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Current Events

Current Events

Human

The World Is Proud Of U 4 Being Here

“Stronger Together”

“Unite Against Hate”

“We Shall Overcome”

“Fight Like A Girl”

“Never Give Up”

“The World is Proud of U 4 Being Here”

These were just a few of the slogans I saw within the vibrant sea of posters and flags at the Women’s March in New York this past weekend.

Initially, as excited and inspired as I was to join the march, I questioned the impact of my presence there and wondered how one individual could affect such a huge, global movement. But a little voice inside my head compelled me to attend – so I did. Just as my friends and I passed the barricades and joined the march down Fifth Avenue, my self-doubt evaporated into the crowd and was instantly replaced with a contagious sense of faith, passion, strength, courage, hope, power, and most of all, pride – in my voice, in my rights, and the capacity of our global community to spark change.

Pride Flag

Although the event was dedicated to the women of our country and our world, I looked around and saw women, men, and children of different ages. I saw a little girl on her father’s shoulders singing and clapping, and a women inching forward, with her cane in one hand, and her handmade sign in the other. I saw people of different colors and ethnicities embracing one another. I saw people of different genders and sexual orientations holding hands. I saw people of different sizes and shapes mixed in with the rest. And I saw people holding up banners and waving around flags that brightly stood for different causes that affect not just women, but the rest of humanity, deeply.

Even though we were all defending our rights and fighting against a voice that thrives off of divisiveness and oppressiveness, what was titled a Women’s March felt more like a parade for all – a joyful celebration of our will to live vibrantly and march boldly in pursuit of progress, even though we’ve been commanded to stay seated.

In those brief historic moments that I was privileged enough to share in, our differences became irrelevant. Regardless of where we come from, what we do for a living, where we live, or who we love, everyone came together as individuals and formed a beautifully eclectic mosaic, together:

Women's March

If you looked closely, each member of the march differed from one another, representing their own unique essence and identity. But if you took a step back and viewed the march from afar, you’d see that we all created a grander image together – a vibrant mixture of colors, textures, and shapes crafted together to vividly illustrate ideals of equality, respect, open-mindedness, and growth. Interestingly enough, our differences served as the equalizing force that united us all – as one movement, one voice, one force, and one race.

Finally, we exited the crowd and left the group as we reached 55th Street – the street that marked the end of the march, and the border that lied between the sea of demonstrators and Trump Tower – our president’s skyscraper that stood before us, right across the way. But as I walked away and took my piece of our colorful mosaic with me, I knew that the impact of our march continued well past 55th Street: its power spanned around the globe, shook minds, touched hearts, and soared high above the roof of that glaring grey building, shattering the sky that our president has merely scraped.

Human Together

As the thrill of that historic event becomes a vivid memory, I will always feel grateful for this experience, over the next four years and always – for the opportunity we had to speak up, to stand for my rights and for those of my friends, to absorb the dynamic spirit of this resilient city, to make history, and to say no when we were told to stay down.

The day after the march, I passed by a construction sight in the West Village and saw a poster that read, “Together, let’s be more human,” – and suddenly, the march took on a whole new significance.

Although the reason behind the event was fueled by the outcome of the election and the direction in which our president has pursued thus far, the march seemed to send a message that translates to any situation and context of life, on a grander level:

In many ways, we are all strikingly different. But at our cores, underneath it all and above everything else,

we are all,

quite simply,

stunningly,

and equally

human.

Current Events

Riding The M Train – The Election

Guitarist

Every day, I take the M Train to and from work. When I tread down the stairs underground to get to my terminal, I feel as though I’m stepping into a different world – kind of like a secret, fluorescent-lit valley inhabited by the most eclectic combination of New Yorkers: a realm bustling with dapper businessmen, disheveled teenagers, indie hipsters, mothers clutching their children by the wrists, artists, musicians, and me – somehow fitting into the mix of this all as I find my way through the city.

