Faith in Humanity Restored 

The title of this post might be a tad dramatic, but I think it follows up nicely after my thoughts on the way technology often gets in the way of friends interacting with each other. 

I continue to smile every time I have an interaction with a stranger that feels genuine. I like moments when the life of someone else and my own touch for just a few moments or minutes. Just because someone is in your life for a brief pause, it doesn’t mean that a mark isn’t left. That’s how I feel, anyways.

I took the metro downtown today to complete an assignment for my summer art class. The instructions were to draw a monument, not limited to the classic monuments we all associate with DC. I decided to check out one I’d never seen before: a statue dedicated to dogs that help firemen (my love of dogs may have propelled me in my choice haha).

I sat myself on a bench, pulled out my sketch pad, and began to draw as the sun beat down.  I was by myself, listening to music for about 45 minutes or so, until a man probably in his late twenties showed up to take a picture of the statue. I kept my headphones in, wary of being alone in a secluded area with a young man I didn’t know. I just wanted to mind my own business and hoped he wouldn’t speak to me.

And so of course, he spoke to me.

“You drawing that statue?”

“Yep, for my art class.”

“I’ll be right back… I wanna draw it too.” 

I put my headphones back in and watched him run in the other direction, amused slightly, while the other part of me was on my guard as you should always be slightly in a city. 

The man came back, smiling, with a piece of paper and pen. He sat down on a different bench, and began to sketch. After a few minutes he got up and showed me the beginnings of his work. 

“See I never learned how to draw lines, so I draw with shapes. To me drawing is very geometric.”

“That’s probably how I should be doing it,” I laughed. I was now intrigued by his drawing technique. 

For the next hour, he would show me his progress and I’d show him mine. He was very nice and seemed to appreciate that we had very different drawing styles, but didn’t seem to think one was better than the other. 

I left him well before his work was finished, but I really was inspired by the method he used to draw. 


I never learned his name and he never learned mine, but we did take pictures of each other’s drawings. It was a cool moment. With so many bad things happening in the world, it’s easy to be afraid of strangers. And with tecnhonology making us as isolated as ever, it’s easy to ignore people and stay in your own head space. I’m glad that today I got to experience an organic interaction and learn more about drawing. 

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Twenty somethings and their phones at restaurants

Note: this is being written by the point of view of a 21 year old millenial

I haven’t written in a while– I guess I’ve had some classic writer’s block, or simply a phase where I felt I had nothing important or interesting to say. Today I just want to share some passing thoughts from while I was at work.

As of a week ago, I’m a waitress/hostess at a restaurant in Friendship Heights (DC/Maryland border). Today I sat a group of six guys and girls, around my age or a couple years older. I said hello as I handed them their menus, but they weren’t particularly friendly, a couple of them staring at their phones.

Eh, it’s fine, I thought. We all stare at our phones more than we should. Welcome to 2016.

However, throughout the hour they say on the restaurant patio, I couldn’t help but notice that conversation was sporadic and that the majority of the time, at least 1/2 the table had their eyes glued to the iPhones, scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, and viewing their snapchats.

Is this what socialization has come to? Choosing to watch our friends “have fun” through a screen instead of having fun with the friends in our physical presence?

The thing is, I value iPhones for all they do. I also value social media and use it regularly, but not excessively. At the same time, I feel like it’s not a necessary thing be using while in the presence of family and friends that you are out with to spend time with. This has always gotten on my nerves, as in the past I’d hangout with friends in highschool and at least one person, if not more, would constantly be on/checking their phone within the group.

Anyways, that’s my little spiel for today. On the positive, I’m really liking my new restaurant job and the food is delicious (free meals and food samples have their perks). 🙂

Think Positive

Today is a nice day to think positive.

A little over a week ago, Paris and Lebanon were attacked.  And since then, the world has been reeling from the chaos caused by terrorism.

So yeah, today is a nice day to think positive.

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Embrace the colorful details in life; the way art catches the eye.  Think about the different places we find love in our lives– in varying people, in hobbies, in words, in creation.  Remembering all the good memories of the past and the many to come: sitting on the beach licking a
snow cone as a kid, typing away at my computer as I create stories of my own design, and one day graduating from college with a grin on my face.

Whoever might be reading this: have a nice day, today. 🙂 

[Photos taken by me in Washington, DC]

Seeing the Nature of The District

When one thinks of the District of Columbia, the first thing that comes to mind typically isn’t ponds, swamps, and national parks.  Or at least, I can say this to be true for myself.

Yesterday I was a part of a service project through my university’s co-ed Community Service Fraternity.  We went to Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, where I was reminded the importance of spending time outside and in nature.

Many people of my generation (myself included) can be so immersed into technology, social media, and life behind a screen, that we often forget not only the beauty of nature, but also the powerful effects it can have on our mental health.

We also sometimes forget how good it can feel to help improve nature, to take the time to clean up a pond while dressed in funny looking suits with boots attached to the pant legs.  Not only can it feel good, but it can be a ton of fun, especially when you’re out there with friends, putting your energy into something productive while tasting the fresh air as you inhale.

For me, the best part was tied between two moments: chatting with a friend, laughing, and learning new things about each other as we worked — being in the water, feeling its coldness without getting wet (well… until I fell over and liquid seeped into my suit that is… but that just happened to me!) and gazing at the trees all around us while listening to the quiet hum of bugs.

I can even say it was nice to have my phone tucked away on dry land in someone’s bag, rather than in my pocket.  It was refreshing to be 100 percent away from the screen (although I’ll admit I was guilty of ‘instagram-ing’ a photo later..but hey, that’s life in 2015).

(photo below was taken by a friend: I look a little rough but it was to physically be in the water!)

