Monday, February 22, 2010

New York Reflection

The sky is hues of gray, some soft while others are more stark and the skyline is filled with tall rectangular buildings with small rectangle within each, from this vantage point all the buildings in the background are a shade of gray, while the buildings in the forefront are brick red with the gray of the railing of the bridge running in front. You hear the sound of hundreds of vehicles, horns honking and many sounds of the city running together so that you can't distinguish what they are. You can smell the exhause fumes from all of the traffic and the smell of trash that is on the streets, and the aroma of many different cuisines. You see people everywhere that you look, business men/women in their suits rushing off to work, moms or the nannies pushing children in their strollers headed somewhere in the city, you see people coming up from the subway tunnels scrabbling to be somewhere. Businesses are opening for the day as they slide the large metal doors up that have been protecting their businesses through the night. As you look up you see building that seem to go on forever getting lost in the sky and finally you hear it the rain begins to pelt down on the city.

The smell of the city takes your breath away as you drive into the city, it happens everytime that we arrive. Everywhere around you there is the hustle and bustle of the city, the bright yellow cabs are everywhere, we are hearing people whistling and waving their hands to get the cab to stop to take them to some destination within the city. As you walk down the streets of Manhattan you are drawn into the stores to do a little more shopping, maybe to find that perfect outfit for the event that you have coming up, or you go into the one of a kind shop for that gift for your special someone. You come upon the hotdog cart on the corner and you can't walk by without having one, so you order a hotdog with mustard, relish and onion and then you and a knish with mustart. You take a bite of the hotdog and it crunches in your mouth and the taste is like something you've never had before and you keep strolling down the street, you come upon a street vendor with jewelry, hats, scarves, and art work so much to choose from. You continue your journey down the streets and you happen upon one of the many bakeries that the city has to offer and you can't pass this up so you go inside and buy a dozen different pastries because you can't make up your mind and then your off to explore the city once more. You turn a corner and there you are in Soho, so it's time for a little more shopping. When you've finished shopping you continue to explore the city and you come upon the site where Twin Towers use to stand and you see the pictures and letters that have been placed throughout the site and you can't help but feel you heart come up in your throat and the tears begin to run down your face as you read the letters from the children to their parents who perished on 9/11.

I feel like I am coming home as we cross the bridge into Manhattan. I am looking at the skyline, roll the window down and begin to take in the smell of the city, trying to distinguish between the awful smell of trash and the wonderful aroma of all the restaurants. I look up and to me know where else I have ever been looks like this city does to me, when you visit New York you are visiting the world, almost every tongue known to man resides here, it is like a country within a county, on every corner you can hear a different language spoke, sometimes you have to remind yourself that you are still in the US. On one block you are in Little Italy and then on the next you are in China town, just keep going a few blocks and you will be in Spanish Harlem. Culture, Culture everywhere. This is a city that seems to never sleep, you can always find an adventure. You are only bored if you don't take advantage of the many things to do, shows on Broadway, the many Museums and Botanical Gardens. There is no place to shop like shopping here, you can shop for days and days and then shop somemore. For all the wonderful things to explore in this city, you still have to step over trash, maybe a homeless person asleep on the sidewalk, or walk by someone that has decided that this is the corner he will use to relieve himself, or you see those infected with Aids asking for a handout either for shelter or a meal. As you are observing all this you see that the citizens of New York have become desinsitized to the site because they don't even notice anymore, they just go on with their lives like there is nothing amiss. We stop to listen to a street musician playing Amazing Grace on his saxaphone held together with rubber bands. As you stop to listen it seems the citizens of New York stop and listen with you and then we all put some change into his cup.

As I look at this picture the one thing that comes to mind is that there is someone that has decided to be themselves, to be an individual, to not follow the pack. I would place myself in this category, I don't like following the crowd just because it might be the in thing to do, I follow my heart and my convictions. I don't think it is a good idea in life to just follow along, we all need to be who we were created to be and allow ourselves to be shaped by our beliefs, not the beliefs of others. I have seen another picture of a fish swimming against the flow of  the others and that is what this picture reminds me of. I am a person who stands for what I believe and am not easily influnenced by the beliefs of others. I have desires in my heart and that is the direction that I am headed and as I continue to look at the picture, that is what I am reminded of. We all don't have to look or act like each other, can you imagine what a boring world this would be if we were all exactly the same, without individuality, we might as well sleep through life. Thank God for our differences, for our creativity and for each of us having our own voice. this picture if you really take the time to look at it speaks volumes. I hope that we all decide to be ourselves and not an imitation of someone else, there are to many people out there trying to be someone they are not instead of embracing who they are and loving who they are. I love the differences. I hope to always be myself at this point in my life, to many times when I was younger I tried being who others wanted me to be and now I am who I am and I love the person I have become.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I'm Continuing My Journey

I have completed my first month of the second semester of school and I have learned so much, invaluable tools already and I still have so much to learn. The things that I am learning I am sharing with my family and friends and it's incredible. Making new dishes in new ways is very exciting to me and once I have the foundations down then I can begin to tweak some of them so that they are healthier dishes. In the meantime my knife skills are improving and my understanding of how different foods, spices and sauces work together is growing. My baking skills are improving as well. Of course I am required to take other classes as well and each one is bringing benefits of their own and I am enjoying each for how they are improving a different aspect of my life.

It is amazing how well things work together to create some amazing dishes and we can say the same about life. It amazes me to set here and think about how God put all of these things together and they compliment each other so well, making our lives that much more enjoyable, challenging and rewarding sometimes all in the same breath. Everyday presents us with new opportunities to learn,to share, and to overcome whether that be through studies, relationships or some other avenue we have much to be thankful for, especially in this great country of ours, even with all of its fault.

I love spending my days in the kitchen creating something new and sharing it with others, I think it gives me a glimpse into the heart of Papa God, how He must have felt as He was creating this exceptional world that we are a part of. I love how it brings joy to others, don't you know Papa must feel the same way.

I am working on the projects that I need to complete for some of my other classes and as I work on them I am looking for how they affect other avenues of my life, I don't want to learn just for the sake of learning, I desire for a life change to take place from the things that I am learning so that I can help make a positive impact on the lives of those around me.

Take time today to reflect on the things that are impacting your life and how you can use those things to make a postive impact on those around you.