Aside

Brooklyn Bound during 2020 Global Pandemic

Hi there!

Day 65 of Quarantine in the Big Apple and the party is just getting started!  The days are long and observing out the window seems to be on repeat. I am being ordered by the Governor Cuomo to stay indoors and my field of work is not considered essential. I have been out of work for 2 months now and have been keeping busy everyday. I know, it could be way worse and I am thankful to still be able to be in New York during this time as a vegan diabetic dancer.

The center of the world. The ground zero. An island I will not get to see in such peaceful condition, due to being stuck in Bedstuy. Brooklyn vibes feel like any other regular day. Besides the streets being less busy, people in Brooklyn are living normal lives with masks on.

Ambulance sirens still fill the silence throughout the night and grocery stores run out of random products yet are restocked daily. Rumor has it, that the family dollar near me restocks their cleaning products like lysol and clorox wipes daily and by 10 am they are sold out. However, vitamins are still filling up the isles as if we do not need a strong immune system. To each their own right?

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Hanging out on my rooftop wearing flip flops and a coat…

The sky is clear and the city is crisp. You can see stars and every flying object over the city.  When it is cloudy, the bridges light up and you can see colors projected above us.  Barely any flights are heard as much. It truly makes me want to get a telescope and sit out on the roof for as long as possible. Be blessed if you have access to the outdoors without being expose to possible COVID-19 strands.

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I hear stories of beaches opening up in other places then being trashed by humans in Florida…. meanwhile, in New York, the cops patrol to make sure there is social distancing happening at the parks. Nature has re-surfaced and made almost everything pure and clear again. Humans are not longer causing so much pollution and our planet is actually more quiet. Isn’t that a beautiful thing? I think that it will only  Aliens have appeared on multiple occasions, or is it a distraction from the government while they built 5G towers?

Masks…no masks… MASKS. Wear mask or get a ticket. Also,  no one can deliver food to you from the grocery stores or amazon because there are not enough employees wanting to travel to Brooklyn, where people spit on you, to make hundreds of deliveries. Nonetheless, Brooklyners are making the best of the situation and enjoying the outdoors more than we used to. Even though the weather is all over the place due to the natural reset that world is going through, we are no longer hermits sitting in our cozy apartments.

Support local business!

 

Clementine Bakery located on Franklin Avenue in Bedstuy has turned into an all purpose shop. From baked goods to fresh produce, greeting cards and more. Their collection of plants is soothing to be under while shopping around and social distancing.

Fresh Quinoa Bowl featuring groceries from Clementine’s!

The best part of staying indoors for me is working out, eating fresh homemade food, and taking care of my plants.

 

Meet my babies!

 

While people are adopting animals left and right from shelters, some of us have a new passion for plants! Caring for plants is not as simple as water and sunlight. Throughout this shelter in place experience, I have learned about the different types of plant and how their environment and water intake varies. I am no botanist but I do know more about plant habitat than I did prior.

During this time where we have the privilege on focusing on ourselves and in a way forces to vacation. I urge you to ignite your true passions and let them take you towards your next adventure.

See you next time!

 

Aloha and Mahalo!

In the middle of the Pacific Ocean lives these ancient volcano craters that civilization formed there over time and took great pride in all of its islands. Hawaii. A paradise indeed where you feel as though you are not in USA any longer but a place near by. The state of Hawaii is made up of multiple islands and although it may seem like you can island hop, it is actually impossible unless you own your own boat, or of course you book back to back flights to explore different islands. Nonetheless, Hawaii is full of genuine people and a rich history that has been passed down for generations.

Images from Waikiki and Downtown Honolulu.

For the longest time I just remember hearing about Honolulu and Diamond Head. I have a friend that lives there from time to time and she also mentioned these sites and we would joke about visiting Waikiki when we were kids. Finally, it was time I went to the islands of Hawaii and got to experience this “hang lose” lifestyle.

Waikiki and Honolulu are right across a canal from each other on the coast O’ahu island. The entire city and sub areas are easily accessible via walking or bus. The islanders still learn Hawaiian in school and most people speak it pretty fluently.

First on the list after two 6-hour back to back flights…SUSHI!

We went to a place right by our airbnb called Chiba Ken.

It was affordable and such fresh food.

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Their green tea cheesecake desert came in this adorable layered glass.

Day 1 – Hike Diamond Head

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After a belly full of sushi and a weird sleep schedule that left us with a lot of energy just in time for a that Hawaiian sunrise, the first thing we knew we wanted to do was hike Diamond Head. Known as Le’`ahi which means “brow of the tuna” in Hawaiian; it was named Diamond Head by 19th century British sailors claiming they discovered diamonds on the crater’s slopes. What they were seeing was actually shiny calcite crystals with of course zero value. The crater was used as a strategic military lookout beginning in the early 1900’s and was named a National Natural Landmark in 1968. 175 steps and about 45 minutes later, you have a panoramic view of O’ahu. It cost $1 a person to enter and you can get there by bus. I highly recommend it for anyone semi fit as it takes less than an hour to climb and then check out the different view points from there.

