Disguised In Foliage

May 4, 2010 § 11 Comments


A recent trip to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens turned out to be quite different from what I expected. What I expected was devastatingly green foliage, blooming flowers and the sweetly pungent May air. All that, I found. But what I hadn’t planned for was the annual Sakura Matsui festival and the flurry of people who accompanied me on every other little patch of grass, along every other petal-icious branch and tree.

This festival weekend, the downer was that the cherry blossoms had already peaked past their bloom. What was lost in disappearing pink foliage, was more than made up for by the colors people brought along with themselves. Walking past the Bluebell Woods and approaching the Cherry Esplanade, I found myself slowly marveling at the people as much as I was enamored by the beauty of Nature around me.

The first Sunday of May,
We dressed up like Nature did.
Out we stepped into the sun-
In full bloom.

Running, posing, talking, playing – festivities abounded. Red, blue, green, pink and gold- colorful manes crowned many heads and bobbed about the green grounds. Kimonos flirted with jeans, and befriended skirts.
Which one is a disguise and which one is not? Colors that bewitch or sweet scents that intoxicate?!
Would you say adorned or disguised in foliage?

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Same Places, More faces

April 14, 2010 § 14 Comments

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It is just so that Union Square happens to fall in my way anywhere I go. Many, I believe, will confess so.

What draws us here is the rhythm of the place. Home to the wandering feet, surrounded by a host of stores and restaurants; this is where the idle spend their time chattering, skateboarding, juggling, reading, dancing, playing chess and taking power naps. Back in my school days, I was whiling away many of my evenings here…crackling shrill at the next best joke my friends offered, hanging around for hours and finally, yet slowly, feeling the cool breeze pick up and the humming getting quieter around us.

Calling it a people watching destination would be underestimating its place in this city’s maze. Union Square is this city’s heart beat. It is where myriad faces come together as one. Not just different skin colors, but also ages, professions, attitudes and attires.

If you lay down on the concrete or the grass, you could hear the traffic around you, a smattering of people talking, laughing, someone calling someone’s name, skateboards grinding, vendors selling. Stories unfold in wisps of conversations overheard.

If you took off your shirt, you wouldn’t be out-of-place, although one block down the road, you might have been.
If you took out your camera, your eyes would meet theirs and understand each other.

In fact, this is not about people watching at all. This is about just being with people. An understanding that comes from sharing a space and life in this city, with them.

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This Way, My Dear

April 11, 2010 § 1 Comment

“This way, my dear,” she whispered in her ear, “to Spring.”

And when Spring made its presence felt in this concrete jungle, there was just one exclamation point in the air:
“Finally!”

Let the cool breeze drown out the humming and the honking.
Give us a piece of land, concrete or grass…and see us roll over and bask in the balmy sunlight.
I’ve got the sidewalk, the pole, the bench, the railing. Patches of green welcome, but not necessary.
Throw in a few free hugs. Give me a smile.
Yes, there is eye contact. Look at me, don’t you see!
Who says we are a demanding lot?

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