Revitalize

Sun rising, sun’s blessing.
Golden rays bathe my face.
The possibilities of a new day,
an awakening.

A peaceful calm only nature can offer,
Oh, the soothing sounds of waves
rolling onto shore.

A new liberation floods the lands
as the sun warms all in its wake.
Arousing a joy so pure, so stimulating,
one that comes from within.

Relocate

A new neighborhood
where my new home is
where I live my new life
with my old brain
that stores memories
of a life that can’t be escaped

Evershifting,
which version of myself will I be today?
pulling on pieces,
arranging them to fit the narrative
I wish to create for myself

Relocate,
keeping yourself intact is always the hardest part.

via Daily Prompt: Relocate

Pic taken by me in Baltimore, Maryland.

Phenomenal Beauty

A rainbow,
so seemingly simple, yet complex
A beautiful display of science above us,
a natural work of art

Sun rays, water droplets, light refraction, reflection
Standing proudly,
stretching yonder for all to see
Radiant, amazing in its own right

In ideal conditions, a double rainbow is visible
A spectacular sight becomes magnified;
The rainbows complement each other’s beauty,
a phenomenon to behold
appreciate the uniqueness each one brings to the whole

Pic taken by me at Citi Field: Queens, New York

Nostalgia

Summer reminds me of my youth;
chasing fireflies,
being fearless,
picking up insects,
turning over rocks,
playing in the dirt
Blissfully ignorant.

Ocean water dances on my body,
heat radiates off the concrete,
spending all day between jungle gyms and sprinklers.

Time flies and I’m awash with nostalgia.
I’ve lived a life already,
childhood seems so far removed.

In the midst of adulthood;
thoughts are consumed by new longings
to a simpler time.
How do I feed and nourish the girl I once was,
the girl who still lives.

Pic taken by me at Coney Island, New York

What Happened?

Now all you have is the silence
The unspoken words float through the air,
a suffocating thickness
We disregard each other as if we weren’t just
completely intertwined under the moonlit stars
As if we didn’t just lay our souls bare for each other
to witness
As if we didn’t lay our chests on one another
to hear our heartbeats pound away in unison.

Photo by me: Wonder Wheel in Luna Park, Coney Island

Always There

Rose

She received them when she graduated,
a celebration.
The Valentine’s days of the past;
sometimes, “just because.”

Placed on her bedside when she was born,
the celebration of life.
Natural, sweet perfume permeated the
sterile, unwelcoming feeling of the hospital.

Roses were always beautiful,
even when they were dried
and hung upside down.

They were placed on the wreath
to celebrate her life,
and placed over her as she lay to rest.

Life, love, happiness, and death –
the roses were always there.

Image captured by me, Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at New York Botanical Gardens – Bronx, NY

Wholeness

St. Louis No. 1 Cemetery

Embrace the dark with the light,
the yin and yang, the language of the universe.

Ever connected,
masculine and feminine.
These two forces will always be one.

To appreciate the good in life,
we must address the shadows.
The undercurrents of our souls that don’t always look so pretty.
Accept that the undesirable always lurks beneath the surface.

As above so below
Maintain balance and become whole with yourself.

Image taken by me, St. Louis Cemetery #1 New Orleans, LA

Slow Down, It’s Snowing…

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The photos in this post are not taken from today, but I’m reminded of this moment in time due to today’s first snow shower in Brooklyn. It’s been quite warm as of late, and aside from our blast of cool air this weekend – tomorrow will be a high of 54 and rainy; I’m not looking forward to it.

The photos I’m sharing are from snow days we had earlier in 2016 – when I was inspired to go outside and capture moments of peace and natural beauty. The first blanketing of snow on the concrete is a magical transformation. To see the glimmer from the snowflakes, the encapsulating white, is to enjoy winter at its best. Yes, it’s cold, but it’s never too cold to go out and enjoy it!

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Snow always calls for adventures. Whether it’s snowball fights, sledding, or rolling down hills, I appreciate how it summons our inner child to play. The snow slows us down, both physically and mentally. We savor the time watching the flakes fall from the sky, witnessing our environment change before our eyes. We know commutes will be longer and we’ll have to shovel and make paths – but we also know it’s the perfect excuse to get the fireplace started and drink something warm.

