November 6, 2017

Yoga 101 - Mind, Body and Spirits?

I got involved with Yoga many years ago. It all started with a few classes at my gym (this was not a trendy gym and was way before Yoga became popular).

Madonna was being interviewed on TV and talked about Yoga. She said it combined mind, body and spirit. I thought it sounded perfect for me and a good fit. As I relaxed in front of the TV with my martini, I knew that I'd have to take a Yoga class very soon.



A few days later, I took my first class and didn't know anything, except for some basic stretching and breathing. I sat in the back of the room and tried as hard as I could, I was gonna relax if it killed me. I resisted this new thing called Yoga but enjoyed the teacher. Slowly I "got over myself" gaining some confidence and understanding the technique. Before long I was front and center (no surprise) feeling totally present and in the moment.

What I liked most about my teacher was that she was a real character and I could relate to her. She was an artsy tough Italian chick from Brooklyn... with a real New York edge. She'd enter the Yoga room with a lot of energy, a real whirlwind wearing a leather biker jacket. After a few deep breaths, she'd start to unwind, welcoming us and making us all feel "warm and fuzzy" by adding a few positive words of wisdom. She'd light incense and start to chant (remember this was a gym). She broke all the rules and I loved it!


In between the chanting and exuding the positive energy, 
she'd spew out a few curse words to the gym staff that would 
occasionally interrupt the flow of our class. I thought OMG this woman was crazy but I loved her - I felt right at home. I thought... this is me, "I could do this, I could teach". She encouraged me to go for it once I told her how I felt. It confirmed my belief that Yoga, like life isn't just black and white. There's an entire rainbow along with many shades of grey. Very apropos in today’s world!

After I received my first degree in Yoga, I celebrated with a martini... namaste! And just as I learned from my first Yoga teacher (and of course, Madonna) it's all about mind, body, and spirits"and that's nyc2vin".


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October 26, 2017

History Repeats Itself

It's been one year since I left Suburbia in Northern California and finally moved back to NYC. I've realized even though I moved back to my "old place" it can still feel like a "new place" with similar hopes, dreams and anxieties that I had before. 



As nyc2suburbia: I moved to Suburbia and was hopeful. I wanted a change, new beginnings, new friends and family. I'm generally an optimist, but I was disappointed. I didn't like the change and I expected too much from everything and everyone.

As nyc2vin: I moved back to NYC and was confident. I wanted familiarity, but nothing stays the same... everything changes. I learned the hard way that friends move, friends die and family changes. Again I expected too much from everything and everyone, but most of all from myself.



Well I'm back where I wanted to be. It's not my ideal neighborhood but I made it back - and that's a big deal! On this one year anniversary of moving back, it's the perfect time to celebrate new beginnings as history repeats itself..."and that's nyc2vin".


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October 7, 2017

Fail to Plan ~ The Subway Series

If you ask people how they feel about the MTA or riding on the subways you'll hear a million different answers. 

I love public transportation in NYC. That's one of the reasons I moved back from Suburbia where I had to drive to mail a letter or drive to throw out my garbage (not really, but going for the drama here.)



There are many variables about when and where you take the subway that can form your opinion. In the worse case scenario I choose to sit back and observe. I listen and watch what's going on... it can be fascinating.

Last week a man was walking through the subway car repeatedly saying "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail..." this was his mantra as he continued to go onto the next subway car. (BTW this was just an ordinary guy).

Wow, that's pretty heavy stuff going on while riding the subway. I took out my cell phone and started to make a few notes. After all, I gotta make a plan, I don't wanna fail... "and that's nyc2vin".


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September 22, 2017

So Long Summer?

Last call for Summer in the city... or is it? It's after Labor Day and the subway is crowded as I head downtown for Happy Hour. I refuse to say so long to Summer, after all it's just a state of mind and my mind starts to wander. Big jolt back to reality - it's my subway stop. I leave the cool air conditioned car and head out to the hot street.



The heat is intense and the sunshine is blinding as I see a gaggle of paparazzi snapping photos. I pause for a moment and see Selena Gomez trying to get into a pet shop in the West Village to get away from the photographers and buy a puppy. I say "hi Selena" and give her a thumbs up as I continue to head for my margarita while it's still Happy Hour at Ofrenda, one of my favorite Mexican restaurants.



A few minutes later enjoying a Margarita and talking to the waiter he said "you just missed Selena Gomez, she was sitting at this table". I said "I didn't miss her, I just passed her on the street". Even though the Summer may almost be officially over, it ain't over yet! There's another patch of unseasonably warm weather brewing. So much for climate change being a hoax... "and that's nyc2vin."

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September 20, 2017

Never Say Never... I'm Back Home

Some things may appear better on paper, but I learned a very important lesson - paper lies. When it comes to making an important decision, go with your heart, go with your gut, not the paper. Moving from NYC 2 Suburbia, it all made sense on paper. Everything pointed in that direction, but I didn't "feel just right" about the move, and I took a chance.

