Monday, November 16, 2015

 Duchess with John O'Connor at the Brooklyn for Peace 3rd annual "Pathmakers to Peace" event honoring Amy Goodman. Great evening and held at the historic Plymouth Church in Brooklyn Heights on Nov 12th.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

October 1st, season three premiere episode of Sleepy Hollow on TV.

October 3rd, I went to the farmers market in my hood with my friend Gail and got lots of goodies.

October 4th, I had a private yoga class with Fabrice at the apt.

October 6th, I participated in the BFP A&C committee conference call this evening.

October 7th, I participated at work in assisting with the ITC conference.

October 8th, I attended the monthly BFP board meeting, and afterwards headed home by taxi to watch episode 2 of Sleepy Hollow on TV.

October 10th, after Dana cleaned my apt, I had numerous errands to do around the hood, plus did some photography.

October 11th, I had a private yoga class with Fabrice at the apt.

October 13th, I joined Wendy and Claudia in seeing the extended edition of “The Hobbit – Battle of the Five Armies” in the cinema after work.  It was great seeing it on the big screen.

October 15th, started out with me going for acupuncture treatment during lunch.  I was not feeling well and the treatment helped a lot.  Then around 5pm at work many of us got to meet Ray Knight of the 1986 NY Mets World Series champs.  After work I headed to the RailLine diner for the monthly “NYC Friends of Tolkien” meetup.  Topic of discussion was on writer and Inkling member, Charles Williams.  And finally jumped in a taxi to head home and watch episode 3 of the new Sleepy Hollow season.

October 17th, started out the day with a much needed chiropractor appt in the morning.  I then celebrated my birthday by hanging out with my friend Dennis at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, Prospect Park and then dinner at The Jungle Café in my hood.  Weather was sunny, but very chilly, and ran into my friend Debbie near Grand Army Plaza.

October 18th, met up with Debbie and her hubby Larry at RoseWater Café for a delicious brunch.  Afterwards, Debbie and I strolled along parts of Park Slope to check out shops.  I got home in time for my private yoga class with Fabrice at the apt.

October 19th, I met up with my friend Deanna for delicious, enjoyable dinner after work.  We went to a Thai place on 14th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue.

October 20th, I had lunch with my friend Anni at the office.  After work I participated in the Brooklyn for Peace, Arts & Culture committee, happy hour event at The Brazen Head pub on Atlantic Avenue.  We had a nice turnout of 25 people and will be holding these “events” on a quarterly basis.

October 22nd, I stopped by the theater to see Wendy and pick up the Steampunk vest she created for me.  Then home to watch episode 4 of Sleepy Hollow on the telly.

October 23rd, I had a private yoga class with Fabrice at the apt.

October 24th, I had brunch with Dennis in Park Slope before heading over to Grand Army Plaza to assist BFP with UNICEF project.  Afterwards, I joined Dennis in a leisurely drive through Greenwood cemetery to engage in photo adventures.  It was so sad to see that many of the trees / leaves haven’t changed into their autumn colors.  Back at my hood I went and got a much needed manicure.

October 25th, I participated in a beginner’s workshop for Crocheting.  It was fun, interesting and informative.

October 30th, I had a private yoga class with Fabrice at the apt.

October 31st, I joined friends of mine in Manhattan for dinner and attending the wildly outrageous annual NYC Halloween parade.  Fun evening  J

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Latest in the News

Campaigners Bid Harper Adieu While Vowing to Hold Liberals Accountable

‘We Are Not Ashamed’ – How Abortion Providers are Pushing Back Against Stigma and Intimidation
Sarah Lazare, Common Dreams

Friday, October 23, 2015

 Different Views
of October in NYC
and Brooklyn

 Celebrating my 57th Birthday
with a visit to Brooklyn Botanical Garden
and Prospect Park with Friends

Friday, October 16, 2015

 October Views - So Far

Here at work today [Oct 15th] ... me and others got to meet Ray Knight of the NY Mets. He scored the winning home run that got the 1986 team the World Series. Got some autographs and that is my NY Mets knitting bag in front of us.
NY Mets beat the LA Dodgers
Heading to NLCS against the Chicago Cubs

Monday, October 05, 2015

 Samples from the
Sept Photo Challenge

 Assorted Blooms
at the
Brooklyn Botanical Garden
Sept 2015

Friday, October 02, 2015

 Brooklyn Botanical Garden
Annual Chili Pepper Festival
Sept 26th

Sept 1st to 7th … I was on vacation and visited Salem MA, Sherman ME and the parents homestead in upstate NY.  Put in a lot of driving mileage during that time frame.  Also, I celebrated my Dad’s 80th birthday with a surprise party.  Weather was warm, with many humid days, the whole time and no rain.

Sept 8th, I had a much needed manicure after work  J

Sept 10th, I attended the monthly BFP board meeting, and afterwards there was a “going away” party for one of the members, as he’s moving to Arizona.

Sept 11th, I had a much needed chiropractic treatment after work.

Sept 12th, I had a private yoga class with Fabrice at the apt.

