friday field trip
A photo of Star Jones – #2 on my ‘Cool People I Met’ countdown.
So many exciting people to meet and fun things to do in New York City this past week! I really couldn’t pin down a Friday field trip, so I decided to do a countdown of the ten coolest people I met on my three day field trip to NYC. Are you ready?
#10. #9. #8. Hercules, Mercury, and Minerva
Yup, I am talking about the gods! Hercules, Mercury, and Minerva are the three gods depicted on the statues surrounding the clock on the facade of Grand Central Station facing 42nd Street. I actually took some time to look up and notice the clock…it definitely fits in the cool category (I know, I know…these three are not exactly ‘people’, but it’s my list :) ) I can’t believe how many times I have been in and out of Grand Central in my lifetime and have never really taken the time to notice the details on this amazing piece of work. At the time it was unveiled in 1914, it was considered the largest sculptural group in the world! Cool!
#7. The Hawaiian Airline Dancers
Hawaiian Airlines has staged a little piece of Hawaii on the streets of Manhattan as a part of a promotion to celebrate the start of direct, non-stop flights from New York to Honolulu. Hula dancers performing to traditional Hawaiian music really set a mood of the tropics, but it is the fragrance of all the real flower leis that just put the whole sensory experience over the top for me! Like many others passing by, I could not resist stopping to enjoy…and, I put my name in to win a drawing for free flights to Hawaii…aloha!
#6. Keenan Cahill
Keenan is an internet celebrity that became famous from lip-syncing popular songs on YouTube. If you don’t know who he is, you probably don’t know who ‘David going to the Dentist’ is either. He lipsynced his first YouTube video in 2010 to Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream. He has had some big name singers (rapper 50 cent for example), join him in his videos. He lives in Illinois and traveled to New York City this past week to speak at a social media conference, giving advice to a roomful of techies on how to achieve what he was able to at 14 years old. What is supercool about Keenan? He put himself out there and did what he really wanted to do, in spite of what anyone else thought or advised. In the process, he became an internet sensation by combining genuineness, a love for music, and a great sense of humor. His confidence and spirit get him on my list as #6. Keep singing Keenan :) !
A photo of internet celebrity Keenan Cahill. #6 on the “Cool People I Met” countdown.
#5. Ina Garten
With so many celebrity chefs today, Ina stands out as someone that ‘keeps it real’. Always cooking great food, simply and deliciously prepared, joining Ina (via Food Network) in her home to watch her cook for her husband, Jeffrey, or some of her friends, is always a treat. As lovely in person as she is on her television show (with a face full of adorable freckles), it was definitely a thrill to meet Ina Garten (who grew up and was married in my home state of Connecticut) and she comes in at #5 on my cool people list.
A photo of Ina Garten – #5 on my ‘Cool People’ countdown.
#4. Tim Gunn
Always impeccable and oozing with swag, Tim Gunn is #4 on my countdown of cool people I met this week. He was cool when he mentored young talent on the television show Project Runway (as a former faculty member of Parson the New School for Design) and he remains cool now, in all he does. You can catch him on daytime television giving “Timterventions” on his show The Revolution. You got it going on Tim!
A photo Tim Gunn – #4 on the countdown.
#3. Roble Ali
This hot, young chef is currently starring in the show Chef Roble & Co. where he and his team cater events for big name clients and celebrities in NYC. But, that is not why he receives #3 on my ‘cool’ countdown of the week. He attains this honor for judging the Teen Battle Chef LIVE in Harlem last Wednesday night. Teen Battle Chef is a program where young people learn to cook and explore culinary careers, nutrition, food systems and gardening education, while ‘battling’ obesity and chronic disease. Chef Roble helped confirm to the students that it is ‘cool’ to be interested in preparing and eating healthy food.
#2. Star Jones
Star Jones also gets on my cool list for supporting the Teen Battle Chef event in Harlem. She served as the emcee for the evening and did an amazing job of conveying the importance of eating right by speaking candidly about her own personal story of being overweight (over 300 lbs.) and requiring open heart surgery. Kudos to Star for using her personal story and her no-nonsense demeanor to help inspire others, while lighting up the evening with her sense of humor and sparkling personality.
Photo of Star Jones at Teen Battle Chef in Harlem – #2 on my ‘Cool People I Met’ countdown.
I am blessed with some really great friends…one of them works in health and wellness and invited me to attend Teen Battle Chef that was being held in Harlem this past week, sponsored by her employer, Emblem Health. I had never before spent any time in Harlem and hadn’t heard about the event I was attending, but it seemed to contain all the ingredients I love: celebrity chefs, education, and the chance to meet new people. I was in! I managed to negotiate my way to Harlem (thanks sweet, young girl from the performing arts high school that I met on the subway) and find my destination.
#1. Harlem students participating in Teen Battle Chef.
There is no question that the coolest of the cool I met this week were definitely the students that participated in the Teen Battle Chef in Harlem (I couldn’t pick just one) and they came in as #1 in my countdown. What a fun night I had with them all! I was lucky to get the chance to sample the creations in the appetizer category and the students were eager to explain the nutritional value of each ingredient. (Send me an email if you would like me to send you the recipe for my favorite – “Carribbean Salsa”.)
Every person that helped create and implement this program (an extra-curricular activity at school) and competition is #1 in my book…this includes Lynn Fredicks (founder of FamilyCook Productions), Former First Lady of New York State Michelle Paige Paterson (sparking the idea for bringing the program to Harlem), and all those that supported it – including Former Governor of New York, David Paterson and celebrity chefs Walter Hinds and Marcus Samuelsson. Bon appetit!
A photo of #1 on my ‘Cool People I Met’ countdown – the Harlem students committed to learning about healthy eating.
Congratulations to the students of Harlem for their committment to help their friends and family make healthier food choices to prevent unhealthy weight and associated diseases! Super cool!
Hope you enjoyed the Top Ten Coolest People I Met Countdown for this week’s Friday field trip!