Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Ringing the Opening Bell at the NYSE - Sept 6, 2012

Another busy and exciting day as Princess!  I woke up around 6am at my parent's house (closer to NYC) to get ready in my gown and everything, then we hopped in the car and braved some traffic to drive into the city - to Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange.  My parents were great for driving me, especially because they didn't know if they'd have to wait inside - plus they got me a donut and a caramel mocha iced coffee from DD (clearly I was sleep deprived because that night I was still shaking from the caffeine).

We parked, and walked to the NYSE building.  Plenty of people stopped and stared at me in my gown, which I find strange since there are plenty of people in more outrageous outfits in the city (though maybe not near Wall St).  We saw Kirsten and her dad waiting holding her gown and then we waited...and waited.  I was getting nervous for Kirsten that she wouldn't have time to change!  The rest of the Committee and guests showed up, including one of the Grand Marshals, Norbert Schramm.  After a while, Lars Halter (Chairman of the Parade) brought us to the gate before the entrance, and got me and Kirsten in through the VIP entrance (with the door hidden in a glass wall) and up to a conference room by his office so she could change and we could "suit up".

The famous NYSE building with the German and Steuben flags added

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

NYSE and Dress Preview

Tomorrow is the day that the Steuben Parade Committee goes to the New York Stock Exchange to ring the opening bell.  In case you didn't catch that link, here it is again:  http://www.nyse.com/events/1346841243068.html

It also has a link to watch live at 9:29am - please do!  I'm really excited about this and I'll be up on the platform. It'll be a tight morning, and I'll be going straight back to school for my afternoon and evening classes right after, so if I fall asleep in class, I hope someone nudges me awake.  My morning class professor seemed excited for me and forgiving of me missing his class for this.  I'm sure this will be a once in a lifetime experience.

Tomorrow is also the debut of my and Kirsten's gowns.  For anyone reading this, I thought I'd be nice and put up a preview of the gown.  I'm also just really excited because this is the fanciest dress I've had since senior prom and it's really pretty.

I especially like this picture because my cat is sprawled out in the background

So, in summary, watch the NYSE bell ringing opening tomorrow.  I'll be easy to spot - I'll be the one in the blue gown with the sash and tiara!

Gottscheer Volkfest 6/03/12

The first event after the crowning was the Gottscheer Volkfest at Plattduetsche Park in Long Island.  This is the area of Germany where Kirsten's (the queen) family is from, so the event really meant a lot to her.  I arrived with my parents and had my first "You're the princess?  You get in free!" experience.  I will miss that next year.  We walked through the crowded event and spotted Kirsten with her parents.  I felt better seeing a familiar face and "suited up" in my tiara and sash.  Shortly after, Kyra arrived and the selling and picture-taking began.

Kyra, Me, Kirsten in front of a German flag at the beginning of the event

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Crazy busy (and thanks for putting up with me)

Just a warning - this is somewhat of a "woe is me" post.
I think I'm getting an ulcer...seriously.  I can't remember the last time I've done nothing.  School started 2 and a half weeks ago.  Whoever said "they bore you to death" 3L year of law school was definitely lying.

This summer has been awesome, but as is apparent from my lack of blogging, very busy.  Almost every weekend has been a German-American event...and those that weren't were the few free times to spend with friends and family.  I was working at the Clinic in the law school all summer and got a part-time Law Clerk job in July, both of which kept my weekdays full.  Now, with the bar looming, prep classes are starting this weekend and time management is a necessity.

I'm sitting up right now texting one of the Chairwomen of the Parade trying to figure out if I can schedule an event Thursday morning in NYC and still make my afternoon class.  And I'm finishing some reading for tomorrow's class.

Thank goodness I have so many people in my life who keep me sane and do what they can to help.  My friends are amazing - they listen to my kvetching and do what they can to keep me smiling and help me out.  My boyfriend is unbelieveable - he's come to events, made dinner so I have food, talked me through a lot of stressed out moments, and he's inconveniencing himself a lot to make the parade.  My family is absolutely wonderful - my mom has made almost every event this summer even on crutches for a few weeks and she's picking up my gown for me so I don't have to miss class, my dad has moved his work schedule to make sure he's supporting me, and my brother has somehow found time to be there in person.

Now that I have pictures, I can actually post about events.  I want to get a few things in before the parade in 10 days!  Look for something tomorrow!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Short break and something about Cornflowers

It's been a long time since I've posted, through nobody's fault but my own.  I have a few weekends free from my Steuben Princess duties though, so I will use that free time to catch up and write posts about all the events I've been to (with pictures).

So far, after the crowning and dress fitting, I've been to 4 events in 3 weekends.  It's been a blast, but it's going to be nice to have a short break and a weekend where I don't put hundreds of miles on my car (or my parents' car).  I'm pretty sure Spartacus, my cat, will be happy to have me home more too!

Some of you may not know, but a big part of our job is to sell Cornflowers (not real ones) with ribbons that have the parade date on them.  They're unbelievably popular and many people buy at least one every year and have built up quite a collection.   Why the cornflower?

