Helga Sierra
Helga Sierra

Journal: Stories on Creativity & Adventure

Learn about the artist's process, photo stories, traveling & more. 

Travel: The Urban Jungle (A week in New York City)

Oculus by Helga Sierra.jpg

As I edited these pictures, I started to like more of a black and white approach...If you don't know me...travel photography is inspiring to me.  The older I get, I realize the slower I move when I'm in a new culture the more I take in. Architectural elements in these pictures will most likely end up in my new paintings and being in such a large city inspired me to think about movement.  People moving from home to work, migrating, traveling, changing.  Welcome to some of my favorite sites of the urban jungle...


to discover,

to learn

New York was the last city I visited after a four month trip (Nashville, London, Lisbon, New York)... 

I was ready to be home after this trip, to finally sleep in my own bed.  For those of you who travel and work you must know how difficult it is to get your work done when you are in a new city and all you want to do is explore.  Here are some cool spots (including 3 art museums, Grand Central Park, and the One World Trade Center). 

NYC Public Library


One World Trade Center

 I was able to visit this new building twice.  I also spent time admiring the architecture of the Occulus. It’s like a giant whale skeleton stuck in the middle of the city, its white crisp walls are like a modern cathedral amidst the busy to and fro of a business capital of the world. 


Art Museums

I felt different being in this city, maybe it was the nostalgia that I knew that my trip was coming to an end.  I will be honest, balancing life, work, exploring was somewhat of a struggle for me on this trip.  What to see in the city?  Ok, I wanted to go to the art museums.  I find that often, there are few people in my immediate circle that actually enjoy going to art museums.  So I went to MoMA, the MET, and the Guggenheim.  I had intentions of going to the Whitney, which is supposed to be the new most beautiful space, but I ran out of time, so I guess I’ll have to schedule another NYC trip.  For such a small piece of land, there is so much to see. 



The MET offers the greatest variety in taste and time.  It reminded me of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London (which is BEAUTIFUL!).  (More on London here)   I won’t lie, I’m a big Gossip Girl fan (unexpected I know), so I could only imagine Blair Waldorf walking through those steps. Needless to say, I walked through the Egyptian wing (by mistake), but I had been at the MET in 2009, and this was a different experience.  EVERYTHING HAD A GRAND quality about it.  I saw Picasso, Pollock, Rothko, (which are some of my favorites), and you'll see a picture of a girl sitting, drawing in front of a Picasso.  You see, 9 years ago, I stepped in that room, on my birthday and thought: maybe one day my paintings will be up in a Museum like this... I'll tell you what, the last 12 months have been some of the most difficult, yet fun months I've had. 




I had never been to MoMA, but as all people these days, I've follow them and the San Fransisco MoMA through social media for several years. They have UNIQLO NIGHTS on Fridays, and the entrance is free. PERFECT.  I will say, to maybe your dismay: MoMA was fun for sure, but I think the inside of Berardo in Lisbon or Tate Modern in London is cooler.  Maybe it was the way it was structured or maybe it was just crowded.  I will say they have a spectacular exhibit of fashion called: ITEMS: Is Fashion Modern?   (It just so happened that I had enrolled on an online course by Coursera and MoMA so seeing the things I was reading about in real life was quite exciting.   I will say, that as I walked these walls and the walls of several other museums, I didn't find many latin artists, which bothered me a little. 


Guggenheim Museum

Wow. I think I was enamored by the building.  As well as exploring the permanent collection, they were also showcasing a journey of modern art in China.  I think honestly I was just drawn to the curves of the building and the people moving to an fro.  I people watched.  I observed art.  (Note: The Guggenheim has pay-as-you wish on Saturday nights, but it can tend to get crowded).   I ended up going there on a rainy Sunday afternoon after watching the NYC marathon. 


Central Park

I went  to Central Park multiple times.  It was my only chance of actually experiencing fall again. The weather is mostly in nice in Honduras, but fall weather where all you have to do is wear a cozy sweater is not so bad, I miss it.   I didn't plan on being in New York while the marathon was happening, but I was there and experienced one of the most joyful moments.  I have so much respect for the runners. 

Grand Central

I would hop on line 5 (The Green Line) on the Subway, and usually end up transferring here, so why not just people watch.  I went to Grand Central several times. It is a beautiful building and so many people are going through it.  I took pictures, recorded video and have several sketches of this place.  I didn't plan on liking it, but it was fascinating to me. 




FOOD: Hot Dogs & Ivan Ramen

There was 1 food place I wanted to go to: IVAN RAMEN in the Lower East Side.  Asian isn't my favorite, but I enjoy most food and I mostly wanted to go there because I saw his episode on Chef's Table on Netflix.   Every time I watch that show, I want to create. I love the way it is filmed and I love seeing the journey these amazing creatives have gone through in order to find their voice, their food.  Many times, it is after a personal tragedy or struggle that they find the clarity to create.  It was great, a great balance of ramen, I'm glad I got to go.  Every time I saw a hot dog cart I needed to know what this tasted like, naturally I went for achilli dog with Cheese and tried one of the falafels from a different cart (I'm paying for those indulgences and many more at the gym these days).  Ohh and somewhere near the Brooklyn Bridge or Chelsea area, my friend Kate took me to eat a massive Oreo milkshake (if I knew the name of the restaurant I'd include it here... but this was Katie's choice, I was along for the ride).


There are more pictures I could show you, more tales I could tell. I hope you've enjoyed what you've seen so far. And if you haven't seen my new shop yet, you should.  It's got all the art you'll want for the holidays. 

Of course I'd love to thank the Escudero Family for hosting me and making me feel like family.  Preston for the conversations and exclusive tour to OWTC,  Katie for being in the city and choosing to go to cool places, and Carlos for the encouragement on the journey of being a creative professional.


Until next time, Helga