Concrete Jungle – Part 2

Well, I don’t know about you guys, but my Monday has been the definition of “all over the map”. Meaning, I have been around the world physically, mentally and emotionally today.

It started off this morning with our first day at the kids camp! For those of you who don’t know, this week I am serving on a team from FBC Carrollton, TX and we are hosting and running a kids camp in a park in Astoria, Queens. Grammy and I are in charge of middle school girls, and we had all sorts of projects planned. Name tag bedazzling, jewelry making, picture frame decorating, and tote bag embellishing all made an appearance at our booth today, and we LOVED it! We had a good turn out of girls, who were all very sweet and respectful. I can’t wait to get to know them better throughout the rest of the week!

After our time at the park was done, we packed up and headed back to Manhattan. We had a larger amount of free time this afternoon because the kids had a half day today, so that meant that it was time for me to make a trip to the Garment District! I honestly would have been fine had I not found anything there today, just walking around and seeing floor-to-ceiling containers of buttons, rooms and rooms of rolled fabric and all of the crazy unique trims is perfectly satisfying to me! But I was very fortunate to find two different linens that I plan to use in my upcoming collection at O’More! Score!

After wandering around the garment district for an unhealthily large amount of time, we met up with some friends in Little Italy! Good food, good company and great friends were the perfect storm for a wonderful dinner. Not to mention that those twinkle lights paired with the Empire State Building made a pretty nice backdrop for our patio dining… just sayin:

Some quick gelato and a little bit of accidental separation from the group later, we were on the train back up 7th Ave. The rest of the group headed back to the hotel after a long day, but what did Lara and I do? Oh you know, ride the Ferris Wheel. Inside the Toys R Us in Times Square.

Not only did we ride the ferris wheel, oh no. We were the last ones to ride the ferris wheel. That’s right, my 18-year-old sister and I get CRAZY. We know where the party’s at.
After that we piddled around the Forever 21 and at 11’o’clock decided to call it a night. That was, until, we saw a huge crowd forming on 45th St.
Anna: “Hey, look at all those people gathering at that stage door.”
Lara: “You know that they’re all waiting for Matthew Broderick right?”
A: “Oh my gosh. You know that we’re not waiting for him to come out right?”
L: …. puppy eyes….
A: (internally thinking, WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?) “Yeah, okay we’re definitely waiting. I wanna see Ferris Beuller.”

Aaaaaaaand so we did! When he finally did come out (it really was only like 15 minutes later) we ran across the street like all idiotic girls do when they get the opportunity to meet Matthew Broderick. Duh. And then, AFTER MAKING EYE CONTACT WITH HIM, I snapped this:

Then I proceeded to text that photo to people who I knew would appreciate it. You know, like the annoying friend I am. Within 2 minutes of sending that pic, I got an angry phone call from my best friend Alisha. As I’d predicted, she was a little upset. Like screaming IHATEYOUIHATEYOUIAMSOJEALOUS upset -it’s okay Awisha, I know you didn’t mean it (: We continued to talk about how beautiful Matthew Broderick is, yes he is awesome, yes he was really just tired, so how has your day been? And so on. But just as Lara and I were about to walk into the hotel, I heard a crash and looked over to see a man laying in the middle of the street. Taxis screeched their brakes to avoid hitting him and I quickly hung up on my friend as we ran to help him.
He was drunk. And by drunk, I mean that he was so far gone that to him it made sense to try and cross 4 oncoming lanes of traffic with no crosswalk, it was his legs that decided to cut that trip short. As I and a stranger pulled him up to his feet, I quickly became covered in the wet, nasty beer that was the culprit of this entire situation. And what did he do as soon as he got up? Reached for the now shattered six-pack that had made that crashing sound. Who cared that he was bleeding and we were all standing in the middle of 8th Avenue? Clearly our priorities were not in the same place.
We picked him up and brought him over to the curb. He couldn’t even sit down without falling. Here we were, hunched over this poor, lost man. He seemed so disoriented and genuinely terrified. As soon as his body started to relax I could see his eyes rolling back in his head. I knew how hard he had hit the pavement, and I was not going to let him go if he had a concussion.
I quickly made him tell me his name. Jose. How do you spell it. Can you spell it for me Jose? J-O-S-E. Great. Can you go through the Alphabet with me Jose? Yeah. A. Say it with me! A. Yeah. B. Yeah. C. and on we went. We waited for the ambulance to come. People came and went, this was nothing out of the ordinary. And still he looked so scared. I couldn’t help but looking at him as a little boy who had lost his mother. I would have been scared too.
The ambulance came and said we had done everything right. I made Jose promise me that he was going to be nice and do everything that the paramedic told him to do. He said he would.

And now here I am. Typing this up in my hotel room at 11:40 at night. Trying to forget the smell of Heineken I spent 10 minutes scrubbing off my arms.
And wondering. Wondering if he’s okay. Wondering why I’m the one who gets to be in a 4-star hotel room while he sits alone in a hospital bed. Wondering what his story is, and why the bottle became his friend.
I know that God puts us in situations like this for a reason. And I know that I’m not going to take this reminder of gratitude for granted. I am blessed beyond measure, and I shouldn’t have to see the eyes of a broken man to remember that.

Sorry guys, I know that this post has been a little bit bipolar, but I still consider this a really great day. God moves in mysterious ways, and He has been revealing an incredible amount of things to me on this trip, and I can’t wait to see what else He has in store!
I hope you all had a lovely Monday.

Anna Michelle


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