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                                                  Lisa Rao                                                      

          Getting to know me...getting to know all about me...!

 Here I am at the New York Aquarium, getting friendly with Otis the Seal. I actually had brought a bunch of kids to the aquarium for a photo shoot, but when Otis came waddling out of the pool screeching with excitement, the kids burst into tears! I had to get "up close and personal" with Otis to show them there was nothing to be afraid of!


Anyway...hello! My name is Lisa Rao, and I am finally seeing the light at the end of my Bachelor's degree tunnel. I am down to my five final classes! YES! It's been a wild ride, as I decided to "finish what I started" after a 20+ year absence. A couple of years ago when the economy was at its worst, I realized it was NOT a good time not to have a college degree. There were a few layoffs at my job; luckily I was not affected but it was enough to scare me into applying to CUNY online. I've loved pretty much every minute of it.

I work for a large book publisher in NYC. I am a full-time writer/editor in the children's division. If you have or know kids who love Yo Gabba Gabba! or Dora the Explorer, you may already have some of my books. Here is a link to some of my titles on amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Lisa-Rao/e/B001JPCJCM/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1359479087&sr=1-2-ent  And I also have a personal website from when I was a freelancer, www.LisaRao.com.

I'm looking forward to a fun semester with this class. I'm VERY interested in learning why people move, as I am a native New Yorker who has never left the Big Apple! But from the time I was little my mom always told me, "Someday you'll realize how lucky you are to live in New York." 

But when I think about why people move the obvious answer is "to make a better life for themselves." Whether that means a better job, or a better home, or an easier way of life is up to the person.  But the first thing that popped into my head was the classic movie The Grapes Of Wrath, based on the amazing book by John Steinbeck. If you haven't seen the movie or read the book, I highly recommend both. Here is a YouTube video which captures "the essence" of the film:

Maybe part of the reason I've never left New York is besides my career, is that I happen to be really happy with where I live.  I live in what is known as the country club section of Throggs Neck, New York, which is a very long way of saying the nicer part of the Bronx! 

Here's a map that shows exactly where "Country Club, Bronx NY" is (since many people think I'm kidding when I say that's where I live.  Right click on "view image" to see the map larger. Country Club is right underneath Pelham Bay):

I even have a teeny strip of private beach right below my apartment complex.  The photo of swans that I use in my eportfolio icon was taken steps away from my apartment building. And here is a photo I took from my terrace (the water is Long Island Sound.)

My commute to manhattan is anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour. I really don't get why people will pay thousands of dollars in rent each month for an apartment the size of a shoebox just to say they live in manhattan, whereas I can walk out on my terrace and see this every morning and pay about 80% less than all the folks in my office who brag about "living in the big city."  But...to each his own I guess!

Here's a larger photo of the swans I took from "my" beach.

Can you tell I really love where I live?   : )

For Angela Isaac, who asked if I was affected by

Hurricane Sandy:

Hi Angela,

Here's a photo I took from my balcony when Hurricane Sandy was just landing in New York. In the bottom right hand side of the photo you can see a small part of a fence. That's a parking lot which of course, was completely flooded. We were really lucky. The building directly to the right of mine lost power and so did the building directly to my left. I guess they took the brunt of the storm because our power didn't even go out--the lights flickered constantly all night long but never went out. Like I said we were really lucky!


DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.