Monday, August 31, 2009

Home






















As my mother Barbara (aka “Mommy”) tells it, I was a “weird” child. She says that I’ve always been in my own little world and, at an early age, displayed a penchant for solo exploration. One of my mom’s stories goes like this:

I was 4 years old and she was very pregnant with my brother Derek. I used to attend P.S. 140 in South Jamaica, Queens. When I would go to school she would walk me to the bus stop. When I came home, she would meet me there and we would walk home together.

Well, one day, mommy goes to the bus stop to meet me at our prescribed time and I was nowhere to be found. She thinks to herself, ‘Maybe he had to go to the principal’s office.’ After calling the school in search of me to no avail, she began to spaz out. My not being at our meeting place and her being several months pregnant made for a cocktail of serious stress.

As she looked for me frantically in the neighborhood, something told her to check in one particular place right around the corner from our house. It was a strip of shoddy road, larger than an alley but too small to really be a functional street, where people would leave their refuse (old clothes, broken down cars, etc.).

As my mother reached this strip of detritus, she could see me walking towards her in the distance. Apparently I was taking my time and enjoying the stroll. When I finally made it to her she yelled at me, “Where were you? Why didn’t you take the bus?!” Although my mom doesn’t curse now, I’m sure at the time there was an expletive or two in there. She said I looked at her with an air of incredulousness and simply replied, “I know my way home.”

I always know my way home.

My time in La Republica Dominicana was necessary for a few reasons: 1) I’ve wanted to refresh my Spanish language skills through study abroad (again) for several years. 2) Having/owning a place abroad is a goal of mine and this was a litmus test for how it’s done, what to expect. 3) I needed to disconnect from the buzz of BK/NYC for a while.

But in a couple hours I’ll be on my way back to Brooklyn and the grind begins anew. I think it’s safe to say “Mission Accomplished” now. I am leaving Santo Domingo humbled, emboldened, and inspired. I made a list of goals for the year in January. Most of the things I wanted to accomplish, including this experience, have been crossed off. I’m very excited about what the future has in store…

Here’s a little bit of my last night in La Republica Dominicana:
video

A quick dedication to a few people who helped me enjoy my stay:
Rose- “Mi Jefe,” the best boss a guy could ask for.
Anna- You always take care of me. Muchisimas gracias por todo.
Brook- Thanks for holding down the fort.
Tamara- Stay inspired; the world is yours.
Joselina- Your presence alone was priceless to me. Thanks for the pre-arrival work, your tutelage, and all of the good times.
Marianela- Muchas gracias para tu paciencia y los lecciones libres de Espanol. ;)
Janerys- Cuando tu viene a Brooklyn, yo retornare el favor. Pero todavĂ­a quiero las camisetas :(
Mirla- Tu eres mi hermana nueva :)
Sarah- Maybe I’ll see you Stateside?
Altagracia- Gracias por la leccion de baile.
Carlos y Leiby @La Fonte- Ustedes estan muy amable. Mi placer.
adios

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Puerto Plata

video

just one more week to go...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Boca Marina

Last night I went to an amazing restaurant in Boca Chica called Boca Marina. It was just before sunset and I enjoyed a delectable dinner with great company (shouts out to Tamara and Joselina). I had a plate of tuna that was seasoned to die for, the requisite platanos, and the best salad I’ve tasted since I’ve been on the island.
















The restaurant was almost entirely lit by candles so, desafortunademente, most of it came out really dark. I managed to scavenge a couple clips of footage for you to at least peep the ambience:


video

I'm headed north to Puerto Plata for the weekend so lookout for the next post on Monday. Disfrute tu fin de semana! (Enjoy your weekend)


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The 25th National Biennial of Visual Arts

25 Bienal Nacional de Artes Visuales
@ Museo de Arte Moderno, Santo Domingo
video
*Biennial is Bienal in Spanish (Biennale en Italiano)

The Permanent Collection
video

This band closed out the night with a few songs.
video

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Friday, August 14, 2009

True Story: "Haitiano"

So Wednesday night I was picked up by police because they thought I was Haitian (the one time I decided to leave home without my passport). There are no embellishments here; I really couldn't make this stuff up. So here's my story: It's about 10pm, I'm freshly-dipped, headed to this fly bar on El Malecon called Mint connected to the Napolitano Casino...

































































































































































































































































































































































































And that's how my Wednesday night went down. I got home around 12:40am and was surprised because I really thought it was the middle of the night. But the whole ordeal was about 2, 2.5 hours long. All I kept thinking about in my apartment that night was all of the other brothers I saw get scooped up just like that, for no reason other than the aforementioned. I had my American citizenship on my side. But I was just as much African as the rest of the dudes on that truck...and I was blessed to be able to walk away. A crazy mix of emotions I dealt with, indeed. Thursday I needed to recover and just vegged out all day. Today (Friday) I spent it on the beach.

Gracias a Dios

(thank God)