Monthly Archives: November 2015

Time Stopping Thursdays: NY Parade Balloons

Yesterday I took advantage of early holiday leave time and did something after work I have been wanting to do for years. I went to see the inflation of the Thanksgiving Parade balloons on 81st Street and Central Park West.

As a native New Yorker, I have never been to the actually parade and have never wanted to but from the first time I saw a photo someone took years ago (maybe my dad’s?) of the balloons on the ground being inflated at night, I had it filed it away in my head as something I always wanted to check out. It’s the surreal feeling of being so close to things so large and colorful that injected me with a shot of pure childlike awe. And it was everything I expected and more.

I was amazed at how easy it was to get to. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I got the directions from a friend/co-worker before I left and I just followed them. There were already droves of families in the train car on their way so I figured I’d just follow them.

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Night Fury from “How to Tame your Dragon”

You see the first balloon before you even emerge at the top of the subway staircase! They’re all lined up across from the Museum of Natural History. I was just….a kid. My mouth fell open several times as I uttered the word wow to myself over and over. How had I waited so long to do this? The weather was perfect, the light was perfect and warm classical holiday music was being piped through speakers for the masses. I ate it all up. I needed it. I took a bunch of photos before my phone battery died just as I got to the last balloon in the line. But it was okay. I was just so happy to do something I had wanted to do for so long and that it was so incredibly energizing and fun and that anyone in New York can do! It was just what I needed to temporarily offset the sadness and shock of violence and terror that has been rocking our world lately.

I just needed to feel a moment of pure wonder and joy, instead of fear, anger and frustration.

Despite everything, I really do love New York.

 

 

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This Blog Entry is About Drake…

Soooooo…if it hasn’t become obvious as yet, I like Drake.

A lot.

It’s rare that people “call me on my cell phone” and leave a message but when they do they hear my recorded voicemail announcement that I’m away because I’m probably listening to a Drake song. Which is more likely than not to actually be true at least half the time.

I guess I’m more out about my Drake love on other forms of social media than I am here at Urban Eve. I did write a article on Medium where I mentioned that I like his work but the truth is I have been listening to Drake albums for damn near months now. Listening to his collaborations, listening to his stories, listening to the sounds he makes, to his values, his emotions, his rythyms, his hooks, his hang ups, his devotions, his loyalty, his shout outs, his nastiness, his cock-suredness.

I get bored easily, and I’m not sick of Drake yet.

I’ve been steadily enjoying the free three month trial of Apple music so I’ve been on a Drake joy ride for some time. I’m not saying that all I do is listen to Drake but I do buy a new song to add to my Drake playlist like every other week. Because I like the way Drake makes me feel and I know that when I want to feel a certain way, 9 times out of 10, a Drake track is gonna get me there.

There’s not very much I do in order so I can’t say that I’ve started with his first album or mixtape and worked my way forward. I’m very random. I usually just listen to my Drake Pandora station to see what comes up and then follow my instincts. I can say that of all his albums so far, most of the tracks I’ve purchased have come from “If You’re Reading This it’s Too Late.”

The general feeling I like that Drake is unabashedly known for is just a bordlerline a-hole cockiness. Not for nothing, but when Drake says Omigod, Omigod, If I die, I’m a Legend I just think to myself, what’s wrong with saying that?

Only see the truth when I’m staring in the mirror, lookin at myself like there is there…”

I mean I never thought I could ever hear someone say that and not write them off as just plain conceited. Instead, with Drake, I just take the ride.  I enjoy his lyrical dexterity and his masculine bravado and the way he’s always standing for his Woes, his team, his click, buying them malls, getting them in free and getting them “Really big rings,”How he started paying his mom’s rent when he was 17, how he puts up strippers (but they’re virgins to him) when they need a place to crash. Being the “Biggest boss” means taking on a lot of responsibility. It’s also just part of what it means to be a real man

Plus which, I have never seen such broad merchandise potential explode from a freaking rap video the way I have for “Hotline Bling.” Drake gets all in his feelings about a booty call he’s no longer recieving, effortlessly and dorkily hops around in large, multicolored glowing squares and all of a sudden the market produces inspired sweaters, t-shirts, keychains, paintings everywhere! It’s not a question of whether I am actually going to purchase a Hotline Bling Christmas ugly sweater. It’s which color will I get? LOL!

Okay, that’s enough about Drake…

Let’s play some Drake.

The Joy of Decluttering

“It must be so wonderful to have a home filled only with things that bring you joy.” 

