Author Archive for Rya Montgomery

Welcome Back!

Bye, New York...

Bye, New York…

Hello, Milwaukee!

Hello, Milwaukee!

And then the bus ride from Milwaukee back to Oshkosh... almost there!

And then the bus ride from Milwaukee back to Oshkosh… almost there!

 

Never make your home in a place, make a home for yourself inside your own head. You’ll find what you need to furnish it – memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other such things. That way it will go with you wherever you journey. It has been a pleasure traveling with these young women, and cant wait to see what the future holds for us!

Megan, Jen, Jasmine, McKenzie, Rya, Katie, Emily, Hannah, and Brianna. ASB New York 2014!

Megan, Jen, Jasmine, McKenzie, Rya, Katie, Emily, Hannah, and Brianna.
ASB New York 2014!

Sette Giorni (Day Seven)

Our last full day in beautiful NYC and our first stop of the day was to the Brooklyn Bridge. The view from the bridge was incredible! Similar to a famous bridge in France, locks in all shapes & sizes lined the railings.

The Brooklyn Bridge.

The Brooklyn Bridge.

The group heading down the Brooklyn Bridge.

The group heading down the Brooklyn Bridge.

Many individuals leave locks or phrases on the Brooklyn Bridge. We felt it was another great opportunity to leave our mark as well.  ASB New York 2014: Fight AIDs. Love Life.

Many individuals leave locks or phrases on the Brooklyn Bridge. We felt it was another great opportunity to leave our mark as well.
ASB New York 2014: Fight AIDs. Love Life.

This was also our last day at GMHC  and to finish up our time there, we watched a documentary about the HIV/AIDS activist group Act Up! The documentary discussed  the struggles that plagued those living with HIV/AIDS in the years before much was known about the disease. After our time at GMHC, the group went to a local clinic and got tested, to experience what it would be like in the shoes of someone going through the worries and doubts of such test results.

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We also made a pit stop at the historical Stonewall Inn. The legendary Stonewall Inn is the birthplace of the modern Gay Rights movement.  On June 28th, 1969, the patrons of the Stonewall Inn fought back against what had become regular, tolerated, city sanctioned harassment by the police department.  For the first time in history members of the LGBT community refused to accept such oppression and stood up for themselves and, ultimately, the global LGBT community.  The Stonewall Inn, and the rebellion here, became the iconic flashpoint that sparked the long, uphill battle towards equality for all members of the Gay community.

The historical Stonewall Inn.

The historical Stonewall Inn.

Newspaper clippings in Stonewall concerning the unfortunate event.

Newspaper clippings in Stonewall concerning the unfortunate event.

For our final dinner as a group in New York we went to Carmine’s an Italian, family style restaurant.
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Goodbye Chrystal & the Gang!

We ventured out into New York City without our trip advisor, Danielle, and were successfully able to navigate our way to the Empire State Building. Megan, Jasmine, Hannah, and Brianna made their way to the top for a beautiful view of the city.

The Empire State Building.

The Empire State Building.

The view from the Empire State Building on the 88th floor.

The view from the Empire State Building on the 88th floor.

We served our last lunch at GMHC. With heavy hearts and teary eyes we say our goodbyes to Chrystal and the gang.

Fight AIDs. Love Life.

Fight AIDs. Love Life.

We visited the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in SoHo after volunteering. The bew exhibit was not open to the public, but the staff were nice enough to let us explore an hour before their press release!

The Leslie + Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art

The Leslie + Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art

McKenzie reading the introduction to the "Stroke" exhibit.

McKenzie reading the introduction to the “Stroke” exhibit.

The gallery was not suitable for all viewers. These are some of the  more appropriate artworks from the "Stroke" display within the Lesie + Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art.

The gallery was not suitable for all viewers. These are some of the (more appropriate) artworks from the “Stroke” exhibit within the Lesie + Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art.

Why We Fight!

This morning started off with sleeping in for the majority of us ladies but there were 3 brave souls who did another round of early morning traveling to visit Carlo’s Bakery (from the show Cake Boss on TLC) in New Jersey. I (Jen) was lucky enough to have one of the girls bring back two cannolis for me and they were simply deliscious!

Carlo's Bakery in New Jersey!

Carlo’s Bakery in New Jersey!

Megan as happy as can be outside of Carlo's Bakery!

Megan as happy as can be outside of Carlo’s Bakery!

The group served lunch to GMHC clients and chatted them up again. Todat was a special day with two guest speakers, both HIV positive. The first speaker’s story was very sad but at the same time very eye opening. Its easy to say that everyone in our grouo did some major rethinking about things/events in their lives and how we need to take a step back, and reflect on the important things in life.
We also got to visit an exhibit entitled “Why We Fight” and it talks about some of the history and struggles people with HIV/AIDs in the past but also within current events. We were very impressed with the information provided by this exhibit and felt that anyone could easily understand the intended messages.

Why We Fight: Remembering AIDS Activism exhibit. Small but very powerful.

Why We Fight: Remembering AIDS Activism exhibit. Small but very powerful.

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Installations from the Why We Fight exhibit.

For more information on HIV and AIDs please visit:

www.gmhc.org/

aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/

For dinner we ventured to Planet Hollywood in Time’s Square!

Planet Hollywood on the right! Food was quite delicious!

Planet Hollywood on the right! Food was quite delicious!

Clean plates every time.

Clean plates every time.

Good Morning New York!

We made the (crack of dawn) trip to see Good Morning America today and boy was it chilly!! We got to see the judges from dancing with the stars and got a chance to be on tv. After GMA, we ventured to Grand Central which is chalked full of busy communters and tourists alike.

Chilly bloggers!

Chilly bloggers!PicsArt_1395756785061

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Today was our first volunteer experience at GMHC. We are all in consensus that it was an amazing, eye opening experience. All the clients and staff that came through the food line were very nice and easy to talk to. Group members went out to join clients at their tables and converse with them. As a part of GMHC’s confidentiality policies we were asked not to photograph the clients; however we were able to catch a few shots with the staff.

McKenzie and Brianna receiving instructions on serving lunch.

McKenzie and Brianna receiving instructions on serving lunch.

After we finished up at GMHC, we retired to our apartments for some much needed R&R. To finish up the day we made our way to Time’s Square for dinner (at the Hard Rock Cafe) and to see it lit up at night. Luckily we get the chance to catch up on some needed ZZZ’s before heading to volunteering again.

Hard Rock Cafe for dinner as a group.

Hard Rock Cafe for dinner as a group.

Namaste, Jen and Rya.

December 2014
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