I visited New York City this past winter after being away for almost a decade.
WHAT??? How did that happen?
My last visit was with a former roommate on a school orchestra trip. We had a great time listening to music, exploring the city and seeing the Statue of Liberty on a boat cruise. But this time it was adults only!
I was attending the New York Times Travel show, my first time as a journalist, and re-connecting with the fabulous April from LoveLustOrBust.com. We’d met in October of 2018 in Ireland and once you meet April you’ll find a way to meet up with her again! April was a fantastic host and helped me navigate NCY like a native. I had a list of things I wanted to do, places I wanted to visit, food I wanted to eat and people I wanted to see. But…
I arrived in New York with the “it’s not the flu but you should take this medicine and go home and go to bed.” I had been battling this chest stuff for over a month and it wouldn’t let me go. I will confess that I was going out in the cold and damp air almost every night (YOLO!) which exacerbated my cold and exercise induced asthma. But cold air doesn’t make you ill, right? So I came to the big apple with determination, cold meds and power bars.
I arrived on a beautifully cool and sunny day and was sure the rest of the week would be the same. I was thrilled and excited and knew I had to find ways to celebrate my 20th Cancerversory while in the big city. First new thing I did: ride in an Uber pool.
I think of myself as a quiet person and I’m often reserved BUT I love to engage with new people. Nope. Not in a NY Uber pool. Everyone was deep into their phones while wearing headphones and were not interested in meeting a tourist. But that gave me time to look around the city from the back sea and enjoy NYC’s famous street art.
I arrived at April’s lovely. home and we began our first adventure: exploring Brooklyn. I found this monstrosity in a neighborhood market.
April and I walked to Calabar Imports at 708 Franklin Avenue and I met its phenomenal owner, Atim Oton. Atim and I sat and chatted for hours and I made the wise decision of purchasing a pair of #HairTwin earrings from her shop. Calabar Imports can also be found in Harlem at 2504 Fredrick Douglass Boulevard. They offer art classes, travel opportunities and have beautiful clothing at Calabar and Atim runs a class for entrepreneurs if you’re ready to start your own business.
The next morning was incredibly sunny and I decided to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. It had been on my travel to do list and today seemed like the perfect day to do it. I passed those famous brownstones, walked past the Barclays Center (I hear they do sports in there) and made it to the bridge.
What I seemed to forget was the weather. I was in New York City in January and I was kinda unprepared. I’d lost my winter gloves in Ireland and my winter hat somewhere in the airport on my way to NYC. It was about 40 degrees in the sun until I reached the bridge. Then it was about 20 with the WIND CHILL!! I tried my best to walk all the way across but I gave up at the midway point. My ears were ringing, nose running and my face was frozen.
I was sick, again, and this was not in my NYC plan. I fell asleep as soon as I walked back to Brooklyn (thanks for taking care of me April), missed a fantastic party, woke up at my regular 4:00AM confused and wondering where I was. Oh, yeah. I was in New York again.
Then it was time to get ready for my first day at the New York Times Travel Show, ill or not. New York, I still love you, even when I’m ill!
And I wish it were winter again. Have you been to New York City? What do you miss abut it?