Found DUMBO Instead

I have written in my past blog post that it took me twice an attempt to locate the entry point and be awestruck by the awesomeness of Brooklyn Bridge.  Yeah, I was too obtuse and confused on my first attempt that I ended up in a different place and direction.

But I have been a firm believer of the powerful thought which says “Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures”.  This made me discover a New York spot that was not in my travel goal line but was really super worth of being off course.

I found and stumbled into Dumbo’s Washington Street!

it pays to be lost sometimes…

i would usually see this photo in grayscale… loved mine though…

It was the very spot where bearers of long-angled lenses, selfie snappers and hordes of photo takers would gravitate so as to take photos of the iconic look of Manhattan Bridge in between terracotta walled buildings.  And having been there was really a surprise making me in some way felt glad that I was having difficulty locating the Brooklyn Bridge’s promenade entrance.  If not for my being lost, I would definitely not see, smell and experience the vibe of this New York hotspot.

It then dawned in me that sometimes getting lost leads to unexpected rewards and that “it really feels good to be lost in the right direction”.

feeling lucky 🙂

Swerte, swerte lang din paminsan-minsan...

Took 2 Days to Cross the Brooklyn Bridge

I wonder if all people who crossed the iconic Brooklyn Bridge timed on how long it took them to do it.  Did they took them only a couple of minutes because they were riding a bicycle or was too anxious and scared about the old bridge’s integrity and wooden floor planks  above the roaring traffic below that they walked and crossed it too fast? Or did it took them an hour or more because they want to relish and savor the moment and took so much photos of the star structure that connects Brooklyn and Manhattan?

My crossing the bridge actually took me two days!  It is so weird because I was never lost and went adrift when I was in more complicated routes around the world like the El-fna medina in Marrakesh, the Old City of Jerusalem and even going around the Uchisar settlements in Cappadocia.  But identifying where the entrance and starting point of the Brooklyn Bridge promenade strangely became a frustrating challenge and struggle. 

It is so exasperating because I basically went around the whole Brooklyn downtown area the whole morning from Brooklyn Heights Promenade in the south to walking the whole stretch of Furman Street in the east to reaching Dumbo area in the north and walking again the whole stretch of Jay Street in the west.  Yet, still the starting point of the promenade seem to conceal itself or veiled its appearance for me not to uncover.  It felt like I walked all throughout the whole Brooklyn yet the promenade entrance was no where to be found.  I actually started wondering if the entrance has already transferred to faraway Queens! And by late lunch time, feeling so hungry, so tired and frustrated, I saw York Street Subway station and decided to go down it and head back to my hotel located at the Upper West Side of Manhattan.  It was in other words a failed attempt.

But on the second day of my bid, I carried with me an enough amount of fortitude and determination and left behind in my hotel tons of stupidity which I seem to have brought so much during my first and initial attempt.  And to quote the great Margaret Thatcher, “You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it”, I spotted with so much ease the entry point of the Brooklyn Bridge promenade on my second venture!

And since it took me more than the usual to step into and walk across the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, I spent the whole morning there doing nothing but taking photos of the bridge, the people and the nearby sites while savoring the little success and victory that I just had!  And because of such an experience, Brooklyn Bridge for me is more beautiful as compared to how others would see and perceive it.

Iniiwan talaga dapat ang ka-shungahan sa bahay!

Talking to the Huge Seated Dude in Washington D.C.

When I revisited Washington D.C., I revisited a humongous guy seated on a humongous chair.  The first time I visited four long years ago, I simply looked at him, be at awe and did not dare talk to him.  But this time around, I did not miss the opportunity of speaking to him and have him hear what I have to say.

I told him that the country he once led had gone a long way.  It’s free, it’s wealthy and has gone powerful.  I congratulated him on that.  I also told the seated guy that there are still pressing problems and tough challenges in his land that can’t simply be solved overnight.

