the million dollar view I didn’t have to pay for

Millionaires and real estate agents would pay to have a few like this; I paid nothing to gaze at this view, and it’s only three blocks away.

I’ve always been drawn to bodies of water. In my homecity of Vancouver, one of my favorite places was the Stanley Park seawall. Leaving behind the high-rose condominiums and tourist shops, that edge of Vancouver was the most visited, explored, and loved. Mountains opened the sky to golden rays that illuminated diamond mines on the water; one could never run out of benches to sit on; walking or running along the seawall was one of the best ways to exercise; and the coastline view of snow-capped peaks and the Lions Gate Bridge never got old. The New York coast line doesn’t offer the same stunning view, but the view it offers is just as majestic – and the one place to go to for this view is South Street Seaport.

On the third level porch of the Pier 17 mall, the Brooklyn Bridge doesn’t seem so far away; and neither are the tourist boats that putter back and forth along the water. All objects within sight from Pier 17 seem to have an added dimension of beauty, something that cannot be emulated in the photographs people take there.

Yesterday was one of those days I felt like being by myself. It had been a work-frenzy week spent in the library, Café, or the Honors Lounge (which I just remembered and rediscovered this week), reading and highlighting notes or frantically writing my philosophy paper. Now that that phase of the week was over, I was craving the sun and just wanted to be out. Elements of restlessness and twitchy feet instigated my desire, and also the fact the fact that it was a Friday and the weekend was so near.

I could have spent my Friday morning lining up with Apoorva to get the IPhone 5, but I wasn’t in the mood to get jostled by crowds of people. I also didn’t feel like wandering somewhere new, since I just wanted to sit down and start some of next week’s readings. My feet eventually brought me to South Street Seaport, and I spent the 4.5 hours before my African Art History class enjoying the (million dollar) view.

It was only 9 am when I got there, so I was one of the few early risers. While sitting down in one of the benches, my thoughts fluctuated between the good and the sad, some people I missed, and aspirations. Devoid of the usual stench of garbage, the breeze was crisp and it was a welcome change. I eventually got to my readings and ate lunch, all the while reveling in the Hudson River’s beauty and appreciating everything under the sun (literally).

Too Shy to Ask – The seagull who wanted some of my mom’s pasta.

After lunch, I wandered around the mall and went inside a few stores. Two stores I fell in love with at first sight were The Scar Shop and Studio Manhattan Art + Design. Both stores featured artsy, modern day items for people of all ages, though each had a distinctive style for their merchandise. The Scar Shop was a mesh load of vintage and classic items infused with Tumblr-esque quotes and images, posters, canvas prints, cards, and post cards strewing the walls with words of wisdom from celebrities to pop icons (such as Audrey Hepburn, Albert Einstein, Bob Marley, and Marilyn Monroe, to name a few). For the artist and photographer, this store is a delight and a must visit! I got extremely excited when I saw a vintage Batman and Robin canvas print (there were other DC and Marvel characters as well),and also when I saw cupcake sticky notes and a Gone With The Wind tin lunch box. Breakfast at Tiffany fans would have squealed in delight too, for there were numerous memorabilia (including but not limited to notebooks, bookmarks, and puzzles) that had Holly’s famous smile and pose. I love Audrey Hepburn movies, but I’m not a die-hard fan like my friend Nicole. Coincidentally, my friend Amy also came into mind because she did a black and white painting of Audrey Hepburn in our sophomore year (and it was beautiful!).

Studio Manhattan Art + Design  radiates a vintagey vibe made more unique with its retro photographs and artwork. The moment I stepped into the store, my breath was taken away by the wallets, messenger bags, Iphone cases, shirts, belts, and clutches lined up against the wall and on the tables. Abstract met with Street Savy in the numerous artwork and photographs that depicted culturally distinctive New York City scenes and symbols, along with other designs that showed USA pride or life quotes (“Change Your Life”). I didn’t get to spend as much time here as I did in The Scar Shop since I was running late to class (story of my life, ahaha), but I’ll post photos of some of my favorite objects on my next visit. It would be probably embarrassing to admit that I had my mouth open the whole time I was in the store, and I couldn’t stop saying “I love this, I love this, NOOO I love this one more!” while looking through all the wallet and Iphone case designs. The lady next to me gave me strange looks, but hey: I was having an artist moment.

I made it back to my African Art History class on time, and I made my first friend in that class while waiting for class to start. Her name is Shirpie (reminds me of my friend named Shirvin!), and she’s a senior majoring in Fine Art and minoring in Graphic Design. She’s also a commuter student, so it was nice to talk to someone who actually understood how it felt to be so out of university life sometimes. Unlike dorm students, commuter students are always coming and going in and out of the school. Some times I don’t mind it, but there are some days when it gets to me and it makes me wish I could have dormed. I know it’s more harder to make friends, so I have to go the extra mile to put myself out more. I was talking to one of my best friends in high school about this yesterday; and she understood how I felt since she felt the same way too. Eventhough we’re getting used to university life, we’re all still in that semi-awkward phase of transitioning and need a little more time to fully adjust and to be more patient.

This week has felt particularly short since there was no school on Monday. Nonetheless, it’s been just as enjoyable as the first two weeks. I’m really in love with my university schedule and the freedom hours I have between classes, and I’m praying my spring schedule will be somewhat the same. My mom thinks I should stray away from Friday classes, but to be honest I like having class on Friday. Sounds a little crazy, I know, but the school is a much more peaceful place on Friday and it’s also nice not to run into that many people when I’m in a hurry. But of course my schedule will depend if I get an internship next spring or not, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that everything will work itself out. I also want to get back into drawing again; and that will require better time management on my side since that takes a lot of time, and I need to make sure I can still sleep! As according to Bill, “Less sleep makes you stupid.”

It’s the South Amboy Art Festival tomorrow, and I’M SOOO EXCITED because I can’t wait to see some old friends and work with the little kids at the art booth!! My brother just started watching the first Transformers movie, so I might join him soon (hehe).

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful rest of the weekend! <3

Cheers Pace U.!

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