Saturday, October 2, 2010

Day 43: The Bridge

Photo of the Day: A Brooklyn Slice of the Skyline

This may be my longest post yet, so I will try to keep my explanations short and let the photos speak for themselves. I visited Brooklyn for the first time today for the LIVE UNITED Bridge Walk and Volunteer Festival. Taproot Foundation hosted a booth at the event to attract potential pro bono consultants, so I was there to help man the table. The weather was so beautiful, and the park was bustling with families and people having fun; it was such a perfect scene I almost didn't want to leave.

I managed to tear myself away, however, so I could spend some time with my friend Jonathan on his free day in the city. I met him at Grand Central Station, then visited the New York Public Library, did some shopping at H&M (which doesn't have stores in Texas), and walked through Times Square. Jonathan and I switched roles of guide and guest when he brought me to Chelsea, one of the areas of town I haven't had a chance to visit. I loved the unique stores at Chelsea Market, an old factory complex redeveloped as an upscale mall and food court, where I got to try some of the decadent chocolates by famous New York-based chocolatier Jacques Torres and snuck samples from the other snack shops.

We later met up with some of Jonathan's friends and co-workers back in Brooklyn, where we wandered the parks and piers at the foot of the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges and enjoyed phenomenal views of the skyline. The group then grabbed dinner at a cozy little Italian cafe in Brooklyn called Noodle Pudding that, on top of its excellent food and romantic ambiance, had the best service of any restaurant I've visited in years. For dessert, we took the subway back into Manhattan to try the cupcakes and puddings from Sugar Sweet Sunshine bakery on the Lower East Side. The famed cupcakes were predictably delicious, but I was most impressed by their array of puddings, including banana, chocolate, white chocolate, and pumpkin.

Later that night, we decided to repeat the previous evening's plan and went to someone's apartment for more games. Because it was a smaller group and I was getting familiar with their faces, I had even more fun than last night. In addition to playing games into the wee hours of the morning, people also jammed on musical instruments and conducted an impromptu sing-a-long. It was a long and exhausting day, but also one of the best!

The serene and majestic corridors of trees at Cadman Plaza Park where the LIVE UNITED Volunteer Fair was held.
My breakfast from the nearby Cranberry's in Brooklyn Heights. Best. Scone. Ever.
An idyllic morning scene from Cadman Plaza Park in Brooklyn.
The main stage of the LIVE UNITED Volunteer Fair featuring live music in front of the Brooklyn War Memorial.
Can you spot our Taproot Foundation table among all the booths?
We all wore our matching Taproot track jackets emblazoned with our slogan: MAKE IT MATTER.
We generated some interest at our table and handed out one-page fliers that I designed.
One of our program associates excited about "living united" and "making it matter."
The three newest AmeriCorps VISTA members representin' for the Taproot Foundation.
A busy day (like always) at Grand Central Station. You'll notice in the center of the terminal a contest to give away a Maserati!
The computer room at the main branch of the New York Public Library.
A ceiling mural depicting the legend of Prometheus at the New York Public Library.
Jonathan and I visited Pop Tarts World in Times Square, even though neither of us likes Pop Tarts. Such is the power of novelty and marketing.
The corridor at Chelsea Market, an old factory complex converted into a specialty food court and mall.
One of the amazing dark chocolates we sampled at Jacques Torres' booth at Chelsea Market.
Hanging out in Chelsea Market with my friend Jonathan.
The Manhattan Bridge from Empire Fulton Ferry State Park.
Peeking underneath the Brooklyn Bridge to the Manhattan Bridge at Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Enjoying the magnificent view of the Manhattan skyline from Brooklyn Bridge Park.
The sun setting over New York City as we chill at Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Colorful cupcakes lined up for the eating at Sugar Sweet Sunshine bakery on the Lower East Side.
Sugar Sweet Sunshine names and personifies all their cupcakes with sassy cartoon labels.
Savoring the banana pudding from Sugar Sweet Sunshine.
Enjoying our decadent treats from the Sugar Sweet Sunshine bakery.
On the subway to the Upper West Side.
Late night conversations on over-sized sofas with good I've missed this lifestyle!
Playing Catchphrase!
And so begins the impromptu jam session.
The selection included worship music and Broadway showtunes.
We had both violin and guitar, as well as a piano.
There were also some amazing singers in the group.
Jonathan on the piano, of course.
Gathered 'round the baby grand piano for our sing-a-long.
Late night music and games = one great Saturday.


  1. i love the picture of the girls talking on the subway... it's so clever!! how do you think of these things?? haha

  2. Haha, I didn't think of it...I just captured what was already there! I wanted to get a picture of both girls, but then one of their faces was turned the opposite direction. Catch the reflection, and presto...same idea with a little twist.

  3. These are awesome photos; I'm glad I have some photographic representation of that memory. Thanks for the blog shout-out.

  4. Thanks for visiting, and thanks for keeping up with the blog. =) You have other shout-outs in earlier posts too! I had a lot of fun this past weekend, and I got to meet a lot of cool people I wouldn't have otherwise. Thanks for getting me connected!