We’re starting today with our new rubric “On a visit to…” with which we’d like to present to you creative and inspiring people from around the world who will take a tour with us in the cities they live in. They’ll show us some of the less known places away from the typical tourist itineraries, they’ll tell us a little bit about themselves and they will make us recharge and smile. Of course, the topics we’ll discuss will be again traveling, photography, and yoga. Our idea here is to use another point of view in order to create an alternative itinerary of the places we’ve been to or intend to visit.
The first person we’ll go to a visit to is Martina Dechevska – a colorful girl with deep eyes, red lips and a bit “dark” thoughts – if we decide to trust her debut novel С@мот@. I met Martina through her book which I read by chance (or maybe not) last winter. After I received a Facebook invitation to like the facebook page, on a really cold and gloomy day I found myself going to the office of a courier company to receive the book I’d ordered. I’m used to saying that things don’t happen by chance or accident. In order to prove this to you, I asked her to show us the streets of New York where she’s been living for more than five years and to tell us a little bit more about herself. I succeeded to reach her between her various engagements and in the midst of her work behind the scenes of the New York Fashion Week.
How do you imagine the ideal “om” trip?
When I find a ticket online for an incredibly low price (mostly in www.theflightdeal.com) I just can’t resist the temptation. My best travels were planned from my bed – first, I find the ticket online, then I choose Airbnb – usually, it all happens spontaneously at the last moment, and I always follow my intuition. Usually, my best “om” trips are to warm exotic destinations where I can switch off all electronic devices with the exception of my Kindle; I even don’t take my DSLR because my work is at least 50% connected with shooting pics… Lying on a different beach each day, beer, lately – surfing… That’s how I see things 🙂
Can we have an “om” trip to New York or is it impossible?
I wouldn’t say that New York is an “om” place. In fact, it’s exactly the opposite as it’s complete madness out there; a perfect neon monster which can shoot you up into the skies or get you down to the ground any moment, it’s a forever changing live organism…
Three things which we absolutely have to take in our luggage traveling to New York?
A camera, a sunglasses, and comfortable shoes.
How to look like New Yorkers?
The best thing here is that New Yorkers just don’t care how you look so even if you’re wearing a diving suit you’ll be just fine.
What should we absolutely try when we’re in New York?
★ The classic New York pizza slices from Joe’s Pizza
★ Wolfnights – unique gourmet wraps (the tortillas are made on the site) in Lower East Side
★ Pho with medium rare beef in Nha thang – One, a Vietnamese restaurant in Chinatown dating from the 1980s
★ a Caviar Martini or Beluga slightly dirty in Pravda – a Russian bar in SoHo
★ Table Side Steak Tartare in Eats On Lex in Upper East Side
★ New York-style hot dog from Nathan’s in Coney Island
★ Jamaican Patties from One Stop Patty Shop in Harlem where I live…
Instead of going to Rockefeller Center and paying $25 for the observatory you can enjoy the same view from Bar Sixty Five a few floors down, where you can have a cocktails for the same amount of money – not so much for the cocktails (in fact they’re definitely too expensive) but the view’s fantastic! And you absolutely have to see some concert or go to the Opera!
Where would you take us to have a cup of coffee?
To Saturdays Surf NYC which is both a surf shop and a coffee shop, and where we’ll order our coffee in plastic cups and then we’ll take a walk in the beautiful streets of West Village.
The place you’d like to share with us?
The East River Park just by the Alameda restaurant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn… You may reach it by boat from Manhattan (from the station’s called Greenpoint/India Street) and then just lie on the grass on a warm summer night and look at the skyscrapers of Manhattan. Not many people go there and the place is really chill.
We can’t do without stopping by some galleries. Show us some of your favorites?
My favorite New York museum is definitely the Metropolitan Museum of Art – it’s so big and diversе that you’ll need days to see everything. I like to go there in the afternoons and just stroll from hall to hall without direction so each time I discover something new, like for example Marc Chagall’s The Lovers which became one of my favorite paintings. It’s not a largely known fact that you can get at the MET Museum with a donation instead of buying a full ticket.
I love MoMa and each time I go there I sit at least for a few minutes in front of the Ladies from Avignon by Picasso, a painting I remember from the encyclopedias I read as a child. The entrance is free on Fridays by 9:00 pm.
I also like Guggenheim, of course, with its ideal for a gallery architecture, thematic expositions and lots of Kandinsky! Also, you shouldn’t miss the Thursday evenings of the galleries in Chelsea when lots of exhibitions have their openings or Gagosian in Upper East Side.
Which book should we take with us for our trip to New York?
С@мот@ from Martina Dechevska, of course :)
There are lots of clichés about New York, which ones proved to be false?
That New Yorkers are rude and won’t ever pay attention to you if you need help. Also the fact that everything in New York is really expensive – which in a way is true as the rents and the restaurants – but there are ways to survive even on a tight budget; there’s pizza for a $1, lots of parties with free drinks for the first few hours, free entry for the museums on certain days etc.
Please share your experience from your first days in New York?
I came to New York less than 2 weeks after my arrival in the States and I often say that this was one of the best decisions in my life. I came with my mom and two suitcases from South New Jersey which I didn’t like at all. On the same day, we rented a flat in Brooklyn right across from Marcy Projects where Jay-Z grew up. On the next day, I found my first job as a shop assistant in Desigual on 34th Ave – right across the Empire State Building. I completely missed the tourist period, I still haven’t been in the Empire State Building, and New York taught me from the beginning that you have to work hard so you can accomplish your dreams, one step at a time – which is valid everywhere around the world and especially here!
Where should we head to after New York?
Upstate New York is like a dreamland with all the lakes, mountains, and woods… During the summer, the lakes are my favorite destination – the Green Lakes, the Finger Lakes, and especially the Great Lakes, which are a bit further but it’s great to see a freshwater lake with beaches and waves just like the ocean! Also during the summer – Fire Island, Long Beach… Assateague Island is 5 hours away by car, and it’s famous because of herds of wild horses which live there… Lately, I often go to Colorado which is a really “om” state and I think you’ll like it a lot, too 🙂 My dream since I was little is to go to California and I hope I’ll have the chance soon!
Who is Martina Dechevska?
My name is Martina Dechevska and I’ve been living in New York for almost 5 years. I’ve lived in lots of places here, mostly in Bed-Stuy in Brooklyn before it became too hipster, and now my home is in Sugar Hill, Harlem. I am a journalist (mostly video), a real estate agent and in my free time, I blog about music on my blog flowersinagun.com.
A year ago I came back to Bulgaria to publish my debut novel С@мот@ which is a cyberpunk-erotic story about two young girls in two absolutely different prisons – the psychology student Roberta was kidnapped and held captive by a cyber-sociopath who gave her a hard choice – to use the power of her words to make three people from the social network ImageBox kill themselves or she would die by slow and painful death. In her dreams another girl tells her story – Valeria is held in a prison of her own choice by becoming a slave to the wrong man because of their twisted sadomasochistic version of love. Recently I started revising and translating my novel into English.
Recently I started revising and translating my novel into English.
P.S. Martina, thanks for taking your time sharing with us your beautiful photographs and answer our questions!