Sept 14th, I stopped by The Brazen Head pub on Atlantic Avenue to assess the scene for a future BFP A&C “happy hour” event.

Sept 15th, I attended the productive and informative monthly BFP A&C committee meeting.

Sept 16th, I had another much needed chiropractor treatment after work.

Sept 17th, I stopped by a Bernie Sanders for President location in midtown Manhattan after work to update my voter ID from Green Party to Democrat Party.  So that I may vote for the senator during the upcoming presidential primaries.  Afterwards I headed down to Union Square and purchased some DVDs from Best Buy.

Sept 18th, I had a private yoga class with Fabrice at the apt.

Sept 19th, I met up with my friend Judith to see the film “Learning to Drive”, which was excellent, and afterwards we had lunch at Nanoosh on Broadway near West 70th Street.  Later on I headed down to Chinatown for much needed acupuncture treatment at Dr Tan’s office.

Sept 22nd, I had my first appt with NYU Dentistry on First Avenue in Manhattan.

Sept 25th, I participated with other EY volunteers at the EY Connect Day at the Food Bank in Hunts Point.  Later that evening I had a private yoga class with Fabrice at the apt.

Sept 26th, I joined my friend Debbie in attending the annual Chili Pepper Festival at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden.  It was a lot of fun and I got lots of photos of flowers.

Sept 27th, I volunteered with other BFP members at our table during the Atlantic Antic street festival.

Sept 29th, I participated at the annual EY FallFest for Diabetes at the office.  I was one of the vendors tabling and selling my “C of B Design” bead style earrings.

Sept 30th, I had my second appt with the NYC Dentistry for gum work and a cleaning.  I learned that I will have to see a different dept at NYU Dentistry for lots of work to be completed on my teeth.  I need to sign up with CareCredit, as it’ll cost abit, and not sure if they will “take” my office dental insurance.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Remembering Sept 11, 2001
 Back in January 2001 I started working for E&Y as “Office Mgr” in their downtown office on Broad Street.  That office was roughly 6 to 7 blocks southeast of the South Tower [WTC].  Our office on Broad Street was only a stone’s throw away from NY Stock Exchange. Yeah ... we were close to "ground zero". From our 25th floor windows we could only see the South Tower and the North Tower was hidden behind it. Below are my recollections of that day, which I posted on my “Duchess Journal” for the 1st anniversary since that horrible day.

That day started out just like any other for me. I had to be at the office by 8:15am to let in the caterer. As there was an all-day meeting being held in our large conference room ... the breakfast buffet needed to be ready by 8:30am. People started arriving for the meeting between 8:30am and 8:55am. A few made comments that they'd heard talk of a "bomb" going off at WTC. At the time we thought nothing of it. Don't think we're heartless, because we're not, I guess New Yorkers are immune to some things, but not all.

Sometime around 9am we heard a huge explosion and then our building shook. I kid you not! Felt like an earthquake. We all jumped up from what we'd been doing and raced to the windows. Looking out the northern end of our floor and upward we couldn't believe our eyes. A huge, gaping hole in the south tower with smoke, debris and fire coming out of it. Debris was flying everywhere ... even around our building. Bits of papers, fax sheets, reports, etc. Unbelieveable!! I went back to my desk and called my Mom right away. Once I got her on the phone I said I was okay, but to turn on the telly to find out what’s going on. She related to me that it was two commercial airlines and not a bomb. We talked for abit and I said I'd call her later for an update. Then everyone went back to work. Yep, you heard me, back to work and the meeting. I made other phone calls, especially to my friend and ex co-worker Anni; her office is across the street from South Tower. At 9:15am her office was evacuating and I prayed she'd get away from the scene okay.

My boss, Ron G, showed up at office five minutes before South Tower collapsed. Said the action out on the streets was insane and out of a movie. Unreal, but not, yah know? Before Ron showed up, four of my co-workers made it back. Amen! They'd been in south tower at a meeting on 80th floor when plane hit north tower. They'd gotten down the stairs to 30th floor when second plane hit their tower. I was so happy to see them back at office. Gave them bottles of water and the first aid kit. When the south tower collapsed it sounded like another explosion and our building shook again! We ran to the north side windows and couldn't believe what we saw. We were all freaking out at that point. Even though our windows were closed, we could still hear the screams of people on the street below as they ran in terror. The clouds of grey, black and brown smoke/ash were moving with force over buildings and down streets. Next thing we knew our whole building is covered in the stuff. It got dark and you couldn't see out at all. My poor nerves were really jumping at this point. Then building management came over the PA system and told everyone to go down to the lowest level for shelter. Which we did ... after making a few quick calls ... one of which was to Mom. I went down the elevator with Ron and two other co-workers [Joe & Igor]. We stayed downstairs in a kind of fallout shelter until 11:45am. Some people were able to get their laptops running and access to the Internet. Slowly we were getting bits of info on what the hell was going on that morning and it wasn't a pretty picture. I mostly hung out with Ron, Joe and Igor or checked out news on people’s laptops. We were finally allowed back up to our offices, but management told us that if we left the building, they wouldn't let us back in. Yeah, like we want to stick around here. NOT!

