Posts tagged with "travel"

Katie + Seth — Wedding Day

The Cuban sun burned espe­cially bright on the day Katie and Seth got mar­ried, but the wind kept every­one com­fort­able while unlim­ited drinks made sure sobri­ety was never an issue. There’s some­thing to be said about the exclu­siv­ity of des­ti­na­tion wed­dings, cause they leave lit­tle room for strangers or acquain­tances. Only the clos­est peo­ple will com­mit to plane tick­ets and accom­mo­da­tions. The cel­e­bra­tions are all the more inti­mate for it, and I’m always glad when I have a chance to be part of the that.

You never need to make a spe­cial effort to find the wildlife in Varadero; even on the resorts, birds will bravely snatch food at your feet, while stray cats toy with lizards and mice alike before eat­ing them. And being sur­rounded by other peo­ple on their own hol­i­days, whether they’re tan­ning on the beach or let­ting pretty girls cheat at limbo, brings a warmth to the atmos­phere that even the sun can’t provide.

this must be the place

Somewhere, I have notes on fam­ily and names, the infamy of Cuban fare, being alone together, break­ing the seal, pass­ing Damian on the way to Havana, salty hair from salty air, rum and brown, threaded fin­gers, not enough euchre, every life-guard try­ing to sell me lob­ster meals, pat­terns on palms, plus 20 min­utes Cuba time, find­ing out how deep my scars run, blush­ing through my sun­burn, sand every­where and in everything.

beach

 

Continue read­ing “this must be the place”…

libre

It’s good to have some­thing to write about again. To have friends who are com­fort­ing and kind in my most sen­si­tive moments, and just as impor­tantly, things to con­fide in them. Good hair days. Reasons to wear some­thing nice. Dreams with­out desire. Feelings with­out fear.

Hotel Nacional de Cuba tiles

 

I never real­ized how much I needed a get away until I came home and got more done in a week than in the month before I left. Without a gui­tar or a work­load or an inter­net con­nec­tion or a rou­tine or any of my decks, detach­ing from life as I knew it was a sim­ple mat­ter. Maybe that’s why it felt like I was gone for so long, even though time passed so quickly. The only real con­sid­er­a­tion I ever had was how I’d like to spend each par­tic­u­lar moment, and pre­sented with that kind of free­dom, I learned to truly let go of every­thing else.

Trapped in NYC

A few weeks ago, an anony­mous per­son very thought­fully sent me a track called NYC by Brolin. This per­son must know me quite well, cause the song is to my taste exactly. Not only that, but I’d been mean­ing to make a short film about my trip to New York (as well as the extended stay due to Hurricane Sandy), and Brolin’s min­i­mal­is­tic sound space and ghostly vocals gave me an atmos­phere of warmth and won­der that matched my footage perfectly.

Personally, I don’t think I could ever cre­ate any­thing and name it NYC. It’s a city with too much depth and com­plex­ity to try encap­su­lat­ing in a verse or song or mov­ing image, then tie it up with three sim­ple let­ters. I can’t wait to go back again some day to cap­ture as much as I can.

Escape from New York, part 2

Check out my short film about being Trapped in NYC.

I walk towards Penn Station, after being uncer­e­mo­ni­ously dumped along with sev­eral other con­fused pas­sen­gers at Grand Central by shut­tle. While it’s hard to get a sense of how long it’ll take, the grid gives me the courage to con­tinue on foot instead of wait­ing for a trans­fer­ring shuttle.

I carry screen­shots of a map on my phone, which I soon dis­cover is a poor sub­sti­tute for an actual map when nav­i­gat­ing New York. The roads occa­sion­ally run in strange direc­tions or skip num­bers, and it’s enough to throw off my orientation.

Still, the city feels smaller than I thought. So many sto­ries hap­pen here, told in movies and nov­els and songs, that I’ve always expected it to be a size rel­a­tive to the dreams peo­ple have. This is what F. Scott Fitzgerald must have felt when he climbed the Empire State Building1, saw the lim­its of the city for the first time from within, and was left “with the awful real­iza­tion that New York was a city after all and not a universe”.

New York apartment

 

I passed through here many years ago when I was too young to be scared of what could go wrong, and too much in love to care any­way. That jour­ney — on my way to Jersey by bus — was far longer than this one through Toronto by plane. I sur­vived then, that’s how I know I’ll sur­vive this, no mat­ter what happens.

Continue read­ing “Escape from New York, part 2″…

  1. The tallest man-made struc­ture in the world at the time, a record it would hold for 23 years. []