And I Wander

The birds chirp at this side of the world. :)

SAVAGE BEAUTY

.baltimore.maryland.usa.

One of the highlights of my New York trip with Spidey: visiting Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (an exhibit of almost a hundred of McQueens collections which will go on until July 31, 2011).

* photos from the internet

Leaving the steps of the museum, I was filled with all sorts of emotions. They had virtually captured a bit of the essence of every McQueen show. I have loved him not so much as his creations but as what those provoke inside me. Everyone can put together things and call it a creation or art. But what separates a genius or a great artist from everyone else is something greater than what is seen or heard: it is what happens when you’re not looking at it anymore, what has stuck in you when you go home or walk in the park, what it stirs in your head, what it breaks in your heart, how it drives you in certain kind of high or madness. And he does that to me… Or is it because I am mad like him? 😀

“Despite the commercial aspirations of the show — “Savage Beauty” was funded almost entirely by the label whose clothing it features — it is nevertheless difficult to look at a single one of the designs without being mesmerized, intrigued, or provoked into some response, oftentimes confusion. No designer has better embodied Yves Saint Laurent‘s incisive dictum that while fashion is not exactly art, it requires the creativity of an artist in order to exist. McQueen’s originality and genius derived from the fact that his tremendous talent as a designer was matched by his capacity as an artist. “

This is my favorite. (Spring/Summer 2001) There was this huge 2-way mirror box. The audience was reflected on the mirror. There were these beautiful models walking around in the room. Then a conventionally ugly woman was revealed. It was trying to say that beauty comes not from the outside but from within. Since it was shown as a loop, as soon as the woman was revealed, it went back to a mirror reflecting us. I saw myself… as if trying to ask, Now where is that beauty within you?

Alexander McQueen:
“I am a romantic schizophrenic.”
“I oscillate between life & death, happiness & sadness, good & evil.”
“I want to empower women. I want people to be afraid of the women I dress.”
“You’ve got to know the rules to break them. That’s what I’m here for, to demolish the rules but to keep the tradition.”

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May 23, 2011 Posted by | Blogroll, New York, travels | Leave a comment

SIDETRIPS

.baltimore.maryland.usa.

I am currently in this part of the America that is frequently covered with clouds lately. But for a day, the sun had peeked and we were able to do the DC tour & take lotsa lotsa photos. Myrene (Spidey’s cousin, and my batchmate in MC) is a camwhore… and I love it! Coz finally, Spidey & I have more photos together. (Fact: Spidey hates having his photo taken. Proof: In most, if not all, of his photos with Allstars, he is either flashing a poker face at the back, or is missing.) Yesterday, we hung out at the Inner Harbor in Downtown Baltimore. We went up these semi-steep stairs that led to a hill that had a sweeping view of the city skyline & seaport. It was so beautiful albeit the absence of sunlight.

Tonight, we are going back to Jersey to catch a plane back to L.A. This has been a woderful wonderful week for me filled with walking & walking & walking! (How many W’s was that? 7!) I think this is the longest walk I have ever done in my entire life! I am tracing it back to our weekend in Vegas:

  • While the boys “deposited” money in the casino, us girls (my sister Rio, Myra & Manresa) with the babies hiked the not-so-hot-yet-at-this-time-of-year Strip going from Luxor to Excalibur to MGM to our destination M&Ms building (all these for the kids, ya hear?)… and then back.
  • Days later, I was walking the rainy streets of New York with my Spidey, Reflex & Liana.
  • The next day, the sun had paid us a visit, and so Spidey & I walked around the city for almost 10 hours! Central Park (HHWWPSSP… for those who don’t know, that means “holding hands while walking pa-sway sway pa! Haha!) => Meatpacking (when we looked for that “nice” resto Sheena suggested we eat in, but she gave us the wrong address, thank God for GPS on my BB) => Brooklyn looking for that club & searching for Sheena when we thought that we lost her coz her freakin’ phone died => Times Square (where we stayed til 4am talking about things that reminded us of those glorious times, how it can never be experienced/understood by anyone else but us, conversing with a deaf alien sighting, debating about the end of the world, and listening to a rap by a drugged “OG” who hates Bin Laden => Port Authority Bus Terminal where we had to catch a bus back to Jersey where we’re staying only to find out that the first trip is at 7:20am (and so Spidey & I had to wait there for 2 hours).
  • Two days later, in DC, even with the tour bus around, we still had to walk around the area coz our freakin’ bus always takes a long time to arrive at the stops.
  • And then the next day, though not that long a walk, we had to climb those stairs at Harbor Square.

Wow walking in 4 cities… and now my bum is bigger! 😉

May 23, 2011 Posted by | Blogroll, interests, New York, travels | Leave a comment

THE BIG CITY

.sylmar.california.usa.

My idea of NY before was this concrete wilderness that is sooo alien to me. Like going there would require a great leap of faith, a fashion sense (coz I don’t have one ha-ha!), and… moolah. Kasalanan ng movies and SITC. Back in 2007, I was caught in a major dilemma that I didn’t want to face… I wanted to run away. And yes, I wanted to go to NY. To throw myself to its jungle head-on so that I can maybe straighten myself up by just being there. But I didn’t have the money, ha-ha! So pffft went my hiatus.

