Found LOVE at Blagden Alley

While trying to get ready with my next out-of-the-country adventure, I decided to transfer my recent travel photos to my external drive memory bank.  I noticed that there was one place in Washington that I failed to feature in my blog which I deliberately went to so as to experience, smell the area as well as get some awesome photos.

How can I forget the LOVE mural at the Instagram famous Blagden Alley?Or is it my subconscious telling me to temporarily miss it and only be aware again in time for the celebration of Pride Month this June?  This unique and eye catching piece of art is by Lisa Marie Thalhammer.  It is an LGBT-rainbow colored piece which communicates the simplest yet universal message of inclusivity and acceptance. Whatever it may be, let me then chronicle this little piece of experience that I had when I happen to see this meaningful and awesome street art found at Blagden Alley in Washington DC. At least through this street art, I can really say that I did indeed found LOVE in DC.  I hope next time its the one true thing!  Hahaha!And by the way, let me have this opportunity to greet everyone a “Happy Pride”!

Pumapag-ibig sa bwan ng Prayd!

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!

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!

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…

The Oculus in Lower Manhattan

When I was in NY four years ago, there was one structure at the Lower Manhattan that was still being built.  It was a bummer of a sight then because it was construction noisy, construction dusty and construction ugly.

But now that I am back in NYC, I have nothing but special words for the new architectural landmark in Lower Manhattan on the very site that I am taking about.  It is called the Oculus and it is such a cool place to visit!  It is completely unique and is definitely different from the other buildings around the area.

Its beauty though comes with such a hefty price because according to google, it costs 3.9 billion US dollars to make!  That is just a massive amount of money!

Oculus, aside from being shopping center is also a transportation hub.  It is I suppose now the main train station in Lower Manhattan.  I know that Grand Central station is really classic, beautiful and un-comparable but I really really like this station.

The distinctive design of the building obviously seem to imply a bird’s wings that is ready to take off! The Oculus I guess is a symbolism of being like a Phoenix that has risen from the death and destruction in that area.

this blog post will not be complete without my proof of being there. striking a pose!

It is an awe-inspiring representation of giving hope and confidence to the whole New York that it is time to take off again after the sad events of 9/11 whose actual site of the tragedy is actually a few steps away.   But what I really love about this building is how it looks from the inside!  It’s matchless!

The Oculus is definitely one gorgeous structure!

Ganda! Grabeh!