Dating Advice

My friend was asked by his younger cousin for advice on dating women. His response was so on the money that I have to share (with his permission of course). This advice is perfect whether you’re new to the dating scene or been around the block (because as other women in their late twenties will also tell you, you can’t judge a guy’s dating ability by his age).

Read and share his advice below. And sorry girls, this advice giver is taken – recently engaged to my best friend. He obviously knows what he’s doing!

Here are a few quick tips:

1.) If you want to ask a girl out make sure you have a plan.  The less work they have to do up front the more likely they will say yes.  A well thought out plan will be appreciated.
2.)  If you are really into a girl try not to be overly available or clingy.  What I mean by that is make sure you are doing interesting stuff without her as well.
3.)  Don’t play games (example: act like you don’t care when you do).  It will work with some girls but overall it’s not a strategy the works well long term.
4.)  Dating is a numbers game.  The more you date the more likely you will find the person you are looking for.
5.)  Be persistent if you like someone.  However, if you try to contact someone and they are not returning your calls I would suggest not pursuing it further.
6.)  Be confident and proud of who you are.



Reading on the New York Subway

Again I am posting about something else I found online, but the internet is just so full of fun stuff. This photography project Underground New York Public Library encompasses 4 of my favorite things:

  • Reading
  • New York subway
  • Photography
  • Reading on the subway

This project is pretty awesome and touches on so many topics, while somehow still managing to be straightforward and simple. At first sight it is a tumblr of various photographs of people reading on the New York subway, with the caption naming the book and author. But go a little deeper and it’s much more than that. It’s street photography and all the questionable ethics that go along with it*, it’s people we see everyday, it’s people learning, it’s getting lost in a good book, it’s connecting with strangers, it’s capturing the various walks of life that make up NY, it’s introducing us to new books and authors, it makes NY feel a little smaller, it brings up the book vs e-reader dilemma, it’s relatable, it’s hopeful (maybe because it seems less people are reading these days, and these images capture all ages, genders, ethnicities reading), it’s “like meditating” (I agree with this, because looking at the photos I’m reminded of how soothing it is to get lost in a book), it’s friendly, it’s inspiring, it’s a calm moment among the chaos of NY, and the photographs themselves are full of talent.

The subway seems like an obvious and perfect choice for this project in New York. I’m sure the same could be done in parks or cafes, but the subway is just so New York. Reading is obviously a big part of the subway for a lot of people, including myself – it’s where I get most of my reading done because it provides time, a familiar atmosphere, is generally pretty quiet, and maybe the movement of the train is soothing. I’ve actually gotten on the wrong train when reading on the platform, and have almost missed my stop because I was so engrossed in a book. I’m sure I’m not the only one..

*I struggle with this and often miss out on photo opportunities due to feeling like an intruder on someone’s life. P, a talented and curious photographer who likes to capture people on the streets, told me he bought a portable printer so that when he took a photo of a stranger he could give them a copy right then and there. I thought this was a great idea, as it breaks down barriers and makes the subject feel special.


Just Here’s Fine

As noted in a previous post, I enjoy chatting with cab drivers, on the rare occasion that I do take a cab. Sometimes I want a quiet ride, and sometimes they want a quiet ride, but it’s nice to at least test the waters with small talk and see where it will go. People are interesting and you may learn something, hear a great story, get some (unsolicited) advice, or a tip about the city. Plus it’s just friendly to talk to someone you’re sitting in a car with.

So, it’s fair to say I really like this project I recently stumbled upon, Just Here’s Fine: a look at the lives of London’s cab drivers. The artist, Victoria Hannan, shares a photo and brief bio of cab drivers from around London. Each driver is completely different, has a different reason for choosing this job, has their own routine and habits, has their own crazy stories.. things you would never know by looking at all drivers as the same person. Victoria breaks each interviewee down into their own person.

Everyone has a story and a life you don’t see, especially if they are in a profession where only formalities are exchanged: “I’m going to Penn Station, thanks”, “Can I please have a medium iced coffee with skim milk?”, “Do you take credit?”, “No, there will be nothing else, thanks for your help.”, “We’ll take the check.” Most of these interactions are strictly business with no room for anything else, which is fine, but it’s nice now and then to get to know people as, and make them feel like, more than just the person who hands you your morning bagel or drives you from point A to point B. You never know what you will get out of it, even a “hello, how are you, beautiful day” and a simple “thank you” will probably brighten their day as well as yours, and maybe it will be passed on to the next person. Cab rides seem to provide opportunities for a more extensive conversation, which is maybe why the artist chose cab drivers as her subject for this project.

