My third day in NYC was by far the best day. I went non stop from 10am until almost four in the morning. My feet were soaking wet for over twelve hours but it was worth it. It was probably one of the best days of my life.
The day started with the group checking out some museums. The first stop was the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The last time I’ve been in a museum was probably when I was eight, so it was nice to experience it again. The MET was huge, full of sculptures and paintings. We were there for an hour and a half, but could have easily stayed there for the whole day. Some of the sculptures were a bit eerie, I didn’t want to be by myself in a room. I don’t know how the security guards don’t get freaked out. My favorite part was the African art section, mostly because I felt connected to it. I am African. I took a bunch of pictures and felt inspired. We regrouped and took a walk to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa). It was a snow day that day in NYC, so schools were closed and light fluffy snow was falling. We walked past Central Park and it was beautiful.
At MoMa there was a Tim Burton exhibit that a lot of people were excited about. I’m not a huge Tim Burton fan, or a huge fan of art but I could appreciate it. It was interesting to look at, and it was packed. There were some nice pieces to look at and I snapped some cool pictures. After MoMa, we met up again and headed to Greenwich Village to attend a spoken word event at a cafe there. I was so excited to go there because one of my characters lives in Greenwich Village. I fell crossing the street and seriously hurt my leg. It was bound to happen, it was still so slushy.
We were hungry so we wandered in to a fish restaurant. The food was so good and I spotted my first “celebrity” (one of three). One of my favorite seasons of the Real World was the Philadelphia season and a cast member, Willie, was working there. I was nervous to talk to him, but I did and got a picture. It was kind of exciting.
After dinner, we headed to the cafe and listened to the spoken word. It was in the basement of a restaurant, it was small and intimate, kind of had an underground vibe. The crowd was older, most of the poetry went over my head. It wasn’t the kind of spoken word that I’m familiar with, but it was still cool to listen to. A bunch of different poets went up and recited their pieces.
At the end of the show, the group leaders were heading to Brooklyn to hear more poetry, so I decided to join them. Best decision of my life. We took the train to Brooklyn but missed the performance, so we decided to go to the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in the Lower East Side. It took a while to get there, we stopped in to the famous Katz Deli to have some food.
Finally we arrived about five minutes before the show. The place was packed but we were able to find seats on the floor, right in front of the stage. It had such an awesome vibe. There were people there of all races and ages, ready to enjoy a night of poetry. To begin the show, the MC made the entire audience stand up and dance to Bel Biv Devoe’s ‘Poison.’ So much fun!! I was laughing the whole time. Then for the next three hours I listened to some of the best poetry in NYC. It was a complete dream come true to watch a poetry slam live. After obsessing over Brave New Voices (and I met a guy who was on the show) it was incredible to be there. I got right in to it, booing when a poet scored anything less than a 9, snapping when I heard a line I liked. It was a dream come true. That’s the only way I can describe it. I’m so thankful that I was able to experience it.
We left around 1:30 and took the subway back to Harlem. While we waited we saw a rat running along the track and a guy peeing in the track. We were in New York. We got back to the hostel a little after 3am.
So even though my feet were grey and gross when I got back, it was worth it. It was the most perfect day, spent with awesome people, amazing art and incredible poetry. It is a night that will always inspire me.
Next time I go to NYC, I’m going back to the Nuyorican. There’s no doubt about that.
My last day and my encounter with one of my favorite celebs is coming up in part 3!