Archive | February, 2016

NYC

26 Feb

You know that scene from Once Upon A Time in America, where all the boys are crossing the street and you can see the Brooklyn Bridge? Such a beautiful shot! It always brings smile to my face. I close my eyes and imagine myself standing there, on exactly the same place and admiring the view of the famous bridge. The sound of Ennio Morricone‘s music plays in my ears and I feel like I am there back in the 20’s, 30’s or 40’s walking through the street of Little Italy or other famous places.

The big apple, the City that never sleeps. It has been my dream for ages to visit this place. I finally came to New York when I was 27 years old. After 9 hours flight from Europe I was exhausted and I hardly could even think of something like sightseeing, but as soon as I got enough of sleep, nothing could stop me.

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My first impression when I came to New York? Ok, this is strange, I thought. This is not as I thought it would be. I realized that I was at the Columbus circle, right in front of the Central Park and I could not say a word. All day which I spent in that city I was silent. I observed everything with eyes wide open but my mouth was completely shut. I think it was a shock for me. I was so overwhelmed with the idea that I was finally there, that I couldn’t even breathe. I stared at those tall buildings which occurred as unreal to me. Not that I have never seen any skyscraper before, but I just couldn’t get enough of all those streets and buildings. Since my childhood I was creating visual pictures in my head of how these famous buildings really looked like or how it would be to walk down the Manhattan.  And here I was walking down the Manhattan. I think my brain couldn’t absorb all that excitement.

I had only 3 days for New York. After that I and my family were planning to visit other cities. So I tried to focus on all the places that I wanted to see. The Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Central Park, Time Square…you know…all the famous places. But I wanted to remember all the movies shot in New York. Because that was the reason why I fell in love with this place. But I guess I was so mesmerized that my brain stopped to work completely. I couldn’t remember anything! Any movie, any place that I wanted to see so badly! Any who, we visited all above mentioned spots. I had a great time on all of them. When I was looking down from the top of the Empire State Building, I finally started to realize that this is it. This is the moment that I have been waiting for such a long time. Finally I was in New York. It was as I woke up from a dream. And I started to communicate :D. My father welcomed me to the reality with kind words: “Welcome dear, I knew this view would help you to wake up from the amazement.”

I was amazed indeed. When we were walking on the streets near Wall Street, I was trying to capture all the tiniest details on each building. It was as if I wanted to keep every of these details in my memory. I never wanted to forget any of it. Ok, I made a lot of photos, but the real view is something else. The real picture as you see it in front of you will always be something original which photos can never capture.

I dragged my mom to SoHo. I had to see it. Finally I remembered one of the spot that I was planning to visit. The People’s Revolution. Yes, the famous PR firm of Kelly Cutrone which I admire very much. I just wanted to see the place and I was pushing my mom to search almost every street in SoHo, so that I would only stand in front of the building where this famous woman works. Crazy, you might think, I know. But when would I get the chance to at least see it again? We found it and I felt as I was melting right there. One of my small dreams had come true.

Those 3 days were absolutely perfect and even though we had only that short amount of time, we enjoyed it a lot. I didn’t see all the famous places that I planned to see, but I knew this was not the last time that I was in New York. I sure am planning to turn back one day.

I have to admit that even though I love this place, I could never live there. I am ok with being only a tourist in the big City and I will gladly continue watch movies being shot in New York. But living there is not part of my plan. After my first visit it is clear that I would need like one year only to start to breath normally and not to be amazed from everything. Just kidding.

 

 

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NYC Rainbow

25 Feb

I looked out the window and I saw a rainbow over the Empire State Building.

At that moment I knew everything would be fine.

I knew that I was at the place where I was supposed to be.

Why I Love “The Book Thief”

23 Feb

Finally! Finally I found the time to take this book and read it from the beginning till the end. And I managed to do so almost with no breaks. Once you open this book, it is hardly possible that you will be able to put it down. This book is everything what you want the perfect book to be.  It contains everything. The beautiful story, humor (yes, it is possible to find a little piece of humor in very small parts of this book), Death as a storyteller…I mean, this is so clever. Who else should tell all those horrific stories if not Death itself? 

