Monday and Tuesday Musings: Into the holidays

UntitledIt’s a cold, cold Monday again in New York. (So what’s new, you might ask..) Well for one, I’ve been unsuccessful in trying to lose the weight I gained from the trip home. I know — I should give up as it’s an exercise in futility given the season, but I’m trying to get in control before I get beyond hopeless. The weather and staying home through most of the weekend just passed didn’t help. The flesh is weak, indeed. So yes, I’ve given in to seeking comfort in the warm embrace of my bulky puffy winter coat, even if I have a hard time navigating crossing the streets and anticipating oncoming traffic from the right and the left. I don’t know that I helped you visualize how that goes, but it takes a bit more effort. I also have taken to wearing the snow boots without the snow. At least I don’t have to worry about icy pavements and my toes will always be cushy warm. The things we do in the wintertime!

First Crafting Live Show on Youtube didn’t happen. I didn’t want to go about it without good planning. First, there was the problem of scheduling against already existing live streams from people I don’t exactly want to go up against. These are the live streams that I have been a part of in the last few months I’ve been a content creator. Then again, there’s the question of whether or not I want to hit the same “audience,” given that I am trying to cater to a different group. (Thinking on that!) The live streams I’ve been a part of have primarily been geared towards fellow content creators who are trying to get support for their own channel. It’s not exactly a target audience for the show I want to put on, but I am not discounting my fellow content creators’ interest in what I intend to show.

I did manage to create the intro, and should be able to do an extro easy. It’s taking shape and who knows.. I might actually pull off one this coming weekend.

Grabbing some proudly Pinoy holiday cheer. I ventured out to the Union Square Holiday Market last night to look for Chef Daniel Corpuz’s pop up shop. The boss is a certified chocoholic like me, but she loves dark as against my milk obsession. It also gave me a chance to get some content for the YouTube channel which I will post separately.

I love the feel of Christmas in these holiday markets which sadly, end on the 31st. So try and catch at least one of the holiday markets to get the full New York Christmas feels this season. There are actually a more varied group of vendors in this one because they allowed for small booths as opposed to full stores which can be heavy on the overhead. While there were a bunch of stores which are present in other holiday markets like the Winter Village in Bryant Park, there are artisans who have a store in only one — particularly the one in Union Square. I am actually planning to go back one time I’m not rushing through like last night, and hoping I can examine the stores more closely before they are gone!

It was a hectic Monday — so I’m finishing this the following day. The son is home so I rushed back to cook — something I truly miss since he hied off to college in the fall. It feels good to have him back but he is the same that he is not. Which is fine. Life goes on and I can’t stop him from growing up. That’s something I have had to come to terms with as a parent and as a human being .. and I am on the journey.

I’ve been getting a lot of creative inspiration lately. Putting away and sorting through my things has caused me to run into half finished projects, or materials that were bought for a reason when I got them. I’ve been organizing and that has gotten the creative juices running again. I am hoping to create a piece or two in the next days running up to the end of the year. That might get things rolling in that department, much as I’ve been writing more here. I am excited about 2023 and all that it promises. Meanwhile, time to get ready for the holidays..

Can you believe Christmas is just days away?

Christmas 2022

Monday Musings: Colder days and even colder nights


Winter is here, indeed! And yes, I now have my cap in my purse, and I’m wearing the thicker scarves. Still resisting the winter coat, though. Last week’s sweaty layers have me on the fence. Today was pretty cold and I walked out to a dusting of snow on the ground. It was more than just frost— there was enough to scrub off windshields. I am wishing the snow away even if I know I’m not going to get my wish. It can’t hurt.

Planning a Crafting Live stream. I was thinking of doing it this past weekend, but I didn’t have a real plan. First of all, I had no thumbnail and I knew it was not a good idea to just pop out and do it with no structure. No, still NOT getting in front of the camera— I will craft with the camera on my hands. I hope to make up my mind about the title tomorrow and execute the thumbnail by midweek. CRAFTING WEEKEND seems simple enough. Perhaps my first episode will be on jewelry, and the second on crochet. I can actually get away with crocheting a slouchy cap in one sitting. So many possibilities.

