As a child, I always dreamt of the world beyond what I could see. Now that I’m legally an adult (ugh), I realize belatedly that always looking towards the horizon meant missing what’s in front of me. Turns out, New York is an amazing backyard to play in.
This past summer, I crossed two things off my New York Bucket List: Paint-Nite and Outdoor Movies.
Painting + Open Bar + I-Don’t-Know-What-I’m-Doing = Paint-Nite
So three of us walk into Paint-Nite. One of us is an aspiring artist, one of us is an aspiring writer, and one of us is an aspiring lawyer. Can you guess which one of our paintings came out amazing and which one of us realized she cannot paint to save her life?
Through these doors were a bar to the right and a rack of aprons to the left. We each grabbed an apron and found our reserved canvases. While one best friend opened a tab at the bar, the other one (aka the aspiring artist) fretted over which one of our seats had the best view of the stage where the instructor would be guiding us through that session’s painting.
Yes, we were going to attempt to paint that gorgeous, definitely-not-beginner-level-no-matter-what-the-website-said, painting and do our best not to fail miserably. Surprisingly, we all kept up with the instructor…until we got to the part about the moon’s reflection on the water.
Instructor: “Hold the paintbrush lightly and flick the wrist. Flick, flick, flick, and that’s how we get the reflection.”
Best Friend 1: “WHAT. HOW IS SHE DOING THAT?”
Me: “My wrist doesn’t flick!”
Best Friend 2: “Try to loosen your grip on the brush, and then just a light flick.”
Me: “My brain understands the concept, but my body can’t seem to execute.”
Then the instructor moved on to the aurora borealis in the sky—
Instructor: “Now this is the same idea as the reflection, except now we’ll be painting vertically instead of horizontally. So flick your wrists up and down instead of side to side.”
Me: “Oh my God, I’m a failure at flicking in two different ways. Who would’ve thought?”
Best Friend 1: “Okay, I’m done—”
Best Friend 1: “BECAUSE I RAGEQUIT.”
The last things the instructor showed us how to paint were the tree branches and the little birds perched on the branches. At this stage, the instructor reminded us that we could express ourselves however we wanted and that we didn’t have to paint the branches or the birds or limit ourselves to the colors in the painting. And thus, the final results. Can you guess which painting is mine?
Hint 1: The instructor’s painting is on the easel.
Hint 2: It’s pretty easy to pick out the painting that belonged to the aspiring artist.
In conclusion, I learned I cannot paint to save my life, but the night was still fun and the company was even better.
P.S. My painting is currently hanging up in my room—even though it’s pretty weird looking, I’m still proud of it because I painted it. Whenever I glance up at the painting on my wall, I remember the happy memory of this night.
Outdoor Movies aka Movies With A View
Every summer, New York hosts a multitude of free outdoor movies of all genres across the boroughs. This has been on my bucket list for a LONG time, and this past summer, I finally did it! The experience was absolutely worth keeping on my list for so long.
One of the best friends and I opted for dinner at a delicious gluten-free restaurant called Senza Gluten (the best friend has a gluten allergy), and then we settled down for the movie at Pier 46 at the Hudson River Park. The pier has a large synthetic lawn that makes it pretty perfect for an outdoor movie screening, and the movie starts at 8, just in time to coincide with the sunset. My photos couldn’t capture the beauty of the moment, but I tried anyway.
(Click through for photos)
Between the sunset, the twinkling city lights, and the refreshing summer breeze, it was a night that reminded me just how beautiful this world can be, and just how rewarding living can be. I promised myself from now on, I would make attending these outdoor movies a yearly summer tradition.
Have you made any lifelong memories this summer or crossed anything off your bucket list? Feel free to share in the comments!