On some days, I really enjoy taking the subway to work and back, and even find it oddly comforting. I enjoy weaving through the city at what can feel like the speed of light, I enjoy observing the colorful variety of people around me, I enjoy feeling like I’m making some sort of progress in the small scheme of my day, and I enjoy having those twenty minutes during my commute to myself before I face all that awaits me on ground level.

But on other days, the trip isn’t always as pleasant and I don’t enjoy taking the subway at all. Sometimes, it can get very hot and crowded down there as I constantly bump shoulders and get shoved by everyone passing by, as if I’m invisible. Sometimes when I’m on the train, I feel like I have no room to breathe, hunched between all the passengers crammed into every last inch of space in the train. The ride can feel bumpy and jolty as I hold on to the railing to stay stable. And sometimes, I experience delays when the train stays stuck in the same place for what can feel like hours.

This past week was full of those days. My insignificant subway sentiments were overshadowed by a new reality – a truth that’s sinking into the cracks and crevices of the frowns that kept appearing around me on the M Train. America recently experienced an election – and regardless of which political party we identify with, we voted for a candidate. Not only were our voices heard, but our voices also dictated a historic narrative that has left a substantial impact on many people – for those on the subway and beyond.
drummerIn this election, neither candidate was perfect; each of them had room to improve, as all human beings do – myself included. I don’t doubt that both of their visions stemmed from the fundamental goal to improve our country. But more than ever before, two mentalities battled against one another with distinct approaches towards change that couldn’t be more undeniably opposite at their cores: One – a perspective crafted with the values of acceptance, progressiveness, equality, inclusiveness, hope, unity, encouragement, and belief in a brighter tomorrow. The other – a point of view that has objectively proven to thrive off fear, hatred, narrow-mindedness, chauvinism, sexism, racism, homophobia, ignorance, and rejection of any values that differ from those he himself upholds.

Over the course of this past week, the subway was swarming with New Yorkers in distress of this outcome, scattered throughout its terminals in a frenzy of fear. I saw people silently walking with their heads down, discussing the outcome, embracing one another in disbelief, and clinging onto the handles on the train more firmly than usual, with tears collecting at the edges of their eyes. Nevertheless, I also noticed a different, more optimistic side to the subway this week: I saw a short man with dreadlocks heartily banging on a drum hanging around his neck in the terminal, I saw another man sitting on a stool by the train playing a guitar exuberantly as bystanders clapped around him, I saw a woman walking triumphantly with her head high and her eyes blazing forward, raising a big sign with bold black text that read, “One day, we will all be equal,” and I saw the word “LOVE” spray-painted on a wall, dripping down on the tainted-white tiles. Or at least I think it said “love,” – I want to believe it did.

I have no right or place to speak on behalf of our country or even our community, but I can speak for what I saw on the M train this past week – and I can definitely speak for myself.  At times like this, especially now, life can feel like a hot, oppressed, crowded subway ride – as though we’re all passengers grabbing onto the handles above us for some sense of control and stability, encaged in a steel car, shut closed from everything outside of its doors, stuck in its tracks with no glass ceiling in sight to shatter.

love Although the outcome of this election will continue to echo for years to come, I remind myself that this chaos is just temporary. The subway will eventually reach its stop, the car doors will open, and we will exit and climb back up the stairs to fresh air on ground level. And for those of you who believe in this outcome and feel confidently about the future of our country in our new president’s hands, I genuinely hope and pray that you’re right.

In the meantime – regardless of our race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identification, religion, socio-economic status, or political affiliation – we must continue to embrace one another for our uniting differences and speak our minds, regardless of our stance on this election. We must continue to sing and clap, to strum our heartstrings and play the drums to whatever beat we choose. We must continue to leave words like “love” on the walls around us for others to see, and we must hold up signs that stand for equality, conviction, compassion, and faith – because at the end of the day, we must have faith, even when someone tells us otherwise.

