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On this coldest of October afternoons

By | Photography | No Comments

My friends and I have been driving for two and a half hours straight. Outside the car window, the afternoon sky is filled with opaque clouds that look like chalk dust smeared across the great blue sky. We made our way across Connecticut to Minnewaska NY to catch the season’s peak foliage blooms.

New York City hasn’t bloomed yet. In Central Park, you can see wide splotches of green still stubbornly hold on to the landscapes, resisting the inevitable change. Summer seems so far out of reach.

We stopped by a charming farmer’s market. Outside in the fields, you can see large swatches of pumpkins dot the landscape. Inside, the smell of nutmeg and cinnamon lingered in the air. I sat myself down next to a warm hearth and burned my back. But I didn’t care. I miss this warmth.

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Jessica’s harvest

By | New York City | No Comments

My favourite season is here! The air is fresh and clean and there is a certain exuberance, an anticipation that comes before the harvest holidays. Summer is over and Autumn has come, and, with it, concord grapes season!

Jessica sits in front of me now across the table in the outside seating area of Republic in Union Square. She’s dressed in crisp white jeans and a warm-patterned tank-top. She has a voluminous mane of honey-coloured, brown hair with golden streaks that shimmer in the sunlight. A couple of Indian girls next to us, probably in their twenties, stole furtive glances at Jessica. I know what they are thinking and I don’t blame them. Jessica gets more beautiful every time I meet her.

The murmur of New York City looms over us in all directions. Pretty girls dart into my field of vision and disappear into the crowd all the same. We talk about life, love, and our love-life as so happens every time we meet. By sharing our experiences in this beautiful, lively place, you can’t help but feel a certain sonder, for each other, and for everyone around you.

Being a yuppie in the city, you think yourself invincible. You have a high disposable income, you have cool, interesting hobbies and you meet equally interesting people. You live in the city; you’re among the enlightened, the cosmopolitan, the metropolitan, the educated. I enjoy our conversations very much but it’s times like these that I also feel most vulnerable.

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Two way traffic ahead

By | New York City, Photography | No Comments

It’s late summer in New York. We are exiting the M train at the Dumbo stop and are headed for the pier. The afternoon light is soft and the air is placid, easy to breath. We brush past the throng of people, past the humid, piss-scented air and emerge under the cerebral sky overhead. There is a blithely tune playing in my head, syncopated, punctuated, deliberate.

My world is clearer as of late. It’s been a slow and steady process and I’m moving forward, present tense. In the past few months, I’ve gained some clarity of my place in the world: how to lead a deliberate, purposeful life, and to be more kind and observant of the world around me.

There is an economic principle known as Creative Destruction, sometimes referred to as Schumpeter’s gale (German: schöpferische Zerstörung), that describes the idea that when things are stagnant in a country—often economically—it takes a massive disruption of the existing order to improve things and promote growth. Think of it as though a forest, thickened and densely packed together so that no sun reaches the lower surfaces, and everything on the floor starts to rot, catches fire or some other disaster clears some space, and things can start to grow again. I could think of no better way to describe the last year and a half of my life as relating to this principle.

Indeed, almost two years ago a massive gale inundated my life and I am forced to slowly pick up the pieces. Naturally, some pieces are still there, and some others, less desirable, pieces are discarded. I like to think of life as a series of these events. As a result, my ideas are always in flux–I never stop growing, always refining. Though I look at my old self with chagrin, I recognize that it’s taken that part of my life to grow into who I am today. As Big Mama said, “Darling, forever is a long, long time, and time has a way of changing things.

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Into the faraway sky

By | Travel | No Comments

I’m driving east from Devonshire to St. George’s, where my host family stays. In mesmerizing hues, beyond the chimneys and lattice of palm trees, you can see the sun setting in the horizon, a golden disk aflame, stark contrast to the blood-orange water below. An ominous sign on any other day, any other location. In the distant, you can hear motorcycle pistons whirring as Bermudans set home for the day. A baby cries atop a balcony though I can’t pinpoint the location. The crickets’ chirrs echo. A cool breeze approaches. A father and son in a boat approaches the shore.

“Excuse me. What are those pylons?” I ask, pointing to the ominous structures that line the waterway.

The man, stocky, and probably in his 40s, replies in a cheerful tone. He explains that they used to be part of a railway project that would have spanned the entire island of Bermuda. Then came the automobile, the industrial revolution, it was no longer needed. The trains were sold back to England and the rails left to succumb to nature. Nowadays, you can actually hike the trail in a day, which I’d done. Not an easy task, but not impossible either.

I’m satisfied with his answer. We would spend several more minutes talking. My wide-eyed sense of wonder hangs in the air as we exchange a bit of backgrounds and stories. I explain to him that I was there on vacation from New York City. To be honest, I’m not quite sure what to tell you, about why I’m here. I know in the previous post, I relished the fact that I was finally free to travel. I have a good job with high pay. But this is a means, not an end, is it? Money provides me a means to travel, but to what end?

These days, I find myself in the motions, pushed forward by ephemeral motivations. I tell myself I would do these things for x, y, and z purposes, but would often find these change on a whim later on. Perhaps this is life? It’s as though my opinions and beliefs are in constant flux as I go about my daily lives. Always changing, always growing, always refining my ideas.

We say our goodbyes and I get back on my motorcycle, a dingy little single cylinder I had rented hours before from Oleander Cycles. Eighty bucks for a day. Not bad. It’s getting darker now so I flip the switch to my headlight. Houses in various pastel colours surround me, huddled together. Darkness continues to abate whatever light there was left. The crickets’ chirrs are getting ever louder. I will miss this place.

For my GoPro clips of this trip, click here: https://vimeo.com/100598444

The earthly aquarium

By | Life, Photography, Scuba diving | No Comments

This past weekend, I took a trip to Bermuda. I stayed at a cute little Airbnb place by the town of St. George’s to save money. It was the first time in my life that I have seen water that blue and clear, and the second time this year that I have been out of the country. I say that last part with a little chagrin as young professionals my age should travel more, see the world, and all that before mortgage and kids get a hold of you. Although, at the current trajectory of my life, I don’t think I will be heading down that path.

For the first three days, I booked dives with Dive Bermuda, a small shop located by Horsehoe Bay in Southampton. The dives were simple enough: show up at 8 AM, go out on a boat, gear up and sink to 60 feet of clear blue water. We spend 40+ minutes underwater in to look at cool wrecks and corals. As a beginner (I had just got my dive certification last month), I was eager but reserved. I stuck close o my buddy and divemasters. I bought a GoPro H3+ Black and red filters just for this trip. You can see the video above.

The underwater world is fascinating and few (relatively) humans ever get to experience. Here is my first and possibly of many more to come. Down here, you experience all the tingles and excitement of zielschmerz, the feeling of finally doing something that you only, until recently, dreamed about, as you look around. You see no politics, no religion, no hatred, just you, the popping and crackling noises of distant shipping lanes, and the rhythmic pulses of your regulator. It’s peaceful down here.

What’s next? I have my eyes set on Tulum’s underwater sulfur clouds and Belize’s Great Blue Hole.