Getting caught up with the material I picked up from the trip home. I’m still way behind and I’m trying to chase after Christmas, as a good portion of my videos are holiday related. The others will have to wait, and I still have to keep up with what’s happening in New York.

I walked to Saks Fifth Avenue last Friday and filmed the Holiday Light Show, uploading it the next day. I used the original soundtrack as rendered at the light show, using Sir Elton John’s music. I knew that would mean sacrificing the monetization aspect but it didn’t matter. That holiday light show is as much a part of Christmas in New York as the Rockefeller Christmas tree, so I couldn’t let my first year as a content creator go without including that in my line up.

There’s a second half to this particular shoot- — the portion pertaining to the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree which I am still working on.

Dreaming of another art journal. I have to admit the inspiration has been lacking the last two years. I’m trying to overcome it and get myself to start crafting one again. Maybe that can be one of my live crafting topics: My art journal reborn. I might just start with the vacation just ended and see where that goes.

On a related note, I want to do a video reveal of the two art journals I have. Perhaps that will stir up the creative juices again that will give me the inspiration to try again.

This blog in voice? I’m thinking of picking out select pieces here and rendering it as a podcast or audio piece for people to listen to. Once upon a time I was a radio newscaster so I know I can read and modulate to make it sound good. There’s a wealth of material in here after years of writing. It’s a matter of choosing which ones I will literally lend a voice to. My only fear is that k might not be able to keep up and it fizzles before it can even take off.

The original idea I had at the beginning of the pandemic lockdown in 2020 was an actual podcast to be entitled “Conversations with Pinay New Yorker”. I had my soundtrack ready, with an intro and extro and extended background music rendered by a friend. I had a couple of topics I even laid out with outlines and a script, and my niece who is a graphic artist created an avatar. All that is still in the back burner.. this new idea, though, has existing content I just need to voice. Let me ponder that.

I’m hoping the week eases up a bit beginning tomorrow. But with the grid lock alert hanging over our heads and the constant buzz of the city ringing in my ear as the holiday approaches, I can only try to go with the flow. Hope you have a good week ahead.

Almost Freezing Friday

I missed the bus I was trying to catch and the next one is a full 12 minutes away. I decided to walk to the bus stop in lieu of stopping by the neighborhood Starbucks because I thought I’d try to start another post. Third this week, and I am both surprised and happy about that.

I was looking for a photo to post with the last two pieces I wrote but I didn’t have any. I have been taking video after video, forgetting I need photos, too. Thankfully, there is the screenshot. Problem solved.

The last couple of days left me feeling like I was overdressed in layers I didn’t need. I ended up sweating with too much warmth that it was uncomfortable. Sometimes you just can’t win with the temperatures getting milder some days, and plunging to lows of 35 like today. But I can feel the freezing wind hitting my face, and I am thankful k didn’t forget my cap and I wore a light knit jacket under my transition coat.

Winter can be a tricky business. People look forward and not look forward to snow. It gets too cold and tricky walking when it comes. Like I always say, I like the snow when it’s freshly fallen or when it’s actually falling — even if it’s a snowstorm. It’s the aftermath of the snow that I dread. So white christmases are a nice thought but not something I actually pine for.

I really could’ve stayed home but am heading to work because of some things that were just easier done from my workstation, rather than via the laptop’s remote connection. For all the advances we have seen this past 2 years in enhancing the “work from home” scenario, it still isn’t quite the same as being in the office. Plus, I wanted to do some errands that needed to be done sooner rather than later. Today was one of those days that I can actually look at finishing the day earlier than usual, so there is hope..

