Observations From A Bicoastal Family

Sunday, August 17, 2014

You Must Look Up

 New Yorkers like to say they can spot a tourist anywhere.
The tourists are the people standing outside the subway 
with their mouths gapping open while looking up to the sky.

It is referred to as the concrete jungle for good reason.

New York City ranks as the second city in the world with the tallest buildings.
Second to Hong Kong, there are 235 buildings in this city that are over 40 stories high.

The city is breathtaking from afar and it can be stifling 
when you are making your way through the jungle.

This poem is scrolled in the iron work outside of the World Financial Center.

City of the world.
(For all races are here)
All the lands of the earth make contributions here.
City of the sea of wharves and stores - city of the tall facades of marble and iron!
Proud and passionate city - mettlesome.

 - Walt Whitman

Let's not concern ourselves with what the New Yorkers will think of us.
Let's look up.
Let's look up all the time because if we don't, we will trip and fall, maybe even worse, step in gum.

Here are some beautiful things I've seen all while looking up.

Looking up at Trinity church.

The tallest residential tower in the americas - 8 Spruce Street.

A beautiful church on the East Side.

A soccer field surrounded by marble and iron.

Mixing the old with the new in lower Manhattan.

The iconic Flatiron building.

The Chrysler Building overlooking Grand Central Station.

The Angel Moroni overlooking Lincoln Center.

I love this building. Don't know the name, but I love it.

The Freedom Tower purposely goes on forever.

Looking from Chelsea Piers towards the IAC Headquarters building.

I don't know the name of this building, but I love it.

My sweet Jenna looking over the city.

Buildings in the sky.

I have realized that while the buildings have the potential to block our view, 
if we choose to see the beauty in the architecture, 
the meaning behind the curves and straight lines. or the reflections in the glass 
our view is expanded and we gain enlightenment.

President Thomas S. Monson said:
Remember, it is better to look up!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Are You Used To It

I had an experience the other night that made me ask myself the question:

Are you used to living here?

The experience was this:
It was a really nice evening and I needed to go on a run.
Meaning: I had eaten some really good food the day before and I didn't get a run in.
So, I went on a run.
I went out around 8:30pm and planned on running for 45 minutes.

As I was ending my run I looked over to my right, towards the Hudson River, 
and there was a small boat following me.
The boat was clearly marked NYPD.

The boat stayed with me for several minutes and then sped away.
I didn't think anything of it.

But, then I thought about it a few minutes later and it occurred to me that there are things here that I am perfectly used to and somethings I probably won't ever be used to.

Either way, here are a few of those things.

Being with my family has not been a problem for me at all.
My heart be still.

There are puddles and run-off, seemingly from rain.
 It's dog urine.
Always, always step over the puddles.

The sunsets over New Jersey have been absolutely breathtaking.

Seeing this sweet Lady everyday hasn't been bad either.

Riding the subway with complete strangers or without any one has had its challenges.

The NYC Water kiosks pop up all over the city.
The catch phrase is: New York has the best water in the country.
I'm not really sure that is a true statement.

After examining where this water is coming from, featured in the picture below, I would like to challenge the statement.

We have seen this subway stop every day.
Every time we approach the station the conductor says:
Houston Street, next stop Houston.

In New York it is pronounced: House-ton.
Not, Hew-ston.

I wasn't used to it, it made me laugh,
Unfortunately, I'm used to it now.

The inspiration for these thoughts was, of course, the police presence.
They are every where.
It doesn't bother me at all.

I am convinced that the whole of New York is under construction.
We have all missed the opportunity to go into the scaffolding business.

Surprisingly a lot of people smoke here.
A lot of people smoke cigars, just randomly in the middle of the day.

Conspiracy theorists are every where and they want to talk to you about their theories.

Walking the dog in the New York is crazy.
That's our dog down there with Scott and Ammon.
Not really used to this one.

"The yellow one's don't stop."
They will honk at you and they will run you over.
This is something you MUST get used to.

These doors are in all the subways.
You just walk through them if it's crowded or if you are carrying bags or if you just don't want to bother with the turn stile.
It's what you do. And, it is okay.
Nothing bad happens and sometimes there isn't an alarm.

I can't take pictures of the smells or the sounds of New York.
But, to give you an idea, the streets can smell like absolutely nothing. 
This is not often.

The streets can also smell like pizza.
Yep, just straight up fresh pizza.
This is often.

And, there are other times, that you just don't want to inhale.
All of the horrible smells in the world can be on one street corner at the same exact moment.
This is way too often.

It's all good.

There are things that I never want to get used to about New York.
But, there are other things that I truly am open to loving about this city.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

It Puts A Smile On Your Face

New York is busy.
New York is serious.
It has a pace like no other city I have visited.

There are things here to love and other things to dislike very strongly.
There are days that New York will make you cry.
Cry real tears of sadness and stress.

And on the flip side, there are days when New York is the best place you have ever been. 
New York has the potential to make your smile turn into a laugh.

It has not been easy to always catch those smiling moments on film.

Here are a few pictures that will let you in on the New York smile.

The Tiffany's bowler hat guy.

Dogs that look like a real life gremlin.

Strollers that serve as baby limos.

Yes, I know, I'm not suppose to take pictures of other people's children.
It's weird.

But, this is funny when you see it coming down the street.

A cat waiting patiently by an apartment door.

A very happy kid running around with a dozen GoPro's on his head.

Seems like a normal guy having a conversation with someone.
But, wait.
He's not super normal because he is standing there with a plastic cup that's full of water on his head.

It's funny.

Just in case you don't know how far you've already walked down the block, there's a half thrown in.

Seeing the real life Scooby Doo.

Seeing a real life Hot Wheels parking garage.
It's fascinating.

Yoga in Bryant Park with over one thousand people.

A sign that speaks your language.
I have bad hair.
It's not funny, but thanks for the reminder.

Looking up and seeing a person's name who made you laugh.

Running into Juan Carlos from America's Got Talent and finding out that he's just a normal guy.

Seeing the clear bags on recycling day is very hilarious.
Just walk the other way.

Smiling faces looking back at you in the Asian hall at the Met.

The "mall" police vehicles at 42nd street.
It's humorous.
Serious, but humorous.

People who think they are being funny by putting a funny sticker on a trash can.

New York City is a beast and has the potential to make your smile disappear.
Where ever you find yourself, count yourself blessed to know what the power of free agency is and choose the smile.

And, lucky for us, if you never find the smile, tomorrow is a new day.