September 2007


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So, I have been in Vegas since Saturday for work. This is my sixth time in sin city. I can honestly say the debauchery remains the same but the hotels and the restaurants are getting better.

Not many discoveries are going on right now other than work related ones. Tomorrow, I’ll be heading over to San Francisco and after that back to Providence for the night and then Miami.

I’m tired…I’ll write soon…

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Yesterday, after a long day of work, my co-worker and I decided to take the ferry from NJ back to Manhattan. It was a bit of a walk but my co-worker assured me it was worth it. After a very pleasant walk through some nice and colorful NJ neighborhoods we finally reached Memorial Park in Weehawken. There were some spectacular views of the city. It was sort of romantic…the sun was setting. You could see the reflection of the sun on the Manhattan skyline and the temperature was about 70 degrees. It was very peaceful, you could feel the wind hitting your face…it was a perfect moment.

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Afterwards, we went down some very steep stairs and we boarded the ferry. It was great. The views were spectacular.

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We got off the ferry at World Financial and we walked around the area. It was eerie. You are practically steps from Ground Zero, but it felt like it was another place. There are some nice buildings, cute little bars and restaurants, nice green areas, a path that you can walk or run in right next to the water. It was gorgeous. I soon fell in love with this part of NYC. Tonight I will be having dinner there, so I can’t wait for the day to be over…

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I’m in NYC this week…and it has definitely been an experience…

Top ten things that I have discovered in this trip so far:

1. September is the busiest travel month for NYC due to summer being over and businesses kicking the third quarter into motion, vacationers and increasing number of international conferences.
2. If you are coming to NYC in September book your hotel EARLYYYYYYYYYYY
3. Brooklyn is not for me
4. The art of walking through the city in high heels (take alternate shoes)
5. Cab drivers are great educators in social and political problems from around the world
6. Jersey City is really nice…..
7. If I didn’t speak Spanish I don’t know what I would do…way worse than Miami…
8. The Bronx is not for me either…
9. Contrary to popular belief most New Yorkers are really nice people that are willing to give you a hand when in need
10. My new ritual: Espresso at midnight in a New York City cafe

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NBC Nightly News is reporting this week on a special series adequately named “The Secret to her Success”. As you can infer from the name, is a series about women and how they are able to juggle all of the different facets of life and still succeed. Yesterday’s topic was about “friends” and the importance of friendships in a woman’s life and health. Ann Curry interviewed a group of women who have been friends most of their lives (some are in their 80s now) and talked about their lives and the meaning of their friends. These women always shared something in common, playing cards. But what struck me was when one of the women, in tears, said how she knew she wouldn’t end her life alone because she had her friends. Even though she had no children, her friends were her family.

Ann Curry added that there have been studies which reported that women who hold friendships with other women for over 9 years decrease the chances of dying by 60%!!! Furthermore, women who do not have solid friendships are compared to smokers in terms of their health. And that made me think about my life and my choices.

My dearest friend in the world forwarded a post from Tea and Cookies, a delicious blog about food and friends. In it the fellow blogger is trying to decide between moving to Seattle and staying in San Francisco. She points out in the post that one of the things that she likes about Seattle is the fact that she has her nieces there and the importance of sharing with family. In a past post, the fellow blogger wrote about a dinner table that she had gotten and she commented how that dinner table will be the center piece of many dinners, and happy moments shared with family and friends.

I have moved several times in the past few years. And the thing that I miss the most, over any particular place, is my friends and my family. Because after moving, and going through the good times and the bad times, and the boyfriends and the traumas of life—my friends are my life. A dear old friend recently told me “our friends are our chosen family. Our parents are starting to die, but when we get to the end of the road, our friends will be the ones there.” That is true.

My dream then is not to move to a particular place, but just a place where I can have “most of friends” close by. So we can share our lives together.

So to my friends: let’s take more trips together, let’s have more bbqs and bambi parties. Let’s watch Sex in the City on Sunday nights and let’s rant all day about our jobs. Let’s cry and laugh and go shopping together and enjoy wonderful dinners. I love you all…per

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My Bible–The Ultimate GMAT Review Guide

Excuse my absence but I am taking the GMAT on Friday. All my energies are being channeled towards that one day at 12:30pm EST, when I will be taking the plunge. Stress levels are high, adrenaline is rushing to the head and well, a certain amount of fear is also setting in. What am I going to do about it? Right before the test, I will probably have a shot of some sort of alcohol, play “Jump” by Madonna, scream in the car…and just go do it!!!

After the GMAT, I will breathe and then I have to go to NYC, Vegas, San Francisco and Miami…so I’ll be on the road…I will try to write as often as I can…

But to keep you entertained in the mean time…

1. You should watch Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations-Argentina episode on the Travel Channel
2. Just watch the Travel Channel in general…lately they been having great shows
3. Read the following article on Where the West Bank meets Bavaria
4. Purchase the latest issue of Foreign Policy and read the article adequately named, “Legalize it”

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(Courtesy of BBC News: You You the panda reaches for a birthday cake as staff at her zoo in Chingqing, China, celebrate her first birthday)

“Grown-ups never understand anything for themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.”

–Antoine de Saint-Exupery, “The Little Prince”, 1943

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One of the greatest talents of all time died earlier today. Luciano Pavarotti (1935-2007) finally succumbed to pancreatic cancer. Bono, the lead singer for the rock bank U2, wrote a beautiful eulogy and posted it on the band’s site. As a tribute to great tenor…some words from Bono honoring the great Luciano…

Luciano Pavarotti 1935 – 2007

“Some can sing opera, Luciano Pavarotti was an opera.

No one could inhabit those acrobatic melodies and words like him. He lived the songs, his opera was a great mash of joy and sadness; surreal and earthy at the same time; a great volcano of a man who sang fire but spilled over with a love of life in all its complexity, a great and generous friend.

Great, great fun, The Pavlova we used to call him. An emotional arm twister if he wanted you to do something for him he was impossible to turn down. A great flatterer.

When he wanted U2 to write him a song he rang our housekeeper, Theresa, continually so we talked about little else in our house.

When he wanted U2 to play his festival in Modena, he turned up in Dublin unannounced with a film crew and door-stopped the band. His life and talent was large but his sense of service to the weak and vulnerable was larger.

We wrote Miss Sarajevo for him. He had worked on the humanitarian crisis that was the war in Bosnia. We traveled together on a UN air force flight to Mostar… all of us earnest in hard hats, just about strapped into this industrial aircraft with the big man handing out parmigiano from Reggio Emilia, “the best cheese in the world” he kept saying… deadpan… to make us laugh.

In Pesaro, in his summer house, he lived an almost bohemian life with a recording studio set up in an out house – but did all his vocals in his bedroom… there was a hammock hung between two marine pines for a siesta. He liked to eat, sleep and then warm up his vocals though I remember more eating than warming up. When we first recorded with him I left a stone heavier than I arrived.

Intellectually curious, couldn’t stick to his own generation – loved new ideas, new people, new song forms.

A sexy man whose life lit up again when he fell in love with Nicoletta and as he watched Alice play in the yard. He loved all his daughters so much.
The sadness of losing his only boy his only silence.

I spoke to him last week… the voice that was louder than any rock band was a whisper. Still he communicated his love. Full of love.

That’s what people don’t understand about Luciano Pavarotti. Even when the voice was dimmed in power, his interpretive skills left him a giant among a few tall men.”

Bono

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