Saturday, June 30, 2007

Stayin Alive!

One thing I have noticed about living in New York is that it makes you feel alive. It reminds you how your senses are supposed to work. Let me illustrate what I mean by describing both the positive and negative of some of the things I have seen and done in my first week.

+ Walking past the Halal Food stands along 5th Ave as they prepare for lunch
- The stench of urine from man or beast as its heated in the mid-day sun

+ Watching fireflies in the park after dusk. Working their magic tails as they float above any chunk of grass that can be found.
- A glimpse at the scarred under belly of the city - A man on the subway passed out drunk at 5pm - unwashed, unaware, alone. You could tell that the city had taken its toll. Perhaps he is more alone than just being on a train asleep, by himself.

+ The birds chirping in the morning mixing with the sounds of a city coming to life.
- Harsh sounds. The nearly constant sirens wailing, air brakes screeching, cars and trains horns blaring.

+ A late night slice of pizza, just off the L train in Brooklyn. Made a stop last night after having drinks and checking out some bands in a warehouse.
- The nearly constant taste of exhaust in your mouth and on your tongue. Stand on a corner and you'll easily notice the clouds of black smoke coming from buses, trucks and Cadillacs.

+ Everyday you meet new people. You shake hands. These are smart, interesting, different, ignorant, harsh, beautiful, ugly - sorts of people. I enjoy it. For the most part, most that I have met have been cool.
- Touching a hand rail or a poll on a subway car and then considering how many people have touched that railing and where else their hands might have been. Sanitizer and frequent hand-washing are recommended.

ANY SORTA 6TH SENSE - Third eye kinda thing
+ You can tell that there is something powerful, special and unique about this place. I can just feel it.
- The flip side of that - never, ever forget or underestimate that power and never let your guard down. Keep your wits about you or the city will swallow you.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Where have all the posts gone?

If you have followed this blog at all, or if I directed you here in recent weeks, you might be wondering why there haven't been many new posts. I mean it is a blog about New York, right? And I did just move here, right? So why the lack of writing, the lack of photos or any new material at all?

Well... I am thinking that it is time for a change. I want to tweak the blog and turn it into something that fits better now that I have actually moved to New York. The only problem is: I am not yet sure what I want it to look and feel like. Not aesthetically per se, but in terms of content, etc.

So here is my challenge to anyone paying attention. While I continue to think about it... please send me your suggestions. Tell me what you would like me to write about. Tell me what things you would like to see. I will try and get to them as best I can and then perhaps this exercise will lead me to the shape and form of my new blog.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Welcome to New York - Happy PRIDE Day

A beautiful New York Day. Sunny and warm. I started by meeting friends for brunch and all-you-could drink mimosas. We sat in an outdoor cafe on 3rd Ave and went about talking, eating and discussing baseball, New York, and anything else that came up. I did my best not to stick out as the "new guy" but I'm not sure if anyone was buying it.

After brunch we walked over a few avenues and watched the Gay Pride Parade. For those that are unaware, New York has one of the largest, oldest and most festive Pride parades around - or at least I am told. Anyway, I was just happy to have some new friends and something to do that would be A)FREE!, and B)Entertaining.
Now, don't get me wrong here - as a straight man, who has never attended a Gay Pride event - I was a little unsure of what exactly I was getting myself into. But I gotta tell you, it is much more than just a bunch of half-naked men, dressed in crazy outfits dancing down the streets. Although there is plenty of that! Just check out Superman and Wonder Woman.

There were tons of floats, elaborate costumes, singers, dancers and thousands of spectators. I was also surprised at the number of corporations that sponsored floats showing their support for their employees and their community.

By the time it was over, or at least I was over dodging my way through thousands of people! - We had walked more than 30 blocks, been in the sun for several hours and let's not forget all those bottomless mimosas. I was tired, but I had a lot of fun and met some great new people. My friends were right - PRIDE Day in New York is something that everyone should check out - the experience is worth it.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Beginning Life in New York

Today I arrived in New York. When I landed the woman siting next to me turned and asked "Do you live here?" I thought about it a sec, smiled and replied "Yes, as of this moment…, I do. It felt good.

I was picked up by a friend (No M60 bus for me this time!) and we fought traffic all the way to Harlem. So here I am - my adventure begins. I don't start my new job until Monday, but as of today I am a New Yorker and I must set about learning my new surroundings.

After we made it and settled in, we walked to the corner bodega, (The Hot Food Grill) and ordered a couple of sandwiches. My belly full, I walked to the grocery store with my friend and picked up some food for the next few days. Not even a full day yet and I can tell: Money is going to be tight.

To this point my adventure has produced few speed bumps and I am beginning to wonder what challenges lay ahead. In any case it's only the first day and I am far too excited (and tired) to be concerned with that. I am sure there will be plenty of time to be stressed.