Kim & Karen 2 Soul Sisters

Kim & Karen 2 Soul Sisters

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

2 Soul Sisters and A Sidekick in NYC at NAEA

The NAEA National Convention was amazing.  
How did the process begin?  I got this bee in my bonnet and I wanted to go.  I talked to Laura Harrison, sidekick, that teaches high school art at The Westfield School, in Perry, GA.  Then, I text my sister in Tallahassee, FL, and asked her would she be interested in attending the conference.  After both the friend art teacher and the sister art teacher said, yes, I began planning the trip.  The Westfield School said, "Yes!" Maclay School said, "Yes!"
Here is how it all went down.
We left Perry on an early flight on Wednesday morning.  We parked at Park 'N Go that is 4 miles from the airport ($7.50/day).  Then, we shuttled over to airport with our carry on.  Once we got to the airport, we went through international check-in with our carry on luggage.  A breeze, I tell you.

Luckily, I had a window seat on Delta.  Hey, I planned the trip.  I put the RayBans on and crashed.  My sister, Kim (1969), and Laura, decided they would be Chatty Cathys the entire way to New York.   They were so LOUD.  I could here everything they said because they were only 1 row behind me.  I was sitting next to a very friendly couple. (like smoochy friendly with each other πŸ˜šπŸ’‹πŸ’—❤πŸ’‹)  Of course, Kim and Laura discussed the couple, volleyball, teenagers, me, and more volleyball.  Oh boy.   Below find some of Kim and Laura's activities as I was trying to rest. 

When our flight landed, we got a taxi.  I think we should have grabbed a  Lyft or Uber.  The taxi was $55 from Laguardia Airport to the New York Hilton.  For some reason, my sis decided to chat it up with Mr. Taxi driver.  He was not Chatty Cathy.

We arrive at the hotel and there were art teachers everywhere.  At last, I felt relatively normal in life.  There was a photo booth at the Hilton lobby and we got this cool pic.  As we checked in, I saw a blogger friend, Phyl.  She has a blog named There's a Dragon in my Art Room.  I yelled, "Phyl" about 10 times.  Heck, I thought maybe Phyl had a hearing problem.  Nope, no hearing problem.  She had a "southern accent" understanding problem.  Finally, I saw a wave from her.  We continued the check-in process.  We got the keys.  So far, so good!

I know that I do not look like a planner, but I do plan trips.  I go in to Google Maps, I type in locations and plan each stop.  Also, I spend a week or so researching best restaurants and cool finds.  I figure if you are going to go somewhere, do it and do it right.  You should make the most of the trip and squeeze as much as you can into a day.  

Below, you see our schedule.  In my head, it was not flexible.  Now, I told Kim and Laura it was flexible because I did not want them making fun of me.  I did not want to be called names like Detail Debbie.  Did we stay on schedule?  No.  Did it upset me?  No, I just like having a plan so that everyone can be on the same page, so to speak.
We walked around our hotel and found these 2 cool sculptures.  Of course, we all wanted pictures in front of Robert Indiana's cool art.
On Thursday morning, Jeff Koons was the keynote speaker.  We arrived about 15 minutes early.  Well, Laura decided to go to the restroom.  While she was gone, I slid over and talked to my sis.  Laura came back and sat down.  She attempted to pick her coffee up, but I had unknowingly knocked it over.  Oh boy.  I am so clumsy.  Laura was furious.  If you ever trip with her, just know that she is not a morning person.  I went downstairs to get her more coffee.  Unfortunately, I did not take my phone.  They were texting me telling me to get artificial sweetener.  Well, I did not have my phone so all she got was cream.  Laura did not need that fake stuff anyway.  I was only looking out for her well being and health. 😑
I was only a few minutes late getting back to see Jeff Koons.  He was very smart man (probably still is smart😁) and talked a long time.  When Koons finished speaking, I had a crick in my neck because I thought it would be a good idea to sit on the front row on the right side.  I always like sitting on the front row.  I sit on the front row so I can pay attention.  My sis and Laura did not want to sit on the front row.  They were not happy about the cricks in their necks at all.  I was kind of getting on their nerves and it was only the first day.  Actually, it was the first hour.πŸ˜”
Here is Laura and me in front of one of Jeff Koons' sculptures out on the city streets.  Yeah, I had marked it on google maps.  Look at Laura.  Does she look like she has a crick in her neck?  Nope.
How did we get around?  Well, I usually use Uber.  So, I pulled the app up on my phone, and reserved the Uber.  Uber was headed my way and dude wants us to meet him at the corner of this street and that street.  I was from Georgia.  Do I know what street I am on?  No!  I was on a street in New York, bro!  When we finally found our Uber driver, he told me only 2 passengers.  I said well we got 3.  He said, "Sorry."  We hopped out of the Uber car.  I probably received a bad rating from him.
After that fiasco, we stuck to Lyft.  Lyft was great.  Also, it was about $20 cheaper than the cab back to the airport.  I'll have more on the return to airport trip later.
The opening night party was lots of fun.  There was a life-sized Magic Screen Lite-Brite, some photo ops, and art teacher dancing.  I must say that there is no dancing like art teacher dancing.  I guess you could say it was a mixture of John Travolta, D.J. Casper Cha-Cha Slide, Josie and the Pussycats, and JJ Walker from Good Times.  Check out 1965s groovin' and moovin'.