My Fridays are “happy thought” days. From “sleeping in” to doing “me stuff” and just having a 48 hour break— it is a promise of good things to come. Yes, even when it’s an almost freezing Friday.

So here I am trying to plan the weekend. I had wanted to go to the city one day — and looks like it will be Sunday. The postcard group I’m a part of is having its Christmas party and I have missed the meetings the last couple of months. I even missed the grand postcard show in November because I was on the other side of the world. The thought of cramming everything else into Saturday, though, gives me pause. I guess I will decide on Sunday depending on how Saturday goes. It’s a pretty fluid calendar.

Those are my weekend plans. I certainly hope that yours turns out well, whatever you have in store for you.

Rainy New York

I walked out of the door ready this morning. The skies are a gloomy grey and the rain was heavy enough for me to whip out the umbrella. Purse and tote in hand and a small bag of trash, umbrella in the other and my alarm goes off. I calmly walked to the dumpster behind my courtyard and then dealt with the pesky alarm. It’s one of those days when you just have to go with the flow instead of getting all stressed out. (And then I decide to check my work email.)

No fires to put out so I can focus on me and writing here.

I haven’t quite adjusted despite being back a week now and was totally bushed by 8pm last night. I dozed off and woke up at just past 1am but was able to go back to sleep. I beat my alarm clock by an hour and started preparing for the day.

With December rolling out, I can’t help but marvel at how fast 2022 swept by me. It seems as though we were just starting off the year not too long ago, and now we are here, getting ready to say goodbye. I don’t want to start reflecting on the year just passed beyond the fact that it just flew by. That’s for another blog post.

After vacation feels usually keep me on a relative low because I start missing everything I left behind. I think I cope better now, and it’s good to be on solid footing again with my everyday reality, but I still find myself wishing I could stay longer.. or go back. It doesn’t last very long, though. I’m eventually taken over by a sense of accomplishment after seeing the friends I meant to see, and visiting the places I meant to go to.

Even if there were bumps along the way, so to speak — the good outweighed the bad by tons. I am grateful for the chance to go home again after the three years I waited. That was a blessing I am thankful for, many times over.

And even in the gloom of a rainy morning, there is a hint of a milder winter’s day unlike the previous days. And that is a blessing in itself.

Monday Musings: Trying to get back to writing


I’m back! So I am grateful that I managed a post on my way home but sadly, didn’t get to write anything anymore after that. I am back in New York a week now and I’m still adjusting. It’s not just the jet lag but it’s also about getting back into the swing of things now that I’m back to my “normal”.

I’m getting there.

I surprisingly got myself unpacked within 24 hours of arriving, but also realized that I had left a ton of the goodies I had meant to bring. Note to self: stash all goods in the suitcase as you buy them so the dried mangoes and Goya chocolates don’t get left behind!

Winter is here. It took me quite a bit to catch up with the 30-something degree mornings, and for the first time left the house layered, with the winter scarf and a hat – finally! I am still trying to find my leather gloves but will get my warmers tomorrow if I don’t find them. Today was the first morning that was below freezing and it’s as good an affirmation I am back in New York as any. We drove past the soccer field coated with visible frost — a portent of things to come.

I didn’t get to buy any coats in the tiangge in Greenhills because the brands I was looking for weren’t there, or there were no sizes in the styles that caught my eye. There were some nice J.Crew factory seconds which, unfortunately, weren’t in my color or size. I had purchased some nice Ann Taylor coats from the same store in the past, but the styles just weren’t appealing to me. I also realized that there is a marked difference in thickness and warmth between “Korean coats” and “US coats”. (This particular store only sells the US brands.). The former are actually thinner and provide less insulation than the ones that are made for use here.

Christmas is creeping up on me. I need to make up my mind about my holiday card. I can have one of the many photos I have printed, or rendered as a card, or I can go the regular Christmas card route and just insert one. On top of my to do list!

