‘Tis The Season To Be Thankful

This semester, I set blogging goals for the enrichment of my posts and myself. Call it a social experiment or me vying to spice up my normal routine, but I fully enjoyed the new aspect I added to my posting process. For those who aren’t familiar with my new process, it was to cease going on site visits alone. Last year, I relished in my solo hours put into the development of each post since, as an introvert, spending time alone came naturally. But I wanted to try something different and out of my comfort zone. This new, scary, and uncharted territory was my new addition to my posts and I feel like it thoroughly improved my overall blogging aesthetic. I wrote differently, my pictures felt different, and most of all I will always have the memories shared with each of my participants. So this post is for all of you (you know who you are!) whom I begged, pestered, and ultimately dragged this semester. In the essence of the holiday season, I want to take some time to thank all of you who helped, supported, and guided me to where I am now. Without you, I would have nothing, I would be nowhere, and I wouldn’t be who I am; I can’t imagine a world like that, so I refuse to.

Brianna
This all began with a beautiful woman named Brianna. She was the first person to tell me that my photos were actually worth being seen and she was my connection to this amazing student blogging “epidemic.” My Bri-Bri was the first willing participant to go on site visits with me. In fact, most of my first posts were created with her and whatever I learned on those trips, we learned together. So I thank you for always being there for me not only as a sister but as a peer, colleague, friend, and so much more. I was born into a world with you in it and I can’t imagine my life without the one driving force that shaped, guided, and advised me to be the person I am today. We don’t say it often so I won’t say it now but I will say “… Not possible.”

a picture of brianna in a quiet park

Image Credit: Sabrina Vasquez


Randy+Amanda
I would like to shed some much needed light on this duo. These true gladiators came out on the Friday before Halloween to a site visit with me. It was midnight and we had to weave through drunk costumed people in order to arrive to the site but it was all worth it. I wouldn’t trade that night for anything. It, unexpectedly, resulted in the best photos I would get this entire semester. Thank you for coming with me regardless of your understandable lethargy and aching need to be home after a long week of work. I appreciate both of your presence on that very peculiar night. Randy, thank you for listening to my random architectural gibberish. I began to run off on a tangent about the exposed structure and all you said was “Hmm… Never noticed that.” Amanda, like always, you kept the experience fun and enjoyable. Thank you for making work less tedious (especially on a crazy night in Manhattan) and making me very proud of this new process.

A photo of amanda and randy on a busy Manhattan street

Image Credit: Sabrina Vasquez


Genny
To the Agent 99 to my 86, the Detective Stabler to my Benson, Burton Gustor to my Shawn Spencer, thank you for all your feedback and support this semester. It seems rather preposterous knowing that we’ve only known each other for a short four months. We mutually learned from each other throughout our editing process. There was never a time that I felt that you didn’t have my back; whether it was a quick text at 12 o’clock in the morning or a casual conversation in the hallway. It was lovely getting to know you these past months and I couldn’t be any more thankful for the time that we had together. May our professional collaborations continue to thrive as well as our friendship.

Ride-Along_01
To my personal TMNT, who loves pizza just about as much as skateboarding much alike Michelangelo, but has a kindred heart and spirit similar to the persona of Donatello. Thank you for agreeing to come with me on one of my site visits. On each of my visits, I had to say at least three annoying historical or architectural facts about the site; you were one of the few to mutually geek out with me. I thank you for your time and interest in what I do; it gives me the inspiration to continue working on tuning my craft. Your input has been nothing but insightful and I am deeply grateful for all your encouragement. I said this once before, but you really are a wise person, and never think anything different. Your ability to perceive and analyze is inspiring all in itself; anyone who knows a fragment of what I know about you would see just how truly amazing you are. Thank you for always supporting me, regardless of if it was for a post, project, or just about anything; it gives me the determination I need to do the plethora of tasks I do on the daily. Thank you for all that you are.

