Five Favs: July

I can't believe it's nearly August! Back to school sales are starting to take over window displays, I heard a girl telling her mother her Halloween plans, next thing you know Starbucks will roll out the Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Still, we have plenty more summer to go...right? Right! With a whole month of summer before us, here's a look back at what I loved in July.

Open Hearts

Over the past few years, incidences of racism, intolerance, homophobia, random acts of gun violence, basically a Pandora's box of horribles, has been increasing, and in recent weeks it has more or less become the norm to wake up to news of a tragedy somewhere in the world. These issues are hard to talk about. It's maddening, mind-boggling, upsetting, scary, and when the incident in question has happened to someone who is not of your same race, gender, sexual orientation, or is otherwise viewed by society as different from you, there is a fear of saying the wrong thing and being unintentionally offensive. To combat this, a friend of mine organized a gathering, open to all, which she named "Open Hearts." Did we come up with a solution? Of course not. Was it incredibly moving and cathartic? More than I thought possible. To speak, listen, and learn in a judgment-free, safe space, was liberating and so healing. 

Life, Animated

Several months ago, perhaps even a year, I read a fascinating article by a man whose autistic son, Owen, loved Disney movies. However, Owen's attachment wasn't just that of a typical fan. Instead, Owen used the movies to understand emotions and make sense of his life. Sadly, for many years Owen was non-verbal. Eventually, his family was able to get him to speak again by talking in character. (Of course this took years and was far more complex than I have just made it sound.) "Life, Animated" is a documentary about Owen and his family. It is a beautiful film full of heartbreak, humor, and hope. It isn't playing in many theaters but if you can find it, it is well worth your time. 

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Matcha Lattes

I drink tea daily, but it was only recently that I go on the matcha latte train. I don't really have anything to say except that I'm hooked. Try it; I think you'll like it.

 Morning goodness.

Morning goodness.

Martin Creed at the Park Avenue Armory

As I wrote in this post, Martin Creed's "The Back Door" at the Park Avenue Armory is a must see, specifically the balloon room. I could wax poetic again about how much fun it is but instead I'll leave you with this gem from last night at the DNC which proves that no matter who you are or what your age, being surrounded by balloons will make you uncontrollably happy. 

Aww Bill, I love balloons too. Note that he carries one off at the end.

#ImWithHer

Whatever your political leanings, it is undeniable that a woman being the presidential nominee for a major party is a BIG DEAL. It wasn't until the roll call earlier this week that it really hit me. No longer is a woman running for president a "maybe one day." My parents raised my sister and I to believe that we could do anything, regardless of our gender. I never consciously thought, "I can't be President because I am a girl," but I have always had a subconscious picture of what a President looked like. With the election of President Obama, that image shifted to encompass men of color but, as I realized this week, it was still the image of a man. Whether or not Hillary wins in November, watching the DNC filled me with optimism and made me feel truly empowered.   

 So much yes to this! [From a friend's Facebook post.] 

So much yes to this! [From a friend's Facebook post.] 

What were your July favorites?