lonely lovely city

lonely lovely city

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Busy bees...

I just read an article from the NY Times. This man, who has worked for years as an editor, is unable to find work. He is a father of two and married if I stand correct. Anyway, he is writing a book and interviewing for positions. His mission: staying busy. I was intrigued by his genuine honesty and optimism. He goes on to elaborate how in spite of being unemployed and hovered down with financial uncertainty, that keeping on the straight and narrow, persevering if you will, is the key to remaining upbeat.

What I liked about his article was that he wasn't shy about his financial woes. He admitted in a subtle way how he is scared with providing for his family and and not losing his integrity. I also enjoyed how he doesn't give up and devises resourceful methods for survival.

I think a lot about how we all try to stay busy here in Manhattan-the city that will never sleep. It seems that no matter what one is doing, you could always do more? I know I do. As many of you are aware of, I have a full-time schedule with work and school. And, in my spare time, I am writing my memoirs and getting in a few workouts here and there. Forget about any shred of having a real social life, because I am just too damn tired to give the thought any additional weight. Any advice for making that happen is always appreciated.

What I have come to realize is that staying busy is important. I am not sure about you, but it keeps me sane and provides other things to look forward to: peace of mind, contentment, financial security in the long run?. But, at the end of the day, other than your partner (if you have one) who cares if you are running around like a busy bee, struggling to get that done and so forth.

At the end of my day, if I feel productive, then I feel good. Knowing that certain things (even if they are little) mean something. Yesterday, I had plenty of things to do, but only did a fraction of them. Why? Because I needed to tune out. So what if I backed up my data on my computer or changed a lightbulb in my kitchen, shopping for vintage spring clothes or caught up with an old friend over a long lunch with whom I haven't seen in well over a year.

My point is that you are only busy as you want yourself to be. We all need excuses and distractions to keep our minds from focusing on the really tough stuff: family, career, health and everything else in between. What I try to do is not really focus to much on the doings of others and what they have accomplished or are going to achieve. What I try to do is just live the life I want and not exist to appease others.

In this city of drudgery and work addicts, I hope that some of you are taking it easy and finding ways to enjoy the day. Perhaps even a nice walk in the park with a drink in hand and listening to your iPod works. It does for me. Even when I know I have thousands of things I could do, I just give myself a breather and chill for half and hour. Sometimes, even an hour.

When all is said and done, I think we should be committing to people and projects that we're passionate about. Isn't that what life truly means? Oh I just caught myself saying should again. Such an over used word, right? I have to get busy now and run to the gym.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The sweet life

So, I came across a book. "The Sweet Life in Paris, The Most glorious and Perplexing Place in the World, written by David Lebovitz." Luckily, a chunk of it is readily available online for your reading pleasure. (Just click the bold letters above) Every two pages includes an essay of sorts including a delectable recipe. Instantly, I loved the author's sense of humor. Lebovitz captured my attention by discussing our supposed favorite passion, Paris.

He has a self-deprecating style. Nothing over the top. A baker and chef from San Francisco, Lebovitz chose to move with two suitcases, several cookbooks and a couple of pots and pans. He lived in a tiny, cramped, archaic apartment with creaky stairs(seventh floor walk-up) and questionable plumbing. The language barrier along with the transition of becoming a French citizen was enough to send him trekking back to California, but Lebovitz never left and remains there after several years.

It made me think about why we are driven towards places. How do we allow something to work in spite of its enormous challenges? I am not sure what it is about Paris. Could it be the pastries, architecture, art, museums, snobbery, fashion, history, gardens, language, men, and inconceivable raw beauty?

I gather its all the above. What I admire so fiercely about this man was his aptitude to recreate himself when no one else thought it to be feasible. So much of what we want or only dream of remains just that: an unfulfilled dream. With a recent birthday now expired and Valentine's Day finally over, I am thinking about the obvious: age and love, of course. Seeing as I lack the latter, I am starting to feel liberated instead of self-pity for not having a man to share my life with.

Yes, love can be amazing and universal. Aging can be wonderful too when you begin to live your life as you disregard other's opinions pertaining to your own dream catching. I am still a realist in terms of how one should approach certain financial and physical decisions. I am also a believer in taking risks to finding your sole purpose without being hinged to a partner or a career you don't want. Luckily, I am not in that position.

Paris will happen. I am not sure when. As long as I continue to prosper, eradicate the negative and forge ahead, I'll be on my way. At the end of day, all we have are our dreams. Live a little and dare yourself to reach and grab for it. In a few years, you might just see me writing this blog in you know where.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

36 years of being a bad ass?

My good friend claims that I am cool. Perhaps its the truth? I am not entirely sold on the idea. When I texted her about my impending birthday and the looming fear of officially getting older, she said I am officially a bad ass. It was the first time someone ever handed me that title.

With a sigh of relief, I celebrated my thirty-sixth year of existence. It was nice. One of the great things about living in Manhattan is the abundance of restaurants. I went to Gotham Bar and Grill with one of my best mates. Catching up with her is quite a treat, because she is true friend who is not only a great source of support, she is a foodie like me.

I dished on Tuna Tar Tar and Blackened Codfish with Bok Choy. I blissfully inhaled Peanut Butter Mouse with Raspberry Sorbet accompanied by an edible candle. I made my silent wish as the other patrons exited. Reluctantly after almost three hours and two glasses of wine later, I left our cozy table and headed out into the cold. I wondered around downtown and purchased a great pair of Cargo Pants from Ralph Lauren.

I fought against the piercing wind and eventually returned home to charge my batteries. Loved ones called which made me feel special. After a couple of hours, I opted to see a movie at Sunshine Cinema on Houston. Another friend was unable to make it due to work, so I went by myself. I killed time before it stared and drank an amazing Mojito accompanied with Shrimp Ceviche and Pineapple. It was amazing, grim and downright depressing. Personal note to self: don't watch films about death or misery on your birthday. Moving on.

Afterwards, I spent the night eating at a cool noodle place on First Avenue that caught my fancy a year ago. I sat by the bar and watched handsome men cook my Shrimp Buns and Spicy Sausage Noodles with Cashews and Spinach. Along with my umpteenth glass of vino of the day, I chatted up with the couple next to me and compared our dishes.

Towards the end, I grew full as my Diesel jeans could no longer be buttoned. I rang up another friend and met up for one drink. Afterwards of seeing practically no one at the bar, I marched home and bundled up in bed. I didn't care I was without a man. I thought about all the things I am fortunate to have and realized I am glad to be alive-to have air in my lungs and love in my heart with a pair of feet that walk.

I am right where I need to be: a single, independent, handsome, and creative bad ass who knows himself a lot better at 36 than I ever did at 35. And, that it is just fine with me.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Being centered....

I am thinking about taking up mediation again. Something inside says it is time.

Yesterday, I had a conversation with someone who says it works. She doesn't do it as often, but notices changes when it happens. Looking at her, one can tell she is grounded and calm.

I am not sure what it is, but something from within myself is calmer. I am less frazzled by the things I can't control and far less concerned with pleasing others. Perhaps it has to with transitioning into my mid thirties?

Whatever the reasons are, I attribute it to not over analyzing everything so much.

I am not a religious person at all, but the the thought of clearing out my head on the base of my floor with a new, improved filtering system sounds so appealing. My friend says she even has a special spot for when she commits to it.

As another birthday approaches next week, I am seeking to have center and find that special place in my head, and hopefully my heart, where all the other unnecessary bullshit is inconsequential. I am not transitioning to anything radical. It is just a thought that needs to be entertained a bit.

In a city as loud and as massive as NYC, we all could use a little center where everything is all right with the world. Thoughts?