… and I, will always love you

the love sculpture from the right corner

On 55th Street lies an artistic icon. Some take photos or selfies with it, others climb it, and dogs curiously sniff it, discovering all types of residual scents from the sculpture’s surrounding. Its massive body has graced New York City for over four decades and the phenomenon seemed to take over the world. If you have ever walked Sixth Avenue or are very familiar with the area, you probably already know what art piece I’m describing… the LOVE Sculpture.

a front view of the love sculpture

I grew up with this signage of the word “love”; it was like an anonymous signature. I had no idea who created it or that it was even an expression of art. My young mind conveyed it as a simple font like the ones I saw on my computer screen, the one for the infamous TIME magazine, or the types that I saw off of billboards and labels. Little did I know just how poetic each letter is. How loved it was by popular reception. Or how misunderstood, despised, bastardized, plagiarized, and ultimately ambiguous it soon became. Natural selections took its course, to the point where its origin became unknown to the following generations. But the LOVE sculpture/painting/print was curated by a famously unfamous “pop” artist, Robert Indiana.

the love sculpture from the left corner

According to Mental Floss, Robert Indiana was born Robert Clark on September 13, 1928 in New Castle, Indiana. He was a child of the silent generation and witnessed the struggles of the Great Depression. His father lost his job and the family was much akin to gypsies, going from living in Indiana to a variety of other locations. The family moved over twenty times partly due to the recession and his mother’s inability to stay in the same place for too long. Clark once described his childhood as the family car being  “… more stable than home itself”. The factors put a strain on the family and Clark’s parents divorced in the 1940’s. Clark lived with his father and was able attend high school. Clark then joined the U.S. Army Air Corp in cooperation with the GI Bill in order to pay for his education. He attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 1949-1953 and then studied at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland from 1953-1954.

a view of the love sculpture from behind

After college he moved to New York and took a job as a typist at a cathedral and also worked in an art supply store, vying to be discovered and to find his place in the artistic world. He was facing something that still haunts college graduates today… the post-grad slump….

 

To hear the rest of this amazing story, tune in next week to see the second part of the LOVE sculpture and Indiana’s second public installation, the HOPE sculpture.

 

#WomenEmpowerment

I grew up in matriarchal home, so female independence was a strong influence in my childhood. Terms like “… a man should take care of the house maintenance.” or “… heavy lifting is a masculine task.” were never apparent in my adolescence. We did things for ourselves, so the need for a man’s aid didn’t seem as much of a necessity to me from a very young age. After I realized the social gender differences, I began to have fun with pushing beyond the means of my feminine role in society. I was a tomboy as a kid; cornrows in my hair and a hoodie slung over my broad shoulders was my daily wardrobe, it was simple and sporty. I had also made a promise to myself never to use my femininity as an excuse not to do something out of my predetermined societal role. But the odd stares from older women and men always intrigued me and it only got more enjoyable as I got older.

Nowadays it’s the small things that make me feel empowered to be a woman. Regardless of the grandeur in my life, the little things tend to add up; giving me a certain kind of confidence I didn’t realize was missing.

Concurrently, the thing that makes me the most empowered is going to the wholesale club (laugh all you want, but wholesale shopping can a very emotionally cleansing experience lol). There’s nothing like walking through those red framed sliding doors, with a platform truck trailing behind my extended arm. I walk into the space differently than any other day, as if my intentions are seeping through my pores. I’m walking, briskly, through the forest of aisles; because I only have one thing in mind and I won’t stop until I get it. As I approach the water pantry, I’m already mentally rolling up my sleeves; thinking of game plans, how many cases I need, and how I plan to maneuver the platform truck out of the tight space without colliding with other shopping carts. Once I roll the truck near the seemingly endless stacks of six-gallon water cases, I begin heaving each 50 pound box one by one. Chuckling at every man that offers his manly services and every other guy trying to take two boxes at time, vying to match my intensity and significantly failing at the attempt. Eight boxes later, I roll the 400 pound load towards the registers; feeling confident with every stride and every glance.

So what inspires you? What makes you feel empowered to be the phenomenal woman that you are in your everyday life? Or guys, what makes you feel motivated by that special woman in your life? Feel free to share in the comments below!

Happy National Women’s History Month, everyone! Enjoy the upcoming holidays!

