Sunday Night Thoughts




Without the darkness

Would we ever see light?
How can we love day
Without loving the night?
Good guys and bad guys—
The wrong versus right—
Visions only lucid
With linear eyesight


 

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The air outside my office has been filled with the smell of Jasmine

Z

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All Caught Up in Amsterdam

To conclude my retrospect of the vacation Liz, Jon, and I undertook, here are some pieces of my Amsterdam experience. I quickly realized there are fewer photos from which to choose and gave it some thought. 

We spent the most time in Amsterdam! I was very surprised. But, the truth is, I really had the most fun there. Not only did we stay in our friends’ super posh apartment, but we were so busy laughing, biking, eating, and drinking most of the time. I planned on doing some writing and certainly on whipping out the ol’ camera way more than I did. 

But maybe, just maybe, when and where we are least likely to document our experiences is where the best moments live. Anyway, I am going to use that as my excuse for not having more photos. 

Below are a selection of our experience in Amsterdam— A place to truly be. 

Amsterdam, Netherlands 

Amsterdam-Noord; A random shot taken on our bike ride. So very sexy.
A creature from Oosterpark who was totally determined to pose for the camera. Work it, buddy! 

A Sunny April in Berlin

To continue my sharing of our adventures in Europe earlier this month, I am sharing some of my photos from Berlin, Germany. Carrie and Leo, two of my amazing friends, and their baby live there. Carrie is a South Georgia native who moved there a few years after college. I have always been in awe of her decision.

Berlin is a great place to walk around and enjoy the sights. Liz, Jon, and I were told we brought the wonderful weather in our luggage. You could see the look of gratitude on the faces of the locals as the sun beamed down. 

RAW-Gelände, a former train repair yard. Now, a playground of art, bars, and culture
East Side Gallery
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River Spree

The final photo is what I discovered when I looked over the railing at a beer garden called Café am Engelbecken regulars. I am a huge fan of turtles and I was very happy. As I said, the weather was marvelous. I actually recall having one of those moments where you just sorta tilt your head back and wish there were more moments in life like these.


More photos from our trip to come…

 

Paris in Spring

As promised, here are just a few of my photos I took during our trip to Paris. The past week has been one filled with such a desire to go back.


View of Porte Saint-Denis from our Air Bnb window in the 10th arrondissemont
The most wonderful view of Paris, from Sacré-Cœur, located in the neighborhood of Montmartre
Sacré-Cœur
View of the Seine River

More photos from the other cities to come…

Pendergast

Groen van Prinstererstraat 14, 1051 EG Amsterdam, Netherlands

 

In 2014, my friend Liz and I took a trip to Europe. One of our destinations was Amsterdam. During our adventure, we stayed with our friends Brandon and Wouter in their fabulous apartment. One evening, whilst drinking wine and conversing, Brandon brought up the details of a project of which he was still in the process of research and development.

Fast-forward to earlier this month

Liz, her brother Jon, and I decided to take the same trip. To our delight, this idea of Brandon’s was no longer just a dream. He was the business owner of Pendergast — the restaurant he opened in 2015! Of course, we reserved an evening (and a table) to enjoy an awesome meal and experience. And awesome it was.

We ended up with a belly full of barbecue and laughter as we soaked in the joy of the evening (and the sauce!). If ever you find yourself in Amsterdam, we highly recommend Pendergast as one of your stops.

Below are just a few of the photos of some of my favorite delights from the menu:

Rum Julep
The French Mistake
An array of deliciousness
One of their featured liquors, traditional of the Netherlands


More details of our trip to come…

Bikes, Trips,and Patience

The past few months, I have been dealing with a situation I have little or no control over. I have come to understand, over the years, how difficult the feeling of having no control is for me. In a nutshell, I have had an overseas trip planned for some time. But, I came upon a beastly mountain that I would need to get past before feeling excitement for what I consider to be one of the best parts of life: exploring. Frustrating details got in the way and threatened the possibility of going.

Patience is the quality needed in such a scenario. No amount of adrenaline, distress, or maneuvering could prove useful. Fast forward to today.

Today, I was thinking back to a time a few years back, when my bicycle — my cherished possession — was stolen at a friend’s apartment complex in New York City. An unwanted surprise.

When I discovered my mode of transportation was not where I left it, I was completely shaken. “How could somebody take something so important to me from me?,” I asked myself. I wanted to run through the building, knocking on doors — hoping someone could shed light on what happened. Instead, I hung my head and walked away from the place where Lulu, the tiny chihuahua I was looking after while my friend was on vacation, lived. I walked roughly 2 miles to my job and was hopelessly late.

The look on my face and beads of sweat from hustling to the office must have been a sure sign to my fellow coworkers that something was wrong. Mary, our lead sales representative, asked me what was wrong. I explained what occurred and expressed the anger I wished to act upon. She was entirely opposed.

Mary had lived in the city for many decades and knew the ins and outs, ways of maneuvering about, and possessed a certain wisdom I did not about the borough of Brooklyn. Crafty and clever she was. I trusted her instinct. Instead of accepting my loss or throwing a tantrum of sorts, Mary helped me devise a plan.

We sat down and wrote a letter to hang in the lobby of the apartment building in Sunset Park. The letter neither blatantly accused nor threatened the wrongdoer. Devising embellishment of me and my situation as the dogsitter for Apt. 6C, I realized that optimism and patience were the only two factors that might — just might — bring my bike back to me. Being that many of the tenants in the building were Latin American, I asked Marcel, the barback at my favorite neighborhood bar, to transcribe a separate letter to place beside the English version in Spanish. I hung them on the cork board with conviction. 

Here is the English letter I hung up:


I went to bed that evening praying the bike would be where I left it in the morning. I woke up the next morning, fed Lulu, and walked downstairs. There it was! My bike was returned. Right there was my bike where I had left it — with a few embellishments. The person who “moved” it had added a water bottle holder and deep saw marks throughout my U-lock. I cared nothing at all about needing to replace the lock, though. My bike was returned.

The reason I decided to write about this memory has to with the quality of patience that I have struggled with in the past. When it comes to my trip, I did my very best to let the universe reveal what was to be (or gave it to God, as I often hear people say in the South). Today, I was granted the green light to resume my halted excitement for the trip. Sometimes, a little patience and faith does yield positive results. I went on a 12-mile bike ride today and smiled as I envisioned walking the streets I have been missing so much in Amsterdam, Paris, and Berlin. So many steps I will take with a dear friend in not-so-many days. 

Like the sight of my returned bike the day I walked down those stairs, I felt the same relief and joy today about my trip. 

Unpack the Joy

Unpack the Joy

Oh, boy, I just noticed
You forgot to pack joy
Beating heart
Left behind
For the trip of a life
Many complications
Underneath constellations
Never expecting
A message
Shot from a star
Oh, boy, turn around
Go grab your joy
The car will be ready
To drive you away
Massive surprise!
Join the party
Open your eyes
Look around and discover
Budding surroundings
Oh, boy, it is Time
To unpack the joy

Z