That Very Different Side of New York City

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I am constantly looking for inspiration in New York City. Some days, the little things that make our life go round inspire me. Others days, I need a little more than the regular everyday things.

The Neighbors

Pawel Althemer’s The Neighbors Exhibit at the New Museum has given me the inspiration to do exactly what I love to do. The Neighbors exhibit was created with the idea that all artists are everyday men and that anyone can create a work of art, all we have to do is dig deeper. In fact, the third floor is dedicated to the audience.

Anyone can come in and incorporate his or her own piece of art to the exhibit. I drew an orange sun in the middle of the floor because I was feeling bright that day. When I spoke to Pawel, he explained to me that he himself is still a student. He says his mentor taught him that we are all students; the primary difference between us is experience but we are all learning while we teach and practice our art. The exhibit is open until April 13th and on that day, the third floor will be broken down and pieces of the artwork will be given to the people, by the people.

Off Broadway Shows

Off Broadway shows are not only easy on your pockets, but they are rich with galvanization. “The Year I Was Gifted” by Monica Bauer at the Stage Left studio is a play about finding your way and your place in the world. The writing is funny and filled with rich style and relatable characters.

This one-woman-show is well executed and well developed with references to great literature. I was inspired to read a few classics and most of all, to find my tribe in this world. I totally recommend this show to all people looking to find their way through this thing we call life. The show is running every Friday now through April 2nd – its the perfect Friday night activity.

The Women of Social Justice

The women of the Xi Alpha Chapter of Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority Inc. have been celebrating woman’s history month by raising awareness and inspiring our communities to advocate for women’s rights.

The International Woman’s Day Rally held on March 8th brought together women from all over NYC to STAND UP for ALL Women and women’s equality. The Xi Alpha Chapter will bring the month to a close with a panel discussion on Thursday March 27th at Columbia University’s Barnard College.  Join this panel of inspirational women conversing about Women’s Empowerment: A Celebration of Strength and Struggle. Feel free to RSVP with Habiba Braimah at [email protected]


I have been converted to a Yogi. Yoga to the People is dedicated to bringing Yoga to all of us with multiple studios around the city at ridiculously affordable prices ($5 a class, anyone?) The staff is super friendly and welcoming, too.

Inspire yourself through the fire sequence. The challenge of each pose – to try and fail and try again – can only prove to you how strong and determined you truly are. I’ve been pushing myself 2 to 3 times per week and I’ve learned good and bad things about myself. Most importantly, I’ve realized that there is no real inspiration other than the one that lies in me.

It’s OK To Talk To Strangers

NYC is home to diverse, interesting, and unique people. You may be sitting next to the city’s best underground designer and you don’t even know it. I challenge you to have a conversation with a complete stranger. A simple smile and an act of kindness can brighten up that person’s day, including yours as well. You may come across a few people who think you’re weird but that’s OK, keep trying until you find some new inspiration!

What has inspired you this week?


Contributed by Denise Pina




Jessica Tiare Bowen
Jessica Tiare Bowen lives in the juicy Big Apple with her adorable pink-nosed chihuahua, Gillman. He's the inspiration for her first published children's book, "Park Avenue Pound Puppy." The book is the combined result of her two greatest passions: pooches and penning stories.

Her passions include art, urban hikes through Manhattan, drinking coffee with 3 creams and 6 sugars, making extremely detailed itineraries and traveling to far away places, singing along to Broadway shows, Netflix movie nights, discovering incredible treasures at Goodwill and thrift stores, and listening to stories from little people under 7 and big people over 70.

She started her career as New York City Teaching Fellow, teaching elementary school and theater arts at a special education school in the South Bronx for 6 years. She is now a Special Education School Improvement Specialist working in public schools throughout New York City. She is the Editor-In-Chief of the online New York City travel magazine, Used York City. The magazine focuses on finding the best of New used by New Yorkers. She is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and an ASPCA Ambassador.
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One Response to That Very Different Side of New York City

  1. Heather Rhodes April 7, 2014 at 5:27 pm #

    I couldn’t agree with you more about New York! Just spent a girls weekend there last weekend that I will talk about in my blog…tomorrow for my Tuesday’s Travels. :) Your last comment is so true…New Yorkers were soooo nice! Every person we talked to was beyond friendly and I was quite honestly very surprised. Not sure what I expected, but it was beyond pleasant and made our trip that much more fun. Locals were helping us, chatting with us, telling us where to go- and we had a blast. It was New York after all…you cant really have a bad time there anyway.

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