Friday, 13 November 2020

HELLO PHILLY! : Signs of Love and Rocky Balboa

So...turns out you can go to Philadelphia from NYC for $12 buck!
And if you book your trip on World Travel Day, you can go via  the comfort and eas of Amtrack for $30
Ladies and gentlemen, I ask you, who could pass that up?
Not Meeee!

In my ever chase for art around the world I also thought it would be wonderful to see the Statue of Rocky Balboa the city has proudly standing near their museum. I wanted to venture into the art museum too but alas there was a 25 dollar cover charge that day and I am a broke international student far from home. Never the less, the statue is a gorgeous and detailed piece!

 "It's not about how hard you can hit. It's about hard you can get hit and keep moving forward."

Did I ever need to be reminded of that just then...this semester of grad school is kicking my ass and it hurts y'all...

The last stop was The Victor's Bar, used in the film as Rocky's restaurant. I was not prepared for how this place blew my mind. The food was not only good but is was served by waiters and waitresses all classically trained as OPERA SINGERS! That night I heard Opera in Filipino, German,  Swiss and French just to name a few.

They also invited us to come in an hour early and see their music lounge which is one of the most beautiful rooms upstairs the restaurant. It's got it's own bar, a private bar tender, candle lighting, photographs of the staff  with the crew of Rocky and gorgeous Victorian style interior design.

I was smitten! Yes, this post was per-scheduled. I thought I'd share it with you as it happened exactly a month before the world went into lock down.

Also, boy oh boy has this editor changed...forgive me while I figure this out?

Peace. Love. Stay well friends!

Sunday, 23 February 2020

A January Adventure :: Brunching and Adulting

I had the joy of going to Brunch with my favorite Grenadian illustrator this January. I was ever nervous what with not knowing this country as I'd like but it was easy enough to find the location. Something so simple turned out to be so lovely. Just a few Grenadians meeting up a' foreign. We shared some hot beverages and a little treat and talked about how much our country has changed for the better and for the worse in our life time.

It warmed my heart so deeply.

Being far from home only cements for me the civic responsibility thrust into the hands of so many of us. This is a unique thing when you are a creative. You see maybe the way your impact will not be immediately recognized like the lawyer, the doctor or the politician. Maybe people will look at you and say, ah, but there is so much life without you. As though art has never healed. As though art has never defended or accused. As though art has never lead.

It was a soul fueling conversation with these ladies at the lovely little shop we brunched at and I'm grateful for their time and encouraging words. I truly understand now the phrase women support women in a way that it's never been so clear to me. I understand it more and more as I grow and achieve and am blessed with the mentor-ship of successful women who have struggled and won before me.

Here's to more women supporting women in 2020!

Peace. Love. Support.

Sunday, 9 February 2020

Little Women 2019 Adaptation :: Own Your Story

 So I saw Little Women the 2019 adaptation with these wonderful, powerful, beautiful ladies recently! I was so teary eyed so much of the time too because this adaptation focuses on Jo's narrative i thought very well and her story means SO MUCH to me personally.

Little Women serves as a reminder that every woman's idea of a fulfilled future can be and is likely different but is still equally valid. 

It reminds us that yes, you can like dresses or romping, exploring the bushes with your platonic male friends or sewing fine silks into ballroom dresses. You can be a stay at home mom in a sweet cottage with your husband or want to tour Europe and live a life of worldly artistic appreciation or a  life as a woman chasing her professional passions or all of the above. Why judge a woman for wanting any of these choices is what the film seems to ask.

When I read the book of course I felt deeply connected with Jo. The march sister who wanted to climb trees, tour Europe for it's ascetic qualities as fuel, be a writer and who eventually moves to New York City in this crazy move to do just this. As I grow older, watching this adaptation it was interesting to see how my friends felt connected to different March sisters and how even I, appreciated the other March sisters in an entirely different way.

This adaptation brings a great contemporary lens the the cause and effect of living as a woman in a world that does not respect womanhood as equally valuable. A world that places constraints on what a woman should look like and how she should spend her life. What she should be passionate about and what should make her whole. A world that policies women's bodies and then tells them to work as everyone else works even knowing that they have set up systematic constraints that make this not impossible but incredibly unequal...

My favorite part about this rendition of Jo March is that she yells in the face of the audience the secret pain of many modern women. It is a pain of responsibility. To know that you deserve more and to understand that your journey towards more is likely to be a lonely trudge. To understand that the world sees a woman's loneliness as a weakness or as her punishment for wanting more. The successful woman is not supposed to admit to being lonely. She is supposed to be comforted by her success. As if loneliness is not a human emotion. She is expected to be superhuman to be given the respect of humanity. Again here is the tipping of the scales towards an inequality we have not yet managed to fix or even look holistically in the face without blushing. 

I love that the story of Little Women reminds us that every story, every secret dream and dared for hope informs us that there is no one right way to be a woman. There is just the bittersweet beauty of growing into womanhood in a world that pushes back on it. 

Rest assured, it might be hard to be a woman then and now but it can still be beautiful after all.

If you're really really blessed? Maybe you'll get to do it with women who will support your struggle and your dreams and not judge you for not 'doing it right' Women who know too there isn't necessarily a right way...just A WAY at the end of it all to be a woman and that way is linked to being the truest version of yourself you can manage.

I'll tell you something else, I cannot wait to see what happens when woman dares to take on the task of betraying Jo through an inter-sectional feminist lens. What of a multiracial Jo? Jo as a person of colour? A non-binary Josaphine March? What will Jo of the gen Z look like? Now there is a question...there, is a thought.

Peace. Love. Equality.

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