Meanwhile, the Christmas tree isn’t up yet as I am seriously thinking of downsizing this year, foregoing the bigger tree I usually assemble. Perhaps the smaller tree I have been resting on my bigger window will work this time around. Still thinking.

Still creating content. The YouTube struggle is real! Although I’ve been monetized and officially creating content to earn, the vacation has been both productive and a drag. I’ve created a ton of material but need time to edit and upload. I’m on it! It was an enjoyable experience documenting the journey home and to Sydney and back, but not always easy. It can be quite the production trying to pull things in chronological order, and I gave up the minute I accumulated the first 5 videos of the trip. I am working on it diligently and hoping to catch up soon.

I actually just started a “shorts only” channel which I hope to populate with exactly that: shorts only. Aptly running under the banner of “Shorts, Etcetera,” it’s an experiment on how long I can get the channel to rack up the 1000 subscribers and the 4000 watch hours required. Let’s see how that one goes.

I’m trying to write more. Part of the whole business of chronicling my life in pictures and videos is actually keeping a journal — be it physical or virtual— to later remind me of the nuances of the day.

I can be good at this when I put my mind to it. I have journals, blogposts and captioned social media entries that are a testament to that. It’s the time that the whole effort requires that presents a problem. But I will try to overcome.

I started this post on the bus this morning and I am ending it on the bus on my way home. The post itself is a victory of sorts for me. I know— I have to make sure that I come back sooner than next month. And I will.

The Long Journey Home

We’re 46 minutes away from landing in Manila and I am excited beyond description. This is a very emotional homecoming for me after not having been able to go home the last three years. My last departure from Manila was in July 2019. My trips in 2020 and 2021 were cancelled because of the pandemic. When restrictions eased and fares went down reasonably, I grabbed the chance to go home.

I just want to see my mom. She’s 82 now and the only reason I have worked so hard to come home every year the years before Covid broke. And she knows I will no longer do the yearly journey when she’s no longer there.

Even with preparations beginning weeks before, I found myself doing more than my share of last minute errands that had to be done. And of course, there were things that I ended up forgetting, like my neck pillow which I had proudly taken for at least three trips back and forth between New York and Manila. It was ready, but I ended up buying a new one anyway.

This has been a very eventful journey.

First mishap was the handle on my balikbayan box breaking before I could even leave the house. Fortunately, it was strictly 50 lbs and so my Uber driver was able to lift it without my help.

I ended up getting lost sending my Uber driver to the wrong terminal at JFK and we had to hop to another two before landing the right one. I’d normally be totally upset after the first miss but I was in the zone and calmly handled the detour as a simple mistake. I had plenty of time, I had already checked in, and I had all possible tests done.. although I had miscalculated the timing.

When I got to the check in counter, I was informed that two of my four checked bags might not make it on this flight because it was full. (Yes, despite the fact that I paid for them.). I was asked to choose the two that I wanted prioritized. I was told the gate personnel would be able to confirm if my bags made it on the plane— but even after I boarded, that information wasn’t available. I guess I will find out when I get to baggage claim.

The boarding process itself wasn’t as chaotic as previous flights, but we had many kababayans grumbling and acting grumpy giving the ground crew such grief. For all their shortcomings, this crew actually performed better than the last few that I went with. I’ve always flown Philippine Airlines since they started offering New York- Manila flights again.

My only beef was they boarded from the front to the back, and I always take an aisle seat in the middle section at the far end. I will write about my logic behind that in a different post. It seemed more efficient to board in reverse order after the First Class passengers had boarded, but who was I to argue? I just wanted to board.

I got my seat without issue and my three seat row only had two passengers. Myself and a big burly guy in the middle. I told myself he will probably move to the other aisle seat when everyone got settled, but he didn’t. My thinking is he took the aisle seat because he didn’t like being jostled at the aisle, so instead he jostled me.

