Some connections you make will not be with each other. They will be with the dirt, the mountains, the air, an animal. Things that can make you feel more human or whole than anything. Please follow and like us:
For as long as I can remember, the most at home I have ever felt has always been in Colorado. The mountains give me peace, comfort, and nostalgia, I can feel it throughout my entire being. I have never questioned that my home truly is in the Rockies until recently I experienced a place that shook that feeling to its core. Last September I travelled to Joshua Tree, after seeing and hearing amazing stories I was finally experiencing it for myself. To be honest, the desert has never been something I have thought much about and frankly when I did, I associated it with heat that I would find unbearable and home to my biggest fear, snakes, all the snakes. My perspective of this ecosystem was completely altered during my time in Joshua Tree, first realizing the obvious, no desert is the same, second realizing there was something here that was tugging at me.
The feeling I felt was not nearly the same when I am in Colorado but something else I can’t seem to pinpoint. It was tugging at my soul, giving me inspiration in places I thought were hopeless, making me see beauty again in the darkest of places within myself and lastly, showing me how breathtaking a place that I’ve always been scared of could be. After that first visit I knew it was a place that I had to go back to soon for it was imperative for my health and well-being. A second trip was immediately booked the day I returned to Brooklyn and six months later I found myself celebrating turning a year older in a place that gives me hope, not only for myself but for life.
I remember boarding the flight back to Brooklyn after this past visit and as the wheels lifted off the tarmac, I could slowly feel a part of me drifting away, as though saying goodbye for now. That part was a section of my soul that was refusing to leave, wanting to stay behind, in hopes of me returning. I still feel it now, a little section that longs for the dry desert sun, utter silence, and days and nights that blend together in blissful harmony. Soon I’ll return… to retrieve that part of my soul.
“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.”
— Georgia O’Keeffe, 1976
In all honesty this year has not been great. Personally a large part of it was because of today’s political climate after the 2016 election. I myself noticed a shift in the atmosphere with everyone’s demeanor and for the first time there seemed to be a lack of hope. Almost everyday waking up I would dread grabbing my phone, afraid of what new CNN or NY Times update there would be. Besides the stress of the political state of our country, it seemed like my personal life was taking note and following trend.
I celebrated my birthday last year during a time where my professional career was at a stall and I was consumed by a sense of aimlessness. It felt like everyone around me was on the right track for their careers and I was just in a state of dark limbo, flailing. Right before going into summer my apartment got infested with New York City’s state bug, the cimex lectularius (also known as the bed bug). This was the second time in less than a year so the apartment hunting began for a new place. Halfway through the summer I had the joy of being hit by a car on my bike and the driver driving off. It was an incident that really shook me to my core, I will say I am a more vocal biker now in Brooklyn and have no problem letting cars know that I’m there. A few weeks after that I unfortunately threw out my back so badly that I had to start seeing a chiropractor and begin physical therapy. This of course happened right before my sister’s wedding, a wedding that was being held back in Colorado where the week was filled with outdoor activities galore. I did manage to get enough physical therapy in before heading out there so I was able to participate in all the activities.
I have to say that the wedding was one of the biggest highlights of the year. I planned a Napa bachelorette party for my sister and all her closest friends, and the wedding took place on a mountain in Colorado. We all knew the wedding was a success because the cops had to come and shut it down. It really was the wedding of the century, although I could’ve done without my breakdown in front of everyone during my toast.
A few weeks later in August my sister had to break my heart and move away from me. She has always lived here in New York while I’ve been living here and she now was moving to Colorado with her husband to begin their new life together. It is still hard for me to accept that they don’t live here anymore because, frankly, I haven’t known a New York without them. It petrified me living here in this city without her and it still does. I take it one day at a time and rely heavily on the small support system I have remaining.
In true New York fashion, the city has a way of kicking you when you’re already feeling down. Unwanted visitors came back to my apartment… Bed bugs. If you’re counting like my roommates and I were, that is three times in less than a year. It is a common thing that you will hear from those who have dealt with these mini devils. They would never wish them upon their worst enemy and I can attest to that. Not only is the process of getting rid of them draining and taxing but so is the emotional state of dealing with them. We also began fighting our apartment management company for not handling them the proper way the first time. That dragged out for quite some time, draining every single person in my apartment and creating friction for having to deal with this problem a third time. The only solution we came to that didn’t require a lawyer or taking our apartment management company to court was to move out when our lease ended in November. It was a bitter sweet conclusion because this meant Lucas and I could finally get our own place but I was losing the option of living with my two best friends.
My favorite time of year (September – December) quickly became a rough one but as much of a pessimist I am there were a lot of positive moments this year. The big one is Lucas and I got our own apartment in Brooklyn in a neighborhood we have fallen in love with! A lot of travel happened this year, Napa, Aspen, Joshua Tree, Fort Collins, Catskills, Vermont and Aspen again! With as much traveling as I did this year, I’m hoping to do more in 2018 along with leave all the bad in 2017.
So here’s to 2018, may you be filled more lessons, laughter, travel and memories that will be everlasting.
Wednesday, June 21 is the official first day of Summer. Even though that is not until later this month, I usually determine the start and end of seasons by months. For me Summer begins by the start of June and goes to the end of August. With my start date of summer come and gone I wanted to celebrate the beginning of the warmer months by spending a day at Coney Island. Since moving to New York, Coney Island has been on my list of things to do here. I have heard mixed reviews from people on whether it was worth it or not and I must say I truly believe it is worth it. For our Coney Island day, we decided to venture out there on a Wednesday to avoid the weekend crowds which probably contributed to us having a wonderful experience. The weather was perfect too, it was warm enough for us to enjoy ice cream and a cold beer but not too warm that we felt like we were miserable being outside all day.
The atmosphere of Coney Island is historic, encompassing a 50’s America feel. It’s remarkable that they have been able to conserve this landmark that is able to take you back in time. You have all your classic food joints such as Nathan’s hot dogs which was founded on Coney Island in 1916. The stand on the boardwalk still has a vintage aesthetic to it along with all the other vendors keeping to the theme of the area. You then have your classic ice cream stands, a bar to grab a nice cold beer, and women selling fresh mangos on a stick with the spices to your liking.
Inside the park you have a wide range of rides to choose from, all of which remind me of the days in my childhood when the carnival would come to town and it would be the excitement of the month. And like a true traveling carnival you have an abundance of games to choose from that make you think you can win one of those infamous giant stuffed animals. But in reality, how often does someone actually win one of those, I’d really like to know. Either way it’s about the experience and memories you’re making enjoying something so classic and heavily rooted American.
Whether you live in New York or are just visiting, put Coney Island on your list of places to see. I’m here to say it is worth the trip and you’ll travel back in time for it. Relax and escape from reality to a land of rides, games, and all the food you can want. Embrace your inner child and run around the boardwalk, scream at the top of your lungs on The Cyclone, or chow down on a Nathan’s hot dog.
It’s no surprise that the world is in a very delicate state right now. Not just politically but also environmentally. It’s a proven fact that we are having more warm days than cold days and the polar ice caps are melting at a growing […]