I’m taking this opportunity to romanticize the snow. To think about the comfort of relaxing with a book, wine, knitting, or loved one. To think about staying in for the day and not feel ashamed of it. Well, unless there’s work. But isn’t there something pleasant and tranquil about a snowfall?

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(all pictures taken by me)

Daily Prompt: Flames – A New York City Sunset

via Daily Prompt: Flames

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Flames…  take me back to A New York City sunset on a summer day, emitting stunning shades of orange, yellow, and gray.

Often, our cityscape sunsets combine shades of red, pink, purple, and blue – a delightful saccharine swirl of colors similar to a cooling sherbet on a hot day.

In a cacophonous, bustling, city – these sunsets bring a sense of calm, of peace, and appreciation. The buildings and skyscrapers become shadows, playing the supportive role to the sun’s rays while being an integral part of the composition.

Sunsets, the metaphorical flames of NYC.

(all photos taken by me)

Cemetery Serenity: Greenwood and Sleepy Hollow

(all photos taken by me)

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve developed an appreciation for cemeteries. Walking through a cemetery makes me feel calm and pensive, and somehow a bit safe. It’s a sacred space and almost surreal in the sense that you’re reminded of how fleeting life is. There’s something about being in a cemetery that prompts a sense of reflection and curiosity. A curiosity for what may have happened to some of these people, how were they buried, who cared for them, and what lies beyond.

I’ve recently had the pleasure of visiting Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn and Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Sleepy Hollow, New York. Both cemeteries are historic in their own right – Greenwood is actually a National Historic Landmark in which with many notables and members of high society have been buried.

Founded in 1838, the beautifully designed cemetery is the home of Battle Hill, the highest point in Brooklyn. It’s also home to the burial grounds of beloved artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, Theodore Roosevelt Sr. (father of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt), and many others.

If you’re in the NYC area, drive or take the MetroNorth to Tarrytown for a visit to Sleepy Hollow cemetery. I typically go around Halloween; of course, due to Mr. Washington Irving’s legendary tale, the town absolutely comes to life during the fall season. There’s plenty to do in Tarrytown in October, and I definitely recommend talking a walk through Sleepy Hollow cemetery; it’s so rich and full of history and looks stunning when fall foliage is in full bloom.

At Sleepy Hollow cemetery, you’ll find “The Old Dutch Church of the Manor of Phillipsburgh,” which has been around since the late 1600s. Stop by the church during October and enjoy a dramatic performance of “Irving’s Legend“. You can take historic walking tours, and of course, pass by the grave site of Washington Irving himself.

Keep an open mind and think about all of the knowledge to be gained when you visit a historic cemetery!

Sunday Snapshot: Fresh Apples

Macintosh Apples in box
September is apple picking season in New York! The image above shows apples for sale in crates at the Queens County Farm when I went pumpkin picking a while back.

You can’t pick apples at the farm, but in October, they have plenty of fresh apples from the Hudson Valley for sale.

Below, I’ve listed some places you may want to look into if you’re interested in picking some fresh New York apples this season:

Happy Apple Picking!

Baltimore: Where to Eat, Stay, and Visit

Good Eats in Baltimore

Miss Shirley’s Cafe and the Local Oyster:

Miss Shirley’s Cafe – OK, so, I tried to get brunch here on a weekend morning and it didn’t happen. Miss Shirley’s is definitely the go-to brunch spot at the Baltimore Inner Harbor. After heading to the restaurant on a Sunday or Saturday morning, I noticed the crazy line and felt defeated. It was about an hour wait for breakfast. Although this didn’t work out, I went to a cute spot in Little Italy called Mugs’ Italian Bistro. It was quiet, the food was fresh and quickly made, and tasted delicious.

BUT, I went back to Miss Shirley’s on Monday morning and there was no line and plenty of space! For drinks, as you can see above in the middle picture, we ordered the Spicy Shirley, which almost tasted like an appetizer itself – but was amazing; and Miss Mimosa, which was really fresh and crisp tasting.

