Moving From Virtual to Live: 146/365

After two years or so of a virtual connection Kate and I went live yesterday, taking advantage of great September weather and her journey to New York City from Australia for all that the City offers.

I knew about Kate’s travel plans because she’s been sharing them on Face Book and yes, I am a regular.  I think though that we began our online connection  during a month-long blog challenge  organized by Edublogs, a site that hosts a blogging network for teachers and students.  For a full month of May we were challenged to write every day with a community of teacher bloggers from all over the world, and many came from Australia and New Zealand. I took up the challenge and spent lots of time reading and commenting on blogs I discovered in this community. I think this is where Kate and I first met. It was a no brainer connection.  Kate’s an actor, director, retired college professor passionate about theater and engaged in the digital explorations.

Kate arrived in NYC a week ago and began to share her NYC experience on Facebook and  when I suggested brunch in the Village. Kate agreed.  It would be her first Village experience and I knew a great spot for meeting and eating: the A.O.C., a lovely French bistro with an outside garden in the back.

I was ready to meet Kate solo but Tuvia didn’t hesitate to when I invited him along for the adventure.  We left early, and drove in from Paramus without much traffic.  On-street parking is always a challenge and it was a particular challenge yesterday, but at 11;45 I was seated at a table against the back fence at the AOC, sipping coffee, waiting for Tuvia to move the car closer to our spot and the arrival of Kate.

First Kate and then Tuvia joined me.  We all began with coffee as Kate and I  began moving from virtual to live.  It was easy, comfortable, amazing actually.  Of course if you aren’t yet blogging or twittering or updating your FB status it’s hard to believe that friendships can really be created and sustained virtually but Kate from Australia is another example of this virtual bonding and it was good to have Tuvia along to witness and join in as we talked politics, theater, music and life on a beautiful September day in NYC just as the 9/11 anniversary was ending  a few blocks from us.

As lunch ended and we moved back onto a crowded street, Kate and I strolled down Bleeker. as Tuvia left us to feed the meter and wait for a call.  I knew a great park nearby and we sat together  and just enjoyed the place and the opportunity of the moment. We were seamlessly moving into our third act as we collected our things and headed back to the car.  Always the gentleman, Tuvia  insisted we drive Kate to her rental apartment and as we dropped her off and hugged goodbye I wondered how this live meeting would impact our virtual connection.  I love the virtual but there’s nothing like live!

What’s next???

I thought I might share this post with my SOLT friends.

See more cool slices at the great Two Writing Teachers blog

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Categories: A Photo A Day 365/2010, SOLC 2010 | Tags: , | 17 Comments

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17 thoughts on “Moving From Virtual to Live: 146/365

  1. That’s so great that you made that connection.
    Kevin

  2. Bonnie, it was an absolute delight meeting you and the gracious Tuvia face to face. Like you, I found moving from virtual to real easier than many might anticipate. Odd – or is it – that we can know each other well enough to trust the real meeting to fulfill expectations so well. I know perhaps as much about you after a couple of years of sharing thoughts, likes, dislikes and so on – all from online chat – as I might have were we to have been colleagues or acquaintances in the ‘real’ world. What had been missing was the live experience which became part of the equation yesterday: the sound of a voice, expression, the energy of the person. It was lovely to get to know more about you and to share what was really an absolutely perfect morning in New York. My thanks again for your hospitality.

  3. Nothing against FB and the online connections but ultimately, there’s no substitute for the face-to-face conversation which leads me to wonder more about what we miss in our online communication. We are focused in the immediate. As we left Kate on the curb, I was thinking about the questions I didn’t ask…
    It’s good to be thinking…

    Bonnie

  4. I have met a number of online friends – face to face – and it has always been a great experience. It doesn’t seem odd to me but I know that some are reluctant to make that leap. I know that if I ever got to your neck of the woods, I would love to share a coffee chat with you.

  5. How wonderful that you had the chance to meet up! Meeting people I know virtually (e.g., you and Kevin) has been wonderful. It’s nice to make those real-life connections, which in turn make the online ones much stronger going-forward.

  6. Susan van Gelder

    It’s amazing how much I care about my online friends. Sometimes I think they know more about me than the f2f folks.Though I may share more intimate details of my life f2f, I do share a lot of musings on line. glad it worked out so well for you.

    • Same here. You are on the top of my list Susan. I love taking time and just scrolling around your photos and words.
      Bonnie

  7. This was such a lovely experience to share, Bonnie! And for this meeting to take place on that particular day is especially meaningful it seems to me. The more we reach out the better a place we make this fragile world we live in.

    • Agreed Tara. It’s hard to describe to those who don’t blog. It was great to have Tuvia along for the ride to be able to appreiciate the experience as a non-blogger.
      bonnie

  8. Lisa

    I met my husband online, so obviously I think it is great. 🙂 I have another friend that I met the same way and she and I exchanged visits to each other’s homes years ago (she is from Wales.) I think online friendships are great!

  9. I like lots of different kinds of relationships. I think we can have on-line friends just like people have had penpal friends for years. If you get a chance to meet, that is icing on the cake! Good for you for making the effort. I am so glad you all enjoyed yourselves.

  10. Annie

    I have a very close friend that I first knew online and we’ve since shared weddings and family vacations, etc. It always seems like a miracle to me….but maybe there is a cadence in mutual language that matches us in ways we don’t know. After all, writing is pretty personal and real. Thanks for sharing this, Bonnie!

  11. Since I haven’t met many of my online correspondents in person, I can’t speak to how it feels to go virtual – but I am continually thrilled by the connections I’ve made over the internet. I feel so enriched by online communities – including this one. The thoughtfulness, introspection, global and community awareness shared by those that I read have fueled passion and curiosity.

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