Friday, September 30, 2016

Cool does not pay the bills.
Real friends let you know in advance that they're coming to town.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

I appreciate how sports are in the now.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

"Start Out Disappointed If at All Possible
If my career had turned out like the fantasy I had of what it was going to be, it would never have made me happy. But I couldn't have know that until it didn't happen. I found success that is so much bigger and deeper and better, and it's because it happened later. If any of what I'm having happen now---the successes---would have happened to me when I was younger, I would have been ruined. Because when you're young, and things come super easily to you, and you have success right out of the gate, you're liable to think that's how it actually works. You start to think you don't need to be fully prepared or committed to have these things meet you."

From the story, Do Not Be Quick to Succeed, in the October 2016 issue of GQ. By Sarah Paulson.
Let the garden grow.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

This monotony is killing me.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

"One day this boy will be fine.
Better watch out now,
that day might be today."

From the song Winston Churchill's Boy by Benjamin Clementine.
As Sunday evening begins, it's nice to finish the weekend off by just hanging in bed.  

I've been on vacation for the past week, so I need to decompress and mentally prepare for Monday morning. My time off was great though, and much needed. It began with the wedding of a good childhood friend, and then a trip out to California to visit other friends who recently had babies.

Natalia and I have been friends since high school, and she moved to San Francisco a few years ago to be with her boyfriend, Mark. The two of them eventually became engaged, and the happy couple got married in New York last Sunday. Natalia and Mark both looked beautiful together at their wedding. Throughout the ceremony, I couldn't take my eyes off the bride's face. I was just so happy for her. Sitting there and witnessing this huge milestone of hers, I couldn't help but reminisce about all of the other big moments in life we had gone through together. I'm so proud of her and wish nothing but the best for her and Mark. 

I saw a lot of old friends I hadn't seen in a while as well, so the wedding's intimate guest list made the reception feel like one the best reunions ever. Fifteen years ago, my friends and I were all just kids from Queens about to start our freshman years of college. And now a decade-and-a-half later, here we all we were, celebrating the wedding of one of our very own with the growing skyline of Manhattan's west side all around. A lot has happened for each of us since our college days when we spent much of our time together. But none of that mattered. Being there with everyone as we laughed, danced, and shared stories, it brought out these emotions that made me feel like we were all back at that age again. It's that feeling of exuberance one has before the reality of adulthood seems to beat it out of you. I had completely forgotten about how it invigorates every cell of the body, drowning out everything that does nothing to contribute to its merriment---where limitless hope in the promise of tomorrow seemed to be the foundation to our days. Later in the night when one of my friends remarked that I had the same giggle from high school, it left me a little stunned. All I could wonder was wow, you still remember my giggle from high school? There's actually someone out there who remembers that about me from so long ago? 

Natalia and Mark's wedding was humbling on so many levels. On top of seeing a good friend get married to their soulmate, it left me feeling a bit stronger about who I am and where I'm from. I needed that reminder. 

The day after the wedding, I flew to Los Angeles to visit my friends Jenn and Daniel. I can't believe it's already been three years since I lived with them and moved back to New York. There's been a lot of change for them since then, mainly in the fact that they have two lovely children now. Their youngest, Isabella, is just over a month old, and their eldest, Bradley, will be three in February. Seeing Jenn and Daniel again and finally meeting their precious kids was such a joy. Staying with them for a week gave me a glimpse into the lives of their growing family, and all the hard work and love they put forth into their daily lives. They're such great parents and I'm so proud of them as well.

This past week was great with lots of glimpses of the past, and it's left me more than ready to forge on in my future.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

"I would have Sunday dinner out, always confining my order to pasta and wine. It represented a calm, focused moment before the start of a hectic week. More than that, the meal was an opportunity to distill dining to its essence; something to stick to my ribs, and something to go to my head."

From Food & Wine's October 2016 issue: Scenes from an Italian Restaurant. Written by Frank Bruni.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

"A powerful explosion caused by what the authorities believe was a homemade bomb injured at least 29 people on a crowded sidewalk in the bustling Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan on Saturday night, according to authorities, who later found what they described as a second explosive device four blocks away."

From the September 17, 2016, New York Times article: Powerful Blast Injures at Least 29 in Manhattan; Second Device Found. Written by Christopher Mele, Al Baker, and Michael Barbaro.

The reality of our times just feels too real.

Where the bomb went off isn't far from my office. I'm pretty familiar with 23rd Street between 6th and 7th Avenue, especially the north side of it. There's a subway station for the 1 Train near the corner, and used to be where I got off for work before I moved here to Queens. My barbershop, which I just got a haircut from last week, is also on the block.

It was reported that the explosion came out of a dumpster, which wouldn't have happened on too many other streets of Manhattan. Stationary dumpsters sitting in front of buildings aren't a common thing, except for when there's some sort of construction being done there. The dumpster where the blast happened has been there for as far as I can remember. The sidewalk right next to it is covered in scaffolding and men do work there during the daytime. What's worst is that the building is housing for the Associated Blind. I would always see blind residents and their handlers waiting in front of the building to get picked up or being dropped off at it. I hope everyone is okay.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Sunday, September 11, 2016

"In the picture, he departs from this earth like an arrow. Although he has not chosen his fate, he appears to have, in his last instants of life, embraced it. If he were not falling, he might very well be flying. He appears relaxed, hurtling through the air. He appears comfortable in the grip of unimaginable motion. He does not appear intimidated by gravity's divine suction or by what awaits him. His arms are by his side, only slightly outriggered. His left leg is bent at the knee, almost casually. His white shirt, or jacket, or frock, is billowing free of his black pants. His black high-tops are still on his feet. In all the other pictures, the people who did what he did---who jumped---appear to be struggling against horrific discrepancies of scale. They are made puny by the backdrop of the towers, which loom like colossi, and then by the event itself. Some of them are shirtless; their shoes fly off as they flail and fall; they look confused, as though trying to swim down the side of a mountain. The man in the picture, by contract, is perfectly vertical, and so is in accord with the lines of the buildings behind him. He splits them, bisects them: Everything to the left of him in the picture is the North Tower; everything to the right, the South. Though oblivious to the geometric balance he has achieved, he is the essential element in the creation of a new flag, a banner composed entirely of steel bars shining in the sun. Some people who look at the picture see stoicism, willpower, a portrait of resignation; others see something else---something discordant and therefore terrible: freedom. There is something almost rebellious in the man's posture, as though once faced with the inevitability of death, he decided to get on with it; as though he were a missile, a spear, bent on attaining his own end. He is, fifteen seconds past 9:41 a.m. EST, the moment the picture is taken, in the clutches of pure physics, accelerating at a rate of thirty-two feet per second squared. He will soon be traveling at upwards of 150 miles per hour, and he is upside down. In the picture, he is frozen; in his life outside the frame, he drops and keeps dropping until he disappears."

From the September 9, 2016, story on The Falling Man. Written by Tom Junod.

Fifteen years... and yet it still feels like yesterday.

Rest in peace to all of those who perished on that tragic day.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

"But don't run, even if it gets tough."

Said by the character Dongtak in the KBS series, The Unusual Family. Episode 88. 

Monday, September 05, 2016

After a really hot summer, it's nice to not have the air conditioning on today.

The breeze spilling in from the windows feels good against the skin, and is so needed.

Friday, September 02, 2016

I love how even during Friday morning rush hour on the 1/2/3 subway platform in Times Square, it's possible to run into an old friend from junior high school.

What an auspicious start to the holiday weekend! Have a great Friday, everyone.