Looking up

New York City had me with its breath-taking architecture. I remember spending my first couple weeks there looking upwards. All the buildings were works of art. Each building was surveyed and admired. And I took the time to look at each one. The problem, though, was that after a while, my neck started hurting from looking up. It was then that I decided not to look up as much. (All that looking upwards made me appear like a tourist anyway.)

Later, when I moved on to Hawaii, I found myself looking upwards again. This time, it wasn’t the architecture, but it was the natural landscape– mountains, ocean, open fields, the whole nine. But the mountains, ah! They appeared as if they were disappearing into the sky. My neck started to hurt again, but, unlike being in NYC, I was okay with it. Who cares if I looked like a tourist this time?


Street art

Graffiti that I found along the beach on the Big Island of Hawaii.

“Graffiti is one of the few tools you have if you have almost nothing. And even if you don’t come up with a picture to cure world poverty you can make someone smile while they’re having a piss.”
― Banksy, Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall

Long before Banksy, I was fascinated by street art. Whether it was just a standard tag or not, I was amazed at the way each letter looked, its location, and even its color. Even in my days in California, I was tempted to pull my car over and take pictures of the graffiti on the side of railroad cars. I didn’t do so, but I really wished I did. It wasn’t until I was in Brooklyn that my fascination with street art really came to fruition. The street art there was bright, vibrant and artistic. So one hot summer day, I armed myself with my camera, walked along the neighborhood and photographed any piece of street art that I came across. (I’ll post in future entries.) Even when I was in Hawaii, I made it a point to take pictures of the local street art. Now that I’m back home, I’m making it a point continue my new fascination and document what I find out on the streets.

Know thy neighbor

Sunrise at Hagatna Bay

When I lived in the Midwest, I stayed in a two bedroom apartment in a huge complex.  It was one of those young professional and graduate student apartments.  A lot of people that were pretty much where I was in life– young and seeking yet another degree.

I know all about the Midwestern charm.  Everyone there made it a point to make you welcome.  Heck, everyone smiled so much that you’d think it was going out of style.  But not so in my complex.

We were all ships passing in the night.  I, for one was constantly at school or at the library, while my neighbors were doing whatever it was they did  Those that I were familiar with were the dog owners who were out while their dogs were doing their own business.  Only then did I get the hellos and good mornings.

So yeah, at times it was lonely, but don’t get me wrong, I knew plenty about the people in my building.  The girl across the hall had a dog and had the occasional guest.  The guy who dragged his hamper to the laundromat was married with a wife that I later made friends with.  (She was from Thailand and made a lovely dessert.)  The couple above my unit happened to have loud fights with even louder make up sessions.  (Not going there).

So now, I’m back home.  I know most of my neighbors, mainly because I grew up with most of them.  But still I wonder about what they’re up to.

How about you?  Do you know your neighbors?  What are they like?