Sunday, September 16, 2012

Good people - Ana

I encounter so many great folks in New York City.  Many of them I see and visit with only for a few moments, but oftentimes their impact is great.

I am dedicating this series of blog posts called "Good people" to the good people I meet here in the city with whom I interact only for a few minutes.  (The members of the hotel staff about whom I have already written in a previous post are absolutely good people and would be placed in this post if I had not previously written about them).

The people I meet and develop close relationships here are not eligible for mention in this series.  But they are, of course, good people too.

Here is one to start:

Ana - Ana was the housekeeper that cleaned my room at the Courtyard Marriott.  One Saturday morning, I ate breakfast downstairs but decided to stay in the hotel for the morning.  When I returned to my room, Ana was already at work.  I didn't want to interrupt her, but I also had nowhere else to go.  So we just started to visit.  She has three kids who live with her in the Bronx.  She is very proud of them and even showed me pictures.  She is Dominican, and we bonded over my ability to speak a little bit of Spanish and over my trip to the Dominican Republic in 2010.  She was a great picture of a supportive, hardworking mother who loves her children.  She was kind, welcoming, and gracious to me - even though she didn't have to be.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

One in 39 million

A few weeks ago as I was walking from Five Times Square to the TKTS booth to buy theatre tickets, I ran into my dear friend, Emily Smith, and her mother and sister.  They had arrived that afternoon  for a summer vacation and were walking around the area waiting for their hotel to be ready.  It was such a blessing to see Emily and to meet her mom and sister.  Emily is a fellow Baylor Chamberman is also the girlfriend of one of my Baylor roommates and pledge brother, Stephen Montellano.

According to Travel+Leisure, Times Square is the most visited tourist attraction in the world and is visited by more than 39 million people every year.  During my year in New York, Emily will probably be the only random familiar face I see in Times Square.  She is also one of the brightest, kindest, and most special people I know.  In both ways, she is one in 39 million.

Emily and I stopped for a picture in "The Crossroads of the World", Times Square.  

Thursday, September 6, 2012

You never know when you'll make new friends

While I moved to the city on July 5, I didn't move into my new apartment until July 27.  Where did I live in the meantime, you ask?  I stayed at the Courtyard Marriott on 40th Street and Broadway in Times Square.

The folks at the hotel always made me feel special - they knew me by name and always greeted me with a warm "welcome back" whenever I returned.  I was closest with the nightshift team because I had more time to visit with them in the evening, and on my last night there, we took a picture to commemorate our special bond.

I gave them this blog address so that they could see this picture, and I spoke to Lucy on the phone as I was writing this post.  So, Ada, Lucy, Rene, and Brian, I miss you and hope you are doing well.

They demonstrated an awesome example of how to be gracious and kind to everyone.  Always happy and smiling, these folks made my stay in that hotel great!

Another funny thing happened while I was behind the front desk (which, by the way, is as cool as I always thought it would be).  A man from Arkansas started talking to me as if I were a hotel employee.  Not surprising.  I greeted him as though that was the case.  He asked me if I got a hotel management degree from Baylor, and I promptly told him that I was just a visitor at the front desk.  It was funny.  I promise.

Here's that picture:

Ada, Lucy,  and Rene stopped for a picture with me behind the front desk of my temporary hotel.  Biran, the bellman was not at work that day, so he is not in the picture.  They are great folks, true professionals, and I'm glad to know them.  

Sunday, September 2, 2012

the apartment

Last month, I moved into my apartment in Manhattan's Upper West Side.  It is a studio on the first floor of a post-war condominium building between Riverside Drive and West End Avenue - very close to Riverside Park and the Hudson River.

My awesome mom and my talented cousin, Kambree, traveled all the way to New York City to decorate the apartment for me.

When I first walked into the apartment and got the place cool, the cool air, fresh paint, and some other magical quality made it smell and feel like the basement of the SUB in New Student Programs in the summertime.  Now that was a nice feeling on my first day there!

Here are some pictures of it that I think you will enjoy.

An aerial view from the ladder to the loft area.  
The doorways on either side of that bookshelf lead to the bathroom (left) and to the kitchen (right).  
On the brick wall, you can see my framed copy of President Brooks' Message to the Senior Class of 1931 and a 1836 map of the Republic of Texas.  My piano is in the left hand corner of the picture; I play hymns everyday.  

Stay with me

In the past month, I took an unintentional break from writing blog posts, but that hiatus will end soon.

I plan to write about my adventures from the last month in the coming days.  

Stay with me.  My posts will be shorter and more frequent.  

Sic 'Em Bears.