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New York City

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Joy Today: NYC’s Secrets and Lies returns on Tuesday, April 9th

I’m so incredibly excited to share that my storytelling show about secret New York City history returns on Tuesday, April 9th. We have an incredible lineup of storytellers, a stellar special guest, and a fun, timely theme of MONEY!

“Money makes the world go ’round” is a widely used saying invented right here in New York City so this month New York City’s Secrets and Lies is getting into the wheelin’ and dealin’ that’s been flying around this city since it began. Corruption! Extortion! Bribery! Organized crime! Greed! But there’s a catch: one of us has completely fabricated the story we’re going to tell you. Can you spot the lie that’s just too scandalous to be true? If so, we’ve got a big, fat prize with your name on it from Untapped Cities. Join us and test your knowledge of NYC secret history!

Tickets on sale now at https://www.caveat.nyc/event/new-york-citys-secrets-and-lies-4-9-2019.

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Joy Today: Tours of New York City’s subway secrets

52585351_10104795927040576_8203479864271962112_nSpent the day at the birthplace of our NYC subway system. Had such a spectacular time learning secrets of the NYC subway on an Untapped Cities tour! Justin’s an AMAZING tour guide & I’m so excited he’s teaching me to give this tour. There are so many secrets that we pass by every single day. Once you know them, they’ll change your view of our city forever. I can’t wait to show them to you! MTA New York City Transit is a treasure trove, time capsule, museum, and living archive all rolled into one. The stories are endless.

Joy Today: I’m now a licensed New York City’s tour guide

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Me at Battery City Park in New York City

You’re looking at New York City’s newest licensed tour guide! I took my exam and got a 138 out of 150. I was so happy that I hugged Barbara, the proctor at the Department of Consumer Affairs. Huge thanks to my adventure posse, fellow guides, and fabulous friends Erin Hunkemoeller & Ashley Semrick for all their study advice and resources, and to Michelle Young Pasquet & the Untapped Cities crew for encouraging me to take this step. I can’t wait to create cool tour experiences in our shining city with all of you! If you’d like to know more about my tours, please get in touch at christa.avampato@gmail.com.

This is me at the very site of New Amsterdam where the difficult, complicated history of our modern day city began in 1626. In the background is the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island where my ancestors arrived from Italy 100 years ago.

Joy Today: NYC’s Secrets & Lies celebrates 1 year at Caveat

A year ago I was flyin’; I had just finished the 1st show of NYC’s Secrets & Lies at Caveat with a sold-out crowd. I had no idea what I was starting but I’m so dang grateful to everyone who’s been a part of this journey, on-stage and in the audience. So many of you have been beyond supportive of this crazy idea and there’s no way I’ll ever be able to say thank you enough. This is a collection of our casts to-date and I just adore them all. How lucky I am that this show brought them all into my life! Their stories have inspired me, moved me, and made me fall in love with our city even more. Join us for our 1-year anniversary show on Thursday Feb 7th with another set of storytelling rockstars. Doors at 6:30pm. Show at 7pm. Click here to purchase tickets on Eventbrite.

Cast members:
January – Sarah Laskow, Michelle Young, Allison Chase, Carla Katz, Alex Neuhausen, Bridget Randolph
April – Adam Wade, Vicki Eastus, Suzanne Reisman, Carla Katz
June – Hannah Frishberg, Sabrina McMillin, Cindy Mullock, Emerie Snyder, Tija Mittal
August – Ashley Semrick, John Bucher, Erin Hunkemoeller, Tom Rowley, Leslie Goshko
October – Erin Leafe, Zak Martellucci, Alex Taylor, Michele Carlo, Julie Gaines
December – Justin Mugits (street artist Blanco), Jackie Peters, Vicki Eastus, Dustin Growick

 

Joy today: Trees as teachers

Something cool happened today. I was walking my dog, Phineas, in Riverside Park, and I started to look at the trees differently than I ever have before. Now, I’ve been to this park hundreds of time. Maybe even thousands. But after studying trees for my biomimicry grad program, the trees seemed to speak to me in a different way than they ever have before. I could identify the trees, and see how they protect themselves. I could sense that they were in their deep sleep mode for the winter, and I let their peace wash over me, too. We are living in stressful times in this country right now, and today I am immensely grateful for the example and wisdom of these trees. Sometimes what we need to do most is rest. When in doubt, go outside.

