Women’s March NYC, A Day to Remember

Saturday, January 21st, was a special day for my oldest daughter. On that day, she had an audition in New York City with a music college that she applied for. We, my self and her sister, accompanied her to NYC. We took a train from our town and departed about 8:30AM. When we got on the train, a lot of seats were already occupied. That Saturday also marked a very important day for a lot of people, most of all the women, who live in United States, because that’s the day the Women’s March(es) were held all over the country. Many women, young and old, from many different background and race got on our train to go to New York City to participate with the Women’s March NYC. Some women who boarded the train later a long the way to New York brought along signs and posters. Between them were also some men who were as enthusiast as the women. Our train car felt very energized by the present of these people who chatted and became acquaintances for they shared the same thoughts and opinions relating to the new president. The atmosphere was really invigorating.

We reached our destination, Grand Central Terminal, around 10:30AM. After we went to the restroom on the lowest floor at the station, we went up to the main floor which is where the main lobby is and were surprised to see so many people who would participate in the Women’s March NYC flocking there. Some were children, mostly girls, who were beaming proudly putting on a show of their posters and signs for anyone who wanted to read them. It was fascinating! Of all the times I’ve been to Grand Central, that was the first time that that I felt the place was full of energy. My daughters and I passed by several people who were getting ready for the march. A woman with pink hair sat near one of the pillars while holding on to a poster, while on the other side two young women busy preparing their posters, writing some words with capital letters. Some women wore pink knitted hats that shaped like kitty’s ears. The hats became the symbol of the Women’s March movement. We then continued our journey to the building on West 54th Street where my eldest would have her audition. While we were walking from Grand Central towards the audition studio, we passed by several streets that were being cordoned for the march. New York City was getting ready for one heck of a celebration.

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After the audition ended around 1:30PM, as I promised my daughters, we walked towards the lower 50’s street to see the march. But then a chance arose when we saw the street in front of us wasn’t closed and so we blended in with the crowd that already started the march. It seemed my daughters and I started around West 52nd Street and walked towards West 54th Street. People in the march were in a very jaunty mood. They yelled and shouted but not in an angry manner, even though they spoke of disappointment, fear and sadness about the country’s predicament. People were very engaged to one another, saying ‘hi’ and getting acquainted. It was beautiful to be in the crowd.

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When we reached the last post (around West 54th Street), the march organizers asked us to disperse and go on our way to the street they showed us to go. So along with some people who stopped marching, we walked to the end of the street and had to walk further because a lot of streets were closed. By the time we got into the 49th Street, we met more people who were still marching. To get to the other side, we had to blend in again with the crowd and made way to cross the street. It was more like a celebration happening rather than a demonstration. It’s a democracy celebration for sure! On and on even after several hours have passed, even after my my daughters and I had a late lunch, when we walked to Grand Central to go home, we still met more people who were still marching. It was 5PM when we stopped by the New York Public Library and saw people gathering on the sidewalk next the building, looking at the signs and posters that some people brought for the march that were laid down just like an art exhibition. We walked through another crowd of people and amazed by the amount of people who participated in the Women’s March NYC. It was surreal! We certainly had a wonderful time in New York that day and had an experience and memories that we can share and cherish for a long time.

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For the Sake of Freedom of Speech

Freedom of speech, is such a strong motivation and idea to instill to each of us. You can say whatever, write whatever or do whatever to express your self being free. Some expressing it through art (so they say). This form of art lately becomes a quite popular news because it happens in a public space and some says beginning to feel like a menace. I don’t know what anybody’s opinion about decency, but to claim being painted while half naked, or wearing only underpants, strutting here and there and accepting some “tips” from the passerby, is how freedom of speech works. It’s ridiculous. You know, in New York City, being topless is legal and the ladies who now exhibit their painted body in Times Square really knows well how to sell their artwork. When I saw this lady, a part of me admired her spunk, but another part of me couldn’t fathom the idea of showing off your body in a public space where everyone can see (even touch when this lady posing with some tourists) is a part of freedom of speech. With so many ways to express your self, why this? In the end, I think because this one is the most profitable way to do.

Notes: when I took these pictures, it was last October, I only saw one Desnudas or painted lady in Times Square. Now that it’s almost a year later, I read that the ladies are multiplying and becoming a handful.

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Woman in Stars & Stripes

The Writings on the Wall

In the corner of a busy block in Brooklyn, I came upon some writings on the wall. I stared at it smiling and my mind wandered to once upon a time when the time was younger and nicer. The writings on the wall took me to a story of a girl who loved a boy and a boy who was crazy for her. They were young, indeed, only 19, a pair of fools in love. Each never thought of what would becoming of them. They never shared their dreams and still unsure about their own future. But to be 19 and in love, you’re allowed to go crazy beyond realization that what came next might just be the end of everything. Love made you did something silly. “Would you be my wife?”, the boy asked one day. The girl was astounded. The boy might just got caught up in a moment (it was his birthday anyway). But maybe something more happened deep in his heart. The girl looked the boy in the eyes, wanting to know if what she heard was real.

