Big City

we’ve built up our world, created a hard space where we live and work (where i sometimes feel trapped but mostly feel free) with stones and brick and glass and metal and plastic and paper and steel and height and shapes and gas and wheels and rubber and wood and concrete.  we circle around each other through subway lines and boroughs and bars and buildings, never touching, communicating through writing and text and music and wires and airwaves. and sometimes words.  sometimes.  and even when i hate it, i find myself looking around at the confusion and chaos and loneliness and crushing weight of it all and can’t help but admit that it is all, somehow, still very beautiful.

(written May 19th, 2010)

Some Kind of Poetry

I’m in a certain place. And maybe I’m alone in the middle of this empty room, or maybe its just that for once I have room to breathe and now that it’s empty I can hear each inhale and exhale and feel my chest expanding.

Either way, I’m here, and I don’t hate it, and I’m even willing to embrace the circumstance and not just because there is nothing else to wrap my arms around.

I see the others and I smile because its good, there is no mourning for what isn’t mine. Its floating and its music and its silence and I’m free. It allows for thoughts and things and strings of words and dreams to curl like smoke into the atmosphere.

I am a little bottle in the middle of the vast cold floor and I’m compact and small, and when you finally curl your fingers around and bring me to your lips, we will change and swell and grow too large for the space to contain us.

(written May 6th, 2010)

The Taste of Nostalgia

A piece I wrote after a trip to Maastricht, March 25th, 2010

i have a hard time leaving any place where i’ve spent enough time to form habits, make memories, meet friends or develop a routine. driving away from maastricht on our way to the airport, i was filled with a horrible feeling of loss, of leaving a place and lifestyle that i was beginning to really enjoy. the worst part of this feeling is that it stems from the knowledge that no matter when you go back to that place, even if its for the same reason, even if its with the same people… the circumstances will have changed, people will have changed, and the entire experience and feeling can never be relived. there are upsides to this of course, but it never fails to break my heart. time and moments and places and people, all make me extremely sentimental and leaving them behind makes me instantly nostalgic. the idea that we can never get a moment back, have the same experience again, just makes so glaringly obvious how short life is and how present we should be for every moment before it is taken away and we’re left with nothing but memories.

when i returned to my apartment in new york, completely drained after 16 hours of travel, i felt this strange sensation of separation between my state of mind and physical being. here i was, in my room in my apartment in new york, and everything was in the same state as before. just how i left it. yet my mind was not. i felt changed, i felt different, and returning to a place that held other feelings and memories and worries, things i had left behind for the past three weeks, was confusing and frustrating.

i love new york, but at that moment i felt nothing.

i missed the small town of Vrijthof, the cobbled streets made for pedestrians and bikes, walking to work in the morning, stopping by the patisserie for a croissant and sandwiches for lunch and walking on the bridge across the river and seeing the scenic city of Maastricht in 360 degree view. I missed the cappuccinos from the shop on the other side of the river and the winding walk past the too new shops and sterile condominiums to the large convention center MECC and walking through the back entrance over the slippery tiled floors to the soft carpeted hall where every booth was vacuuming, dusting and preparing for the day. I missed seeing the familiar faces in the design section and the friends we made behind the sushi bar, the simple excitement of designs in the cappuccino foam, visiting other booths, marveling at the works of art and inviting friends for a drink at mojito’clock. I missed the end of the day and the walk home, dinner with clients and friends and drinks at take5, the exciting and the unexpected, the freedom and the complete and utter sense of being exactly where i wanted to be.

a few days back in the city and those feelings begin to shift and change, and i can feel my mind returning to my body and to the city and to life and plans and possibilities here… and despite everything, the past begins to slip away, only to return in the tune of a song, the taste of a drink, when least expected.

In The Know | #11

In The Know 11

A weekly (okay sorry, this is long overdue!) roundup of interesting, inspiring, delicious and beautiful things that I’ve stumbled upon recently.

Listen:  Penguin Prison – Calling Out
Upbeat, fun and addicting. Instant summer in a song.

Read: Everything You Thought You Knew About L-O-V-E is Wrong | Aziz Ansari | TIME Magazine
I’m fascinated by relationships – what we’re looking for, why we fall in love, how we stay in love and why these days it tends to seem so damn complicated. And as someone who is extremely decisive in some things and extremely indecisive in others, I’m also fascinated by the paradox of choice. In this funny yet surprisingly insightful article, Aziz Ansari talks about arranged marriages, commitment, what happens when passionate love wears off, and challenges our ideas about online dating and the seeming shallowness of an app like Tinder.  Adapted from his book Modern Romance (launching today!) this article is a fun preview of what’s to come.

Watch:  The Moth & The Flame – Young & Unafraid
This music video features Neal Unger, a 60 year old skateboarder who is living proof that you’re never too old to take on a new challenge. Who says you can’t teach and old dog new tricks? From everything I’ve seen, people like Neal who are constantly learning, growing and pushing yourself, have discovered the secret to staying young.

Taste:  Olea
My favorite place for happy hour in Fort Greene, that sadly I can no longer visit due to my work schedule. From 4-7pm, enjoy $5 glasses of wine or sangria alongside small plates that range from $4-$8. A selection of their hummus is my go-to, (the pita that accompanies it is soft and addicting) and the meatballs are another favorite, for sharing or a simple solo dinner.

Explore: Lernert & Sander | CUBES
Cubes is very cool photograph by Lernert & Sander, a Dutch duo working out of Amsterdam. A variety of different types of food are cut into identical sized squares, and arranged with painstakingly perfect geometry. The range of colors and textures is quite stunning, and highlights the color, design and beauty present in everything around us.   As a bonus, check out this great article with Lernert & Sander about their creative process.

On Perfection

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What is ‘perfect’? When talking about a person, what does that mean? When talking about an object, or a situation, it usually means having no flaws. But is this what it means for people? Because if so, then ‘perfect’ must be incredibly boring, and I can’t imagine anything less perfect than that.

Flaws are what make people interesting, what give people character, and distinguish us from others. What makes one person perfect for another is not the absence of flaws, but flaws that someone can relate to, can overlook, can find endearing. What defines perfect for one person cannot define it for another. I don’t want to be with someone that doesn’t have flaws, because I certainly have many. Some I’d like to work on, others I think I can live with. I am not seeking to eliminate flaws, to chisel away at myself or others so that I am left with something I don’t recognize anymore, but to find someone who appreciates me as I am, who I appreciate as they are, despite all these things… and maybe sometimes, because of them.

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