Joy Today: How I helped a New York man impacted by the government shutdown

Yesterday I took the best trip to the grocery store I’ve ever taken because I had the opportunity to buy groceries for Keith Polite, a man impacted by the government shutdown. He’s been a security guard at one of the Smithsonian museums here in New York City for 4 years, and the museum is closed until the government reopens. Because he’s a contractor, he won’t receive any back pay. I heard about his story through the local CBS broadcast, and decided I had to help. Another viewer also helped and was able to meet with Keith about a possible job opportunity. I’m really hoping that works out for him.

I hope this one small act inspires all of us to help one another during this difficult time. There’s so much we can do right where we are for the people around us. We’re all walking each other home. Here’s the news piece that ran about Keith if you’d like to see it:

https://newyork.cbslocal.com/video/4009588-strangers-step-up-to-help-worker-affected-by-shutdown/

Joy Today: New York City’s Secrets & Lies returns on February 7th at 7pm

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My storytelling show, New York City’s Secrets and Lies, is back at Caveat on Thursday, February 7th. Can you tell the difference between a secret and a lie when it involves New York City history? This month, we’re spinning tales about “what lies beneath”: covert operations, secret lives, and the hidden goings on literally happening right now under the daily hustle and bustle of these streets.

These 4 expert storytellers will dazzle you with secrets of our shining city’s past, but one of them is telling a fake story. Separate fact from fiction and you’ll be in the running to win a fantastic prize from Untapped Cities. Sandi Marx, Marie Carter, Daniel Abse, and Jeff Baker are digging through dusty archives and the deep, dark depths of the interwebs to unearth out-of-this-world secrets just for you.

Our show also features a special guest who is a true New York City Secret. This month, we’re so lucky to have Ben Mirin, a beatboxing ecologist who’s going to tell you all about his amazing wildlife music work.

Come join us at Caveat. We can’t wait to share our love of our city with all of you! Tickets on sale now: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/new-york-citys-secrets-and-lies-what-lies-beneath-tickets-54268488510

Joy Today: American Eden and a NYC secret

Screen Shot 2019-01-02 at 8.50.31 PMDid you know that Rockefeller Center now rises on a plot of land in the middle of Manhattan that once served as the site of the country’s first public botanical garden? I had no idea about this New York City secret until yesterday when I listened to an episode of the Science Friday podcast.

Author Victoria Johnson wrote about it in her gorgeous book, American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic. New York City will never stop amazing me because there will always be new stories to discover here, histories and achievements and inspirations literally buried underground, waiting to be unearthed by a curious soul.  What a joy! What a gift!

A Year of Yes: Trailer for NYC’s Secrets and Lies on December 6th at 7pm

It’s impossible to articulate how excited I am about our holiday edition of NYC’s Secrets & Lies at Caveat on Thursday, December 6th at 7pm so I made a trailer to show you what our storytelling show about secret NYC history is all about! This month’s cast includes all-star storytellers Vicki Eastus, Dustin Growick, Jackie Peters, and Nate Charles with Brooklyn street artist Blanco as our special guest. If you can guess the lie correctly, we have prizes from Untapped Cities, Kaitery_NYC, and a secret one from me. Grab your tickets and I’ll see you there: New York City’s Secrets and Lies on Eventbrite.

A Year of Yes: Feeling stuck in your writing? Go outside.

Despite the cold, my senior dog, Phineas, took me on a 2-hour hike through the North Woods of Central Park yesterday. The late afternoon light was just perfect. Time in nature is like a massage for the brain, heart, and spirit. It prompts my creativity. The movement jogs my imagination, restores my resolve to do work that builds a better world. If you need to be restored, get outside. Your restlessness has a purpose. It is meant to move you. Don’t fight it. Go with it. 

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