NEW YORK CITY! – Architects, Tribute Center, War Horse, and more…

From Monday:
New York City!
TUESDAY! March 13, 2012

Just arrived in Jazz on the Park NEW YORK CITY – 70 degrees! What the heck?! Going out to eat and will update tonight, promise! All was safe, transition from airport to hostel easy! πŸ™‚


We arrived Tuesday – easy easy through customs! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ We arrived, checked rooms, and then went to MEL’s BURGERS! For all of us, (six) appetizers, main meals, and fried Oreo desserts – ohmygosh, the fried OREOS with ice cream – OGMYGOSH!

The students and myself dug in and KILLED that meal! πŸ™‚

What a great night coming into New York! We settled in for the night….

Wednesday update!

Okay, let’s down some specifics for you….:)

Wednesday MORNING! We have to make sure we all had our times ready for American time, not Mexican time! πŸ™‚ LOL — We get there, and we were the first group to checkin, get organized, and line up the sessions we were going to attend, to the lit staff is the best – so organized and ready to go! I am so proud of them! They are so awesome! πŸ™‚

πŸ™‚ As they processed info to make our magazine better and more organized – I waited in line to get the tickets for a possible broadways show! After 10:00 AM – and then at 3:30 PM! WE got it! Tickets to Warhorse! OHMYGOSH! This long for great seats? Or are there? More on this later….:)

We meet finally after the day in convention, back at the hostel, the staff able to eat at a Thai restaurant, and then we get it together, and off to the broadway show!

WOW! The seats were AWESOME! I mean AWESOME! We were right side lower level, 500 section, and EXCELLENT. I have to admit, and did not to the students, I had tears in my eyes. This was an AMAZING production!

This was my first Broadway show, and fitting as the staff that came with me this year is amazing, and I am glad I am sharing these quality things with them of the first time. They are so appreciative of the things that make our trip so quality – and I appreciate them so much! They are gems!

We make our way back, Camila needed to make a pitstop at the pharmacy to get refills on supplies for insulin, finally made it back, and we crashed for the night, exhaustion from the example and responsibilities of the day. The staff is WONDERFUL, they have become my kids without knowing it, lol. πŸ™‚

Attached is the very brief highlight of the things that they have acquired :



I am excited, today is Day 2 of the Conference, we broke down the interview we will do for the 911 Memorial Tribute Center and architect, and it should be a great day! πŸ™‚ WOW! I now have a Kindle and Nook, and the students will test them out today! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ ALso, we have a digital recorder for the interviews – I am excited! πŸ™‚

I think we will have QUITE the literary magazine!

Okay – whew….6:40 PM – how are things?! πŸ™‚ Okay, so we JUST finished doing so many things I am trying to calm down, lol. We met after the conference – headed south thanks to Camila’s directions to the 911 Memorial itself. I was amazed to see it was nothing like I remembered it when we were here from Delaware, I mean nothing. I went into panic mode, it was 3:30 and no call made at all, I gave Michael my cell phone and confirmed him being there, BUT – I was outside the memorial and no show, and I literally fell apart with crazy stress and worry. I had worked so hard to get this set up, and I want it to be AWESOME of the ASF staff, and now, it would look like we would be standing the ARCHITECT up for the 911 Memorial, as well as not getting the students to see Michael Arad, and I was so mad at myself. He called, on my crazy track done, but it showed up as a private number, one thing after another, I felt it was a disaster, and poor Ana picked up on my stress-ridden panic, and I am sure it scared her… but she was a major awesome confident trooper (sounds so old fashioned) assuring me it would be FINE, and to CALM DOWN for crying out loud, lol, and believe it or not, thanks to John the security guard at the main gate, when I told him our plight, he arranged for tickets for all of us into the Memorial, as well as getting us to finally into the Memorial….we found Michael, INSIDE THE MEMORIAL – and wow, SECURITY SECURITY SECURITY! – Ana, Mel, Ji, was right on the interview questions, direct, to the point, and all Ji, and EVERYONE was right to it, they did a magnificent job, MAGNIFICENT. The memorial is AMAZING, and the trivial info about the Memorial was just – well – amazing…the order of the names on the wall, the way it was created out of over 5000 entries for the idea, MIND BLOWING. I am glad the students had the chance to get this opportunity.

Moving to the Tribute Center, we met with the individuals in charge of this great initiative, Caroline Bevan, Meriam Lobel, and Clarissa Wallace, who gave us some great background, as del as some interesting ideas other schools, individuals, and groups have done to help interpret the 911 event. Again, words cannot explain this. We were able to enter here for free, and again between the tickets for the Tribute Center and the 911 Memorial, we saved over 195.00 for fee! It was such a great experience for the students, and we learned so much. I like the fact that they met and saw things that no one would see normally – and that is just way cool!

I let the staff go separate from me from the Tribute Center as I thought they needed some time away from me as an adult – and since they were all together, in the middle of downtown New York, how exciting! πŸ™‚ They need some time away from the protecting self I am….:)

I am so looking forward to their ideas put into action and what they are able to do coming say from this trip. πŸ™‚
Again, very proud of this young group…to say the very least….:) The pictures will be AMAZING!

