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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

December 28, 2016 Long Time No Talk!

I'm emailing on Wednesday because transfers caused us to miss our Pday so President said that we could take care of the things that we needed to do today.

I'm didn't get transferred but Elder Mackintosh did :(. I got an awesome new companion, though.  His name is Elder Krzymowski. He's from Ephraim Utah.  I'm really excited to be with him.

These last few days have been super busy.  Especially yesterday.  We said goodbye to 16 great missionaries, then welcomed 13 awesome new ones.

I'll send some pictures.

You're awesome!

Con Amor,

Elder Sam McBride

1. This is our investigator J--- and his ugly Christmas sweater.
2. This is J--- and his wife J--- who was in the process of getting her hair ready for a Christmas party 

(That's why it looks like she's trying to look like Princess Leah)

PJs! (That is not my unmade bed in the back) also Elder Mackintosh packing :(

 We had a leaf raking service project in Central Park that we were a part of.  It went great.  We had a pretty famous youtuber there live streaming it.

This picture was taken of Elder Krzymowski and I before we even knew we would be companions in a week.

Some missionaries talking to the youtuber Stuart Edge.

Monday, December 19, 2016

December 19, 2016 Surprise!

The New York New York North Mission has officially changed its Pday to Monday. So that's why you get a surprise email from me today. Cool things are happening in the mission. I finished the Book of Mormon again in Spanish on Thursday, that book is true. On Friday we had the Mission Christmas Devotional. It went really well, I was the narrator. The special celebrity we have in our mission is a YouTuber named Stuart Edge. He's here to have a fireside that happened yesterday then to participate in some service projects happening tomorrow. This coming week is transfers. I will know my future when we talk on Sunday. I'm going to keep this short because we will be talking on Sunday. Does 3pm my time work for you?

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

December 14, 2016 Great Week

Hey Family,

We have some exciting things going on. We had the coolest lesson on Friday while we were on splits with the South Manhattan zone leaders. We have been teaching a man since September and have never been able to get him to accept a baptismal date but on Friday Elder Mackintosh and I planned a super great lesson for him and his member wife. The lesson started out nothing like how we had planned, but typed back in so well into our plan. Right at the moment we were planning on extending a baptismal date our investigator interjects "January 8th".  It was such a cool moment. Nobody spoke. His wife and mother in law started to cry. Then, after what seemed like an eternity, he spoke saying that he had been thinking long and hard about who should do it, looked at his father in law and asked him if he would perform his baptism. By then everyone was emotional. It was such a cool experience. The Elder I was on a split with was so excited. The Gospel is true. Family's can be together through Priesthood sealing.

There's a really cool event happening in our mission on Tuesday. We have a "celebrity" coming to do a Facebook live stream at a couple service projects put on by missionaries in our mission. It's going to be awesome.

For Christmas I will be available to Skype between 2pm and 4pm my time. When would work best from you? I'll call you then.

Love you!

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

December 7, 2016 Quick Week

We had a pretty great week this week. It started on Thursday with the last zone conference of the transfer. It was a pretty cool meeting because it was with all 62 missionaries in Manhattan at the Chapel underneath the temple. Then the next day we had MLC. Some of the head haunchos from Bonneville Communications that were behind the #LIGHTtheWORLD Campaign came and discussed the initiative with us.  It's cool to see how the church is using technology and social media to advance the work. 

We had an awesome fast Sunday. C--- got confirmed! His mom and stepdad were able to be there. We are working with them and praying that they start to show more commitment so that the family can be united in the Gospel. 

We also had an awesome investigator at church who has a baptismal date for Christmas Day! The rest of the week has been a blur. So much is happening in the mission and in our area. It's hard to balance and stay on top of things.

The church is true. Joseph Smith really was a prophet of God. Jesus Christ atoned for our sins. He lives.

Con Amor,

Elder Sam McBride

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November 30, 2016 I Love to See the Temple

We had a great week this week. One of our investigators is progressing super crazy fast, it's so exciting. He's overcoming addictions, reading the Book of Mormon pretty quickly, and coming to church. He's awesome. 