Dolores
World, I introduce you to my grandmother. Everyone I know has heard a story or two about her. I don’t know how it happens but my stories and experiences always make a beeline back to this woman. Class after class, I bring her into a project at least three times every semester. I never cared what my professors, bosses, and peers would think of me discussing my grandmother so much because she was the root of it all for me; the one constant that never changed over the years. I voluntarily owe my entire existence to my Nana because I am here due to all her support, love, sacrifices, and wisdom. She gave me my very first camera and taught me everything that she knew. A force to be reckoned with, this woman is the source of all my sarcasm and wit. She deserves more than everything I could possibly ever give her. If I’m ever -so lucky in life to be able to inspire anyone, even an eighth of how much she has inspired me, I would have fulfilled my life’s expectations. To Dennis/Mom/Nana, I also offer the grandest appreciation; I am forever indebted to your love and everything similar.

a picture of dolores in the glow of a sunset

Image Credit: Brianna Vasquez


Sadia
To my very first friend at City Tech, thank you for your time contributed to one of my posts and being the greatest friend anyone could ask for. You don’t only push me intellectually but you also make me want to be better and continue to enrich myself academically and personally. You know me; all my antics and imperfections and you still are a great friend to me. I hope you know how much I appreciate you and our friendship since you just GET me so well. Only you understand when I say “Sorry, I’m a toucher” or when I make that dumb timid face and you force me to do something that I don’t want to do, but we both know will ultimately help me. Thank you for being there for me throughout all the crazy twist and turns in the years of us knowing each other; honestly, I don’t know where I would be without you. So, thank you… Thank you for being you.

Mya
To my baby sis, you make me proud every day! I’ll never forget our outing; I don’t think I have laughed any harder on any site visit, by far. With a sweet face and sarcastic tongue almost comparable to mine’s, I can’t picture the last ten years or so without you. I have watched you grow into the person that you are today and I couldn’t be any more invested in the enrichment of your future. You already know that I love you with all my being has to offer; and it may not seem like it, because I’m so busy at times, but I’ll always be there for you. Thank you for allowing me to schlep you around lower Manhattan on a hot summer day and for all the years of our friendship turned sisterhood. May I continue to see you grow, and may I continue to annoy you every day; it’s my life’s commitment.

The Buzz Team
To the ladies of The Buzz, thank you for being the best damn all-female team that I have ever worked with in my entire life. I take pride and honor, every single chance I get, to have worked with all of you. You’ve made work a beautiful environment and being around you all has only added to my repertoire. This has to be the closest I have ever felt to a work family and I have to admit that it is the best feeling I have ever had about work. Thank you for showing me how great women can click with each other. You all have set the bar so high and I hope that I can be so lucky to feel this way about a work environment again in my lifetime. Sam, you inspire us all to be more organized and involved. Neffi, you give us all the love and uplifting insight we need to continue to flourish in our semester. Robine, you always have something really deep to say that leaves us thinking, trying to fully analyze what you said. Pebbles, you motivate us all to try to really depict our posts and make it so literal for our readers. Cherishe, you always have the gumption to say those things that are on everyone’s minds; you influence us all to be hard-working and to not get entangled in webs of self-made excuses. Thank you, ladies… Thank you for being the greatest role model of how women can not only work together but work EFFECTIVELY together.

Readers
Lastly, it is my greatest honor to thank all those who read, share, or comment on my posts. Each of my posts had you all in mind and I will continually try to find better methods to reach you more in depth. When I first started blogging, I had a motto: It was to “make New Yorkers fall in love with New York again.” I hope I was able to do that and more with my posts. You allowed me to learn more about myself and for that I am infinitely grateful. The more you learned about New York, the more I did as well. I can honestly say that the more I posted, the more I fell in love with New York, myself, which I didn’t think was possible. Thank you for reading; I can’t wait to see the new adventures we’ll take in the future.

‘Tis The Season

So let me guess, you’ll be having salad and water all week right? lol. Yea sure, me too.
I don’t know about you but I think during thanksgiving weekend I ate enough for me and you and your family too. I feel sick right now thinking about all the things I ate, or I should I say, overate. I actually got sick! Just shameful.

So anyway it’s like a holiday countdown at this point. One down, one more to go.
Me and my family have been bombarding our group chat with screen shots of things we want, providing “gift budgets” lol, and checking off what we’re getting for who.
My 6 year old niece started off saying she only wanted one thing, a Barbie dream house, and I thought “oh what a simple girl!”. As of sunday, her list is now at 6 or 7 items. What changed? I don’t know lol.

