“If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way”
– Martin Luther King Jr.
– Martin Luther King Jr.
A fresh new year after Puerto Rico
My husband and I went to Puerto Rico and had a great time there. It had clear blue ocean, fresh air, sunshine… it was paradise.
San Juan is the oldest and most picturesque city in Puerto Rico. In my opinion, the history gave this city a rustic feeling. Standing on the old Castillo or “El Morro”, as the locals call it, looking at the endless ocean, you can imagine yourself as a Spanish colonist in 1500s. It’s no wonder they wanted to live there and enjoy the beauty of the Caribbean. (pic)
Most business in Old San Juan comes from tourists from cruise ships. It’s an interesting town because everything has a history. There are stores and bars that have interesting history, we heard about a guild tell us the bar used to accept bachelors. Also, you should never forget the Bacardi.
As a planner, I loved the walkable streets. You can walk along the San Juan Gate by the sea for a nice activity, or you can even walk in between houses to get where you need to go. Surprises come often, cats are everywhere, sleeping or yawning. Each building is painted in different colors; visually, you never feel bored.
I appreciated that the historic sites, such as the Castillo, San Juan Gate, and Cathedral, were so well preserved. However, I think Old San Juan should make the district more walkable. The streets are narrow already and cars can drive through, which makes congestion so bad and makes it uncomfortable as a pedestrian. The streets become even narrow when there is street parking. If I were a planner for San Juan, I would restrict the cars in the area, forcing them to park before they enter the historic district.
The most awesome thing we saw was the Bio-bay, a bioluminescent bay near San Juan, which we experienced during night kayaking. I couldn’t believe my eyes when we saw the sea water glow. People who swim in the water looks like glowing angels. We all remember the scene in Life of Pi, but now I saw it with my own eyes. (However, we are not able to take photos)
Another breathtaking moment occurred on the plane as we traveled from San Juan to Culebra Island. As you can see in the photo, the water is so clear and you can see the depth of the ocean presented by the different colors of blue.
Play by the beach
Oh, and Piña Colada.
Everything is so peaceful.
By the end of the trip I fell in love with Puerto Rico and wish to go back there soon. This trip gave 2016 a beautiful ending, but also refreshed us to fill us with the energy and courage for 2017. I hope everybody will have a beautiful new year!!!
Mei Fang, is an urban planner with a strong passion in urban and landscape design, she also enjoy looking for the variety culture inside of the city.
We asked each staff member of Nspiregreen about theirs hopes and goals for 2017 here’s what we said:
Mei: 2016 has been a challenging year for me, but it was filled with many unforgettable moments, such as graduating from with my Master’s degree and getting married. My wishes for 2017 are more great memorable moments and a more peaceful world. I hope to get my LEED Certificate during the first half of the year, improving myself on a professional level. I hope to have the chance to go back to my hometown in China to visit my friends and family. I have many dreams and wishes, some of the simpler desires include breaking my habit of sleeping late; visit New York City, cleaning out my closet, and to stay in shape.Finally, it’s going to be a bright new year, my most important wish is for everyone’s continued happiness throughout 2017.
Christine: In 2016, a lot of things were knocked down for me, but as one of my favorite rap lyrics and personal mottos goes “sometimes you gotta get knocked down to get up”- Mystikal. In 2017, my focus is going to be on the concept of “building”. I want to build up my skills in some areas, especially hand and computer renderings, technical capabilities, knowledge base, and being a leader. I want to build in time for people, things, and experiences that bring me joy.
Fabiana: My wish for this new year is that everyone, including my family, colleagues and friends, have a and a healthy, happy and prosperous life. To create this happier, healthier and more prosperous life for myself, my goal is to keep growing personally and professionally by being in the best disposition to learn, challenge myself and try new performances in my life. My greatest desire is to enjoy from the greatest to the smallest events happening in my life.
Chanceé: Like the dawn of each year, I expect 2017 to be a year of dreams fulfilled and goals accomplished. I desire to spend more time with my amazing new little family. I dream of spending days relaxing in front of clear blue water while jotting down new ideas that I make come to pass. I wish to give more of my time to causes I care about and have goals to do new things with Nspiregreen. As my family at home grows, I pray abundant blessings over Nspiregreen in the new year so that my work family can grow too. This is my hope for 2017 may the odds be ever in my favor.
Veronica: Usually I start the year with a list of goals I’m going to accomplish and things I’m going to do for the year. After ending 2016, physically and mentally exhausted, I’m looking forward to doing less in 2017. My hope is to take some things off my plate, say “no” more, travel more, and be radical with taking personal time outs. I want to reorganize my day to provide more time to think and be creative, so I can continue to create a vision for Nspiregreen and the urban planning business unit.
These are our hopes for 2017. What are your hopes? What are your goals?