We had Thanksgiving dinner at a family in our ward's house.  After eating way to much food, we went to go visit a less active man in our Ward, our hearts dropped when we saw his table set. We ended up having another Thanksgiving dinner and both feeling really really sick by the end. 

This week is bound to be special. The Christmas initiative starts tomorrow. I invite you to go to, participate and invite everyone you know to participate as well. It's such an easy invitation. "Come serve with me" it's so much different than all the other ways you can introduce someone to the church, it's awesome.  

Today we got to go to the temple. The spirit was so strong. It was such a great experience. President and Sister Bench were there, so was Sister Murphy. I love the Bench family, they're so great. 

I didn't really take any pictures with the missionaries we were with or anything because it was crazy rainy. We got soaked on our walk back to Grand Central. So much fun. 

I love you family. Thanks for raising me in the Gospel. I have no clue what would have happened to me without you.

Con Amor.
Elder Sam McBride

The Hudson is really pretty at sun set.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

November 23, 2016 C--- Got Baptized!

We had a great week this week. We had a baptism on Sunday! He's an 8 year old boy that gets brought to church by his aunt. We thought he was a member until he came up to us at a baptism some other missionaries were having and said "I want to get baptized." The rest is history. His mom was able to come and she brought a bunch of friends, we're working on her still. 

We started zone conferences this week. Which means that we're super busy as usual. The training that Elder Mackintosh & I are giving this time around is on the new Christmas initiative. Get excited it's going to be awesome. 

We had some amazing experiences this week. About a month ago we received a referral from some sisters that we're giving art tours down at the Lincoln Center Chapel (Aka the chapel Side of the temple). They had given a tour to this man that lives in our area. We contacted him and he asked us if we could call him back in a few weeks. Fast forward to last week. We contact him again and he is one of the most prepared people I have ever met in my life. It's awesome to see that the Lord is preparing people all the time to receive the Gospel. We are going to try to commit him to be baptized on a specific date this Friday. We are also have another investigator that we think could get baptized by the end of December. High hopes for our area. 

In other news, it's starting to get cold here which is making me really happy. I still really like the cold... my companion thinks I'm weird. I hope you have a great week!

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

C--- is the 8 year old. Isn't he beaming!?  The teenager is the Bishop's son T---. He performed the baptism.

C--- and his family

Selfie with C--- in his velvet blue blazer

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

November 16, 2016 Transfers!

I'm sorry for this ridiculously short letter. Transfers are super crazy for us. Elder Mackintosh and I are staying for an unprecedented 4th transfer together. That makes 7 total! Crazy, right?! Our other companion Elder Stokes got transferred to West Point and became a Zone Leader. So, back to regular companionship life. 

Our recent convert that we're working with, J---, got the Melchezidek Priesthood this weekend. We invited him to give his wife a blessing later in the week and we got one of the coolest texts I've ever gotten in my life.  It was along the lines of "I gave Gwen a blessing. It was an amazing experience. Thank you so much." It's great to see people change and come closer to Christ. The Gospel really does change lives and bring families closer together. These last 3 days have been crazy. 15 new missionaries and 16 going home. Lots and lots of logistics to take care of. I'll attach some pictures to make up for the short email.

Love you,

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

Me and Brother S---. He's the coolest.

The trio, William & Lauren at this Peruvian restaurant in White Plains that I'll take you to some day.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

November 9, 2016 Oh! That's why they call it a leaf blower!

Hey Family,

Things are going great out here in the Big Apple. We've had a couple great experiences lately with finding new people. People just seem to be coming out of the woodwork lately. We went to go find this Member family the other night and the father of the family opens the door and is super friendly. After talking to him for a bit he asks us when we can come back by and teach his daughter who had just turned 8 because he wants her to get baptized. He said it's about time they found their way back. It was such a miracle. This man hasn't been to church in years and now he just feels like it's time. 

The Lord is really hastening his work out here. Last month the mission hit its monthly baptismal goal for the first time. This goal had been set in July and we've been so close, but weren't able to get it until October. Now November it's looking like we'll be able to do it again!