And as we leave the station behind us, we’ll be met with light once again, soon enough. The sun will shine so bold and so bright that we’ll all be beautifully blinded by its radiance, to the point that the chilling divides between us that have strengthened even further through this election, will melt into the past – and the M train will become a pleasant place once again for us all.

NYC

 

 

Current Events

Year One of The Daily By Daniel: Looking Back In Retrospect

Daniel Gabbay

For as long as I can remember, I have always had an outspoken opinion and a curious, wandering mind. But, I wasn’t always brave enough to share my thoughts and emotions openly, to allow myself to be vulnerable and raw in the eyes and minds of others.

Exactly one year ago, I took a step in a different direction with a full heart overflowing with excitement and pride – and nerves, to be honest. I took a leap of faith and embarked on a crazy journey as I released my lifestyle blog, The Daily By Daniel, to the public. On this day last year, not only did I set free a vision that had continued to grow and flourish in my mind for years, but I also set free the timid boy that was once too shy to speak up, as I revealed myself to my peers in a new light.

I started my blog as a formal, public diary of sorts – a place to freely reveal my inner thoughts, emotions, and even criticisms to those interested in learning more about me and what I have to say. In the last year, I wrote about lighter topics – like my favorite woven t-shirt, brunch, summer, Mondays, and the rain – as well as deeper, more intimate themes – such as my college graduation, the prospect of aging, the power of apology, and, ever so subtly, love. And through all of those distinct moments that I shared on my blog that have collectively strung together into a more profound narrative, it seems that my “diary” has undergone a metamorphosis – as have I, as have we, my readers.

Thanks to your interest and encouragement, I feel as though The Daily By Daniel has unexpectedly evolved into a forum for discussion, a place where we share our thoughts mutually, and collectively contribute to grander conversations around the landscape of our contemporary culture. You have all given me so much with your feedback and support. But more importantly (and honestly), by embracing this passion project, you have also given me a true sense of belonging and a tenacity to be brave in pursuit of self-expression, unafraid of painting my thoughts with bold, meaningful, unabashed brushstrokes. I am truly humbled by your faith in my voice and your acceptance of my vision, even if you don’t always agree with its content completely. In return, I hope my lens as a writer has also served as a mirror for you – providing you with a space for introspection and self-reflection, where my point of view has shed light upon your own.

So, to my community of readers, critics, dreamers, artists, intellectuals, visionaries, and romantics, I conclude Chapter 1 in the same way I started it, with: Thank You. Thank you for allowing me to continue writing this story and for giving it a home, and for believing in it. I started The Daily By Daniel for me, but I continue it every day for you. Who knows what the future holds, but rest assured, I’ll be sure to write about it.

Yours Truly,

Daniel

 

 

 

 

Current Events

David Yurman & The Daily By Daniel

Haleh Gabbay and Daniel Gabbay

All jewelry – whether a glimmering rose gold bracelet or a radiant diamond necklace – embody beauty, elegance, timelessness, strength, vitality, effervescence, and even comfort. When I think of my mom, Haleh Gabbay, the same unique qualities come to mind. The only difference between my mom and a sparkling piece of jewelry, is that Haleh is truly priceless – as I know is the case with all of the mothers in our lives.

Therefore, I found it so appropriate to celebrate Mother’s Day with the very thing that symbolizes our mothers so perfectly: jewelry. Last week on Friday May 6th, I had the privilege to host an early celebration in honor of this occasion – an event in collaboration between American jeweler, David Yurman, and my lifestyle blog, The Daily By Daniel.

David Yurman was founded by David and Sybil Yurman in New York City in 1942. Not only is the brand still family owned to this day, but members of the Yurman family also design the striking pieces seen in boutiques. In this regard, the brand is not only representative of stunning jewelry, but it embodies the true essence of family legacy and collaboration. Therefore, what better venue than the David Yurman boutique on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills to celebrate Mother’s Day – an occasion all about family and unity…and jewelry, if we’re being honest.

