Tag Archive: food

Into the Arms of America

Reliving my 3 weeks with 3 lovely girls in December 2009 🙂 This is what I recorded...
so far…

we’ve been to a cuban cafe in soho (twice),
had a conversation about spirituality with a guy called from sydney in an aussie bar in nyc,
rode the private lift in tiffany’s on fifth avenue whilst we pretended that martha was getting engaged so to try on the rings,
got hit on by two seedy men at 6am at LGA,
subsequently met a nice british guy who ended up being on our flight to washington, mistook capitol hill for the white house (don’t even..),
had a long chat with the two cops on duty at the capitol,
saw jfk’s eternal flame at arlington after watching the changing of the guard,
senate, supreme court,
witnessed a “movement” outside the white house (i.e. obama’s convoy),
got interrogated at canadian customs,
chatted til 2am with two canadians in a french restaurant in montreal who worked for the government,
looked ridiculous traipsing through the cobbled streets in quebec with our bags semi-lost up the hill to where we stayed in the shadow of the frontenac,
being kindly informed by two seedy guys in an international beer pub that by taking off the labels of our beer bottles that we apparently were expressing our sexual frustration,
replying that that was in fact not the case,
served by a younger and hotter version of mr hennes,
classic disney slip over on the ice in the street,
introduced to tim hortons,
jazz club in montreal,
fell in love with the ‘i’m not cool but that’s ok’ song,
snow ball fight in montreal after getting lost in the underground,
promptly got over our romance with snow,
ate poutine and schwartz’s smoked meat,
had my first real coffee in an italian place with a flirty waiter,
martha got her hair stuck in a christmas tree,
dug samantha (cara’s car) out of the snow,
road tripped to ithaca,
played song charades on the public transport in boston,
cheesecake. oh my. cheesecake.,
musuem of fine arts,
jfk library (aneurysm),
fenway park (with 3 other aussies.. ridiculous),
went to an awesome church where the band played kings of leon, a cute (very) cute keys player, and they supported three justice causes (sex slavery, clean water, a dominican pastor working to educate street kids) http://www.reunionboston.com/,
met windy’s twin. actually freaky.,
experienced a peanut butter and banana smoothie,
freedom trail,
had our palates revolutionised by mike’s pastries,
stumbled across an orchestra performing bach,
ran with lyn (nyc has crappy air, fyi) to get a spot to late nite with jimmy fallon,
hi-fived jimmy fallon,
saw next to normal, shrek, god of carnage, and in the heights on broadway,
martha won the lottery for in the heights, so we got to sit front row – had a chat with the conductor,
went on bus tours downtown, to brooklyn, uptown (with the crazy, offensive un-PC kazakhi tour guide),
got serenaded by street performers, one of whom thought martha would appreciate his nipples (secretly, she did),
learnt that starbucks’ ‘signature hot chocolate’ is rank, and comes with mounds of whipped cream unless you specify otherwise,
museum of natural history (amazing space exhibition with a 4.5 billion year old rock, and an incredible exhibition on evolution, dna etc),
fell in love with bagels,
wore complementary fairy wings at alice’s tea cup,
jess got serenaded at the stardust diner,
went to grand central,
‘i can’t feel it in my fingers, can’t feel it in my toes, the cold is all around me, and so the feeling goes..’,
the met (flip.),
the trendy burger place hidden in a hotel lobby recommended to us by pat,
walked along bleecker st and found joe’s,
the first real coffee in america,
jess and i walked 45 blocks up to buy boots,
had cheesecake at junior’s where the waiters were fascinated by our accents,
got into birdland where we heard the drummer who played by charlie parker 60 years ago on the night birdland opened (you know, as you do as an 84 year old),
ground zero exhibition (incredible),
ran for a subway, only to leave jess behind. drama ensued.,
the bodies exhibition (real human bodies. crazy. struck by human intricacy and our frailty, and how glad i am that there is hope beyond this existence.),
watched carolers sing ‘new york new york’,
played the sugar/salt game in the oldest pizza joint in nyc,
watched to knicks snatch a win over the clips at madison square garden,
went to the moma (FLIPPING HECK),
experienced ‘blizzard 2009’ and ate an entire ny pizza from fat sal’s whilst watching ladder 49,
heard tim keller at redeemer talk on how jesus is the intersection of heaven and earth, how heaven opens for the humble,
encouraged by the work one of their church plants in the bronx does for the homeless as they seek to tell the gospel and embody the gospel,
bought two pairs of jeans for $40 at macy’s,
sat under bob dylan’s acoustic and next to ringo’s kit at hard rock cafe,
lyn got stranded for 10 hrs on the tarmac, 7 hours in a line and 3 days thanks to the snow storm (i hate uncle snow!),
flew to denver, then to abq, my bag got sent to chicago, and have been hanging out with my aunt and uncle in santa fe.

