OY/YO a Symbol of NYC Multi-Lingualism

I fulfilled my personal promise that I would go around Brooklyn in case I would return to New York.  Brooklyn was the dynamic and remarkable borough I failed to visit the first time I toured NYC.

One goal out of this fulfilment was to check on the chic and chichi Brooklyn Museum, one of the largest and oldest museums in the United States.  But prior to entering the fine-looking museum, one would have to inescapably notice two giant letters.  It is unavoidably apparent because the figure is about 8 feet in height, 17 feet wide and it is flamboyantly bright yellow in color.

Entitled “OY/YO” by artist Deborah Kass is a giant pop-art sculpture that is part of the public art display of the Brooklyn Museum.  And everybody who got to step into the Brooklyn Museum for the first time, for sure, has a photo with this iconic sculpture.  I of course had mine!

Let me then relay my rumination about this piece of art.  OY/YO for me presents the onlooker with an abundance of meaning.  This seemingly simple yet humongous sculpture can resonate in different languages.  It can speak to onlookers may they have differing cultural, linguistic, social and ethnic background. 

Spanish speakers for one may read it as “I am” since YO is the Spanish word for I am.  But people from Portugal and Brazil may perceive it as saying “Hi” since OY is the Portuguese word for “hi”.  While Americans (especially African Americans) may see it differently because YO has evolved as a common and informal salutation among these people.  Yes, yes, Yo!

i admit, filipinos can sometimes be so american…

i prefer this one… because it got angst in the filipino tongue

In Somali OY is a word meaning vote!  Lithuanians and Yiddish speaking folks on the other hand may regard it as OY since Oy is the word they use for expressing disappointment and annoyance.  OY in Armenian, Uzbek and Azerbaijani according to Google translate is the English word for month. 

But for me, as a Filipino, OY/YO the sculpture would speak in both ways.  It is acceptable in both forms, as Oy and as Yo.  Similar to the American salutation, Filipino folks especially the hip-hop and rapper class would also use YO as an informal salutation.  It is like saying “Hey” in a friendly manner.

But once upset, irritated and wants to confront someone, Filipinos (may they belong to hip-hop, pop, disco, techno or other freaking genre) would address that someone as OY.  Oy is also like saying “Hey” but in an ill-mannered cheeky tone. And once Oy is uttered to you several times by a Filipino in a crude and threatening tone like Oy! Oy! Oy! Oy! Oy! This would mean you must have been caught from some kind of trouble and needs to pay for the repercussions that you seem to have done.

So it is just but fitting for OY/YO to actually be placed and exhibited in NYC, Brooklyn Museum in particular.  It is because NYC is considered the cultural melting pot of the planet.  Everybody in NYC seem to know and speak a second language. And OY/YO the sculpture can symbolize the multi-linguistic representation of everyone in NYC.  I am so fortunate to have bumped into such a vivacious kind of a sculpture.

And if OY/YO would have the opportunity to visit Manila, this sculpture would definitely be a big talk of the town because it has meanings and can definitely resonate something to a Filipino like me.

Yes, yes, yo! Oy, oy, oy!

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! 

Unique Looking Washington D.C. Metro Station

I have written in the past that one benchmark for me to consider visiting and exploring a place or spot on the planet is the availability and complexity of its metro or subway system.  The subway or metro train has always been my preferred mode of transportation when discovering a metropolis.  It is quick, cheap and convenient. 

Also, for me, an urban zone’s train transit system is a suggestive representation of that place’s culture, social conduct, and communal conventions.  Riding the subway train is like being one with the locals.

When I was in Washington D.C., its metro train system was my most used mode of transportation known as the Metrorail. And what is so distinct and captivating about the Metrorail is its exceptional look, motif and pattern.  Its design is like a weird fusion of retro and space-age at the same time.  Being at the station creates the feeling of being in a futuristic movie set in which such movie was created sometime in the 60’s.

It is weird but I also often felt like being inside a thermos bottle!  And it also felt like some strange alien is about to pop out at the end of the stunning tunnel.

Even the lighting of the stations were something unique.  It’s not bright like the usual and distinctly dim which adds up to a whole lot of character as compared to other typical subway stations of other urban zones!  Being at such an uncommon looking-station adds up to the unique Washington D.C. experience.  The Metrorail stations are also photo-friendly.  It’s actually Instagramable!