Ron told the three of us to collect our things, make a few phone calls and then we'd hoof it out at 12 noon. I called Mom to tell her I was okay and about to head home. She sounded very upset over the phone and I couldn't blame her. She said the news and film footage on the telly was horrible. Mom had to take half a valium just to calm her nerves. Before we left the office, which was deserted except for us four, we grabbed bottles of water and small damp towels. We headed out the back of the building where we were met by paramedics handing out surgical masks. Amen! What a sight to meet our eyes out on those streets. It was like being in a city after a war. Everything was covered in that nasty soot, debris everywhere, abandoned cars & stores, as well as people like us walking east. Away from the disaster and horror. Unfortunately I was wearing clogs that day on my feet and boy did my feet/legs suffer. To this day I still suffer occasionally from shin splints. Ron and Joe walked ahead of Igor and me. Sometimes we talked, but mostly we looked around in disbelief. It was like a mass exodus! By the time we got to the Brooklyn Bridge it was closed off to pedestrians. So we walked past and further north to next one, which was Manhattan Bridge. By the time we reached that bridge the air was clear and we took off the surgical masks. As we crossed the bridge we looked back south ... it seemed so surreal ... like it was a Spielberg film and the credits would roll any minute now. But it wasn't a film; it was all too real and frightening. One thing I was thankful for ... it was a nice, sunny day. I didn't give a damn if I got sunburnt or not. When we reached Brooklyn our first priority was bathrooms and then subways. At the subways [only in Brooklyn, Queens & Bronx were running not in Manhattan] I said goodbye to my co-workers and we all wished each other a safe journey to our respective homes. Ron, Igor and I live in Brooklyn, but poor Joe had to get back to the New Jersey shore. He stayed at Ron's place that night and got transport the next day. As for me ... it took two subways for me to get back to Greenpoint.

Arrived into my neighborhood at 3pm and walked to my friend Larry's place. Wasn't sure if my phone or telly would be working, but somehow knew Larry’s would be. I called Mom from Larry's place while watching the events of the day unfolding on the telly. Couldn't believe what I was seeing, so upsetting and I kept on saying "OH MY GOD". On top of all that I was exhausted emotionally and physically. Once I got to my apartment I found that I could use my computer, phone and only got Channel 2 on the telly. I returned phone calls to family and friends who were concerned. Plus returned emails to many wonderful e-pals who were also concerned about me. I thank you all for your kindness and thoughtfulness. Made me feel soooo good and blessed. Didn't know work was closed the next day, but I still trekked into our midtown office. While there I made phone calls and found out that Anni was alright but had suffered a bad asthma attack. From there I went to get a manicure and then had lunch with a friend in Brooklyn. Yep, the subways were running once again in Manhattan. On Thursday I went back to E&Ys midtown office to help out, sort of like doing temp work. Then my Administrative Manager gave me Friday off as "excused leave" and the following week I enjoyed my vacation time down in Cape May, NJ. By the time I came back to work the downtown area was open [relatively speaking] and it was business as usual at E&Y.

Overall I thought I was fine, but for several months following 9/11, I suffered from strange dreams and nightmares, plus bouts of depression. One heard many different stories from friends and co-workers.  On the day of the one-year anniversary I took a vacation day from work, as did many staff in our downtown office. Since May 2002 my telly died, so I listened to the ceremonies on the radio [1010 WINS]. And like last year, I went and got a manicure. I think the professionals would call it ... getting on with life. It’s not easy, but with every day we do better and better. Though the war with terrorism isn't over yet and probably never will be.

NOTE:  Since writing that piece back in Sept 2002, I’ve developed “lung issues” and all due to 9/11.  Since 2003 my lung situation “appeared” and was finally diagnosed in 2005 with Asthma and Bronchiectasis.  I’ve occasionally been on meds, and inhalers, to keep the lungs working and stabilized, so that these conditions do not progress further.  I was very ill in January 2006 with Bronchitis, hospitalized briefly in August 2008 with Hemoptysis, plus walking Pneumonia and then again in January / December 2011 with Pneumonia. Plus, I’ve visited ER on several occasions for lung condition issues.  Today I am doing well and stable, plus visit my lung doctor on a regular basis. In December 2011 I started seeing an Acupuncturist and that has made a difference in my overall health.  Thoughts and prayers go out to the families who’ve lost loved ones back in 2001, and to those whose health issues have been greatly affected by 9/11/01.  Every day I strive for peace, non violent communication/action, answers to questions and working with others as an activist.  All this stems from what happened on 9/11/01 and since then.  Be well and be peace………………….

Thursday, September 10, 2015

 Visited with Friends
in Salem, MA
on August 31st
[Dinner at Hawthorne Hotel, Marina & Arcade]

 Visited Woodlawn Cemetery
with my friend Margaret K
on August 30th

 My Friend Nancy and I
at the NY Mets ballgame
against Boston Red Sox
August 28th