I ordered the cornbread squares with jam, which was so delicious! In the first image to the left, you’ll see my “Get Your Grits On” – the jumbo blackened shrimp on fried green tomatoes and grits. This was soooo good, and the portion size was perfect. I think there were about 6 shrimp in total?

The Local Oyster – I didn’t realize this initially, but The Local Oyster is located inside of a marketplace. But, it was easy to get to, and I went on Monday for the $1 happy hour! (Check out the platter, 3rd picture to the right) Oysters and clams were $1 all day and they were certainly enjoyable; I had mine with The Raven beer, a draft inspired by Edgar Allen Poe (who had quite an influence on the city). So, definitely add this on your list of places to go to!

Where to Stay:

Kimpton Hotel Monaco Baltimore Inner Harbor – it’s all in the details! I love the old, historic charm to this hotel, which was once the location of the historic B&O Railroad Headquarters in downtown Baltimore. The images above are taken in the elevator lobby, and only a glimpse into some of the marvelousness found in the hotel. The rooms were spacious and the hotel was conveniently located to the inner harbor and surrounding neighborhoods. Or, you can just take the water taxi to where you want to go from the harbor.

Where Should You Visit?

Federal Hill – if you’re strolling around the Inner Harbor, Federal Hill Park is a nice place to visit. As seen by my image above, with the cannon overlooking the harbor, Federal Hill park is actually a historic landmark. Because it it’s fantastic view, it was once a military outpost. Just beware, climbing up the stairs to the park is not for the faint of heart. It’s a bit tiring if you’re out of shape 🙂 but it’s worth the the climb.

Fells Point – A historic waterfront neighborhood with quaint townhouses, harbor views, waterfront walkways and plenty of seafood. I love how decorative the door knockers are on many of these homes; from crab decor, to lighthouses, and lion faces – you’ll enjoy checking out the neighborhood aesthetics. The image on the top right was a picture perfect scene with an old Ford 150 parked by a street lamp in front of some red brick townhouses. Grab your walking shoes, and take a stroll through Fells Point.

Oriole Park at Camden Yards – Folks in Baltimore love their Orioles, it’s quite the common sight to see orange, white, and black t-shirts speckled in crowds. If you’re in Baltimore and a baseball fan, definitely check out Oriole Park at Camden Yards. To see Camden Yards is a site in itself, it was once a railroad station; the ball park is nestled within a beautiful neighborhood with the reminder of its industrial history.

Other notable mentions – dinner at Phillips at the Inner Harbor was pretty good, be sure to get a reservation though. It gets busy on the weekend. Also, I wanted to eat at Thames Street Oyster House, but it was literally booked through the weekend 😦

Enjoy Baltimore and make sure to make those reservations when it’s time to eat!

Enjoying Italy: Amalfi Coast


The Amalfi Coast in Italy is absolutely amazing! I only had a day trip here, but I’d love to stay for a full week. It’s the home of tasty Limoncello and oversized lemons; this place really leaves a lasting impression. In addition to the beautiful views of the water and the homes built into the mountains, there’s beautiful ceramic tiling and artwork to enjoy throughout the nestled town of Positano.

I love the architecture along this coast – the colors are friendly and serene, exuding the aesthetic of the Mediterranean. The great thing about this view is that due to zoning restrictions, you’ll never see a tall sky rise in this seaside town. The housing structures have been the same since they were built, they have to continuously look uniform.

I’m so thrilled that I got to experience the beauty of the Amalfi Coast and Positano. With mermaid and nautical imagery, great food, fresh fruit and lemons, and views of the sea – how could you go wrong?

Spring, Summer, A Sunflower, and a Farm

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(image shot by me at Queens County Farm in Queens, NYC)

Spring was officially yesterday and it snowed in Brooklyn.

I took this photo at the Queens County Farm this past October, but sunflowers are always so enjoyable. They remind me of spring, summer, and fall. I even managed to capture a bee pollinating. Plant more flowers for the bees! #SaveTheBees

PS: Queens County Farm dates back to 1657 and is a great trip for the family as it includes a petting zoo, so there’s plenty of opportunities to educate the children and family on farm animals, agriculture, gardening, and even farming history.  This is a sustainable farm and only sells its produce locally; they are sometimes at the Union Square Greenmarket.