New Yorkers Don’t Quit

<em>Light underground © Grace Cavallo</em>

Light underground © Grace Cavallo

I don’t often come through this subway station but the trains run wonky on weekends and I discovered (too late) that my normal train wasn’t running. It’s a long walk underground to connect with the in-service train, and I was pissed that I had to transfer and that it was making me late. As a New Yorker, subways are a huge part of my day-to-day, for better or worse. I don’t need no stinking Uber when I got an unlimited MetroCard!

I was barreling through, weaving my way in and out of slowpokes and mumbling under my breath about “Sunday drivers” as I came upon this seen. I am a sucker for light streaming in through unusual (or usual) places. I knew I was late, but how long does it really take to get my camera out, turn it on, and snap a picture? As I stood there weighing my options, clock ticking, slowpokes passing me by, I decide an extra 10 seconds is not gonna kill me. However, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, might.

I am not heading to the 23rd and 6th Avenue station today, even though I am almost out of eggs and plantain chips from Trader Joe’s. Besides Trader Joe’s, there is a Home Depot, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Harmon’s, the gym where I take yoga classes, and my camera shop. It is my spot—I am there more often than I care to admit. In fact, my #TodayinNY of the Siegel-Cooper building, which houses Bed, Bath, and Beyond was taken from there just this week. I found a wallet on the corner of 23rd and 7th Avenue a few weeks ago. I was able to return it to the rightful owner who was super-grateful, even though it had no money in it (I kept apologizing and saying, I swear, I am a good person and I found it that way). If I have to choose what street to walk down when I’m there I will always choose 23rd Street—it’s a main thoroughfare and it’s always full of people, no matter the time of day.

No, I’m not headed there today because I can’t—it’s CLOSED because some asshole decided to detonate a bomb there yesterday, and another one a few blocks away (that didn’t go off). Although 29 people were injured, it could have been much worse—as all reports indicate that the bombs “were built for carnage.” I can’t predict there will not be a homemade bomb the next time I do my food shopping, as much as I can’t predict an anvil won’t fall on my head as I’m walking down the street. Life is a crapshoot and I, along with my fellow New Yorkers, will continue to live it to the best of our ability #youlose #onward #TodayinNY

Supermoon Eclipse

Supermoon Eclipse

Pope Francis Arrives in New York City

Pope Francis Arrives in New York City
Pope Francis arrives in New York City. View from the Brooklyn Bridge.

Pope Francis arrives in New York City. View from the Brooklyn Bridge © Grace Cavallo

There is such a buzz in New York City, the East Coast, and perhaps the whole of America, surrounding the arrival of Pope Francis. I wouldn’t say that I’m a terribly religious person, but I come from a Colombian-Italian family (can’t get much more Catholic than that!) and I retain a certain peace and comfort in some of the traditions I grew up with. I still accompany my elderly aunt to church every Sunday, I “light candles” for my deceased loved ones, I “say grace” on occasion before meals, and I pray for guidance when I need it. And I can say that I have never been prouder to be a Catholic under the reign of Pope Francis, and especially during this papal visit. Watching the coverage of this event has been equal parts exciting, comforting, and inspirational. He is a welcome respite amidst the noise of mudslinging political debates and nonsensical agendas. He has been the voice of reason and an advocate for the common good and of “doing the right thing.” He’s discussed climate change, war, and the basic rights and freedoms of our people. His message is clear and simple—remember where you came from, be tolerant, and above all, be kind.

Hearing Pope Francis close with “God bless America” after each of his speeches has brought me to tears—even though it’s something we’ve grown up hearing, it has become a trite statement. But his delivery and the sincerity of his words is a great reassurance against the fear and uncertainty of our future, and a gentle reminder of the greatness of this country and the hope that it was built upon. But it’s not just his words that have resonated with me and so many, it’s watching him stop and interact with people on the street, especially children and the sick. It’s hearing him turn down dinner with politicians in favor of dining with the homeless. It’s listening to him say what’s right in favor of what’s popular.

I’ve heard people say many times over these past few days, “I am not a religious person but I love this pope.” And at the end of the day it’s because this really has nothing to do with religion; it has to do with being a decent and just human being. As my aunt always says, the best religion is simply to be a good person.

‪#‎PopeFrancisArrival‬ ‪#‎GodBlessAmerica‬ ‪#‎TodayinNY‬

Fourth of July

Fourth of July

 

 

 

 

Love is Love

It is an exciting time to be alive and to witness today’s historic event. The decision by the Supreme Court to allow gay marriage in the United States has erupted on social media with comments and opinions for and against this emotionally charged decision. My Facebook newsfeed has been on fire all day with coverage from the news media and with posts from elated friends and people I love who will finally have the opportunity to live their lives in this country as equals.

As many of you know I love taking pictures. I love New York. I love candid shots of people. I take a photo everyday of my travels and adventures called #TodayinNY or if I’m not in New York, #Todayin…whereverIhappentobe. It started as an attempt to show my love for New York City and the beauty I witness everyday. It is a lot of iconic buildings and general attempts at recording things I find interesting. It is a practice I try and stay loyal to, especially now that I think I have a modest (read small) following.

