Day 90: Homeward Bound!!!

Wednesday 20/04/2011 My Last Day!!!!
This morning, I woke early to try get all my packing done. I didn’t realise it would take me so long. I have too much stuff!!!
I met my parents to say bye, I am on a separate flight to them. I then met Mary Ellen for lunch and we also said our goodbyes. I got 3 separate trains to the airport and busied myself until take off. I watched 4 movies onboard. So I was very entertained. I didn’t sleep but I arrived home at 6.40am, Irish time. Got a lift home and slept my ass off!!!!!

I know I will miss my busy New York lifestyle, but I do feel my body does need a little rest. I am so thankful for all that I have learned and seen over the past three months. It has improved me as an artist, for sure. But I am now aware that the New York scene in dance, is not really my style. I think I have experienced a lot and now can say that the European style suits me a lot better. I will of course visit New York City again in the future but at this moment in my life, I can’t see myself moving there to live indefinitely.
I am thankful I got to perform in the Judson Church and also to perform in the Vagina Monologues. I have learned a lot and am grateful the Irish Arts Council, has given me some funding help to fulfill a lifelong fantasy to visit New York City! I have done it and I am glad!

Day 89

Tuesday 19/04/2011
This morning, my aunts were leaving so I went to say my goodbyes. I then went to DNA to take class with Tara Burns. I had met Tara a few times and she invited me to come take her class. It was very challenging for me and my weak body. I think it was too much for me. I don’t think I or my body was ready for such technical movement. But the class itself was really beautiful, I enjoyed even with my difficulties.
I then went and met my parents and we went to the Met museum with Mary Ellen, I really enjoyed it but felt we didn’t have enough time. I wanted to see the Guggenheim museum too so me and Mary Ellen went ahead to do that. It was a beautiful museum in structure but I preferred the Met, by far the most!
After we went to visit the FAO Schwartz toy shop, to see the giant piano, from the movie BIG. It was so cool, like a childhood dream come true. I am so glad I got to do that before I left.
We then went to Macy’s to buy some presents for my brother and sister. It was difficult. had no idea what to get them.
After we went to eat in a Mexican restaurant on West Broadway, it was disappointing. We didn’t realise what we were ordering, so ended up with appetizers, silly us!!!!! But it was fine, we weren’t that hungry.

I then went home and Mary Ellen cut my hair. I was supposed to meet some people for drinks but was too exhausted by then.

Week 13: Day 88

Monday 18/04/2011
This morning I went to class, it will be my last class with movement research. I didn’t really enjoy it, perhaps I was sad because I was leaving. I felt tired and sore. I did a lot of walking over the weekend.
I then met my parents, we had lunch in Penn Station and then went to visit the Moma. We enjoyed it but I could tell they were very tired of all the walking we had done the past few days. We also went and visited St. Patricks cathedral, it was so beautiful and huge. I was glad I got a chance to see it.
We then met up with the aunts and went to eat dinner in the Irish Pub.

I left them and went to meet my friend Brianna in Chelsea and we went to see a production by Punchdrunk theatre company, called “Sleep no more”.
I had no idea what to expect. They had rented a whole warehouse and converted it into an old hotel. It was like walking into an old movie set. It was very spooky. The smell and decor were authentic. It really felt like I had gone through a portal, into another world. The whole audience were allowed to walk through the building, following whatever character they chose. We all had to wear masks, to remain anonymous. I had no idea it would be mainly a dance production, I had expected it to be theatre.
It was difficult for me at first, I felt out of my comfort zone and worried I was following the wrong characters, but soon, it started to pick up and I could recognise who was who. It was so physical and so dark. The imagery alone was mind boggling. I was in shock, it really took me to another place. I was so deep inside it.
Afterwards I felt shaky, it had such an impact on me. I was exhausted from running around after the performers. I really wanted to see it again, so I could follow another part of the story. It really was the most immersive theatre I have ever witnessed. I am such a fan and really eager to experience more of their work. I would recommend it to everyone. So amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Day 87

Sunday 17/04/2011
This morning, I was up early and met my family in China Town. We took the D train all the way to Coney Island. It was so beautiful, the sun was shining and there were so many people around. it really felt like summer. We travelled back and had lunch in wholefoods.

We then went to Broadway to see Billy Elliot the Musical. At first I thought it was too cheesy but by the end I really enjoyed it. The little actor was so talented. It was amazing to see such a young boy with such talent.

