Tag Archives: New York

Why?

Whoa.

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It is day two of our return from the big apple. I still cannot believe how quickly time flew by.

I have been thinking about my first day. I have even thought about my first blog post, my first written record of my city adventure. I remember how I struggled with New York Universities wifi, annoyed by the fact that not only I could complete my work, but I could not post images on Facebook. I finally connected and became tremendously excited. However, even though I have written several posts over the last three weeks, I failed to mention something that has developed in my mind since the beginning.

I began the trip with everyone believing I was an English major because I was taking both the ITDS class (which my fellow peers thought was English) and the photography class. All of the students who joined me on the trip assumed my major to be English. They soon found out I am an Exercise Science major and an Art minor.

Throughout the journey I began to think about my “why” for Exercise Science as a major. I compiled a list of reasons in my head.

• I want to become a Physical Therapist.
• Physical Therapy is a stable career choice.
• There is a high calling for individuals in the medical field.
• I enjoy helping and serving others while making their day.
• Stable income.

I believe these reasons are genuine and honest. I remember breaking my ankle in 10th grade. I was at a friend’s birthday party and landed wrong after trying to catch a football. I went through surgery and months later began my venture into physical therapy. After my first visit I could not wait to go back. The people there were amazing and I could see the progress in my ankle after every visit. I went from a weird feeling of never being able to play sports or participate in active activities again, to running cross country and playing soccer the next semester.

My inspiration grew and I dove into this new found career headfirst.

I had second thoughts about my major when I found decided on an Art minor. I became (and still am) more excited about my art and photography classes than any other class.

Throughout the trip I have really thought about whether to change my major to art or not. I love being creative and photography is my greatest passion. I believe what is holding me back is the risk of taking the leap into something unknown. However, sometimes, it is the leap of faith that provides the greatest success.

Much Love,
Nathan

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Free in NYC

I have a free day to do basically whatever I choose. For some reason I am simply choosing to relax in my room and listen to music while getting some work done. I was going to go hang out and explore New York some more. However, I find myself wanting to just chill. I have this weird urge to go to the top of the rock and record lip-sync video.

While contemplating my options, I started to clean my room. It was decently dirty. I was attempting to create a homier atmosphere and I feel as if I did a decent job. I guess it got out of hand. I almost subconsciously began packing because I cannot stop thinking about the fact that we are leaving in three days. Three days. We only have two more days of adventure.

*As you read and examine the following words and images, be sure to press the play button underneath this sentence.

I am listening to the classical for studying radio on Pandora Internet Radio and they are playing songs such as “Breathe” by Greg Maroney and “Schindler’s List, Film Score” by John Williams. I am writing this blog post in the strange depressing ambiance that I am weirdly enjoying. I think it is humorous. I wanted to accompany this post with images and audio in attempt to convey my homey atmosphere and interesting ambiance to you.

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Already, I preview each photo, remembering each and every photo as a memory I will forever treasure. Some of the objects in each image represent a new adventure I participated in during the trip. I bought the New York hat from a street vendor, along with some Ray Ban Clubmaster look-a-likes. Those stuffed super heroes were bravely earned through much hard ache and pain. AN addicting game at Luna Park on Coney Island sucked us in and we played until we ran out of points.

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Even if there are images in which embody some of my personal belongings I brought, I remember each and every reason why I used them. Above is a New York University shirt I purchased from their bookstore.

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I brought this notebook from home and only used it during the first day of English class in Washington Square Park.

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Here are my newly folded clothes after cleaning my dorm room. This particular moment brought sadness because I was basically cleaning to prepare myself for the move-out on Saturday. Less work for me to do then.

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My laptop is placed on my temporary workstation next to my phone and self-made MP3 player. I just personalized a screensaver to showcase recent images from the trip so far.

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This is my place of rest at night. It embodies both a part of New York and Georgia by combining my own comforter with a pillow purchased from a Kmart here in New York.

