girl Peanut arriving in November.  But I sure did buy her a cute outfit.  And don't think I don't have my eye out for some great baby stuff every time I head to China Town in Lower Manhattan.  Because I do.  Like when I see a pink onsie that says, in bling, "New York Princess."  You just buy those things.  You do.

Sunday I headed up to the Ranch for Labor Day with Aunt Alice and Uncle Mike, Laura and her family, and Emily and her family.  I love the Ranch so much, and I love it even more when it is so quiet.  When there are less people, there is more opportunity for some real quality time.  I just had to get my Ranch fix in before I left.  Don't know when I will get to go again.  SOOO sad about it.


Labor Day morning girl talk/therapy session.  Worth every penny we all paid for it, and so good to be with women I adore.  I love family.

Uncle Mike never sits down and does a puzzle with Alice.  Apparently, today was a milestone.  Congratulations, Mike.  I am glad we could all witness that.

Upon returning home, it was the start of what Joseph and Rob called "Nicole's Jubilee Week."  Almost every day, there was some gathering, some party happening.  Just really an excuse to spend time together with friends as much as possible before my departure.  I had a few friends over on the evening of Labor Day for a barbecue, really hosted by Mom and Dad.  I have a weird complex about Mapletopia.  I love it so much, but am insecure enough that I subconsciously assume that no one likes me enough that they would want to come "all the way down to Mapleton" for a gathering.  So I never plan anything, and I always end up traveling to everyone and everywhere else.   And then I have experiences where I plan something, people come, have a great time, and I wonder why I don't do it more often.  Monday night was one of those nights.  We had a great time.  Of course.  Complete with some singing time, rhythmic jumping on the trampoline, and exercise ball routines.  Even people in their thirties get hyper and obnoxious.  And really funny.  Announcement: people really do like me enough to come to Mapleton.  Maybe it is just that Mapleton is so pretty, and my mom and dad cooked.  But I will assume it was because I am loved.  Yes, that's it.

Courtney, Shawn, Chad and Amanda gave our friend Deb and I a farewell party on Tuesday, since we both moved to NYC at the same time.  So much love!
Amanda, Deb, me, Katie, Larene.  Girls I love.

Amanda, one of my dearest friends.  She looks out for me, and I will really miss her!

Amanda and Courtney, the party queen, my hair stylist, and fabulous friend.

Chris and Brad, so glad they came to say goodbye.

Shawn!  My secret boyfriend!

Chad, one of my faves.  For real.  Known him forever, and really one of my favorite people.

Crazy friends: Melissa, Deb, Taylor, Chad.  Huge contributors to my summer being so great.

Shawn, Chad, and Courtney Little.  Joseph Ogden.  Thanksgiving buddies, and staple friends.  I'll keep 'em.

Deb and I, off to be stars...or something.

 The next day, a bunch of us sure did meet up at Smashburger for lunch.

And, don't worry, lunch again on Thursday with the Littles and Joseph, and crepes on Friday with some Crazy folk and these guys.  Emily and Ames Bell.  We are going to start an acting conservatory together someday, and this is our professional face.  It's going to be good.  Ames is just happy to be there.

 Saturday was just a day to get stuff done, and watch one final episode of Foyle's War with Mom and Dad.

Sunday came, and Teresa and Layne and fam came down from Salt Lake, and Jen, Ally, and Josh came from BYU.  Like I said, and will say again, I sure love my family, and will miss them so much!  I miss them already. 

Doesn't Layne look good?  One month into chemo, five to go, but hey, he looks great!

My parents.  I can't even say what they have meant to me these last few years.  So grateful for them.

As I thought about leaving Utah, it was a very profound moment for me.  I have lived in, and left, Utah multiple times in my life.  And it is always the end of something, and the start of something new.  But with everything that living here has meant to me and for me this time around, leaving is a little different.  Leaving Utah is truly turning a page, more so than in the past.  I came to Utah to get a divorce, and have a soft place to land with my family.  Being here was my transition from marriage to being single again.  I have grieved here, cried here, hit rock bottom here, processed here, healed here, found grace here, and found new life within myself here.  Some of my darkest days and brightest mornings have been here.  I have been stripped down to my core and built back up from the inside out here.  It is an end and a beginning, even more than I would have thought.  It really has been a very profound realization.  With leaving, I am leaving behind so much, and really starting new.

And I am so, so ready.