Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Last Hoorah

For our last night in New York, we were blessed beyond imagination by Angie and Chris Gilliver with tickets to see the Newsies! Talk about going out with a bang. We decided to make a day of it and headed to the city early so that we'd be able to check the MET off our "must do" list.

You could spend days in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and we only had a few hours so we decided to spend a bulk of our time looking at paintings. I must say, I was a bit giddy to be able to walk around and see names like Picasso, Matisse, Warhol, van Gogh, Seurat, Pissarro, Monet, Toulouse-Lautrec, Degas, Renoir, Rembrandt... All those semesters of Art History class came rushing back and I felt like I knew a little something about these endless pieces that surrounded me. I took WAY too many pictures, so I just chose a few of my favorites to show you.

Vincent van Gough, Cypresses, 1889 — oil on canvas

Isn't this awesome? I loved getting up close to see the different textures of people's brushwork. Although apparently one time I got a little too close and was scolded by one of the museum guards. Why does this keep happening to the pregnant lady?
Claude Monet, Rouen Cathedral: The Portal (Sunlight), 1894 — oil on canvas
I loved getting to see the signatures on the paintings as well. It's crazy to be close to something that has such history and is so renown. It was exciting to imagine when this signature was taking place. Sorry *nerd alert*
Chuck Close, Mark, 1978-79 — acrylic on canvas
So the piece above is awesome for multiple reasons, one being that this guy looks hilarious and the painting was HUGE, therefore his face took up an entire wall. But it's also awesome because of how realistic it is. It looks like a photograph. Well done Chuck...

Chuck Close, Lucas, 1986-87 — oil and pencil on canvas
Absolutely ridiculous... This blew my mind. 
We also were informed by our local city-dwellers [shout out Rigolosos] about a special, slightly secretive, spot at the MET called the Roof Garden Cafe and Martini Bar. We didn't venture in to any cafe items or martinis, but we definitely paid this fabulous little venue a visit. I say it's slightly secretive because there was a special elevator [only one in the entire museum] that took you to the rooftop where the cafe was located. The sun was blazing up there, but it was beautiful. I'm sure it would be breathtaking at night. [cue James Taylor's "Up on the Roof"]

We love New York.
Panoramic view from one side of roof. All the green is Central Park. 
There was also this really interesting exhibit going on while we were up there. Well I say exhibit, I'm not sure if that's the correct term. There was an interactive installation piece that you could walk around in that looked really neat. Unfortunately, you needed a ticket and apparently pregnant women are discouraged to participate, so we just opted to observe from the outside.

As you can imagine, the glare from this thing could be deadly... Okay, not really. But it was intense.

Can you find Kam and I in the reflections? :)

We closed out our time at the MET with a few minutes of rest on the front steps and then moved on to our next destination for the evening.

Our dinner reservation was at a lovely little Italian restaurant in Manhattan called Pietrasanta. I won't tell you how much research went into picking where we went to eat before the show. It was pretty much an obsession...  Just another side effect of my love for food. But I'm getting off track — dinner. It did not disappoint.

I had the Linguine con Pollo — linguine with chicken, garlic, and fresh herbs in a light cream sauce. 

Kam had Rigatoni Bolognese with meat sauce. 

I made Kam take a lot of pictures like this at the various places we went. He's such a good sport!

And now for the grand finale. Drumroll please...

I know, the lighting and quality of this is terrible, but I had to document the moment!
Our seats were wonderful. I'm pretty sure anywhere you sat would be great. I was surprised at the intimacy of this theater. It was such a great venue. 
Last look before the evening came to a close. 

I always forget how much I LOVE theater until I'm watching a show. It was so fun to experience this with Kam, too. I just kept giggling like a little girl. I was so pumped! The show was great. There were a couple of new songs and a few changes in the storyline [I won't give any spoilers], but the classics were there and the guys rocked it! Man it was great... Thanks again to the Gillivers for blessing us in such a sweet way.

Sadly, this entry closes out the New York posts. It's like we're having to leave all over again... The Lord was so kind during our time there to open so many doors and begin so many relationships. We had many fun outings and lots of good food, but more than anything, we were refreshed by the Truth and blessed by the Body of Christ. His people are everywhere and His work is being done. The Lord is building His church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Memorial kind of Memorial Day

I know Memorial Day was almost two months ago, but I'm finally getting around to documenting our day. It was a rather warm day, but we decided to spend it in the city with the Cabes [they're on staff with Cornerstone].  We arrived just in time for the Shake Shack to open [you can get a glimpse of that meal here] and enjoyed a nice lunch in Madison Square Park.

Our main attraction for the day was the 9/11 Memorial. "It commemorates the lives lost, recognizes the thousands who survived, and allows visitors to come together again in the spirit of unity that emerged in the wake of 9/11." [quote taken from a pamphlet we received at the memorial] The rebuilding has already begun. You can currently see the "Freedom Towers" in the midst of construction.

A little patriotic shot for ya.