If you’ve ever visited a Trader Joe’s (if you haven’t you’re really missing out) you know well how the interactions at the checkout lines go. The cashiers are all so freakin friendly and chatty. It’s obviously a prerequisite to be able to start a conversation with a stranger. They offer more than just a “Hi.” I’ve been asked how my day is going, what I have planned, and have found myself joking around with the cashier. It makes some people uncomfortable, admittedly including myself at times, because we unfortunately live in a society where not talking to people we don’t know, even if they are helping us or sharing an experience with us, is normal, but I love that Trader Joe’s does this. I feel like they’re breaking people’s guards down one perfectly packed recyclable bag at a time. One time the cashier saw I had the makings for “guaco”, ie guacamole, in my basket but was missing cilantro, and offered to go get it for me because he knew exactly where it was and “you can’t have guacamole without cilantro!” He left me at the register with a line forming and went all the way to the other side of the store to get it so that my guacamole wasn’t missing cilantro. He wasn’t even going to get to eat the guacamole! It’s these little gestures and interactions that restore faith in humanity and makes us feel connected, which is why I’m really enjoying Just Here’s Fine.

Welcome to the neighborhood

The gentlemen of Meridian Park

Was walking down the street exploring the new neighborhood today. Part of it is packed with a bunch of small seafood shacks. Some with enticing offers such as “free shot of rum with an order of a dozen crabs!”. There was a chalkboard menu viewable from the doorway of one which I was taking a look at, no immediate intention of walking in. Lots of good soul food on the menu from ribs to catfish, including chitterlings, frogs’ legs, and pigs’ feet. And a decent selection of affordable sides. As I was about to step away de repente “BAM” Emeril-style in the form of a big bright smile greeted me at the door from within. She made me come in to grab a take-away menu. I asked her how one goes about eating pigs’ feet, saying that it was a favorite of my father’s, but that I had not been adventurous enough to try. She said she didn’t know. So she calls to the back where the grill was and this unshaven guy comes out, bandaged wrist, short brown cigarette hanging out of his mouth, saying he didn’t know either. Maybe just suck on the bones to get the juice or the meat out. (Now I am looking around to check out just how fresh their fish selection is, as they’re not giving me much confidence on their pigs’ feet seeing as how it seems they’ve never had them. Just taking it all in …) So they call one more guy out and ask him, and his response is a heavy two hands holding himself up on the counter and a blank gaze accompanied by a moment of silence. Finally a “just like any other meat … you wanna try ’em?” Another time maybe. But he goes on about how good the frogs’ legs are. And how are they prepared? Fried. Just like much of the menu offering. I suppose anything and everything tastes good fried. Says I could take some of them home with me too. I’ll save the $5 for another time when I have some adventurous company to share it all with. After an 0 for 2 on trying to get this white boy to try some soul food, he gives one last shot a “Ray’s Special” and his offering of buy a dozen crabs, get a dozen free. So does that mean that I get two shots with that?!

And I’m just gettin’ started. Wait’ll I tell ya about having half the neighborhood glaring at you at the post office outfitted with bullet-proof glass as you try and assist a suspiciously-lacking-in-identification El Salvadoran try and get his mail without speaking a lick of English …


P.S. I really am excited to explore more of the area as I get the chance. And I do like the people, regardless of the tone of the post :). The area has got culture and color and no lack of interesting occurrences.

Meridian Hill Park

In each city I’ve lived I have my outdoor happy place, that part of the city I can visit that is good for my soul. I have my favorite cafes, restaurants, etc. as well, but there’s nothing better than fresh air and sunshine (weather permitting) to increase the happiness levels. In Buenos Aires it’s Parque Tres de Febrero (the rose garden! the palm trees! the lake!) and in Brooklyn it’s Grand Army Plaza area, which includes the Brooklyn Museum, the beautiful main branch of Brooklyn Public Library, and an entrance to Prospect Park. In DC it’s Meridian Hill Park, and lucky me I got to go back there this weekend.

Meridian Hill Park is politely tucked away in NW DC, right where the neighborhoods of U St., Columbia Heights, Mt. Pleasant, and Adams Morgan meet. Although smack in the middle of some busy areas, it does a good job of being fairly isolated and is therefore a wonderful escape. Multilevels, waterfalls, ducks, statues, green space, shade, sunshine, and built in stone benches all make for a gorgeous space. On Sundays you’ll find a talented drum circle going on, and most days you’ll find people sunbathing, reading, running, picnicing, tightrope walking, doing yoga, and everything else you can enjoy in a pretty park. On my short weekend visits back to DC I usually don’t have time to do everything I’d like to, so it was a pleasure to stroll through the park on this visit. Do you have a favorite outdoor spot in your city?
All photos taken by P

NYC is:

ruby red slipper glitter sunglasses and wizard-of-oz emerald green eye glitter // surfboards on the subway platform in 40 degree weather // fresh baked float-in-the-air-aroma-goodness granola at the bookstore // black during rush hour // rude // vibrant and colorful // green spaces // cafes and coffee // fashion implosion // the world culturally compartmentalized // love-hate // una vasca morenaoscuracasinegra hablando canstellano // pink polka dot shoes // tourists // mismatched cabinet knobs // ipad photography in a pedicab down avenue of the americas in the afternoon while waiting for a friend // las vidas de la gente // I LOVE YOU YOUR SHOES SMELL on red chuck allstar sidewalls // acceptance // the unseen // trying too hard // a visit with friends // conversation // inspiration // experimentation // on display // a smorgasbord // home // authentic // an old man on the street chuckling while warning he is about to shoot a little green man at you // 24 hours // the stories people tell