Last year, I was flown to NY for free… and with a sizable allowance …and accommodations in a 5-star hotel near Central Park! For a week, I lived, ate, slept & breathed New York! And in that city where it all started, I was given a Hip Hop tour (sponsored by Kennedy Center). I, together with the other participants of the Hip Hop Program, was brought to a jam in the Bronx, a workshop with bboy Kwikstep, watched “Stomp,” attended a Sugar Hill Gang Concert & watched a bboy battle. It was one of the best experiences of my life!  That time, I never spoke or uttered any single Tagalog word coz I never bumped into any Filipino. I have not eaten any Filipino food, too. My staple food consisted of microwavable pasta & rice, bread and egg… I have experienced walking around Manhattan people-watching, window shopping, getting lost, at daytime & at night.

I found out that it is a big, friendly city after all.

This year, I passed by the city from Canada (where Allstars had a concert) before going home to California. Sheena, Knowa, Flave & I took a 12-hour bus ride from Toronto. I wasn’t planning on going there if it was not for Sheena (It was her lifelong dream to go to NY!) & the classes that I wanted to take at BDC. It was a different NY experience this time coz we stayed at Queens where a lot of Filipinos live (Hey, there’s a Jollibee there!). I didn’t feel like a tourist anymore coz 1st, I have been there before. 2nd, I have no camera. You know you’re a tourist when you take pictures of every place & everything you do. You take a picture with a Hooters waitress, you take a photo of the Empire State that’s 20 blocks away, you ask someone to take a photo of you in the subway or a bus or under a tree. Heck, you take a picture of the food you ate or a squirrel that you have seen for the first time that is not a cartoon (Yes I did that heehee!).

Sheena had a camera though so we had pictures! And this is me on the subway:

And with an army jeep (I LOVE JEEPS! It is my dream to own one!):

Most of the time, we were on a quest for a certain food. Like one time, Knowa wanted us to taste the “best pizza in NY.” It was near his college. When we got to his college, he couldn’t find it. We must have walked around 10 blocks until 2 students helped us. And viola, we found it!

It’s called Frank’s Pizza Express! The pizza tasted really good! “It’s the sauce,” Knowa would excitedly chime in, pointing to his pizza. Yep. It’s the sauce guys. Try it! 😀

We had other quests for food like the famous chicken & rice at 53rd & 6th St., and the Pomme Frites Belgian fries. I just realized that the one common thing about all those food that we ate was the sauce. Yes people, IT’S THE SAUCE! The pizza sauce with real tomato of Frank’s Pizza, the white and add-to-your-discretion hot sauce of Halal Carts, and the different dips of Pommes Frites like the ones I loved such as the mango chutney & pomegranate. Yum!

One night Aus invited us to come to Sin Sin. It was refreshing to see a dance floor brimming with really good dancers! Just like myself, they were there to dance & not drink, or mingle, or make pa-cute. Hehe! There was this group of girls, ang gagaling talaga nila. I never saw any of them hold a liquor bottle. They left the bar after they got tired… There were also old people dancing. There was this white guy in his late 50s doing some weirdo steps. He would come up to every one as if scaring them then he’d go down the floor and do floor works! Nakakatuwa. And Aus was there with friends doing waacking & vogueing. Woooot!

One day, I went to the city alone. We had stayed at Knowa’s dad’s place at Queens. To go to the city (Manhattan) from their place, you have to take a bus & subway.  Knowa was so nice to drop me off to the nearest train station though. So I just took the subway by myself. It would be approximately a 30minute ride to the city. But I got off the train earlier. I came from F train’s last stop 179th and should be getting off 42nd. But I noticed that after 60th, we were at 36th already. I thought I missed my stop. So I got off. Ha-ha! Wala pa pala sa city, I was at Queens pa rin. It was 15minutes later that I emerged at Times Square. :p Ang saya mawala!

It is not easy to get lost in New York streets coz of its grid system, unless you’d forget how to count. But depending on your state of mind, it is easy to get lost and fall in love with the city. I was there walking around, without a cell phone, a car key or my own house key. Armed only with my sneakers, a subway unlimited pass & a bottled water, I knew I would survive there. I have said (on my Facebook wall) that “every Manila girl can survive in this big city.” But it really depends. Filipinos, despite the disorder of the system & unstructured way of living, are very much pampered. Sometimes we get spoonfed on how to live, are laid out a blueprint of what directions to take, and in most cases, some of us live off our parents’ retirement benefits, even still live in their houses even if we already have our own family. There are only a few individuals who would bravely flee out of their comfort zones in search of their own independence &, well, their own mark in this huge huge world. Those are the people that can survive in NY.

I myself instantly felt at home. As I’ve said, I thrive on the chaos & disorder of Manila. I live off the noise which calms me. I crave for the fast-paced flurry of people which somehow makes me lie back & just spectate. The extreme differences in its architecture, the heterogeneity of people provide sensory overload that pacifies me… Coz in this city, more than what Manila can give, I can be in my own world. People just let you be… Unlike in Manila, if you go out by yourself, watch a movie, or go to the malls, people would look at you weird, worst they’d think “Kawawa naman walang kasama.” Don’t get me wrong. I like how people-oriented our people are. It’s just me, coz I am really a loner by nature. And in NY, I do not feel sooo alone in being alone. 🙂

Now I am back in California. Sheena is still there living her dreams. I know, with the situation I am in, having my own family, and a huge responsibility to my group, living there is not an option anymore. I can just only live vicariously through my girl Sheena & hope that she can reach her full potential & reach the height of her nigga-ness in the city that will surely nuture her strong spirit.

Besides, there are still more cities in the world that I can’t wait to visit. Ciao ciao! 🙂

July 7, 2010 Posted by | Blogroll, New York, travels | 2 Comments

   

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