 But what impresses me most is that in his home-land everybody seem to have the right to be ridiculous yet the people strive for democracy, liberty, opportunity and equality.  I also told him that I am particularly fascinated by some of his people’s good will and listening hearts.  I then asked the seated guy if he can adopt me and snatch me away from my present country.  The guy remained seated, unmoved and did not respond.

I then left and move on with my touring of Washington D.C. hoping that on my next visit he would say hello and would realize that I deserve to inhabit his land.

Dedmabels ang lolo mo! 

Thanking the Heavens Via Santa Clara!

I am back in Manila.  And I am back in my usual normal routine.  I am, however, is not yet done with chronicling my 2019 NYC and Washington D.C adventure.  There are still an enormous amount of experiences that I have yet to write about.

But since I am back, let me just squeeze in this post.  A thank you and an expression of gratitude post to the heavens above for gifting and blessing me with such an amazing NYC and Washington D.C. journey.

This afternoon, I went to Santa Clara Monastery to express my hearty gratitude.  And in keeping with the odd and eccentric Filipino custom of saying thanks to Saint Claire of Assisi, I offered a dozen of eggs wrapped in colored cellophane.  I also wrote a short thank you note and have it lodged for the nuns to read and send it instantaneously to the heavens via Santa Clara.

I did this because I have always believed that prayer is done not because you are asking for something but because you have a ton to thank about.

By the way the colored cellophane I chose was pink and red which according to tradition has some mystifying meaning.  Red would be luck on travel and career while Pink would be for love life and family.  I was laughing about the “luck on love life”! Hahaha!

Thanks Saint Claire! My NYC and Washington D.C. adventure was a blast!

monasterio real de sta. clara de manila

Santa Clara, Salamat! Sa uulitin…

 

Washington Monument: Highlighting The Unusual

Visiting Washington D.C. would be incomplete without your having to take a photo of the 555 feet obelisk known as the Washington Monument.  I in particular had numerous photos and selfies of it on my phone.

To further submerge a traveler’s visit, it seems a must to learn further about this monument dedicated to the first president of the most powerful country on the planet.  One fact I learned is that no structure is allowed to be built around Washington D.C. that shall be higher than this monument.  Another is that it made of marble, granite and sandstone.  Like numerous number of photos I took, there are also numerous facts and interesting anecdotes about this monument.

But while trying to think of what to write/post about this magnificent monument, I come to realize how come I am so excited and appreciative of such a structure when back home in the Philippines there is also a similar and equally important monument that I have not written about.  And that I actually do not even own a single photo of such monument known as the Rizal Monument built in honor of my country’s National Hero, Jose Rizal.

Is it because the former is stateside which is hard and difficult to reach while the latter is so local that I can have a photo with anytime I want?  Is it because Washington Monument is so grand, upscale and massive that it is so awe-inspiring as compared to the smaller in size Rizal Monument?  Does my writing subtly signify my wanting to project that I am like the cool guy who travels a lot?  Or is it because I am so freaking “mayabang” (airhead and conceited) that I’d rather feature a monument far far away that entails a lot to reach than that of the easily accessible structure? And why am I allowing this somewhat dishonor to my country?

Well I guess the answer to all these lies on the fact that it is just but human not to highlight the acknowledgement and appreciation of something usual and easily accessible or of an experience that usually occurs.  Admit it!  Rare and unusual circumstances are usually more memorable and are highlighted in our lives.  You, I guess would not highlight featuring the a nearby rub-down park you grew up playing at on your Facebook or Instagram account but once you spent an overnight stay at a luxury hotel which seldom occurs, such experience is posted and highlighted right away on your social media account.

Moments like seeing and experiencing the Washington Monument is not an everyday occurrence for an ordinary folk like me.  Besides it takes a lot to see it personally if you are coming from the other side of the world.  It takes money, time, effort, courage and even a lot of luck to see and get there.