At the luncheon, guests had the opportunity to shop, explore the store, and try on all of the brand’s extraordinary pieces. Even more significantly, 10% of the proceeds raised last week benefited the Farhang Foundation – a truly exceptional organization dedicated to celebrating and shedding light upon Iranian art, culture, and history for the benefit of the community at large.

Thus, diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but it seems that jewelry represents much more than just friendship. At David Yurman, the stunning diamonds, silvers, emeralds and beyond symbolized family, legacy, unity, and most of all, celebration.

Thank you David Yurman for making such a beautiful day possible, thank you to all of the wonderful guests who attended our event, and to all the moms in the world who give us so many reasons to be grateful – and a special thank you to my exceptional mother; you truly are a gem.

Current Events

Vive L’Amour | A Piece for Paris

IMG_0256-2

I have no claim to the city of Paris, other than my profound love for it. After my four months studying abroad there last year, my meager knowledge of the French language and customs was not the core take-away of my experience. The romance that always lit up the city resonated with me the most; and while I still can’t understand French, the Parisians’ undying faith in the power of love and light spoke volumes to me.

Sadly, the City of Love – and light, and faith – as I have come to know it, was met with hatred this past weekend. Acts of terror and cruelty engulfed the city and strived to dim the unconditional light that is so characteristic of the Parisians and their culture. While some time has passed since the event occurred, the news still seems fresh and keeps echoing in my mind.

Last night, I met my friend Julie at Aria Wine Bar in the West Village for an early Sunday night dinner. She was running late because of traffic. Waiting outside for Julie to arrive so we could be seated, I sat on the wooden bench on the sidewalk with my back to the restaurant, facing a row of lit up trees, with strings of tiny light bulbs woven around their trunks and branches.

I was hunching forward as I sat there, holding my phone and scrolling through Facebook. My normally eclectic, whitewashed Timeline glared the colors of the French flag. As I continued to scroll, my feed was overtaken by a collective sea of red, white, and blue.

Almost all of my friends filtered their profile pictures identically with the colors of the flag to show their support for Paris, along with numerous posts of peace signs and blocks of black and white text that read “#PrayForParis.” Regardless of their locations, backgrounds, or beliefs, my friends on Facebook set aside their differences and united to show their respect for this unexpected tragedy that has shaken the globe.

As I continued to scroll through Facebook, liking each post and update, I felt the woman sitting next to me on the bench watching my hands. I initially thought she was bored waiting for her table at the restaurant and decided to entertain herself by looking at my phone. But then I saw her growing closer and closer. I’m not sure if it was the stillness of her body or her focus on my hands, but I inexplicably sensed an unusual heaviness in this woman’s presence. I stopped scrolling, glanced beside me over my shoulder at her, and casually smiled, just to see who she was and what about my phone seemed to interest her. She was older than me, seemingly in her early 60’s. She was wearing dark blue jeans, a grey coat, a long necklace with a silver cross on it, and a black chiffon scarf tied elegantly around her neck.

The red, white, and blue glare from my screen faintly lit her face, illuminating the tears that were collecting at the edges of her eyes, waiting to fall. My smile wilted, and I froze. When I made eye contact with her, I seemed to catch her off guard. I didn’t mean to alarm her, but it seemed as though I did, interrupting her meditative silence and reflection. When she saw that I noticed her watching closely, she uttered a heartfelt, “pardon me, sir. Excuse me, I didn’t mean to stare.” “No worries,” I kindly reassured her, and kept scrolling through Facebook. A moment later, she got slightly closer: “Merci. I mean, thank you,” she muttered helplessly, acknowledging the supportive posts on my phone, in a faint French accent. When I heard her speak French, my heart stopped.

I looked at her curiously, and I could tell she noticed my surprise at her utterance. In this momentary silence, the tears that were bundling at her eyes slowly streamed down her cheeks, rosy from the chill of the night.

I remember her words vividly: “I’m sorry to disturb you. I am from Paris. I arrived to New York last week with my family for my niece’s wedding. It is so wonderful seeing so much support for what has happened. Please don’t mind me, my apologies.”

