Today was 70 degrees in New York City. For those of us who enjoy the warmer weather, this was a day to finally look forward to! I took the time today to stroll around. Being a gal who is very much the metal element in Chinese Medicine, most often epitomized by a very organized disposition, a pedal-to-the-metal attitude, sometimes Type A personality, and a concern for justice, among other things, I try to incorporate much downtime to just be present and be in the now. To try to take notice of what a good friend calls, “tree song”.
This was one of those days.
So I walked from an errand on 86th Street into Central Park. Strolled around, and just observed the people laying out on the grass, on the benches, the flowers in bushes and trees that have bloomed, and, as I’ve affectionately observed in my New York state of mind, the squirrels on crack (although most likely factually incorrect nowadays, back in the day, it was well known that squirrels would “pick up” paraphernalia left behind by actively using humans.) You could often tell, because they’d be a tad too frenetic, run as quick as their little feet would go, get aggressive about their nut stash, bugged out in the eyes. I’m sure they are much healthier now.
Down I keep walking, avoiding the running children and gigantic baby buggies, smiling at the tiny dogs on leashes that have bigger egos than their bodies allow, and enjoying the ever interesting fashion sense (or complete lack thereof) of the people in this glorious city.
At the pond where they have remote-controlled boats, there was a food stand. I decided to pick up a sweet potato knish (knishes are a NYC staple, and basic ones can be found at many a food cart on corners in the city. But sweet potato is somewhat gourmet!) I sat on a wooden bench nearby, in partial shade, watching the boats and people watching, eating my knish, enjoying the cinnamon-y aftertaste of the sweet potato. And, then I was up exploring again.
I found myself at the lower level at the Bethesda Terrace. The main centerpiece being one of the most recognized fountains in the world, Bethesda Fountain. It was designed by Emma Stebbins, the first woman to receive a commission for a major work of art in New York City. It’s been featured in many movies, including, “When In Rome”, and “Made of Honor”. I’m not including this info based on movie excellence, just the facts, people!
According to Movie Places: Vacation Travel Guide To Filmed Locations, “The winged female figure is said to symbolize and celebrate the purifying of the city’s water supply when the Croton Aqueduct opened in 1842 bringing fresh water to the entire city. In one hand, she holds a lily, the symbol of purity and blesses the water with her other hand extended. Below the “Angel of the Waters” are four smaller figures symbolizing Temperance, Purity, Health, and Peace.”
I sprawled myself across a luxurious stone bench on the west side of the fountain, admiring the view, taking in much needed Vitamin D and sunshine. It is so important to get out and get some sun, trees, and flowers, once and a while! Acupuncturist that I am, I’ve become very aware of things that promote wellness. And, getting away from the hustle and bustle, if even for a brief moment, to de-stress, recharge, rejuvenate, and re-member yourself is a must!
But, I also used to work in a dermatologist’s office, and, so, must emphasize the importance of wearing at least 30 SPF on your face and body, reapplying every couple of hours. And make sure you get sunscreen that addresses both UVA and UVB rays. Not only are you trying to avoid skin cancer and overexposure to sun, but sunscreen under makeup helps halt the aging process (including wrinkles), if done on a regular basis. I, personally, wear 30-45 SPF on the face, and 70+ SPF on the body, especially to protect some artwork, some of which you may have noticed by now.
Facial Rejuvenation. Photo by St. John’s Hill Clinic.
Speaking about skincare and wrinkles, I offer acupuncture facial rejuvenation at my private practice. This is if you haven’t been good about applying constant sunscreen lotion, and fine lines are starting to form. Lines that are not yet set in the face respond well to facial acupuncture on a regular basis. Needles used on the face are usually the Japanese kind, because they are extremely thin. There are other needles that are called intradermals, that are smaller, and finer, and better for other parts of the face. I can vouch for the benefits of facial acupuncture, because I perform it on myself sometimes to plump up a line that wants to start setting up camp on my face. It’s been quite effective! Facial Acupuncture works by stimulating collagen, and increasing blood flow and nourishment to the area, working especially well on fine lines. I’ve worked facial acupuncture over the forehead, near the eyes, by the laugh lines, and even the neck. It is something that works, but must be performed consistently, in order to see a difference. If you’d like to learn more about facial acupuncture, do drop me a line!
Before I traipsed off into the sunset, with perhaps the most color I’ve received in an entire year, I seized the moment to do some stream of consciousness writing exercises into my journal. I then started to dip into my illustrator past and began sketching the entire fountain into my journal. And, there it was. My lovely moment of sun and fun in Central Park, documented in my journal – words, art, and ink, forever!
I highly recommend a trip to Central Park. It is an easy place to get in touch with joy in your life. One note though: you may want to try the spinach knish instead of the sweet potato one…
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