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.
Next to an organic wine shop in the neighborhood of Williamsburg, you may stumble across an open door with concrete stairs. Might make you think twice about whether this is the donation-based studio you heard of… until you reach the top and are greeted with the potent smells of hipster body odors. Prepare to break a sweat before your first downward dog, because the air is already perspiring heat.
The 2pm saturday afternoon class was surprisingly not as crowded as anticipated - although that still doesn’t guarantee a foot in the face or happy babies colliding. My sentiments about this place are bittersweet. The flow makes me sweat and the triad of chair-sits are ultimately burning. The outbursts of orgasmic “H-A’s” are awkward yet guiltily pleasurable. Though for first-timers, it can be horrific and truthfully alarming. The day after is rewarding and the mental break from the world is a relief. The best is always last, as they end with a quote and the Tibetan singing bowl. I’ll leave you with today’s nugget of inspiration, a quote by Mother Teresa.
"People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”
- Mother Teresa
"Most folks are about as happy as they make their minds to be" - Abraham Lincoln
Woke up this morning, sun shining through window. Roused by the clanking of machinery outside. Nevertheless, the view from my window is still quaint despite the worksite where most likely a condo named something mundane like “The Brooklyn” will sprout up. I really love where I live.
A few exciting ventures of 2012 thus far:
Brooklyn Winery - For the past 5 months I have been telling myself that I would make the trek across the street to this urban winery. A few nights ago, the trek finally happened. Glad it did too because apparently upon first FourSquare check-in you receive 15% off your first glass of wine. We got a glass of a 2011 Viura from Spain and a bottle of the 2009 Malbec from Argentina. The Viura was a dark white and unlike any wine I’ve ever tasted. The Malbec definitely distinguished itself from other Malbecs I have tried. I’m no wine connoisseur but this charming little winery exceeded my expectations. I will need to venture back, as I intend to make my own wine next time.
Santigold at Music Hall of Williamsburg - Starting with the venue. A short 5 minute walk from my apartment and it also took me far to long to come explore. It’s a small yet appropriate music venue for the neighborhood. It has a basement bar and a balcony as well and of course music resonates throughout the entire building. Happy hour lasts till 9pm. Santigold was such a delight. The performance was worth way beyond the $25 ticket fee with her backup dancers performing the entire hour and a half set. She rocked some theatrical costumes and loved her crowd. Shows are always that much better when the artist is genuinely enthusiastic about performing. Moments later I found myself on stage dancing with Santigold herself and several other ecstatic fans. At one point the audience was even graced with a life size horse on stage (propped most likely by two people, madly sweating from within). The entire experience was just great.
my mind is drifting. while i attempt to coat my thoughts with spanish preterites and imperfects, i build a map of places to meet. the long stretch always makes me want to escape to some unknown state. i’m brewing destinations - turkey, morocco, tanzania, chile, peru, laos. the list goes on and it only becomes more inviting to tackle.