Vaudeville in the City


Some days, you feel like going to a show called Banana Shpeel. Banana Shpeel is a Cirque du Soleil show currently being performed on the Upper West Side in a really gorgeous theatre.

The Beacon Theatre was completely remodeled and although it took 16 million dollars, it looks like a true Broadway theatre, with sparkling gold veneers and Egyptian statues overlooking the audience.

I was in awe of the theatre; however, the show itself was not like the Cirque de Soleil stuff I imagined. Admittedly, I laughed at a few parts, but I think what truly made it entertaining was the man next to me bellowing a very contagious laugh. I would say that it is a fun show for kids and if you’re in a giggly mood, but not for everyone.

Breakfast: Banana Pancakes with Lite Syrup. Appropriate filling for the later entertainment!

Lunch: I had lunch with a friend of mine. We had baked potatoes with chicken, broccoli and cheddar. I think I watched him douse his potatoe with salt and pepper! Anything to make a 300 calorie meal taste a tiny bit more exciting.

Dinner: Pasta with Broccoli and Chicken. Broccoli is the key to making a low calorie meal, I’ve discovered!

Weight update: Today is Day 60. I started at 153 lbs on the doctor’s scale, 150.6 on a regular bathroom scale and I’m now at 137 lbs and have lost 10 inches overall.  This is very exciting. I haven’t been back here for a couple of years. Only 30 days to go!

Dance Away!

Dancing is so much fun that you don’t even notice how many calories you are burning. An average of 450 calories per hour is burned with high impact dancing. I got a chance to go to a nice lounge called the Crimson Club to raise money for the Catholic Charities Junior Board and the St. Nicholas Project.

I met some of my friends at the gala and we each got a $1000 fake chip. We were able to “gamble” with this chip and received raffle tickets for every $100 chip we turned in.

I played Black Jack, Roulette and some spinning wheel game.

Every raffle ticket I received, I would throw into a bucket with the hope of winning a prize. My money was on the spa treatment, a signed Jewel CD or a $200 visa gift card. Unfortunately, my name wasn’t called!

I did, however, get a consolation prize of some delicious dessert! Then we danced the rest of the night. Overall the gala raised around $19,000.

After almost everyone left at midnight, a friend and I went to 230 5th Avenue. Walking past it, you wouldn’t know that it is anything but an office building, but you go in and take an elevator to the 20th floor and head up to a fantastic rooftop bar. Robes were available for those who got a little chilly, but we held off since we had our wraps. We stayed there and talked for several hours and enjoyed the Empire State Building and its lights in front of us. I haven’t been out like that in quite a long time, so it was a lot of fun to hang out with my friends and explore some Manhattan clubs.

Breakfast: Breakfast Bake with Cheddar and Broccoli.

Lunch: Pita with Feta and Chicken. Toasted to perfection!

Dinner: At the gala, I had a teeny slice of pizza, some pasta and salad.

Rain, Rain, Rain.

I had planned on going to the Norah Jones free concert in Brooklyn, but the rain made me change my mind. So, I met some friends for a drink. Well, let’s face it, since I’m on this 90 day kick, I’m not really drinking much alcohol, instead, I had a water with a bit of cranberry, a twist of orange and a twist of lemon. I had a few bites of a quesadilla, but quickly realized the calories weren’t worth it. If something doesn’t taste amazing to me, it’s just not worth wasting my calories on it.

I did enjoy the place on the Upper East Side enough to mention it. It was called Molly Pitcher’s Ale House (2nd and 85th). It was a great place to meet my friends and meet new friends–I even met a guy running for state senate. Good times!

By the time I got back to the Lower East Side, I was completely soaked. I walked past a local homeless man and decided that he needed my umbrella more than me–after all, I was heading to a home with a hot shower and he was standing under a dripping awning. I recognized him from a homeless shelter I volunteered with a year or so ago–I remember learning that he had a methamphetamine addiction, which is why he will pause mid-walk. I rapidly made my way through hard rain and puddles and wondered what else I could have done for that man. I just hope I didn’t shame him in any way when I gave him the umbrella. The one thing I hope for myself and everyone else in this world is to always have dignity.

Breakfast: Cornflakes and Skim Milk.

Lunch: Chicken with Apple Reduction and Veggie Medley.

Dinner: Snacked on Some Stuff at the Bar, but the photos didn’t come out since it was so dark. Sorry! Quesidilla and a Chicken Tender and One Buffallo Wing were involved.

