Over the weekend, I took a trip to Brooklyn, New York to get some writing done for my new play that I’m working on. This weekend getaway was also scheduled during the week of my daughter’s 17th birthday so I decided to bring her along with me as well to getaway from her annoying brothers for a weekend and spend some quality time with me, which is a rare thing to do during those teen age years.
I rented out an entire cozy apartment in a local residential area from AirBnb, that had an amazing backyard with a garden and the likes for artists such as myself. My hosts were very sweet and made sure I felt at home throughout my entire stay, as brief as it was. We arrived at the apartment about 10am, threw our suitcases down, and headed straight back out the door headed towards the many subways and streets of NYC.
Living in Chicago, I’m mainly used to taking 1-2 trains any where that I travel and my train rides are about 15-20 minutes maximum. NOT in NYC! I stayed in Brooklyn and the most “to-do’s” are in Manhattan which was always a 36 minute ride and another 30 minutes to walk to your destination. Y-I-K-E-S that’s a lot of commuting. The subway stations had like 4-6 different trains (ex. Station 1 had trains with the following alphabets and numbers: N,Q,R, X and 1,2,3,4). Praise the Lord for Google maps with the option to look up directions via public transportation. I got lost for a hour on one train and wound up in Harlem.
I was entertained on the trains not by your typical hustlers singing, dancing and playing an instrument asking for coins to be given after each performance, like any other subway platform in America…… oh no, chile, New Yorkers slay everyday all day in their chic and sometimes radical apparel. I felt like I was watching a fashion show my entire stay. People were looking fierce honey just to go to the corner at 8am, to buy a cup of coffee and their face was beat too!!! I slow dragged in joggers walking to get my small dark roast, two creams and two sugars stirred to perfection. Next time, I know to go shopping before I show my face again in NYC.
I have to admit, outside of being tourists, there wasn’t much to do for a teenager there. So while she slept, I dedicated my “me time” to reading and writing. When I initially booked my trip, I had plans to stay in all day and night, drink plenty of red wine because I mean, who can focus on bread and water alone…..and just write (which is my usual routine). I’m over 30, nearing 40 so that whole go out of town to get my club on is not my ministry of things to do while I travel. I enjoy doing the same things I enjoy, just in a different environment.
In three hours, I freelanced about 15 pages of storytelling for my new play script. Notice I didn’t say anything about editing, formatting, etc., oh there will come a time for that and I’ll need a whole new vacation just for that process! I really enjoy renting private rooms on AirBnb because they are sooooooooooo cheap and the spaces that they provide, are BEAUTIFUL. In this apartment, I was able to write no matter the time of day or night and no matter where I was positioned inside or outside of the apartment. Captured some great photos with my camera and finally saw “Lady Liberty” (Statue of Liberty) during a cruise (see photo below).
Next up and of course, we visited Times Square (at night). To me and I shared this with my daughter, that it’s just a fancier “Magnificent Mile” that we we’re used to seeing here in Chicago. I think the lights and all the street dancers doing flips over tourists sparked her attention enough. It’s hard entertaining teenagers, well at least my teenagers. I did not like my photos I took at night with my professional camera, I need major practice on shooting at night. We strolled down Broadway district, where I really wanted to do a spiritual ritual right there on the sacred grounds of my writing goals in front of the theaters, but my daughter would’ve abandoned me immediately as her mother if I started acting “weird”….. oh but next trip, I’m gonna be shouting all up and through Broadway, putting it in the atmosphere for me to write, direct and produce a Broadway show someday! God, ain’t done with me yet!
While there, roaming the streets of Times Square, my daughter wanted to go to the wax museum better known as Madame Tussauds (New York). All was well in the wax museum until we were told that Queen Beyonce’ was NOT in the building. How do you have Michael Jackson, Prince, Rihanna but not Queen Beyonce’????? It was a tragic for moment for me.
Outside of the subways not being normal, they were some other not so normal things I noticed like garbage was EVERYWHERE. But that’s cool except, they were bagged and piled up just chilling on the curbs NOT in garbage cans like you see in most cities. And yes, I saw a big ass rat that dashed past us and scared my entire soul out of my denim shirt. But I was artistically interested in the various ways of graffiti that plastered the walls and metal garage doors all over NYC. Hence the inspiration behind the featured image of this blog post. We even got a chance to watch some people paint murals on the walls as we were walking past several times.
Last but not least, I had to stop by the 9/11 Memorial. It was so surreal standing in a sacred place that you only read about, or saw a brief news clip of those planes crashing into the Twin Towers and every year, social media collectively comes together and honor and remember those who lost their lives on that tragic day in our country. I just took the atmosphere in really, said a prayer for the surviving families and for the souls of those we lost on that day. Similar to seeing Lady Liberty the 9/11 Memorial was a great experience to witness although the latter was due to the evils of this world we live in.
I loved my trip to NYC overall and I look forward to going back again. My airfare and lodging was cheap which I can always appreciate. For now, my bedtime remains to be 9pm (in any time zone), so I didn’t do the whole club scene but I’m sure somebody was there and partied enough for the both of us.
Have you ever been to NYC? If so, what part(s)? What were your experiences?