And through my readings, I have learned that Washington D.C.’s metro stations were voted and included in the list of America’s Favorite Architecture.  After reading such, I seem to not be so surprised by this recognition.  Metrorail is hip, cool and totally dumbfounding.

Sakay Na!

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…

 

The Blind Whino

If I live in Washington D.C. I would have the quadriceps of steel.  After just 48 hours in the city, my shapeless flabby thighs were beginning to show signs of muscular definition from all the walking.  My friend Jhong who is based in New York was correct when he warned me that being a tourist in Washington D.C. requires tons of walking.

But aside from the corporeal benefit of touring D.C., tourists like me would get to encounter cool contemporary spots that are often snubbed and not featured in typical tour destinations of the state.

One particular dapper of a spot in D.C. is the psychedelic-looking structure called the Blind Whino.

The structure was originally a Baptist Church that served and provided the religious needs of the local community.  But a developer bought it out from the Catholic Church and sat for over 2 decades before an artist was commissioned to beautify it and call it the Blind Whino.  The former church then was transformed into a superb venue for art performances, exhibits and even social functions.

It was actually some considerable walk from the nearest train station before you can get to the Blind Whino.  But all the troubles and pains of walking were all ignored and neglected when I started to marvel at the dazzling colorful structure.  Funny because when I tried to enter the main door of the building, I stopped myself from doing/gesturing the sign of the cross when I realized that, yeah, it is no longer a Catholic Church.

try locating this piece at the facade of the building

vibrant collection! 

lucky to see how young artist, shawn michelle perkins does his job

And what added up to the already awesome experience was the exhibit that was running during the time of my visit when I entered the Blind Whino.  A number of sassy and vibrant painting works by artist Shawn Michelle Perkins were beautifully hanged on the walls. 

It was definitely awesome to have discovered the Blind Whino.  This type of cool spots definitely makes walking the streets of Washington D.C. all worth it.

Muntik na ko mag-sayn op da kros. Kaloka!

Stupendous Artechouse

When I was in Washington D.C. I tried searching for the quintessential place, piece or circumstance that I can share in my social media account (particularly in my unpopular Instagram) that would ultimately launch and make it in-style, so-prevalent and too-widespread.

I then found Artechouse.  It is some sort of like a seasonal museum and an art pop-up project with huge multiple projectors all over the wall.   On the time of my visit, the exhibit’s theme was fittingly about Cherry Blossoms since it is cherry blossoms season in D.C.  Artechouse named it “In Peak Bloom”

Here’s what I got and hope you click and check it out!

Artechouse’s stupendous #inpeakbloom exhibit brought something that is difficult to describe.  It is some sort of a contemporary art that seem to have been mixed with theater, music, film and technology that is interactive in nature.

Unluckily and as usual, this post only garnered few likes in my Instagram and it didn’t made me popular.  Though my Instagram remained unpopular and bleakly received I realize that this failure didn’t made me less of a person.  But In Peak Bloom exhibit, I guess brought in me some colorful peace with bundles and bundles of joy and gladness. I was stupendously pleased to have seen and experienced it! 

Ang hindi mag-click ng Instagram post ko na yan, Panget! Hahaha!

Funky Watermelon House

Seeing and taking photos of the White House is a tourist’s travel destination and activity when in Washington D.C.  It is the must-see house when visiting the state capital of the United States.  I did just that as I posted in my previous post.

Also, while being in Washington D.C. I can’t help but marvel over the beautiful residential houses lined on the streets of this state.  Its design and architecture seem to represent an all-American type of living.

 

But there is one funky house that really struck me the most while visiting D.C.  It is not painted white like the official resident of the US President but instead drawn into the colors and design of a watermelon.

Though boxed-type of a structure and not the typical house seen along the streets of Washington D.C., the Watermelon House was indeed something unique.  Kudos to the artist who planned and made this because he was able to successfully capture on drawing attention of passersby and onlookers on such a funky art.

 

I could not contain myself from not taking photos of the Watermelon House when I saw it!  I nevertheless did not dare knock on the door so as to enter and check how the interior looks like.  I left the residents alone of course.  But I definitely wondered if living inside is as refreshing as that of the refreshing watermelon.

Mukha namang Hown Swit Hown infernes…