Fun in Bryant Park

Saw a lot of interesting things in Bryant Park today, while I was there eating lunch.

On Tuesdays in Bryant Park, Terri from the Arcadia Bird Sanctuary brings several birds to educate and delight park goers.

I didn’t have my notebook with me this time, but I’ll get back to her and ask her a bit more for a future post. What I do know is that she volunteers her time and has been doing so for 2 years. She clearly loves birds.

I loved the spacing of the people waiting for a bus on 6th Avenue.

Today’s NY Daily Deal was a $10 Hoola Hoop Class and in the theme of the day, I saw girls hoola hooping, but in Bryant Park, instead of Central Park.

Breakfast: Granola and Skim Milk

Lunch: Feta and Chicken in a 1/2 Pita. I brought my food to the park with me and enjoyed eating it outdoors. New Yorkers are known for their Vitamin D deficiency and I was told it might help me resetting my sleep cycle, so here we go sun!

Dinner: Chicken Lasagna

Light a Candle

Photo of the Day: St. Patrick’s Cathedral (5th Avenue b/w 50th and 51st)

I decided to stop by St. Patrick’s Cathedral to sit in peace and prayer for my grandmother in the hospital. The good news was that later in the day, I found out that she’s doing much better and was removed from oxygen and is breathing on her own. Happy, glorious day and time well spent in one of the most beautiful churches in the country.

The Randomness of New York City

I went to see White’s Lies on Saturday evening, which I highly recommend if you want a light sitcom type show that will make you laugh throughout the entire show.

After the show, I headed to a party and on the way to the subway, I pulled out the camera to catch some neat things as I walked along. In a 7 block span, I found a few things that really struck me.

The policemen on horses are always out on evenings and tourists and locals always approach the horses to get photographs with them or to pet these beautiful animals.

Now, there is a “naked cowgirl,” in town. Quite enticing.

I was walking past a cab and started taking photos. Inside were a few kids who weren’t very happy, even though they had a million balloons.

I was walking along and saw three friends from Hong Kong attempting to take a picture with their camera phones, so I snapped up some shots of them and promised I’d email them out!

Lacoste, USA Network and Doctors Without Borders

New York is a great place to get good deals and support worthy causes at the same time. An example of that occurred on Thursday, June 3rd, with a fantastically organized event. Two great companies partnered together to raise money for Doctors Without Borders. Together, Lacoste and USA Network gave $10 to Doctors Without Borders for every shirt donated at Greeley Square (32nd and 6th Avenue) between 8AM and 6PM. In exchange for the donated shirt, donors received a $50 dollar gift certificate to Lacoste and could take a complimentary pedicab to whichever Manhattan Lacoste store they preferred.

When I arrived at 3:45PM, the line was 5 blocks long.

The whole event was really well done. The process was simple and, actually, rather fun! You stand in line, then enter the park area and get into a smaller line. The park had Doctors Without Borders Aid Workers greeting people, a lively band playing and lots of refreshments.

When you got in front of the line, you received a bracelet with the name of the show that USA Network was promoting called “Royal Pains” about a doctor who does house calls in the Hamptons. The theme of the show gave the network the great idea to promote the show and donate to a wonderful organization. Julie, the amazing woman from Cultureshop who put this together, asked an aid worker what the difference is between a doctor’s office in one of the country’s she’s volunteered in and a Manhattan office. The doctor promptly responded, “Well, in The Congo, I have an AK47 right next to me in my office.” I don’t think I’ve seen any of those in Manhattan!

As you donated the shirt, you received a card, where you wrote your name. The card was tied to the shirt and a $50 Lacoste gift card was given to you, as well as an explanation about where you could use the card.

The shirt was thrown up into a huge donation box. By the time I was there, roughly 5,000 shirts had been donated, so around $50,000 was going to Doctors without Borders.

After your wait, you could step out and grab lemonade and a snack. All in all a successful event in my eyes and another New York experience.

For those of you who would still like to donate a shirt (make sure it has no holes or stains), you can do so through June 20th, 2010 at a Lacoste Boutique store and receive 20% off a regular/full price purchase. It’s a pretty great deal!

Relaxing Sunday

I mentioned in last night’s post that I would put up a few photos from the party that I went to last night, so here are a few photos of some friends.