A woman’s place is in the home

From the 1st first to the 31st of March we, as a nation, celebrate women’s history. As stated by National Women’s History Project, March was proclaimed Women’s History Month since there was an absence of female history in the grade school system. By time of the mid-1970’s, Sonoma County, California was the first in the nation to proclaim that the week of March 8th was to be acknowledged as “Women’s History Week” in 1978. President Carter professed the week of the 8th to be “National Women’s History Week” soon following the California trend in 1980. Seven years later, in 1987, Congress announced March to be “National Women’s Month,” celebrating the successes of American women. So in light of the 1987 affirmation, I would like to commence in my own acknowledgment of the immense “bad-assery” of women in architecture and engineering. Although there are numerous infamous females in these fields, I would like to bring attention to three women that, I feel, pioneered a change for both architecture and engineering in the past two centuries.

an image of kate gleason wearing one of her infamous hats

Image Credit: ASME

Kate Gleason

According to ASME, Catherine Anselm Gleason was the first woman to enroll into the Mechanical Arts major at Cornell University at the age of nineteen. Gleason was born on November 25,1865 in Rochester, New York. She got interested into mechanics due to her father who was a machine shop owner. Although her interest was always present, they were never really conditioned until her older brother, unfortunately, died due to typhoid disease. She then took on his role, helping her father in the shop and learning the trade. Once she became of age, she attended Cornell University and was later the first woman to become a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering (aka ASME) after graduating in 1888. She went on to globalize her father’s business, making  it the successful Gleason Corporation that is still used today.

 

an image of nora stanton blatch

Image Credit: Cornell University

Nora Stanton Blatch Barney

Based on an article by Cornell University, Nora Stanton Blatch Barney was the first woman to graduate in the Civil Engineering program in 1905. She was born in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England on September 30, 1883. As the age of fourteen, she began to study mathematics and Latin at the Horace Mann School in New York and spent her summers at home in England. The Blatch family moved to the United States in 1902 and Nora soon began the Civil Engineering program at Cornell University. She graduated in 1905 and went on to build bridges, subway tunnels, and water supply systems in New York. Apart from being a Civil Engineer, she was also an architect, real-estate developer, suffragist, social activist for female equality rights, and even an author.

 

an image of louise blanchard bethune

Image Credit: Austin M. Fox

Louise Blanchard Bethune

As reported by Buffalo Architecture and History, Louise Blanchard Bethune was the first female architect in New York and to be inducted into the American Institute of Architects (aka AIA). Bethune was born on July 21, 1856 in Waterloo, New York. She was tutored at home until the age of eleven by her father who was a principal and teacher of mathematics at Waterloo Union School. After that age she was placed into school and later graduated in 1874. For the next few years, she spent time grooming herself to be prepared for the architectural program a Cornell University. Instead of attending the program, she radically turned down the opportunity and took an apprenticeship as a draftsman (or draftswoman per se) with a highly acclaimed architectural firm in Buffalo owned by Richard A. Waite and F.W. Caulkins. From 1876 to 1881, she honed the trade of architectural drafting and design. In October of 1881, She opened an an architectural office, in which, she co-owned with soon-to-be husband, Robert Armour Bethune.

Krapp or Treasure?… Maybe it’s both

Have you ever gotten lost in the Theatre District (near Times Square)? *sadly raises hand* I’ve been there a plethora of times but each time I ascend from the Subway stairs, I’m always left spinning in circles wondering “if I’m on 43rd, which way is 42nd?” *walks to 44th* *then shamefully walks the same block towards the other way*. There’s nothing like Times Square that makes me want to revoke my own New Yorker card. Over the years, I think I have mastered navigating through the busy streets… somewhat. But that moment of knowing where you are, where you are going, and how to get there is ultimately undeniable.

mary tyler moore doing the signature spin and hat toss from the theme to the mary tyler moore show

I got you, Mary…

Have you ever went down the wrong street around the Theatre District and ended up somewhere on a back street of a bunch of Off-Broadway theatres? They have an abandoned or desolate tinge to them. Like they’ve been around for long enough to have seen the district back when you had to choke your purse in order to keep the items inside safe. Or back in a time that the streets used to be lined with peep shows and sketchy characters. Or when Ford cars danced up and down the cobble stoned streets, carting the wealthy to extravagant shows and parties. Turns out some of these theatres were around for all of those traditional New York experiences that happened around the Theatre District. So before it was climatically warmer than the rest of Manhattan due to all the lights and energy used in that area. And before One Times Square hosted the New Year’s Ball Drop and pumped a zillion kilowatts (this number is 1,000% correct!) of light on its facade.

