Junction

New York City, deflated balloon, bouncy house, man texting, cross street, Nida Chowdhry, blog, writer

Here I am at a junction, as is everyday that we choose to live. A junction, a moment, a choice, a choosing of how to proceed. How will I proceed? The words hang over me, in the moment. The words hang in me, in my blood.

Breakfast at Bergdorf’s

Chanel dress, bergdorf goodmans, classism, Nida Chowdhry, New York City, Manhattan, class differences
Pretty Chanel

I lived in New York City for five years and never had the courage or balls to go into Bergdorf Goodman’s once. It’s on the corner of Fifth and Central Park, directly beneath the Plaza and across from that one toy store in Home Alone (the store is now closed). I always wanted go to Bergdorf’s because it was on Gossip Girl and because Fifth Avenue window shopping is iconized by Breakfast at Tiffany’s (also known for its portrayal of yellowface). But I felt like such a poser/imposter, like I would immediately be sniffed out by the money police: ooo, she doesn’t have the wealth. She does not belong here.

It’s been seven months since I moved back (more like back back) to California, and I recently returned from my first visit to New York as a free agent – no work, just play, following whatever whim I had that week. As my whim had it, after a glorious day at the Met, I found myself walking toward Fifth, through the Plaza, and smack dab in front of Bergdorf’s. I went in.

Continue reading “Breakfast at Bergdorf’s”

Claudia is moving to California (I’m Claudia)

nida chowdhry, drawing, doodle, moving, new york city, nyc, koreatown, los angeles, socal, california, moving alot, lahore, pakistan, immigrant, writer
A map to further confuse you

I’m definitely experiencing a JT/Britney breakup worth of emotions (audience perspective) as I surround myself with packing boxes, preparing to move for the ::counts on fingers:: two, three… five… fifth time in six years.

This time, my mini-family unit (male partner man and feline companion) and I are heading back to California to be closer to family. I hesitate to say for good because as I’ve just mentioned, our track record says otherwise. Either way, we’re movin’, on the move again.

Continue reading “Claudia is moving to California (I’m Claudia)”

Beyonce Is Muslim, Now (And So Is Everyone Who Voted In Midterms)

When I was growing up, there were like three people proud of being Muslim in American media: Muhammad Ali, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and honestly, I can’t even remember. Non-Muslims looked at me with confused, empathetic eyes that said, “You’re like, Kwanzaa, right?”

Then, one by one, I found out about the secret Muslims: Dr. MEHMET Oz, Shaq, Ice Cube (for U.S. actor & rapper see > Ice Cube), Ellen Burstyn, Iman, Cat Stevens, Busta Rhymes, DJ Khaled, and the inventor of Lasik.

dr oz muslim 2

Except they weren’t secretly Muslim at all. Their Muslimness was just obscurely reported. They were known as ‘TV Host’ and ‘Doctor’ and ‘Rapper’, and their race and religion were a tiny footnote on their Wikipedia page, like they were a White person accidentally trapped inside a Black or Brown body. Whoops! Not the first time that’s happened. Continue reading “Beyonce Is Muslim, Now (And So Is Everyone Who Voted In Midterms)”

My Solo Trip To Paris

Solo trip to Paris
I went to Paris this summer for the first time, and I traveled alone, on purpose.

I’ve taken flights by myself before, but I had never gone on a solo trip. I was too scared or too broke or too woman or too excuse-ive. And now I was worried.

I imagined myself at 80-years-old, afraid to do things on my own. What happens when everyone I love is dead and I’m like… Damn, what now? I don’t want that! I want to be 80 and be like, Yeah, bitches, I’m in Italy! Smell ya later!

So this summer, after I talked my sister down (“Have you seen Taken?!?!?!?!?!”), and on the way back from a trip to Egypt with my beloved friend, I planned a short solo trip in Paris all for myself. Continue reading “My Solo Trip To Paris”

The Midi Dress

Midi dress, zara, print, tribal, pointed shoes, stud shoes, gold, black, multi color, hijab, Hijabi, modest fashion
I took this picture on my last trip to California. I was window-shopping and feeling uncomfortable and afraid because I was wearing a midi dress for the first time – not in New York where no one knows me, but in SoCal where I’m bound to see someone I know wherever I go.

I was taking a step towards dressing how I want to, and a step further away from the dress code I was raised to follow. I had willingly (and mostly happily) followed it as an adult, but now I wanted something different.

And I was petrified that I might run into someone who might talk shit about me and pass it along the grapevine. “I hate when hijabis take off their hijab and start dressing all slutty.” I’ve heard that so many times.  Continue reading “The Midi Dress”

Toaster Oven

nida_chowdhry_toaster_oven

I bought a toaster oven five years ago who cares I know.

But the other day it started burning, like whenever I would toast something I thought a fire would start. And I was like, “Oh! This is a grease fire waiting to happen!” As I learned to say in the retirement home I live in.

I was like, oh great, I need a new toaster oven.

So I went on amazon. What. There are so many toaster ovens. How do I choose? Do I buy one for $60, or do I buy one for $150? Will my life be better with a luxury toaster oven? Continue reading “Toaster Oven”