Pedestrian crossings and the city

She jumped right in front of me and punched fists straight in the air. “Got to wait. IDIOT!” My hands were full with groceries. It was Friday afternoon at a busy traffic light in mid-town Manhattan.

The “idiot,” was the driver of a black limousine which had blocked the pedestrian crossing at the short green light. He appeared as if he did not hear the woman who angrily screamed at him, although his windows were rolled down. Thanks to her proactive actions, the drivers behind him pulled an immediate stop and we managed to cross the road last-minute.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0.

The same evening I paid a visit at my friends at the East side. I stopped at a red light, I was on my bike. Moments later a cars horn sounded alarming, but I had no reason to pay further attention.  I was at the right lane, waiting. Immediately after that thought, a car squeezed their breaks right behind me and their horn kept honking.

Surprised on the unnecessary persistence I turned my head to face the driver in a white SUV.

“Why aren’t you on the bike lane? he asked but did not wait for my answer. “You are not allowed to drive here. Ride on the bike lane. Why you ride your bike on the road, eight million people live here. I am not going to hit you, but someone else will. You tourists. You don’t need to ride your bikes in the city.” He spoke so fast, his face got red quickly from not taking a breath.

“I live here” I said in a calm manner.

“You live here? Why you ride your bike on the road?

“Because I am allowed,” I returned. I wanted to say more but he was too busy to let me talk. He was well caught in his preconceived notions about the city of New York, the people who live here and the tourists that visit the city of New York. Clearly, he was oblivious to the fact that bicycles have similar rights as with all other vehicles. We can ride in the road too.

“Have a good night” I said. And the young man went on repeating the same, like a tape recorder. But I was far away already.

Maybe I had it all wrong. It could be that this man got really scared over-speeding and got caught off guard at the red light.

 

 

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Really, what else is there?

The most solid relationship in my life thus far is with my art-making. I started young, my parents encouraged. From joining a children’s choir, to choosing to attend a high-school with disciplines in Graphic Arts and Design, I slowly carved out the creator’s path for myself. To perfect my skill-set, I took private lessons and improved my technique in drawing, oil and watercolor. Is been twenty plus years I consciously make art. And yet, my technique is not perfect.

Practicing art requires a tremendous amount of self-discipline. It calls for establishing habitual patterns and willingness to maintain them, while dealing with life. It is a chosen path, the artist’s life.

Throughout the years I learned that my efforts may or not be appreciated by the general public. Other artists may receive that grant I want. Audiences may not understand my concepts. Folks may test my patience with wanting additional clarifications about my ideas and others will be indifferent in viewing my films.  There will be always people that will expect me to produce stories to their liking, including happy endings.

Truth to be told, there was one time I wanted to quit. I snapped out of it when I realized that the only person I compete with, is myself. I learned in time to develop a thicker skin.

After twenty plus years of art practice I have grown to know a few things. I know a lot more than i used to know. I don’t know as much as I am going to know. I intent to keep making art, I plan to continue enjoying this journey. Really, what else is there?

A quick snapshot I share

My favorite ride home in the evenings is through the bike path on West Broadway  – from Columbus circle to Times Square. It is mesmerizing the artificiality put in place, which successfully supports consumerism.

The low intensity of the night transforms with vibrant neon, large screen LCD’s vertically aligned, electronic billboards, all in different kinds of shapes and sizes.

I took this snapshot really quickly while stopped at the traffic light. What caught my attention at the moment was the lighting playfulness and the depth in the formal composition revealed in front of me. But reality is unmatched when captured with an i-phone at dusk.  Always, the best results are obtained with a tripod and a quality lens.

Nevertheless, I wanted to share.

 

LivelyNY

A tribute to people that want to meet-up

Since my relocation in the city of new York, i sought work-out programs i could immediately  afford -the free price range. Not only i enjoy exercising outdoors, I prefer to mingle with like-minded people. The Rice meets Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 6:30am-7:00am – rain, snow or shine- and in different parts of the city. On Mondays and Fridays the location is set.

I joined The Rise group first time this morning for an outdoors, boot-camp style workout. I have tried unsuccessfully in the past few months to wake up earlier to join them. Breaking habitual patterns is quite a task. Thankfully, i beat resistance by planning this change. A week prior, I set my alarm clock at 6:00am.  I finally transitioned to the new habit. I can not say it was a smooth one- but i wanted it.

The work-out this morning took place in Times Square.  Supersets included squats, pushups, burbies and other core body exercises, a half-hour of worthwhile effort.

Was i challenged? Very much. But i have energy for the rest of my day. All thanks to meet-up.com

I can’t recall how i discovered this social platform, but it has been a real benefit to me over the years. I have traveled and relocated plenty in my life. A major challenge I overcame through meet-ups, is meeting new people. I made long-lasting friendships overtime and always had great fun!

Last year, when my close friends left Buffalo to other cities, i joined a bikers meet-up. I re-discover Buffalo one more time, right before my departure. I biked to places I’d never known otherwise, such as thirty miles along the Clarence bike path. I biked along  the Erie Canal and across the Buffalo waterfront. I biked at the Peace bridge to Canada and came right back -but that’s another story.

The meet-up communities of New York are super active. The people of New York city are inventive and make things happen, such as obtaining permits for a safe workout, boot-camp style in Times Square!

It is Spring in New York.  I hope the rest of your week is full of energy and motivation!