We had a crazy week this week. I'm not sure I mentioned this, but 4 weeks ago one of the missionaries serving as an office elder had to go home for medical reasons, so we got a new companion and double office duties. This week has been really busy with running mail and doing other random things. But with a lot of traveling we took some good videos, hopefully they make up for this short letter.

This next week is transfers. Who knows what is going to happen, but it's sure to be a surprise. Elder Mackintosh and I think we're going to go 7 together.

Les Amo,
Elder Sam McBride

P.S. The subject line is because I had a moment of realization as to what the true purpose of leaf blowers is this week. #whoknew?

1. This is a picture of all the mail we took down to the city yesterday. Way too much mail. The funny story about this picture is that a super nice Hungarian woman took it for us. Of course she wanted to know what the heck we were doing and why so we were able to talk to her about the church and give her a Hungarian Book of Mormon. She was super impressed.

2. The second picture is just a pretty picture we took in south Manhattan yesterday. The ad on the taxi was a little inappropriate so we edited in a little sneak peak at this years Christmas initiative.  Shhhhh don't tell anyone. It's going to be sweet.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

November 2, 2016 Halloween

Hey family! It was great to hear from you this week. That's super cool that Joseph Leung got back! We have a Portuguese missionary named Elder Castro who is from Portugal that says he knew Elder Leung. He always talked about how well he played the violin and how he had his trainee convinced that he only spoke Chinese and Portuguese until he had to give a talk in Zone conference in English. I don't think I'll have as crazy of an adjustment as he did, we are treated well here in New York. I have seen some poverty though, it has really grown my testimony of the Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity. If everybody in the world were to live those two commandments the world would be such a good place! 

We had a super cool experience this week. On Halloween we were able to contact someone who requested a Bible online. As we left the building which was full of a bunch of crazy people dressed up in Halloween costumes, we talked to the one guy who didn't have a Halloween costume on. He wasn't interested, but he gave us an apartment number for one of his friends. Yesterday we went looking for his friend, who wasn't there, but we knocked on his neighbor's door and got let in by this super awesome family. You never know how the Lord will put people into your path. 

I love you family! I hope you had a great week!

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

October 26, 2016 Great Week. Lots of Success.

This week was pretty awesome. We had 4 zone conferences, but somehow managed to find time to teach a whole bunch and were really blessed as we did so. We received a request for a bible two weeks ago and were finally able to contact her on the phone. She seemed super cool so we went by and taught her and her husband last Wednesday and Friday. They loved the message and then came to church on Sunday. We have some high hopes for them. I'll send a selfie that we took with them to send to the Ward council, so they could be looking for them at church. 

On top of them we have this super awesome active family in our Ward from Ghana. The grandmother of the family has a grandson in his 20s who we had met once, but at the time he didn't seem too interested, but on Thursday we went over for dinner with them and the grandson was super into the message. He committed to getting work off so he could come to church by this coming Sunday. Then we were able to set a baptismal date with him. He's awesome. We have a miracle in process with that family. The Grandma's older daughter is not yet a member and she also came to church this week solely because her 8 year old son wants to get baptized. She turned out to have a great experience! We invited her to be baptized with her son. She seemed willing, but said she had to think about it. We told her to think and pray about it. 

It's great to hear all the news from home. Way to go Ike! Honor roll is a great accomplishment! You're awesome! I hope you have a great Halloween! 

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

1. We had Ghanaian Jelof Rice with a member family. It was by far my favorite food that I've had from Ghana.

2. This is the selfie we took with our investigators R--- and S--- that we sent to our Ward council so they could look out for them. Also R--- is not wearing a robe... it's just a unique shirt.
3. Elder Stokes hurt his foot 12 weeks ago and never got it checked out. It was still bugging him so we went in to see what was up. The X-ray came back that he had a broken bone that was starting to heal incorrectly. Super bummer, but he's doing ok.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

October 19, 2016 Happy Birthday Mom!

Happy Birthday Mom! I hope it was a great one! It was so great to hear from you this week. The story about Isaac "paying" homeless people made me giggle. 

