And I am not talking a vacation ya'll. Dogs poop on the street, trash is brought to the curb and rat running up on you in the subway is an everyday occurence. However, there are some great things about New York. The diversity, if you want ethnic all you have to do is look around the whole world lives in New York. There are nooks and crannies everywhere with a great little boutique, a yummy bakery or that place where you can get crazy winter hats for cheap. New York is a place of both isolation and together and the place where I learned how to express my true feelings. I am still working on me, and making sure I stay true to how I feel, and how it is expressed to others. I embrace my crazy superwoman self, who sometimes needs to sit down somewhere. I fight the good fight with smokers who continually attempt to choke the very life from me by smoking outside of my window. I find new and exciting places to go while journeying to the dentist, internship interviews and in search of the perfect prom dress. I have created and entirely new language with my friends that only we understand and can laugh at and I have helped people who were dead set against therapy see that it can be helpful to the most "normal" of people. I have learned that the most important part of being a Drama Therapist is believing that your client can get better and equally as important, seeing the people who are in the room. I have learned that we treat people and not symptoms, that sometimes just a person staying in the room for 5 minutes is progress when their world is wrought with delusions and hallucinations. I have realized that going to FAO Schwarz just to look at the tall building next to it and try not to vomit because it is so high, is self care, because I am tapping into my inner child. I have learned that trust is hardly earned and easily lost. I have learned that ALL emotions are okay, it is all in how they are expressed. I have learned that loving someone can be fun, painful, exciting, terrifying and gratifying all at the same time. I have learned that I have a calling to Belize. I have learned that on this short trip in New York, I am beginning my life's journey.

So I Have Realized...

That no one is really reading this blog, but I will keep posting anyway. Maybe when I am famous or die people will want to come back and read what I have to say, so I guess this is my virtual time capsule.

This journey is an amazingly fucked up trip. I have seen more dysfunction in the past month than I have ever been able to willingly admit in my life. I have taken to the blogosphere like a crackhead looking for a fix, up dating journels, chronicles and creating works of art. I have learned about tele which is the connection that you have on an energetic or spiritual level with a person. I realized that I have strong tele with a dead woman. In order to understand that you would have to go to my art blog.

In any case, this is a lonely journey of self discovery that I enjoy and hate and love all at the same time. I haven't seen a lot of New York, but I am getting to know a lot of me and well, I am complicated. I have learned how extremely unique and well down right abnormal my life has been. I have realized that I find racism to be funny, in a sick sad way. Not is a funny fart jokes kinda way. The you have to laugh to keep from crying, but the laughter is just enough to hide the blood from the knife wound. I have learned that I think in metaphors and pictures. I have learned that I will eventually and invariably learn to know and embrace my crazy.

I have insecurities too though, am I good enough? Have I done enough? Have I worked hard enough? Am I smart enough? Did I challenge myself enough? Did I try hard enough? And ultimately am I enough? I don't know. Some days yes and others well no. I realize that writing this blog for others is futile, but extremely cathartic for me, so I will keep on writing for no one or just one, Me.


A Face For Change

(Image from:

I find it very interesting that I have become a vocal voice and face of Christianity for some people in my department. I am writing today, because I feel it important to speak out on this matter, and I know that I will get some flack from others, but this needs to be said.


I have no idea what this preacher in Florida is thinking. Like the President said, first and foremost, you are putting the lives of our solidiers in danger. I have cousins over there, and I feel like if something happens to them, even if a hair on their head is damaged, this man should be held personally responsible. I would even venture to guess, I just may have a case with that one. I mean it is illegal to insite a riot in the United States.

I was asked by a co-worker the other day, "I have a question for you, since you are a Christian." I have to say that those words are always music to my ears. Whenever a door opens for me to share the grace and beauty of God, I am so humbled by the opportunity. She went on to say, "How do you feel about the Quran burning situation?" I am not sure what she thought I would say, but I would venture to guess that it may have been along the lines of something very intolerant. I was so pleased to be able to shock and surprise her. I told her that I was emphatically against it and that it voilates every Christian ideal that I hold true. Now would I like for everyone to be Christian and share the love of Jesus with me, where we all die and go to heaven and commune together for all eternity. OF COURSE!!! But burning the Quran is not the way to do it.

Most people do not have a clear understanding of what it truly means to be a Christian, including some Christians. Jesus is the truth, the light and the way and he taught us a very important lesson that is not directly mentioned in the Bible. That lesson is patience. When the disciples doubted, Jesus was patient. When the Pharisees attacked, Jesus was patient. When teaching the children both young and old, Jesus was patient. Having to walk miles to spread the word of his father, Jesus was patient. While suffering for days and hours dying, Jesus was patient. We need to exercise patients. Jesus did not say hey if people believe other stuff burn everything and then they will come to me. He knows the human mind and heart better than any doctor, scientist or wanna be preacher. He knows that change in people in slow, but possible and he is patient.

