Wednesday, August 12, 2009

PERSONAL NEWS #165

Thursday, June 25, I attended an event at the Church Center for the United Nations called “Stand Up for Peace!” This was hosted by Sallie Elkordy and the main guest speaker was Cindy Sheehan, whom I got to speak with briefly before the event started. Also, Marianne Perez spoke on behalf of “New Yorkers for a Dept of Peace”. Other speakers at this inspiring event were Sister Sandy Robinson, Molly Klopot, Jennifer Thomas, Joan Wile, Vinie Burrows, Father Frank Morales, Elaine Browser, Barbara Harris, Hugh Bruce, Edwin Schantz, Cesar Fuentes, Debra Sweet and Edward Daniels II. To learn more on what Cindy Sheehan has been up to lately, go to ... www.cindysheehansoapbox.com

Early Friday evening, June 26th, I assisted Doug Biviano in petitioning around Williamsburg. Doug is running for City Council in District 33, and as I type this he has garnered plenty of votes to be on ballot for the Sept 15th primary. If you live in NY City Council district 33, please, vote for a true progressive Democrat on the 15th, vote for Doug Biviano.

On Saturday afternoon, June 27th, I joined other members of TGTSNBN for the monthly Quidditch match at Riverside Park. I assisted with keeping score and taking digital pix of the games with Jonathan’s camera. Afterwards I took the subway down to Union Square to volunteer with City Harvest at the farmers market. Like many of the days in June, at one point it’s bound to rain and it did for about 10 minutes or so. This month had to be one of the coolest and wettest in YEARS and had everyone wondering when will summer show up.

Next day, June 28th, I assisted Doug Biviano [ie: City Council candidate for District 33] in petitioning and campaigning around Carroll Gardens and Park Slope.

July 2nd through 6th – I spent most of the long, leisurely July 4th holiday weekend with family in upstate NY.

On Tuesday evening, July 7th, I participated in two conference calls regarding “Dept of Peace” campaign. During the first call, I joined Kevin and Joe [ie: NYDoP CCR Team] at 8:30pm to strategize on our next steps regarding NYC Resolution 627 and getting it into a hearing. When that call was completed, I jumped on monthly The Peace Alliance call and it was mostly about the “Youth PROMISE Act”. Many Congressional co-sponsors are onboard for this bill, which is very heartening news.

After work on Thursday, July 9th, I joined Angela and Daniel from City Harvest, plus other volunteers at the MeBar in the La Quinta Inn for drinks. The MeBar is a really cool roof garden setup with views of midtown Manhattan and the Empire State Building.

The next evening, July 10th, I joined other volunteers at Doug Biviano’s campaign office in Brooklyn Heights for a get-together and noshing on pizza.

On Saturday afternoon, July 11th, I learned via email that an acquaintance from my hometown committed suicide on Thursday, July 9th, over criminal charges [ie: rape of a minor] in MA. This news was abit of a shock and I spoke with Mom and good friend Katherine on the phone about it. The “acquaintance” was the brother of an ex-friend of mine. As I said to Mom and Katherine, my deepest sympathies go out to her, as she’d also lost her father a few weeks before this tragic event. Shortly after this I joined my friend Jackie in having dinner at Fiddlesticks Pub in Greenwich Village. We caught up on alot of news and gossip, as we leisurely ate dinner and sipped wine. Afterwards we strolled around the Village and stopped at Barnes & Noble to see if anything caught our eye. From there we headed down to Bleaker Street and noshed on some awesome frozen yogurt at “Red Mango”. I highly recommend this establishment. Then we ended up at Astor Place and took subways to our respective homes. And yes, it started to rain again. Seems to do that alot over this summer.