We had a good week this week. On Friday we had the New Missionary Meeting with Elder Perkins of the 70. It was awesome, when he gave his closing remarks he got up and basically said exactly what we were planning on teaching for zone conference. It was a huge spiritual confirmation for President. 

Zone Conferences started this week. The best thing I've taken out of it is that repentance really truly is cool. Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can change. How cool is that!? I can make decisions, improve and not make the same mistake over and over again. I love you family! Have a great week!

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

I got a new companion this week. His name is Elder Stokes from Weston Idaho. He's going to be with us at least until next week. He and his companion were the Office Elders together, but now he's a solo office Elder and is our companion. Which means we have double office duties now. Elder Stokes is so awesome.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

October 12, 2016 Let it begin!

Hey family! It's weird to hear that you're branching out and taking trips to different places. I hope San Fran was great. We had a great week this last week. It was super busy tying up loose ends from transfers but it was fantastic. We said goodbye to our short term amazing companion Elder Glick on Monday, it was really touching watching him reunite with his family. One of our investigators is really progressing. It's amazing seeing the difference between all the hundreds (maybe thousands) of people we talk to that "want" to change their lives and those elect few who are willing to actually do it. We should all strive to be like those people. It comes from having an eternal perspective and priorities. When you have those it becomes possible to develop the faith necessary to do things like quit a job on Sunday's, overcome an addiction or get married. 

This week is the start of what is bound to be one of the busiest 2 week stretches of my life. We have a member of the first quorum of the seventy attending the New Missionary Meeting and Departing missionary meeting on Friday then on Monday we have the first of 6 zone conferences  in 8 days. This is going to be fun. Love you! I pray for you all the time.

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

We went on a split in Middletown New York on Tuesday, which is way up North. While up there the missionary that I was with and I contacted an Investigator Referral on a street named McBride Road. What a coinky dink. Also the missionary I was with was Elder Wilson, who just so happened to be trained by my trainer during his last 2 transfers. It was fun reminiscing.

I'm gonna miss Elder Glick. He was such a fun missionary to be companions with. Here's a picture of him sitting at President's desk. He then went on to write President a note that said "I sat in your chair President. - Elder Glick". 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

October 5, 2016 Transfers!

Hey family! This week was transfers again. Elder Mackintosh and I are staying in the office together, we did get a new companion for a week though. His name is Elder Glick, he's from Staten Island New York. He's a super cool missionary, honestly a miracle. He arrived 2 years ago for a 3 month "trial mission" because he has some severe disabilities caused by a childhood car accident that made it tough for him to be able to go on a mission. But after the trial was up he decided he could do a full 2 years, went to the MTC then came back, and reentered as a full-time 2 year missionary. His family is coming to pick him up next Monday so President prayerfully decided to call him as an assistant for his last week. It's been a great experience, he's such a goofball. 

General conference was great. We watched all 5 sessions in the chapel. We did get to see priesthood session, we were approved to stay out till 10 that night. I loved the Saturday Morning Session. Also the talk about joy by President Nelson was super great, the Gospel really does bring joy. In other news, Elder Aurich is training right after being trained. I'm super happy for him, his companion is from Mexico and is super awesome. I'm sorry I didn't write too much this week, I'm exhausted. We've gotten up at 4:30 for the past two days, it's been really fun. 

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

Picture - The new Companionship. Elder Glick is on the Left. He's great.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

September 28, 2016 The Temple is Great!

I'm running a little short on time today to write so I'll compensate with pictures. We went to the Temple twice this last week. On Saturday we went down to the Manhattan Temple and did baptisms for the dead with our recent convert. It was a great experience for him, his wife, his wife's grandma and us. He was baptized for his dad and the spirit was there. 

On Sunday we were able to go to the Hartford Temple with one of our investigators and his wife. The temple was great but, the best part was how it touched him. He expressed sincere desire to get baptized and join the church but was not quite ready to set a date. He is so prepared. He told us how he's had contact with the church for years and has always liked it but it wasn't until recently that he has felt like it's the right decision to join. His experience gives me so much hope as a missionary. I have taught hundreds of people but only a few handfuls have ever even had the faith to read the Book of Mormon. The hope comes from the fact that someday their circumstances will change and they will remember the promises that those dorky we'll dressed young men made them. And when that happens Heavenly Father will put them where they need to be to find and accept the Gospel. Thanks family! You're great!

