Coming from a family of 3 type 1 diabetics and becoming one myself at the age of 15, this is a cause that is very near and dear to me. But instead of riding in this year’s Tour de Cure, I volunteered with the American Diabetes Association on Randall’s Island and did some photos for them. Besides the streets of New York, I’ve never shot photos of complete strangers before, and I was definitely out of my shy little introverted comfort zone. Halfway through though, I was able to muster up enough courage and start asking people for some more staged photos. And I’m so glad I did. Take a look at these heartwarming smiles and see if you don’t get inspired by these badass diabetics.
Before I moved to New York, I was fascinated with the city. Every time I visited I would take hundreds of photos: first on disposable cameras and then on pocket-sized digital cameras. When I finally bought a decent DSLR and made the decision to make the move downstate, I imagined that my lifelong passion for photography would bring me up and down this island creating a personal portfolio Bruce Gilden would be proud of. My apartment would become filled with giant black and white prints of the city that I took.
I've only called New York City home for 3 years, but somehow it has already lost that photographic element to me. I'm not entirely sure why that is. I don't feel as if my life has become routine or like I never go to new places, never see new things. I just feel like I've been forgetting to notice life around me. I've been forgetting to look up, to view my surroundings through a lens.
So this week I've been trying to bring myself out of that mindset. I've been taking lunchtime walks around my office's neighborhood and just snapping away—on my iPhone of course. I'll start hauling around my DSLR more on the weekends. But for now, I give you Springtime In New York.
New Gear: Calf Compression Sleeves
According to the Internet, they help to avoid injury and shin splints—which I tend to suffer from. I got blue, the girlfriend got red. Feeling very Americana last night, I decided we were both going to wear one of each. Because it's March, Aspasia ran in pants and looked normal. Because I have upstate blood, I ran in shorts, one red and one blue calf sleeve, a neon orange shirt, and a white hat, and was mocked. "Why blend in when you were born to stand out." Right? Right. They are a little overpriced, but so far they seem to be worth it. I had no pain in my calves while I was running, not to mention they also add a nice touch of expression. Ours say "Mojo," (not sure if that's a nod to Austin Powers or not—I think it will be in my mind), but they sell some pretty awesome ones too. I've seen some that say "Run Happy" and others that are even funkier colors.
The View: Freedom Tower
I actually ran last night! It was my first outdoor run of 2015 and I have to admit, it totally beats the treadmill. I still didn't fall in love with running last night, but at least I had more to look at than sweaty heads in front of me and a silent CNN. I mean that view. It never gets old. Running along the Hudson River in Hoboken may be one of the best places I've run...so far. We are running a marathon in Athens.
Stats And Music
Nothing too impressive yet, but I got out and ran. A pace of 10'44" is nothing to write home about but it was my fastest speed since August of '14 so I'm feeling pretty good. It was also a steady pace. Our goal was one mile, and as she does, Aspasia pushed me to go further. I had planned on being extremely attentive to my Nike+ and quit at exactly a mile and a half, but then "'Till I Collapse" by Eminem came on and I felt like I was on air. As soon as that beat came on and those lyrics filled my earbuds ("Cause sometimes you just feel tired, feel weak. When you feel weak, you feel like you just wanna give up. But you gotta search within you, try and find that inner strength...Till the roof comes off, till the lights go out, till my legs give out...") my pace picked up and I pushed it. Not much further, but damn this song. Staying on the running list for sure.
What are some of your favorite songs to run/work out to? Leave in the comments. I will need a lot!
I'm standing at the edge of the park in Grand Army Plaza, reading through my list of options for a coffee from the hip NYC Love truck. The bearded man inside looks out and makes a comment about the endless loop of "Happy Birthday" the frozen yogurt truck across the street is playing.
"I don't know about you man, but that song is driving me nuts!"
I just smile, thinking to myself of my childhood best friend--whose birthday happens to be today--and of my own birthday, which I'll be spending in Syracuse next week. While I'm lost in these thoughts, an elderly woman with bright pink hair and an equally eclectic outfit comes between myself and the hippie coffee man.
"Actually!" She starts yelling. "That song is copyrighted! And NOBODY is allowed to play it. I'm serious!"
She frantically looks at coffee hippie, at me, then back at coffee hippie, making sure she got her point across.
"Did you hear me? You don't care?! They're breaking laws and you don't care!"
She runs off in pursuit of justice as I order a tall black iced and share a smile with the coffee hippie that says we're both thinking the same thing: wouldn't it be great if today's biggest problems in the world were what songs the ice cream man was playing?
I'm sorry...the frozen yogurt man. This is Brooklyn after all.