Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Urban Living: People, Places and Things

MY NEIGHBORHOOD. (Bushwick/Brooklyn)

View from the rooftop of my apartment.

Neighborhood art.

Neighborhood art and me.

Brit and I hanging out at the Morgan Ave subway stop (aka- my home base).

The artsy corner of the Morgan Ave. spot.


Solid paper...read it.

One day, I will take a ride with this horse.

Lunch break-break dancers.
You can catch these guys around noon o'clock everyday near Central Park-South. They entice prospective audience members by yelling, "Hey, you! There's nothing to be afraid of...We're just black guys, dancing!" Hey...it worked for me.

Times Square.
Filled with skyscrapers, neon lights, billboards, overpriced pizza, and Nikon-strapped tourists.

A week after the attempted bombing in Times Square, the area was swarming with police.


Brit and I before our Saturday night adventure through mid-town.

Brit and I at the International Food Festival.
Each year, more than one million hungry souls head to 9th Avenue for the International Food festival. With everything from chorizo sausages, to suckling pig, to Thai iced tea- it’s important to go with a big appetite to make the most of the experience. Brit and I had no trouble partaking in the feasts, and indulged in some of the more ‘exotic’ varieties.

Friday night rooftop dance-off.

My housemmate, Mia, nibbling away at the local bodega.

Smaps and Chiekh experimenting with black and white on black and white in my apartment.

Good people/good tunes/good comedy shows to be found at this bar on the Lower East Side.

Me, Jim, and an unknown man hanging out at Jim's 'tree fort.'
(and the night Jim and I wore near-matching tops)

Liz, me, Maricio at an Irish pub on Cinco de Mayo.

Grumpy Liz on the subway.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I disrupt the subway’s empty stares with a smile, and interrupt its crowded silence with a hello.

Occasionally, people respond to my forwardness with confused glances. More often, though, I’m met with a warm face in return-a mild expression of gratitude-as most New Yorkers are eager to indulge in some complimentary courtesy.

It’s been about five weeks now that I’ve been in NYC, and I can’t ever recall a time when I felt so alive. Some days, I feel like I can’t afford to sleep, like the hours under the influence of REM are wasted moments, and that really, I should sacrifice rest altogether so as not to miss a beat.

Some days, I have to remind myself to breathe…to not just see the city’s energy pulsating around me, but feel it too.

Not an ordinary day passes. The conversations with strangers on subways never repeat themselves, and with each seemingly random discussion, I find myself to be that much closer to understanding the preciousness of life. With a concerted effort, I do what I can to not take these moments for granted, as everyday distractions are all too vast, and the opportunity to genuinely reach out to other people is constantly missed.

I am interested in hearing stories. Stories that to some may appear trivial or irrelevant are, to my ears, fascinating.

Before moving to the city, I was told that it would be hard to meet people. I was told that although I would be living in ‘the city that never sleeps,’ and quite literally be surrounded by new faces every day, that the likelihood of forming a relationship, friendship or otherwise, would be slim to none.

Thankfully, I never bought into this.

Since moving here, I’ve met some of the most interesting people. All walks of life roam the streets, and the trick to engaging with any of them is to, quite simply, speak up.

From the Dominican guy two blocks over whom I purchase fresh produce, to the homeless man who sits on a bench just south of Central Park- and the dozens of people I meet in between- I am fortunate to be surrounded by creative, intelligent, and unique types.

I am now an official participant of the force and power that is New York, and I'm loving every minute of it.