Before she continued her words, she had to stop to catch her tears. I let her be for a moment, and tried to console her just by sitting there silently with her: “We are stunned,” she said. “I don’t understand shootings like this. Paris is the most beautiful city in the world. Why attack it?”

I nodded in agreement. 

“What does that say? On your screen?” she asked.

It says, “Pray for Paris,” I answered.

She smiled, shaking her head from side to side.

“That is beautiful. But we must pray for the world, not just Paris,” she said.

Again, I nodded in agreement.

We began to chat. I asked her if her niece’s wedding was called off, how her family has been coping with the incident, and if all of their loved ones are safe. She answered with reassurance that everyone she knows is well and alive, but that her heart goes out to the victims and their families that weren’t as fortunate.

She expressed that the wedding happened before the shootings, just the night before the news broke loose. She then continued to explain that even if the wedding were scheduled to take place after the shootings happened, if it were up to her, she wouldn’t have cancelled. She would have still held the wedding, even in sight of the horror that occurred: “Paris celebrates love,” she said. “We can’t let go of that, even in the face of terrorists,” she said.

As she proclaimed, while we must pray for the clashing of cultures that surrounds us, we must also stand our ground and defend our beliefs. Her resilience stunned me. For a mere five minutes, we shared stories of her life in Paris and my brief experience studying abroad. We discussed the city’s sights, landmarks, attractions, and the undeniable romance that lies at its core. The host came out from the restaurant and gestured to the lady and her husband, who was waiting across the street, smoking a cigarette, that their table was ready.

“Vive la France. Vive l’amour,” she whispered to me, with a poignant smile, as she got up to walk away into the restaurant.

(“Long live France. Long live love.”)

When she got up and left, my despair was met with an overwhelming sense of gratitude to have met her, and to be alive. I suddenly felt as if the glare on my phone acted as a light that represented support and resilience – as if the lit-up trees on Perry Street were paying homage to the Champs-Elysées and, of course, la Tour Eiffel, Paris’ luminous beacon of pride and hope.

She affirmed that when we “Pray for Paris,” we are also praying in the name of love and light. We are praying for the world – as what happened in Paris represents a microcosm of the tragedies that happen all around the globe.

Although I wish it didn’t take a massacre to bring this truth to light, it seems that the ideals of love, support, unity, and respect for one another transcend any language barrier or cultural division, acting as an equalizing force amongst us all. Because there we were: a French Christian woman sitting with a Persian Jewish man, both seeing eye to eye, conversing in agreement about the influence of universal understanding and compassion.

And as the lady sitting there reminded me, Paris is the City of Love, not hate – a place as romantic as it is resilient. And if this proves to be the case, perhaps the simple power of love is stronger than we thought.

“Vive l’amour,” indeed.

 

Aria Wine Bar: 117 Perry St, New York, NY 10014

 

 

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Current Events

Chapter 1

about the blog

Each new day begins as we open our eyes, and each night comes to an end as we close them again. In between those two distinct moments, we take in so many spectacles and wonders with our eyes, which ultimately string together into a series of sights, as a uniquely personal story that we visually narrate to ourselves. The ephemeral nature of these daily stories is the very thing that makes them beautiful and exciting. Each day, with the resetting and refreshing of our daily story, we are given the gift of a clean page. Over time, as these stories and sights lock away in the shelves of our minds, some of them leaving a lasting mark, and others getting lost and quietly fading away, they collaboratively create a book, a story, a narrative of which we are the authors and the visionaries.

It is my pleasure to introduce you to The Daily By Daniel – my respective book of life. Here you will find a tangible gallery of the sights, thoughts, and feelings that I have collected and felt are worthy of sharing.

Whether about life, style, fashion, art, food, news, or quite simply, me, each photograph, each post, each page, and each word come straight from my mind, and of course, my heart. So, I begin Chapter 1 with: Thank you. Thank you for opening your eyes and sharing in this journey with me.

Every day has a beginning, and each story has a start. This is mine.