The crew for this flight was definitely better than the last crew I flew with who gave the passengers the cold shoulder, sans the usual efficient service. This crew was friendly, courteous, responsive and showed me they enjoyed what they did, despite flying with a full plane for 17 hours. Kudos to the crew who handled the second half of the cabin, most specially to Ma. Gizella Gonzaga. I made sure I got her name — displayed on her name plate— because I like recognizing good service. Not only was she so pretty even behind her mask— she served the passengers with a smile in her eyes, and she was not stingy with pleasantries or small talk. She addressed the passengers warmly, both in English and Tagalog. That’s the kind of service that we look for when we shell out our hard earned money to fly home. I am sure the group of seamen seated to the left of my section felt the same way.

The food was welcoming and homey.. from the adobo and then the pasta with meatballs, down to the corned beef with rice for breakfast. Drinks were plentiful and were supplied with meals and on demand. The common bathrooms were well maintained despite the constant flow of people. I’ve flown flights were the bathroom floor got nasty midway through the flight. This never got anywhere close

The group of seamen to my left were counting the hours as indicated by the flight tracker on the individual screens we each had. So after breakfast, I casually asked one how long he’s been away. He said 42 days. I told him he’s lucky. I haven’t been home in three years.

Like I always do, I changed from my cold weather clothes ( a turtleneck this time) to something more apt for the warmer temperatures in Manila. I put on just enough color on my face – just lipstick and eyeliner. I collected ng things in the bins in front of me and braced myself for touchdown.

I’m watching the sunrise across three men to my left and I am full of emotion. It feels good to be home. I am exhausted and ready to crash but I feel my adrenaline beginning to build. Mama must be as excited. My brother and niece are meeting me at the airport, and I am hoping all my 4 checked in luggage will meet me at baggage claim.

I can’t wait to breathe the air of my homeland.. to be in the midst of my people and the heat and traffic that goes with it. I can’t wait to be with family. Headache from lack of sleep notwithstanding, I am stoked.

Manila, I’m coming home.

When Life gives you lemons..

I’ve had a long day, and I’m slowly trying to get myself set to travel next week, so I haven’t been in any rush to get home. Plus, there’s no rush to cook dinner for the son, because he’s eating at the cafeteria. That part I don’t totally miss, but it’s a routine that is part and parcel of motherhood— so I do pause to remember those days I’d run home.

I changed purses this morning and just as I was about to lock my front door, I did a quick mental run through of whether or not I had transferred my house keys to the one I was lugging. I said to myself, if I didn’t have it, I had a spare set in the office and I can grab those. Of course, I forgot about looking for the keys and I walked out of the office not remembering I actually might’ve locked myself out of the house.

I normally fish for my keys a few stops away from mine, and panic started to set in when I couldn’t find it. I’m carrying a rather roomy tote which wasn’t really full, so it didn’t take me long to figure out I didn’t have them.

After having been on the bus an hour, I desperately needed a bathroom and thankfully, there was a Starbucks at the corner and I ordered my Passion Tea, took care of business and waited for the bus heading to the city. Right on time! And so here I am — wanting to bop myself in the head. It’s a good thing I actually locked up a spare set of keys in my office drawer— specifically for emergencies like this! It’s a few hours wasted but not totally.

Here I am writing, after a WordPress notification that my stats are booming. Nothing too earth shattering, but an uptick in readership from “0” is always a good thing. People actually read me? Lol. It heartens me and inspires me to write more.

Five days since the last post isn’t exactly anything close to my plan to write everyday, but I’m back sooner this time around. And I’ve actually managed a decent piece. (But no, I don’t intend to lose my keys again anytime soon.)

So I did get to make my lemonade.. and then some. I am not sitting in front of the TV catching up on my shows for a change. And I’ve decided I was going to skip editing videos this time around, even if I have quite a few to prep for uploading. I wanted to write about my misadventure with my keys and the half wasted evening.

Half productive as well. There is always some good to the most disappointing of situations — we just have to make them happen or find them and make them work for us.

