Postcard Moments in NYC

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Postcard Moments from New York City
Here is a snippet of my big city life:
A few days ago, I went on a day-long rug search.
I was walking down the street nearby Chinatown and staring at the ground in a typical Seattle fashion - keep your head down and shoulders tight so no one notices you. In Bellevue, we try to slip gracefully out of existence.
But, in a momentary upward glance, then I noticed.
No one else was acting this wa. I am no New Yorker, by far, but I realized that hunching myself down was even more conspicuous than standing tall. Amidst the clamor of signs in Chinese and English, hawkers of African, East and South Asian descent boasting their wares, and people who walk well within your personal space bubble, it was almost fatal to portray yourself as weak. It makes you a target.
So, as I continued on my rug search, I straightened ut my spine and walked with a swing in my hips. Even if it started out as pretending, I felt more like a confident New Yorker - hell with it if I got on the wrong train or pushed people into the street along the way!
Alas, I still didn't find a rug.
A small niblet.
Today I make my foray into the philosophy of women's health.
On campus, we have a program called Well-Women, whose primary focus is providing education about womanhood (though they do provide condoms and lube as well, haha).
I had been interested from the first health forum I attended during orientation where a bombastic woman boasted of the office where they treat you to, among other things, massage chairs and dark chocolate. So today, after figuring out their office opened at 1pm (I had mistakenly come at 12:40pm) and returning then, I was greeted by a sweet receptionist who led me to a couch and a book called Our Bodies, Ourselves. Now, I had remembered tiheir director (that bombastic woman from before) touting this hefty tome as she espoused rapid-fire Well-Women specs - but at the time, my head had been a whirlwind of shiny new information about my college at large. I had no space for a book on my own health.
Now, however, when the swelter of newness abated, in this comfortable office with shelves and shelves of books, stress balls, chocolate offerings and couches, I was ready to investigate.
The first chapter, on body image, was of particular interest to me. A psychological journey into why we objectify ourselves was presented. Why are we sexy or pure? Why can't regular-sized women feel attractive? Amidst common answers, there were also new insights. It was empowering to read the words of such dedicated women - for us and no one else.
Needless to say, I picked up my own copy of the encyclopedic-width book and toted it home on the subway.
An eye into ourselves is the most important eye of all.

I've been working on getting back into the writing habit - this is what I have to present this week. Alongside that, I am drawing nearer to the idea of personal wellness - we have to take care of ourselves first!

Want to read more about my college experiences? Check out my posts about Barnard and NYC.

My Favorite Places on the Web

Monday, September 21, 2009

Here are some places that I think are amazingly awesome and that you can access - for free!

Gala Darling
Days with My Father
The Wallace Pack
HowStuffWorks (specifically Stuff Mom Never Told You [podcast and blog] is my fave)
Venus Zine
Also Known As Nina
The W Spot
The Awl
The Sartorialist
Jack and Jill Politics
Writers Read
Hugo Blog
Barnard Zines
Gender Across Borders
Geek Girls Network

Food for Thought:
Think Simple Now
The Power of Less
TUTs Adventurer's Club
The Art of the Self-Imposed Deadline
The Dalai Lama's 18 Rules for Living
Si Dawson: Experiments in Self-Improvement
The Little Soul and the Sun

Creative Outlets:
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)
Knitting Help
DIY Photography
Abduzeedo Photoshop Tutorials

Learning to Love You More
The Big Picture
Arno Rafael Minkkinen's Photography
Young Me, Now Me
Black and WTF
Romantically Apocalyptic
Sideway Sunrise
Nicole J. Georges
Ariel Schrag
Roller Derby
Healthy Bitch Daily
Bicycling for Beginners
Our Bodies, Ourselves

More to come as it is found.

Check out my on-going Caught My Eye series for updates to this list and other fabulous media to soak up!

About The Cowation

UPDATE: I will be re-vamping this page shortly, so stay tuned for a new and improved About Me!

I have returned! After a long absence, I've decided to come back to blogging and and my artistic life online - surprise, surprise. Recently, since I have just entered Barnard College as a freshman, I have been playing around with the idea of keeping a college blog. But The Cowation will not be representative of my average school day here in New York City (if there is such a thing). No, instead I am focusing on both the personal and creative sides of my life here. So far, the latter includes writing of any fashion, paper arts, photography, photo-manipulation, knitting, book-making, theater arts, and crafty experimentation of all kinds!
The rejuvenation of The Cowation comes at a time at which I want to learn about myself; in the blog, I will write weekly posts in order to determine my writing style, my scheduling abilities, and generally have fun looking back on my successes and failures! Trust me, there are a lot of both.

So, let me reintroduce myself in order to have this bio archived and ready for easy access (as you can see, The Cowation has undergone a bit of a makeover from it's original status).
I am J, ready to embark on a journey into an adult life from the comfort of a dorm room. Currently, I have jettisoned myself out of my parents' home and am trying to discover my own routine - one that does not include nightly bouts with math homework and insomnia.
I have always been interested in the arts and learning, so I am attempting to pull myself in all directions at the moment in order to stretch my time to every event, club, and class I can. It's all very tiring, but I must persist!
I have so many interests that there is not enough space to post about all of them - from tennis to aloe vera plants, I am all things pressed into one Bengali woman's body. I come from Bellevue, Washington (right near Seattle!) but I am a transplant into the hectic New York City lifestyle. As I try to adjust, I am learning the place of fashionable accessories and flipflops alongside psychological experiment procedures and how to improve my wellness.

If you have any questions about me, or if you just want to talk, email me at: