I was listening to Coldplay’s “Til Kingdom Come” for probably the 5th time while my bus was crawling out of the Midtown Tunnel yesterday when the title above came to mind. I almost forgot that I was having a difficult time drawing my right eye with a flick — and before finishing the second, I clicked on the WordPress app and started writing. (Eyes have been taken cared of..)
So how’s your summer been?
Those of you in New York City know we’ve gotten lucky with moderate temperatures until this week, and even that has been a break. We haven’t really had the sweltering heat of the past summers and that was unexpected. The previous winter, mild as it was, tends to make us expect a harsher summer. And we haven’t had that– yet. Of course we’re just hitting the midpoint of summer and I could be speaking too soon, but I’ve always been a “warmer climate” person considering where I was born and raised. Manila’s heatwave gives you good training for the hot summers of New York, but then it’s dry heat here. (Imagine walking into an oven.)
I’ve been exploring more of the city during the weekends and lingering on later in the day. It helps that the little guy is in Manila enjoying his summer break with his cousins, so I need not rush home to make dinner. It’s been a time of new beginnings, plans and things that need to be done. It’s also a time of renewal. (More on that in another post.)
Unfortunately, I see the summer slipping by with some things falling through the cracks. I will hopefully get to do a check-in on my 15 things for 2015 although I’m almost dreading it because I’m afraid I have missed out on many of the things I had hoped to accomplish, and half the year has slipped by.
The good news is I’M READING AGAIN. I am actually so thrilled about actually lugging a book in my purse these days that I have taken to having the book within arm’s reach just so I can look and touch its pages. (We call that shallow or mababaw back where come from.) Simple thrills.
The truth of the matter is, I had schlepped down to Barnes & Noble to buy some books requested by my nephew and niece. I am always drawn to the tables where books are laid flat, enabling you to see stacks of it on top of each other. There were no Minecraft books as requested by the nephew, and for the life of me, I couldn’t find the photo sent by my sister-in-law for my niece’s request. So I walked around towards the tables and lo and behold, the book was right there: A Work in Progress: A Memoir by Connor Franta. The thing was it was on a “Buy-2-get-the-3rd-free” table so I found myself walking around trying to decide if I will just get the book for my niece or if I will get two more. Of course I got two more! (Have to get that Barnes & Noble membership going!)
I have missed reading and the thought that I am finally getting down to doing some serious page-turning makes me kind of giddy happy. Kind of. At almost fifty, (yes, the Pinay New Yorker is THAT old) — I have discovered that the things that make me smile are no longer as profound or earth shattering or remarkable like they used to be. These days, when a stranger says “Beautiful dress!” or “What a lovely necklace..” from out of nowhere, that is reason enough to smile. (This is the same dress that has seen a lady walk up to me at a grocery to tell me what a lovely dress I was wearing. I am NEVER parting with this dress even when it is no longer age appropriate!) Or maybe talking about movies or music or GoT. (And if you don’t know what that stands for, then you aren’t in our ‘circle’.) It’s being able to mention something from the 80s and know that you won’t get a puzzled look that tells you you’re from two different generations. (As my brother who is only 3 years younger than me would say, that would be a generation gap.)
So what is my fabulous summer all about?
It’s about the Nutella Bar in Eataly which seems to have a hypnotic hold on me now, every time I’m in the area. Not even the usual lines or throng of people going in and out of the place has deterred me from making a quick stop whenever I can. On the contrary, it’s all those people walking around and the anonymity of walking in that crowd that kind of makes me feel at home in this place.
No, it’s not that sweet — even the sweet cream needs a little bit of nutella in it to make it really sinful. I find it to be a good palate cleanser, though. (Excuses, excuses!)
It’s about dreaming of learning how to sew (finally!) — but knowing it’ll have to wait for when I return from the next trip home. So in the meantime, I’m focusing on hair accessories and trying to get my creative juices flowing to enable me to bring some pieces to give away as gifts in a week and a half. I’ve startred sorting out my jewelry supplies as well with a more determined plan to actually revive the store on Etsy. And no, I didn’t forget about my newfound interest in crochet — freeform crochet to be exact — as I featured in my craft blog, GothamChick just a few weeks back here and here.
I’m starting to go back to music that I love — jazz, in particular — and learning along the way. It’s music that soothes and draws me to a time way back when I got so immersed in learning about modern jazz. Back when they had a record bar (which is where they used to have shelves upon shelves of vinyl and stacks of cassette tapes), the lady in charge would lay out the latest releases and make her recommendations. It is because of her that I heard of Eloise Laws, Donald Byrd, in addition to the staples of Alphonse Mouzon, Earl Klugh, Noel Pointer and Seawind to name a few. Now I’m listening to Avishai Cohen who I was looking forward to watching “Live” in NYC but I just heard his tour had been altogether cancelled.. (Bummer..)
Summer’s been a time to enjoy movies, old and new, that friends have been recommending. Don’t you just hate it when people start talking about some title and ask you if you’ve watched it and you realize you’re way behind? I never pretended to be a cinephile but I do appreciate good films. I just haven’t had the time to sit in a theatre or find out what’s new. (I miss Mr. Moviefone ..) The good news is I am now raving about Everything Is Illuminated, Fading Gigolo and the original The Producers (1968). I am not a film critic nor one of those people who try to dissect the “layers of acting” or the “depth of the story”. I watch movies to enjoy them and I always try to sit in front of a screen with as little expectations of the story or the acting or directing. I think we, as members of the audience, should just sit there and enjoy. Every film, even those that are retellings of stories we already know are meant to entertain but will only succeed in doing that if we let them. Save the popcorn — I’m still working my way down a list of other great movies.
I’ve made the effort to reconnect with friends from waaaaaayyyyyyy back. As a friend from gradeschool wrote me, “(I) am happy to know that you are well on your way to getting to know yourself again and that you’re making strides where reconnecting with old friends is concerned. We do tend to lose ourselves when in relationships and though that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it is at times unhealthy. ” (Bernadette aka Bambi has always written so eloquently.)
The sad part of being here in New York is that although some people maybe in the same neighborhood, connecting can take a lot of effort. Sadly, we don’t all give it the effort it deserves. Sometimes all it takes is an e-mail, a message on Facebook, or a chance encounter when you’re on the bus and you see a familiar face fiddling with her phone at street level. (The Universe speaks, again.)
I miss my little guy but I am grateful for the break to focus on myself the last couple of weeks. It makes me look forward to being with him again when I go home to pick him up in Manila in just over a week. And there is so much to look forward to when I return to my home, New York, and ride out the last days of summer as we go into my next favorite season: Autumn.
Here’s to a wonderful rest of the summer for everyone.