Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Paris and Amsterdam:

I feel as if I am growing older, both physically and mentally. I can sense that my mind is becoming refined, as are my senses, as is my heart. Perhaps it is because this heart of mine has felt so deeply here in Amsterdam; sinking to the lowest of depths, and also soaring above my previous maximum known height. Amsterdam does that to a person. Mostly this city lifts me to new heights; I've made it that way, I've deduced. Stay true to Amsterdam, and myself, while giving back to this city in the best of ways I know how–steadfast, strong, and spearing.

Since 2011 I've been devouring podcasts and more recently I've discovered the lecture podcasts of Yale University and absolutely every minute of the few courses I've engulfed have so far proved enlightening. I have such a quench for knowledge and often have fantasies about getting lost in both old creaky libraries, as well as shiny new ones, here in the city while doing research. Mostly, I must admit, my library research is limited to the Athenaeum Nieuwscentrum on Spui–an ever changing magazine exhibition.

A blanket of snow has fallen on the city, turning everything still and lending an insulating silence to the city, now, day and night. Amsterdam is stunning in the snow and luckily the temperature will stay at or just around 0C, meaning that same snow will be around for some days. I've made sure to make vegetarian lasagna tonight (because it's wonderful!), and will be lounging and pondering as the evening continues. But, it's now back to Paris is Burning–because it, too, is wonderful.

...New York City in the late 1980s and early 1990s must have been such a confusing and yet beautiful place to find one's self during that period–such profound changes, such snapping modernity, and such positive transformation. I have this book that I was given four years ago, and reading it instantly transports me back to the streets of Manhattan; it's called New York Calling: From Blackout to Bloomberg. It, too, is wonderful and it highly recommend it to anyone interested in New York City during the 1970-1990's.

When living in Manhattan, after first lugging my belongings up my less than desirable many-story-walk-up brownstone-building, I set foot out onto the streets of Alphabet City. Distinctly, I can recall: New York City made me nervous. The energy almost overwhelmed me; was one meant to fight against one's city, I considered? Certainly this mustn't be the case. Yet in Manhattan the city is a jungle and its inhabitants its explorers. Urban order lends itself to all aspects of life, including fashion; and apparently, man-leggings are in.