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This image holds much history. The SD camera cards embrace thousands of defining moments in my New York City experience. The bow tie is an artifact resembling my once in a lifetime ballet experience. My sunglasses case in the background remains the only evidence of my lost shades.

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Both my old and new metro cards. I only forgot it twice, both times took place yesterday in fact. It is amazing that I have not lost that stupid little dorm key yet.

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Those wonderful Starbucks mints are amazing. I bought them for a specific purpose.

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This last image is not last for any particular reason. However, I find it humorous that the trashcan happened to end the post. Perhaps I will talk about the trash can another day.

Much Love,
Nathan

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Slow Down the Time

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No! I cannot believe this is our last week in New York City! I am devastated. This place is truly amazing. I look upon the last two weeks wondering how time flew by so fast, wishing time would slow down for this last week. We leave Saturday, June 14. I guess we have quite a few more days. I still need to visit so many places. We have participated in a HUGE variety of activities including:

– Bus Tours
– Boat Tours
– Class in the park
– Tenement Museum
– Empire State building during the day and night
– The Metropolitan Museum of Art
– The Guggenheim
– The Museum of Modern Art
– The Blue Note
– Tour of Brooklyn
– Numerous amazing art galleries
– The Highline

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– Statue of Liberty
– Ellis Island
– Photographer Documentary (film)
– The Cloisters
– American Museum of Natural History
– Off Broadway musical, Avenue Q
– The Frick
– Coney Island Beach
– Coney Island Luna Park
– Central Park
– Little Italy
– Chinatown
– Harlem Tour
– Late night Harlem Shakes
– ?uestlove
– International Center of Photography
– New York Public Library
– And tonight, a Ballet (Cinderella)

All of these experiences have been unforgettable. They have been truly remarkable adventures I have had the pleasure to share with all of my newfound friends.

I left the computer a bit and after a brief moment I suddenly discovered a possible motive behind my reasoning for loving this place so much. I think with any vacation, you get the best possible experience (generally) and always consider a possible move. Once you realize the reality, you begin to understand that once you get to your dream location of living, it is not always fun and games. At home, we all have responsibilities whether it is work, school, or both. Sometimes it is difficult to notice when you are consistently participating in excitable activities and embarking on one adventure after the next. If an individual such as me were to move here, I would notice a shift in my love for the city. As we discussed today in class, individuals strolling down New York City’s streets usually tend to gaze straight ahead, ignoring my genuine smile. I would be working hard to ensure a place of living. I would not necessarily have time for the exhilarating voyages we have all experienced so far.

I am especially excited because we still have a few more days to expand our horizons. I am desperately attempting not to think about the flight home. I want to enjoy and savor our last few moments here in the Big Apple. I cannot wait to write about the next three days as I know something extraordinary will be experienced.

Much Love,
Nathan

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Attending church service on Sunday

I originally have catholic religion. But recently, I attended various church services, and every service I attended had different characteristics.

Yesterday morning, I went to the church with Lindsay, Professor George and a friend of professor (I’m sorry for not specifying the name on here..).The weather was great, and the location of church was so close from our dorm, gladly. It was a service for kids. We sang the hymns, heard a sermon. It was so interesting because kids were showing their talents during the service. Every time their small performance ended, people gave a big applause for the kids. It was especially moving, since their sound of music was so innocent and unaffected though they made small mistakes. I could see that parents are really paying attention to their children’s specialties and trying to develop their musical, cultural refinements. I feel so sad when seeing parents disregarding their children’s genuine values.  I think that every kids’ talents are so special and have to be appreciated properly.

Kid’s small performance in the service reminded me of my parents. My mother used to ‘force’ me to go to the piano academy when I was a kid and I always grunted for that, because piano teacher was so strict and I was scared of that. After all, I become adjusted to play the piano, then my mother sent me to the priest and the organ instructor, and I played the organ in the Catholic church for a long period of time. Never yielding for that, my mom let me sing a soliste part in the church chorus in the special occasions. Back then, I was lazy, grumbling kid who didn’t want to go to church on weekend. I always complained to my mom. And now, I’m so regretting about my immature behavior and grateful to my parents for letting me sing a song and play the musical instrument in front of public.

