I went on an Art History trip to New York City recently. I am amazed at the vibrancy of the city – it is full of life and lights. My Sunday Seven this week are an ode to this gorgeous city and its friendly people.
The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and beauty in the world (F. Scott Fitzgerald).
Everybody ought to have a lower East Side in their life (Irving Berlin).
I would give the greatest sunset in the world for one sight of New York’s skyline (Ayn Rand).
Once you have lived in New York and it has become your home, no place else is good enough (John Steinbeck).
One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years (Tom Wolfe).
It couldn’t have happened anywhere but in little old New York (O’Henry).
I love New York, even though it isn’t mine, the way something has to be, a tree or a street or a house, something, anyway that belongs to me because I belong to it (Truman Capote).
This summer, I participated in a New York Times Reading contest which involved reading an article and writing a personal reflection to the article. The article I wrote about is by Alex Vadukul, “How Big Mike, a Barbershop painter, Broke into the Art World.” Mike Saviello works at a barber shop and during his lunch break he paints. Here is my reflection on this article:
If you scroll past all the stories of immigrants, dreamers, migrant crisis, political debates, you will come to this truly heartwarming story of Mike Saveillo, a barber from New York who has become a sought after artist. This too is a story about America: about the opportunities that still exist, about simple working class people, about cities like New York with long lasting barbershops, about wives who get cancer and husbands who get shattered, about barbers who dare to dream and use bold colors and have art showings at big name galleries – all of this is possible because Mike Saveillo lives in America.
There is a Mike in most people. People often give up on something they are passionate about because it is the practical, sensible thing to do. We stop playing the cello because it interferes with math tutoring, we give up singing for science fairs. Mike gave up art for football, and then a well-paying job so he could support his family. But his passion for art never left him, and in the end he found a way to paint. That’s why I liked this story so much. Because in the end, Mike found a way to do something he had always wanted to do since he was a child, and because he lives in a country where he could dare to dream, and to be, in the words of his wife, “a disrupter.”