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!

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!

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…

Giant Blue Cock

Except for chicken in a form of cooked food, I never imagined that I would be able to feature a chicken in this blog on a different form.

Welcome then to a giant blue cock sculpture by artist Katharina Fritsch entitled Hahn/Cock.  I happen to have found this completely cobalt blue of an art piece on the rooftop terrace of the east building of National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.

I honestly don’t know the significance, the logic and the wisdom for this piece of art.  But if its point is to simply let its onlookers to marvel and take photos of it so that it can be posted by every viewer’s personal Instagram account, then the artist I suppose has been very successful on its intention.

Hahn/Cock the artwork truly is something… some say it is something feminist in nature while others say that it is a symbol of strength and awakening.  For me, it is simply one giant blue cock that is kinky in context and biological in perspective.

Ano kayang lasa nyan kapag in-afritada.

An NYC Revisit

I don’t know, but having to travel out of my country makes me feel like I won a prize.  Do you? And one of the best prizes a traveler could get is a trip to vibrant New York.  This is my second time in this city.  Yet, the feeling of exuberance, enthusiasm and delight is so the same.

And though I have been to numerous spots of NYC during my first stay, I again revisited these hip and beautiful sites!  I return because it would feel like you would not completely gone to NY without revisiting these spots again. 

And from my not-so-humble assessment, these sites remained to absolutely be so fascinating.  The thing I felt when I returned did not changed when I compare it during the first time I visited.  It is still absorbing, enthralling and appealing.  My return reaffirmed and reinforced the feeling I had during the first time I visited.  Thus, those feelings were never a fluke and were simply validated. 

Now I wonder how New Yorkers feel when they go out of their city and visit a different spot on the planet.  New York is so vibrant and beautiful, it raises a question in me if they can feel the same way I am feeling when they go out of their city?

Are they already so hard to please? Or since the threshold of their feelings of awesomeness is already so high, do they always feel bland, shortchanged and blunt about the boredom they bear towards a different place they visit?  Or do they have to go out of Earth and visit a different planet for them to feel what I am feeling?

While contemplating on these puzzling questions, here are a couple of photos I took during my revisit to these amazing NY spots…

inside the federal hall

rockefeller center

ny stock exchange

charging bull

central park…

the grand… grand central

me and the flatiron

Ang pagbabalik!

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!