Artist Date 1

I went to a park for my first official artist date, which was a highly spontaneous decision. Because of a tiny little argument with my husband, we dived right into our typical weekend dilemma instead of lingering on it: he wanted to be at home while I wanted out. Especially thinking that the weather was confused outside thinking it was spring instead of winter, I skipped hesitations like I should be with my husband on the weekends, or I should do nothing but chilaxing (relax + chill) on the weekends. I hit the road running. 

It really was a spontaneous decision though because I was actually out for laundry not self discovery, which is not the most rebellious activity I should admit. It is the exact  opposite if anything. After all, cleaning was one of the earliest responsibilities used to define womanhood. It was right when this feminist / activist / nature-friendly / outdoorsy person ], who lives inside of me, started jumping up and down screaming STOPPP that I decided to stop. My whole being is because of her harassment anyway. There's not a single moment, when she stops talking, it's only a matter of how loud she is and she's probably not even a real woman, more like a little boy.

When you step out the laundromat door, you have two options. You can either go right and reach Central Park or go left and reach the Riverside Park. I have exactly 29 minutes before I have to put my clothes into the dryer. Riverside is not my best option here only because it's closer but also because it's right by the water, Hudson River. Having lived in Ankara for 24 years (a pretty dry, inland city) I can't help appease my thirst for water. This one is a no brainer. I turn left and start walking towards Riverside Park.

With my first steps I start thinking about this book I finished the week before. It's about famous authors and their daily routines. What I would expect for a male author lived in 1800s London to be very different from a female who lived in late 1900s United States turned out to be in fact surprisingly similar. Walking was one of those rituals. One who wants to write also wants to walk. I think it has to do with how the writer gets a chance to air out what's inside his head to let some sunshine into his thoughts as well as how he invites new thoughts into his head in the meanwhile. It could be because of few pages moved nicely into my subconsciousness or simply because I too prefer to be walking while talking to myself without even knowing it; I'm not sure of the reason but I obviously preferred to be walking out in the open for my first Artist Date. 

By the time I arrived at the marina, it was clear to me that I wasn't there to clear out my head that day, I was there to let new thoughts in and create more chaos in there. New sights, new smells, new people, new conversations were all the little details that made my artist date absolutely perfect. I want to leave you with some of these awesome details of life that winked at me on that perfect spring-like Saturday morning. I was thrilled to watch:
A woman who wore one tiny bell on each of her running shoes. Appropriate to her choice of shoes, she was in fact running but for those running ahead of her, she sounded like a biker trying to open her way through. With each step she took, the person ahead was sliding to the right and giving her way only to find out she wasn't on her bike but she was on her ringing running shoes. Watching the reaction on their faces while they watched this lady breeze in through the crowd of runners was indeed a detail not to be missed.

A couple in their 70s doing Tai-Chi moves that looked like love making through fight moves or tango through war, ying through yang and love through death. It was as though they stopped time with each move and started back with a swing of their hands. I've never seen people their age move so smoothly and inspiringly. I don't know how to describe it well.

If I had an amazing experience wathing them, just imagine what the Mexican guy walking by thought of them. He had the sweetest shocked person expression I have ever seen. It didn't seem like he came from a culture where women were allowed to fight, let alone fight against men in equal circumstances or at age 70. He was surprised but you could see easily that it was in a good way. It seemed more than anything like he wished his wife or daugther or sister did exactly what that woman was doing when they reached 70. It seemed as though he himself was going to encourage women around him to be more of a gogetter than sit around and wait for it . It seemed as though he was going back home to teach his loved women how to fight life so that he could fight with them and not for them.

I loved my Artist Date and all the details I got to observe. I also love New York and everything in it. I am grateful that I live in a city that provides me with an endless source of inspiration. I feel like story of Dee vs. New York City is just beginning to unfold.