the majestic theatre within the busy street of movement

As reported on the Shubert Organization webpage, it all started with the Shubert brothers in the late 1800’s. Syracuse natives Sam, Lee, and Jacob Shubert founded “The Shubert Organization” in 1900. They began their small business with a few theatres in upstate New York before venturing to New York City and opening some of the most infamous Broadway and Off-Broadway theatres that we know today. In 1905, Sam died in a fatal railroad incident which left Lee and Jacob to tend the business. They grew exponentially, pollinating the country. The Shuberts opened theatres in Boston, Dayton, Detroit, Cleveland, and Chicago. By the mid-1920’s, the Shuberts had over 1,000 theatres nationwide. Some of their theatres are still here today, but most were demolished. One that still graces the concurrent Broadway playbills is the Majestic Theatre.

a historical photo of the majestic theatre

Image Credit: Shubert Organization

a covered barrier promoting the shubert organization

According to IBDB(Internet Broadway Database), The Majestic Theatre was designed in the mid-1920’s by architect, Herbert J. Krapp. New York native, Krapp, was a well-known theatre designer at the time. He even designed the theatre that adorned our television screens at 11:30 pm for decades; the Ed Sullivan Theatre which hosted the Late Show with David Letterman from 1993-2015. From 1912-1916, Krapp began to design theatres for the Shubert Brothers directly; many are still in use. Regardless of the imminent economy failure, he continued working with the Shubert brothers until 1963. The Chanin Brothers, who were architects themselves, built the theatre Krapp designed, thinking that they could edge their way into the entertainment business. It opened in 1927 and the Chanin Brothers held ownership of the theatre for three years before trading it to the Shuberts due to the turn of the economy (Stock Market Crash).

historical drawing of the majestic theatre

Image Credit: Shubert Organization

the majestic maquee

As stated by Playbill, Krapp was so esteemed in his immense expertise since he knew how to get the true value of the space. He was known for his stadium seating arrangements, optimizing the overall floor space for both customers and stage management. The interior was designed in the Louis XV style with a classic a color palette of white and gold. The theatre had a grand capacity of 1,645. The base of the building’s facade is adorned with large panels of terra cotta. The floors above seem to be clad in a classic Spanish brick pattern. Two balconies break the continuous brick street wall, making the suggestion of two more floors above the first.

ornamentation on the facadethe terra cotta panels on the base of the majestic theatrethe front facade of the majestic theatre

The theatre is almost one hundred years old and people still actively enjoy it. The next time you are in the Theatre District, look around at the theatres since most of them have been around from the beginning of the 20th century. They saw the liveliness of the roaring 20’s, the struggles of the depression, the regrowth of the economy after WWII, platform shoes of the discotheque scene, big hair of the 80’s, and even welcomed the 21st century.

the majestic theatre awning in comparison to a historical image

a historical photo of the marquee of majestic theatre

Image Credit: Telecharge

Green really does grow on trees

Next week we will be finally welcoming spring into our lives. I don’t think that it will magically make it feel any warmer outside but one can still hope. I spent the last few days not feeling very well; I’ve been experiencing lethargy, fatigue, and nose-tickly (if that’s even a word). In my vying attempts to cure myself, I’ve been drinking plenty of tea (as per Genny’s suggestions) and trying to get as much rest as possible. After schlepping myself home, one of these past few days, my grandmother asked me if I normally get allergies from pollen. It was like a light bulb that went off in my head. I thought it was too early to worry about pollen and wind but my slightly hoarse voice is proof enough. Spring is practically here, y’all!

a vibrant pink flower in the sunlight

Even though this stupid pollen stuff – only stupid because we aren’t at a good point in our relationship as of now – has been wreaking havoc on my nasal system, it will soon result in beautiful green trees and vibrantly colored flowers. The time of green lined streets and sidewalks are almost here; it’s so close I can smell it… literally. But have you ever wondered about those trees along the sidewalk? Perhaps, why they are there or how long they have been there.

a courtyard of trees surrounding a patch of landscaped grass

Turns out, according to the New York Times, there was always a need for trees in New York City. There was a constant struggle and demand for green space ever since the early 1900’s. The different species of trees were like a revolving door; switching places in the desperate attempt to evade illness to the tree or environmental failure. New York City began to really take a hold of the tree crisis with Robert Moses’ plan to better NYC in 1973. A lot of his methods were not always liked by the public but his tree idea really raised a necessity for a greener city. Although his plan didn’t really work that well, ever since then we’ve only made progress on the issue.