Conferences are usually boring to me.  I mean, like I need a nap boring.  The "I need a long nap with snoring" kind of boring.  Art Teacher conferences are not boring.  The teachers were fun.  The material was interesting.  I learned so much and got inspired hearing their stories.  It was information overload.  Good information, though.
Yes, we tried to get in The Tonight Show.  We signed up for tickets a month in advance.  We followed all the rules, but we did not get in.  Jimmy likes the arts.  I really think he would have liked us.
The food was not too shabby.  

Ray's Pizza-We ate at Ray's as soon as we arrived to NYC.  A great local place with friendly pizza guys!  They liked our southern accents.
Lindy's-Great stop for some cheesecake!
Brooklyn Diner-The Brooklyn Diner was in Midtown and had some seriously yummy breakfast.
Da Marino-We did not have reservations, but Da Marino was able to seat and feed us. When we walked in, there did not appear to be 3 seats.  The host asked a couple sitting at a table with 4 seats, to move.  They already had food on the table.  Oh boy.  They moved.  We sat down.  Can you say awkward?  Well, they were moved to a corner.  I understand why.  They were in a major fight.  Can you say even more awkward?  I have never heard a couple fight in this manner in public.  The food was great.  The atmosphere was better once the unhappy couple departed for divorce court. 
Patsy's Italian Restaurant-I found this place on Yelp.  It sounded great.  An old family-style Italian establishment was a must, before we departed.  We arrived at the restaurant and we were all freezing.  The host demanded for us to take off our coats and check them.  Laura and Kim wanted to keep their coats.  Mr. Italian host said, "You must take check your coats."  Oh my.  We got de-coated and seated.  Patsy's was some serious, old-school, New York folks.  These people had their own tables that they sat at every Saturday night.  I think we stuck out like a sore thumbs.  We could not understand the waiter because of his thick Italian accent.  He was a funny guy, but we really had no idea if he understood us.  We just laughed, smiled, and ate.  We had good food, but we were a little chilly during our meal.  We felt like The Godfather was sitting back in the corner with the mafia going in and out the back of the restaurant.  We are the imaginative type, though.
The Halal Guys-This was some great classic street vendor food.  A must try for the visitor to NYC.

We were so lucky to meet some of our art teacher blogger friends.  They were super cool.  
Crazy enough, I had seen the movie Woman in Gold on Netflix in early February.  I researched to find that it was in the Neue Galerie in New York City!  The Neue Gallerie is owed by, get this, Ronald Lauder.  Who is Ronald Lauder?  He is Estee Lauder's son.  
The museum were very strict.  There were guards in all the rooms.  There was no picture taking at this museum.  I was glad there was no picture taking.  I had to stop and stare.  I had to take it all in with my eyes.  Seriously, pretty cool for the art lover.  Like Laura said, "The Nazis touched this art."  All I could think was, "Dang, make-up paid for this AMAZING ART and museum."
The Museum of Modern Art was a great stop.  We did not have a lot of time, but we went in for a quickie.  We did buy our tickets online and that saved us time.  Also, we went to the top floors first and made our way back down to the lover level.  I like touring a museum from top-down.  It is kind of backwards viewing, but less crowds.  At the MoMA, you can pretty much take photos anywhere.  Warning:  If you see a black line, do not accidentally back across it when you take a picture.  The guard does not like that at all.  I got Laura to dance a little jig with me to make the guard giggle.  

 πŸ˜“πŸ˜±πŸ˜­ Also, on Friday nights after 4, you get in free.  Do not even attempt to do this.  I have never seen a line this long.  Honestly, I wondered if Picasso himself was in the MoMA signing prints.  I tell you, pay the $20 online.  Go as soon as the museum opens and you will be cooking with gas!  I took many pictures and descriptions of some of my favorite pieces.
Also, we decided to tour the Times Square one night.  It was a nice "cold" walk down to the square.  Laura and Kim, once again, gang up on me and make a video and would not let me participate.  Have a look-

