30 October 2014

The Search for White Noise

I am most productive as a reader and writer when working amidst the perfect decibel of white noise. The soothing sound must be familiar, constant, and consistent. Sounds of the city, like the noise of traffic through the windows of a high-rise, are calming. 

The source of the finest white noise I ever had the pleasure of hearing was an industrial-sized air conditioning unit of an office building. I found refuge at an al fresco table of the adjacent café. As the sun's rays permeated the table umbrella, I was submerged in a warm, marigold glow.

I don't recall what book took up residence in my purse at the time, but the manner in which I swept each page has remained a pleasant reflection. I plummeted into the world of the book without hesitation or distraction. The novel moved along at the pace of its movie version but retained the full breadth of the author's words. As I arose from the white, iron, perforated chair, I felt a sense of accomplishment at my progress.

Never have I found white noise more superior than the tone of that massive air conditioning unit. The search for white noise is a never-ending undertaking, but necessary for meeting my literary goals. 

The flagship branch of the New York Library is iconic, lively and located on Fifth Avenue. After carefully surveying the white marble, gold gilding, and Corinthian columns, I take notice of the sounds of the elaborate house. The swinging keys of the security guards and Italian-made shoes hitting the marble floor accompany my reading of The Beautiful and Damned.  
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29 October 2014

Navigating Manhattan

On this island, a woman joins the bustle of the city streets with intention. Even if she does not know the exact direction to her destination, she is fully aware of her surroundings. New York is the embodiment of assertiveness. The woman who dwells here holds her head high, owning her path on the sidewalk. She appears to be "a natural" at all she does. Her outfit is the epitome of taste and her nail color pristine. Her face is made up, and so is her mind. 

Back on the Island


28 October 2014

The London Year

The most important lesson I have learned in London is that of friendship. It was the encouragement from friends on both sides of the pond that pulled me through a challenging MA program. I am eternally grateful for these concrete bonds built on fundamentals such as trust, consideration, respect, and sincerity. Nonetheless, I have also broken a few ties this year, unapologetically discharging associates unworthy of my time or energy. Some people deserve to be exiled to the part of the past reserved for rubbish. 

The past is not a place to take up residence, but some neighborhoods are pleasant to visit for inspiration, reminiscence, and history dissertations. The present is the place to live. It is a glorious address, like the perimeter of Hyde Park. It is where happiness is made, where dreams are realized, and where I make myself for a cup of tea. The memories I made in this historic city will stay with me, like (according to some) the trace of an English accent. Living in the present now means settling in New York City.
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The view of central London from the grounds of Kenwood House, Hampstead Heath

24 October 2014

Particular Pen

The conversation turned to the topic of our favorite writing utensils. I proudly materialized the BIC Triumph 537R Roller Ball (Extra Fine Point) from my purse. We passed our pens around the pub table, applying ink to a spare piece of paper. No girl could persuade the others of the superiority of her particular pen. The owners breathed sighs of relief when their precious property concluded its turn around the wooden surface. We tucked our pens into our purses, and I thought how fortunate I was to find myself in the presence of women who took offense to the ballpoint.
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23 October 2014

Good Night Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square after hours is one of the most glamorous locations in which to gather with friends. Dominated by the pillared facade of the National Gallery, the square bathes in the soft glow of surrounding lamps at nightfall. The inviting ambience draws my companions and me to our designated area of Charles Barry's space. Our cup of cheer becomes so full we spill into one (or several) of the pubs in proximity. Grasping the stems of our wine glasses, we find several things to toast in true English style. This display of comradeship tides us over until next week's assembly in the square.
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21 October 2014

Paying Homage

I am indebted to the creative, bold, deceased men and women who have left their marks on this world. There is much I would like to discuss with the inspiring Jane Austen. If confronted with a vision of her being, surely my eyes would fall first upon her intricate Regency curls. Having wished the woman in Cassandra Austen's watercolor to life, I would be astounded by her human qualities. A second would pass at the speed of an hour in my survey of the writer.

I am momentously brought back to the present, the nave of Winchester Cathedral. I lift my hand from the stone bearing her epitaph, aspiring to possess a mere quarter of the author's ability to arrest an audience with the written word.
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