a tree on the sidewalkpink flowers on bed of grass, beside a tree

In 1980, a new program brought back the planting of trees with a program called “Request a Street Tree” which gave residents the option to request a tree from the city. From then to now, the city has been populated with over 600,000 trees; giving us something to look forward to every March 20th. orange flowers nestled into grass

Whiteout while its white out

Today, a wet and icy mix falls from the pale sky. The sun is casted by thick clouds of vapor accumulation and their secretions cascade down on everything below. Ultimately baptizing New York City in the side effects of a cold front colliding with warm. Everything gets washed away at one point then it freezes over; preserving the dirt and grime that lies beneath it. It will never see the true beauty of pure daylight that could potentially grace the city since the clouds stay well passed the sun’s departure and the moon comes out to play. As dusk rolls in like oceanic waves, the sky deepens; getting darker and darker by each minute. Our eyesight acclimates to the new surrounding as we acknowledge the absence of pure sunlight. Artificial light pours from street lamps, in different shades of orange, yellow, and fluorescent white. We’ve missed the daylight for so long; our skin craving to be kissed by those beautiful rays of light and warmth. What it is the power of light? What is it about light that makes everything so special and important? It has the potential to make the most beautiful things undesirable and the most ugliest of sorts seem so lively and stunning. As we live through the last few weeks of short days and long nights, we have to find a way to survive without the sunlight that we adore so greatly.

a bed of lit orbs hovering over the lawn at Madison square park

To aid us in our imminent imagination, we have 19,800 square feet of light that illuminates the cold grass on Madison Square Park. 900 golf ball sized spheres seem to hover over the icy compacted ground in the wake of the sun. They angulate in a certain premeditated rhythm. The light appears to move through the spheres in the form of an optical massage. The pattern fades in and fades out, goes fast then slow, makes twists and turns, and switches from one space to the next. It’s beautiful and the most relaxing thing to watch in that part of the city. Surrounded by taxi horns, rude New Yorkers, the everlasting darkness, and harsh lighting from the city, Whiteout creates its own definition of nighttime in the city and ultimately celebrates it.

lit white LED orb

Whiteout was made by Austrian born artist, Erwin Redl. He now lives in New York City, making artistic light installments for building facades. He went to an performing arts school in Austria named University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna studying electronic music. Redl then came to America and studied computer art at the School of Visual Art, here, in New York City. After graduating in 1995, he was a featured artist in the Whitney Biennial 2002.

the motion of the light traveling through the system of light orbs

Redl explains that this piece was inspired by the darker and colder months of winter and how the grand scale was odd for such an urban setting like NYC. He reports in a press release which can be found in this Architectural Lighting article, “I am intrigued by the Park’s option of a large-scale installation that blurs the border between the virtual and the real. The physicality of the swaying orbs in conjunction with the abstract animations of their embedded white lights allows the public to explore a new, hybrid reality in this urban setting.”

a bed of the light orbs juxtaposed a tree

The two beds of lights are built with a steel frame which hangs each light a foot over the ground. The cage is 12 feet tall.

the base of the structural cagethe suspension cables that make the structural cage of the art piecea structural element at the top of the cage

Whiteout has been on display since November 2017 and will remain until March 25, 2018; which is five days after Spring would have begun. Enjoy it while the last weeks of winter graces us with its brutal beauty.

Roses are red… Towers are pink…

Since last Wednesday, I’ve been really anticipating the upcoming seasons. By upcoming, I’m referring to summer, in particular, since the spring normally gives me a plethora of allergies. If we could only fast forward to Summer when everything is already in bloom and strikingly beautiful, I would be one happy CityTech student! Last Wednesday had New York City in the upper 70 degree range. The way the sun beat down on the pavement and upon my back as I walked to the train station made me wonder if it was still winter. But, then I saw the brown grass and leafless trees and was quickly reminded that the season didn’t magically change, it was just an environmental fluke. At one point I looked to the sky screaming, “Stop playing tricks on me!” while jumping frantically. Luckily no one was around to see my crazy tantrum. Spring is rapidly approaching, but we still have to last through the final stings of winter. So to keep the excitement growing, I wanted to post about the most flowery, springy, sun-tastic piece of art; it practically screeches “Hold on, I’m Comin’” by Sam & Dave.

