new york retreat part 2

In my previous post I indicated that we (my wife and I) were attending a spiritual retreat in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. After our last session today we were encouraged to experience delight. We decided to walk to the Chelsea Market, then walked the High Line to the Hudson Yards. These images are just a glimpse into an evening of delighting in New York City!

a wordless embrace

We (my wife and I) are grateful to be back in the hometown that we grew up in on Long Island. My parents still live in the house I was raised in, so coming home is always filled with nostalgia and the telling of old stories and discovering new memories.

It is rare to visit Long Island and not go to the beach to take pictures, but the weather has been dark, rainy, and windy. More like a blustery day in November from a Winnie the Pooh story than springtime in New York.

So, since walking through torrential cold rain along the shore did seem to have its drawbacks, I decided to take pictures of my home and found myself drawn to the… well… probably thousands of… knickknacks? Home decor items?… that are just… everywhere. I suddenly realized that my childhood home is like living in the pages of an “I Spy” book.

I am quite sure that Better Homes and Gardens (is that magazine still around?) would not feature this home in an article on “How to Decorate Your Home with 1,000 Little Things” or “The Latest Home Decor Trend: I Spy Living.” But I sure had fun finding little treasures on this Winnie the Pooh blustery day.

Retrobox! How cool is that? And tiny Santa pants, and a snow covered cottage, and – this is one of the themes in my home and life – “Coffee please.” Coffee, in case you are wondering, is the fountain of youth. Just ask my mom who is about to turn 97.

Music is another theme in my home. My dad would play energetic Puerto Rican (another theme) beats in a Spotify-less world where the radio host would announce the next song or two by completing a string of basically slurred Spanish words delivered at the speed of sound with a hearty, “LA SALSA!”

Jesus is another… not a theme… I would say a presence in my home. Reverence… spiritual interest and pursuit was imprinted on my heart in my growing up years. I am grateful for how that influence shaped me.

The deepest, most precious, immeasurable treasure in my home is love. This is my bride embracing my mom when we arrived in the evening. Moments like these adorn this home. It was not a perfect home. It has known heartache and sorrow. But at the center of a thousand knickknacks is a story of love… warmth… family… a wordless embrace… love.

blue skies

blue skies
dancing with the sea
on the far horizon
i can see
the wild waves
searching for the shore
searching with me
for so much more
than i can see

blue skies
there is no outer space
through the universe
we race
let’s just pause
let’s just wait
beneath these
blue blue skies

i dream
i dance
i lift my soul
to You
this longing
for peace
and relief
from all the toil inside
identity relies
and lies outside
with You
i surrender my ID
to You
these blue blue skies
i’m safe
with You

kings park psychiatric center – 3

This is the third and last post from a visit to the Kings Park Psychiatric Center with my brother on a recent trip back to New York. While walking the grounds we came upon this wall that appeared to be the remains of some kind of outdoor gathering place. (?)

The textures were fascinating here. And those trees! Just incredible how they found life, water and sustenance through the brick and stone.

On the left side was a small storage room (?) guarded by a fallen tree that we were hoping was the opening of a tunnel.

This was inside that room.

Thanks for stopping by.

kings park psychiatric center – 2

This is the 2nd of 3 posts from a recent trip back home to New York. My brother invited me to explore the abandoned Kings Park Psychiatric Center. The psychiatric center was built on 800 acres of land. We only explored a tiny portion of the property and its buildings. This post focuses more on the incredible artwork that is very much a part of this abandoned landscape.

building 93

On a recent trip back home to New York my brother invited me to hike some trails on the north shore of Long Island and visit the abandoned King’s Park Psychiatric Center. He encouraged me to bring my camera – glad I did. The sprawling campus of this abandoned facility is something to behold. It is fascinating to see so many old buildings and realize they were filled with patients and all kinds of professional and support personnel. A Google search will return the sad, tragic saga of this facility. This is Building 93. It is much more ominous than these images reveal.

summer memories 4

Back to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens for this Summer of 2022 post. The Unisphere is as spectacular as I remember it when I was at the New York World’s Fair in 1965. However, I don’t remember it being so large: 140 feet high and 120 feet in diameter. When I was there this past summer, the pool that the sphere rests in seemed to be under some kind of renovation, so you could walk right up to the base of the sphere. It was wonderful to see families and so many enjoying this gem of a park and iconic structure in Queens.

summer memories 3

The last time I was at this location was in 1965. I was 4 years old. The location is Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, which served as the site for the 1939-40 and 1964-65 New York World’s Fair. These images are the remains of the New York State Pavilion. The structures have been ignored and deteriorating for years, but recently the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation has embarked on a restoration project. The next summer memories post will be of another famous structure from the 1964-65 World’s Fair. Thanks for stopping by.