Posts Tagged ‘New York’

How to Not Think and Do Nothing in New York

June 19, 2015

In one of the June 2015 issues of New York Magazine, an article appeared in the New York Guides section as The Everything Guide to Doing Nothing; Wake up late, go out never, have someone hand-feed you a banana. Here is the introduction to the collection of articles on how to do nothing in New York, followed by one from the collection of short essays that caught my attention.

It’s not that New York has become any less chaotic, but amid the relentless hustle is a recent move to nada-hood: In the past year, dozens of apps have popped up that make social interaction and trips to Duane Reade less and less necessary. Need toilet paper delivered in an hour? Press a button. Too tired to mop your floors? Enlist the latest iRobot. But why stop there? For when TV plots seem too complicated, Candy Crush too physically taxing, and the newspaper just too damn wordy, there’s now an ever-more-passive alternative. So whether you want to avoid dirty dishes, the treadmill, or your friends, here’s a guide for living your laziest life.

How to Not Think
Transcendental Meditation on the C train.
By David Marchese

A great many extremely successful and presumably fully actualized people, from billionaire hedge-funder Ray Dalio to pop goddess Katy Perry, are advocating these days for the life-changing benefits of Transcendental Meditation. TM, they say, will sharpen your decision-making, unlock your creativity, amplify your you. Science is also onboard. Studies suggest that TM practitioners are at reduced risk for heart attack and stroke. All this from just sitting there and focusing on your secret mantra. When I mention this sort of stuff to people—I’ve been doing TM for six or so years—I normally get an interested nod in return. When I say it involves meditating twice a day for 20 minutes a pop, the nod turns into something more skeptical. Where am I supposed to find the time?

I find it on the C train. As long as your commute is long enough, the subway offers a great opportunity for achieving profound inner stillness. First off, you need to find a seat, which is why I opt for the less crowded local, rather than express, train. Then, with your back straight, head tilted slightly down, and eyes closed, do about 30 seconds of deep breathing before you begin silently repeating your mantra—the secret word, supposedly custom-chosen, that your TM instructor (find a nearby class and instructor at tm.org) will have given you. Don’t try to clear your mind, just favor the mantra. Repeat it. Keep repeating it. Favor it above all other thoughts and sensations. If other thoughts do bubble up—and they will—just come back to the mantra. You’ll be amazed how quickly the ambient MTA blare fades away as you transcend toward pure consciousness. A sort of whole-body inner joy takes over, as if your heart were gently laughing. Hard-core TMers say 20 minutes is mandatory—I use the timer on my iPhone—but if you’re diligent about the mantra, you can transcend after a few minutes, so it’s okay if the train starts running express. Even ten minutes of TM is a nice psychic boon, and, I promise, infinitely more satisfying than another level of Candy Crush.

From The Everything Guide to Doing Nothing in New York Guides of the New York Magazine, published Jun 4, 2015. Illustration by Joe McKendry.

I was in NY recently for my nephew’s film, The Driftless Area, which was being spotlighted at the Tribeca International Film Festival, and wrote this haiku about the city: A NEW YORK HAIKU by Ken Chawkin.

A NEW YORK HAIKU by Ken Chawkin

April 17, 2015

I’m in New York City this week with my son Nathanael, along with other extended family members, to see the premier of my nephew Zachary Sluser’s film, The Driftless Area, at the Tribeca Film Festival. We’ve been doing a lot of walking lately and I gotta tell ya, New York is a noisy city. Cars honk their horns at all hours of the day and night, ambulances blare and police cars wail their sirens. Construction is going on somewhere. People are everywhere. I had to write this New York Haiku in a New York Minute.

A NEW YORK HAIKU

WALKING ON THE STREETS
NEW YORK’S A NOISY CITY
CONSTANT CONSTRUCTION

© Ken Chawkin
April 16, 2015
New York, NY

Nathanael took this video of me as I was rewriting this haiku. Note how he titled the description as a haiku: Haiku composing / captured in motion real-time / gotta love my dad.

Driving to the airport for our trip to New York City I noticed a series of billboards that seemed to tell a story. It cracked me up. We took pictures on the drive home, and I included them in this new blog post: The battle for Good and Evil along Highway 218.

Some News Coverage on The Driftless Area

INDIEWIRE: Meet the 2015 Tribeca Filmmakers #35: Stellar Cast Teams Up to Solve a Mystery in ‘The Driftless Area’.  Watch The Daily Quirk Blog VIDEO: An Inside Look at the Tribeca Film Festival Red Carpet for ‘The Driftless Area’ and a Red Carpet group photo. Scene Creek: 5 Questions with Zachary Sluser of The Driftless Area. Moveable Fest: Tribeca ’15 Interview: Zachary Sluser on Pushing Forward in “The Driftless Area”. The Blot Magazine: ‘Driftless Area’ Director Zachary Sluser On Zooey, John Hawkes & His Dog. No Film School: Using an Objective Camera to Create Metaphysical Noir ‘The Driftless Area’. Shockya: Tribeca 2015 Interview: Zachary Sluser Talks The Driftless Area (Exclusive). Check the film’s Facebook page for updates.

Here’s an article in NY Magazine about How to Not Think and Do Nothing in New York.


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