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Every so often its good not to plan

I do a lot of planning these days and my life centers around lots of questions. Where am I staying next week?  What will my hosts be like?  How will our relationship change (or begin)?  Will there be keys?  What’s the address?  What should I know about the apartment?  The neighborhood?  

Couple the nomadic planning with the fact that I had 3 weddings in four weeks and you’ll understand the title of this blog post.  Everyone plans, and people have to plan more than most in New York City, but sometimes its nice to just let things happen. I made a point of not making plans during the weekend in Alphabet City with the exception of saying goodbye to a special person in my old NY life and hello to a person from my old Caribbean life.  

Here’s why its good not to plan.  I stuck around the apartment for the afternoon being the professional house guest (email me!) that I am to see that Time Warner installed internet between the hours of 2pm and 5pm.  Both of my hosts were out of town/busy that weekend so I obliged.  Time Warner finished up around four and I decided to take a walk. 

I didn’t get very far (across the street) before wandering into the 9th Street Community Garden and Park.  They had a sign like this and I decided to go in.

They have beautiful flowers and beautiful flowers always make me think of my grandmother, whom I am almost certain would read this blog and love it.  She was a true nomad, out of necessity as a child and out of wanderlust as an adult.

She would like these flowers: 

And she would smell this flower, which is passion fruit, and then she would tell you how incredible the scent was (she would be right):

She would take it all in, and not worry about the time, which is what I did because I didn’t have any plans.

The visual beauty of the flowers was interrupted by older men playing music. There was no basket for money - they were playing for the sheer joy of playing.

As I continued and walking and the music faded, I saw young children observing a tortoise.

 

A real garden with peppers.

and tomatoes.  

Ambling along, I happened Puerto Rican crab boil that the members of the garden were preparing.  It looked and smelled delicious.

I hung around watching and listening, and learned a lot about tortoises (they live to 50, have been around since dinosaurs, and can’t swim).  I ultimately was invited and sat down with new friends for traditional Puerto Rican crab and rice.  It was excellent.

Not planning can lead to catastrophe of all kinds of problems (like not having a place to live), but can also lead to whimsical and fun experiences.  So, in concluding my first photo essay on this blog, I’ll use a few signs from the garden to say

and…

like the members at 9th street Community Garden and Park did for me on a Saturday afternoon that turned into a Saturday evening that I will long remember.

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