overall view of the rose crystal tower from the corner of union square park

Near Union Square Park valiantly stands a large tower of crystal roses; they shine, glisten, and bounce the rays of sunlight, it’s called the “Rose Crystal Tower “. It teases us with the floral blooms that we so desperately want to see. The statue stands thirty-one feet in the air, charming the busy area with a vibrant pop of color in a sea of varying grays and browns. The roses stay just as beautiful and lively in every season. It graced Greenwich Village in October, taking the place of the last temporary art piece “Morphous” (which I mentioned last year).

the art display sign, explaining the piece

The top of the the rose crystal tower

According to Union Square Partnership, the tower was built by 76-year old Washington native Dale Chihuly. This will be Chihuly’s second public installment in New York City; his first being a temporary piece in the Botanical Gardens. Each rose was made out of a substance he calls “Polyvitrois,” which is a casted plastic substance made to resemble glass. The roses are then wrapped around a steel structure which is placed upon a steel podium. Chihuly discussed his inspiration for the piece in a statement he made to the NYC Parks Department. He claimed, “New York City’s energy, architecture, and rich creative history is formidable and it continues to offer infinite inspiration for artists. I am excited to share my work with the residents and visitors who pass through New York City every year.”

the body of the rose crystal tower

The Rose Crystal Tower will be on display up until this October. So if you haven’t seen it yet, you still have a chance.

the rose crystal tower and podium

Take that, Whole Foods!

the logo of the essex street market

I remember going to The Essex Street Market a few times in my life. I must’ve been about ten years old, accompanying my mother to a random market that we had stumbled upon. I recall it looking different than other supermarkets I had been to (shout out to everyone who grew up with Keyfood, C-Town, Associated, Waldbaums, and PathMark). It isn’t the average A&P store that we all have come to find as a normal way of food shopping. The Market goes by small shops and vendors that cater to the community’s ever-changing needs. What makes it different from other supermarkets is how you will be able to find ethnic items that you can’t get at other mainstream establishments. It’s not only a means of food trade but it’s also a cultural platform that suits the quickly and constantly changing neighborhood.

An artistic banner on top of the essex street market

Art installation by AI Weiwei as part of the “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors” citywide exhibition.

According to The Essex Market, the market has been in effect since the early 1900’s with four pushcart markets peddling on Hester Street. With mass arrival of immigrants on Ellis Island, the need for cultural foods and products quickly became a high demand in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. By the time of 1917 there were fifty-seven pushcarts around the neighborhood catering to the Jewish and Italian cultures who were densely populated in the area.

brick facade on the essex street market

After the Depression hit in the ‘30s more of these peddlers became more apparent in the community since many lost their jobs. To make money, they would sell anything from fresh produce to the pots and pans to cook it in. As stated by, New York History Walks, 47,000 families made a living off of peddling. By the mid-1930’s Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia (yup! Like the airport. It was named after him since it was built during his mayoral run), wanted to get rid of the densely packed streets and find an indoor commons where the vendors can sell their goods. This resulted in one of the first public markets.

a historic photo of the essex street market

Essex Street Market, 1940 Image Credit: Shopsins

LaGuardia fixed the problem, aiding the community with The Essex Street Market which opened in 1940. This large market was along Essex Street extending over four blocks, from Broome Street to Stanton Street; it consisted of 475 stalls. It wasn’t only a place for buying foods and other preparative equipment, it was a center of learning for cultural foods. As the progression of WWII, the Market began to provide classes so the public could learn how to prolong their food for a brutal war that was lasting indefinitely.

hallway in the essex street market

Now, the Market still offers classes to the public in the hopes of defeating a new war on “Food Deserts” in lower class communities. They were put in place to help people eat, and, ultimately shop healthier. The size of the Market was reduced to just one block with twenty-eight vendors in the establishment. Due to cultural change, the Market now, mostly, serves the demands of the Hispanic/Latino ethnicities.

posters for food classes at the essex street marketvisitor's center at the essex street market

By the end of 2018 The Essex Street Market will move to a new location on Delancey Street. My inner historian was greatly saddened by their imminent departure since the Market has been there, in that building, within those walls, and under that exposed structural/mechanical ceiling. Now it faces high threat of being demolished, according to New York History Walks. The building has seen generations and generations of cultural diversity only building on communal significance. I’m scared that the move and the new look will change the demographic and everything that the Market has worked seventy-eight years to refine. If it looks like an average contemporary mall on 59th street, will the community still feel comfortable and immersed in the community atmosphere to shop and learn there or will it change forever?

an entrance at the essex street marketbottled beverages for sale at the essex street market

Only the future will tell, but there is still hope for the survival of the aesthetic of The Essex Street Market. If we have learned anything about its history, it’s that regardless of where it goes – on the street or in a public market – it always flourishes. It does what is best for the community and I hope that doesn’t change.

