STYLE OF LIFE

NEW YORK CITY

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I have been to New York City three times now, with each time a little bit longer and with each time I grew to love it even more. You board a plane at a location you usually are highly familiar with, spend a few hours in a cabin, after going through an ordeal of luggage claim, customs and borders you arrive at an entirely and potentially unknown destination. With some of them you leave the airport and fall in love at first sight, with others it takes time. Personally, I fell in love with this city from day one on; it felt homey. I know for a fact that I am not the only person in this world who thinks this way, so many people visit this city every day, some love it others hate it. What makes you love it, what makes you hate it? The list is long, very long. However, after doing the checks and balances I end up loving it so much, for a multi facet of reasons.

What do I love about New York City? What can’t you find in any other city? Well, there is the skyline of Manhattan- breathtaking. It truly is a concrete jungle, from every angle different. Just when you thought you do not need to rely on google maps any more, because by now you know your basics, you exit a different not so familiar subway station and are lost again, but it is a good kind of lost, you get to see something new every day. Walking around, which I loved to do, I decided to take a different street and way to get to see a different angle, another facet, another color of this city. Despite your eyes being glued on google maps so you turn the right way, take the right subway into the right direction „downtown or uptown“ you need to remind yourself to look up, an by up I truly mean up so your head lies in your neck. When the sky is painted with a spotless blue, the contrast between it and the glass and concrete simply makes you smile. Manhattan in itself is humongous, it might look tiny on the map at first, but then you realize there are a dozen districts each with its own flair, style and uniqueness. The change might just be around the corner, or on the next street, between this and the next avenue. But then there is also the multi-mishmash in Williamsburg. A totally different life, once again. Almost a different culture…with different people.

This is probably the primary reason why you love New York City; the people make the city, the city IS the people. You “meet“ so many people each day, you’re so close to them: sharing seats in the subway and bus, standing in line for New York’s one and only fuel – coffee, preferably iced. There are a million windows in this city, each houses its own story and wonders, the walls and ceilings are usually not as isolated, so you get a glimpse of that other window’s life. However, as soon as you decide to step onto the streets, “which will make you feel brand new“, each and everyone more or less decides to share a glimpse of their personal lives, stories that they unconsciously tell the 8 million around them. New Yorkers usually say New Yorkers are not friendly, however, I have only had experiences of the opposite. The tumult on the streets every day motivates you, gives you drive, ambition, the willingness to really do something today, make the best of this day…usually you do not even want to go to sleep because there are so many things to do and so little time. When you are rushing to get to an appointment and awkwardly move from side to side with another person, performing this funny dance, you both kind of laugh and then go separate ways again. Bumping into someone is a daily task, and inevitable if you’re rather short grown as I am. Yet, there is always a kind hearted apology and if not I am truly stunned. Most importantly however, if you strut down the streets as if you own them, which for one also makes you feel good about yourself, people might actually notice you and make some space…wow! Ordering a coffee, ideally bringing a reusable coffee cup, as the rest of New York City already uses enough disposable plastic cups (literally every other if not each person) turns out to be a very fun thing. You get to say what you desire, what your name is, potentially have a little chit chat…and then you need to draw that credit card which is less fun, but whatever.

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You meet so many people every day, lead so many conversations you can’t possibly recount every one of them…all these impressions accumulate over the day and do not end, because this city truly does not sleep. After breakfast- work, after work- lunch, then cocktails. There is just always SOMETHING to do that it really is hard to say no and go home. The good thing is though, if your plan A of weekend activities does not work out there is always an option B, C, D…and basically one for every letter in the alphabet. Nonetheless, you do need this time at home, I especially needed it at the beginning, to handle this overflow of impressions day in and day out. Yet they enrich you so much, open your eyes and allow you to see things from a new perspective, wearing a different color of sunglasses. What is the most important thing i have learnt these past 10 weeks? You learn something every day and it is important to be aware of your surroundings without judgement. One of the many conceptual ideas I apprehended in my summer classes.

This city inspires you to prosper, forces you to ground yourself in who you are, helps you discover and uncover who you want to be, work on it each and every day, create, live, experience and come one step closer to your dreams. There is endless possibility.  This is why i would now call New York a home. It allows you to realize yourself in an environment where all or at least most of the conditions are ideal for you to grow, as a human. It definitely did all these things for me. A home should make you feel safe, provide these conditions- where you can be you, without judgement and without limits.

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LET'S TALK, STYLE OF LIFE

WONDER AGAIN

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The both of us sit in the metro, looking around. I am looking at the people crowded around us, the surroundings we pass…I catch him doing the same, carrying a facial expression as if he were in deep, complicated thoughts- my 5 year old brother.

