Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Bite of the Big Apple

A year is not complete without a visit to the Big Apple, my favorite city.  Suffice  for me to say that I am addicted to the city's  dynamic energy .  Each time I am in NYC, I surrender myself to the delights of the city and bask in the warmth of old and new friendships.  Having lived in the city intermittenttly in the 80s , 90 s and part of the millennium, I have formed  lasting relationships with people who are  beautiful inside out, friends whom I have come to love through the years and who I will give my right arm for if push came to shove. 

July being my birthday month, I was feted many times over by my dear friends.  I felt the love every single day that I was there.  It could have been coincidental but even a complete stranger in the subway showed me some kindness.  Noticing that I needed a dollar to buy my train ticket, he handed me a dollar so I could complete my fare.  This kind man believed in paying it forward.  I know that one day it will be my turn to do the same.  Love begets love. 

I decided to be a tourist this trip and explore places that I have not visited.  In my list were the High Line ( a 1-mile NYC linear park built on a 1.45-mile section of the elevated former NY Central  Railroad ),  the Chelsea Market, Ground Xero and  9/11 Memorial which houses the remains of the victims and artifacts of that tragic day,  Eataly, (a high  end market place which sells  fresh produce and foodstuff from Italy and comprises a variety of restaurants, food and  bev stations, bakery and retail items) and Williamsburg in Brooklyn, a trendy hip borough that is getting popular among the young professionals.  These places did not disappoint and I savored every moment I was in them.  In Eataly,  I struck a conversation with a 27 year old Filipino who is working in one of the produce stores.  Realizing that my friend  and I were just visiting, he offered to drive us around on his " off" days.  So much kindness all around.  

Doing pictorials of designer homes for Home and Away, the book of Life Style  Asia posed some challenges what with all the numerous details we had to contend with.  But talented photographer, lovely Ava Pessina did an excellent job and went through them  like a breeze.  

Being with  my besties was the highlight of my trip but not to be discounted is watching the  dance show,  SWAY, an epic production by the owners of Dance With Me USA studios featuring the Dance  Pros of Dancing with the Stars, Tony Dovolani, Maks and Val Chmerkovskiy.  But this show deserves another Blog of its own! 

Parting is such sweet sorrow and that's exactly what I felt on the day I left the Big Apple!  After we took off at a little past 1 AM ( CX flight number 899 ) I continued to gaze out of  my window until the flickering lights of the metropolis started to get dimmer and dimmer as we soared higher into the skies and got ensconced in a sea of black clouds.  That's when I knew that the lights I was seeing was no longer New York but the heavenly constellation of the stars.

Being my birthday month, my besties showered me with Love every single day of my stay in NYC! 

I was a frequent visitor at St. Patrick's Cathedral 
one of my "besties", Maritel Castellanes strikes a pose by this mammoth art work 

Rockefeller Center featured Split-Rocker, a spectacular planted form that towers over 37 feet high and features 50,000 flowering plants by artist Jeff Koons

Le Bernardin Restaurant was a gastronomical experience hosted by my dear friends Dr. Norman San Agustin and lovely wife Biba.

High Line was a-bloom and I met a Polish Mama, Kasia Bieniaszewska, and her kids, who became my Instagram friends.

We discovered Our Lady Of Guadalupe Church at Chelsea and we made 3 wishes. Fingers crossed!

What a breathtaking view from Columbian "Hermanito" Sergio Orozco's Olympic Towers apartment.  Hera Geriene, Mara Geriene and I. 

A gourmet dinner to remember was with my Lion friend, Michael at Altessi, a Tuscan restaurant on 64th and Madison. 

Shopping at Bloomingdales with my BFF, Lily O'Boyle. 

SWAY, the Epic production of Dance With Me USA studios. Here I am with my cha cha teacher Eugene Livshits in DWM Soho studio. 
 a part of Central Park South across the building where I live. 

It was a pleasure to watch SWAY with Sergio and Maritel.

Matthias JK, who shares the same passion for dance as I do. 
In Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the factory walls are literally works of Art. 
lovely BFF Lily O'Boyle hosted a birthday dinner at Baritalia

 at Baritalia, 3 of the guests Jerry Whitlock, (who flew all the way from Florida), my travel mate Maritel, and Inday Brim

Jerry Whitlock blows the cake with me! 

goofing in the street with Sergio, Lily and Ijaz before saying our goodbyes

At Capezio, I attended the Master class of my favorite Dance Pro Tony Dovolani, an excellent teacher and champion dancer. 

In Capezio, Tony Dovolani grooves the class with his sexy dance moves !
Beauteous Photographer Ava Pessina had a photography exhibit. Sergio Orozco is a fan of her works. 

where Tower One used to stand is now a pool of water and waterfalls on all sides. 

9/11 draws thousands of visitors daily. 

we bought some artichokes in EATALY! 

At Sea Grill, a birthday dinner hosted by Hera and Mara Geriene.  Cheers to great friends! 

the motley group of guests- Fritz Selby, Jerry, Elena, Maritel, Tina Ocampo, Sergio Orozco, and Ijaz Malik

A surprise birthday hosted by Sergio Orozco truly touched my heart! Beautiful people were there! 

Capoiera was one of the attractions in the SOB- Sounds of Brazil- club. 

Dancing was a great part of the evening at Sounds of Brazil Club! 

 I saw Alvi Mendoza, Lily's son grow up and now he has a wife and daughter.  How time flies!  With Mom Lily, Larisa and Daughter Mia. 

my daily sight as I get out of Trump Parc. 

the Metro Card that a kind stranger helped me buy with his dollar bill.