Happy Mothers Day 2019

The most challenging hurdle in the world, I guess, is to raise me as a child and that unthinkable task has been assigned by the heavens to this lady.  She’s a lot of things to a lot of people. And she need not be in cape nor costume to be my hero. She is simply the incomparable!  Nengkoy who else?

nengkoy unknowingly provided flowers in this tranquil garden.  photo from her most recent trip to japan

Happy Mothers Day!

 

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...

First Book for 2019: E. Aguilar Cruz the Writer as Painter

I am getting worried because it is already the month of May and I have yet to read and finish one book this year.  I have always considered that people who do not read books are of a lesser type of human beings.  For me, people’s justification that they are too busy and do not have the time to read a book are living a less meaningful life. 

The whole purpose of reading, for me, is not about having to learn more. It is to get in touch with that deep quiet part of myself.  My inner temple so to speak.  And for me, books don’t only inform or inspire, it is also my form of deep reflection and relaxation.

Thank goodness I received a book yesterday, as gifted to me by my boss.  And what is so awesome about it is that it was personally signed by the author himself.  And since I am “re-starting” what is further remarkable about it is that it is a one-seating kind of a hardcover.

got mine signed 🙂

thumbs up X 10

Let me then formally announce that the first book I have read this year is by a prolific writer, Ambeth Ocampo.  It is his latest and is entitled E. Aguilar Cruz: The Writer as Painter.  The book impressively examines how the artistic style of E. Aguilar Cruz has evolved.

The book has thankfully brought me to a different realm for it tackles creative virtuosity, visual exquisity and inherent passion towards one’s art.  Ocampo’s writing, contemplations and analyses can effectively aid the reader on understanding the realist, impressionist and expressionist works of Aguilar Cruz.  He convincingly conveyed that E. Aguilar Cruz is an artist that is a league of his own.  And because of the humongous amount of featured photos of E. Aguilar Cruz’s paintings and sketches, the book is actually like a compact and mobile mini-art gallery!

a great read…

Thanks to this super worthy book, my worry has finally ceased.  And I can finally reconsider myself again as a more worthy and well-meaning human being.  Next book please….

Kung ayaw mo pa ring mag-basa ng libro, itong blog ko na lang basahin mo. Hihihi!

Perfect Strangers at 72nd Street Subway Station

Every subway station in New York City seem to depict and tell their distinct story.  Each station appears to have their own unique and notable personality.  One striking subway station that I stumbled upon which I was truly impressed with was the Second Avenue subway station at 72nd Street.

And out of curiosity, I tried reading articles about the remarkable design and artwork of the station.  I then found out that the numerous glass mosaic images on the walls of the station were done my artist and photographer Vic Muniz and he appropriately named these works of art as Perfect Strangers.

Perfect Strangers being a public art display can easily be perceived as a celebration of diversity of the people who live and work in any NYC neighborhood.  It is also a powerful message to all commuters about the normalcy of life in New York.  These mosaics can simply be distinguished as the microcosm of the city which reminds everyone of us that life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.

working hard

young at heart

super friends

father figure

love wins

And it looks like this station has been earning some popularity and a amiaable reputation from people who loves taking photos.  It is because I noticed that it was not only me who was there taking photos of those Perfect Strangers on the walls! I’m pretty sure the live breathing strangers would post their photos in their respective Instagram account.  My photos however don’t seem to do justice!

Enough with the rumination! Let me just announce that I am so loving this station!  The price of the subway fare would be so worth it even if your purpose is to see and check-out the Perfect Strangers!

perfect strangers

the world has so much to offer

Galing!

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!

My NYC Bagel Exploit

Prior to leaving for NYC I know already that my maintaining under ketosis and keeping a keto diet is doomed.  That is why I gave my delicious in-ketosis body a break.  I ate what is supposed to be eaten in NYC! 

Since being given by fate the opportunity to revisit NYC which for me is such a stupendous blessing, not eating the classic NYC staple could therefore be deemed like a mortal sin.

Because of this, I obliged and dragged myself on eating the classic New York bagel.  They say that NYC bagel is strangely incomparable because of the water chemistry of this urban zone.  And what seem to be remarkable with my bagel-eating exploit is that I did not go to the usual, popular, well-published, most-recommended and tourist-infested café or store that offers the best bagel in NYC.  Besides, every New Yorker seem to have their respective strong opinion on who serves the best NYC bagel.

there must be something in the water…

 I then instead chose a guileless, un-fussy and archetypal type of a deli and mini-grocery store.  At one quiet neighborhood in Brooklyn, there sits and operates Longevity Natural Gourmet Market.  And to complete the complex puzzle of my NYC adventure, I decided to be a traditionalist on this exploit.  This prompted me to order for a no-frills kind of a bagel.  I simply ordered a classic variety with cream cheese on it.

 Longevity’s bagel has no food coloring, not fancy and thankfully was the traditional kind of a bagel.  It nevertheless was impressively squishy inside and remarkably crisp crust on the outside, which clearly defines the classic kind of an NYC bagel. It is soft-on-the-inside and lacquered-on-the-outside!

inside longevity natural gourmet market with people doing their own respective business

a mandatory selfie inside longevity

yum!

This is to confirm then that bagels in this part of the globe are indeed unmatched and should really be something to be gratified with.  Now I can really say that I am and was indeed in New York City.  And a piece of bagel made it further complete.

Yami! kakaiba pramis!

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!