Halley's Comet - 1986

Halley's Comet - 1986

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Conquering the Big Apple

It’s only so often that I am inspired to write something worthwhile on this blog. Life is always a trip – but not always worth writing about. In fact, this past week has been one long crappy trip. I had a bunch of my possessions stolen from my storage locker, I broke a sideview mirror on my car by backing into a pole, and I injured a muscle in my leg during Yoga. My mom always told me bad things happen in threes, and then there’s also another one of her life proverb: “the sky is always darkest before the dawn.” I love that quote because it’s a physical truth - and you can’t really deny it. Plus it never fails to apply to my life. Before I left for Austin – we had a bedbug problem in the Chicago apartment, and I couldn’t stand one more night sleeping there with the psychological pain that I was itching every night I laid down for bed. When I arrived in Austin, sure enough a stream of wonderful happenings occurred in my life. And once again, The Sky is always darkest before the dawn is re-occuring. I arrived here in the East Village of New York City just yesterday, after one of the worst weeks of my life, and I fell in love with this town.

(Below: My street, entrance to my apartment)

I haven’t felt such a passion for a long time. Austin is filled with simple joys in life - sunny days, beautiful trails, smiling people, and a sense of contentment that is very difficult to find in many other places in this world. Yet, New York City fills me up with a different sense of joy. A joy which I find from the crowded streets of wonder. I wonder where each person I see comes from and where they are going? I wonder if their ancestors traveled thousands of miles across seas hundreds of years ago to settle here in the land of freedom. I wonder if that child zooming by on his tiny sized neon bike has parents at home worried about if he is getting lost in the streets of New York City. I wonder if that that old lady struggling to cross the street with her cane has lived to see this city transform through generations of evolution? I wonder how many of these strangers are having a meeting today which will impact the rest of their lives? And then I also wonder where the nearest yoga studio is so I can take shelter from the craziness that the bustling streets of this city bring to the world that is now mine.

(Below just a few shots of all the people watching)

I wonder and I wander. The streets of East Village. It has been an amazing past 24 hours. I sit here in B cup – a coffee shop with free wi-fi only blocks from my home on E. 3rd Street and Avenue B. The day is winding down, the sky is getting darker, and I am reflecting on all that I took in on this day. My journey began with a destination – Laughing Lotus. A yoga studio recommended to me by my Austin friend Wendy who lived in NYC for many years. I knew I had to get to 16th Street and 6th Avenue, I just didn’t know how I was going to get there. Since this area is mostly a grid, I figured I would venture out and find my way. On the way to Laughing Lotus – my first stop was for a warm coffee. The day turned out to be a bit cooler than I would have imagined. A brisk fifty five degree windy NYC day…nothing like the 95 degree days I had been living back in Austin. I had a choice between Starbucks and MUD coffee: gourmet coffee made in an orange truck parked on the street. Can you guess which I chose? The barista was a bit hung over, but he was really friendly, and he told me that he has an ‘agreement’ with the cops to let him park his coffee shop on the busy street. Free coffee for illegal parking and soliciting. Works for New York City!

(Below: MUD coffee, Laughing Lotus Yoga)

I walked and drank my coffee, trying to balance my yoga mat in my backpack which didn’t zip all the way, and hold my camera on my other wrist so I could snap a photo here and there. The wind had no mercy for a poor girl with all her belongings and hands full, before I could even sneeze from the smoggy air which I felt drifting into my nose, a few drips of coffee had made their way onto the white DePaul hoodie I was wearing. Oh city life…walking down the streets trying to stay warm and balance all of your belongings without bumping into someone or stepping in a puddle, it never fails that your coffee is going to spill. But that stain was reason for me to later stop into OldNavy and buy the zip-up hoodie I had been wanting for a while.

I finally got to the yoga studio, and it was just what I had imagined. The class I took was somewhat difficult, but I was able to breathe out all of the negativity from this past week, and breathe in the life that New York was offering me. When I left Laughing Lotus, I felt relaxed and excited all at once – a feeling of balance which is necessarily difficult to accomplish. Usually one feeling or the other takes over. So I figure this is going to be my quest for the next two months. I figure the newness and endless possibility will keep me excited, but can I add that into an equation with my job, taking a business class at NYU, living in very small headquarters, not having another shoulder to lean on, and still come out with a sense of equilibrium?

Having my possessions stolen last week made me more aware that at any moment everything you have can be wiped away in a split second by an unfortunate fateful occurrence. Which is why you have to make the most of this life, and squeeze every ounce of enjoyment from it that you can. And that is what I have come to New York City for!

I can already feel another dawn breaking :)

Oh...and how in the world can one avacado cost $2.50?!! Looks like no avacado on my sandwiches for a couple of months.

(Below: B Cup Coffee- Where I wrote this entry, and where you will probably find me spending much of time for the next 2 months)


TheRebecca said...

You will maintain your sense of equilibrium, Miss Halley, and I love your philosophical viewpoint of life! I hope your summer is fabulous and I can't wait until you come back to the ATX!

Jodi said...

Love this - "breathe out all of the negativity from this past week, and breathe in life"

Have a great time and I'm looking forward to following your adventures!

Susan said...

All I can say is WOW!!! (which is MOM spelled upside down).

Susan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
LUIS said...

Very nice Ms.Bass love your writing great blog keep it up H.B show the world you beauty and your wacky sense of humor and above all continue to touch lives after all it is what you do best ;) I still like it better when it is read to me but I digress

Liana Taylor said...

Great post Halls! I'm glad you're doing this.. exploring life's little pleasures! I'm planning on migrating to NYC next year too. I find the city to be so alive and full of energy and intense feelings. Oh and as much as it sucks what happened to you the past week, that's just life and you have to roll with it as it seems you're doing. Let's catch up sometime soon!