I took this bit straight from Wikipedia: "The cornflower is the official flower and the logo of the German-American Steuben Parade of New York City, as it widely grows in both Germany and the United States. Also, the color blue symbolizes friendship and hope. In addition the Cornflower was the national Flower of Prussia since its introduction by Kaiser Wilhelm I to honor his mother Queen Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and because of its color (prussian blue)"

Unfortunately, something happened and none of the groups have gotten their orders of cornflowers yet.  We had a few to sell for the first couple of events, but we ran out of those quickly!  They were a hot item even though we had to raise the price to $2.  Luckily, we have armbands ($2) (like the livestrong bracelets - I have to say, I'm surprised those never totally went out of style), pins ($3), stickers ($1), and iron-on patches ($3).  We also have raffle tickets that are $5 a piece or $20 for a book of 5.  One of the prizes is a round trip for 2 to Germany!  There are 6 other prizes too, including a nice dinner for 4, dinner for 2 and a cookbook, a silk scarf, and a really pricey fountain pen!

While I'm on my mini-break from my duties, please let me know if you're interested in buying a raffle ticket or anything else.  Or come to some of the future events!  The next one will be German Night at Eisenhower Park in Nassau County, NY from 7:00pm - 9:30pm on Monday, July 9.  Hope to see some of you there!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Dress Fitting #1

Today was the start to a busy weekend for the Steuben Parade Court.  It was also the day of our first dress fitting!  All the female members of the court, young and old(er), wear fancy gowns for the Steuben Parade and some other events, so we all need to be fitted.  The 2012-2013's Court's year is really getting started now!

My weekend really started with gathering up everything I needed for the weekend in my apartment: my laundry, clothes, makeup, computer, phone, my white dress, and of course my crown and sash (which I almost forgot - oops!).  Then it was time to get the last piece of "luggage" - my cat, Spartacus.

Such a problem to get in the carrier, but he definitely enjoyed the ride
I drove down from the middle of CT and got to my parents' house, where I'm staying this weekend because it's closer to New York.  After a short rest, my mom and I walked to the train station and rode in to Grand Central.  From there, it was a short walk, maybe half an hour, to RK Bridal, where we were getting the dress fitting done.

I was a little early and the few people I talked to who worked there seemed confused as to why I was there, so I waited a little while.  I've never been to any sort of dress fitting for myself or for anyone else, so it was kind of fun to be able to watch some brides-to-be trying on gowns (though, like most other females and some males, I've seen it a million times on wedding shows).

Not long after I arrived Kirsten, the Queen, got there.  The 3 older girls all actually ended up coming in for it not only on the same day, but at the same time as well, which was a nice surprise.  We already knew the designer and brand of the dress we needed to try on (the same as last year's court had - the one on the right), so we let one of the saleswomen know and she went to find it.  Just about as she came back with a short red version of the dress for us to try on, Nicole, the 2006 Miss German-America showed up to help us.  Kirsten went to try on the dress while I filled out my information and Kyra, the other Princess got there about then.  Kirsten modeled it shortly, then it was my turn to try it on.  We each tried on the dress and got our measurements taken.

Then we hit a small snag.  The 3 of us range in height from around 5'7" to 5'10" or so and all agreed that extra length would be a good idea, especially if we wear heels.  But that dress doesn't come in extra length!  So, Nicole and her friend who works at RK Bridal did some brainstorming and found a very similar dress by a different designer.  I would post a link to a picture, but I cannot remember the style #, so I guess it'll just stay a surprise!  Kyra tried it on and we all agreed it was a beautiful dress.  So now we'll just have to wait!

While there, we all got to talk some and get to know each other a little better.  I found out that Kirsten and I are both Gold Award Girl Scouts!  I'm sure we'll all find a lot more connections and similarities throughout the year.  We all exchanged phone numbers and went our separate ways.

My mom and I spent some more time in the city though.  We first went to Payless and I am so excited to have found some white ballet flats that I can weird in lieu of heels to some of the events.  I learned the hard way during the crowning ceremony that heels aren't always fun.  My brother, who lives in the city, met us for dinner and we went to a nice restaurant/tavern near Grand Central.  We all got gelato in Grand Central and then my mom and I headed back on the train.

The day ended with us stepping out onto a dry train platform, walking under the overpass, and seeing the rain starting.  We walked back home sharing an umbrella and though the rain got us a bit, we got inside just before the real downpour started.

Now I've got a day off to relax a bit before things take off.  Our first event, the Gottscheer Volkfest, is Sunday, June 3 at Plattduetsche Park in Long Island from 1:00pm - 5:00pm.  I'm really excited because the Foehrer Musik Freunde will be playing!  My Opa comes from Foehr, my Omi met him there, and I'm a member of the Foeher & Amrumer K.U. Verein.  It ranks as one of my top few favorite places in the world.  I'm always excited to see others connected to any of the Friesian Islands, because it's such a unique part of Germany and such a close-knit and unique community there.  I can't wait for Sunday in general!

If you're around Long Island or looking for something to do this weekend, come by!  I'll write about events at least a few days beforehand on here to keep everyone updated.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

If at first you don't succeed...

My name is Elise and you might know me from my other blog, The Crafty German.

Now, as of yesterday's crowning ceremony, you will also know me as one of the Steuben Princesses for the 55th annual NYC Steuben Parade in 2012!

With my brother and parents post-crowning.  I'm a Princess!
(As a 90's child, it's hard to resist the urge to say "Pretty, Pretty Princess")