Interns running to deliver news on gay marriage legalization

Interns running to deliver news on gay marriage legalization

I am no Ansel Adams and my pictures are not the most technically flawless. I am not paid and I am not in it for the glory yet I take great pride in trying to get a decent shot everyday. It is a practice in gratitude, discipline, executive decision-making, passion, and believe it or not, hard work.

What I strive for and admire most in an image is one that says a lot with little or no explanation needed. There is nothing more powerful. I did not take this but this photo of the “running of the interns” captured today made me cry. The raw emotion and implication of it goes beyond words. Even though this is a practice that happens each time an important Supreme Court decision is passed down, I admit it is the first time I learned of it and, somehow, it seems to carry more weight.

In a world of technology overload, information saturation, and instant gratification there seems very little left in the way of good surprises. Remind me that if I ever have a baby that I will refrain from learning the sex beforehand so that someone will run from the delivery room with the same urgency to announce the momentous news to my waiting friends and family. Preferably, this will be performed by my smokin’ hot husband.

Tick-tock.

#Equality #LoveWins #JusticeLikeAThunderbolt #TodayinNY

My Year in Travel

It’s been over a year since I was laid off from my job as managing editor at American Express Publishing. It’s been a trying time both personally and professionally, filled with highs and many lows, laughter and heartache, self-discovery and uncertainty. Ultimately, I learned a lot about who I am and that a job does not need to define me. I learned that I am more creative than I ever knew and that it’s important for me to make room for creativity in my life. I learned that I am strong and determined and that I am not interested in just another “job” but rather, something that fulfills me. I feel blessed that I was able to take this time to figure it all out, and I am now on a path that feels right. In the meantime I’ve been reflecting on all I’ve accomplished during this journey and a lot of it involved, well, journeys. Some were road trips, short and sweet, and a few involved an airport, and always, my trusted camera…

Assateague Island, Maryland

Horses Beach Braids Fireworks

Portland and the Oregon Coast

Oregon shoreToes in the sandOregon beachFried chicken and egg on a biscuitPortland bar
Roses at International Rose Test Garden, Portland Ladies hat and waterfall, Portland Japanese Garden Winding path, Portland Japanese Garden

Colombia, South America

Colombian childrenColombian women and bicyclesColombian street sceneColombian man with fedora and shawlSopa con maizCalfClothes line

Sheep

Dirt road and stormy skyHearthColombian mountainsStreet, La Candelaria, Bogota, ColombiaPlaza with fountain, Bogota, ColombiaDogs playingVegetable stand, Bogota, ColombiaStreet art, Bogota, ColombiaClassic car, Bogota, Colombia
Cafe con lecheCachaco shoe shine, Bogota, ColombiaMen with caps, street art, Bogota, ColombiaAvianca, El Dorado International AirportHotel, Santa Marta, ColombiaBeach, Santa Marta, ColombiaPlaza, Santa Marta, ColombiaTile floorColonial street, Santa Marta, ColombiaPuppyBeach, Santa Marta, ColombiaSwirling seaClassic car, gas stationArepa con avena ColombianaMarket seller, Girardot, ColombiaMoraMarket sellers, Girardot, ColombiaOld man with cane, Girardot ColombiaClouds and mountains, ColombiaArtisanal sheep

Upstate New York

Autumn road Deer

Lewes, Delaware

Baby with flower cap

Dingmans Ferry, Pennsylvania

Silver Thread Falls sign winter Silver Thread Falls frozen Snowy forest, Silver Thread Falls Silver Thread Falls winter Twig in snow

Niagara Falls, New York

Danger sign, Niagara Falls Niagara Falls, winter Niagara Falls, frozen

Toronto, Canada

The Distillery, Toronto, CanadaYou seem familiar, New Yorker Cartoon CN Tower, Toronto, CanadaHey Meatball restaurantEaton Centre, Toronto, CanadaFreezing, Toronto beach in winter

The Palisades, New Jersey

Hawk flying over Hudson river Signs of spring, flower buds Felled log Women's Federation Monument Tunnel, Palisades, New Jersey

Rhinebeck and Saugerties, New York

Country Living Fair, Rhinebeck, NY Leslie's Hot Cakes truck Mason jar light Mother and babyKayaker, Saugerties, NYBuds Saugerties lighthouse patioRipped jeans and Converse

Palm Springs and Los Angeles, California

Palm tree, Palm Springs, CaliforniaDesert windmills Hat and planters, Palm SpringsJesus on the road, Los Angeles, CaliforniaFerris wheel, Santa Monica Pier, CaliforniaChevellePool, Los Angeles, CaliforniaPalm trees at dusk, Los Angeles, California Fingerling potatoes, Farmer's MarketPacific Palisades coast, California Malibu beachBeach sunset, Venice, California

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