Tag: New York City

A Tribute to New York City

I wrote this four years ago on a southbound train after traveling through NYC. I met a lot of great people, many of whom I’m still friends with, and the experience was more than just memorable. In an effort to combine all my favorite bits of my life into this blog, I’m sharing this again today…

“Sometimes a kind of glory lights up the mind of a man. It happens to nearly everyone. You can feel it growing or preparing like a fuse burning toward dynamite. It is a feeling in the stomach, a delight of the nerves, of the forearms. The skin tastes the air, and every deep-drawn breath is sweet.”

In John Steinbeck’s, “East of Eden,” dreamer Adam Trask is blessedly burdened by his infatuation for Cathy Ames, a deceptive woman with an agenda other than his love. And whatever conviction he held in his dreaming, he held true despite her apathy. And he did great things in her name and attributed them to her, his muse, before she left him.

“Whatever Cathy may have been, she set off the glory in Adam. His spirit rose flying and released him from fear and bitterness and rancid memories. The glory lights up the world and changes it the way a star shell changes a battlefield.”

And while we can attribute glory to external inspiration, it would be a shame not to attribute the glory to our own potential… that the inspiration only drew out what was inside of us all along. Because, if the inspiration should ever leave us, we can find comfort in knowing it was only a clever device to get us going.

“Then a breeze would move her bright hair, or she would raise her eyes, and Adam would swell out in his stomach with a pressure of ecstasy that was close kin to grief.”

That New York City stands as the greatest city in the world is unquestionable (though one may still regard one’s present home as more livable or loved). Historic. Modern. Tragic. Hopeful. A sort of glory of humanity, a monument for civilization’s sins, successes and squanders. It inspires the best out of anyone with the willingness to look.

And whatever it is that inspires a man to come here, whether he finds it or not, he can be certain he’ll leave with something satisfactory:

Conviction and glorious dreams of a better future, and newfound inspiration with himself.

“‘A kind of light spread out from her. And everything changed color. And the world opened out. And a day was good to awaken to. And there were no limits to anything. And the people of the world were good and handsome…

And I was not afraid anymore.'”

PHOTOS – Songs That Remind Me of Places

I love how hearing songs can help one rediscover places frequented long ago. The way smells seem to bring back forgotten memories (Juicy Fruit gum for me, for some reason), it’s like you’re transported back to when that sensation of being was first mentally recorded. Usually emotive, intense nostalgia can be both fun and scary.

Is there a song that reminds you of a place? How does it make you feel? Let me know in the comments. And please click the images to get a deeper story on where each photo came from…

I’m in Vancouver for my cousin’s wedding. I had been listening to Carla Bruni’s “Tout le monde,” finding the music video where she emerged through a dark tunnel as particularly relevant to international travel (even to Canada). While I didn’t have to pass any dark tunnels, Vancouver was definitely a light at the other end of the path. Pristine, brisk and full of natural beauty, it was a great escape from the normalcy of everyday life.

Coldplay always reminds me of my time at The Conversation Group, most likely because it was there that I first listened to Viva La Vida. While it was bittersweet, as all their songs are, it leaned more to the sweet side.

I’m home in Hawaii for Christmas and I find an unopened copy of Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Show Your Bones in my parents’ collection. No one is really sure how it got there, so I immediately enjoy the album and claim it for myself. While I didn’t care for YYYs after hearing “Maps” in college, the songs on Show Your Bones really resonated with me. I’ve since gone back and acquired their previous releases, but this album is still my favorite.

I spend about 13 hours wandering around Manhattan while listening to Rilo Kiley the entire time. I have tickets to their upcoming show at the The Warfield and I need a crash course on their discography before heading back home. While this isn’t my favorite song from their first few albums, it’s the one that reminds me most of wandering around for hours. Another good candidate would be “All the Good That Won’t Come Out,” a song I recall hearing a lot despite the random rotation.

Another one in New York City: I’m at the Brooklyn Bridge, and hearing this song reminds me of the other, more familiar ocean. When I hear this song, I imagine drifting away on waves into the vastness of the ocean, a characteristic of the sea I’ve always marveled at.

“The ocean rolls us away… away… away…”

Night Lights Around Jackson Square New Orleans

Backpacking the East Coast

Words cannot describe how meaningful it was for me to quit my job and backpack the East Coast. I will never forget the places I saw, nor will I stop loving the people I encountered (unless, of course, I suffer a case of explosive amnesia). Words cannot describe the change that occurred within me those three weeks, but if I had to try, it would go as follows:


Enjoy :)



New York City

New York City

Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C.

Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach

New Orleans

New Orleans