I then went home and showered and went to meet Athena for a party at Tradeschool, but when I arrived, the party was already over and nobody told me. I was not pleased because I had ditched my family to see Athena and the others and had missed out on seeing Staten Island. Anyway, I got the DVD of my Judson performance, so I was happy to get that at least. Then I met my family and we went to eat at Union Square in a Thai restaurant. It was a lovely meal and I didn’t feel as guilty for missing Staten Island.
We then went up to Time Square to see the lights. It again started to rain, so we didn’t stay long. It was a lovely day. Very busy, but great!!!

Day 86

Saturday 16/04/2011
I went to meet my family early this morning. We went to see the “strawberry fields” monument in Central Park, the Dakota building, the Hells Kitchen Flea Market and the Central Park Ice Rink (which was closed). I then met up with Mary Ellen and we went to visit the town of Sleepy Hollow. The weather got so bad when we arrived that we were so wet and had to take cover in a diner in the little town. It rained so heavily, but we decided to brave it and try site see. We went to the cemetery and also visited Philips Manor. It was so lovely, they had volunteers dressed up and act out various roles and tell stories of how it would have been in the Manor many years ago. It was a lovely experience, we got to see the freshly sheared sheep and watch a woman spinning wool. Was really great!
After we had to wait an hour til the next train came. We were wet and cold but happy, it was a fun day.

After, I went out with some friends in Williamsburg for my fair-well party. Only a few made it out in the stormy weather but I had a lovely night all the same.

Day 85

Friday 15/04/2011
I went to class this morning but had a lot of pain, I had been feeling a lot better in Ori’s classes so I was surprised I wasn’t feeling better in Luis’ classes. I had to take it easy again and sit out at the end of the class.
I went to have another massage from Rebecca today at 1pm. My last one before I leave. It went well, I hadn’t as much pain as the last two times. I realise I will have to see a physio back home to finally get a diagnosis and figure out how to fix my problems.

That evening my parents flew to NYC to visit me and had brought my two aunts to surprise, it really was a surprise. We all decided to go to Chinatown to eat dinner and brought Mary Ellen along too. We tried three different places before settling into one we thought was good.
We ordered and chatted and felt very relaxed but soon the food was coming, but in sections, Mary Ellen and I, ate first and by the time the others had their food, it was all cold. My Dad and Aunt were not happy with their food so asked to change it for something else. The night got very dramatic. Eventually the police were called. It got very out of hand very fast, and really made no sense. In the end we had to pay for all the meals, even though we didn’t eat them and the restaurant learned nothing from the situation. We all remained very calm and I was happy that we did, it was a strange situation, weird reactions and a lot of aggressive behavior from the restaurant staff. We were held captive until the police came. Extremely childish and very rude.

What a night!!!!

Day 84

Thursday 14/04/2011
Today I took Ori’s class again. I could do a bit more in class today, I didn’t feel as bad in my hamstring. I felt I could move bigger. I really really enjoy his class and hear he might be coming to teach in Ireland. I would be so grateful if he did, I think he would be great for the Irish dance scene.
After class I went to my final day in the office. I again worked on the Gala invitations. But about an hour into my shift, Sarah invited me into the staff meeting along with Ivo and Sophia (two other interns who were leaving) and they had a little cup cake party for us as a thank you for all our help. I was really surprised and so thankful. I was there the shortest so know it was more a party for the other two, but I was so thankful to have been included. We spoke for a while about our experience and what we will do next. It was so lovely and warm. Really a lovely gesture!

After work I went to meet Alex my old housemate for dinner in Union Square, as a little goodbye. We had a really nice time and the food was great. We then had cocktails and went to the chocolate bar, the one I was at on Tuesday. And had hot chocolate and Smores…….again I felt so American. Was glad I got to taste it before I left. It was a lovely evening, but I started to feel sad that I was leaving again.
I feel a bit stressed because I have to go home and now and start my own network at home. I feel by being here, I have connected with a lot of people who work at home, so it has been a great experience but I also think that I have been abroad so long, that I am unknown at home and feel I have a lot of work to try build some relationships.
I have been asked to dance with a company at home, which is amazing, I start the week after I come home and will work until July. I have also applied to start working on the Dublin Dance festival in May, so I am hoping to get to know some people through that. I am excited but nervous about going home. It will take some adjusting time but hopefully it will work out……if it doesn’t then I can always come back to New York or move to Belgium!!!!