XOXO

I know I keep on saying how big the city is, and how much is going on all the time, but it is true, and that seems to affect my life in here quite a bit. I come across interesting things mostly unintentionally, which is delightful.

There are more tv shows and movies located in New York that I can count, which means that there are quite several film sets around. I, for some reason, have come across the set of Gossip Girl, twice. I am not a hardcore fan of the show, but it is fun to see those people who are try to get over the fact that they are actually seeing how it’s done.

Maybe the best day ever – Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick – yeah I googled) is across the street!

The crew behind the scenes is big, the actors’ appearance is constantly being polished and improved, and something as little as a small box that is accidentally in the shot can ruin the whole scene. And of course, where there are celebrities, there are paparazzi’s, too. And tourists. That is like the holy trinity of New York. I have not seen any celebrities other than in this kind of situations, though. They probably have people who go out and do everything so they don’t have to.

Lily (Kelly Rutrherford) and Chuck (Ed Westwick) with their ride

Now I feel intrigued to start watching the show, so I can see the scenes that I have seen being made. What season are they filming now?

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Fuzzy love

New Yorkers love their pooches. In addition to dog sitters who can be seen walking 8 different sized dogs with no problems, there are many other possible activities for dogs.

If your dog doesn’t get enough exercise, take him to the gym! No need to take the dog out for a walk. Maybe they use free weights and machines in this gym?

Of course dogs need special treats, too. You can buy doggy cookies from many stores and even bakeries, and there’s plenty of shops and restaurants that offer at least water to doggies.

Vending machine for dog treats seems somehow Japanese?

Unlike in Finland, where you have to buy a dog straight from the breeder, in the States dogs can be purchased from regular pet stores. Puppies are usually on display in the window, in a glass box or in a small cage. I wonder how many people buy dogs as spontaneously as they buy clothes, or some other stuff they find in the mall?

Dog menu
Take me home and let your kids have another teddybear?

Dogs in the city are generally small, but in the suburbs people tend to have bigger dogs for “protection”. Since not everyone can handle a pitbull, the animal shelters are packed with dogs that have been abandoned after they grow up and people realize that having a dog is like having a child.

Good luck

In The City, there is always something going on. When many things are happening simultaneously, sometimes the hardest thing is picking the fruit from the punch, so to speak. Even if you didn’t mark events to your calendar, or aren’t aware of certain happenings, you might get lucky just by being in the right place in the right time.

Opening of Ted Baker’s 5th avenue, British tea time delicacies and instagram photobooth (#ted5thave)

Timing is essential – this morning I did not get a free bike rental in Park Avenue, since I was too late.

Man run from Times Square with a machete, the police shot him. 7th avenue was closed, and people were shocked

I was also too late to miss the action near Times Square today. Lucky me! Seeing the police cars and isolation tapes reminded me that anything can happen anytime.

Job well done?

I have now almost completed 2 months of the 5 that I am supposed to do practical training for my studies. Today is my last day working for the video messaging service KeepTree and production company Big Media. For the past 8 weeks I have spent my weekdays (excluding Fridays) on the 10th floor of 333 7th avenue.

My desk. Notice the popcorn machine (never used) on the right.

One of my tasks was to get publicity for KeepTree. Therefore, I have spent days and days wandering around the wide Web, contacting exchange student companies, au pair companies, travel blogs, technology blogs, newspapers and basically anything that could possibly write something about the service. I failed on that mission, which has made me doubt myself even more than before.
I have been writing the following sentences over and over again.

KeepTree is an online video messaging service, that allows users to record, save and share videos with whoever, whenever they want. Since there is no simultaneous internet connection required, KeepTree works especially well for exchange students, au pairs, travelers and others abroad and away from home.

With KeepTree, you can record birthday messages, greetings, keep a video journal, or send messages to be received in the future. KeepTree is an easy and convenient way of keeping in touch with your loved ones.

Big Media and KeepTree office

These past weeks I have recorded dozens and dozens of videos to different people, and luckily some have even responded. At first it was hard to see myself on video, but after a while you get used to it. KeepTree turned out to be quite handy, when keeping contact with my closest friends and family. I could imagine using the service while in Japan, though now it feels like I’ve had an overdose for a while.

Work is over – time for holiday! This weekend I will at least attend the NY Summer Streets, and go see Cirque de Soleil. On Tuesday, it’s time for a (long) road (bus) trip!

Outdoors omm

There is nothing quite like the power of community. Usually in yoga classes the om-chanting resonates in the room, last week I once again got to experience something different.

New York Public library (my best guess), view from Bryant Park

Every week there are two free classes of yoga in Bryant Park (Tue 10 am, Thu 6 pm). Anyone willing and able can come and try the poses that the teachers from different yoga schools around NY choose to practise. The class I took was intense, maybe because of the upcoming thunderstorm that made the air sweaty hot and really humid. 400 people chanting simultaneously is something that attracted people to come and just watch the downward dogs and other asanas. Doing yoga outdoors with others was fun, but next time I’d definitely bring my own mat.

Yogis getting ready for action

Bryant Park organizes other events, too, like the weekly movie screenings. Tomorrow’s film is Rebel Without a Cause, I will definitely go see it.

Aside from the Bryant Park yoga, I haven’t yet experienced other forms like yogilates or the oh-so enticing yoga kickboxing. We shall see if I have the time to experiment. Some yoga schools offer free drop-in classes, others charge close to 30$/hour.

For people who are currently in the city and are interested in the subject: The Integral Yoga Institute is organizing a “Day for Your Health Vegetarian Street Fair” on August, 18th, on 13th street between 7th and 8th avenues.