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Additionally, the staff at Kenilworth were wonderful– they hosted not only our fraternity, but many other university and high school groups– even a kindergarten aged girl scout group! I’m so glad I got to have this experience with them.  Hopefully I’ll make it back to Kenilworth before the semester ends.

National Zoo

I made a visit to the National Zoo about a week ago. It was a beautiful, warm day, and perfect for taking pictures! The most exciting part was getting to see the male panda outside as he munched on an afternoon snack.  These pictures were taken with my Nikon camera– I had a lot of fun with it!

Dupont Circle in May

I’m officially in D.C. for the rest of May and most of June!!  I started my first day on my own with what I like to call a “photography adventure.”  It’s nothing too fancy– I just walked around with my camera in hand, enjoying the sunshine that hung above my head.  I decided to wander around the Dupont Circle stop and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to find time to do this with a few different parts of D.C.  Exploring time!

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Blue Sky
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Unintended embassy viewing
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Apple tart deliciousness
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Saying hi to my pigeon friend

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DSCN2100My final thoughts on Dupont Circle from today: colorful & interesting buildings, embassies galore, and as I continually am surprised by in D.C.– a decent amount of green space!  I love how this city manages to balance its urban feel with the presence of nature.  This is one of the many things I love about Washington, D.C.

Flowers Flowers EVERYWHERE (Cherry Blossom Festival Photos)

Hi all.  The Cherry Blossom season is in full bloom here in Washington, D.C.  I know I’m usually more of a writer, but today I decided I want to share some of the photos I took while exploring last weekend.

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The place was packed, making it difficult to get through, but my boyfriend and I decided to walk the entire Tidal Basin anyways.  I only have a few years to live in D.C., and I want to make the most out of it!

(Below) There was a man in a BEAR suit.  I just found it rather amusing, so I took some photos.  Despite the oddity of it, I felt he looked strangely natural among the touristic chaos.

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Hope you enjoyed seeing Washington D.C. through my eyes.  It was a beautiful day, and it definitely confirmed one of the many reasons for why I’m so happy that I go to college in the nation’s capital (as well as why spring > winter!)

The Turkish-Uruguayan Uber Driver

For anyone who owns a smart phone AND lives in a big city– like NYC or DC– the term Uber is a familiar one.  Uber is a cab or car service that utilizes the GPS in one’s smartphone to get to them at any location, and from there, take them just about anywhere.  I’ve had positive experiences with Uber drivers so far, and this morning I got into the car to be greeted by a man with a rough, angry-sounding voice.

I told him where I needed to go, and he immediately seemed frustrated and pulled over, talking to himself and hitting buttons on his GPS.  This of course, made me feel slightly uncomfortable, as I hate to feel like I’m causing the driver to be irritated by my simple request.  It also caused me to have an immediate judgement– that perhaps this man wasn’t very nice, or good at his job for that matter.

Once we were en route and my driver was clear about where we were going, I settled into my usual passenger experience: being quiet and looking through different apps on my IPhone.  Occasionally drivers will ask me questions, but most of the time they remain silent, and in turn, so do I.  This man, once his irritation about the directions had melted away, spoke, asking me questions about my major and why I study Spanish.

“I’ve been taking it for years.  I just really enjoy it,” I had replied when he asked me if I had a Spanish background.

“Ah, well I grew up in Uruguay,” The driver had smiled (I could see his grin in the mirror) as he conversed.

He went on to tell me about how he was originally from Turkey, but had spent his childhood and young adulthood in Uruguay.  He informed me that in Uruguay the Spanish is very different from other South American countries, a fact I hadn’t known.  He said that Uruguay has an Italian influence, so they speak more harshly and animatedly.  They often use their hands and “sing their words.”

Given that I want to do my term abroad in South America, I found this really interesting.  I love meeting other people from different countries and different points of view.  I could hear the Turkish sound in his accent when he spoke English, but I also could see how the harshness of Italian-influenced Spanish in Uruguay could make him sound angrier than he was.  So what I had initially interpreted as anger and irritation was probably just his inflection (although I do believe he was frustrated about which route to take to get to my intended destination).  I had thought for a moment that I should feel uneasy in his presence, when in reality, it was simply the way his loud voice and tone had come off, due to his varied background.  Amazing what some cross-cultural information can do to change one’s experience and viewing of another person.

I’m glad I got to chat with an interesting person today– and learn something new about Uruguay– as well as judgement.

Back in the Nation’s Capital

I’ve been back in Washington, D.C., after my several month hiatus from school, for a little over a week.  As I’ve talked about a few times now, adjustment and transition aren’t exactly my favorite things.  But I can say that this is the first change that I’ve been most prepared for.  There have definitely been rocky moments, and I’d say that the last ten days have felt like an eternity, BUT I’ve also really enjoyed being back!  The world looks different to me now, the foggy lenses that I once wore no longer quite as dirty.  And when things do cloud up, I take them off and do my best to clean them.

This semester I can’t wait to explore more of D.C., taking advantage of the many different things there are to see and do.  Over the next few months, I plan to make a post about a variety of activities to do, and hopefully compile a mini visitor’s guide for anyone coming down to the city.  D.C.’s an interesting place after all; the four quadrants are diverse and each have their own cultures and histories to them.  Most people think of North-West D.C. when they think of the Nation’s Capital– after all, it’s what I think of too, and where my university is located.  We think of the White House and the Lincoln Memorial.  But what about U-street?  What about Columbia Heights?  And Chinatown?  Or Anacostia?  There are so many places to go, it makes my head spin, but I’ll try my best to get around to a few.

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Until then, enjoy these fancy blades of grass that, despite their ordinary-ness, I took on the National Mall!