the high line

the high line, nyc

One of the things on my list to do in New York was to visit The High Line. I've heard so much about it from blogger friends who live in the city and it did not disappoint. In fact, walking along The High Line as well as the Brooklyn Bridge were some of my favorite parts of the trip.

The High Line is a public park built along an old elevated freight train line on the lower west side of Manhattan. I love how you can get the best of both worlds up there, all that nature and the chance to see the cityscape without the busy streets. I was really impressed by how clean the park is and how the plants were designed to grow along the old train tracks. Definitely my kind of urban oasis! Here are some photos from our walk, all taken by my talented friend Mai.

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How beautiful are the gardens! My friend Wylla was especially smitten by these yellow ombre flowers. We talked to some of the gardeners there and found out that they are called foxtail lilies.  They also told us that most of the plants are perennials and were chosen for their diversity in blooms. Because of this, the gardens look different at certain days of the month or year.

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the high line, nyc

Taking a break on the benches with Mai and Wylla. I went to college with these ladies and its been a long time since I last saw them in person but when we get together, its almost like we're 19 again, talking non-stop and laughing over the crazy things that we did "back then".  Although they're both married with kids now, some things just never change and yes, that includes giggling over celebrity crushes. Ha!

All images taken by Mai Comeros Demeterio. You can see the rest of the photos here.

don't dream its over

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Its been 2 weeks since I got back from New York and I'm still trying to settle back to my routine. After days of constantly being surrounded by family and friends, it feels disconcerting to go back to my solitary ways again. It's funny because I'm always the one to crave my time alone and even prefer to travel by myself, but lately I've missing the constant chatter and craziness of doing things with the people close to me.

Or it could also be that I just miss the hustle and bustle of New York, its grittiness reminds me so much of the city where I grew up in Philippines. I spent most of the trip running all over the place (on very little sleep) and trying to cram as many things in a few days but it was strangely invigorating. I could definitely see myself living there, although I'm not sure if I can handle the winters because I am such a cold weather wuss.

I promised some New York stories, so here's one for you. On my way to JFK International Airport, my friend Neeha and I got off at the wrong subway station in Queens and ended up missing our shuttle. We were in a seedy part of town with no yellow taxis in sight and had no choice but to take one of those unmarked "gypsy" cabs parked by the station in order to catch my flight. It didn't occur to me how risky it was until we were already sitting inside his sedan and the driver was cutting through 3 lanes in a busy freeway. Neeha and I looked nervously at each other as if to say, "What were we thinking? He can take us anywhere (and other worst case scenarios)." Thankfully, we arrived safely at the airport but it was all we could do not to jump off the car as soon as we got there. Talk about scary!

Gypsy cab adventures aside, I really had a great time during my trip and can't wait to go back. It also made me realize how there's so many cities I want to visit and that I do need to travel more.

How about you, what have you been up to lately?

P.S. The post title is a nod to this song. I really like this version.

hello from nyc

new york public library

"The universe is made of stories, not of atoms."

I saw this epigraph on a sidewalk somewhere around the New York Public Library.  It is a line from Muriel Rukeyser's poetry book Speed of Darkness and I thought it very fitting for this city. I've only walked around for an afternoon and already saw so many stories happening all at once, it's so fascinating. Everyone seems to be walking with a purpose and although I initially felt overwhelmed by it all, I also felt inspired to sit somewhere and start writing down everything I see. I am definitely excited for more stories in the next couple of days.

I hope all is well with you.

Photo taken by me, via Instagram