Here’s to the lemons and the lemonade we make of them.

Reboot for the nth time

So I’ve been meaning to come back here and write, and write some more — but Youtube has been front and center for me, of late, besides the regular things that usually preoccupy me like work and of course, the son.

It’s mostly adjusting to the son now being in college (Yay for the mom in me!), but it has also been a personal adjustment due to the fact that he has left home. Since I want to write an upbeat post, I will save the whining for later.

I am mighty proud of the fact that I managed to get my channel monetized in 4 months — racking up 4,000 watch hours (which translates to 240,000 minutes, mind you!) and just recently, managing to get over the 1,000 subscriber requirement which took quite the effort to achieve. That’s at least 2 blogposts in the making — but I am so over the moon with that accomplishment.

Being a content creator for the web in video format is more challenging than writing here, or posting photos or reels on instagram or tiktok — and the goal to monetize my channel took major effort on my part. So much so that I have neglected my other social media channels. The pressure was on to actually get people to like me — which was not like writing here, where I have always said that I write for my own benefit. I had turned my back on monetizing or commercializing my URLs because I had such a hard time trying to cope with the pressure to attract readership. And on this page or in my other accounts, when and what I posted was really all up to me. I didn’t have to worry about racking up the views, the watch hours or the subcription.

Not with Youtube.

But I made it — and it was rather exhilarating to finally cross the finish line as they said. The journey was not over at that point, though — it just shifted.

New York has gotten colder. Fall is here and life has sort of returned to normal. I’ve been back at work since April of 2021, so coming to the office almost everyday now during the week is not such a jarring change of pace for me. I am grateful I have a job.

I have stopped wearing masks only because of my personal bout with Covid sometime at the start of summer. Science says my antigen levels would be waning by now, so I am actually getting my masks ready again. I am bracing for the flu season, as well. We fifty-somethings and older should take precautions as life has a way of dealing us a reality check about our mortality during this season. (Reminder to self: Flu shot!)

I’m trying to get my life organized — as new goals and changes in my every day have fallen on my lap. I want to undertake a dozen projects to change my physical environment, but other plans are in the way. In time, I tell myself.

I am happy that I’ve been reading more than I had planned — and that I continue to read in print and on audio format. I am in a good place.

I look back at the past year with much gratitude. I’ve been fortunate to have been given the means to cope with the changes that came my way. I had tethered myself to the ground before the shockwaves came, so I stood strong — unfazed. And to be honest, I’ve been spared in many ways. There have been disappointments that have come my way, but nothing that broke me or brought me to my knees. For that, I am grateful. (Another blog post coming about that.)

I’ve learned to treat each day as a gift, and to look towards tomorrow as if it might not come. I’m trying not to fall into the trap of saying, I’ll do this or that tomorrow. Why postpone it when you can do it now? You might end up missing out on the opportunity to grab your chance if you decide to procrastinate.

I was actually here editing my “ME” page — updating my age, the age of the son, and adding the Youtube URL. I was ready to turn off the laptop, but I said, time to write again. And so here I am, fearlessly declaring another reboot. I am almost tempted to declare I will write everyday for the next 30 days. That’s a scary thought for me. I will be back soon. There is just so much I want to write about here. But I have videos to edit and create. How I wish there were more hours in a day.

Pinay New Yorker is back.. I hope you’ll hop on over to my channel and hit the subscribe button. We’re not stopping at 1,000 subscribers. I hope you like my content there, as much as you’ve liked reading about my world here.

Busy with Life

A note from Pinay New Yorker: I had actually finished writing this post Monday, and here I am hitting publish on a Friday.. yes, THAT busy!

I’ve been meaning to write but didn’t realize I haven’t been here a month. It’s a personal disappointment for me that despite all the things I can and wanted to write about, I haven’t taken the time to stop by. I actually started writing a post longhand last Friday, but now have to find that piece of paper and continue writing jr here. Hopefully the remainder of the year will see things taking a turn for the better.