A daily pass for the bus on the island is $5.50 (Exact change is needed) and can take you to all of your locations or drop you off less than a 20 minute walk from your destination. Since we were staying right between Honolulu and Waikiki, taking the bus was fun. However, if you want to visit around other parts of the island, renting a smart car is the best way to go!

Amazing views from Diamond Head

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Dinner at Tommy Bahama

Yes a restaurant that sells clothes on the first floor and leads to a rooftop on the Waikiki main street strip. We spoiled ourselves for a great dinner farm to table style.

Fresh is an understatement of the quality of our food selections for the evening. Some ahi tuna guacamole, coconut crab cakes and a free desert to top if all off! It was quite a                                  Happy Anniversary indeed.

 

Day 2- Scuba Dive in Magic Island

Chris had wanted to go scuba diving pretty badly but I knew that we needed to get certifications. I found a beginners class on Group On for scuba diving including free go pro footage of swimming. I was able to make it work with some difficulties but being in a lagoon really worked out at Magic Island. You are able to view other swimmers, surfers and para-sailors around. The biggest tip for learning how to scuba dive is you need to relax. Hyperventilating does not work so well with a clean air supply available to you with little effort. I had difficulty with this activity, but I was able to touch the bottom of the lagoon off the coast of Honolulu. Not a bad situation for Ashley.

Hanauma Bay

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This Bay is covered by coral reef and scuba divers with free entry  for the residents of Hawaii. Hanauma Bay was created by an eruption years ago hardening and created a bay full of blow holes, intense waves and natural coral reef inhabiting sea life. Upon entry, you are charged a fee of  $7/visitor then required to watch a short introduction video explaining the rules and the story of Hanauma Bay. It is inspiring to see an entire island all on the same page with their historical knowledge and practice to help preserve their island’s healthy ways.


Day 3- Honolulu City and Ala Moana Center

Hula classes are quite expensive but usually are a private. I took a class at Hula with Aloha. Located in Ala Moana Mall, the dance company hosts a luau show on the center stage of the mall every day at 1 pm for 20 minutes. During Holiday season, they singing and dancing the story of Christmas in their native language. The history of Honolulu and all of Hawaii is quiet a sad one. Less than 10% of the population is pure Hawaiian and have been through the worst treatment once the “white business man” came through and claimed their land. In turn the islanders were forced to continue their work on the land as they already did by cultivating and embracing their home

 

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Ala Moana has a free hula performance every day from 1 – 1:20 pm. This is basically a free luau without the food and fire, and you’re in the worlds largest open -air mall with a whopping 2,270,186 square feet as retail space.


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Souffle pancakes are a brunch must while visiting, along with their acai bowls!

Day 4-  Koko Head

FREE and dangerous. There are signs warning you on potentially being killed if taking this path without water or careful attention to your surrounding. I survived this 2,400 foot tall hike up and down without assistance with just a few water breaks and crawling method. Once reaching the top, the wind is so powerful that you no longer need to dry up from the hot and sticky climb up Koko Head Mountain. This hike is not guided nor has official operations hours. You are able to access it whenever you want and understand that you are climbing at your own risk.

Panoramic view of the East coast of O’ahu from the top of Koko Head.

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Starting and ending points during the Koko Head hike.


 

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The traditional vibes of the islands of Hawaii  – beach, city, mountains, suburbia. While visiting O’ahu, you get all of these plus the addition on Waikiki and the location of the only official royal palace in the United States as well as active lava spewing volcanoes.

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Some fuel and carbs for breakfast in Waikiki. This cafe gave out metal straws with their drinks. Mahalo for being so environmental friendly!

As always. A walking tour took place around Honolulu Historical Sites…which is of course, free!

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Ali’iolani Hale is hom e to the state supreme court, in front of the building you can see the statue of the last reigning king of the Islands of Hawaii. The original statue was lost at sea on its way over from Europe, as its original sculpture was an Australian artist studying in Italy as the time. This is the most Roman like statue of all of Hawaii. The rest of them resemble the rich diet of the islanders through or breads, taro and rice.

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Iolani Palace is a living restoration of a proud Hawaiian national identity, registered National Historic Landmark and the only official royal palace in the United States. Iolani Palace represents a time in Hawaiian history when King Kalakaua and his sister and successor, Queen Liliuokalani, ruled the Hawaiian Kingdom. The Palace complex contains beautiful memories of grand balls and hula performances, as well as painful ones of Liliuokalani’s overthrow and imprisonment. Since the overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy, the Palace has undergone many changes as it once served as the Capitol for almost 80 years it and was vacated in 1970. Eleven years after becoming an official state of The United States of America.

 

In general, there is way more to do on any of the islands of Hawaii than what we accomplished in 5 days. It is full of so much life. A balanced life of people that work hard to keep their state in tact and safe. If you like water, then I hope you soon make your way half way across the world for an experience you won’t believe is happening right before your eyes.

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Aloha and Mahalo!