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

In less serious news this week. I found the answer to the classic missionary question "What's the weirdest thing you've eaten?" The answer is a Ghanaian soup called Banku. It has so much random stuff in it. It was all right, but not my cup of tea. We ate it all though because we really want her and her husband to get sealed in the temple some day. Also don't judge my table manners, she told us we that the proper way to eat it is with your hands.

1. The best pic we have of what's in the soup which includes full crabs, cow skin, salmon, salted beef, weird Ghanaian jalapeƱo looking vegetables and a bunch of spices I've never heard of before. Also Brother S--- is in the background, he's awesome.

2. Me holding a piece of beef skin.

3. Sister S--- isn't a member yet, but we're working on her. It was her birthday that day. We gave her a Book of Mormon with a personal note and a Hartford Temple Open House Invitation as a birthday present. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

September 21, 2016 Week of Temples

Hey Family,

It's great to hear from you! Thanks for all of your prayers. So we had a pretty awesome week this last week. We found a bunch of new awesome people including 2 Nigerian brothers who are super cool. But everything that happened this last week seems to be in preparation for what's going to happen this weekend. On Saturday we are going to the Temple with the G--- family. Brother G--- got baptized in January, shortly after his baptism he and his wife kind of fell away for a little bit, but recently they've been progressing a ton and haven't missed church in months.  So on Saturday, we're going down to the Temple with them to do Baptisms for the Dead with him for the first time.  It's going to be awesome. We worked really hard with them to prepare his Father's name to do the baptism for him. 

We started teaching a couple last week. They are a newlywed couple, she's a less active member and daughter of an active couple in our ward and he's not a member yet. They recently moved in and are super prepared for the gospel.  We were able to get them into a special "Sneak Peak" of the Hartford Temple Open House this coming Sunday. It's going to be awesome. We get to go with them. We're going to try to commit him to baptism for late October or early November. 

I'm really excited to hear about Brother Harris becoming the Stake Patriarch. He's perfect for that. I honestly don't think that I've met anyone who just fits that calling so well. I bet Dad did a great job giving his talk.  That reminds me. I was on a companionship exchange in New Canaan Connecticut last Friday and the missionary that I was with hands me the Ward list and says "We don't have anything to do at 11am tomorrow so... who do you know? We'll go visit them." So we went and saw Craig Bench and his family haha. He gave me his talk from one of his recent high council assignments.  It's really good about temples. We shared a little spiritual message and invited them to invite friends to the temple open house. They were already all over that. 

It's so weird that there are people here that you used to know when we lived out here. Do you recognize the name Susana Sena? She lived in Stamford around the same time as us. She said your names sounded familiar and your faces are familiar but she couldn't remember you. 

I love you family! You're great!

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

September 14, 2016 Busy Weeks Are The Best Weeks

We had a great week this week. The mission is on the zone study & interviews transfer, which means that we get to visit all 11 zones. While President is interviewing missionaries we have a little leadership council with the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders so that we can get some feedback and council with them about their zone. 

After the first 2 hours of interviews are over the whole zone gets together for a "Zone Study" which is basically President leading a discussion about Joseph Smith History 1:1-20. It's pretty awesome and it's still awesome even after being there for 6 of them. To end there's always a short testimony meeting where everybody that wants to stands up and bears a 30-60 second testimony about Joseph Smith and Jesus Christ. The Spirit is really strong every time. 

This last week we visited the Olmstead Zone on Thursday, Manhattan North Zone on Monday and yesterday we went up to Stamford to have it with the Stamford Zone. It was cool, the meeting was held in our old chapel. It's eerily familiar every time I go there. 

During the zone studies President always asks somebody where and when they were when they started to pray out loud, in order to emphasize that young Joseph had never attempted to pray vocally before. He always picks someone born in the church and usually they can't remember but yesterday when he asked someone I realized that I totally had been taught to pray either in that chapel or at home just a mile or so up the street. Haha it's a small world. 