Now do I love my muslim friends not matter what? Of course and I pray for them always and often. Do I love my Buddhist, Pagan, Janist, Hindu, and the list goes on friends? So abundantly and I pray for them always and often. This is a time when we should be deeper in prayer, patience and God's word. We need to understand why Sept. 11th happened and how we can reverse things like that happening in the future. It was made clear to us, as Americans, that the world feels disrespected by us, so they disrespected us. Was that a right decision, of course not, but is it right for us to retaliate in kind? I think not.

I now implore all of my christian friends, family, brothers and sisters to continue to pray for the healing of our country, safety of our troops, that the truth comes to the pastor who is on a dangerous path, for our world, country and economy that we are able to get back many of the things we have lost. I will start.

"I prayed for patiences and God put me in situations where I must wait..." -Author unknown to this writer.

Dear God,

Thank you for every blessing you have bestowed upon us as a country and help us to understand that we have been chosen in this time to set the example of love and tolerance for the world. We are so fortune to take this burden as the yolk is light. Thank you for the enlightenment of all who are looking through eyes of intolerance right now, and showing them that patient and not violence begats the souls you are seeking. Thank you for the safety of our troops now and in the future as they protect valiantly the ideals of what is fair and right for those with no voice or means of protection. Thank you for your continued mercy and grace as we all know that we don't deserve it naturally, but your word says that we are worthy and thus it is so. Thank you for everyone who is going to read this blog and I pray that it changes their hearts and creates in them clean, pure hearts that love others to victory. In Jesus name.


With abundant Christian LOVE,


The Manhattan Mona Lisa.


The Beginning

Hello Blog Friends,

It has been awhile since I update this blog, but I have a good reason. I was moving. :-) So, I have made it safely to the Big Apple and am in my adjustment period. This is going to be a long one, so you might want to get a snack. In the past two weeks, I have changed locations, schools and careers and I am glad that I made these changes. I needed it. Speaking of change we will discuss the room.

I came into this situation knowing that New York was known for their small spaces, but I think I watched a few too many episodes of Seinfeld, Friends and Living Single, because this joker is SMALL. I walked into my apartment and darn near ran into my oversized Easy Bake oven, also known as the stove. As I went to turn into my room I had to dodge the Barbie's Dream house refrigerator, so as not to get knocked out. When I walked into the room itself, I looked at my mother and asked, "What have I gotten myself into?" She looked very worried for me at that point. We made our 1 short block trek to the local KMart and began purchasing items to make this box, I mean house a home. After some vibrant pink blankets and sheets and an awesome multi-colored flower rug, I was set. We Fung Shu'd the spot and I was feeling better.

During my mother's stay we caught a play, strolled Time Square, had some amazing Thai food, and made sure my shot records were up to date. As our arrival day was her birthday, I made it known to the lady checking us into the hotel. She was so kind, she upgraded our room to a suite with a balcony that I could barely walk out on as it was on the 18th floor and looking down freaked me out. Mom stood at the door. They sent up a lovely white wine and some very good chocolate cake. Big Ups to the DoubleTree on 56 and Lexington. They are alright with me. We enjoyed our stay and shopped til we dropped for family members who were nice enough to come over to my house and clear me out of there. I couldn't have done it without them.

I will be honest with you blog friends, I was sad that my mother's time was winding down with me, because I am so used to her always being around. On the day that she left and that I officially came to stay in my room, we cried. This separation was much harder than undergrad. I think there was a lot of finality in this, because we realized that life as we have known it for the past 7 years was changing forever.

My roommate wasn't to move in for another 10 or so days, so I had the run of the apartment however small it is to myself. I ventured out many of the days or fought with the terrible WiFi connection. I learned that New York is like and English Muffin, it is full of nooks and crannies. I have had amazing food, and New Yorkers are actually really nice people. Someone once told me that I have never met a stranger and that remains true. I have made many friends from dorm staff, to residents, to classmates. It is nice to know that you are not alone in such a large place, but at the end of the day when the lights went out and all was quiet in the empty hall. I was alone and lonely again. I prayed a lot, read some and watched a butt load of independent films, many of which were done by friends I made in L.A., unbeknownst to me.

My first day of work and the days following have been great Marissa has been a God send in keeping me away from my stressy ways. She told me to take this year for myself, to gain an even better self understanding and to just enjoy the right. For the first time since undergrad I am forced to be in the moment, and I love it. I feel appreciated for what I bring to the table and know that what I have to say is valued, heard and utilized for the bettering of all people in the department. I have so many options and opportunities that are already opening up. I can't elaborate completely on this, but I will be sure to let you know when I can.

Aside from missing family and friends in Denver, I miss my L.A. fam. The Morgan-Barkers, are like a second family and have always been supportive, so big ups to them. Ms. Alexander who provided me with transportation and lodging during the arduous task of cleaning out my storage space. Lots of memories and lots of trash. And my as you wish, Paul. Even though we have been in a long distance relationship the whole time, the distance is wider. Just had to have a shout out moment.

