S/he has a noticeable back injury (the white stuff is just molted skin that hasn’t come off yet)–but seems to be doing fine. (#keepaustinweird)
After nearly 15 years in NYC (and three in Mexico City), Brendan, Adela and I threw in the towel and moved to a place voted…
- “the best city to live in“
- “the best city for jobs”
- “the best city for music” (<–duhhhhh)
- “the best city for relocating families” yet also “the best city for singles”
We’re one of many new families to the city–because Austin also is “the fastest growing city.” (Seems like we’re not unique in liking warm weather, lots of parks, a progressive, laid-back vibe, a diverse population, and more cultural activities than we could possible attend, all awash in friendly Texas culture.)
Oh, to top it off, we’ve got siblings, cousins, second cousins and dozens of friends living here, too!
It has been wonderful timing to be in Mexico City on the anniversary of David Bowie’s death (and what would have been his 70th birthday). Because unlike anything I have ever encountered, including in his adopted home of New York City, he’s everywhere.
For example, on my way to the local pizzeria the other night–where they were playing The Last Town Chorus’s cover of Modern Love–the streetlights and walls were plastered with posters of Aladdin Sane:
Why? An exhibit of original photographs known as Duffy/Bowie: Five Sessions is on display at the Museum of the City of Mexico.
Of course, I went:
But that’s not where his presence ends. One block from our Airbnb rental is the restaurant Bowie, which features smoked foods (get the smoked guacamole, btw) and cocktails not often on the menu in Mexico City restaurants.
While there, you can sit below a giant mural of Bowie, made with bottle caps:
We used to live a few feet from captivating Parque Mexico, in La Condesa. Six years later, we returned for a visit with our 3yo daughter and found it… Even lovelier! They added a sprawling playground and giant dog run, yet maintained all the mature tropical landscaping that makes it such a relaxing spot.
The last time we were in Mexico City I was about six weeks pregnant.
Now we’re back, for a month! With Adela, at the peak age when children throw major tantrums. Adventurous? Yes. Hopefully not disastrous too. Vamos a ver.
The plane ride was uneventful, until Adela barfed repeatedly on her and me. Somewhere in an Aeromexico rubbish bin exists her clothes and my sweater.
Today started off great, we went to Jardin Pushkin and checked out the new playground. Then, when she decided she wanted “Elsa ice cream” and we got her regular ice cream, a massive violent tantrum ensued. Orale, it goes down as her worst one so far, with a stunned audience of lunch workers to gawk as she tore off her shoes and socks and writhed on the sidewalk, screaming.
(Mommy panicked a little, I’ll be honest.)
But that was followed by a great afternoon at another playground, and a full comida corrida that cost 180 pesos, or $9 for the whole family. Adela even tried tacos dorados de papas! Now she’s playing with her toys at our lovely airbnb.
No, this is not about our president elect. Rather, the under appreciated yet awesomely named Hell Gate Bridge in NYC. This bridge is beautiful from all angles, even its underside, and creates a gorgeous frame over Astoria Park.
While rummaging through my photos, I realized it’s also one of my predomnant muses, even if it’s just a quiet presence in the backdrop.
Back story: Hell Gate Bridge is used for heavy freight and Amtrak passenger trains between Queens, Randall’s Island, and the Bronx. It gets its name from the turbulent waters that churn below it, where the cross currents frequently form massive – – and sometimes quite deadly–whirlpools. It’s a long, slender, easy to miss bridge, except for its span over the East River, where it arcs upward, a permanent sunrise.
We can see the bridge from our living room window, and it’s well known to any one who calls Astoria, Queens home. (And also to residents of Sydney, Australia, as it served as the inspiration for their Harbor Bridge.)
Here it is among some of my photos taken over the past few months, in all its versatile, functional beauty:
Recently my husband Brendan and I discussed if–after living in NYC for nearly 15 years–we considered ourselves New Yorkers. Do we walk the walk? Talk the talk?
After reading the following statement from Governor Andrew Cuomo, I can wholeheartedly and emphatically say YES.
“The state of New York has a proud legacy as the progressive capital of the nation, and that is more important today than ever before.
As New Yorkers, we have fundamentally different philosophies than what Donald Trump laid out in his campaign.
So let me be absolutely clear: If anyone feels that they are under attack, I want them to know that the state of New York – the state that has the Statue of
Liberty in its harbor – is their refuge.
Whether you are gay or straight, Muslim or Christian, rich or poor, black or white or brown, we respect all people in the state of New York.
It’s the very core of what we believe and who we are. But it’s not just what we say, we passed laws that reflect it, and we will continue to do so, no matter what happens nationally. We won’t allow a federal government that attacks immigrants to do so in our state.
We are a state of immigrants.
We are the state that raised the minimum wage to $15.
We are the state that passed Paid Family Leave.
We are the state that passed marriage equality.
We are New York, and we will stand up for you. And on that, I will never compromise.
Count on it.”
I had fun collecting and sorting these freshly fallen autumn leaves into mandalas. I did this on a patio on a windy day in upstate New York, so they were quite ephemeral–scattering away moments after I took photos. Tree species include hornbeam, sugar maple and Norway maple, mulberry, tulip, sassafras, and white oak.
A different mood with a vignette filter:
And why stop there? Let’s collage it and create a quilt:
Happy Samhain to all those who celebrate! Y feliz dia de Los Muertos, por cierto.