We had a great Sunday this week. We had 3 investigators at church. We didn't even have time to teach 3 investigators last week, but a young man from the local college walked into priesthood because he was brand new to the area and was looking for a place to worship God. It was a super cool miracle. The Lord blesses us when we do our best.

It was great to read about Isaac, what a stud. What a successful week, pinewood derby 3rd place and won an election. Keep going with the Book of Mormon reading. I love that book. You're great family. I love you!

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

1. A slice of Pizza that we bought from Cross Bronx Pizza. It's about
a 5 minute walk away from the Olmstead (East Bronx) Chapel.

2. Sunrise over Long Island Sound. This view is from the apartment of
the other Elders in our District. Our view isn't so great.

3. Awkward picture of a family we got out to church this week. The man
is a member from Guyana, the women aren't... yet. The older woman is
the members wife, she is from Ghana and the younger girl is their

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

September 7, 2016 Busy Week. A Lot of Change.

So this week was super busy. We have had a lot of random assignments and and today we had a little mid-transfer transfer. We had 4 sisters come in from the Salt Lake temple Square mission to supplement for some Sisters from our mission that will be going to the Hartford Temple later this month to run the open house. So I'm a little short on time this week but I just wanted to tell you about Sunday.

When we first came into our area we had no clue what to do, so we decided to start working with some members. We prayerfully chose a few less actives to focus on and bring back. On Sunday 3 of them bore their testimonies. They also individually in the last 2 weeks all qualified for limited use temple recommends. 1 was baptized for the temple on behalf of his father and in the next 3 weeks the other 2 will be baptized in the temple on behalf of their fathers. All 3 have blessed the sacrament for their first time recently. 2 were ordained priest, 1 of which simultaneously received the Aaronic priesthood. And the Third is waiting for his recommendation for the Melchezidek Priesthood to go through. These men are changing. Even though we haven't baptized anyone in this area and we don't have any really super solid progressing investigators right now, I have seen 3 people repent become converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I love you Family! You're great!

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

August 31, 2016 The Temple is Amazing!

This week was such a great week! Thursday we woke up before the break of dawn and went to the 6:30 am temple session with President Smith. I woke up that morning so ready to go it was a miracle. It was an awesome session. One I will never forget. After the Temple we rode the subway up to where we had parked our car and while on the subway I gave this awesome woman a Book of Mormon. 

We went straight from the city to a funeral back in our own chapel, it was a great service. Her family is mostly nonmembers and they were really appreciative. I literally got to see and understand the entirety of the Plan of Salvation before noon on Thursday. It was a great experience.

Sunday was also really special. One of our recent converts blessed the sacrament for the first time. He is my first recent convert to do so while I have been in the area. He's the coolest. He's going to do baptisms for the dead on the 24th with family names, including his father. It's going to be awesome. 

It's ironic that Jake spoke on Sunday because President & Sister Bench spoke in our Ward Sunday.  Both talks were great but, Sister Bench's was phenomenal. They spoke on temples which is the perfect topic for our Ward right now. I love that couple, I totally want to be like them when I grow up. 

Today has been fantastic so far. We started it off by taking a young man that we helped to reactivate to the temple to do baptisms for the dead for his first time, along with some other young men in our ward, William, and the Young Men's President. Probably the coolest part, though, is that he was able to get baptized on behalf of his father who passed away when he was a child. It was an amazing experience. He's so excited to do temple work now. The temple is a special place. I love you! You are all awesome!

Con Amor,
Elder Sam McBride

Elder McBride at the Manhattan Temple

Group Pic From Left: Tustin (Bishop's Son), Elder Mackintosh (Best
Missionary In the World), William (My adopted little Brother and
Assistant trainer), Jevon (Person that got baptized for his dad), Me,
and Matthew (Young Mens President's Son)

Also, we stopped by the old place on Thursday because we were driving through. We didn't have time to knock the door or anything though.  
(This is the house we lived in when Sam and Max were born in Stamford, CT.  Aaah.  Sigh.  We loved that place.)

Yankee Stadium while driving home from Harlem.