Welcome to my official website and official first blog! What better way to start this off but by sharing my most recent travel to New York City!
After saying goodbye to my co-workers in DC, I hopped on the AMTRACK and was on my way to the Big Apple. The train ride was one of only three times I've ever been on the train (once to the Grand Canyon, another in California) ... and to my surprise it was quite enjoyable, easy, and fun! I met new friends from the Netherlands, and they were quite shocked to learn about Arizona's "44 degree Celsius" weather (I had to google convert it from Fahrenheit for them). :-)
RIGHT after I arrived, I dropped off my luggage, and hurried out to see a Broadway show! I decided to start things off with "Chicago". It was great!! I also had the opportunity to see "Jersey Boys" and "Annie" during my time in the city. I think my favorite all around would have to be Jersey Boys. Who doesn't love the music of the Four Seasons?! It was awesome!!
The next day would begin an amazing journey of a lifetime. I call it, "Operation: 88 Piano Search." My co-worker told me about a project where 88 Pianos would be stationed all across New York City: From Times Square, to Central Park or along the Pier. I spent the next two days finding these pianos ON FOOT to see how many I could play! It was an AWESOME way to see the city, and also meet new friends along the way. It was also so enjoyable to meet other pianists with multiple different skill levels and backgrounds that share in the common love of music. What better place than on the streets, piers, parks, and street corners?? Stay tuned for a video with a montage of ALL the pianos I was able to find :-)
I concluded my trip by visiting the 9/11 Memorial. This was a surreal experience, because I was in New York about 4 years after the attack, and saw it when there was still a hole in the ground with fencing off all around it and construction materials. I passed by fire stations with memorials of fallen heroes (that was probably the hardest thing for me to see, but glad I did. It is a constant reminder of how precious life is, the tragedy that occurred, and those who selflessly give their lives to save another).
I also had the honor of talking with a New York police officer who shared his personal account of that day, as well as sharing about the many friends he lost after that horrific day. I'm very thankful for his willingness to open up and share such a personal story.
My time in New York City was really special. It was a great time to reflect on the truly many blessings I have: the ability to travel, my personality that enjoys meeting new people, my gift of music to share with others, and a loving family that supports me in my endeavors.
Stay tuned for highlight videos and piano montages in future blog posts. New York City, I'll be back! Until next time, never stop thinking creatively :-)