WOW! The 16th! I am 4 years old (Did I forget a zero?!), lol. The Facebook telethon started on the 15th, and my friends have been amazing. If I didn’t respond individually, it would have been a crime, completely as I felt every well wish and birthday wish. We trudged to the conference, trudged mainly because we were exhausted! – but we ate at Tom’s Diner (site of Seinfeld) and I think that Sophie was on Seinfeld Heaven! The breakfast helped alot, we got to Columbia, and began! – Mr Schwatrz, who I did not realize the time, is an advisor from Daedalus, a lit mag in Connecticut, I met from NCTE on Connecticut! πŸ™‚ Camila texted me to tell me to come to Hamilton as a speaker knew me. That was comforting to see him there and we chatted and talked! πŸ™‚ The day progressed, we missed the awards at the end to eat, plan, and organize over pizza – and it was worth it, we made some GREAT strides as a staff! πŸ™‚

We shipped until 4:00 (Mel – WHERE ARE YOOOOUUUUUUUU) and thanks to his quick thinking, met up back at the hostel. Dinner at 10:00 PM! πŸ™‚ I did some shopping, gathered some clothes, and cleaned myself up πŸ™‚ We headed out at 8:15 being picked up at the hostel with a taxi – and headed to

The Union Station Cafe

Okay, here is the brief, we get there early, wait outside and then (I know I am early) Sophia and I go in and are tad we will be seating you shortly. Yes, all restaurants like to say this, I had NO PROBLEM coming back at 10:00 – I was just checking in. They checked in out coats, we waited, and waited, and waited, half the group pout side, half the group inside. Somewhere amid this, I sensed an “artificaleness” that cut to the core. Whether it was a forced smile, a sense of authority, no idea, but we were definitely surrounded by people in the billionaire status. However we left and gather dat the Starbucks to wait until 10:00. Something kept settling in, not wanting me to go back, I did not like the vibe AT ALL, I was mad, angry, and just well, this was not worth the hassle based on a feeling I felt when I had walked in there.

The more I thought about it, there were omens, having to call ahead of time several time to find this location, everything seemed “complicated” – and when we switched choices, things changed…

I wanted to change venues – we walked around the corner and hit The Blue Water Grill in Union Station. OH MY! πŸ™‚ RIGHT CHOICE! πŸ™‚ The people as soon as we walked in, we were seated, and were shown the hospitality of kings and queens. The feeling was right, our waitress spoke Spanish, and all was well in the world. We had found the correct place πŸ™‚

I made some comments I want to clarify. In my rant against The Union Station Cafe – I stated “I hated people with money” – swell, I have to say – I do. I came from none of it, and yes, appreciate the fact I can make my own – yet people that make alot of money, and that act like they own others because of the fact they have alot of money – it makes me fell just – down, upset, angry, and just overall – unsettled. Weird, eh? Yet, the students I am surrounded with are amazing – they might be surrounded with families lucky enough to be content an taken care of, yet they earned it, and the students have hearts of gold, hard work, and determination. This does not fit them into the money category, whether they want to be or not, lol. Hard to explain, but easier to see and feel. The students ARE money – worth their weight in a million people that feel their money allowed them to be short and quick with their clientele, and crzy, but that us how I felt within five minutes of being in the company of this restaurant!

I was quiet I guess this night compared to my boisterous self, yet, I was contemplating how lucky I was to be part of a group of students that had so much potential, and appreciated the night. The night was BEAUTIFUL – the roses given to the students were well deserved, and they took care of my on a birthday DAY that I would never forget. 40 was a very special day thanks to the patience, determination, and just overall generosity of students that rivaled, and excelled about any category of students I witnessed at Columbia, Princeton, and many many places. I made me value the parentage and group of friends I have been lucky enough to acquire.

Ana, Sophie, Mel, Camila, her friend visiting, as well as Ji were stunning – dressed to the 9’s πŸ™‚ , and I could not have been in any more country. You are dying for the pictures, right? They will be coming, and well worth the wait. Was it a night worthy of Kings? Oh yes, the ride home in the limo Hummer with JP from Hait was memorable, and when he said “MOVE THE FURNITURE” and cranked the music, I DIED laughing and realized how good life can sometime when you have the right people to fill it. I laughed until I cried back to the hostel, but relayed how much we had seen and how much we had experienced during out time in New York, compared to the half glimpses we had caught in years’ past. πŸ™‚

On top of it all, we came back to the hostel realizing what a great family of friends we had made here, they welcomed us, asked about our night, Dane who will be coming to Seaford will be arriving and rocking the stage, overall, I am blessed and very lucky in all things. πŸ™‚

The lit mag students seem to have good karma wherever we go….:)


About Harry Brake

Employee of Woodbridge High School, Library Media Specialist, Media crazy! :)
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5 Responses to NEW YORK CITY! – Architects, Tribute Center, War Horse, and more…

  1. Lucy Hernandez says:

    Hi Gang…glad to hear you all made it safely to NY…..Mr. Brake I left you a voice mail, tried to call to briefly speak to Melesio….will try back later….be safe…

  2. Lucy Hernandez says:

    Hello ASF Team…how are you all doing…?? Wondering how your first day at the conference turned out. Hope it was productive…left voice mail earlier. Hope things are going well. Take care and be safe. Melesio let me know how you are doing….

  3. Lucy Hernandez says:

    Thank you for the update..that is GREAT about the 911 memorial…what a special experience…..Thank you for making this happen….Say “hello” to Melesio from me his brothers and his Dad…we miss him. Be safe

  4. Lucy Hernandez says:

    Hi Gang…hope all is well. Gave up on trying to reach you all by phone, kept getting voice mail. I hope things are going well. Seems as if you are all having a great time…be safe…Hi Melesio, been trying to talk to you, take care, see U soon…

    • Harry Brake says:

      Ugh! I am sorry we missed you AGAIN…I didn’t have any new messages from you?! I am letting them enjoy the day themselves today – we will meet for dinner – and then get ready for Sunday! πŸ™‚

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