Letter from New York #2

Flying Yoga ClassSo, this is what happened at my anti-gravity yoga class. It felt like being in a flying cocoon and the sensation of being able to fly through space while performing asanas and sun salutations was exquisite, though it still required the best aerial trapeze skills to be effective!

The pace here is tremendous.  This week alone I’ve had to oversee presentations and submissions to a range of foundations and corporations.  This on top of developing new presentations for funders and doing interviews for two new roles in my team as well start to implement the strategic plan I’ve developed. We also have an international Board meeting here next month – we have two Boards, an international Board and a US Board – and they are both meeting in New York where I’ll also be conducting Board sessions on fundraising and development.

On Thursday we went on a compulsory whole-of-company team building day — which turned out to be a city hunt scavenger hunt where you’re divided into groups and given a camera and a list of some 50 visual shots your group has to get. The group who has managed to get the most shots gets the prize.  The photo shots include things like getting a photo with a fireman at the 9/11 site; getting an image of all of you working in the kitchen of a NYC restaurant; getting a pic of one of you in the boot of a NYC taxi; a pic of all of you showing ‘New York attitude’.  I think it was the ‘leaping in the air shot’ that re-injured my foot so unfortunately after we’d managed to come second with our herculean effort as a group, I spent the afternoon with painkillers and my leg in a bucket of ice!

Now that I’ve finally been issued with a health card I can go see a doctor and resume physical therapy. I’ve also managed to find a fantastic women who conducts her own fitness sessions in her own home and I’ve now also secured long term accommodation in the west village — in a retro 50s style apartment that is heritage listed and has only two apartments in it – a further hike in rent – $2950 but the people who’ve leased it for the past 20 years live in Texas and I don’t have to go through an agent to rent it, which saves a great deal of money and hassle.

My Australian writer friend has invited Josh and I to go to Shelter Island next weekend — I can’t wait! Here’s the ferry that will take us there after a two hour bus ride from New York.  We have something at work called ‘summer Fridays’ in August that means you can take up to two Friday’s in August off as an extra holiday — I apparently am entitled to one and so I get a long weekend next weekend!

I’ve just heard from Robyn Archer and the Australia Council asking me to facilitate a session at the 5th World Congress on Arts and Culture in Melbourne in October on the responsibility of developed nations toward developing nations with respect to the arts, as an extension of the economic commitments led by such initiatives as the Millennium Development Goals. I am so hoping to be a part of this as what they are hoping to do with this event is very important.  In fact just this week we had a phone hook-up with a woman who leads an investment firm in the United Kingdom and she was talking about the conversations she was having with Human Rights Watch in terms of capitalising organisations that provide access to finance for women in particularly difficult situations, where they are facing human rights abuse. It’s interesting to think about what might be possible when both governments and the corporate sector come together to create new income streams for good causes.

In between all the work, I’ve been reading some great books. The Long Goodbye by Meghan O’Rourke; To Be Sung Underwater by Tom McNeal and Nocturne: A Journey in Search of Moonlight by James Atlee – all brilliant.

Josh has now graduated with a Masters in Fine Arts and he’s also secured some new music students including an adorable four year old called Lotte, who is a ringer for Shirley Temple.  Now begins the work in applying for college teaching positions.  We went to Lincoln Center last night where they have a summer program of free concerts – a really wonderful space and a true picnic feel until the first splashes of rain.

The previous night Josh and I had been walking the streets, my favourite Friday night pursuit, and before us was a big yellow moon cranked up by some unseen hand and suspended above Greenwich Village as we walked through the park, the drum circle in full swing keeping us earthed though my inclination was to reach toward that moon


Letter from New York #1

Courtesy of Flickr CC License / kinerificIt rained last night but it might as well have not as it is just as humid today as it has been for the past few weeks.  I’ve been introduced to a wonderful Australian,  who is a well known writer and has lived in New York for over 20 years now.  She arrived here when she was 46 with her husband and children and she said she spent the first year crying all the time, she was so homesick.  She’s now made arrangements for me to join an Australian women’s club that she co-founded with another woman – I had to write my bio to send to the other members as they are apparently very careful about whom they involve in these monthly dinners.  It seems it’s a real assortment of women and I’m  looking forward to having a group whom I can connect with regularly and get to know in the time ahead. Continue reading “Letter from New York #1”