A Valentine’s For Everyone

miniature eye-view of the lost man creek exhibit

Have you ever taken a hike before? You feel like you’re the only one on the planet. As if you, somehow, left behind all civilization to find something that wasn’t really that hidden; you find yourself. What if, instead of being alone with mother nature, you were accompanied by someone? Perhaps, a significant other, a friend, or family member. Would you still feel alone? Or would you relish in the overtaking feeling of secluded bliss? In which, the world is endlessly you’re personal playground and you’re not only self-aware, but you are also conscious of the other person (or people) you are with. Our innate sense of busyness tends to divide our entire thought process. Thus, making it difficult to connect with one topic at a time. But given ample time and conducive environment, everyone has the ability to shake loose of all our daily demands and focus on the things that normally get forgotten.

a view over-looking the lost man creek exhibit

There is something to help you drift away from the busy New York City culture and indulge in something more natural. Sometimes, it’s the little (pun intended) things that can relax us. Inside Metrotech lies an art piece called “Lost Man Creek” created by, Connecticut born artist, Spencer Finch. It is a miniature version of the Redwood National Park located in California. According to The Public Art Fund, Finch scaled down the 790 acre patch of land into a tiny topographical version. The scale of the mini-forest is about 1:100, making 100-400 foot Redwood trees to only be comparable in mere inches; ranging from 12” to 48”.

a sign for the lost man creek exhibita side view of the lost man creek exhibit
It’s reign of display is reaching its imminent conclusion soon. By next month the future of this public art piece is undetermined. So if you haven’t seen it yet or have seen it and thoroughly enjoy it, get your last visits in now; before it’s too late. The next time you visit the Metrotech Center to satisfy your desperate cravings for Chipotle or that Five Guys burger you’ve been thinking about all day, try taking a little time for yourself to be alone with your thoughts. On a day like today – regardless if you are single, in a relationship, or in something quite complicated – self admiration is key. a tiny house inside the lost man creek exhibit

Welcome to 2018 at City Tech!

Welcome back to City Tech, everyone! I hope your winter break was relaxing and pleasurable as  we now muster the strength to return and finish the school year. I normally share historical and/or current stories about pieces of architecture and art in New York City. But, before I delve into my more informational posts, I would like to share a few things that I did and places I explored over the winter break.

happy new year written on condensated window

For Christmas, my family and I ventured to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to see a Nativity play at the Sight & Sound Theatre. The facility was built like a Disney Castle; I found it hard to believe that this experience was real or some type of fantasy dreaming. The arches by the entrance were exaggerated and hollow; giving the patrons a clue as to what lied forth the fantastical facade. Past the threshold was a sweet aroma of caramelized almonds; it was the type of smell that made you want to bite the air to see if you could taste it. The auditorium, itself, was a well-thought design; as if the theatre was built around the audience instead of the ordinary spectator viewing. The show was great and I enjoyed it thoroughly; it’s not typical to see horses, goats, pyrotechnics, or choreographed acrobatics inside a closed auditorium. The entire experience was very different from other plays I have seen and I found every aspect intriguing.

a statue at Sight and Sound Theatre

the Sight and Sound Theatre seating arrangement

Sight & Sound Theatre auditorium

Ceiling at Sight and sound theatre

Ceiling motif at the Sight & Sound Theatre

For New Year’s Day, we went out to Coney Island beach like thousands of others to celebrate 2018 with the annual Polar Plunge. This would be my third year attending the winter festivity and it was one of the coldest. Reportedly, the temperature of the brackish Atlantic Ocean was 37 degrees Fahrenheit and the outside temperature was in the lower teens; this would be the coldest New Year’s Day in about 50 years. Bravely, we marched past the ice breaking at the shore and stepped into the slushy waters, dunking ourselves into winter’s freezing abyss. My body was thoroughly shocked by the water; I lost my breath and almost all the feeling in my limbs before gathering all the will I had to run out of the frigid water.

the sun at coney island beach

Coney Island Beach on New Year’s Day

These are just a few of the things I did over my winter break; I still spent plenty of days resting from the long and grueling fall semester. As I chart through the spring semester I will bring you more stories of my adventures and information that I learn along the way.