Wednesday, June 16, 2010

June 16, 2010 Urban Fatigue?

You ever feel burn out from city life? Is the taxi honks bothering your beauty sleep? Feel like you can never get away from people. Well believe it or not, there's probably little you can change about traffic patterns or the pulse of the 4.9 million weekday subway riders not to mention those annoying tourists visiting the "city".

Today we had a crash course in New York City history how it came about and how New York, New York became the modern city we known today. As interesting as New York City's facts are I was paying the price of my 6 am morning run nearly falling asleep during orientation. I crash right after the history listen was done back at my apartment at Herald Towers. Ross spoked about "Urban Fatigue" where you're body cannot adjust or accommodate well to the urban environment. I learned how especially for introverts like myself the city can crowd your personal space to want to be alone. I think its good to not to overexert yourself because this is only Day 5 as an intern or Day 2 since the students arrived. Even New Yorkers find ways to distress and decompress themselves by using their time on the Subway as their personal quiet time. So we learned about Subway etiquette and what not to do on Subway so we won't tick off New Yorkers.
Ross Queener forewarn us about "Urban Fatigue" and lift our spirits with a devotional from Ezekiel 1:1-28. Ezekiel story is about the Israelites traveling to a far away land called Babylon where to the Israelites they believed in local Gods depending on which region of land you are from. In the day of paganism your fate is determined by placing yourself upon a wheel and spinning yourself till you stop at a certain fate. For a ritual person then a person would rather have a blind fate than curses so this was common. To Ezekiel while the passage read the description of the majesty of Babylon, he hears God speak to him even from a distant land he thought he would never hear what he perceived as his local God. What I drew from this passage is that the amazing God I serve in Northern VIrginia where I live is the same God who I wonderfully serving the people of New York City. My God is an universal God, He is everywhere His loves has no boundaries and that thought restore my spirit.

It was probably better that I was not joining the students with their dinner group and exploration of the city. I already know this already but those who don't know when I talk about the "city", New Yorkers are referring to Manhattan Island. Something the staff taught in their orientation today for the students.

Instead interns and staff are free to finish any responsibilities and rest till 4:30 pm. I did take advantage of our neighborhood friend Jamba Juice on 32nd and 5 avenue offer of $1 discounted smoothie. I got two smoothies pomegranate pick-me-up and pomegranate paradise. I got one for myself and for Anthony. Not Anthony on the arts
project but Anthony my friend who lives in the city. I feel like such a bad friend because Anthony came over but the
couch in my apartment looks so comfortable that I rested my head and took a 3 hours nap waking up at 4:20 pm. I
was surprised to how long I slept when I woke up and see Anthony Lam running out the door to head to Top of the
Rock. The Top of the Rock is part of Rockefeller Plaza experience of experiencing a breathtaking view of New York
City from the heart of midtown Manhattan. Its my second time at Top of the Rock and its a remarkable experience
everytime I go up to see the city at large. The sun was a bright ray shining in my eyes as I look out to see North view
of Central Park and South view of Brooklyn Bridge and the lower east side of Manhatten.

Afterwards I sent some time getting to know two bridges staff on the bridges track Adam and his financee from Japan.
Anthony suggested we go to 4 avenue between 9th and 10th Street to an authentic Japanese ramen noodles restaurant
place called IPPUDO NY. The ramen was pricey but the food was excellent best I ever had not like I had anything else
to compare it to but I ordered their Special spicy Japanese noodles with chicken. We talked about ministry and how the
Japanese ramen IPPUDO existed in Japan and how American bran Japanese noodles is a lot different than Japan. In
Japan Japanese noodles are considered like a home cooked meal where in the States it is a dining experience. Its funny
how culture works. Its so interesting to me to see the interaction of different cultures and their idea of "fun". "Fun" to the
students was playing a board game of Settlers of Catan. It is a strategic game where the objective of the game is to build
to win 10 points for basic game or 12 points for expansion game. The students already knew how to play and love the
game as we laugh and loosen up with each other making fun of each other and making jokes.

Tomorrow will be our first Arts Track day as a group and hit the ground running with an orientation of the project how it came about, and introduce
this year theme of Intersection. Can't wait.

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