This week capped off what’s felt like my year of conferences with a trip to NYC!
I got to meet Eugene Lang, who founded the “I Have a Dream” Foundation 30 years ago, and got a taste of city life last week during the organization’s national staff conference.
We stayed in the NYU dorms (which were huge and had great views!) and our days were packed with group workshops and activities, but I had a few chances to break from the pack and this is what I did:
Thursday morning I went with a couple of people to start the day at Yoga to the People off St. Marks with a power yoga class that was for all ability levels and featured a sound track that brought me back to my college days. (“Into the Mystic” and “Hallelujah” were part of the playlist.) I don’t do yoga very often, but now I’m inspired to fit it in on a much more regular basis. I spent the rest of the conference sore, which is a definite sign I need to get myself in shape!
Our workshops overlooked Washington Square Park, where I stole a few moments to read our TEDxDesMoines book club pick. (Our meeting is Aug. 15, so you have time to read it, too.)
After the sessions were over, I scooted down to Purl Soho and did a little damage fabric shopping. It was exciting to actually be in one of the magical places that I only experience via the blogosphere. Plus, there was a 20% off everything sale going on!
Saturday was a free day; I just needed to be back to the dorms in time for a 3:30 p.m. airport shuttle pickup. I didn’t do much research in advance or really make any plans, but I ended up being able to meet my friend and former London flatmate Maggie at Westville in the East Village for brunch, which was delicious and lovely despite the fact that I kept accidentally flinging my silverware at the people who were at the table next to us. (Teeny tables really close to each other.)
Then I went on a solo excursion to the High Line. My Parks and Rec friend Teva had recommended I check it out, which I remembered after looking up Joanna Goddard’s NYC afternoon NYC Guide recommendations. I knew I could count on Cup of Jo to steer me in the right direction! The High Line is a converted above ground rail line that’s now a (free-to-access) park with great wildflower landscaping, art, food trucks and views! I can imagine it would be even more amazing at sunset, and when you’re not lugging a heavy purse and a carry on:
I did the whole 1.45 mile length, then doubled back to the start and walked there from the East Village, so I earned a cucumber lime popsicle, right?
I lounged on the sky lawn, stopped to smell the flowers and was super excited to see this art by former TED prize winner JR along the way.
It felt so great to walk in the sunshine and keep my eyes and mind open. Thankfully, I made it back to Des Moines last night after a nail-biter of a tight layover and got a seat next to some awesome strangers who might even put together a fundraiser for “I Have a Dream”!