I ask him, out of the blue and after a few minutes of silence: “What are you thinking about?“
The answer is: “About nothing“

Thinking about nothing, when have I last thought about nothing? Where I was still present, still absorbed the impressions of my surroundings, where my mind, however, was free of cloudiness and clutter? It must have been a long time ago, as I cannot recall…

When I think, my thoughts circle around memories, which are in the past, or what I will do once we get off of the metro and are home, how my plan is for the upcoming day or week. Though I exist in the present, my thoughts are generally in the past or future. What about the present and no thoughts at all?

Letting go of all these thoughts that circle our heads has been forgotten. Being a child again. They do not have this sense of time we have, so the only option available is living in the moment. Living in the moment to me means enjoying the little things, embrace the bad equally as the good and most importantly open up one’s heart to wonder. This sense of wonder dies within us with every year we become more “mature“, “grown up“…more socially accepted as “adult“. We are taught to think about our future, who we aspire to be, with whom or not we want to be, what we want to become and accordingly our thoughts are shaped, not solely by us, however. It is also not wrong to spare some thoughts on these subjects, but they should not control our existence, being in the present and limit our capability to live in the moment and merely BE.

I, for my part, want to save this little piece of wonder within me and stay a child in this aspect, the typical Peter Pan syndrome you might think, but no! Maturity is important, but so is wondering and living in the moment- we need a healthy balance. Some of us will need to learn to wonder again, but the more you wonder the more you learn- about yourself, the world and people around you.

Sometimes we just need to declutter ourselves, let go, dance and finally live.

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Shot by Sarah Johanna

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CREATIVE MIND, STYLE OF LIFE

New and Unknown

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STYLE OF LIFE

ON THE GO

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When out and about, we are always in a rush, heading from one place to the other in the hopes of cramming as much activity as possible into one hour or day- it is only limited to 24 hours and we need a minimum of 8 of these to sleep; at least I do. This leaves us with 16 hours to complete our daily duties- work, cook, eat, commute from one place to the next…We have the urge to complete tasks faster, get more done and thus rush ourselves. Living in a city strengthens this “rush“, which I find sometimes very motivating and enlivening; being amongst a crowd, though strangers, pursuing different goals and destinations and yet sharing a space. I think this is why many are attracted to life in cities- being amongst a crowd, surrounded by vibrancy, movement, life and yet being to yourself, living in your own bubble.

Despite the fact that I might be on the go, or have to be somewhere at a given time, I like to take some time for myself to re-energize and have a little down time before going back into the storm. For that reason I like to carry my On-The-Go coffee and tea cup with me. It allows me to treat myself, such as purchasing a coffee with oat milk or a nice fresh green tea, and still take it on the go. Also, I am contributing or rather alleviating some stress from the environment by reducing my waste production and carbon footprint.

We are let to believe that the cardboard coffee cups we purchase at all the main coffee shops are being recycled, we even throw them into recycling bins. However…

  • most on the go coffee cups are lined with polyethylene to make them waterproof- this aggravates the recycling process, since there are only few facilities with the capabilitity of separating this layer 
  • fewer than 1/400 cups are sent for recycling; even though you might have decided to recyle this does not imply they will actually be recycled in the end, some don’t even get to see a recycling facility 
  • 50% (150 million) of the American population drink coffee in its various forms, in the UK 10,000 cups are used in 2 minutes, making 7 million a day and 2.5 billion a year. This underpins the vast coffee community and the impact it can have when making sustainable and conscious choices 
  • coffee cups are also not made from recycled materials in the first place, enlarging the carbon footprint one leaves 

The facts were new to myself as well, yet have supported my choice of turning to re-usable on-the-go coffee cups instead. If the line “CAUTION! CONTENTS HOT“ is why you rather turn to the disposable, non-recyclable and non-reusable coffee cups I can assure you, my silicone lid has the same line written on it AND it is environmentally friendly. The only real drawback is that my lipstick is really hard to get off of the silicone lid, but this is something I am willing to accept for the many, many benefits my ceramic cup brings along. I do not only use it for on-the-go beverages, but also as a usual cup for tea at home. The rounded off top is just so nice to drink from, and the black hearts instantly make any drink look more appealing to me.

At home or on the go, I love drinking from my ceramic cup. I can enjoy my “hot contents“ with delight and a good conscience. What other thoughts would you wish for when enjoying the first coffee or tea of the day?! I wouldn’t know any better. See some cute options below!

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Ecoffee Cup

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Shot by Sarah Johanna 

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