This morning we ate in the park. Not Central park, but a smaller one, closer to the hotel St. James (on 45th ave) and full with chairs and tables, with people having the morning yoga, hurry people, lazy people, homeless people (22000 children are living in shelters for homeless in NY – said a billboard), so the words „if you can make it there you can make it anywhere” suddenly have a deeper meaning – can one really making it here? Trump shinning hotel in front of Central park – said yes, some can.
1 hour by subway – which is not metro, neither tube here – and you’re on the beach. Atlantic ocean is about 18C, so, kind of Finnish lakes – but the temperature outside is rising fast, 28, 29, 33 C at noon. The place looks like the poor relative of a rich family – the ocean is full with trash, but the safe guards are every 10 meters. It was a good day!
Wall street is short street (about 100 numbers) full of walls, for some reasons I was expecting money and people falling out of the buildings….
Broadway is a wide street full with theaters and opera halls – I liked the show, but I have seen better and one guy was selling wine and candies before the show like they do it on stadiums – portable selling man?!?
Alcohol was not advertised, so all the drinking places are hidden.
The subway had better days, this is Carrie was always calling a taxi.
To rent a flat in Manhattan is around 35000$/month, to buy a small one – about 3 millions.
Plenty of homeless begging on streets and for a change they were not Romanians.
No matter where i go, no matter what i do – i can’t help the feeling that i’m living in a movie. Walking in front of a hotel makes me look for Jennifer Lopez in Maid in Manhattan, outside a bakery – i start thinking at As good as it gets, walking in Central Park – remind me of Caesar from Planets of the Apes or Tootsie, Brooklyn bridge looked so familiar because of Kate and Leonard and also because Carrie didn’t ever cross it to go to Brooklyn. It is all familiar and new – and it makes me wonder how much all these movies that i continuously watch are shaping my views about life.
The passport control was faster than in London and we have finally arrived in the wet hot America! With „New York, New York” song in my head the first impression is HIGH! Not 1 building, not a street, but all around the town I can’t keep my eyes out of beautiful impressive buildings, one more crazier than another.
The streets are wide and behind first avenue there is not -1 avenue, like I’ve expected, but the river. The streets are perfectly parallel and you can’t stop wondering when did they have time to build so much?
Our hotel is vey central but old. The water system could be updated and the air conditioner is just fit in the open window, meaning that the sound level in the room is constantly over 60dB. Although better than in a pub where we took a beer and a greasy heart attack sandwich – where was impossible to talk to your neighbor, therefore everyone was literally shouting.
However, I just love the buildings!
Have you even been to a sound walk? Quite fascinating thing. Is kind of sight-walk, but you pay attention to sounds and not to sight. You have to walk quietly, preferable with your eyes closed and try to concentrate how you feel about the sounds. The guide was a PhD student for sound architecture and her objective was to understand, map and preserve the soundscapes of specific places. Did you know that there are several soundscapes heritages protected by UNESCO?
We were a small group and we were not allowed to talk during the walk. We had a map and 5 stops, were we concentrate on the sounds and then explained how we felt. First stop was a railway-station that felt like vacation; second was a narrow street, quiet and protected from the sun, that felt safe; then was a wider market square, that was closer to a river, feeling fresh. The next stop was on a bridge, close to a water fall, that felt exciting; the last stop was in front of an old church, with brick-walls that reflected the sund of the river. You could hear a huummm that was not easy to identify – however i felt dusty instead of fresh. Would you like to hear it? Try some points on Firenze sound map.
So I’m staying in this nice old hotel, all good, besides the cleaning ladies who all the time change the position of the things in my room. Yesterday she put the air remote control on the wall on a hidden spot and I’ve spent 30 mins to look for it. In the end I called the receptionist who invited himself to my room and help finding it!?! I was already in my night dress and happily I have notice the remote control on the wall, when he knocked to my door.
Today my night dress was missing, I search again everywhere unsuccessfully and I called the receptionist with very clear instructions that I want the cleaning lady to tell me where she put it. The guy (another one) didn’t offer to come and for it, but told me that he would not like to disturb the cleaning lady, so he gave me one hour to look for it myself.
I’m not expecting the Japanese politeness but in Italy „the customer is always right” has a different connotation.
I have a confession to make: yesterday I had a quite heavy evening. I went out, meet some friends, have some drinks and instead of spending some short time out, I went to sleep at 2 o’clock. Not my time. So this morning I wake up not so fresh. I didn’t find my phone because I left it in my jacket, so I went to get it from downstairs, there the dog was waiting so I gave her food. I return to my bedroom and I realize that the phone is still missing. I went downstairs and the coffee was ready, so I had my breakfast, I went upstairs and the phone was still missing. Did this ever happen to you? I went 3 times to pick up my phone and each time I started to do something else instead – so, so frustrating!
After I finally found my phone, and manage to get dressed, I start driving the car thinking at my day and I end up turning toward work instead of driving to Helsinki. So I put on my navigator, start dreaming and continuing my trip – did you ever sleep driving and ending up in the wrong place? So frustrating!
Am I getting old? You know the retiring age is 65? So, not tomorrow… Am I losing my memory? Is Alzheimer one step around the corner? What can I do?
My nephew was studying Cognitive science in Sussex and he started to lecture me that the brain can be brainwashed (weather in Finland is perfect – just use the rights cloths), can be fooled to believe an “alternative reality” (I’m so brave after a few powerful posture – said Amy Cuddy on TED), can be taught to relearn or take over some functions after losing them through some accidents or so on. Later studies also showed that brain can be actually trained as a muscle. So he recommended me www.lumosity.com program. There you can do brain fitness.
The program – online- has over 70E6 members, is used in 182 countries and is develop in cooperation with 36 university.
There you can train there:
-memory to remember locations, associate names with faces, keeping track of information etc;
-attention distribution between multiple tasks, ignoring distractions, picking out patterns
-speed decision making, reacting, reorienting,
-flexibility – adjusting to shifting rules, switching between tasks
-problem solving – using logical reasoning, making accurate estimation, calculating figures in your head, planning.
Research found that if an activity is repeated, the brain tends to fall back on the same set of existing neural pathways. To continue changing, the brain must be exposed to novel, adaptive experiences that challenge it to work in new ways.
How does it work?
Go online, register, make your first test and your brain profile compared to your age category.
The software is tailoring a program for you, that will be adapted based on your performance.
Use the program for 3-5 days a week (it take about 30 mins).
The cost is about 4 euro/months for 1 year of training – the price of a beer; that is known for killing your brain.
Like every other fitness; this one is also requiring commitment, is not enough to pay your gym monthly fee and get 6 packs, so it works in the same way. You’ll feel annoyed when you make mistakes, you’ll feel happy when you succeed, tired when you concentrate and learn, but overall you can see your progress and even the science and the research will be proved wrong, think at it as a different way of spending 30 mins a day instead of watching TV, playing the same computer games over and over or just drinking beer.
Summarizing: brain can be trained, for 4 euro/month, you can ensure yourself a 6 packs brain with Lumosity program. Go for it!