The memorial consists of two pools set in the footprints of the original Twin Towers. These are where the towers used to stand. Thirty-foot waterfalls [the largest in North America] cascade into the pools, each then descending into a center void.

Click to enlarge so that you can get a better view!

The names of the victims are inscribed in bronze parapets around the pools. The arrangement of names is based on layers of "meaningful adjacencies" that reflect where the victims were on 9/11 and relationships they shared with others who were lost that day, honoring requests from victims' families for specific names to be next to one another.

After taking this picture, I rested my purse on the wall to put the brochure and my camera up. I was then approached and scolded by a guard, asking me not to put my belongings on the names. Enter the feeling of absolute shame and insensitivity... I felt like such a terrible person. 
They also had an interesting little thing called the "Survivor Tree." All but one of the trees on the Memorial are swamp white oaks. The exception is a Callery pear tree that is now known as the "Survivor Tree." This tree was planted on the original World Trade Center plaza in the 1970s, and stood at the eastern edge of the site near Church Street. After 9/11, workers found the damaged tree, reduced to an eight-foot-tall stump, in the wreckage at Ground Zero.

The tree was nursed back to health in a local park and grew to be 30 feet tall. In March 2010, the tree was uprooted by severe storms, but true to its name, it survived.

In December 2010, the tree returned to the WTC site. "Standing just west of the south pool, it embodies the story of survival and resilience that is so important to the history of 9/11." Today, the tree is supported by temporary guide wires as it takes root.

The closing paragraph of the Memorial's mission statement says this:
May the lives remembered, the deeds recognized, and the spirit reawakened be eternal beacons, which reaffirm respect for life, strengthen our resolve to preserve freedom, and inspire an end to hatred, ignorance, and intolerance.

The language used in this statement is beautiful, but still falls short. I say that not out of disrespect, but with excitement because it is Christ who will reawaken and restore. It is Christ who brings freedom and will one day bring an end to "hatred, ignorance and intolerance." We are groaning. Come, Lord Jesus.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Family Time in the City

So I'm still working on recapping our New York episodes... Don't worry, nothing too exciting is currently happening in the life of the KamPughs— just getting ready to have a baby in a month. That's all :)

This post is dedicated to the weekend when my sweet family came to visit us in the Big Apple. My middle sister, Valerie, lives in Chambersburg, PA [though she and her fam are moving back to Bama in a couple weeks!]. My parents went to visit them and then they took a road trip [about 3.5 hours] to see us in New York. So Kam and I got the pleasure of hosting my mom, dad, Valerie, and my niece, Emma for the weekend. B-Money, you were missed.

We started our Saturday with a light lunch at a local sandwich shop and then headed to Battery Park to catch our ferry ride to Liberty and Ellis Islands.

The girls on the ferry.

Emma thoroughly enjoying her Aunt O on the ferry.
We arrived first at Liberty Island to take in a wonderful view of the city from across the water, as well as the Statue of Liberty [of course!]. This was probably one of my favorite things we did. The weather was great and it was so fun just to stroll around with the fam and take in all the scenery. Enter an abundance of pictures...

View of the city from Liberty Island. 

Papa and Nana with their little stinker. Man she's cute...
Me and all my favorite boys... dad, Kam, and Haddon :)
There were some other interesting sights we got to see while on Liberty Island. I'm not sure who or where Nicole was, but I hope she said yes. The plane kept flying by so we started to get a little nervous for the guy!
And then there was a pirate ship...
On to the main attraction...
There she is. Why hello Lady Liberty. 
Who said the Statue of Liberty wasn't romantic — I mean, it was a gift from France, right?
I love the crazy zoom on my camera...

After our wonderful time on Liberty Island, we boarded the ferry to head to Ellis Island.

My pictures expose the fact that we were very bad Ellis Islanders... Lady Liberty just took it out of us, so we didn't do much tourist action at Ellis Island. We did watch a 30 minute documentary, though - so at least we'd be a little more historically informed! Emma enjoyed it...

We ended the day with dinner at Max Brenner. You may recall my ravings about MB from this post. It was a great way to finish off a long, full Saturday.

I don't have any pictures from our time on Sunday, so I'll just give you a quick synopsis. Everyone headed to Bay Ridge in the morning to be a part of worship with the Cornerstone family. It worked out that Kam was actually preaching that morning, so we're very thankful the fam got to be there for that. After showing off my family to the locals, we headed to Nino's for some lunch followed by dessert at Little Cupcake Bakeshop [the food lovers were not disappointed]. Then the big plan for Sunday afternoon was Central Park. Epic fail... Little did I know that the Puerto Rican Day Parade would be going down, causing half of the park to be closed off. I didn't know Puerto Ricans could make such a raucous, but they were representin' fo sho... quite the experience.

The crazy PRs [yes, West Side Story style] + being hot and sticky = family leaving early. Not the equation I had in mind, but it was for the best. We had a lovely time doing everything else and I was thankful we got to spend that time with them. They're such good sports!

I'll leave you with some fun frames of little Em rockin' the subway. Such a city girl...