Next day, July 12th, I put in a few hours of volunteering at Biviano’s campaign office to assist with “cleaning up” petitions. Afterwards I headed into Manhattan for an enjoyable date with TJ. We met up at Sheridan Square in Greenwich Village, and from there we leisurely strolled around the Village and I told him about the suicide incident. We ended up at a charming outdoor cafe and partake of a yummy dinner; while we touched on several topics, sipped on vanilla milkshakes and people watch. Afterwards we ended up on West 8th Street heading towards Washington Square Park. Weather was warm and NO rain. Lots of folk milling about in Washington Square Park on a balmy Sunday evening. TJ and I stopped to watch twin brothers perform their act for a good size crowd. It was such fun and very entertaining. It also gave me a chance to sit on a bench and rest my left foot. Then we found ourselves near St Marks Place and strolling around the East Village, all the while we were chatting about all types of things and having a lovely time. Let me tell you the East Village is a happening scene and has changed in many ways since I first viewed it back in the late 1980s. Around 10pm TJ and I hugged several times and parted company to head to our respective abodes.

Monday, July 13th, I took a sick day from the office to attend several doctor and dentist appointments.

On Wednesday, July 15th, it was opening day of the new Harry Potter film and I went to see it at Regal E-Walk Cinema on West 42nd Street. Reviews, for the most part, have been mixed. I had purchased my tix a day or two before that [online] for the 7pm showing. I wanted to go to the 7:30pm showing with other TGTSNBN members, but it was sold out. Darn! Around 6pm I briefly hung out with members [ie: Deborah, Jonathan, Chris, Ariel, Paul, etc] of TGTSNBN outside the cinema. Many were dressed in costume and I placed my order for Luna Lovegood shades with Paul in the color pink. Regarding the film I have to admit that visually it was terrific and there were some stellar performances by Alan Rickman, Jim Broadbent and Tom Felton. I enjoyed the scene and visuals inside the Weasley twins joke shop in Diagon Alley. Must be honest and confess I was disappointed with the ending of the film during the last 10 to 15 minutes. On a positive note, the two lads who played the younger Lord Voldermort were brilliant. If you haven’t seen the film, well, I won’t say anymore and spoil it for you. Also, if you haven’t read the books, I think you’ll enjoy the film and not be so critical.

Thursday evening, July 16th, I joined other members of the Park Slope Knit meetup at Loki Lounge. Its been about a month since I attended the last meetup and it was great seeing everyone. One of the gals I was sitting next to was working on a Dr Who scarf [ie: Tom Baker style] for her hubby. I was close to finishing a baby blanket for a friend’s daughter, who was expecting her first child in early August.

On Saturday, July 18th, I visited my friend Sheila in NJ. After noshing on a tasty lite brunch at her lovely home, and catching up on news, we drove into Princeton. I love this university town and can’t get enough of it. This is my 4th visit since 2007 and we’ve been fortunate in good weather every time. This time we mostly toured around Holder Hall, both inside and out, and I took many pix. [Will post many of these pix soon – stay tuned.] From there we strolled over to “Pins & Needles” to do some shopping, and then we leisurely strolled down Nassau Street towards “Thomas’ Sweets” for the best ice cream in Princeton. Freshly made and blended together for a decadent creaminess. Back at Sheila’s neighborhood community center we lounged around the swimming pool in the shade, and occasionally put our feet in the cool water. All the while touching on assorted topics or just observing the folk at the pool. Then it was back in the car for a drive over to the lovely, charming town of Cranbury, NJ. We had a delicious meal at the local Italian restaurant in the outdoor section and got to “people watch”. The pace in this town is laid back and you feel like you’re in a small VT town. Afterwards we strolled around the main street to work off abit of dinner and then sat at a bench near picturesque Brainerd Lake. Briefly feeling at peace and content before jumping on the bus to head back to the bustling metropolis we call NYC. Overall it was a most enjoyable day.

Next day, July 19th, I attended the monthly Quidditch match at Riverside Park with other members of TGTSNBN. I assisted with keeping score and taking digital pix of the games utilizing Jonathan’s camera, plus I paid for and received the Luna Lovegood shades from Paul. These I wore throughout most of the games, and I might add, there was a great turnout of Quidditch participants and spectators.

[Duchess Note: Photos from July 4th weekend and visit to Princeton University will be uploaded soon. Stay tuned.............]

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