Back to the point, after the kid’s cute play, I heard a preach. As noticed before, it was about southern writers. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get to his preach perfectly, but he complimented southern writers’ significant works recorded in American literature history arranging the names of many important southern writers without breathing space. It was impressive because the preach wasn’t only about the god, but about cultural, literary theme.

I heard that there are many kinds among protestant church, and I wondered what branch does this church belong to. However, that’s not important at all. It only matters if we live a good life in a good way… In fact, religious subjects are so immense and controversial that I do not dare to mention about …

 

 

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Thank you to professor for having me wonderful experience at church.

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Are you okay?

Two days ago, I went to lunch in the New York University dining hall with a few of my classmates. After they left I stayed to work on a few assignments. The struggle was very real.

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There was a girl who was walking behind our group earlier. She moved from her seat behind us (now me) to the booth next to mine. She carried with her a plate of French fries with mayonnaise along the side and a backpack holding her laptop. I continued my work as I myself scattered my belongings on the booth table. I had my camera, laptop, and 3 plates of wonderful food. After a brief moment of much needed silence, I heard chomp. Chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp. Slurp. Chomp, smack, gulp. OH MY GOSH. I looked up to see this same girl engulfing her french fries like she has never consumed a morsel of food in her life. I could not believe my eyes. I tried to focus on my work and could not help but to be interrupted by this never-ending sound, chomp.

She finally released her seat, leaving her backpack but grasping the now empty plates in her hand. I became the epitome of happiness as I watched her walk away, thinking she was about to leave. Oh how wrong I was. I simply got used to the peaceful sounds of nothing. I was able to work without interruption for about five minutes. I wondered where she went because she left her backpack sitting in the chair without worry.

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She returned professionally balancing three enormous plates of food. I waited for someone to sit with her. They never came. One plate was packed with what looked like 6 pieces of full-sized grilled chicken. On the second plate housed at least 3 handfuls of French fries with a separate mini-plate for mayonnaise. The third encompassed several waffles stacked on top of each other with ice cream dripping down the sides. She submerged her face into these plates.

After she left the third time, I sat curiously wondering if she would return with additional food because she once again left her backpack sitting on the booth. She returned carrying two more plates filled with fries and goodies from the dessert bar. At this point I was becoming concerned and contemplated asking if she was okay. Instead, I figured she was just really hungry.

Much Love (to her at least),
Nathan

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Cultural Exports (or: A Tale of Two Cities, Part Two)

In case you don't recognize them, those are collard greens--that were offered cold on a salad bar.

In case you don’t recognize them, those are collard greens to the right–they were cold, an addition to the salad bar.

Remember I said that thing about missing home and seeing it everywhere? Maybe it’s that I look for it everywhere. Even before I got here, I started looking for it. While I’m from South Carolina and I currently live in Georgia, I spent seven formative years in South Louisiana getting my Ph.D. at LSU. Sure, I left there, but somehow I didn’t really leave there—LA is in my heart, especially New Orleans. Part of the reason for that is because I love the music so much. So, when I saw that Kermit Ruffins was playing at the Brooklyn Bowl on the first Saturday after my arrival, it was a no-brainer—I bought my ticket straight away.

But, as should be expected, I didn’t just go dance the night away and lose myself in the music. I reflected (ah, the life of an academic—unable to NOT reflect). And what I reflected on this time was the exportation of southern culture, which seems to be in line with the trip theme of “Southern writers in New York.” Some might argue that Kermit Ruffins is the essence of popular New Orleans music these days, and some—like me—might argue that New Orleans music is the essence of southern music. So, when I got to the Brooklyn Bowl and saw lines outside the door, I was heartened. When I talked to some folks outside who were jazzed (excuse the punny phrasing) to see Kermit play, I was moved that so many others appreciated the music from my “heart” city of New Orleans.

