doc w/ Pen

journalist + medical student + artist

Month: December, 2017

Seeing the NYC street art scene

Joy (left) and me posing in front of one of the Bushwick Collective murals earlier this fall.

When my youngest sister Joy came to visit me earlier this fall, she had an offbeat itinerary. I previously wrote a post about our exploration of the Jim Henson Exhibition at the Museum of the Moving Image, which I highly recommend visiting. I also wanted to share some photos from another one of our excursions. Joy wanted to get in on the NYC public art scene so at her behest, we headed to the Bushwick Collective in Brooklyn. It’s an out-of-the way collection of vibrant street murals that run the gamut from political commentary to psychedelic-trippy. The art is all temporary, with pieces constantly being added or replaced. So the images I’m sharing here are a simply snapshot in time of the day we visited. It’s a quick cab/Uber or subway ride from Manhattan, and it’s definitely worth the trip.

Click on any of the thumbnails below to open up a slideshow with larger images.


A message of solidarity and encouragement in times of struggle

Medical school is hard. Life is hard. However you identify yourself — student, employee, patient, mom, dad, child, sister, brother, grandma, grandpa, the list goes on — we all have to scramble, strive, scuffle, and struggle sometimes. Sometimes, it feels like most of the time.

That’s how I’ve felt lately. I’m guessing some of you have felt that way recently, too.

I was out walking on 2nd Avenue the other day, running a quick errand, when I saw a sandwich board sign in front of a fitness studio called Pure Barre that stopped me in my tracks. In New York City, with so much weirdness and activity all around, which you just come to accept as normal, it takes a lot to stop me on the sidewalk. But it was like this sign was talking directly to me. So I paused, and allowed myself to fall into the category of “annoying person stopping on the sidewalk taking a picture with their phone.” This wasn’t a stupid selfie though. This was important self-talk aimed at self-soothing and self-preservation.

So I took a picture of the sign, and walked to look at the other side. Lo and behold, it had a personal message for me too. So I snapped a photo of it as well.

I share these pictures here for multiple reasons. So many of my posts are uplifting and positive. That’s not me faking anything. But I want my readers to know that I’m human, and I tussle with human emotions, trials, and tribulations. I also want to let other people know — other people who may be struggling themselves — that they’re not alone. And last but not least, I want to offer a public message of encouragement to all of us, myself included.

So whether you’re grappling with a difficult boss, a difficult patient, a difficult family member, a difficult illness, or something else, know that you’re not alone. And hard as it is, for you and for me both, we will get through it, like we always do.