Monday, June 4, 2012


     I made two trips to New York for the five interviews I had there.  The first trip was right after Thanksgiving, and I went with my parents.  We had a great time, and I visited Mt. Sinai, Cornell, and NYU.  Although we really did try to go into this whole process with an open mind, it was pretty easy to see that New York was going to be the front runner as far as cities went.  My first New York interview was with Mt Sinai and it was awesome.  I had a great interview day and got a wonderful overall vibe from the program.  I went to a happy hour with the current residents and enjoyed hearing how much the residents liked the program.  That is always a good sign.  After my interview, as I was walking back to the subway, it started pouring rain!  When I got to the train, I saw about 5 other people I had interviewed with and we were all soaking wet in our suits just laughing at how ridiculous it was.  When I showed up to my hotel, my dad answered the door and said "Oh no!  You got soaked!"  But, the best sign of the day was that I was still happy to be there even though I was cold and wet with sore feet.  I knew New York was a place I could live for sure!
     I enjoyed Cornell and NYU as well, again tons of nice people and great residents.  Although it was becoming apparent that New York would be our target city, it was going to be tough to rank the programs I visited.
     I made sure to take my parents to Mark and my favorite deli, Andy's Deli.  It is at the corner of Broadway and 18th St, near Union Square which was only a few blocks from where Mark worked the summer we lived there so we frequented it.  Great sandwiches that come with sides and drinks for cheap with super nice people who work there.  The cashier was the same lady from 3 years before!

     They were selling live Christmas trees and wreaths near the square and it smelled A-mazing.  There is nothing quite like Christmas in New York.  Nothing!

     They have holiday markets in a couple of the squares which were fun to visit.  They weren't so crowded during the week when I was there with my parents, but Mark was there on the weekend (all of these pictures are from my 2nd trip when Mark came) and it was jam packed.

     SantaCon.  I had never heard of this before, but we happened to be there during SantaCon, which is a completely ridiculous day when literally thousands of people (read, mostly drunk college students) dress like Santa and wander around New York.  It was absurd, but made for some interesting pictures.

     Central Park pictures.  So pretty.

     Did I mention that Sarah and her would-very-soon-to-be fiance Andy joined us in New York for the weekend??  It was so much fun!  Sarah and I have been best friends for many years, and she got engaged on New Year's Eve and is getting married next month!

     We have a silly picture like this from college, so of course we had to embarrass ourselves in Times Square.

     We saw Spiderman on Broadway!  It was Andy's first ever Broadway show.  It was really different from the typical Broadway musical, so it took a little time to grow on me at first but it was really entertaining.  The music is by U2, so it is rock music instead of the usual Broadway power ballads, but the stunts were out of this world.  We had a lot of fun.

     And then we further embarrassed ourselves in Times Square!  I said to Mark, "I wish I had pointed my toe like Sarah, I look kind of dorky."  Mark said, "Um, I'm pretty sure you would have looked dorky either way...."

     Being ice dancers at the Bryant Park ice rink.

     Hey, Andy!

     Me and my love.  We were thinking about how we would probably be in New York as residents the following Christmas, and we will be!

     The cute couple at the amazing Rockefeller Tree!

     After Mark, Sarah, and Andy left, I had two interviews to go.  I visited The Children's Hospital at Montefiore in the Bronx and Columbia's Children's Hospital of New York.  They were both great programs and I knew I would have a lot of thinking to do when I got home.  I will say, when my last interview was over, I was so happy.  I had no idea how exhausting the interview season would be with traveling, happy hours, and 6-8 hour interview days.  It was so nice to be finished and the waiting game began!

     I can't wait to live here!!!!!!!!


     Sooooo much has happened since the last time I wrote, but I am going to attempt to catch up.  My interview season was pretty densely packed: 11 interviews in 5 cities (one of which I traveled to twice) in 8 weeks with Thanksgiving somewhere in between made for a very busy 2 months.  I had some great experiences but by the end, I was so happy to not have to get on a plane for a while and to be home for good.
     I had 2 interviews in LA: UCLA and Children's Hospital of Los Angeles.  They were both great programs with lots of wonderful residents and I really enjoyed the opportunity to visit them.  My interviews were Wednesday and Thursday, and Mark arrived Friday so we could get to know the city a bit for the weekend.  Neither of us had ever spent time in LA, so we wanted to see if it was a place we could call home.  Turns out, it wasn't, but it was nice to see the city!  One of the main reasons LA was not for me was the tremendous amount of traffic without a great public transportation system.  I just couldn't see getting off of a long day at work and sitting in traffic for an hour.
     Our first stop for the weekend was Santa Monica.  We parked right next to a doggie daycare center and it was so funny to watch them.  Kind of strange that people send their dogs to daycare though, and it got packed.

     Santa Monica had kind of a neat character.  Sort of beachy/trendy/hipster, and we enjoyed walking around doing some window shopping.  We had breakfast at an awesome place called Huckleberry.

     Overlooking the water in Santa Monica.  I can't imagine how expensive those houses are.