Can you believe that fall is here? It’s the entry of the “ber” months which is the start of the Christmas season for folks back home in the Philippines. Not quite here in New York where we have Halloween and Thanksgiving ahead of my favorite holiday. Plus, we don’t all do Christmas here with the diverse faiths and beliefs so strongly present in New York.

I’ve been busy with transitioning to not having the son around the house, now that he is in college — somewhere not too far, thankfully. I’m actually doing a whole lot better than I thought I would, but it is still a process adjusting. All I know is that I am one proud mum.

He had known what field he wanted to pursue ever since he was in middle school, and he landed his number one choice as he got accepted to all the colleges he applied to. I am very excited for him as he embarks on this new chapter. It hasn’t been without any bumps, however. He is beginning to assert himself and I have to constantly remind myself that the boy is now an adult. But the heart remains the same — and to me, that is quite an accomplishment as a parent. We have our new routine of our daily check in — and calling mum or replying to my texts when he reads them is taking some adjustment, but we’re getting into the rhythm of it.

The postcards have been set aside for the moment, but a big postcard date on October 1 has gotten me back to it for the moment. (More on that on another blogpost— hopefully.)

What’s front and center for me beyond my usual work and motherhood has been my newfound passion as a content creator. (Meaningful pause.). I started to focus on my online presence a difference way beginning in June, and I’ve been seeing the world through a different lens since— literally.

I will leave it at that as I begin this Monday with the optimism of anticipating a productive and good week. I count my blessings and I am in a good place. I hope you are, too, as you look around you and see what good there is, instead of the burdens that weigh you down. Have a fab week ahead.

Bryant Park

BRYANT PARK has always had a special place in my heart because it was a park I frequented when I first arrived in New York, 22 years ago. In fact, I saw it before I even set eyes on Central Park. For the last 14 years or so, I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked first, right across from it, and the last 6 years, literally a hop, skip and a jump away from it.

My countless videos and photos of the park is partly what encouraged me to get on YouTube, and below are two recent clips I’ve uploaded of it. A third went up based on clips from earlier this year when the Josephine Shaw Lowell Memorial Fountain froze again. (That’s a video for another blogpost, but you can hop on over to my channel to view it here.)

I often find myself passing through the park when I need to get my ride from the express bus stop on its Avenue of the Americas side, and even seeing it from a distance evokes a feeling of calm and a sense of home. Within the first few weeks of my arrival here in the US, I would come to the city and stay in the park and go around while waiting for my companion going home. I also spent hours in the New York Public Library fronting it, accessing the internet through their public terminals. You used to be able to use one of their units for 30 minutes each day, as long as you had a valid ID. (Now the library has a “reading room” where you can park at one of their many tables and access the WiFi for free, but using your own device.).

So there were many days when I’d linger in front of the library or stay and sit in one of the many benches, chairs and tables in the park.

I shot my favorite video of all time of a 6 year old Angelo holding a tube of lipstick as a microphone in the park one summer day– which, to this day, warms my heart no end.

I’ve sat across a former boss during one of the toughest times of my life, who gave me one of the best advice I continue to treasure and live by. Sitting across from each other in one of those tables, she told me to make sure that whatever I do or decide in my life should be something I would be able to explain or defend in my son’s eyes.

I’ve walked arm in arm with a friend, all googly eyed, after lunch at Bryant Park Grill, and to this day, he remains a dear friend. I’ve sat in one of these benches with my best friend, Donna, the first time she visited me here in New York. So many memories through the years of relatives and friends I’ve brought to this oasis of calm in the bustling streets of Midtown Manhattan.

You can guess by now that these will not be the last videos of Bryant Park that I will take and post. I’m already excitedly awaiting the winter village and the next time the fountain freezes again.

As we YouTubers say, please don’t forget to like and subscribe!