Thursday, April 14, 2011

Key West, FL

I was lucky enough to find a really cheap ticket to Miami so my best friend and I decided to drive down to Key West for a relaxing weekend. And that is exactly what we did, RELAX. I think this was the first trip where there was nothing on the agenda besides which beach will we lay on and where will we eat! 

The drive down from Miami is about 3 hours and is absolutely beautiful after the one and a half hour mark. The Gulf of Mexico surrounds you as you wind down to the tiny island. We were lucky enough to do it during sunset so it made it even better. Once we arrived, we quickly changed and went straight to the water for a quick spliff. Luckily, you can choose from the Atlantic ocean or the Gulf because each is only about a 20 min walk away from the other. We had the Atlantic in our backyard.

Duval street, which is really the main strip, is filled with bars, restaurants, and everybody really! I really think this city is the Cancun for the older crowd. We saw way too many old men trying to pick up younger chicks and loud drunken moms on the floor. Duval Street is also home to what probably became a daily gluttonous treat for us- Flamingo Crossing, delicious homemade ice cream served in massive portions and some even with alcohol! This is also where we enjoyed amazing scallops at Nine One Five. They were so good that after we finished our dinner we seriously contemplated having another plate! 

Next were the beaches where we thoroughly enjoyed the sun after experiencing a prolonged winter in NYC. Though, the white sand beaches were a bit rocky, they were still beautiful and peaceful. We were there everyday for as long as we could possibly be without our skin peeling. Since the island is so small, we opted to rent bicycles to get around and there was something really tranquil about it. Initially, I was scared that I was going to fall or get run over but the locals are use to bike traffic and nothing of the sort happened.

We did encounter one not so racially tolerant woman but besides her, the southernmost point in America was definitely very good to us. It was exactly what we needed and although didn't let us detox our bodies, we definitely left rejuvenated.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Courageous Children

I am known to have an affinity for the sad things in life. I know the news is always filled with depressing stories but I seem to have a gift of finding the worst of the worst and passing it on to others. And so here is one for you all. 

I recently watched a documentary called, “Which way home” and wasn’t really sure what it was about but figured it wouldn't be that melancholic. It ended up being horribly eye opening! Cammisa takes us on a journey north which should ideally end in the land of the free but rarely ever does. Nothing too earth shattering about that since millions of immigrants try to enter the United States illegally. But we always associate this journey with adults, not children! Turns out thousands of children try to cross over illegally and ALONE. Some do so to find their parents while others hope to find work so they can send money back home. Some of these kids are as young as 9! I can’t imagine a 9 yr old from the States trying to travel for a month alone with all the perils of the journey continuously in front of them. Kids here couldn't even fathom that.

It really got to me because these kids grow up so fast during this journey, faster than than they would have to at home even under the poor conditions. They have to witness accidental deaths, murders, rapes, muggings, defeat and all without any family or friend in sight. This is not something a child should be witnessing, let alone be experiencing!

What makes it worse is that they genuinely believe things are amazing in America. They will sneak in and find adoptive parents or jobs or reconnect with their parents and their lives will be set. Little do they know that things are never that simple. If some do make it in, they get caught practically right away at the border and are then placed in detention centers until they can be deported back. After all this, some attempt it all over again. 

I admire their strength, courage and determination to reach their dream. But hope that the number that attempt this do decrease rather than increase each year.

COVID Reflections

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