I read the writings on the wall and I distinctly heard my self said,”I do”.

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The Lonely Barn

A couple of Saturdays ago, my husband took me and our children driving around a town called Southington. It is one of the oldest towns in Connecticut where a lot of its buildings were built in 1700’s. On the way while we were sightseeing, I saw a barn in the middle of nowhere. The snow was still covering the farmland where it stood and the barn just looked too good to miss to be photographed. But I didn’t bring my camera and I didn’t want to take pictures with my cellphone. So the next day, we came back again and I specifically asked my husband to go to see the barn. It was hard to find a parking spot beside the road, but eventually we found some space near the farm. I walked about 1/4 mile from where we parked and as soon as I got closer to the farm, I was intrigued by the scenery. It was just wonderful!

There were some old trees on the outer side of the farm close to the road. There were leafless and one tree in particular looked mythical, as if an old man with scraggly beard, its thin branches reaching out in uniform. The barn that I saw looked abandoned. The dark-red paint on it looked faded. The other buildings looked derelict too. The farm was empty and I felt sorry for it. One time this farm must be heaving with some cows, chickens, goats, pigs, and maybe several rows of vegetable plants or fruits. One time the farm was thriving with harvest in the spring and summer, and seeding in the fall. Now, it’s just the distant memories that left on empty chicken coops and a lonely barn in a vast land that was covered in snow. Despite the sadness that I felt looking at the barn and the farm, I was also delighted by the breathtaking winter scenery that was depicted there. It was such a humble moment to me.

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If You Have to Get Lost…

Far away, it seems, in a land where the sun always shines, where the sky opens up and the air smells sweet, there’s a field full of sunflowers. Rows upon rows of breathtaking flowers, nodding and swaying. Nestled behind the stone fences that stand for hundreds of years, secluded between the tree shadows. If you keep silence, all you hear is the sounds of bees buzzing, moving from one flower to the next. They won’t even feel bothered, there’s plenty of flowers that you can admire. When you walk between the long stalks and the heavy flowers, you might feel lost. You might feel small. There in the land of summer, the sunflowers are the giants. Before you leave, you might want to make a wish, for another visit to a far away land, where the sun always shines, the sky opens up and the air smells sweet. Because if you have to get lost, why don’t you get lost amongst the sunflowers?

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Get Lost in SOHO

Some parts of New York City boast the mix of old and new, traditional and modern atmospheres. One of that one-of-a-kind mixed places is in SOHO. While taking my daughters and her friends for girls’ day out there, I indulged my self for the details that SOHO offers with rows of old buildings, the artistry that almost exists in every corner and the unique places that we visited. I love the cobblestone streets, the pillars and the reliefs that decorated the buildings, and even the fire escape stairs that are lining up on the side of the streets. I felt like being pampered with the many objects that we could see around SOHO, to be photographed, of course. My friend and I stopped at some of the artists’ stands that were there to see and admire their works. Among those artists was a photographer who sold her works at one of SOHO corner. She was kind enough to answer some questions from us, who were curious about how she printed her photographs and where did she take some of the images. So many eye-candy for the girls too, that they couldn’t contain themselves sometimes. They went in and out of some stores, that each one gave different perspectives. It seems that SOHO is calling us again, to come and immerse in its plethora of things that we can see, touch, feel and even eat. Perhaps, soon.

 

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What a Piece of Work is Man!

When I visited Washington Square Park in New York City sometimes ago, I saw a man propping a box in the middle of the park stone yard. He moved quietly and swiftly without a care from his surrounding. The man climbed up the box that’s been painted grey, acknowledged himself by standing tall, while moving in silent without even showing a smirk on his face. He seemed to know of what he was doing and really serious about it. As soon as he was on top of the box, the man gazed in nowhere particular, absorbing his environment, trying to attract the passersby without uttering any words. On the man’s hands was a circular material that he held on strong, as if it’s a symbol of  sort. Some man who calls himself an artist, works with his hands, sculpting, drawing, painting, playing music ; some uses his words or his feet, dancing to his heart contends. Some does something unique in the name of art, and some merely does it as a livelihood, like the story of the human statue at Washington Square Park in one afternoon.
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“What a piece of work is man! How noble is reason, how infinite in faculty, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god – the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals!”
 
Shakespeare – HAMLET, act 2, section 2