Untitled Thoughts.

Untitled Thoughts.

relief

If his lips are silent, he chatters with his fingertips...

Yasur Volcano on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu.

The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. 

Marcel Proust

image

sonder - n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.


Street side wisdom

 I walk by this quite often, and when I do I always pause.  I know what it says. My eyes have scanned it a million times and I’ve memorized its place on my meander home. Yet I still find the need to stop and award it a moment of respect. 

In a city of bloody dreamers and zealous achievers, it’s important to always remember this…


Lisbon, Portugal. 2012. 

Lisbon, Portugal. 2012. 

Lisboa, Portugal.  June 2012. 

Fado. Translated into destiny and fate.

A music historically bound to Portuguese culture, Fado roots itself in the art of acoustic storytelling. I somehow found myself in a small neighborhood of Alfama located in the city of Lisbon.  Searching through dimly lit streets dressed in cobblestone, we finally approached the doors of Senhor Vinho.  A friend recommended this gem - a place where her family would trek to for an evening affair. We entered the Fado house and took our seats at a small table in the corner.  Walking inside was like stepping into a grandmother’s memoir.  The walls were lined with tile, adorned with a semblance of street lamps.  A mix of old frames and decorative plates seemed to place me in the far ago decade of 1975- almost as if I had stumbled into the set of film. The lights quickly dimmed so that only three people were illuminated in the center of the room - two gentlemen sat perched with guitars, setting the backdrop for the tale to come.  And a woman, dressed in black, with shawl draping tassels stood solitary. 

The strings stroked a melody inviting her voice - and moments later the room was echoing with a crescendo. There is something quite beautiful about the power of the song - not understanding the language and letting the tones of the vocals and strings carry you through the story.   Beams of hopefulness were juxtaposed with sorrow. A weight entrenched the artist as she clutched her body. The reverberations fought in dramatic conflict as the tempo shifted spontaneously. The vocalist harnessed empathy for her song.  The room, still but simultaneously shaking with sound - seemed to capture the soul of the city. 

I will go to back to Portugal one day.  And sit in a Fado house. And disappear into Vielas de Alfama. 

Food for the soul. 

Photographed in Buzios, Brazil. 2011. 

Photographed in Buzios, Brazil. 2011. 

There’s something quite perfect about rainy days.  The couch is intimately inviting.  The splashing sound of water from car wheels echoes through the windows, balancing out the waves of steady rain. Green tea in the largest cup possible is just the right amount. And listening to Alabama Shakes makes me want evaporate into the verses.  

From Queens to Brooklyn. 

From Queens to Brooklyn. 

Gour·mand.

Noun: 

    1. A person who enjoys eating, and often eats too much.
    2. A connoisseur of good food.

Top Left: Sushi Tacos at Samurai Mama, Brooklyn, NY.

Top Right: Alexis Deboschnek’s home-cooked beets, Brooklyn, NY.

Bottom Left: Mushroom Udon at Samurai Mama, Brooklyn, NY.

Bottom Right: Arroz con Mariscos, Peruvian Grill, Sarasota, FL.  

How To: Interrupt Frenetic Motion.

New York. It’s chaotic and lively. Think express trains, flocks of tourists, the battalion of wall street climbers. Advertising. It’s stop motion on hyper speed. Collision and coalition of ideas or displaced and re-appropriated thoughts.  These are two things I absolutely love… but sometimes they require 5 Hour Energy, 24 hours a day.  So when our mental gears refuse to pause, we sometimes miss those small moments of joy.

I thought I’d share a few of my morsels I dug up today: 

When your everyday subway ride transforms into an occasional music video. It only happens when shuffle is on it. A good song is looped in and 10 seconds later your foot is tapping like an old man from the 50’s.  Soon, a shit grin takes over your face while people look at your like your crazed for actually smiling on a winter day in New York City.  If you have that extra charm, you might be bobbing your head too. And well… when that happens…

Random acts of kindness.  Just a small anecdote: It was one of those moments where you hear the train coming. Some surreal wind is blowing underground….which is only explicable by the physics of subway systems…and of course this dramatizes the moment. As if the sprint down the stairs is not enough, you look into your wallet only to take the gamble for which card out of the 7 cards is the one with fueled with money. Swipe. Empty. Swipe. Empty. Swipe. And fuck it.  Decision: buy a new card. And then there’s 1 machine. A line of 8 people. And the chiming noise that tells you the subway doors are closing. And then there’s an MTA security guard. She comes through the emergency gates, and low and behold….holds the door open. “Come on through, you’ll be waiting in that line all day.”  Just one sentence, made my day. 

I believe that people who genuinely give lead happier, more fulfilling lives. A part of it may be explained by karma. But another part of it is just knowing that you were able to share something kind with someone else - and that in itself is a rewarding. 

Singing in the shower. Cliche…yes, perhaps. But it’s that moment stripped of the fourth wall. Just you and no one else. Solace in the state of solitude and zero reservations. 

Playing with Food.  Not just for kids.  Those entrepreneurial spirits pushing the food carts around Manhattan and Brooklyn have found the path to my heart by fashioning the “off-the-radar” foods. I mean, where would I be if it weren’t for the invention of AsiaDog - the Asian Inspired hot dog. 

Not knowing the future. Because it teaches you how to live in the moment. 

When a stranger smiles in the street. Because when living in a frenetic city like New York…people forget to take a moment just to smile