Category Archives: Lifestyle

The Canyons of Lower Manhattan

John Street with Freedom Tower in the backgroundI happen to work in the Financial District in Lower Manhattan. I’m not connected to investment banking or a brokerage firm, but rather to a small eCommerce company. Over the past three years, I have spent more time in this neighborhood, than I would ever have imagined. This spring, I made a conscious effort to get outside during my lunch hour for some exercise and “fresh” air. Far from being a favored hood, it does offer history that is still in the making, and on a lucky day, some architectural surprises. Continue reading

What Would You Ask a Princess?

Ball Gown design from Charles James

Charles James Ball Gown design

The Royals were in town, and I was surprised to find myself so charmed by the news. A celebrity follower I am not—okay, maybe of one of two–nor do I tend to keep up with the latest on the British Monarchy. But I do follow the news, where royal family members occasionally make appearances, even on this side of the Atlantic. Fortunately, for the most part in recent years the press seems less focused on scandal and more on joyous life occasions. That’s obviously a result of the attention on William and Kate’s courtship, their sanctioned marriage, and the birth of their first child. Continue reading

Reclaiming My Family Name and Then Some!

My Own Milky Way: Family or SurnameIt’s official. After a visit to the Social Security office with my final divorce decree, I’m back to being just a Branch. There is no more hyphen and no more Shaw. I am not exactly sure what prompted my decision to drop my married name, but as I approached my five-year anniversary as a divorcée, I decided that it was time to relinquish a status that I no longer held. Continue reading

Vacation for the Head and Heart

My Own Milky Way:  Key West BeachIt’s officially autumn. The summer of 2014 is behind us, and we have a good 38 weeks before those warm, lazy days come around again. I usually accept this seasonal shift wholeheartedly, with an onward and upward attitude! But this year, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Instead, I find myself experiencing some sort of inner tug or rebellion. Visions of being somewhere peaceful, stress free and away from it all flood my brain. Continue reading