After driving for a few days up the East Coast, it was time to enter into NYC for the first time in my life. It was exciting and nerve wrenching, because of many things that were taking over my mind.
I didn’t have a solid place to stay, and I was starting to think that I would be spending my nights in a park somewhere because I knew no one in the city. Where was I going to sleep? I didn’t know. Considering I have never been to the east coast, my chances looked to be slim to none. Hostels were overpriced, and even if that was my last option, I would only be able to stay for a few days at max before running out of money. I didn’t want to be stuck in New York "Until further notice".
Work was the main focus for the first few days, which were the last of the program. My first interaction with a NYC sidewalk entailed me feeling like the modern day Santa Clause. I was handing out wafers to pedestrians who were surprisingly very nice and polite. I don't understand why New Yorkers get a bad rap for their sidewalk manners. I also met Murray from Impractical Jokers, and didn't know who he was. It seems as if everyone else does though.
The first few days while working, my time off the clock was spent in a hotel room near Queens. This location was a bit out of the way to get to anything cool. I ate some amazing pizza, and did some exploring at the Zion Cemetery across the street.
Working with a provided hotel gave me time to buy myself a few days without sleeping in a park, but I knew I had to find something soon. When I say soon, I mean by 24 hours.
I sent out a plea to a particular friend of Facebook, whom I only met once at Lucidity Festival. I saw that he had been posting photos of New York a few weeks before my arrival, so I reached out asking him for any leads for my situation. He sent me over to another friend of his, and so on and so forth.
After getting my plea posted on their timeline, more people started to come through with a place to stay for me. I was offered to stay in two different parts of Brooklyn from two different strangers.
Funny part about this story, I never met either of my hosts. They were both going to be away from their homes, but we got connected once they saw my predicament.
I was able to crash in Prospect Heights for a few days while the owner, Josh, was leaving town. My requirements were to make sure Josh’s cat, Monkeyface, was fed and loved a bit while he was away. Gladly I did just that.
While in the Prospect heights neighborhood, I spent some time in Prospect Park, watching a makeshift baseball team play in the field. I also enjoyed one of the best meals I have ever had at a restaurant called Cheryl’s Global Soul. The wait the get in was longer then I would typically go for, but the SO WORTH IT. Id recommend the outside seating, because it looked too crowded and cramped inside to enjoy the space. You get to pick out a bloody mary or mimosa with the breakfast special, which was a big portion of food.
The second place I stayed was in Red Hook. A wonderful women by the name of Jess, reached out to me after she saw my plea on her friends wall. The problem was Jess didn’t stay at her place in the summer, she was away on Fire Island, (3 hours driving distance away) but she would find a friend to transport her keys back into the city!
I would think about how much effort it took Jess to get her keys out of her hands, and into mine. It made me feel so grateful for people like that in this world. A persons so generous to let a stranger into their home, and the thoughtfulness that comes along with the kindheartedness, especially when needed most. <<<--- This is more than what some of my own family members would do for me at times in need.
These situations opened my heart up again. This was to a certain feeling of connections with the strangers in this world, and how I have friends I have ever met, like in this instance.
Red Hook was a place I suspect that isn’t frequented by tourists often, which made that side of town a quiet one. One of the nights I climbed onto the rooftop (Not sure if that was allowed or not… but no harm done) to take some really great photos of the city at night. The clouds were gazing over in an unrealistic way, and I decided to make a timelaspe of what I was seeing
I did a lot of quintessential New York things, like taking photos of Time Square, riding the subway (many, many times), and even spent my Fourth of July in the city. However, I am not checking Central Park off my bucket list. I don’t think it counts if I was only there for 10 minutes before being chased off by the downpour of a storm. The subway tunnel was packed by pedestrians who all had the same idea, to stay dry.
Overall, New York taught me a bunch of things, some of which I am still learning from.
New York City, it is time to check you off the list.