I volunteer Saturday afternoons to help with an eduction program for children with Autism in New York’s Chinatown. It is run out of the Chinese Christian Herald Crusaders Church which is a subsidiary of the non profit organization Hope for New York. The organization strives to serve immigrant families by providing them with a community center to connect with one another and a variety of social services. Currently, there is work underway for a fundraiser in February, where proceeds will help support the center’s valuable activities throughout 2014.
For the event, I have choreographed three dances for my students to preform. The kids have enthusiastically spent the last three months practicing our pieces over and over. My dedication to this endeavor even went as far as to (embarrassingly) have Jay film me preforming the numbers in our apartment living room so that my students could practice them at home. I am excited to see the outcome of all their hard work.
Now the next phase to conquer are the costumes. The needs and abilities of my children vary from severe to moderate, and as such we have some students who want to take part but won’t be dancing as much as their peers. Therefore, I am creating simple, sensory minded costumes for them to wear on stage to make them an equally vital part of the performance. Each dance has a different costume and the first is bright, vibrant flowers for a hip hoppy, Cha Cha style piece. The best part is that each of our three costume styles will be created for less than $2.50 a piece. This is a fundraiser after all!
Continue reading “Teachable Moments: How to (cheaply) Make Large Flowers from Poster Board”
I think I have mentioned it before but one of the best, most exciting parts of being in New York has been falling in love with Jay on a new, deeper level. When we first settled in here I felt worlds away from the support network I have carefully knit with my truly remarkable friends and large, close family, and the distance from them made me feel as if the floor had fallen out beneath me. If I am honest, there are moments when I still feel this way. However, I have come to realize that the core things I need are found in Jay. This is no way diminishes the support I receive from others, because it is equally vital (and hasn’t changed at all). I have simply begun to realize what an unstoppable, dynamite team him and I are. He is the pinnacle of support, as he graciously talks to death all the big and small thoughts, aspirations and concerns that stir inside me daily. Through his hard work and passion he is constantly bolstering all the dreams we both have for our little family. This is nothing new, he has always been this way. The only difference is that I have begun to appreciate these attributes in ways I could never have done without stepping outside my comfort zone and taking these risks. So although we are slowly building a vibrant network of friends here in NYC, I have really enjoyed the us time as Jay and I explore this city and each other in a whole new way.
Now we are not the type of couple to schedule date nights, and in all actuality we are really, really terrible at the romance thing. We would not be the winners of any cutest couple award that is for sure. Although we do spend an unnatural amount of time together, I still tend to describe us as one of the least couply-couples. A friend from back home who now shares the city with us told me she loved being with us because we don’t make people feel like third wheels. This was one of the best compliments I have ever received. At the heart of what defines us is that Jay and I are best friends and that is how we approach life and our relationships with others. So with that in mind most of our dates are happenstance and are the result of the friends we invited being busy, not the careful orchestration of romance. Nonetheless here is a detailing of some of our favorite City dates thus far. Continue reading “Dating (my husband) in NYC”
We rolled into Pittsburgh a little later than our original ETA because our geekery took over and we had to make a not so quick detour to visit Notre Dame University. However, when we came over one of Pittsburg’s famous bridges we found the city was swathed in a score of gold and black. My ample research hadn’t revealed that pre-season had begun and that on our night in Pittsburg the Steelers were playing the Chiefs. After arriving to The Fairmont Pittsburg 10 minutes after ticket sales closed, and thus an unsuccessful attempt to procure seats we decided to head out for dinner and soak in the buzzing atmosphere that only die hard sports cities on game day can emit. We walked around the historic district and selected a spot in their Market Square area to sit and people watch. After a bite we sauntered around to the river front and explored some of the art and architecture the city has been cultivating in recent years. Although Pittsburg has remained true to its roots with an abundance of Heinz (think ketchup) buildings and modern art portrayals, and their celebration of being the birth place of of Andy Warhol, gone still are the days of purely blue collar vibe. Although I would be amiss to neglect the gritty, authentic pulse that still runs deep and has very much been integrated into the new, vibrant scene that is found in today’s Pittsburg.