Not an April Fool’s joke – Life is good…for over a thousand others that have made it that way. New York starting March 16, 2015.

As the fountains start in Plaza Cabrera in Roma Norte’s Mexico City, the dogs sidle up to my lap and enjoy the sun beginning to show itself, the restaurant owners slowly waking up the gates that guard their tiendas, and the book The Bone Clocks effortlessly revealing it’s intriguing twists and turns through the character Hershey’s life, I realize, life is SO good.

I look back on my past year, and look as a year full of criticisms of what I do with others. accomplishments that counter those very criticisms, the strength I have gain from both inside and outside, as well as developing a tough skin and seeing the results of sticking with my beliefs and transition as a librarian that tries to involve much more than a librarian normally has been stereotyped in doing, I find the links to education growing an growing, and love my choice as a librarian and to mold that position into the 21st Century needs of providing a model that students can use to further the world’s need for a diverse learner in all areas.

Yet, I digress, I realize more than anything, life is good because the countless friends and family that continue to lend me some of their wisdom, trust, and knowledge.  I have found who people say I am too humble in accepting thanks for various accomplishments, I continue to know 100% every accomplishment that others see is a result of all my friends and family that have allowed me to share their moments and expertise and morph that into acts and seeking out new accomplishments that simply thank the above-mentioned groups, I try to seek out as many accomplishments to thank those that have allowed me to grow, and the list is very long.

With that being said, on an amazing beautiful April 1st (and my Dad’s Birthday) – and no tricks here – I will attempt to go back and point out how magical a trek to New York was on March 16th, 2015, yes as always, my birthday.

As always my birthday was magical, receiving over 160 thanks on Facebook, I realize how lucky I was again, to have the best birthday thanks to the BEST friends and family due to an amazing visit to Delaware where I was able to truly visit and catch up with so many of them many of them sacrificing their time to do so with me ( more on that after the New York series’ posts).  Heading to the Amtrak station in Union Station, D.C., I was excited to see how the trip via Amtrak would be and just had vision of the romantic notions of riding the rails to New York.   The cool thing was I just nabbed the first day, March 16th, that all miles earned on Amtrak earned double miles, so it seems like a birthday gift of sorts 🙂

Departing at 3:02 PM on the 148 train, costing $86.00 took me one way – and the seats, whoa, similar to the Polar Express and so much I did not venture out to any other cars, I slept!  In less than 3 hours I found myself at Penn Station, I have to say, this was relaxing, smooth and was just pretty awesome!  It was surreal seeing myself pass through Delaware again, Pennsylvania, onto New Jersey, then Pennsylvania and voila!  Penn Station – LOVED it.

Glad I had packed a smaller suitcase – I found my way to the subway, grabbing the MTA card, and reliving the excitement of New York from last year’s experience with the staff of Repentino. yet determined to seek out some experiences in honor of our staff that enabled us to be here in the first place!

I made my way to the Jazz on the Park hostel, where I have stayed for the last 7+years and it was like home 🙂  I love staying at a place that does not have to be a four star hotel and yet, everyone you know, you feel the urge to maintain the cleanliness of the place when you can while there, and while not feeling obligated, you just like the place you stay – coming there I agreed to a room that shared with another and when I arrived, grabbed my room card, the bottom bunk had been taken but no sign of my roommate, but it was okay as I settle in with my belongings.

I found myself wandering over to Broadway and while it was chilly, it was not the winter I expected in New York – hands were cold, but not needing to bring out the terrible mohawk- blue and gold hat YET  🙂   I saw the familiar IMG_9945

WestSide Market that has the classic vegetables and fruits just like Mexico lined in front, Tom’s Restaurant, the familiar restaurants where I remember going into with amazing staff last year, and yes, while so missed them being here – I realized going to these same places was not boring, it was just celebrating their accomplishments!  I need up going into IMG_9946Chipotle no less and had a GREAT GREAT reception as you can tell fem the attached note I wrote to the company letting them know how great their service was (the company’s response in RED, and my original email in blue).  Chipotle of course

This is the thing, the very BAG IMG_9960of Chipotle was a tale and lesson in Spanglish!  I LOVED IT and a written portion from Julia Alavarez’s book!  Why do not all companies take this chance to promote literacy?  I had a PLATE, (with two tortilla’s used) to contain the BEST meal I had outside of Mexico, so this was totally a perfect pick!  The whole time I thought, I hear Monica in my ear ( A staff-crazed Chipotle believer and follower).  With the generosity and kindness of the employee at Chiptole, I realized, – funny, there are all sorts of good things you can do that can “fly under the radar” that help others out, wouldn’t it be great to do one of these a day, be it a secret recommendation for work done well, or just volunteering an hour every day to help someone?  🙂  I think it could change the world if everyone picked one thing a day to do 🙂 

By just simply enjoying a stroll through familiar places along Broadway, it felt soooo good to be in New York and I was anticipating what would be an amazing week of celebrating alot of things that occurred over the course of the past week – it looked to be an exciting week in New York  🙂   I was finding I was able to take with me the gifts of friendship students, friends, and my Dad had given me, this day, as I look back on what occurred in this first day of New York, on this day, today, of my Dad’s Birthday!

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About Harry Brake

Employee of ASF in Mexico City, Librarian, Media crazy! :)
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