Friday, August 29, 2008

nyc day 3

i'm in brooklyn now. park slope to be exact, at sarah's place. it was a fun trot from the subway station to the apartment with what seemed to be 400 pounds of luggage and 60 blocks. it wasn't either.

mom left early this morning back to san francisco to carry on with her ordinarily incredible labor day weekend. me and sarah trotted around manhattan earlier today but i wasn't really in a place where i wanted to be touristi. i moreso wanted to capture all the vivid colors and movement in the everyday lives of these odd and beautiful creatures called new yorkers and the tourists that follow.

i figured i would go on a hunt for cliche new york, and i'd be as incinspicuous as possible. remember c-g? look as local as possible... fortuneately, through out my many journeys around this universe, i've managed to pull local off... considering my slightly carefree style of dress, messy hair and brown skin i've managed to pull off local in hawaii, tanzania, a soho chick in nyc, and a "coloured" person named angela in capetown. true story.

cheers to day 3.

my favorite. i wanted them all. one of every color. one of every story.

st. patricks cathedral... oh the glory.

this one's for jordan. a midnorning treat if you will... and i did.

lunch of the champions. it was too pretty to really taste good though. it wasn't what i expected. bronx pizza on university in hillcrest tops it any day... i'm just sayin... :)

ordinary new yorkers and the tourists that follow...

sarah in the subway... she was overjoyed???

sarah in her office on w36th... go ahead girl... and the say cal state fashion merchandising majors gotta struggle... :)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

nyc day 2: stag in the city

i meandered out of bed this morning around 10:23 eastern time... which might i remind you all is 7:23 am our time. blast. but i didn't want to miss the continental breakfast that i brought up to my room... room 701. the bathroom has the sexiest shower situation i've ever seen. also the most awkward one. you just walk into the bathroom and there lies a toilet... to its right is a sink and to your immediate left are two glorious shower heads and in the center of it all is... indeed... a drain. no curtain. no doors. just a hygiene safari if you will. so that was the morning.

i wrestled with the idea of googling myself into an itenerary bliss of activities and tours, but a. i've been here once before b. both mom and sarah are working today so henceforth it would be me and dozens of old people and various grownups/families/people in comfortable walking shoes... and c-g. i want to look as local as possible.

so i vouched for set and explore. i stumbled into grand central station and so in the spirit of historical monuments i set off to go to the met (metropolitan museum of the arts) and that was on 5'th and e81 Street. the station let me out at w47'th and lexington so i had a ways to go. i told myself i would walk as much as possible as to be frugal. i made it to about w57'th street before i hailed a cab. 10 bucks later i was there. it was glorious.

i found a near by subway and tackled that feat. took train 4 to time square and from there a cab to meet sarah for lunch at 141 w36'th. we had hale and hearty. it was both hale and hearty. salads made to order should be a thing in california. one would think. i walked the 9 blocks back to my hotel where i peeled the skinny jeans off my legs and turned the ac on high. it's very sticky here... like ob on a really gross mid summer afternoon.

so far i've seen a life size tickle me elmo (creepy) a man dressed up as freddie crougar (more creepy) and more live music and dancing on the street/subway than a girl could dream for (fantastical). even though i'm from the bay area i am still constantly amused and in awe of the different looking people, the noises, the smells (many foul) the lights and the hustle and bustle of people from more backgrounds speaking more languages than i could keep track of. it's amazing.

i've also managed to get behind at least a handful of mothers and nanny's pulling around children in busy public places... which reminds me of my age-old personal philosophy, which i'd like to share with you all now: although i love children and the joy and imagination their little hearts and minds entail, 6 years of being a nanny has been the most emotionally and financially rewarding form of birth control i could ever long for in my twenties.

2 more days of this then off to d.c. to see chris duck and justin w. for some more east coastal adventurosos.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

new york new york

i've arrived. its warm outside... things and people are buzzing and beeping. my mom gabs on a business call while i stare aimlessly out the window of this luxury sedan. it feels like i'm in oakland. oh wait... here's the tunnel that the biker from that one will smith movie got hit by a bus in and then there's the empire state building... nevermind.

our hotel is in the cracks between an irish pub and coalition for something or other. without moms keen eyes i would have never found the place. people here walk in front of cars like it's going out of style, although i have yet to see any injuries or fatalities in this god forsaken traffic, so i suppose they can keep doing it this way.

we are waiting for sarah (childhood best friend who's recently graduated and relocated from so-cal to brooklyn) to get off work so we can all hang. our room is small. i don't know how we are all gonna fit in here for three days. it's beatiful though. pics soon. i need a chord to connect my camera to my comp... otherwise no pics til i get back. maybe ill be that idiot who walks around manhattan with her macbook face out and open to photobooth. it's tempting. there is a ton of vivid space here to capture.

cheers to day 1.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


It's dark and cold and things and people are beeping, honking, shouting and glowing. My mom lay there in here 4 star hotel room bewtween a drizzled on window and beautifully crafted door of which behind was a hall of other restless strangers, and maybe some sleeping in the wee hours of this weeknight in new york city.

Mom wasn't still. She wasn't at rest or at peace. Neither was Dad for that matter... thousands of miles away he may have been snoring, but still not at ease. Me, it was afternoon where I was. Early afternoon the following day in Moshi Town and I was most likely sitting on my porch staring at Kilimanjro laughing at my sad attempts to communicate with new friends and family in Swahili. Brother was out and about... some sort of social gathering where he was probably inhaling all sorts of vile fumes of smoke, cologne and sex drives... But Mom wasn't still.

She was crying... she was sad. She was angry. She was not at peace with her heart or her God or her failed marriage. She's an achiever. She was that achiever. The one who allegedly failed at her greatest investment for the past 23 years. Maintaining a healthy family. She was basically the only one in her bloodline that had accomplished the task thusfar. And yet she had failed? She had a broken heart and blamed herself and Dad... and so in that extremely comfortable bed with those pure white sheets and the warm colors on the wall paper in the expensive hotel that her fabulous job had accomodated her with, she didn't feel like a success. She had been in this hotel a hundred times. She had seen this city a thousand times. She had cried probably a million tears in her lifetime... but only had a heart this broken once. It sucked. She prayed. I sat. Dad sleeped. Nick danced. And all was not at ease in the Maples family.

The only other sign of God's love and peace in mom's life could have been an angel tapping on her window floating glowingly on the outside of the 17th floor brick monument... but a song I suppose will do. Her radio turned on. She didn't touch it. She hadn't set it. She wasn't even staring at it in hopes of a telepathic break through on the dial. Her back was to it, and it turned on. It sang to her... or more accurately Sarah did:

"In the arms of an angel
Fly away from here
From this dark cold hotel room
And the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage
Of your silent reverie
You’re in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort there"

And that was it. That was it for my mom. She found peace. She heard God... she experienced love. In the middle of the night, some radio in some room shared with her a beautiful melody, an extraordinary truth.

Her marriage didn't solve itself... her kids didn't come back home... her husband did not stop snoring. Her heart was not healed... but peace isn't the resolution for all those things. From what I understand, an active experience of peace is the capacity to bear these things and know that God is much bigger than we may or may not ever feel; bigger than our tears and the things we are afraid of; bigger than our struggling relationships and beautiful hotel rooms... our doubts our fears and our distance. Our misunderstanding of our past, present and future.

God is bigger than us. He or she loves us enough to sometimes shine glimpses of her glorious light through our dark, drizzled on windows.

So really, peace be with you.