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Archive for January, 2010

Day 31: Ice Fishing

The biggest challenge of the “365 Day Challenge” is remembering to bring my camera with me every place I go.  It was 4:30pm on Day 31 and I had yet to take a photo.  I left the house to run some errands and was sans camera.  That was a mistake.

I was driving on Lakes Road in Monroe, NY and noticed a guy out about 200 yards on Walton Lake and quickly realized that he was ice fishing.  I’m not a huge fan of fishing myself, but I have respect for the sport / past time.  I just have to question why you would take this activity to the next level by venturing out in sub 32° weather and seemingly risking your life by cutting a whole in the ice that you’re standing on.

Since I was only 5 minutes from my house, I opted to head back and grab my camera to capture the frozen shenanigans for the blog.  I’ve learned in my first month of the challenge that you can’t pass up an opportunity for a photo because you can’t be certain that you’ll presented with a second chance that day.

Ice Fishing

Ice Fishing on Walton Lake

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I made the hour drive to Poughkeepsie to watch the 1-20 Marist Red Foxes play the 18-4 Siena Saints.  Avid readers of the “365 Day Challenge” will know that I also blogged about Marist Basketball back on day 2 and that I was in attendance for their only win of the season.  Needless to say, I was under the assumption that I was going to witness a huge upset and improve my personal record to 2-0 on the season.

I attended the game with my parents (both Marist alums), my brother Kieran (current GA in the Marist Athletic Department and volunteer assistant for the Men’s Basketball program), my sister Jenn, her husband Bryan and their daughters Jillian and Brielle.  Jenn is big on dressing her daughters for the occasion, so both Jillian and Brielle were sporting Marist gear.

A couple of the Marist Cheerleaders quickly noticed Jillian in her official Marist Cheerleader uniform and paid her a visit during a break in the action.  They invited her down to sit and cheer with them (a dream for the bulk of young guys in the crowd), but she was playing shy and opted to stay with her parents.  They did give her a tattoo for her cheek to match their look, which she rocked for the rest of the game.  Jillian finally built up some courage and visited with a group of them with her mom and little sister after the game.

Oh, by the way, the Red Foxes dropped the game 79-60 and evened my personal season record at 1-1.

Jillian Cheering on the Marist Red Foxes

Jillian Rocking Her Marist Gear

Marist Cheerleaders

Post-game Meet & Greet with the Marist Cheerleaders

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Companies celebrate the end of an employee’s tenure in many different ways. Some bring in a baked good, while others drink their faces off at happy hour. Friday was the last day for two of my co-workers – Bryan and Samir – who had recently accepted new positions, so my company put their own “spin” on an employee sendoff.  We headed down Park Avenue to SPiN New York and partook in some light drinking and heavy table tennis.  We are, after all, a company that lives and breathes recreational sports.

What is SPiN New York?  Good question.  According to their website, “SPiN New York is a 13,000 square foot table tennis social club on Park Avenue in Manhattan’s Flatiron District.  The club offers unparalleled table tennis courts with Olympic quality cushioned flooring and 13 individual tables, including a stadium-like center court.  In addition, SPiN New York houses a pro shop, lounge, bar, private room sponsored by Fred Perry and over a dozen internationally known professional coaches and players who are available for private and group instruction.”

Ready for a fun fact about SPiN New York?  Actress Susan Sarandon invested $50,000 and lent her stardom to launch the posh ping-pong parlor on Park (how ’bout that for alliteration) and is recognized as a minority partner in the business.

Table Tennis at SPiN

Bryan (background) and Samir (foreground) Playing Table Tennis at SPiN New York

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Madison Square Park is a 6.8 acre park named after James Madison, the fourth President of the United States and the principal author of the Constitution.  Part of the larger Madison Square section of Manhattan, which is formed by the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway at 23rd Street, the park shares it’s name with Madison Square Garden, which was a sports arena located just northeast of the park until 1925 (one of four locations for the building which currently sits on 8th Avenue between 31st and 33rd Streets).

Madison Square Park opened to the public on May 10, 1847 and is chock full of history.  The park boasts a number of different monuments, statues, sculptures and plaques that commemorate characters in history such as William H. Seward and Chester A. Arthur.  Madison Square Park underwent a total renovation within the last decade, which was completed in June of 2001.  And in 2004, the flagship location for the Shake Shack restaurant chain was opened and has become a popular destination for New Yorkers (and tourists) seeking their famous burgers and milkshakes.  The wait can exceed an hour in length on summer weekends when the weather is nice.

Madison Square Park

Entrance to Madison Square Park

Madison Square Park

View of Madison Square Park Looking North

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There was something different about Penn Station after the calendar flipped from 2009 to 2010.  The entire train station was plastered with ads for the Broadway show Wicked.   This is a very impressive ad takeover because they literally gobbled up 100% of all the print ad units available in the train station – from the platforms to the main concourse area to the steps leading to the exit on 7th Avenue.  You can count at least 6 unique ad units in my photo below.

This ad takeover is extremely difficult to miss, but may stand out more to me for three reasons: (1) I’m a marketer and I actually enjoy ad campaigns, (2)  I grew up with frequent references to the Wizard of Oz because it is an absolute passion of my Dad (he even wrote a book about Dorothy and you can buy it on Amazon) and (3) Wicked is one of the few shows I have actually seen (Courtney and I saw it in London on our honeymoon in April of ’08).

Wicked Ads in Penn Station

Wicked Ad Takeover in Penn Station

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Day 26: Ambulance

One of the most common sites when walking around New York City is an emergency vehicle – ambulance, police, fire – navigating the grid at a high speed.  The sirens that usually accompany the vehicle seem to add to the culture of the city. I’m not even phased by the lights or sirens since it seems to be a once or twice daily occurrence.  And when I don’t witness it as a pedestrian, I hear the sirens several times a day from the comforts of my fourth floor office.  In an odd way, it just feels right to have this as part of my workday.

FDNY Ambulance

FDNY Ambulance Racing Down Lexington Avenue

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Day 25: Jackhammers

Monday (day 25) was a day that tested my patience.  A huge part of my commute is weather-dependent because I have a 15 minute walk from Penn Station to my office every morning.  In my 5 short months on the job, I’ve experienced heat, bitter cold, snow, wind and – worst of all – blowing rain.  And today was the worst blowing rain that I’ve experienced.  The buildings in New York City tend to form wind tunnels, which render umbrellas virtually useless. Needless to say, I was absolutely soaked by the time I reached my office building.

And to make matters worse, a pair of construction workers were using jackhammers to rip up the corner of Park Avenue and 31st Street – the street that my office overlooks.  I couldn’t do anything to drown out the sound; XM Radio online with max volume on my laptop is no match for a pair of jackhammers.  The “men at work” were at work up until at least 6:30pm when I ventured back onto the street to make my way back to Penn Station.  I’d love to know what problem they were solving (or creating) with their jackhammers all day.  I guess only time will tell.

Jackhammers

Work in Progress

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