In any case, my roommate is great. She is kind and respectful as am I to her and we are getting along famously. Phew! We all know that I can be a pill to live with. 7 roommates in 4 years during undergrad. We spend time together, watch movies and just enjoy having another artist in our presence. It is nice to have that vibe again.

I haven't really seen a lot of New York yet, and am planning to venture out. Not right now though, we have a hurricane a coming. It will be my first hurricane, and I can officially say I have lived through all types of natural disaster type scenerios. Although it will only be a category 1, it is still a hurricane and I will live through it with my trust plaid raincoat and boots and black umbrella.

Aside from the general adjustment, my grandmother has been heavy on my heart as she had knee surgery today. She came through it like a trooper. I knew she would. She has a bit of a road and a battle to go through as this was a full knee replacement, but she has survived worse and does not seem to wear the battle scars to prove it. I am prayin for you grandmommy.

Well, that is my update for now. Feel free to ask questions in the comments section.


Amber N. TheApple


The Manhattan Mona Lisa


I Made It There

Hello all my blogger friends,

I have made it to New York, literally. We got in yesterday and I am still enjoying a bit of a vacation of sorts. Mom and I have walked up and down Lexington Ave., and found some really neat shops. I got my first pair of rain slickers, that match my rain coat. They apparently are also good for snow. Go figure and here I was wearing boots all these years. New York, steppin up my game. I have seen some great fashions and know that I will have a lot of visitors for that alone. I am looking for the huge Garment District, that way I will be prepared. So far I have eaten a lot of salads and haven't really sampled the fair that is available to me in NY, but I figure I have time for that. Big shout out to the Doubletree on Lexington, they really rolled out the red carpet for Mom and I, because it was her birthday. I know that it wasn't a really fun birthday, but they did give us free wine, cake and warm cookies. Can't be mad at that.

I love the diversity that city has to offer. I made friends on the plane and in the airport. I even met a man from India who was in the jewelry trade. What a great conversation we had while waiting on our bags to arrive.

Mom and I are looking to go to a play tonight, specifically "Black Angels Over Tuskegee." This should be wonderful and I am really excited to check it out. Well, that's about all. I will keep you all posted as my life progresses.

The Manhattan Mona Lisa,



Time is Drawing Near

(He Walks With Me by Sterling Brown)

As time draws near to my moving to New York, I am in a very reflective place. I know that I am on the path to greatness and am destined to fulfill God's will in my life. That being said, the following verse came across my email recently and I wanted to share it with you and my reflections on it.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." - Joshua 1:9

To give a little background on this excerpt. At this point Moses has died and God has placed Joshua in charge of the move across the Jordan river. This is a huge undertaking, but Joshua not only has the support of the people in the tribes, but most importantly he has the support of God.

I am empathizing with this passage right now because everyone who is a reader of this blog is supporting me in my move and my movement to improve the education of all children in the world. Most importantly however, I have the support of God. I have known for some time now that God has a huge mission for me and the Drama Therapy degree is the beginning of the journey, just as Joshua rallying the leaders to move across the Jordan was the beginning of his God given journey.

Many would think that having a clear cut mission from God would be a burden, but it is quite the opposite. It is so freeing that I forget at times I don't have wings to fly. My steps are ordered and ready and as long as I stay in faith and really work hard in this program and on my schools, I will be just fine.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you," declares the LORD...- Jeremiah 29:11-14

It is time for me to walk in faith and truly seek the LORD so that I will walk in the prosperity set forth. I am so liberated, so excited, so honored and most of all so loved. Thanks to all of my friends and family supporting me on this journey and more importantly thanks be to GOD for providing me with the experiences, talent and now training to be the best that I can be for children.

Well on my way,



Manhattan Mona Lisa

As you all know, I LOVE ART!!! I mean if I didn't, then I would not head to NYC to major in Drama Therapy. That being said, one of my favorite artists is Tim Ashkar. The man is amazing, his ability to capture the realism of human emotion and experience is unparalleled and I get so excited to see what new paintings he will come up with. That being said, the above picture is entitled Manhattan Mona Lisa. WHAT!!! It's like he knows me and knows that I am moving to Manhattan. I of course have to borrow the moniker, seeing as the 5280 Princess will not make sense in the Big Apple. Besides it sounds fun and sophisticated all at the same time.
What I love about this picture is multi-fold. I love the colors, and that the woman looks similar to the woman in another of my favorite Tim Ashkar paintings, Salome, I also love that there is an air of class with the pearls as well as intellect with the book. GO TIM!!! If you have never had the priviledge to view his work I highly suggest you google him and find out. I will be ordering this picture and putting up in my dorm room at NYU. I usually use the website There are so many wonderful artists on there, that are selling their work, so don't be a jerk and just hack the pics, this is their livelihood, so order some artwork and share with your friends and family the emotion that only real art can elicit.
Still in the 5280,
The New Manhattan Mona Lisa