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found on prezi.com

Death is telling us a story about a girl who lost her brother, mother and basically everything and everybody she loved. Liesel is a brave young girl who is fighting the war with words and stories that she finds in the books she steels. At the beginning of the story she was just a girl who came to adoptive family with fear in her eyes and with no education. She could not read. With help of her loving father step by step she learned how to read every word with passion. In those horrific time of war Liesel used her books as best as she could, reading other people who needed it the most. She was reading to people who lost their will to live, to children who were terrified from the raids and to people who were on the edge of life and death. Her reading saved many of them.

This story is so beautiful in many aspects. Here we have the WWII with all it’s monstrosity and then we have an innocent child right at its center.

This book brought back the memory of my grandmother telling me stories from her younger years, from war times. When I listened to those stories I felt as I have been there too. Every detail from her stories seemed so real to me and I imagined myself being there with her. I imagined myself seeing all those people fearing for their lives.

This post is not a review of The Book Thief. I didn’t want to write another review because I am sure there are a lot of beautiful praises on this novel. I just wanted recommend this great book to all passionate readers who haven’t read it yet. It truly is worth it. There are so many beautiful passages that will make you smile, others will make you cry. This book will stay with you long time after you close it’s last page.

Running challenge

13 Feb

Last month I was looking for some new books to read. By browsing a few websites where I use to purchase my books, I found Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. I haven’t read any of Murakami’s books yet and I thought that now it is the time.

Since I started to practice running again, this book imediately got my attention. A novelist who describes his passion for running and training for marathon would be great inspiration for me. So I am now reading every page with curiosity how does he do this. How in the world is it possible to run every day such a long distances and keep it going for so many years.  FullSizeRender

Seriously I admire all of you out there who run marathons. I am trying to keep practising my running routine in order to become serious runner.It just hurts so much.

It hurts me when have to wake up that much early in the mornings. It hurts me when I realize that I have still a few kilometers in front of me. It hurts me when I breath and it hurts me when I don’t breath…OK, I am exaggerating little bit here. I don’t want to sound as a lamenting child. I am just at the beginning of my road towards becoming a devoted runner.

With this post I wanted to take a bow to all of you who get up at 05:00 a.m., run for about 1.5 hour and get million stuff done by the end of the day without crying from exhaustion.

I hope one day I will find courage to run marathon myself. Till that time I will keep practising and try not to skip the training every time when my alarm rings in the morning.

P.S.: I recommend Mr. Murakami’s book as well.

Yoga – My Second Experience

4 Feb

After my first stressful and painful experience, I didn’t give up and continue to practice yoga to this day. My first lesson didn’t go that well. Actually you can read the whole story HERE.

As soon as I started to feel comfortable and no longer felt as the most awkward person in the room, I realized another thing. Yoga classes are often visited not only by those of us who want to enjoy the true benefits of this beautiful exercise. There are a few individuals in each class I guess who actually don’t care about the whole yoga thing. They are coming to the class only because yoga is what everybody is talking about right now. The other reason for them can be to meet new people. But this is not one of my reasons. When I practice yoga, I want to enjoy every moment of each pose and by the end of the lesson I want to leave from the class relaxed and filled with positive energy.

These careless individuals don’t actually realize that they disturb other classmates. They are coming late to the class each time. They lay their yoga mat too close to yours. And then you can feel the smell of a cigarette. Ahaa, so that’s why they were late. Just one more cigarette before the lesson starts, right? Oh, I hate it. There is always time for a cigarette. Even if there is no time to come to yoga class earlier, last cigarette cannot be missed.

Then there are couples or even group of friends who attend the yoga class together. They use to lay their mats next to each other. This would not be a big deal. The worse thing is when they start to chat during the lesson. Really? You are going to yoga class to relax your body and mind and to learn something new from this philosophy and you cannot stop gossip even for those 90 minutes?

