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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The Poetry of Women’s March NYC

The year of 2017 begins with a ‘bang’! The anticipation from the US election in November 2016 became reality on January 20th 2017. A new president was inaugurated. But wait… Listen to the voices of women who moved together to resist, revolt, fight and speak up for social injustice! My daughters and I happened to be in New York City on Saturday, January 21st, when the women all over the country marched together with one purpose to be heard by the new government. We managed to be in the procession many times, because of the length of the march. Hundreds of thousand came and we witnessed a history. In this blog journal I only post the pictures I thought worth to show. The pictures of words upon words and illustrations of protests, disappointment, anger, anguish and fear that were written or drawn on pieces of papers decorating the streets of Manhattan. They were the poetry of a country in distress. Another journal will follow about our experience participating in the Women’s March NYC.

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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.

Woman in Stars & Stripes

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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Between the Light and the Dark

One day, I walked pass by the street in Manhattan and saw the Chrysler Building almost two hours before sunset came. Sunlight reflected on its gleaming metal body creating a pink hue. I was mesmerized. Standing on the edge of busy Manhattan street, I took several shots of theĀ  building that its luster lasts through century. A friend told me how she loves Chrysler Building and wants to visit it someday and I promised her to take some shots if I ever near the vicinity. I went inside a store that lines up Fifth Avenue without caring about the change of scenery outside. Darkness fell and it seemed making Manhattan subdued. The footsteps of some tourists and people coming home from work became less and less. Meanwhile on the other part of the city, people flocked in Times Square where neon lights were the attractions as if moths to the flame. Chrysler Building and its twinkling lights from afar, like a lighthouse guiding some weary and tired people, like me, towards another destination to reach home, Grand Central Terminal. I walked down an alley where I heard the tinkling of utensils and glasses from a restaurant nearby. I saw a couple set up a tripod and took some pictures of the Chrysler Building. The mixed smell of dust, old buildings, weather and pee wafted in the alley way. Between the light and the dark, people can get lost in its mystery.

As I typed this journal, I remember a discussion between me and a beloved one about sleeping in the dark. I need a sliver of light, just a small source of light, to be able to sleep. I’ve tried sleeping in the dark and it’s hard for me to concentrate. The mystery of the dark makes my mind working on a weird scenario. He said, sleeping in darkness makes his other senses more apparent. I suppose he’s right. I listen attentively when I slept in the dark and sometimes I chose to stay in the dark when migraine hit me. During the full moon, I let the curtain open a little bit to let the light get into the room, then I wouldn’t mind sleeping in the dark. Back in Manhattan, where the wind blew strong and picked up some strewn papers and plastic bags, I saw a man sleeping in front of closed store. He covered his face with his hat, perhaps wanting to hide from the lights of Manhattan that can be blinding to someone who just wanted to have a goodnight sleep.
The Chrysler Building, NYC

The Chrysler Building, NYC

The Chrysler Building, NYC

The Chrysler Building, NYC

Asleep in New York

While I was walking towards Grand Central Terminal, accompanying my two daughters and their friend, I came upon this man. I was taking several shots of the Chrysler Building at night, when suddenly my eyes saw the man sleeping on the sidewalk. He laid down on what it seemed to be two pieces of cardboard. The man crossed his legs and covered his body with a jacket. His face was partially hidden under a baseball cap. The man’s trolley, his primary tool of transporting and holding things, laid close to him. Under his head was what I believed to be his possessions, in a bag, that became his pillow. As the dusk set, the wind blew a little bit chillier. People kept on passing by, some would stop to take pictures of the Chrysler Building. Under the dim lights in a somewhat quiet street between some buildings with upscale shops, bar and cafes, a man slept soundly without any care in the world. Scattered litters around him, dusts that settled and blown away by the wind, didn’t bother him at all. I took one shot of the man, and kept on walking. I didn’t want to wake him or maybe I tried getting away before I felt guilty for him. In my head, I could hear a song,”She calls out to the man on the street. Sir, can you help me? It’s cold and I’ve no where to sleep. Is there somewhere you can tell me?” The night sky had darkened and on a train ride home, the song kept playing in my head. “It’s just another for you and me in paradise. Oh, think twice, it’s just another day for you, you and me in paradise”.

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One Cool Guy at Grand Central

I took my girls to New York last weekend for their spring break. When we just arrived at Grand Central Terminal and bought some baked goods, we saw a man passing us by. The man wore a red jacket, a skirt and red boots. He also had a very unique hair style, had lots of accessories on him and on his wardrobe. He was about between 60-70 years old. Having coming from a traditional and rather conservative upbringing, I know there’s a rule about people from certain age should act their age. But I don’t believe this man really cared about that rule. He walked with confidence, with his black canvas bag that had Union Jack, chains and metal spikes on it. It turned out that at the same moment, there were some people from photography club or some kind, who were having their photo hunting at Grand Central. Right away, the man with the red jacket became their point of interest and just like a professional celebrity, the man posing for the cameras ready for his red carpet moment. I couldn’t hear any of the small talk some people had with the man. I wished I knew. I wondered my self why he was wearing such an eccentric attribute. For what purpose? I think everyone’s curiosity was similar at that point. Meanwhile, we were really amused by the man. He reminded me that once in a lifetime, you’re allowed to go all out. Even though some may think you’re nuts or silly, there’s nothing beats the feeling of being one of a kind.

Cool Guy at Grand Central

Cool Guy at Grand Central

Cool Guy at Grand Central