I’m back in Toronto after spending four days in New York City. I was so terrified to go at first, it was my first time away from home, going with a group to a city that I’ve only seen the tourist side of. I wasn’t sure I would be able to get through it. I did. And I had the time of my life. Nothing about the trip went wrong. It was perfect and the city I have always loved from afar loved me back. Here’s a recap of my first two days…
We arrived in NYC Wednesday morning at our hostel in Harlem. I have to admit that I was freaking out a bit. I was overwhelmed and scared, wondering if I made the right decision. We walked around, got to know the neighborhood a bit. In some ways Harlem was stereotypical, guys dressed in thug clothes walking around, 99 cent stores and hair stores everywhere. But at the same time, there was so much history. We were right by Malcolm X blvd, and Fredrick Douglass blvd, on a walk to dinner there was a huge statue of Harriet Tubman in the middle of the street with roots coming out of her back. It was gorgeous. I thought I’d be scared in Harlem, I thought I’d be pestered on the street or feel unsafe all the time. Not once was I afraid or bothered by anyone when I was there. We walked down the street at 3am and were fine. It may sound weird but I felt safer in Harlem than I do at home.
We walked through Central Park that day, it was beautiful. It’s a huge place so we only saw a small section. That night we went to dinner in Harlem at a BBQ restaurant. On the walk there we really experienced the real Harlem and saw so many sights. Dinner was awesome, probably the best chicken I’ve ever had. It was a good first day and I felt a lot more confident.
Day two was probably the worst day for me. That was the day the snow started to fall. It wasn’t soft, fluffy snow. It was wet snow mixed with rain. In the morning we went downtown, met up with other members of our tour and walked to Battery Park city and then got on the Staten Island ferry. In no time, my feet were completely soaked. Uggs are not waterproof y’all. The ferry was nice, but we couldn’t see that much because it was so gross out.
After that, I broke away from the group and went to Times Square. I found the theater for In the Heights, snapped some pics. Then I tried to find NYU and got lost, getting soaked even more. Finally I went to Columbus Circle and found Boarders. They had a pretty big African American section so I bought two books. By the time I got back to the hostel, I was drenched. It was 6pm, everyone was going out to galleries and I didn’t want to go back outside. I have never been so wet and cold in my life. So my roommate and I ordered Papa John’s pizza, talked to the cute guy sitting at the front desk and stayed in. That was fine with me because the next day, turned out to be the best of my life!
Part two of my NYC trip coming soon..