So Day 1 in New York City has come to an end…. and what a day it was. The night prior we arrived in New York to be picked up by our friend Frank who lives right outside of New York City. He took us back to his place and hooked us up with some snacks before we got some sleep. We woke up in the morning eager to take on the day as our alarms buzzed and dinged telling us it was time. Personally, I was awake for about 10-20 minutes before my alarm went off, counting down the seconds before it would alert me that 6:40 am had struck. Anyways, alarms go off, we get dressed, and head out on whatever Day 1 had in store for us. We got to the train station called Sloatsburg and it only took about four minutes before we got yelled at for taking videos on the train track (classic).
After a quick 40 minutes, we were in the city… the Big Apple. This was my second time here, the first being last summer, but my excitement was just as high as the first time around. We hopped off the train and let our iPhones guide us to our friends Vanessa, Jodie, and Natalia who are all staying in the city this weekend as well. We all found each other and the first thing on the list of things to do was of course to eat so we scurried our way to the nearest bagel joint (literally the first one we saw). It’s no myth, New York bagels are definitely something special… and I don’t know if it’s because of “the water”, but y’all are doing something right so don’t stop!
We got back on our way after downing our breakfast bagels and headed out towards Chelsea Market. Chelsea market was cool. It was a mixture of established businesses, artists, artisans, and smaller boutique brands using the space to catch the attention of tourists with their unique art and presence. After checking out the market for a while we found our way upstairs we ran into a well known musician named Lecrae who had actually dropped an album this same day and his main man Joe Gonzales who creates some very dope content for him.
We departed from Chelsea Market to head over to some hotspots in town such as KITH, Supreme, Stussy, and more. After a while of popping from shop to shop we decided to head to Jodie’s brothers place in Brooklyn to catch the sunset. We made it over there JUST in time. We took some cool group photos, Vanessa broke her ankle, and I caught a nice long exposure picture of the skyline (shoutout to @vvlandis on teaching me how to do that).
It was time to head back to the train station and call it a night… or so we thought. We had about 40 mins to get over to Penn Station before the next train took off back to Sloatsburg. So, after spending a few minutes underground waiting for a subway we decided to take Option B and call an Uber. Our boy Daniel (I think that was his name – or David, might’ve been David) picked us up and we made it a point that we had to get to Penn Station quickly. Let’s just say he heard us loud and clear. He BOOKED it through Brooklyn and back into the city. He had George throwing up on me in the backseat.
Fast forward a bit, and here’s where the night took a turn… We missed that 9:51 pm train so we had a few minutes to talk before the 10:11 pm. During this time period was when a thought rolled into my head and a feeling tingled through out my soul – “yo kevin, don’t go back yet – play in the city”. So many questions began to flush through my head as a defense for doing something “irresponsible” but I pushed the doubt aside. Within 10 minutes and some support and encouragement from Drew we were back above ground surrounded by people walking everywhere, lights all around, music bouncing out of every building, and commotion in the streets. Shoutout to Zim and George on going through with following us into the unknown.. It felt as though the “Concrete Jungle” was speaking louder and clearer to me than before.
We headed towards the spot where Vanessa and Natalia were staying which happens to be a super nice place called The Plaza. After a little recharge break we took back to the streets, but this time in search for pizza… and an ankle brace for Vanessa.
Within minutes things started to heat up a bit because we started to get a bit nervous… We had no plans and no sleeping arrangements inside the city… just our friend Frank’s who lived a ways outside the city, but we had missed the train to get there. It was about 1 am when we decided to take an Uber back to Frank’s to get a good nights rest.
The decision was a good one and we were on our way back. It was on this 45 minute car ride back that I came upon a realization…. People are so different from one another. Something that might excite the heck out of someone may scare the poop out of someone else! Something that may make someone happy may make another person miserable. This realization also came with the understanding that when you travel with a group of friends, make a group decision based off of what everyone wants to do. Don’t just make a decision and drag others along with you making them uncomfortable… or you can, either way… everything happens for a reason. For instance, look at the lesson I learned- it all happened for a reason.
All in all, Day 1 was a success 🤘 We ate bagels and a lot of pizza, saw cool sights, and met some cool people. Day Two, let’s get it.