Monday, September 22, 2014

People's Climate March

This has been a pretty special week, capped off by yesterday's climate march when more than 400,000 people marched through New York City demanding action on climate change. It was truly an inspirational and galvanizing moment that I hope will trigger an increasing avalanche of new progress toward a cleaner, better future.

But back to the beginning - on Monday Katie M and I managed to have a lovely friend-date, although I was late getting back from work and we couldn't start as early as I would have liked. We met up at the Central Park entrance at 81st Street near AMNH but since it was already near dark by the time I could get there, we couldn't quite take the route through the park I had intended. So we walked along the bike track down to Columbus Circle and had dinner at an Indian restaurant called Sapphire that is right next-door to my hair salon. We continued walking all the way down to TSMC and watched one of my favorite movies, "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen." She just got a new job that started today, but since she hadn't started yet we stayed up late talking, as we usually do when we have the opportunity.

Wednesday was my Poly Women's Group meeting, and Thursday Natalia and Matt came over for pizza and to watch "Circle of Iron," the 1978 movie written by Bruce Lee before his untimely death and starring David Carradine, Christopher Lee and Eli Wallach. Kacey came over briefly to try on some dresses for a work engagement next weekend, so we paused the movie to chat with her.

Friday was Josh's 31st birthday at the Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden in Astoria. I wanted to get him some records from the Princeton Record Exchange so I got my work done quickly and rushed out to dig through the bins for about 45 minutes. I found several things so I rushed home to clean them before heading out to the party. I can't remember all the albums that ended up in his bag, but here's what I can remember:
  • Charlie Parker - Live Sessions
  • The Police - Ghost in the Machine
  • Sting - Nothing Like the Sun
  • Styx - Pieces of Eight
  • Eurythmics - Be Yourself Tonight
  • Steve Winwood - Back in the High Life
  • Dire Straights - Brothers in Arms
  • Def Leppard - Pyromania

Saturday was Babuska Zoya's 90th birthday party at the Pirosmani restaurant in Brooklyn, a Georgian cuisine place that is a family favorite for big celebrations. The party started at 2 pm, so probably for the first time ever in Puck's company, I felt under-dressed because everyone was wearing such nice, sparkly evening clothes and I was wearing a sundress. Puck neglected to impress upon me what a big milestone birthday this was going to be, but I did bring flowers and even managed to pick Zoya's favorite blooms for the bouquet (Puck's sister was surprised I knew them). I don't know Zoya all that well, but when I imagine her in my mind's eye, I could sense somehow which flowers she would like. Sometimes I can be very intuitive; other times I'm a complete dunderhead.

The meal started with cold appetizers and salads, slices of smoked fish and cold chicken in a walnut sauce. There was a Georgian-style pizza, which was like a melted cheese stuffed pizza, potatoes and mushrooms, kebab wrapped in a pastry shell, a lamb pot pie, a baked chicken liver dish and all topped off with an enormous meringue birthday cake.

After more than four hours of feasting, toasting, singing and dancing were done, Puck and I were both pretty worn out, so we begged off the rest of the evening's activities with all the out of town guests. We stopped by Nordstrom Rack to buy them a new pair of shoes and then headed back to TSMC to shower, relax, listen to some music and finish reading "Matilda" before turning in early for the march the in morning.

The next morning we got a bit of a late start. We had breakfast at the Evergreen across the street (thankfully it was open - they keep mystery hours) and then separated to take our respective places in the march lineup. I went up to 85th Street to meet up with Nearing, where Katie and Lillian found me. Even my CEO cut short his vacation and made it to the march, which was inspiring in and of itself. We stood with the people from Unilever (a Nearing customer) and Ben & Jerry's for two hours until the moment of silence, then the three of us started walking down to the front of the parade, passing all the many groups along the way. I also ran into Alex (Puck's brother-in-law who was at the dinner the day before) twice - once he passed us, and then we caught up and passed him.

We couldn't find Puck but we managed to make it far enough south so that the march was actually moving past Columbus Circle, where it turned on Central Park South and then down Sixth Avenue. Since it passed less than a block from TSMC, we stopped for a break and so I could drop some of my stuff. As we were preparing to go back out to the march, we ran into Puck as they were stepping off the elevator - they had the same idea because their phone had died. So we marched the rest of the way all together, down to 42nd and Seventh Avenue, where people were dispersing because it was too crowded to get to the end.

I actually saw Jennifer (from Poly Cocktails) in front of us, but I wasn't sure enough that it was her to get her attention. I later found out it was her by FB messaging her. I wish I'd taken a chance and gotten her attention - I don't know why I'm so shy about doing things like that. Seriously, what's the point of marching if we can't connect with the people around us?

From Times Square, Katie and Lillian headed back to Brooklyn and Puck and I went down to Zoya's place to pick up some groceries and had an early dinner at a Mexican restaurant. We came back up to TSMC and they left to catch their MegaBus (which unfortunately they missed, but managed to get home via another bus to Trenton and a train ride from there, with the help of a kind stranger). Meanwhile, I hosted Katie M at TSMC to watch "The Day After Tomorrow," an appropriate cap to a day dedicated to the urgency of acting on climate change.