About This A(Story)a
One of my closest friends lives in Astoria, Queens, New York City. We spent most of the day together, starting at the 31st Avenue Open Street , where I caught him stealing a table (see first photo. he is not actually stealing the table; he volunteers there which is fantastic). There, I met several new friends, including:
- Wonmin Lee, who quit his consulting job three years ago to pursue his passion and build board games (I know a similar feeling!). His current project is a card game with beautiful art called Love, Career & Magic . I loved the style of that game so much that I bought a bunch of stickers and put one of them on my computer case.
- Jen Leach , who candidly shares her challenges with the health industry with the world through various forms of art. Among many other hand-made products, Jen had a guy in Harlem help her make the pattern for adorable "mood stabilizer placebo pill plushies". I got one. It makes a wonderful stim toy due to its dense, squishable insides.
- Mel Xu, who runs a beautiful shop called The Revolutionary Mushroom . We instantly bonded over the knowledge that everything and everyone is connected. I got a nature print and a compostable "tiny smol book necklace" for Liv. Mel gave me a hand-made, compostable sticker that said "One day, we will all be mushroom," and I put it on my computer case (see the last photo).
Open Streets need to happen in more places in NYC, and they need to happen more often. Parks and Open Streets are wonderful spaces for people to meet and be joyful and play. Open streets are final destinations and exciting human highways. They're places for artists to go and showcase what makes them feel alive. They benefit local businesses and promote community.
To learn more about NYC Open Streets, visit NYC.gov .
After finishing up at the Open Street, we walked to Astoria Park. It was my first time in that park, and I loved it. We were blessed with intense, moody light, which matched how I was feeling.