To be clear, the party was for an art exhibition. A half dozen painters, dancers, singers and musicians were there to show off their art and music. Various bands played in this wonderful hidden schoolyard in the heart of SoHo.

The party also feel on the eve of the 201st anniversary of the founding of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, which was recently named a Basilica by Pope Benedict XVI, so it was another reason to celebrate in their schoolyard.

After being out late last night and blogging after I got home, today was a day of just relaxing and sticking to the eating goals. This is day 50!

Breakfast: Granola and Skim Milk. A measuring cup makes sure that you stick with your calorie range.

Lunch: Multi-Grain Bread with Beef

Dinner: Chicken Lasagna. There will be a lot of that this week. The great thing is makesomething delicious and low calorie (with whole wheat noodles and lean meat like turkey or chicken) and split it up into portions to stick with your 300 calories.

Saint Gianna Molla

This evening was one of those perfect New York City nights, a cool breeze in the air, the smell of rain coming and definitely an evening that made you want to walk for a while. I decided to attend a Mass and event tonight where I was able to listen to Pierluigi Molla, the son of Saint Gianna Molla, speak about his mother. We were able to then be blessed by the relics of St. Molla and pray in the church after the Mass, followed by a lovely reception.

I remember my mom reading this book about St. Gianna a few years ago, and she told me her story. St. Gianna was a medical doctor and had been working and providing Catholic health care, meaning health care with a respect for life. She had three children and by the time she became pregnant with her fourth, she found out she had cancer. Doctors told her to abort the child, but she refused and told them when it came time to give birth, to save the baby and not her. Of course, they tried to save both the baby and St. Gianna, but she died that day on April 21, 1962, at 39 years of age.

Because of the life she lived and the way she handled her death, she became canonized by Pope John Paul II on May 16, 2004. Pope John Paul II stressed the importance of her life, she was the first working mother who was canonized, a mother and physician.

She is also well known for helping couples who have trouble conceiving or recurrent miscarriages, so I prayed hard for some of my friends who are having those difficulties and others who are pregnant. I love this modern day saint!

Later, I saw a priest whom I had met when I was volunteering in Calcutta, India a year ago. I ran after him and said, “Were you in India a year ago?” After he confirmed, I said, “Are you Fr. Boniface?” It was so great to see him randomly, a year later! The interesting thing was that we both remembered each other, after only having a brief discussion.  Although we didn’t talk a lot while in India, he had a huge impact on me – perhaps it was seeing a young monk, with bright blue eyes and a long beard who clearly loved and revered Christ.

Tonight was no different. We had a wonderful discussion and I truly felt enlightened after talking with him. He is a very brilliant priest and I feel so blessed to have run into him again. At one point, there were tears (on my end) as he taught me an important new way to pray. What a phenomenal sign to be given again, right at the time I needed it. A perfect New York moment.

(For more info about the Gianna Center or to schedule a visit, visit www.giannahealth.org or call (212) 481-1219.)

TGIF

This evening, I spent some time looking at paint colors.  We just resigned our lease and I think it’s time to change the color of our bedroom. I’m thinking of a chocolate color.  I’m also into grays, slate colors and minty greens.  It’s a hard decision! All I know is that it’s going to be a HUGE pain to repaint a dark blue color into anything else.  Right now, I have a baby boy blue in the room and I’m going to have to prime it and prime it and prime it again. What was I thinking with that color?  A fun Saturday ahead of me…if it gets done tomorrow!  I’ll attempt to take before and after pics and post them in a few weeks, when all my work is done! This weekend is looking quite filled with tons of errands and I’m ready to get paint all over me!

I wanted to post a couple of pics of a movie that was filming in the neighborhood. There’s always something being filmed in this city and this time I walked past The Smurfs Movie,” although a bunch of people were trying to mislead everyone by saying it was law and order. Since I’ve done Law and Order in the past and have several friends that are professional actors, I know that L  & O has a small budget and they don’t go around with 2 huge costume trucks. Besides that, I looked it up on Twitter and found that it was definitely The Smurfs Movie that was being filmed!

I loved this guy, sitting around, waiting for work on set.

Breakfast: Banana Pancakes. My father informed me that bananas are around 100 calories, so I only had a few extra slices.

Lunch: Sloppy Joes on a Multigrain Bread. Delish. Hard to stop at one.

Dinner: Tilapia and Veggies. Ray decided to place my birdie pepper container in my vase to be cute, so I decided to leave it.

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