Saturday, October 22, 2011

On NYC, Restaurants, and the Fight Against Breast Cancer

It feels like I wrote a post just a few days ago. How has it almost been two weeks? I cannot keep up with time.

I am in the final days of October break. It has been a lovely—albeit MUCH too quick—week! 'Midterms' last week were largely uneventful for me; I don't really take classes with big tests, so I just had a little English project and a French paper. Of course my week still found multiple ways to be stressful...deep breaths were certainly in order.

On Friday I set off for the city to meet Aubrey and 8 of her lovely Manhattanville friends.

 It had been too long since I had been in New York, and it electrified and revitalized me as always. I cannot wait to live there. We all took the subway to Times Square, and then walked to John's Pizzeria, which apparently used to be a church and is now an absolutely delicious Italian restaurant. I had a chicken pesto panini that was such a delight to my taste buds. Our waiter asked us if we wanted to take a picture by the pizza oven. Special privileges!
Love the pizza guy's face here, and the one in the back left!

After dinner, we walked the one block to see MEMPHIS! 

Though I am always excited to see a Broadway show, I have to say that since I knew quite little about this show (besides it's Best Musical Tony win in 2010...which should have been plenty) I wasn't overly pumped to see it. I didn't know what I was expecting or not expecting, but it was incredible. Probably one of the best musicals I've ever seen. Just in sheer production value. And everything was so spot on, from the dancing to the singing to the acting. I left the theater in want of nothing, which is such a good feeling!
Stupid truck.

After the show, we walked back to Grand Central instead of taking the subway, which I absolutely loved. It was around 10:45pm, a little windy but not too cold, the lights of the city still bright. No part of me wanted to leave. I've never felt that connection with any other place I've been, and I just hope that I never lose the excitement of being there. 

Back at Manhattanville, we all hit the hay fairly quickly, Aubrey and I sharing the top bunk, with Aubrey's roommate Kate and her friend from home on the top bunk. And there I stayed...until 12:30 the next day. It was glorious. I hadn't slept in for many days. Once I finally woke up, we all got lunch, and then Aubrey and I watched Bridesmaids with commentary before heading out to White Plains! We walked around for a bit after getting off the bus, trying to find a place to eat but failing because it was Saturday night and the waits were literally over an hour. WHO would wait that long for food? Even if it's P.F. Chang's? I don't get it. We finally found ourselves at Outback Steakhouse, which was a 30 minute wait but we just didn't care anymore! And then we were rewarded. There was an employee coming around to everyone with samples of cheesy fries, then bloomin' onion, and then small sodas for everyone who was waiting! Talk about customer service. I had never experienced anything like that, and it honestly made my night. It's the little things. 

On Sunday I completed my first ever breast cancer walk. It was a HUGE event at Manhattanville; I'm talking hundreds of people. 

It was really great to see so many people come together for this cause, and I'm very glad I did it (4.4 miles, woo!), but it just got me thinking... SO many people will rally behind a cause to find a cure for something, to fight against a disease... but no one really thinks about preventing it. We need to be raising awareness about how to prevent breast cancer, and other diseases like it. So that we can live in a conscious, cancer-free world. We need to educate ourselves, to listen to those that have knowledge, and to take seriously the hazards that will affect us later down the line. Just because we don't see the effects of the chemicals we subject our body to NOW, doesn't mean we should keep shoveling them into ourselves like it doesn't matter. It does. 
And at the end of the day, prevention is the best cure.

 After a nap and some food, Kate and Aubrey drove me to the train station, where I boarded a train, waited anxiously for train #2 at Harlem-125th Street, and finally arrived back at Vassar around 5:30pm, my bank account weeping silently and my heart quite content.

October break recap to come but a marathon post is not necessary!

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