June 11, 2017, 10:09PM
Walking around Vladivostok I am picking up on a lot… feeling so much old history. WWII history; in the monuments, the submarine museum. The architecture is stunning. I love that this is a seaport city–it feels like a taste of Newport and the ports of Latin America combined. Being near the water is lovely. Maferefun Yemaya. Modupue.
What I have found surprising is what I am feeling as I walk down the streets. At first I was incredibly scared. Worried about the color of my skin being “a thing”. Let’s just be honest. The stereotypical stories of Russia I definitely was walking around with. Yet I have noticed something different. I am feeling stares, for so many reasons, I am dressed completely in white, from head to toe and I am walking around with a group of writers of color. The stares are less about fear or hate more than they are filled with curiosity. People want to know who we are.
This city has sections that are very romantic. I sat by the Zolotoy bridge and there are love padlocks for couples hanging on the metal overlooking the bay. I carved Yoseli and my name (and you and I) ❤ I wish I had a padlock to leave.
As I begin working on my story I can see how taking walks and really absorbing our surroundings is important. I feel like people were really happy to see this group of black and brown writers visiting their town. The people have been lovely.
Take care of you baby.
Love you, Momma