29 January 2012

Of Lincoln Center, Noodles, and Conservatories

Well, tomorrow marks the first day of spring semester. And of course that means back to the work-eat-work-eat-rehearsal-sleep craziness. It's a mixed blessing, of course. I don't handle not having any sort of structured schedule well. I get antsy, bored, and end up playing entirely too much Skyrim. However, the semester most often brings TOO much structure and rigidity, which is equally confining.

So to make the most out of the last few days of glorious freedom, my mom and I planned a trip to spend a day up in NYC and visit my brother.

It was particularly exciting for me, since this is the first time I actually got a chance to go up and see my brother's "new" school: The Julliard School. He's been there for two years now, and it just always ended up that when my parents would go up to see him, I always had some conflict with work so that tagging along was simply impossible.

My brother is by far the most dedicated and talented person I know, and all that dedication has certainly paid off. He gets to live quite literally AT Lincoln Center. Right across the street from the Metropolitan Opera (which of course we ALWAYS have to stop and get some photos of), City Ballet, and Avery Fisher Hall (where the NY Philharmonic Plays).

Not to mention (if you'll allow me to brag for a moment) attend what is basically THE BEST school for music in the country and certainly one of the best in the world. I mean, just check out this list of notable alumni and teachers. Like, holy crap.

So needless to say, he has been busting his tushy to get there basically since he first picked up at trumpet at age 10, and he did it. And as frustrating as the constant music making could be as we grew up in this tiny house together, I'm immensely proud of him, and everything he's accomplished. So I was crazy glad that I could finally go up and see his school, where he lives, what he does, and see him perform. And while I've seen him perform literally thousands of times over the past 11 years, I must admit it was pretty damn cool to see him on a Julliard stage.

Now of course, my mom and I made some time for girly bonding while we were there, and made our usual beauty stop - Sephora - where I picked up three nail polishes that our little JC Penny Sephora here doesn't carry, and a Hello Kitty compact for my purse. But the main attraction during girly time for me was LUSH.

They're a cosmetics store/brand/company that prides themselves on totally organic and handmade products, from skincare to bath bombs to soap, shampoo, and even hair dye. We don't have one here, and ever since I developed a nail polish problem I have desperately wanted to try their Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter - a product that basically all the nail bloggers I could find recommend hands down.

You can buy it online, but I couldn't justify paying not only $15 for a cuticle cream, but shipping too? I knew I'd get up there eventually, so I just waited. And I'm both glad and upset that I did. I'm upset because this stuff really is that amazing. I've only been using it for about 5 days now, but already I can see a difference in my cuticles (and I only use it at night too! It's a little greasy for daytime use IMHO... I'm really picky and weird about wearing lotions and touching things).

But I'm glad I waited ultimately because visiting the store itself was such a great experience. I'm just glad I'm good about sticking to my budget or else I would have walked out with one of everything.

For dinner we ate at an old stand-by: Ollie's Noodle Shop. We've eaten there countless times over the years, and because of the short time-frame my brother had to grab dinner with us, this seemed like the most logical choice since it's only a block down from Lincoln Center.

It's an easy choice, because there's something there that will satisfy all our assorted tastes. The Tofu Noodle Bowl and Sapporo were delicious, as always.

But the real highlight of the day for me was finally getting to see the school, and by golly, is it beautiful.

Lots of glass, so you have an amazing view of the city around you, and by far my favorite feature was this:

They just look like regular red curtains, right? But wait... upon closer inspection you find...

They're actually the full text of every single Shakespeare play painted on the wall outside the drama theatre. Crazy, right?

Overall, it was a delightful trip to round off winter break before the rush of the semester starts again. And now it's time to go from visiting one school back to the world of working at another!



Timiae said...

Lucky! Seems like such a fun trip. I'd love to stop by lush, but would probably leave sadder than when I came in since I wouldn't be able to afford all that I wanted, lol! How accomplished of your brother... Juilliard... wow.

petrina said...

lovely pics! I love Lush stuff , they smell so yummy!