1911 Paris. The art scene is hoppin’. Piet Mondrian leaves home in the Netherlands and arrives to explore Cubism in France. He exposes the underbelly of spirituality and nature with his art. You can see that he simplified everything to its most basic elements; the vertical and horizontal in his signature primary colors. They represent the opposing forces, positive and negative, dynamic and static. More than a century later, the same concepts still holds ever so true.
It’s 7:04pm in the dusty plains outside of Phoenix. The beauty of the southwest is on display in all it’s glory, showing off pinks and oranges so saturated it seems surreal. Larger than life cactus silhouette the arid landscape. Their ability to thrive in such harsh conditions is truly admirable. You watch the last bit of sunlight tuck behind a colossal 50-foot Saguaro and you fall in love the humble cacti more than ever before.
It’s the closest to true freedom you’ve ever felt. Groove in whichever way, however the music moves you. It’s your world now. You waited in line for hours for Sven, the imposing tattoo faced bouncer to gesture you in. You’ve never felt so special. Enter the club and you get it now. There’s indescribable energy when thousands of people bear their soul and move as fluid as water. Instead of letting your mind take the lead, your body moves you and you never know where it’ll go for the night is still young. 4am young.
Romance. Nostalgia. Yearning. Put on your dancing shoes and enter the world of Argentine tango. Carlos Gardel’s 1935 recording of Por una Cabeza has never sounded so enlivening. If passion can be encapsulated in melodies, this would be it. The violin, piano and bandoneóns jam in chaotic perfection. The intensity and grace at which the synchronized dance twists and sways is mesmerizing. You tango on in Buenos Aries and let the heat of the night sweep you off your feet.
There’s nothing more tranquil than spending the day adrift on the traditional sailboat of Egypt. Kissed by the warmth of the Nubian sun, you watch life go by almost in slow motion as you float down the Delta. With passing desert landscapes and gentle waves, the world has never felt more serene. Time on the felucca is obsolete as you meander through history, traveling by way of the Pharaohs on the majestic River Nile.
The air is crisp and the sun is bright. When you look up from the trail, you see Tibetan prayer flags fluttering in the cloudless blue sky. They fly high and spread good will into all pervading space. The 5 colors of the flags symbolize the elements. Blue for sky, white for air, red for fire, green for water, and yellow for earth. Maybe it’s the altitude, but the tranquility seems surreal. Close your eyes and let the majestic landscape of the mountains take your breath away.
Cuba libre por favor?! It’s happy hour in Havana after all! You’re baked after a hot day on the white sand beach so it’s time for a drink and watch the world go by. It feels like you’ve stepped back in time as you peer out from grand archways of a bygone era. The saturated hues around you makes any other capital city pale in comparison. You down your drink and watch the most incredible vintage classics in automotive history roll by. A few cycle rickshaws petal past and you can’t help but soak up Havana in all its charm.
You look down at the text message from your friend and the directions are like a freakin’ essay. “Take the A to 14th st, transfer to the L, take the L to Metropolitan and walk a bit to transfer to the G. Ride that G for 2 stops and you'll find yourself at Greenpoint Ave, walk down towards the Chinese Musician Restaurant, hang a left and I’ll be there.” WTF, that’s confusing. Everyone’s got a place to be but it’s kind of nice to be lost in the crowd. Despite the hustle and bustle of the city, the calmness within the madness somehow adds to your affection towards the Big Apple.