New Yorkers don't like tourists. Tourists clog up the already jam-packed streets, ambling along in clumps because they've heard horror stories from legitimate sources of how easy it is to get kidnapped and chopped into bite-size pieces--these legitimate sources consisting mostly of Law and Orders and CSIs. Somehow, New Yorkers tend to forget that, while it's annoying that people are too busy looking at the flashy lights to watch where they're going, tourists are most likely the reason they are employed. This week, like the actor I am, I played the part of tourist. My friend Donovan and I went to the Statue of Liberty and to Ellis Island. I looked up some of my family in the records database and found quite a few matches. I'll have to go back and spend some more time there when I've got some more detailed information. We also went to Chinatown, where I bought a cute knitted head scarf, 2 bootleg DVDs, and a Coach purse that a Chinese man pulled out of the ceiling. Go ahead, re-read that last sentence...I promise it's true.
We celebrated my friend Jonathan's 26th Birthday by going to see Where The Wild Things Are at an IMAX movie theatre, then going to the Guggenheim museum on its 50th Anniversary celebration where Kandinsky was on display. Here, I could profess some deep insights on art and Kandinsky's genius. But you all know me well enough to know that I would have copied and pasted something from Wikipedia. In spite of my lack of art knowledge, it was fun at the Guggenheim. After a quick dinner at Tasty's Diner, we headed back to my apartment for presents and Strawberry Cream Cheese Cake.
Jenavene's parents, Adam and Donna, came to visit over the weekend. They fed us and stocked up our pantry. They also got me hooked on a new TV show called Modern Family--if you haven't watched it, allow Hulu.com to introduce you.
Yesterday I spent most of the rainy day playing with GarageBand, a recording software that came with my MacBook. For Memaw's birthday (Happy Birthday Memaw!) I recorded a few hymns. The first 4 tracks I sang all of the parts by myself and just overlapped them, but I wanted the last track to be special. I've recently gotten into studying my family history, and Memaw was kind enough to give me a song that was written by my great great grandmother, Izora, and had never been sung. Jenavene, Jonathan, Seth and I worked on it and recorded it for her. It's a beautiful hymn. A strange mix of pride and humility came with recording this song. I had heard a few things about this distant relative of mine, a woman who was a publish poet, an artist like me. It was a privilege to breathe life into the music written from her heart and indescribably satisfying to connect to someone I like to think I must "take after". You can listen to it here...I had to create a slideshow and upload the song as a video, so here are a couple of pictures from the last month and a half: