Monthly Archives: February 2018
I took this picture a day when I was suppose to watch a screening for split. I was waiting flr my friends and once they go there we got on the line but unfortunately they had reached their maximum amount of people that they are allow to let inside. So we were giving a screening for the next day but the person had told us we can use it for four people when usually it only works for 2 people. The next day when we got to the movie theater again they wouldn’t let us inside. Since the guy was a different person as yesterday he didn’t believe us that we were told we could is it for four people, it wasn’t until one of my friends told him that “the bald guy from yesterday said we can use it for four” that they let us sign in and go into the movies. I have experienced something like this a lot, times when we were too late and there was no space left. But it’s a good opportunity when we do go in because it’s a free movie and we get to see it before everyone else.
Being from the Dominican Republic and having curly hair is not a good combination. I come from a country where even though more than half of our ethnicity is African, no one likes being called morena or black. These terms are generally considered negative, no matter how accurate they may be. Most people in my country categorize kinky hair as “bad hair,” and Dominicans are taught from an early age that their hair is “bad,” and it has to be “tamed.” We deny any connection to our African ancestry and claim to be descendants of Europeans.
For me, growing up like this all felt very unreasonable, as I did not understand what was wrong with my hair; I liked it the way it was: Curly and natural. However, when I turned ten, I began to see my older sister receive compliments from neighbors and family members whenever she would chemically straighten her hair. As I grew older, I inherited the same expectation.
At first, I was excited to get compliments like my sister would. So, my mom took me to a beauty parlor known for “taming bad hair,” and for making even the kinkiest hair straight. They processed my hair with many different chemicals, and it made my scalp burn. After that first time, it was mandatory for me to go to the beauty parlor every single weekend without fail; no one could see my hair curly anymore.
In 2013, my family moved to New York City and with the move came a great culture shock. Here, people were not openly judged by their skin color or hair type (At least not as much as they were back home in the Dominican Republic.) I saw so many women with huge kinky afros getting compliments from people on how beautiful and healthy their hair looked. It’s when I saw people for the first time in my life wanting to have curls that I realized that I did not appreciate my hair and that others made me hide something that I was born with: my hair type.
Every day in New York after I realized that all types of beauties are embraced started being way easier. By becoming a New Yorker, I realized that I could embrace my hair too and started wearing it out more often. This culturally diverse city made me realize that beauty comes in all sizes, shapes, and colors and that I have to love the things that make me who I am.
New York minute
Recently I saw a video by Nipsey hussle on the breakfast club. For those who those who don’t know who he is, he is a rapper from la area. He brought up the point that he is not a fan of “weirdo rappers” to which he continued to explain that weirdo rappers to him where the new rappers we have now. He said that he could relate to music he grew up listening too. Such as biggie, jayz and Tupac . He said that if you had no real men figure in your life you could listen to these men and turn out okay. In essence he said that the music we have now had no true message and lacks ins pertaining and integrity. I agree with him. It makes me sad that this is the music grew up listening to because I don’t want my children listening to this. It’s more noise then it is actual music and I very much so enjoy it . It isn’t quality music in my opinion. Real music evokes emotion whether it be good or bad.
I also feel like music is a reflection of the time period it was made. Truthfully speaking my generation has the worst music by far. Is this music really a reflection of us and who we are as individuals.
This photograph was taken at the Fulton Street train stop on the A, 4, 5, 6, line. This stop in particular is close to the World Trade Center. What I want to share about this particular spot is that this is where a woman on the train was looking to arrive while on the R train heading to Brooklyn. She looked lost, confused and took the chance to ask another woman on the train for directions in Spanish. As I’ve said in class, I tend to stay out of these New York moments because my thick-skinned self would rather not. However…I thought of how my mom barely lets her chancla touch a train car. Not to mention how lost she would be if she had to take the MTA alone. The woman, with her two children at her hips had told her if she takes the E train or this train to Cortlandt Street she would arrive just fine. After some reluctance, I spoke up and asked her what the problem was. After explaining to her that the directions given to her by the mother were correct, she had simply denied our claims. It had us both dumbfounded, and left us thinking; why would you ask for directions if you claim to know where it is? 5 minutes later, she gets off at Prince Street. Next thing I know, me and this mother are talking about how ridiculous it was to ask for our help to tell us we are incorrect. Then I thought of my Mom, and how she, being the stubborn woman that she is, would probably do the same to practically anyone especially me. It was enlightening to see myself connect with a total stranger for brief moment, whilst having her wish me a safe travel home from Baruch. I later got off at City Hall, and looked to the left seeing the World Trade Center close by, and wondered if she made it to her destination safely.
This is where I walk everyday to get to the train station. I’ve seen this view in the early morning, afternoon and late at night. I like walking her because it is some what isolated and it helps me to think about important things that might have been bothering me through the day. As you see in the picture there is a walkway but before there wasn’t any it was just the street. I’ve seen this street remodel and the street has seen me grow. I’ve been walking here for around 5 years now.
The Met Cloisters is a museum located in Fort Tryon Park, Upper Manhattan. This impressive museum has a view to the Hudson River, and its mainly dedicated to celebrating European medieval architecture. The museum has been constructed from French Monasteries and Abbeys that were brought in pieces from Europe and rebuilt in the upper level of the Park. This amazing museum has the power to transport you to medieval Europe while having your feet in New York. There are many pieces of art in the museum to appreciate such as Romanesque style arcs which combines ancient Roman and Byzantine architecture.There are many different sculptures of saints, The Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ, and real mummies. The most interesting piece of art that I believe everyone should go see is “The Unicorn.” It is a series of hangings that were made between 1495-1505. They believe that Anne, Queen of Great Britain asked someone to make this for her husband Louis XII, king of France. These pieces portray a group of nobles and hunters trying to hunt a unicorn. There are many ways to interpret these pieces of art, but my interpretation after talking to some staff of the museum is that they are narrating the unicorn’s death as the Passion of Jesus. The woman depicted as taming the unicorn can be interpreted as the mother of Jesus, The Virgin. The wanted unicorn can be seen as Jesus who is being hunted by the Romans who were looking for Jesus everywhere to crucify him. To conclude, there are many exciting things to observe at the Cloisters museum. There is a variety of interesting artwork that can teach you about medieval Europe.. It is nice to learn about history, and exploring this hidden museum in Washington Heights is one way of doing so.
oh what memories. Looking at this you can automatically tell you are in NYC. I remember about 4 years ago I would walk around kicking these bikes to see which ones would come out. It was a bad thing but I was young and dumb. Out of every bike parking lane there had to be at least one that would come out when you kicked it. Thankfully I never got caught. I mean there are other bikes accessible to the public in different states, but the city bike is only in the big CITY. Not only do you always see these walking in the city, but it’s a big symbol. When you are in a city and you see one of these bikes, you already know it’s a big busy city where you need to get around quick and easily. Things like these bikes and the halal carts are really the heart of the city. Small things also like the dirty railroads of the MTA, and the packed streets, and rude people. This all makes up NYC.
The Bronx Zoo is a place that anyone who has the pleasure of living in NYC has to go to. Recently, I found out that many New Yorkers haven’t visited the Bronx Zoo or even know that it existed. The Bronx Zoo, according to many zoo rankings, ranks in the top 10 best zoos in america. This zoo has almost any animal you can think of, and guess what? It’s free on Wednesdays. Not only that but it is very inexpensive for a zoo of this caliber. This zoo is home to more than 4,000 animals of 650 different species. Fun Fact: Tracy Morgan, very popular comedian, owns bought the zoo back in 2015. While zoos are extremely controversial in today’s culture, it is important to understand the significance of zoos like the Bronx Zoo, which gives their animals a very large area to roam, and promote the growth of species that are nearing extinction. I’ve gone to the zoo probably a dozen times at this point. Whether it was for field trips, or because my friends wanted to go. Something I cannot say even after numerous visits is that the Bronx Zoo is stale or boring. The Bronx Zoo is extremely fun and it’s much better going with friends. The food there varies from good to great depending on the occasion as well. There is something for everyone at this zoo. I rate the experience a 8.5/10. The only thing I don’t like about the zoo is the smell, but I mean it IS a zoo right? I highly recommend going if you haven’t.
A few days after our last class it struck me: we really are alienated from each other in New York. I did some browsing and saw that it was an actual consensus that New York was a city in which strangers generally remained alienated. I even found out that amongst our many titles, “The Lonely City” is one that no one talks about. But why are we so filled with people yet no one really knows each other? After thinking about it for some time, I believe that it could do with how people don’t want to burden themselves with keeping a large group of people happy, or satisfied. This is because there is a strong sense of work yourself to near death culture in this community. How much harder would like be if you had to talk to every single person you saw and also keep in touch to make sure they are doing fine? In a small community this may be much easier as there is a much smaller group to deal with and that leads us to our “blocks”. In our blocks, most of us know the bodega cook, and some of the elders in the community. We know the kids that run around and cause trouble, and don’t. We know who’s who and how they are like. So I believe that while New York may be “The Lonely City”, it may not be nearly alienating as people may think.
This is about the halal carts we have here in NYC. I’m pretty sure NYC is known for many things and one of those is the halal carts/food. If you are in the city no matter where you go you will find a halal cart on the corner. And most of them will look like that. Don’t get me wrong there are many types of carts in other states. I’ve been to many different states, and there is always a food cart different kind of foods. But I never really noticed a Halal food cart anywhere other than nyc and some in Washington. Many of my friends who come from out of state always tell me they want to go to the city so they can get their habibi food. Most of the time it’s a simple 5-dollar chicken and rice that will fill you up for lunch. I don’t get chicken only, I get both chicken and lamb with rice. Every time I see these carts I always think of why there’re not many outside the state of nyc. I was in 3 different countries this past break and none of them even had ANY food or vending carts outside on the streets. Is it a NYC thing or an American thing? I know definitely halal is a nyc thing. I’m pretty sure almost every one of our friends living in NYC now has had one before. I even come to develop good relationships with the carts near my neighborhood because I am always coming to them and buying food several times a month. I guess if one day all the halal food carts disappeared, people in the city will actually feel some type of way because they became a part of our daily lives and/or lunches. It sounds kind of dumb but it’s true. You always know that cart is outside whenever you’re hungry, no matter rain, snow, cold, or if it’s a holiday. One story I always remember when I pass by one, is when I was 15 years old in times square with a couple of friends, we ordered total of 10 chicken over rice’s, and in the end my friend told me that he didn’t put enough chicken in all of them so, I told them it’s not worth it and we ended up walking away. Only now did I realize how messed up that was.