we also ate a lot of food.

love to you all.




I am realising more and more that the relationships I have been given in my life are of profound worth to me. So, you may have noticed, but I’ve decided to start celebrating those dear to me. One way I like to do that is to write about them.

You hear Lyn before you see her. The air quakes before her laughter and an inexplicable gladness takes hold.

She also has an impossibly high embarrassment threshold.

There was a time when she got caught in torrential rain walking to Redfern station and a kind professor from Gosford invited her to share his umbrella with her. When I say, ‘there was a time’, I mean, this past Monday. As she was recounting this very tale to a group of us girls huddled on the station, just as we inquired “Who was this kind man?”, and just as the words, “A professor from Gosford” had left her mouth, THE VERY MAN HIMSELF appeared half a metre away, looking at the train timetable, and unaware that he was the subject of our anecdotal attentions. Unaware, that is, until Lyn abruptly gestured, “THIS man!!” much to the stunned confusion of the Professor.

He looked at Lyn’s outstretched hand, to this group of girls, and back to Lyn’s hand again in bewilderment. Lyn reminded him that he had just shared an umbrella with her not just 2 minutes prior; he seemed to acknowledge that he remembered that, but looked at her as though that were not sufficient justification for her intrusion into his peaceful examination of the station timetable.

The awkwardness of the moment was palpable. And absolutely FANTASTIC.

We erupted into laughter, and Lyn proclaimed that she was fine, because of her famed insurmountable embarrassment threshold. We then proceeded to grace the packed carriage home with animated conversation regarding whether we would eat a friend if they had died and we were isolated and about to die of starvation (an old can of worms for Lyn and I), much to the silent disapproval of the rest of the peak hour commuters. Again, embarrassment threshold was Lyn’s salvation.

She will also whip out inane facts at parties, like that 70% of the Australian population lives on the Eastern Seaboard. She backs up her arguments with stats, she does.

My friendship with Lyn is characterised by the coexistence of ridiculousness and profundity. It’s not so much that we switch between the two gears, as the two coexist at the one time. I like it; it recognises that life is both serious and ridiculous all at one. And we commune with one another on that basis. Also, food is a significant point of bonding. A very significant point of bonding.


We will often message one another out of the blue, typically at 2am, with a very serious and deep sentiment. We’ll then exchange thoughts back and forth until we’ve reaching some semblance of peace about the matter.

The other day, Lyn messaged me about this song. It’s stunning, and I think you should listen to it. Right now.

It’s by Elena Tonra, and it’s a song that we’ve had much discussion about over the past year or so. The other day, when Lyn messaged me, we picked up the threads of something of an ongoing conversation that never quite reaches any conclusions. Because it’s not one of those conversations that can ever resolve itself.

But here’s something she wrote, kind of about that conversation. Kind of.

that moment where recognition
of regret and remorse mingle with submission
to mistakes made and lessons learned,
heart-wrestling the line between the forgiven and the forgotten
that i cannot tread perfectly.

peter wouldn’t grow up.
and i am a belt notch.

I love my Lyn. I love the depth at which she lives life. I love her single-minded desire to dwell in her first love, Jesus.