TGIF! This week has felt unbelievably long, and even though I have no plans this weekend, I'm more than happy to spend it at home alone. For your sake, hopefully I'll be motivated to find at least one fun thing to post about in order to keep you entertained.
Today I celebrated the end of the week by visiting the fellowship at Boon Church again. It felt nice to be back as a returning visitor, not a first-time guest, so we could skip over the usual introductions and formalities. I didn't feel so much a stranger, and there were even moments when I felt downright comfortable and at home. In lieu of Bible study today, we broke out into our groups and, quite simply, talked. We went around the room and briefly shared whatever we wanted about ourselves, followed by an open question-and-answer session. For a newbie like myself, such an exercise was especially helpful, allowing me a brief glimpse into the daily lives of the four guys in my group. I enjoyed diving deeper into people's lives than I've had the opportunity for just in passing conversation. I found my respect grew for a couple of the men, though I'll admit I also lost some for others. Despite the lack of Scriptural depth in today's session, I still think what we did was very important for fellowship in a Christian context beyond the intellectual theological and apologetic conversations that tend to dominate the Bible study. As explained to us retrospectively, the activity was supposed to mirror how the early church "broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people."
Everyone loitered in the sanctuary for about an hour afterward until the pastor was forced to ask us to leave so he could lock up. A group of about 10 of us wandered into Flushing's Chinatown for a some dinner at a Taiwanese restaurant called 66 Lu's Seafood. I had stir-fried udon, which was satisfying but not wonderful, but almost everyone else ordered the pork chop and rice, apparently their signature dish, which looked pretty stellar in all its golden-fried glory.
The talk of the town today was definitely the damage left by the short but violent storm that swept through Brooklyn and Queens last night. Despite downed branches, wires, and awnings, my area is in relatively good repair compared with the many places still without electricity. Having been through Hurricane Ike in Houston, this seemed minor in comparison, but a lot of people were quite flustered having never before experienced weather like this and its aftermath. As mentioned in the article linked to above, the tornadoes destroyed thousands of heritage trees, which I learned from first-hand accounts had surprisingly deep sentimental value for a lot of people.
|Church people loitering for an hour and playing musical instruments? Hmmm...looks familiar!|
|Trees on my street that were blown down and broken by yesterday's freak storm|
|I had to walk past Bryant Park again to get to the 7 train for church fellowship.|
|I love how green and vibrant Bryant Park is with all the flower-lined walkways and the canopy of towering trees. I think it's one of my favorite places in the city.|
|The Brooklyn-based performing and cinema arts center BAM brought the Black Rock Coalition to Bryant Park to play some jazz-funk-rock the Fall Festival.|
|The gothic, gilded buildings bordering Bryant Park (and the Empire State Building peeking out from behind).|
|An wavy reflection of the Empire State Building in glass makes for an abstract skyline image.|
|A shot out the 7 train subway window on the way to church. Beautiful skies after the storm!|