I’m pretty sure Washington D.C. locals would feel ordinary and usual toward their big centerpiece of obelisk.  And I am sure that they are craving and would look forward to a memorable powdery white sand tropical beach experience in the Philippines and will take all opportunity and luck on checking out the Rizal Monument in Manila.

But if you my dear reader think I’m simply bragging, well, you are also half correct!  Hahaha!  You can say whatever you want.  And yeah I am bragging and yes I am the dude who wants to look sooo cool! Hahaha!  The only thing that I can say then is “I hope you enjoy reading my post as well as that of seeing my photos”.

Ang Yabang! Gusto ko ngang iuwi ang monumentong ‘yan! Haler…

Glimpsing The White House Because Of Mayor Pete

I made a detour!  After spending five awesome nights in New York, my earthly body travelled 366 kilometers away from NYC and arrived at the capital of the United States, Washington D.C.

And like NYC, it is also my second time in this part of America.  And one inevitable spot that every D.C. tourist visits is of course the house located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the White House.  I really don’t have plans of seeing the official residence of the US President during this visit.  Maybe it is because I don’t like the one who is presently staying there.

shot this using only my samsung note 8…

But interest stirred and grew in me of taking even just a short glimpse of the White House because I am so moved and inspired by one person who I hope shall to be the next resident of the US Executive Mansion.  His name is Pete Buttigieg, the Mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

This blog seldom talks and discusses about politics, but since I am in Washington D.C. I might as well mix a little political ingredient in this post. 

There has been a big buzz about him in the present US political arena.  He has been compared to Obama and even the late Kennedy.  He is now considered one major contender to run for President of USA under the Democratic Party.  And during my stay in New York, majority of YouTube videos I watched were about this charismatic gentleman.

And it looks like he is the one who can beat and kick-out the present White House resident who plans to take another 4 years of tumultuous term as President.  Now watch this – the first speech I have seen – and be inspired, be moved and be stirred by Mayor Pete… (I also love the music his team used after this moving speech

mayor pete… really hope he makes it…

The guy is such a class act.  He seem to possess the right words and is grounded.  He has the wit, depth and moral compass which seem to be lacking in the present US President.  And what I like most about Mayor Pete is that he is not embarrassed of who he is.  If selected by the Democrats, he would then be so hard to handle by the Republicans because he pretty much is the total opposite of the present US Chief Executive.

And if he becomes President and I happen to providentially return to Washington D.C., I will definitely go and revisit the White House.  Not just to take a glimpse from far away but I may as well book and get a reservation to get inside it.  And if that happens, I will not just try to shake the hands of Mayor Pete, I will instead snatch him from his husband and seduce him out of his bottomless wits!

selfie with the white house…

Yun nga lang di ako botante sa Yu Es!

Saying Thanks at St. Patrick’s Cathedral

I am a Catholic.  Finding and visiting a Catholic church during the duration of my travel has always been like something automatic.  It’s like an involuntary response of saying Thank You every time I am heftily rewarded.

And now that I am in New York, I made sure that the Catholic church that I would visit to say my sincerest gratitude to the Holy Heavens would not just be any other ordinary church. I made sure to enter and visit the largest neo-gothic cathedral in the United States, St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

saint patrick’s cathedral

awe-inspiring!

had to light up a couple of candles to complete my saying thanks…

calmness and serenity seem easy to achieve

St. Patrick’c Cathedral is as magnificent as it is massive.  What is so unique with St. Patrick’s Cathedral is that it is a European-style of a church that is centrally located at America’s ode to consumerism and one of the most expensive shopping district, the 5th Avenue, no less.

It comes not as a big surprise then that St. Patrick is the patron saint of a local Catholic New Yorker.  And despite its being located in the busy street of 5th Avenue, as you walk in and gaze heavenward, achieving the sense of peace and solemnity seem easy to achieve.  Thus, saying a deep prayer and thanks was something uncomplicated and effortless to do inside.       

And just like any other Catholic church, St. Patrick’s Cathedral definitely completed my NY adventure.

San Patrisyo, salamat…