Maybe you should look up Eckhart Tolle

New York street art
New York street art

I am currently on an inspirational visit to New York. I loved this artistic bulletin board in the East Village. (A little older than Vancouver’s East Village, but with some of the same spirit of the urge for expression.) There are layers of comments added as one artist responded to another. I especially liked the suggestion to look up Eckhart Tolle. A Vancouver guru, infusing the streets of New York!


What’s in a Tiffany ruby?

Ruby necklacePart of the thrill of being in New York is visiting places I’ve seen or heard about in books and movies. One of the most famous, glamorous New York institutions, in my mind, is Tiffany’s. Perhaps I saw Breakfast at Tiffany’s at an impressionable age, but I suspect the allure of Tiffany’s was caused by the even earlier impressions of the magic of jewels from 1001 Tales of Arabian Nights, which I read as a very young girl.

Yes, we have a Tiffany’s in Vancouver (3 in fact), but I’ve never gone there. It seems like these are sham Tiffanies. The real Tiffany’s is in New York, on Fifth Ave., at the corner of 57th St.

So when I made my first trip to midtown, to enjoy the nap I had booked at YeloSpa, I was delighted to see that Tiffany’s was right across the street. I had a few minutes before my nap, so I popped into Tiffany’s to marvel at the beauty.

I stepped into the vast, high-ceilinged room and saw what seemed like dozens of display case islands, many of them populated by Tiffany tour guides. The glamorous woman guide on the closest island asked if there was anything she could help me find.

I have been on the lookout for a pair of ruby earrings to match the ruby necklace my mom Tiffany's as viewed on 57th St.brought back for me as a gift from Australia, so on a whim I said, “Can you point me in the direction of the rubies?”

Imagine my surprise when she told me they don’t have any rubies. What!!? Tiffany’s doesn’t have rubies? She went on to explain, in a friendly way, that the only “Tiffany quality” rubies in the world come from Burma. She said that there is a trade embargo in place against Burma because of their human rights violations. Who knew? Well, I didn’t until that moment. I also didn’t know that Tiffany’s was such an ethical company, and I felt very moved to be informed of this. This discovery was one of the magical moments of my trip to New York.

I spent the next few minutes wandering around the store and feasting on the beauty shining forth from every island. My attention was drawn to a fabulous, sparkling diamond bracelet, costing a mere $20,000. Yes, I could afford it if I really wanted to spend money on something like that. But as I thought of a better use I had recently put $20K to, I once again felt a warm feeling in my heart.

Tiffany NY SATCSo that’s my Tiffany’s story. I must say that the woman I spoke to was much friendlier than the sales staff at Giorgio’s on Rodeo Dive, a place I stumbled into and out of with my sister Kim in the 1990s. Well done, New York!

As a P.S., as I mentioned earlier, I have been researching New York in preparation for my next trip by re-watching Sex and the City. Tiffany’s has been an important place for purchasing Charlotte’s wedding rings on that show! Here is a picture I took of Charlotte and her first husband, Trey, on the street in front of Tiffany’s.

Sex and the City

One of the highlights of my visit to New York was going to the street where they filmed all those scenes of Carrie Bradshaw on her front stoop. ThouKaren on Carrie's stoopgh her address was 245 E. 73rd Street (at Madison), they filmed the scenes of her front stoop in the village, at 64 and 66 Perry Street. This picture is of me on Perry Street, on my way for a run. I went past this address four times during my stay, and there were always one or two people out front taking each others’ pictures. I think this shows what a profound impact Sex and the City had on our cultural consciousness! Truly, New York was a main character of the show. I think the movies weren’t as great because they didn’t feature New York the way the TV show did. Even the episodes where they went to LA didn’t have quite the same appeaShoesl. Though It was hilarious when Samantha met the LA dildo model.

In the spirit of the show, which I am currently re-watching to find references to restaurants and night clubs for my next visit, here is a picture of some fabulous shoes! I saw these in the White Room at the Bay, and I wanted them badly. But I contented myself with taking their picture—for now.

A polite Canadian in New York

Metal symbol of defianceThere was a guy in the same row as me at the Motley Crue concert who kind of looked like Charles Manson. I was a bit afraid when he and his friend entered the row and sat next to me. Yet during the pre-concert wait, he was the most polite person imaginable. He passed me at least 5 times to go get another beer, and said “I’m sorry” each time. In fact, the entire crowd at Madison Square Garden was very well-behaved. A woman in the row in front of me was really getting into the circular rotating head banging move. (Not for older necks, believe me!) LeavingHer cell phone fell out of her pocket during her gyrations, and all the people around her helped her to find it on the floor under the seats. If I was hoping for a mob scene, as in the metal heydays of old, this was not the place to find it. Even on the floor, I didn’t see any jostling or body surfing. Just a number of devil symbols from raised arms. Is this a sign of the times, of the post-911 drone-targeted US citizens curbing their wilder impulses? Or are New Yorkers just polite, friendly people, kind of like Canadians?

