Once Upon a Subway 

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​”So many people and no one talks?” I muttered, on a packed subway train in NYC.  
He was about 55, dressed in a suit, and slid over to let two women sit down.  “What’s that?” He asked, nodding towards the tattoo on my arm. 

 “A monster coming out” I told him.  

“Is it you?” He asked…

I nodded, “it was when I got it, but not anymore” I felt the shame come over me, as I always do, when anyone points out my mess of tattoos.  He saw the flight tag still attached to my backpack and asked where I was from.  He shared his experience with New Orleans, and talked about his brother dying and how he still cries.  He said I had something but he didn’t know what.. I just talked in return and told him his brother has moved on to another amazing life and how I believe if he lets go of the “should” that he “should still be here”.. He will experience knowing he is .. Just in a different light.  He told me about a time that he almost drowned, and how peaceful he felt in that moment, and then his brother pulled him up out of the water.  I told him about how I’d spent years suicidal, trying to die, and then had to fight cancer.  I told him how I’m now traveling on blind faith.  I never know fully how I will make it from place to place, but I know I’ll survive.. I always do.  
We got off at the same stop, 157th street.  The stairs had two exits so we took separate ones.  I wished I had taken his picture.  At the top, he rounded the corner and called “Storme.. How are you funding your travels?” So I told him artwork., frugal living and faith” he handed me $40 and said “thank you, you are beautiful” he didn’t want his picture taken, but his name was Jim.  I thanked him. 
He told me “have some

Fun with that while you’re in NY” and I told him I wanted to see the last Yankee game of the season against the Red Sox.  He said he is a sox fan so I agreed not to root ☺️

Thank you Jim.  It is you who is beautiful, I just listened, and in listening to a complete stranger open up without being asked to, I felt so completely filled with human love.  So thank you.  I wish I could tell you that in person.

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We, The People, have a dream…

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We, the people, have a dream…

When did we become a country at war with itself?  Why do we have two parties?  Aren’t the things that are vital to The People of the United States of America one in the same?  We are a family.. a foster family where anyone is welcome.  That’s what this great nation was born from.  Our ancestors fled their own countries searching for a better life.  The American Dream.. but where was that dream born?  Where did they hear that in America things would be better?  The land of opportunity.

We Are All Equal

That is a generalized statement.  It depends on what measurement we are using.  The only level that we are actually equal is that we were born on this planet.  I am not even my own blood sisters’ equal.  Sure, we have the same parents, we are the same race, we grew up in the same house, we even have the same eye color/colour but we are not equal.  We are very different.  We live in different countries. We have different accents, different beliefs, different values.  We live different lives, and we are different people.  We all have a difference in our opinions.  Why do we get defensive about that? Why do we insist on projecting our opinion on others?  Why are we so afraid to be different, when that is all we can be?  It’s okay!!!  We are all beautiful people, created for a purpose.

Given that the hot topic in America is the presidential election.. I am going to demonstrate how to practice unconditional love by painting a very different picture of Donald Trump.  Nooo .. I’m not literally going to paint him, there are enough caricatures of him knocking about.

Now for those who don’t know me, I am not a fan of the thoughtless, gum flapping, ignorant bigot that Donald Trump is.  I find his views despicable.  My heart actually hurts for him.  To be so detached from love must be an awfully sad life.  There isn’t enough money in the world that can make up for being that heartless.  To have that much hate in your heart that you’d close the door on your neighbor.  To be that afraid of an entire religion, that you’d want to eradicate the perceived threat.  That kind of fear is unspeakable to live with.  I know that Donald Trump was born into this world for a reason.  His role, I am sure, is playing a very huge role in a greater good right now.  I have all the faith in my higher power that that statement is true.  I don’t know what that greater good might be, and I know that it may not feel like the greater good to everyone it effects, but I trust that it is.  I know that I wouldn’t want to have been born into his shoes.  You couldn’t pay me enough to have lived his life.  The anger, resentment, and hate that spews from his mouth speaks volumes to the hurt and fear in his heart.  He doesn’t know true love, and wouldn’t know it if he had it, because everything about his life revolves around money.  Having it, not having it, pretending to have it… He’s probably never known how gratitude feels, how peace feels.. how it feels to be content.  To question the motives of his nearest and dearest, never fully trusting that they weren’t just out to gain from the relationship.  No.. you couldn’t pay me enough to have lived his life.