And then someone asked me if I’d tried the fried chicken at Brooklyn Bowl because they are known for their fried chicken.

I don’t know why that simple question set me off thinking, but it did. I wanted to answer that just about everybody I know fries up his/her own chicken with a special recipe and that there are probably 20 or more restaurants that serve the “best” fried chicken in the town where I live. I started to feel like I was in a place where fried chicken and traditional jazz were exotic. I started to think that maybe these folks were fetishizing the South, coming to Brooklyn to eat fried chicken and dance and sing along to “Marie” as if they were in New Orleans or some other Southern locale. Somehow, it also felt a little unfair that they only experienced the best aspects of the culture without understanding how the centuries of violence and oppression came to inform these aspects. When you live in the South, it is much harder to ignore that history and its reverberations. In some ways, I could connect this experience to the Kara Walker installation—there was a strangely discomforting distance between art and audience.

But maybe that’s just the way—art cannot create authenticity for us; it is, after all, artifice. Maybe I should be happy that people are just searching for a hip Southern experience, that they want to eat southern food and see Kermit Ruffins (because there are plenty of Southerners who don’t want to celebrate our rich culture). Still, I left a little disappointed because seeing Kermit in Brooklyn is not anything like seeing New Orleans music in New Orleans. The place is intrinsic to the culture—the music and everything else—and there’s a spirit that is not transportable. As Tom Piazza (a native New Yorker) writes in his memoir, Why New Orleans Matters, “New Orleanians are attached to tradition, which is fused to a sense of place, to the ground itself…” (104). Much of this “tradition” is also born from the horrifying and complicated history of the region. So, if you’re seeking New Orleans culture or Southern culture of any kind, it’s best to just go there and dance in place, listen for the reverb, and maybe even fry your own chicken.

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First week in NY

Time flies. It’s been 5 days since I arrived in New York. The place we’re staying is almost perfect to go around New York city. New York University dormitory is located in the center of New York City. I only stayed in Columbus GA before going to New York in America. Columbus and New York was so different. I cannot say which place is better. But obviously, unlike in Columbus, I could go anywhere with subway in New York. And New York, is so crowded with people and dogs.

From Monday to Friday, I’ve been to many different museums and famous spots in New York. The first place I wanted to go was the top of the Empire State Building which represents New York city with the Statue of Liberty. We cannot imagine New York without recalling Empire State Building. Many movies and songs admires this building, bringing fantasies to many people. My father went to the building 30 years ago. Even though the building was built so long time ago, the meaning  and symbolism which the building possesses is still undiminished, hardened by its history. On the top of the building, I could see the whole view of New York. I also want to see the night view as well sometime later.

I’ve been to 4 different museums and each places gave me different inspirations. In the Guggenheim museum, I could see lot of artistic works of Italian Futurism. Not being satisfied to describe past and present, many artists headed by Italians started to seek and observe future area.  Through their works, I could see how artists in early 20th anticipated their next generation and struggled to create new worlds of art. New attempts are reflected in their paintings, pictures and music. Surprisingly, the future they struggled to expect was partially became realized in our current lives.

The Met(Metropolitan Museum) was the biggest museum that I’ve ever been. The scale of museum was amazing as its name shows. In Met, each different section classified as age and region showed different beauty of arts. I cannot tell which section is the most beautiful. I realized that every culture has its own beauty and every part of these has to be equally appreciated. I learned how preservation and appreciation of past tradition  is important even though the world is becoming globalized and uniformed.

In Moma(Modern art museum), every art works around the world in modern period were being exhibited. From Vincent van Gogh to Monet, I could see every famous masterpieces that I’ve only seen in the textbook when I was in middle and high school. I took a lot of photos of these works.

 

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