As the holidays approach whether you celebrate Christmas, Kwanzaa or Hanukkah, It’s always my favorite time of the year. It’s a festive time of tradition, happiness, and gift giving between family and friends. Everywhere you go you hear cheery music and see bright beautiful lighting, it gets annoying lol but I appreciate it.

                              * cues Mariah Carey’s  “All I want for Christmas is you” *

Granted it isn’t this “great exciting time” for everyone. For some this may be a time of recurring sadness due to events like the loss of a family member, current living circumstances, current financial status, or other burdens. That’s why it’s our job to use our privilege to spread love and cheer, as corny as that sounds. Take this time to maybe donate gifts or a blanket to your local shelter or agency. Those old clothes and coats you don’t wear, donate it. As the weather gets colder, consider helping someone who can’t afford winter clothing so that they can stay warm. There is more than enough local charities and volunteer groups hosting coat and blanket drives for homeless shelters and families in need. I’m sure there’s even one on campus. No gift is too small.

Bring donuts to work for your co-workers one morning. Hand out christmas cards with personalized messages this year. There’s so many simple ways we can make this time better for someone; and remember not everyone’s sadness is visible.

You can make a difference without spending a penny. You can donate TIME. There are always ways to help in your local community. Even if it’s just for a couple hours, the time that you give will make a difference to at least one person and that’s really what the holiday season is about. Heck, babysit your neighbor or your friend’s child for an evening if they look like they need a break.

One of the most important things to do in order to spread joy to others is to appreciate the joy in your own life. We have so much to be grateful for, but sometimes we get caught up in our busy schedules and forget about all the blessings in our lives. Even the things that stress us out the most are usually our biggest blessings: our jobs, family, school obligations.

I am grateful for my annoying family members that no matter how many times I tell them their gift cannot cost more than $50, they continue to send me pictures of things that cost $120 lol. I am grateful to be stressed out with term papers and studying for finals. It took me a long time to get back into school and I’m grateful and definitely not taking it for granted. I am grateful for this platform and even if only one person reads my post each week, I know they are taking something positive away from it. When you are grateful it seeps from your pores and everyone around you feels it because it reflects in your attitude and how you treat others. This holiday season, reflect on the joy in your life and intentionally take time to feel gratitude for those things and pass the feeling on to someone else.

Love Ya, Neffi
picture of quote


 


Tis’ the Holiday Season

Tis’ the Holiday Season. Living in NYC you get to experience the Holiday Season with decorations and snow. Whether it’s going to see the windows on 5th avenue, the Christmas Tree in Rockefeller Center or going ice skating, there’s always something to do in the city during the Holiday Season.
But i’m here to inform you on something else to do during this season in the city that is FUN and FREE. That is, site seeing the Christmas Lights at Dyker Heights. This previous Saturday I had the opportunity to site see the Christmas Lights at Dyker Heights. It was a different experience. As someone who lives in an apartment building, I am not accustomed to being surrounded by houses decorated from head to toe with lights.
It was beautiful to see the gorgeous lighting on each house but also surprising to hear the amount of money invested in these decorations. Could you believe that people spend $20,000 or more to decorate their homes. But I guess it makes it better is that these homes are worth 10 million dollars or more!
Below are some photos taken when I went along with a link with more details.
https://www.timeout.com/newyork/things-to-do/dyker-heights-christmas-lights

National Day of Healing

With the Holiday season currently in “session” you can find people being jolly and happy very often. But this season is also difficult for a large group of people, for example those who lost a loved one.

Next Thursday, December 15th from 11:30am to 12:30pm a Professor from St. Francis College by the name of Andrea Andrews will be hosting her second annual “National Day of Healing” event at Brooklyn Borough Hall. This will be time for individuals to come together and reflect, taking 5 seconds (12:00:00pm-12:00:05pm) to send the message “you are not alone”. If you’re unable to attend the event, wherever you are, at exactly 12:00pn on this day, gather in a group or participate as an individual!

I encourage all that can attend to attend this event. Especially in a time that we are living in today with conflicts and racial slurs constantly being brought up, we all need to reflect and remind each other that they’re are not alone even when they feel they are we are all one.