Month: September 2014

On Humanity: Joining Together Through What Seems Insurmountable

What makes us human? Is it looking into someone’s eyes and seeing joy, love, or hope? Is it triumph, sadness, pain during unfortunate times, is it survival? It’s everything isn’t it, but more so joining together in experiencing everything we all go through individually, knowing we have each other through it all — through the seemingly insurmountable, impossible battles we face. Weekly photo challenge: humanity

Accepting More Than One Idea, And Celebrating The Freedom That We Can

Most of us can recall vividly where we were at that exact moment it happened, when everything we thought we knew about the world changed. Generations before us, they knew. They’ve seen the true horrors of war. We were living in a world courtesy of their efforts, blood and sacrifice, the lives of their comrades. Waking up the day after, it was a changed world. How are we to make sense of such an act, why did it happen, how do we honor those who have fallen? In our everyday we take so much for granted. We take a lot of time and spend so much energy debating the right to bear arms, or freedom of choice, school prayer, how much part should religion play, yet this in itself — the right to free speech, the freedom to take a stand, that we can debate and accept more than one idea knowing we wouldn’t have to worry about unrest for our families, friends and neighbors every single hour of every day, that we are blessed …

Wednesday Sightings: Head in the Clouds (All it Takes is an Idea)

In the age of social media, some of the platforms that bring with them a lot of promise are crowdfunding platforms, arguably the most popular ones being Kickstarter and Charity Water. All it takes is an idea, and anyone can appeal to the world why they should get to have their dreams realized, or why their cause is important. As a marketing communications professional, digital marketer and full time idealist, crowdfunding has always peaked my interest. Inspiring stories, such as movies being produced with the help of people instead of big production companies for complete creative control, and more importantly, wells being dug around the world in places where clean water was next to impossible before, prove the power of these platforms in making a difference. One example of a project that was realized through Kickstarter was the “Head in the Clouds” project, an installation made up of recycled materials in Governors Island in the summer of 2013. We did not know what we were going to find in Governors Island when we went there …

World Heritage Site Tuesday: Notre Dame de Paris

“He therefore turned to mankind with only regret. His cathedral was enough for him…The saints were his friends, and blessed him; the monsters were his friends, and guarded him.” – Victor Hugo, The Hunchback of Notre Dame I remember seeing The Hunchback of Notre Dame with my best friend from high school. I don’t recall a lot about the movie. At the time, I knew we were curious about the adaptation of the Victor Hugo novel. It was not until my Contiki trip years after, looking up at Notre Dame itself, that I remembered the film and the book again, which was written to call attention to the importance of the cathedral as it has, throughout history, undergone a lot of destruction.   Notre Dame’s external facade, although not as elaborate as Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, is definitely something to see. Depending on which side you are looking at, you would see something different. Its famous gargoyles and smaller statues, which I learned were added to serve as water sprouts and for support, were very detailed. …

The Weekend That Was: Steamtown

It’s interesting to think that there was a time when airplanes, which are a big part of not only travel, but industry and economy, were not around years ago. This weekend, my boyfriend and I had the chance to visit Steamtown National Historic Park in Scranton, PA, a few hours drive from NYC. It was a great way to learn about the history of the railroad, steam engines and how steam trains contributed to American economy in the 19th century, prior to the advent of the diesel engine — transporting people, food and everything you could think of, across the country — until the automobile industry took over. The museums were very educational and informative regarding the history of the locomotive, and you could take a 45 minute ride on a steam or diesel train. We did all these, but enjoyed the museums much more than the ride (though it was a nice experience). According to the movie they were showing in the museum theatre, the last locomotive stopped running when people learned how much …

Pizzas from Around the World

On a quintessential Eat, Pray, Love scene, Julia Roberts tells her friend Sofi: “I’m so tired of saying no and waking up in the morning and recalling every single thing I ate the day before. Counting every calorie I consume so I know exactly how much self-loathing to take into the shower. I’m going for it. I have no interest in being obese. I’m just through with the guilt. So this is what I’m going to do. I’m going to finish this pizza and then we’re going to go watch the soccer game, and tomorrow, we’re going to go on a little date and buy ourselves some bigger jeans.” I don’t recall exactly how it was written in Liz Gilbert’s book, the title character Roberts was playing, but the gist of it is the same — giving yourself permission to enjoy life’s simple pleasures without conforming to society’s ideals of beauty. I personally believe in allowing myself to indulge — after all, we only live once and there is no sense being unhappy. In the …