And then there is another type of these individuals, who are only complaining. And believe me there is a lot of reasons for them to complain. The classroom is too stale, there is no fresh air. The room is too crowded. The yoga trainer is too far away, he speaks too quiet. The lesson is too long. The lesson is too short. When the lesson will finally finish so that I can go out and lit my cigarette again? I will never understand why these people attend yoga classes. If it is such a misery for them, why bother and lose their precious time this way?

In a way I am sorry for people who don’t enjoy yoga as I do. I am not a professional yogi. My poses still look as a total disaster, but I keep practicing because it makes me happy. On my way to the class every time I pray that there would be no complaining classmate who would only hit my head “accidentally” when he turns around for each position. Well I guess nobody is perfect and I will have to accept the fact that there will always be someone in the class who will not devote all his concentration to the lesson. On the other hand I can take this as a challenge. And for the next few weeks and months I will try not to get disturbed by anyone. Challenge accepted!

Yoga – My First Experience

3 Feb

I finally decided to start attending yoga lessons which I signed myself into six months ago. Yup, you heard me. Six months ago I signed into these lessons with the goal to make my body stronger and my mind more calm. For weeks and months I could not force myself to grab my yoga mat and to spend next 90 minutes in a quiet room full of excited yogis. Dont get me wrong. I love the atmosphere. I love the music, meditation, I love stretching my muscles and the feeling that I am doing something beneficial for my body. It is always just sooooo hard to get up from the sofa to go to yoga studio instead of watching another episode of Making A Murderer.

Today is THE day. Today I persuaded myself that I really could survive without TV shows marathon and that with this laziness it could get just worse and worse. So I left the house with the excitement in my heart and all the motivational songs in my ears. As soon as I was approaching the parking place near the yoga studio, I realized there was no place to park. I had to make a few circles till I found teeny tiny spot 2 blocks away. I was already late so I started to run. Great! My first lesson and I am already late. The classroom was full. As I was the last one coming in, the yoga teacher invited me to take place right in front of her. Perfect! Why I did not come here earlier? I could find comfortable place somewhere in the back of the room where nobody would see my struggling  with every pose. Well, lesson learned!

Lesson started and our teacher introduced herself to everybody. She asked if there was anyone who had never attended yoga class before. And here it is. That awkward moment of exposing myself from my nutshell. I raised my hand slowly. Teacher welcomed me and instructed me about not trying to do all poses perfectly. First lesson was always the hardest one. Hmm, I guess that was the time when I first started to regret my coming to that lesson.

The first stretching and breathing is easy. This is not that bad. I can do it. If this goes on the whole 90 minutes it may actually work for me, I thought. But I was so wrong. Each pose got more difficult and each part of my body hurt like crazy.

Is that even possible? Can someone literally put his leg over his head? Obviously it was possible. Many yogis did it and it made no pain to them as it seemed. I could put my leg right bellow my chest and it did not go any higher. Yup. That would be it. Nope. I can not put my leg any higher. If I do it, I will most certainly break my hip.

Only 30 minutes passed but I already felt as if I was there stretching every cell of my body for bazillion hours. Why didn’t I stay at home watching my Netflix shows? Why are people hurting themselves like this? This is unreal, I thought.

For another 60 minutes I just struggled with every pose and tried to hypnotize the watch so that this torture would finally finish. I will never do this again, I told myself. Who would want to suffer for 90 minutes at least 2 times a week and enjoy it? Not me!

But as soon as we finished the lesson with meditation, I started to feel better. All the stress and pain flowed down from my body and I realized the beauty of this exercise. I came 2 days later again. And then again. I keep going there now for 1 month and I am starting to enjoy it. I am starting to understand the philosophy of yoga and see all the benefits it gives me.

Despite my first hard experience, I can only recommend yoga to everyone. I wish all of you could overcome your doubts about this exercise and try to practice yoga for some time. You will feel more relaxed, flexible and healed in a way. You will look to the sun with the smile on your face 🙂