Before we delve into the New York pics, let’s start with this: “Always maintain only a joyful mind.” This is one of the 59 Lojong slogans taught to students on a path of meditation in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. These slogans are traditionally used to help meditation students tame the mind. Even in the face of distractions and suffering, the idea here is to maintain a sense of joy that you are on a path of awakening. That being said, when you see the following sign painted on a car parked in front of your apartment building, you don’t fret at the spookiness of the image, even as a recovering bulimic working one day at a time to avoid relapse. That being said, you just whip out your Nikon and take a picture. Everything is the path. Love and light in the face of darkness.
Immediately after snapping a picture of this unusual car art, I trekked into the city — a 90-minute commute from my current residence on the Jersey Shore. I toted my good camera with me, even though this visit was not for pleasure, per se. I had important business to conduct: the business of recovery. In New York City, there were various resources available which were difficult to access in uber-suburban Monmouth County, New Jersey. So off I went, in search of serenity. Here was what I saw along the way:
Passengers boarding the Staten Island Ferry.
Inside the ferry, a 25-minute trip between Staten Island and Manhattan.
A woman snapping a cell phone photo as the ferry passes Lady Liberty.
New Yorkers and tourists comingle in the Theater District.
The mural on the side of a building caught my eye.
The sun reflects off the glass surface of a high rise in the West 50’s.
The streets of New York are full of love and taxis.
I love the bright splash of color against an otherwise drab palette.
A sweet little squirrel munching an acorn in Central Park. Sadly, as soon as he heard the snap of my shutter, he dropped his snack and scampered up the tree trunk.
Central Park, near Strawberry Fields
I found it so strange that this lamp was on in the middle of the day. Nevertheless, I loved the soft glow it cast on the surroundings.
Strawberry Fields, or — if you prefer — the John Lennon Memorial Gardens.
John Lennon’s face peeks out from behind two pairs of legs at a vendor’s booth near the memorial.
Check out these wrought iron fence sculptures!
Super surreal reflections mix and mingle with the view outside the window of a city bus.
Mannequin heads and pocketbooks for sale on a sidewalk near you.
Late afternoon, Broadway.
Shapes and shadows.
Street performers shake hands with tourists with the lights of Times Square flashing in the background.
Art = Politics = Activism
Patriotism in Times Square.
Look for the beauty and you will find it.
The Empire State building peeks out from behind a block of skyscrapers in Chelsea.
This was a cute idea: this store sells customized candles, one for each state, so that New York transplants can pay homage to their places of origin.
Stained glass window on W. 22nd St.
Stained glass window on W. 22nd St.
I spotted this Aurora Borealis art on a computer screensaver visible through a store window.
Mini shrine in the foyer of the New York City Shambhala Meditation Center.
The placard reads: “To experience fearlessness, it is necessary to experience fear.” Word.
Poetry and art in a New York City subway car.
“All stars lead to this city,/ she’s an angel unfolding midnight/ a river of invisible trumpets/ and sidewalks of moons./ she’s the blues/ drunk on the light/ commuting with love/ on a sailboat/ that’s found/ the perfect island.” – Nathalie Handal b. 1969
At the end of a long day, I arrived back at the South Ferry subway stop, ready to depart Manhattan for Staten Island, where my car was parked. Until next time, New York!