Self Care / Self Love: YOGETREE Workshop

Since my No Good Very Bad Day, I’ve made a commitment to focusing on myself. “Focusing on myself” encompasses a bunch of actions and ideals, including goals to understand my patterns, accept my flaws and shortcomings, admit and seek help and mentorship, and to push myself out of my comfort zone (within some limits). These goals came into fruition today when I participated in an amazing yoga and poetry workshop series entitled Yogetree. Continue reading

The No Good Very Bad Day

I shared a bit about the end of my last relationship and my own mental health struggles in one of my previous posts and I did so with the intention of opening the door to some more personal blog posts. Despite my efforts to find a way to flesh out my personal struggles (pages and pages of notes and ideas that never made it to this blog), I’ve fallen flat. At its birth, this blog was intended to be a place where I could finally delve into my heart and soul and express parts of my identity that I felt I never could before. For that reason,  I purposefully created the categories “personal identity”and “sex & relationships” (later changed to self care & relationships) on the blog as encouragement. They remained empty through these past months of me blogging– I prefer to distance myself from my blog by uploading academic papers, photos and anecdotes about Philadelphia and updates on my music tastes. It’s a defense mechanism that I employ in my everyday life: me shielding my innermost thoughts and emotions from public scruitiny. I chose, time and again, to ignore the pulling sensation in my gut telling me that something was bothering me and that I needed an outlet to express it. Today, I decided that it was time to stop.  Continue reading

On Repeat: GoldLink

So, for some reason I can’t stop myself from becoming addicted to an artist for a few weeks at a time. I’ll end up listening to their songs back to back and crave those soothing sounds throughout the day until I stumble upon a new artist to latch onto. These past few weeks I’ve been addicted to GoldLink. I’m really enjoying the techno and Afro-Latin influences, and of course I’m a sucker for anyone who can pull off the rap/singing combination smoothly. I listen to both of his albums The God Complex and And After That, We Didn’t Talk in entirety throughout my bus and train rides through the city, and they are the perfect soundtrack to my wandering daydreams in the window seat.

My favorite song is “Ay Ay,” watch it and listen to GoldLink’s music below.

 

Academic Rant: Residential Segregation, Gentrification, and the Pursuit of Environmental Justice in the Nation’s “Most Sustainable Cities”

Sustainability and sustainable development are terms widely used and often misunderstood. Sustainable development is most commonly defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising those of future generations.[1] Many cities use sustainable development initiatives in response to climate change and diminishing resources. Leaders of these urban communities fight to negate the stigma of pollution associated with cities by incorporating open spaces, green jobs, and affordable, efficient housing into the urban space, as well as upgrading transportation infrastructure and waste management programs. Sustainable development places a focus on community-based decision-making, economic policies that account for both social and environmental externalities, the reduction of pollution and the general goal of creating clean and healthy communities. Continue reading

It’s Worth It

This is just a friendly reminder that sometimes all those hours spent arguing with sexist, racist, ableist, homophobic, classist, Islamophobic, transphobic, etc. friends, partners, and family members CAN make an impact.

A few weeks ago my former partner from my early college years sent me this text (shown below). I can’t even recount how many times we’ve challenged each other’s ideas and experiences on the topics of feminism and misogynoir, but him reaching out to me randomly to thank me made it all worth it.

12270272_10207747180134703_294184932_nI’ve been burnt out lately and as a result have taken a break from engaging my peers in confrontational discussions about social inequality and have instead chosen to surround myself around like-minded people. However, dismantling imperialist, white supremacist, capitasitc, heterpatriarchical societal norms (sorry for using so much jargon) is no easy or simple task and I understand that preaching to the choir is unsustainable. So, I consider this text a wake-up call for me to step my game up, and to keep pushing to confront oppressive language, actions, and systems in my every day life. Because it matters. And it does make a difference.

Inside Scoop: NRPA Innovation Lab

One of my favorite parts of my job with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation is the fact that I occasionally get to assist my bosses at their high-level meetings and events. A few weeks ago, on December 3rd-4th, I assisted my department as they hosted the National Recreation and Parks Association Innovation Lab. Philadelphia is a national leader in civic innovation, and the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) invited several Parks and Recreation departments from several cities including Baltimore, Atlanta, Miami, Pittsburgh, and Detroit to discuss opportunities and barriers to civic innovation, and to demonstrate examples using Philadelphia’s amenities as a living laboratory.

The two-day event featured collaborative workshops, panel discussions, and presentations that can be viewed online, here. My favorite parts of the Innovation Lab were the tours and site visits highlighting examples of Philadelphia’s cross agency partnerships. We visited several sites that I haven’t paid much attention to as a native Philadelphian, but the tours and discussions made me look at these staple places through a new lens. At each stop of our tour bus (I was so excited to get on a tour bus around Philly) we were met at the site by a staple figure who could speak to the partnerships involved and the details of the completed or ongoing project. The sites I’ve highlighted below include:

Viaduct Park

Race Street Pier

Schulkyll River Trail

Bartram’s Garden Continue reading