Today was a slightly surreal day, thanks in large part to a visit from the organization's Vice President of Hot Chocolate--also known as my boss's four-year-old daughter, Lola. The girl is adorable (as plainly evident from the photos below) and extremely precocious and brought a ridiculous level of energy to the office. She reminds me of the girl who played in the movie Matilda and strikes me as the intelligent, resourceful type that could survive alone in the city (think Home Alone 2: Lost in New York). Lola is also an aspiring artist specializing in pictures of rainbows, and she drew me a lovely custom piece to display in my cubicle. After work, some of my co-workers and I took a field trip with Lola to the American Girl Store a few blocks away since her father promised her a reward for being so patient all day. While I spent most of my time trying to not look too creepy as the young, single guy holding a camera amidst the sea of prepubescent girls, I was still able to admire the store as a marvel of experiential marketing. There was a cafe where you could sit and eat with your doll, a hair salon with $30 styles for your doll, a doll hospital, and dozens of intricate displays featuring the latest products and characters. My co-workers informed me the bathrooms even had hooks in the stalls where you could place the dolls while you used the toilet. How's that for staying on brand?
Afterward, my boss treated us to a free drink at the happy hour at the Rink Bar in Rockefeller Plaza. While I think I played it off coolly, I was definitely geeking out about the opportunity to sit right in the middle of the iconic plaza and feel very sophisticated.
Later that night, I went to a small group hosted by Talida and Tim at the Tisch Illumination Lawn at the Lincoln Center. They're starting a new Bible study series about living out the gospel in the city, so they began casually with a pleasant evening picnic at one of New York's finest cultural centers to catch up on everyone's summer. As an added bonus, the Metropolitan Opera was hosting a free Summer HD Festival in the adjacent plaza and broadcasted opera performances right next to our meeting site, so we had classy music to boot. It was great just meeting new people, and as part of the kickoff, they asked each of us to reflect on what brought us to New York and why we chose to come here. It was encouraging to hear all the diverse reasons that people come to the city and why they stay. I'm really excited about the potential in this new group, and I hope I'll be able to continue to regularly attend.
|The adorable Lola, the vice president of hot chocolate.|
|Lola and her daddy braving the streets of New York.|
|Lola in heaven at the American Girl Store in Manhattan.|
|An entire hair salon especially for dolls with styles considerably more costly than my own.|
|Props to American Girl for having Asian babies!|
|Yes, that's me on the left trying to look a little less creepy (and failing miserably) by hiding behind a doll.|
|Lola enjoys happy hour with us at the Rockefeller Center's Rink Bar with a virgin pina colada. Note the famous gilded statue of Prometheus in the background....so cool!|
|Picnic at the Tisch Illumination Lawn at Lincoln Center.|
|The beautiful reflection pool in front of the Tisch Illumination Lawn.|
|The plaza in front of the Lincoln Center.|