After they filmed a video and left me out, we were all very cold.  Kim decided she would hail a taxi.  She was practically in the middle of the road with her arm up.  All of the sudden, a rickshaw driver pulled up, I hopped in.  They hopped in.  He zips us up in the contraption and says, "Ride of a lifetime!"
Once we were good and zipped in, I saw a sign that says $4.65 a minute.  Oh boy!  I tell you, it was one crazy ride.  Rickshaw dude ran a red light.  A fire engine blew past us on my side and it was so close that I saw the fireman wink at me on back of the truck.πŸ˜‰πŸ˜πŸš’  Honestly, I do not know how that guy pulled our big boodies on that rickshaw.  He had to stand up to "gas it" on the uphill.  Finally, we arrived at our hotel.  Rickshaw dude said, "That will be $75.00."  Wha? 😲😱😳😡  So, we pay upπŸ’²πŸ’²πŸ’²πŸ’°πŸ’°πŸ’° and know he earned every penny dragging us for 15 minutes.  We head toward the hotel and I checked for my phone.  No phone.  Laura heads on into the hotel.  I think Laura had had enough of the 2 Soul Sisters for the day.  Kim and I take off running chasing the Rickshaw dude down the street.  He was so sweet and took the bike apart to find my phone.  My phone was nowhere to be found.  I decided to ring my phone with my Apple watch.  I heard a "ding, ding, ding" sound coming from my POCKET.  Oops.  Sorry, Mr. Rickshaw dude.  My bad.
My phone played hide-and-go-seek the entire trip.  Kim and I went to see the Fabulous, Fun Folk Art workshop.  The presenters were Ginger Pacer from Paintbrush Rocket Blog, Laura Lohmann from Painted Paper Art, Cassie Stephens from Cassie Stephens Blog, and Jennifer Alvardo.  These presenters are rock stars in the art blogging world.  As you can imagine, the workshop quickly filled up.  People were outside in the hall.  It was a crowded mess.  Then, we hear an announcement that the workshop would be held in the room next door.  Everyone jumps up!  People were trampling each other to get a seat in the other room.  I found myself pushed and shoved into the other room.  Then, I wondered, hmmmmm, where's my phone?  Once again, I used my watch to call my phone.  No noise=No phone.  I went to look in the other room.  I had to interrupt another workshop.  No phone.  I headed back into the new workshop room to see my sis heading up to the stage.  Cassie was holding up my phone saying, "This phone has 2 cute kids on it."
On Sunday morning, we had to depart NYC.  We took Lyft out to Laguardia Airport.  I was not sure what Terminal, but I had briefly seen Terminal A somewhere.  When Lyft dude asks what terminal, I said, "A."  He looked a little puzzled, but he went to Terminal A.  Later, I learned that Terminal A was the Marine Air Terminal.πŸ˜‚  
We were early, but there was no one there.  When we arrived, we saw only one check-in desk.  We headed to a lobby and sat down and talked.  The lobby was cool.  It had a cool mural.  Of course, the three art teachers decided to google the artist.  
 James Brooks’ 235-foot circular mural, “Flight.”
This was the last and largest mural produced under the Work Projects Administration. The WPA, a key component of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, was the nation’s largest employer in the years leading up to World War II. Brooks painted several projects for the WPA in the 1930s.
Finally, the restaurant opened.  We still were wondering where all the people were hiding.  We headed into the coolest little restaurant.  The Yankee Clipper Deli and Restaurant was a classic diner. πŸ˜‹  We could see planes landing on the water.  I am not sure why this would not clue us in that we could possibly be at the wrong terminal.😨
Eventually, we decided to ask someone that worked in the airport about our flight.  Unfortunately, she could not speak English and we could not speak Spanish.  We did read her sign language that said go out.  So we went out and began walking with our carry on roller luggage.  It was cold.  I am talking Minnesota wind-blowing on a frozen lake cold.  No signs were anywhere to help the lost.  Laura decided she would go in an airplane hanger to ask for directions.  Now that I think of it, she was probably just trying to get warm.  Thank goodness, the door was locked.  I was not in the mood to be chatting it up with airplane mechanics.  We had a plane to catch.  I turn around and see Kim hailing a taxi.  Then, I notice that it is not a taxi.  It was a bus.  A people moving bus that is considered mass transportation.🚌🚌🚌  The bus driver stops, he yells, "I cannot stop right here."  Kim yelled, "Come on, yΓ‘ll, hop on!" We hopped on and told the bus driver our sad story.  He drove us to our real terminal and dropped us off.  At this point, we were pushing to make our flight.  The security line was backed up.  I had Delta's fast pass, so I was chilling  on the other side as Kim and Laura were getting searched for weapons.  It was a satisfying moment since they had taken the snore video of me on the flight to New York and they had left me out of the Times Square video.  At last, we arrive to our gate.  
We boarded.  We flew out of  New York City.  When we returned to Atlanta, we were tired, but very happy to have been a part of such a fun conference in New York City.  I was thrilled to arrive home safe and unharmed with my cell phone in my pocket.
I just love this fun video about New York.

P.S.  Please do not tell our husbands about our $75 Rickshaw ride.  They are not the art teacher types and would not understand.😜


  1. Oh man, I wish I had taken you gals on a subway ride!! You really missed the ultimate NYC experience!

    1. we needed u to b our tour guide. i could have used a personal assistant just to keep up with my phone. :)