     We made our way to Rodeo Drive, the fancy shopping area in Beverly Hills.  Very fancy.

     I sort of hated it.

     When I was looking at the pictures Mark took of cars, I asked which one was the most expensive.  Neither of us had any clue, but this one looked like it must have ranked up there.

     My favorite part of the LA trip was this area, called The Grove.  It was an outdoor shopping center that was all lit up for Christmas.  Pretty.

     We turned down a corner in The Grove and there was this whole underground eating area with restaurant stands.  It is called the Farmer's Market, but it was different than we would have expected by the name.  This was just one little corner, there were tons of places.  I got Greek food and Mark ate Mexican food.  Doughnuts for dessert!

     The next day, we looked around Hollywood.  Actually, it is pretty un-glamorous.  Kind of a dirtier part of town, which you would not guess when you see all the celebrities going into the Kodak Theater for the Oscars or making handprints at Grauman's Chinese Theatre.

     Hayyy-reee Pottahhhhh!  Love it.

     Jackie Chan's star was pretty popular.  As was Michael Jackson's.

     That afternoon, we went to see Frank Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall.  If you remember, we saw a Gehry building in every city we visited.  I'm continuing to learn about architecture from Mark :)
     We saw that the box office was open, and ended up getting tickets to hear the LA Philharmonic play Handel's "Water Music."  It was beautiful and kind of nice to escape the city for a bit.

     Another of Mark's architectural favorites is Ricardo Legoretta, and we have seen some of his structures in Dallas.  He uses vibrant colors- these are bright purple and red, and there was an orange building behind us.

     This was almost silly.  An ice rink when it was about 75 degrees outside.  Holidays are different there when it doesn't get remotely cold!

     Overall, I wasn't super impressed with LA, but I'm glad we had the opportunity to visit!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


     A few weeks ago, we made a trip to Chicago to visit a couple of residency programs and see the city.  It is taking me a little while to get pictures on the blog because Mark takes about 1000 (literally) in each city we visit, so there are quite a few to choose from!
     Our first stop was for some Chicago deep dish pizza, and it was so yummy!  On the other side of that pizza was our good friend Matt Lapine.   He and his wife Molly, who was back at the hotel with their precious daughter Bella for nap time, were able to meet us for the weekend and it was so good to see them!  We met Matt and Molly pretty soon after we were married when we were in the same church small group, and we became fast friends.  We have missed them dearly since they moved last July, but have been excited for them as Matt enjoys a new job in Toledo, Ohio.  It was so fun to spend time with them again!
     Molly and sweet Bella.
     Bella loves leaves.  She would be perfectly content to sit in her stroller with a leaf in each hand.  She is such a laid back kid and smiles more than any little one I've ever met!
     A pretty view from our walk along the water toward Navy Pier, which is in the background if you can see it.  Mark and I realized that every city we are looking at is on a body of water, which we are so excited about because it is so pretty!
     This one was taken from Navy pier.  I love the silhouette of the city and the bird in mid-flight.  Mark is such a great photographer!
     The Art Institute of Chicago, where Mark's aunt studied.
     Running Bella up a ramp.  She was pretty unfazed by the excitement.
     Can you spot the two people in the center of the bean, one is much taller than the other?
     There they are.  I didn't realize the last time I saw this structure how cool the reflection of the city looks.  I'm guessing I was missing the main point of it.
     Another thing you learn when you are married to an artist with a background in art history and architecture is to appreciate buildings.  An interesting little tidbit Mark brought up is that we've seen a Frank Gehry building in each city we've visited.  In Seattle it was the Experience Music Project, in Chicago the Pritzker Pavilion (below), in LA the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and in NYC the 8 Spruce Street building.
     The "L."  Mark and I are really excited about living in a place that has good public transportation.  We are looking forward to selling our cars and spending more time walking outside.

     You don't have to know Mark very well to know that he has been a lifelong Cubs fan.  So, of course we had to make the pilgrimage to Wrigley Field!  He was such a happy guy.
     After we left Wrigley field, we walked around the Lincoln Park area which is a neat more-residential neighborhood.  We were walking by this park and I said, "Um, I think that's a rhino."  Apparently, there is a free zoo in Lincoln Park!  So, of course we walked through.  I did not wake up that morning thinking I'd see lions and tigers and rhinos!
     The tiger was roaring.  Mark started to make some comment about how he was probably roaring because he was miserable, but I stopped him mid-sentence because there was a 5 year old boy standing next to us.
     The lions were taking a rest.  They were right up next to a window, so we could see them up close.  The picture doesn't do justice to how massive they were.  Their paws were the size of my face.  We talked about how powerful and majestic they are, and got a better picture of our God's power and majesty as he is often described as a lion in the Bible.
     Overall, we had a great time in Chicago.  It is such a neat city with a lot of natural beauty paired with the excitement that a big city brings.  Mark was with me for a three day weekend and then he flew home to get back to work and my mom joined me for the rest of the week.  We had a lot of fun walking, shopping, and of course, eating.  I interviewed with 2 programs and we left feeling like Chicago will be a definite possibility for our next destination!