Fast forward a few years, I was determined to move back home 2 NYC because Suburbia wasn't for me. Beautiful for sure, but isolated and living with little diversity. It took me three years to find a place, but I did it and I'm back in NYC. That's the reason for the name change in my social media from nyc2suburbia to nyc2vin. My focus will connect more to what I'm about... theatre, traveling, photography, design and my twisted sense of humor that keeps me going as I try to "survive with my sanity, sense and style."


No one thought I'd realistically be able to move back home to NYC. During the challenge of finding an affordable place I had a few doubts too. There were things I kept hearing from everyone:

"Once you leave New York you'll never be back"
"You're dreaming"
"You were crazy to ever have left your place and move to the Suburbs in California"

Then things started changing and getting a place was beginning to materialize. Never say never. After many trips back and forth and many apartments almost in my grasp, the comments also started to change:

"If anything, you're tenacious..."
"You did it, I can't believe it, but you did it. That's amazing..."
"I don't know anyone who actually was able to move back to NYC once they left... but you did!"

Well I did have a vision and the tenacity. It's been one year and I'm back. Will I ever get rid of my ruby red sneakers? Hell no... they brought me back home. That decision is coming from my gut and not a piece of paper.

"...and that's nyc2vin"


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May 29, 2017

Transitioning - What's My Name?

Hello out there... I'm back. I haven't published anything for awhile because I've been transitioning. I finally made the move back home 2 NYC. But with "the change" came the packing, the unpacking, the designing, the redesigning and getting back into my groove and enjoying life in the city.


I have a challenge though... what do I call myself now that I'm no longer "nyc2suburbia"? I've been going nuts trying to find a new name. What do I call myself now that "nyc2suburbia" is NOW back home in NYC? Who am I? I thought that I could just keep "nyc2suburbia" but that's not what I'm all about anymore. I'll be writing more about my love of life in NYC through theatre, design projects, continuing my take on everyday life along with my photography.



Well "Hello Dolly"- I mean Hello New York, "it's so nice to be back home where I belong". Still not sure what my new name will be, but all in good time. Meanwhile one of my hashtags is #HarlemHaven, cause I'm living in Harlem. Hang in there as I transition back to the city that never sleeps.

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September 1, 2016

How 'Bout A Cup of Coffee?

Comparing NYC to Suburbia (specifically to Suburbia in Northern California) is like night and day. One is not better than the other, they are just worlds apart. Over the years I've learned that no matter where you live or visit, people are basically the same. But whenever I remember this story Mama told me, it always brings a smile to my face when trying to compare the two places and appreciating them both in their differences. It went something like this...

Mama: I don't know about this California.

Vin: What do you mean?

Mama: The people here are so different from NY.

Vin: Of course, Ma. People are all different, you know that, you taught me that! That's a good thing, who wants to be the same? That's boring!

Mama: (Big dramatic pause, then staring at me enunciating like Patti LuPone) Vincent... you don't know what I'm talking about. Here in California, nobody asks you if you wanna come over for a cup of coffee?

Vin: So?

Mama: So? Even if they did ask me, which they don't, I wouldn't go over! It's not the same as New York! You can always go over to your friends house for a cup of coffee without even being asked.

Vin: So?

Mama: Vincent, are you a dummy? What did I raise? Here they don't ask you and besides even if they did, I couldn't go, how the hell am I gonna get there? I don't drive!


Vin: Oy Mama, okay I get it, whatever you say. So what do you feel like doing now?

Mama: Oh I don't know... I could go for a nice cup of coffee AND a big piece of cake.

Vin: Great! So you wanna go to IHOP for a cup of coffee?

Mama: Yeah, you see? You know what I mean! Let's get some pancakes while we're at it.

Vin: Okay then, let's go.

Mama: Good, let's get the hell outta here.

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July 1, 2016

Pride and Prejudice in the Media

June was Gay Pride month and "we" were center stage in our annual spotlight once again. But the discrimination and stereotypes still prevail... thanks to the media.


For me Gay Pride is not only about men wearing dresses and prancing around waving a sequined rainbow flag. It's not about the leather clad women looking like men revving their big powerful motorcycle engines. It's not about transgender and what bathroom we can or can't use or even who or what we identify as. Gay Pride is more than the stereotypes that the media continues to focus on and insists on shoving down our throats. It's too bad that this is what the majority of middle America only gets to read about or see on television. They don't focus on all the Gay people that look just like anyone you might see at your grocery store, school or doctors office. Where are the Gay middle class average Joe or Jane? They're never on the front page!


For me and many others, Gay Pride is the ability to be looked at as an Equal. Having all the rights that everyone deserves as humans. Feeling proud is waking up next to the person you love and being able to be yourself. It's that simple!

Pride is about being Proud of who you are. It ain't just a day or a month or a parade. Pride is something we can all have everyday and is not just limited to being Gay.

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