Street music

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One of my favorite parts of any major city is spontaneous street music. I find it a great way to bring strangers together on the street as well as a great distraction as we’re rushing through with our busy lives.

I came across the jovial group pictured above as they were playing in front of one of Berklee College of Music buildings. The brass band livened up the crowd with their music and chants of “Our deepest desire is to be inspired.” I left the audience with a smile in having encountered this group.

Tears and Love of Friends

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What’s a stressed, Catholic grad student to do when overwhelmed from being hard on herself? Go cry in a local church! I used to pride myself in finding no need to cry, but over the past academic year I’ve discovered the miraculous powers of tears and have accessed them whenever I could.

Other ways I’ve been trying to deal with stress as of late is through prayer, hence why I sought out the church today, as well as reaching out to friends more often. While it usually takes my friends a while to respond, I was lucky to receive encouraging, warm responses from them while in the church. I couldn’t help cracking a smile when reading over their messages, and felt very fortunate to have my friends to cry out to.

Broadway

Throughout my trip in NY, I tried to knock out as many bucket list items as I could, which included viewing a show on Broadway. It was a difficult task to select a show with all the available options, but I trusted that whatever show I saw would be worthwhile given that it was, well, Broadway! I would’ve loved to catch a classic, such as the Lion King, but alas, I a running on a student budget. I hope to return someday to catch it!

After much consideration and help from friends in finding discount tickets, I decided on A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder at the Walter Kerr theater. It was a great, whimsical show. I particularly enjoyed how creatively the cast made use of the rather small stage.

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Following the show, I wandered through Times Square trying to find a ride to my friend’s apartment. I stumbled upon a frozen yogurt place, from which I could not resist getting New York cheesecake-flavored fro-yo!

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Feeling at Home

For the final part of my trip to NYC, I had the opportunity to enjoy the city on my own. I love having the chance to explore a new place at my own pace, absorbing the sights and sounds and pausing to snap a photo when I stumble across something of interest. The best part of wandering through the city solo was realizing how much of a city girl I am, as I felt very much at home amidst the diverse crowds and skyscrapers.

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A walk through NYC

People-watching, eating, and walking – my favorite things to do when out in a new place. I got to part-take in all three activities on my first day visiting a friend in NYC.

We grabbed a delicious brunch at Barbounia in Manhattan.

Spinach omelet

Spinach omelet

Watched a game of street-polo and families with young children in local parks.

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Grabbed snacks in Chinatown.

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Almond milk bubble tea and red bean bun. Yum!

Saw some great architecture.

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Traversed the Brooklyn Bridge, where I swear we passed Sandra Bullock and I ran into an old acquaintance who had moved into the city in the past year.

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And grabbed a Mexican dinner in Brooklyn.

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Empanadas and a grilled avocado

Had we not been worn out by all the walking and if there had been better weather, we would have wandered deeper into Brooklyn to watch the sunset at Prospect Park. Even without that final adventure, we had quite an ambitious day of touring the city. On to more adventures tomorrow!

Race Day!

It finally came: the BAA 5K! I’d been anticipating this event since the summer when I started running on a regular basis. I fell off my routine in the fall semester, but picked it up again in January, determined to be able to run in the race. I had to take a few breaks from running while training, with twisting my ankle due to pure clumsiness in February and getting sick from the combination of stress and little sleep over spring break. Nonetheless I was able to get back on track in order to have the stamina for running 3.1 miles!

Us runners enjoyed perfect weather conditions, a great crowd, and beautiful Boston scenery. I loved and felt empowered by the energy and excitement of all the runners, as well as the diversity in ages and running experience. The 5K, was well as the Marathon a couple days later, unite the city as one and remind us of the resilience we showed two years ago in dealing with the marathon attacks. This city doesn’t stop going!

I’m so proud of myself and my friends for completing the race. Looks like commitment to training paid off! Now I have a benchmark time (30:39) for me to beat next time I run!

After the race my friends and I enjoyed breakfast at the chocolate restaurant Max Brenner’s. Soon as I got home I plopped into bed and took a 5 hour nap! All that energy wore me off!

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Pre-race selfie with friends!

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Running towards the Citgo sign

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Crossing the marathon finish line

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White chocolate pecan apple french toast. Yum!

Sidenote: The day kept going for me with some swing dancing in the evening. It was one of my best nights of dancing! There was excellent music by the Solomon Douglas Heptet and a great, crowd as always.