Kondo grasped Goodman’s hand and looked her seriously in the eye.

“You can do it,” she said.

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I haven’t made any grand statements or official announcements as yet but for me, November is the Decluttering month. I have experienced far too much relief and lightness getting rid of stuff in October to stop now. I get a quiet and deeply satisfying feeling whenever I let go of material things that no longer serve me because it is symbolic of letting go of dormant unneeded energy and best of all, so very best of all, it’s something any of us can do at almost any time we decide to.

Most of the time we focus on what we don’t have and what things would fullfill us if only we could aquire them. We obsess over that wonderful feeling of having something new.  I do it all the time. I’ve done it for years/ But I’ve found lately that the closer I get to aquiring the material things I think I want, they quickly reveal themselves as unneccsary, clogging, pretty little cogs that temporarily compensate for something deeper. So I’ve been trying something different lately.

I’ve been spending my money more strategically only on things that I need and love. I’ve also been spending time looking at what I have.That is a journey in itself. I can only imagine that the things I need to give up which are hidden in closets and storage bins since the move, make up about three times as much as what I can actually see all around our apartment. I’ve been steadily getting rid of things in piles, taking coats and dressed to Housing Works, since we no longer live close to a Salvation Army that I know of. But I’ll be kicking it into slightly higher gear this month. The idea of being surrounded only by items that spark joy, a concept I became familair with through Nate Berkus’ work is something I find very appealing.

The process of moving from our Harlem apartment to the one we presently inhabit in Inwood was so traumatic for me that there were decisions I made with regard to accumalation that I stick to very strictly. There are still things we have from the old apartment in boxes that have not been unpacked yet and honestly I’m not sure they need to ever be used again and with the exception of one digital camera that hasn’t been recovered yet we haven’t been missing these hidden items since we moved here. So while I am daunted by the task of going through all this stuff, I look forward to being mindful that the tiny bits of nostalgia and my own ephemeral obsessions are no reason to hold on to things that do not spark joy for me in the present moment.

My night stand is one of my favorite personal spaces becauses it always has the same amount of objects on it, only objects that inspire me, that I like to look at, that are there for very specfic reasons to invoke a specific energy. I maintain it carefully because I know how easy it is for table and dresser tops to become dumping grounds. I derive pleasure from keeping it clear of clutter. It’s hard to explain this concept to my husband who is very neat in some ways (his undergarments draw is a study in borderline OCD) and not so much in others. I feel like men manage the issue of clutter in a different way. But I have it my way, all manner of dissarray will fall under my decluttering powers. LOL!

Imagine that you could live in a home filled only with things that bring you joy. Who wouldn’t want that?

It’s on. This month I am channeling my inner Decluttering Goddess.

Urban Eve’s Astrological Elements Breakdown

Sometimes I can tell after speaking briefly with someone I’ve just met what their astrological sign is, but that’s only because I’ve spent so much of my life studying sun sign profiles and cross referencing with my personal experiences relating to the different signs. If I can’t guess the exact sign of the person, I can usually narrow it down to the element of the sign. 

Fire

Fire can be warm and inviting, insulating and energy giving when it’s calm and focused but at it’s worst fire flies out of control eating up everything in it’s way. And sometimes absolute destruction is a necessity in order to start anew.

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Air is the thing that surrounds us on this planet daily. If we don’t get enough of it into our lungs we die. But it is rarely something that shows itself unless it’s creating motion in an object ruled by gravity. Because it is invisible, it’s power is often underrated. Air, like water is an element that moves objects as well as moves through and around them. Air acts as a bridge sometimes between the spirit realm and the physical world.  It is restless, mischievous, playful, and cannot be easily contained.

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Earth is literally like…earth, soil, dirt, foundation so it makes up large part of our planet. It is all out there, baring all, grounding all, giving life to all. It is exposed, vulnerable and yet deeply resilient. Earth basically provides so much of a foundation for its ecosystem that is literally holding us all down. It’s greatest joy is to provide the most optimal conditions to allow all life to co-exist peacefully. But if you fuck with it….you will never forget the backlash.

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Water like air, moves in, around and sometimes through things. But unlike air, which requires a great amount of pressure to manifest force, water pushes and moves things very easily. It also fills without boundary. It knows no boundaries. Its intention is to spread, to seep into, to surround, ultimately to either fill or merge with anything it comes in contact with. Like earth, it also makes up a large percentage of our planet and our bodies as human beings. Water is sacred, life giving, baptismal, cleansing and highly sensitive to touch.