The Metal Era

Karen at MSG
   Waiting for the show to begin

Being here in Greenwich Village has awakened the nostalgia I have always felt for the 60s. Being born in 1965, I was influenced by the vibe of the 60s, but I never got to see the greats as it was happening. I never got to see Led Zeppelin or the Beatles. One of my first concerts was The Who’s first farewell tour, in 1982 (they recorded Who’s Last on that tour). Guess what? (Guess Who? I am overcome with my own cleverness.) The Who are currently having their 2015 farewell tour—33 years later! OK, so farewell tours are a joke, because the bands often have numerous farewell tours. But the point is, I wish I had been here in Greenwich Village to see the first Bob Dylan show, as one of my friends did. I wish I had seen the Beatles play in Vancouver at the Empire Stadium in 1964. I wish I had been part of the aliveness, joy, and hope of the summer of love. A time of social change and new freedom. A time of excitement.

Motley on stageAnd all along, I didn’t realize that I was actually a part of a new exciting movement—the metal years! Yes, the 1980s were also a time of social change, with the Punk movement and Heavy Metal movement expressing the angst of a new generation of teenagers who wanted to fight the man.

This didn’t come home to me until another Motley poster on Boweryfarewell tour—Mötley Crüe‘s farewell after delivering 33 years of kick-ass glam metal. (Gotta love the umlauts!) I saw the concert poster on a hoarding on Battery on Monday, and was lucky enough to get a ticket that night for Tuesday’s show. So there I was, Tuesday, Oct. 28, in Madison Square Garden, watching Alice Cooper and Motley Crue! I have seen both of these bands several times in Vancouver, and most notably, early tour dates in the 80s. For example, I saw them at the 1982: Crüesing Through Canada Tour! Surprisingly, the Crue is one of the bestselling bands of all time, with over 100 million records sold worldwide. I think they started the whole tattoo thing.

I sat in the stadium on Oct. 28, relishing the fact of being in New York, in this Motley on mini stagesemi-historic building. The Garden moved from its second site in Madison Square to 8th Ave in 1925, to its current location on 31st St in 1965. Construction began at the current location 50 years ago, Oct. 29, 1964! I looked around as the seats began to fill. In my row, two teenaged young men were in the row already. They were the first to stand when Alice Cooper took the stage, and were on their feet for the whole show. I was glad to be in their row, because I too wanted to stand and dance.

Metal next gen
      Metal next gen

One of the things that occurred to me as I relished the wall of noise for over 3 hours was that I really had been part of something special. To those teenagers, the 80s was the time they wish they had been at the rock concerts, at the beginning of the metal wave. And I really was there! I just didn’t realize it was a part of history. Thanks to my boyfriend Rick and friends Ray, Mark and Joe, Johnny and Dianne and Silvia, sister Kim, cousin Sherry, we were all part of our own time of rebellion and self-definition. Listening to metal was our revolution. Our way of staking our claim in time and space, and differentiating ourselves from our parents.

I want to write more about this revelation, but I’ve got to go take a nap. The big four-nine!


I guess the point is this moment is where it’s happening. This is the exciting time to change the world. After the nap…

Think Coffee

Cafe Wha?
Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan both played their first or early gigs here

At Think Coffee in NYC. Drinking a decaf soy latte (organic, fair trade, socially responsible). Eating a Johnny Boy sandwich–peanut butter, banana, and cinnamon! I found this place by Googling best New York cafes to write in. This one got the best ranking on numerous factors, including comfort level for occupying a seat for a long time! (That is, not getting the hairy eyeball if writing and not ordering much.) Also quality of coffee. I totally agree!

I just submitted my website to the STC Regional Competition – New York Metro, Philadelphia Metro, and Houston chapters. It seems extra special to submit the entry to the New York chapter from a New York cafe!

Will upload pic of the Think Coffee cafe later. For now, here is Cafe Wha?!! I will be going there tonight to listen to world-class musicians pay a tribute to the founder of bossa nova, Antonio Carlos Jobim.

New York is such an inspiring city! I wish I could just sit in a cafe and write all day. But there is also so much to see and do. It is hard to get enough sleep with the lure of the city keeping me out late every night. Luckily, I have a nap booked at 3:00 this afternoon at YeloSpa in midtown Manhattan!


In New York City!

As some of you know, I am currently in New York doing a two-day course with Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute. I want to share some of my travel adventures, starting with a few highlights & filling in the details later. Here is a pic from Sunday night. I arrived at about 9:00 PM at La Guardia. Had a kamikaze taxi driver whiz me to the Washington Square Hotel. Unpacked and then went looking for the city I have dreamed about. The Blue Note is close to my hotel, so I walked over there, but it was just closing! Around midnight. Not an impressive start for the city that is reputed to never sleep! But just down the street was NYC Groovepizza groove 4 groove 3 groove groove 2. Funk-o-rama! I went in (no cover charge), and had a great time listening to a funk band. The crowd was very friendly. Mostly younger student-types, as the rep for this neighbourhood would have it. After listening to a few songs and dancing my hello to the city, I went across the street and got a huge piece of pizza for $4. Cheap night out, and a great start to my trip. More layta!