Microfiction: City

Each step on the sidewalk is a story. Something has happened that is greater than the sum of a body, the whole of feet and bones and blood. A life has been spent, made or traded on the concrete (or at least the ground beneath it).

They say not to romanticize New York too much, but that’s hard for anyone who hasn’t been exposed to the electric air from birth. Because when you arrive the first time, you’re the rabbit pulled from the hat.

I still dream of the skyline without end, the statue in the bay, every single promise.

5 Best Things from 2014

It’s still January. I’m allowed to do this. 2014 was a hell of a year, right? Here are the most awesome things that came out of it.

2014 copy
1. Izmee the Hippo: after 5 years of waiting for someone to give me a hippo, I took matters into my own hands. Since then, Izmee has become a constant companion in my adventures. She’s there at new restaurants, she gets to check out the digs at hotels, and she reminds me not to be so serious.

2. Rats: in December, we welcomed into our home three fuzzy brothers who have grown into delightful additions to our family. Chip, Moby and Oreo are like tiny puppies: they lick our faces, they want to interact with us, and they are constantly playful. I’m 100% converted to the way of the rat.

3. The Jane Hotel (NYC): this one is very specific. When I booked my room at the Jane, I was mostly intrigued because it came off as an affordable, private hostel. Now, though, as I reflect on it, the Jane was one of the most inspiring places I’ve ever been. It captures the Manhattan feel of old movies, with its boat cabin rooms and distant view of the Statue of Liberty. I can’t imagine going back to New York and not staying there.

4. Food: 2014’s food was amazing. No kidding. My husband and I did a lot in 2014 to expand our culinary horizons. I baked bread from scratch for the first time. Instead of going out for Valentine’s Day, we had a 5-course dinner at home, including duck confit (pictured here). Looking at cooking as a creative endeavor has changed the way I look at food everyday.

5. Travel: I can’t express how pleased I am with how much traveling I managed to do in 2014. I chose pictures from only a few of my outings, including DC for the annual cherry blossoms, Houston, Philadelphia, Detroit and Virginia Beach (local to where I grew up but my first time at a beachfront hotel). I also visited New York City twice – once by train! – Columbus, Cleveland, Baltimore, and several cities around Pittsburgh during my summer staycation. And I am ready for more!

What were your favorite parts of 2014? I’d love to hear about them!

2014 was a Year to be Brave…2015 is a Journey!

So last year, I created a word for 2014, and that was Brave.

And I was. I tried taxidermy for the first time. I lost my wallet in NYC. I took my first bus and train trips (trains are better). I hit all the zombie hotspots in Western PA, and I drove from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh in the middle of the night.

I made bread from scratch. I created a chapbook of poems. I laughed a lot, cried a bit, and made some new friends. When I would start getting anxious or, worse, bored…I said, “What can I do now?” It was a great year, which is contrary to what I’ve heard from a lot of people.

This year, as I sat on my couch re-watching season 2 of Hannibal on New Years Eve, I doodled trying to figure out what I wanted to do with this next year. I have a few goals – to visit Canada, to get comfortable playing the ukulele, among others – but I wanted another word. I wanted a theme.

I messed around with several words, including:

  • Adventure (too broad)
  • Dream (too abstract)
  • Finishing (too narrow)
  • Content (too slow)

Then, as I was writing about who I wanted to be by the end of 2015, I wrote a note about how I wanted to “document the JOURNEY.” And that’s what stuck.

I want this year to be a Journey. I want to ride through it and stop at the places that appeal to me. I want to try new foods and see new people and live so presently that all I’m thinking about is this moment, second, instant. I want to turn off regret and nagging and stuff that bothers me and drive.

And I definitely won’t stop believin.’ Or holding on to that feelin.’

Did you really think we’d get through this without a Journey reference?

How about you? Do you have a theme for this year? Any spiffy goals or ideas? Resolutions? Tell me!