BFFs Angie and Kristan blog about anything, everything, and sometimes even nothing.

Still life

by

While waiting for a friend on the street corner, a woman walked by me. She stopped, pointed and exclaimed, “I thought you were a mannequin!”

Making music

by

Hordes of tourists and natives alike crowd Times Square at any given part of the day—in my case, 7 p.m. on a Monday after work. My friends were standing around a sunshine yellow piano located right at the epicenter of Times Square, and a professional pianist was delighting the crowd with his masterpiece. As I listened, my heart sank to my stomach and my hands were shaking.

“You’re next, Angie,” one of my friends said with a nudge.

Suddenly this didn’t seem like such a good idea.

I was one of those children that you had to force to sit at the piano to practice. Sometimes it involved screaming. Eventually I realized the minimal amount I had to practice each week to get by in my piano lessons. Then when I started college, there were no more lessons or practice sessions, and suddenly, I realized how much I loved (and missed) playing the piano.

In college, my friend Jenn and I would storm the private music rooms on campus to play all our old classical pieces and attempt some current hits. Later, my boyfriend at the time lent me his weighted keyboard so I could play in my bedroom. This became especially beneficial whenever I felt stressed and needed to let my emotions flow from my head and my heart and out through my fingers.

Moving to New York, I had to forego making music. Due to lack of transportation, space, and time, I returned the weighted keyboard and stopped playing. After a few months, I started getting antsy and looking up piano room rentals at local theatres. So when New York hosted a two-week art installation project of free pianos open to the public around the city, I knew I had to play.

There was only one problem: stage fright. As much as I love playing, I am terrible with large crowds, something that is unavoidable in New York. When it comes to piano, I view playing as a personal fulfillment and only choose to share it with a few close friends. The thought of performing in front of a large crowd of strangers creates a terrible anxiety and nervousness. Luckily, Jenn happened to be visiting and I told her of my goal to participate before the installation ended in July, and she happily agreed to support me.

On our first attempt, we walked in the dead of night to one of the free pianos at Central Park. My logic was this: It’s late, so not as many people will be out, and it’s dark, so they can’t really see me. But somehow my logic did not factor in that the piano would be locked during the night.

The next day I made my second attempt, more determined than ever. I discovered that there was a closer piano in Times Square, so I decided if I was going to do play somewhere, why not one of the most heavily trafficked locations in the world?

Jenn and a few friends stood eagerly near me as the pianist finished his piece. As my other friend nudged me, I looked at Jenn. I wasn’t sure I wanted to go through with this, but she smiled to give me confidence and encouragement. Even the professional said, “This piano is for you to play.”

And he was right.

Despite my nervousness, and even my mistakes, I sat on the bench and played. I played because I could make music. I played because it made me happy. I played until the piece was finished, the crowd applauded, and I turned and smiled.

Irie Mon

by

Truth be told, I dislike small talk, but it really is a great icebreaker. Often times I bump into a coworker in our kitchen area with his aromatic lunches. A very sweet, adorable man, we’ve shared quick conversations around the microwave. We’re both from hot climates, he from Jamaica and myself from Texas.

There was a week where he made curry and I realized I haven’t had curry in a very long time, nor have I ever made it properly. (I’ve tried a long time ago in Austin, but it didn’t taste the way it should.) He explained to me the kind he makes, and I shared with him my fondness of Indian curries but dislikes of Thai curries (because of the coconut milk I cannot stomach).

Today he swung by my side of the office with a jar of Jamaican curry sauce he bought for me, with the directions right on the jar he says, so I can make it easily at home.

It’s the little things like this that illustrate how great New Yorkers are, and now I can’t wait to make Jamaican curry.

Gossip

by

TV always depicts coworkers congregating around the water cooler to trade office gossip. While that’s no longer the case, I can’t help but smile at how many times we’ve talked about one thing at the water machine.

Am I the only person who finds humor that what we talk around the water cooler is, in fact, about the water cooler?

When it was broken that’s all we could talk about, and now that after a couple months that it’s finally fixed (yes that long) it’s all we can talk about.

I won’t complain

by

You are like the Asian Audrey Hepburn.  I’m going to call you Audrey from now on.

Archives