Now why would my higher power allow such a twisted soul to rise up in power?  Change.  This presidential election will be one that creates change.  There is no doubt about that.  Change for the greater good.  Now I don’t know about your higher power, whether that is God, Allah or the support of your loving friend that is sitting beside you.. but my higher power isn’t just an American higher power.  My higher power is the Universe, and the loving energy that flows between all living things.. all of Gods’ creation.  Sometimes there are sacrifices that are made for the greater good; Casualties of war.  Maybe the Universe is doing for us what we can’t do for ourselves.  We’ve waited for president after president for the “right president” to come along and steer us back to that dream that our ancestors were promised.. that we were promised as the tales of our forefathers were retold.

Our government was formed to protect us.  Laws were written to protect us from the things that we fled.  We may be the United States of America, but we still live in Little Italys, Spanish Harlems and Chinatowns.  We are parented by two parties that are always fighting, and ultimately always come out as children of divorce, having to pick one side or the other when there’s things about both sides that we love.

We, the people, matter.  We, the people, send our children off to war, to fight for this great nation.  We, the people, work 7 days a week just to make ends meet, leaving our babies to be abused by strangers in daycares.  We, the people, don’t want to fight about Trump or Clinton.. we want to be able to meet our basic needs, spend time with our family and friends, and enjoy our time here on this beautiful planet.  Why does that have to be so complicated?

I have to say, thinking about the President as our nations parent figure, and then recalling the vulgar comments that Trump has made about his daughter.. I’d feel slightly molested if Trump were to win.

Well, that was my thought for the morning while watching World War I in color on Netflix and cleaning.  I should probably get back to cleaning…

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NYC – from the airports

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If you are heading to Hattan Hostel for a frugal $24 a night then you’re probably on a budget.. Transportation can seem overwhelming at first, and a taxi may seem easier.. But at $50-$70 it’s a rip off.. Here’s what you need to know 

Rule 1 – avoid Newark! Getting across the Hudson River is expensive no matter what transportation you use!

JFK Airport – when exiting the airport, follow the signs for AirTran.  It’ll bring you to a station where you’ll board a train to the subway.  Get off at Howard Beach Station. 

  
To exit, you will have to buy a metrocard.  I suggest buying the 7 day metrocard at this point.  It’s $31 for unlimited buses and subways for a week, and well worth it.  You will have to pay an additional $5 for the AirTran.  (MasterCard and Visa is accepted)

Follow the signs for the A train towards Manhattan.  (Blue line on the subway map)

  
On the bottom right you will see JFK .. The top left you will see 163rd and Amsterdam.  This is your stop! Off you get and walk 3 blocks south and 2 blocks west, and you’ll be at 160th and Riverside Dr.

  
On the second map, look at the red line.  That station is at 157th st and Broadway.. And is the best choice to take the subway down to a Times Square (42nd St) or Central Park starts at 59th St Colombus Circle.  The 1 train connects you to anywhere you’re looking to go within the city.  

Laguardia Airport:  when exiting your terminal you’re going to take the Q70 public bus to Jackson Heights, and then take the  E train (blue) to 42nd St, and transfer to the 1 train (red) up to 157th st. 

Be sure to check out my NYC on a dime blog for tips on seeing the sights for as little as possible! 

Follow my blog for tips and tricks on traveling all over the world on a dime! 

Also feel free to share anythin you find interesting .. Thanks!