Oh Bleecker Street and Washington Square Park...you never ever fail to dissapoint me! If I could live anywhere in New York, I would live right in the West Village...in the center of it all where I could experience your amazingness every day! (That music group was really great by the way! Look for them the next time you find yourself in Washington Square Park!)

In other news, I'm on my way home to Colorado for a short, yet long overdue visit. I can't wait to see my family, eat at Chick-Fil-A, watch the movie Eclipse with my sister (oh yes!),  and maybe even go on a short hike! I can't wait to get away from the crazy heat and humidity of the city for a short while.

Also, if you haven't voted for AIC yet in the Chase Community Giving Challenge... then check out my post below and please vote! The stakes have been raised to $100,000, which is incredible! It's amazing to think what they could do with $100,000! Please help them win it!!!



Last summer I traveled to a magical country called India with my two friends, Dominique and Gared. We spent three weeks volunteering, living, teaching and painting at a place called Ashraya Initiative for Children (AIC). I can't even begin to tell you what beautiful work AIC is doing for the children of Pune, India...children who would otherwise be living or begging on the street or in the slums. They house twelve children full-time in their home and provide education through their education outreach program for over 200 children.

The kids living at the AIC house are a true family. It's amazing to watch them interact with each other. They are cared for by a tireless, dedicated full time staff as well as volunteers. I love the opening of this poem that the oldest child, Aakash, wrote about his experience living in the AIC house: "I open my eyes...ah! The joy of a new day...no matter what comes along, my happiness will stay. We take a deep breath, we're glad we're alive." This beautifully describes the hope that AIC works so hard to provide for the children of Pune, India.

Would you please vote for AIC to win $20,000 through the Chase Community Giving Challenge? It's so easy...just one click. It really only takes a couple of seconds. I can't imagine a better cause and I believe in this so much!! In the words of the founder, Elizabeth Sholtys: "$20,000 goes a long way for AIC - for example, it pays for ALL of the school-related expenses for ALL 200 street kids and slum children in our Education Outreach Program. This includes school tuition fees for both public and private schools, exam fees, uniforms, underwear, shoes, sweaters, hair ribbons, lunch boxes, textbooks, notebooks, pens, pencils, art supplies, backpacks, external tutoring fees for our oldest students who attend a year-long prep course to help get them ready for the 10th standard board exams, and many other things."

 Please vote and spread the word! Thank you friends!



This City

I took this first photo at a rooftop BBQ in Brooklyn about a month ago:

I love it when out of town friends come to visit...it gives me an excuse to do all of the touristy things I secretly love to do: like riding the Staten Island Ferry, walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, and walking around Times Square. Oh New York.


The Heights

I'm baaaaack!! If you are reading this, then thank you. It's been a while. I would have abandoned me by now :). But I've missed you all! Seriously. Missed you.

 Since May, I've moved out of my apartment in Astoria and into the city, where I've been moving around from place to place, staying with friends and trying to keep up with all of the change that is taking place in my life. My first stop after Astoria was Washington Heights and my friend Jess.

Washington Heights is located in Northern Manhattan...very far North of what is considered to be the "City" for you non-New Yorkers :). It's a unique place with its own flavor: most of the signs are in Spanish and you can find some of the best Dominican food in America located in the heart of the Heights. The George Washington Bridge (pictured above) connects this part of Manhattan island to New Jersey. And just under the bridge is a beautiful little red lighthouse.

Jess took me on a walk around her neighborhood and on a path around and under the bridge by the lighthouse. I fell in love. Not just with the lighthouse, but the whole place. I forgot I was in New York City until I stood underneath the lighthouse, looked out on the water and saw a tiny Empire State Building (pictured 3rd up from the bottom). Maybe I will live in the Heights some day. In the meantime, thank you to Jess for being such an amazing host, cooking me delicious food and showing me around the neighborhood!