I’m back in London after 3 weeks filled with highly charged adventures of meeting great people, seeing grand landscapes and kneading away some of the knots of the mind and body. I already miss you the glorious randomness of Burning Man, the rolling skies of San Francisco, the humbling outer space-esque landscapes of Yosemite and the Sierras, and most of all, the people. Thank you to all who’d made my experience the very spectacular time that it was. I have found everything from peace to ecstasy in the last few weeks and it couldn’t have happened without you all.
Frontline is finally available to watch online in the UK! All these years there had been broadcasting agreements (or rather disagreements) between the US and the UK that made it impossible to stream in their content. But yay, Frontline is finally here! For those unfamiliar with Frontline, it is a section of PBS (Public Broadcasting Service), which is something like an American BBC. Frontline consists of an online database of documentaries on topics ranging from international conflicts to the history of christianity and the neurological background of teenage behaviour. Yay again!
Upon hearing about FlexPetz, I thought that it was my long-lived dream of having a dog in London finally coming true. So I thought, until I actually visited the site of the company moving to London from the States and supplying this rent-a-dog service to the busy, mobile, or the purely lazy urban dog lovers. I never thought that the shared ownership would be doable, simply because I think it requires a set of conditions that makes it convenient for the owners and not upsetting to the animal. I would guess that something along the lines a close friend or family member who lives in the same street would potentially do, but a company-facilitated dog rental? I think that the business has a potential of making some people happy, but is it really the right way to go about dog sharing? The other side of this is the money: not only does FlexPetz charge a monthly fee of 100 GBP, but on top of that requires a mandatory fee of at least 180 GBP a month for the minimum of 4 days a month it assumes you’ll spend with the dog. Some of the funds FlexPetz generates do go to caring for the dogs, but ekhem, has sharing anything ever been more expensive than full ownership?
So how will the dogs feel about all this? FlexPetz claims that a dog will have a maximum of 2-3 owners at one time, but how many owner will that amount to over the dogs entire life? What are the ‘permanent’ homes that they go to once too old and sick? In principle, they aren’t all about money and convenience – all the dogs are rescued, but doesn’t FlexPetz really leave them to a fate similar to the one they seek to leave, a semi-permanent life of seeking the one owner that will not get rid of them once they’re inconvenient? Maybe shared dog ownership is a good idea, but one that just isn’t workable on a business scale?
I’ve been to the States three times now and my two previous trips consisted of Texas exclusively, but I can’t say I’ve seen that much of it. Despite being a city animal, I am also a huge nature lover and have finally gotten to see Brazos Bend, which I had heard of so much before. The landscape was swampy and crowded with trees that cast reflections in the swampy waters. On the banks of the walkways aligators would be sunning and not making much of your presence. The place had lots of views of birds of all kinds as well and in general was a wonderful walk.
Christmas was great and soon after we left to go to Austin and visit an uncle here. We took a walk through downtown and I finally got to see how cute this town is in daylight. We’re setting off to go to Waco in a couple of hours and will spend New Year’s Eve there. I didn’t bring my camera on this trip, so no pictures from this one…
I didn’t really mean to have a post on Boston, since it was just a one-day affair, but I have all these pictures sitting on my computer and felt that at least some should be on my blog. I was there a week ago, but can’t say I was overwhelmed with the city. It was kind of interesting, but also kind of monotonous and rugged at times. I liked its Italian part, one hilly residential district, and a few buildings, but other than that I can’t say that much caught my eye. To be fair though, I had just a few hours there, so my perspective is based on first impressions only.
I’ve been thinking about what to call this post and thought of many titles that could be a lot more original than Frank Sinatra’s theme, but that’s just about the top song on my list since I’ve been here, so that’s what it’s going to have to be.
My first day in NY was exhausting, but absolutely fabulous. I walked for about 5 hours stopping just for a short lunch in Chinatown. I would like to do it chronologically, but I cannot help letting the Brooklyn Bridge taking the first place in my story. I think it is the most beautiful bridge structure I have ever seen and makes the best model for taking pictures I’ve ever come across.
I started my walk at the World Trade Center to take pictures of Ground Zero. I could not really connect to it when I first saw it, but at the end of my walk I overheard a New Yorker talking about how high and thick the buildings were, which was still hard for my mind to wrap around. I also went to a photo exhibition, which I have to say was touching. Photo-wise, though, not quite as impressive as the whole build-up made me expect.
Once I was done with Ground Zero and then Brooklyn Bridge I headed back into Manhattan over Manhattan Bridge, which was a whole different experience. Simpler, more industrial, and a lonelier experience than the rest of New York. Gray, sliced up by sunlight and graffiti, and resounding with the trains and construction work, it was a great contrast to Brooklyn Bridge. Lone cyclists and gray people not looking into the bridge affair were the only seldom companions on long way over. At the end of it all the graffiti made me feel a little too lone, but it was some of the best graffiti I’ve ever seen. Oh, the bridges of New York – amazing.
From Manhattan Bridge I made my way to Chinatown, where I had lunch with a real Chinaman with a Californian accent. From there, I strolled on into Little Italy, Soho, and then made the final circle by reaching Ground Zero. New York is amazing. Everyone who knows me must have now heard of London, but these are like night and day. Walking through New York is like turning a corner and seeing a new landscape everytime. In half an hour you can go from hearing and eating Chinese, to watching the Godfather live, to Jay Z wannabes, to Broadway, to everything. Walking NY is great on your own and this was the best walk ever. Could I live here? Think I could get used to it pretty quick. NY is a mix of textured energies, colourful streets, and changing lives.