Posted on August 12, 2017
Making it in New York City
I have been to NYC many times in the last few years. My first trip to New York City happened years ago and I was visiting with people from New Jersey. They did not like the city. They could see it from their backyard and were not impressed. Begrudgingly, they took me around and showed me a few things they could tolerate to visit whenever they happened to be in the area. After that, I decided that I would never visit anywhere with someone who did not want to be there. Slowly, with every trip I have made to New York City, my experiences have expanded and improved. I am finding that I am falling in love with the city that never sleeps.
Bean and I are able to follow our schedule when we visit. We get up in the morning and meet a friend, or explore the city on our own, depending on the nature of our trip. There is so much to see and do, we have a wide variety of options. I still like going running every morning.
The last time we were there together, I went running in Prospect Park in Brooklyn. I was having a great time. Enjoying watching people fall behind me, seeing the diversity of runners, feeling the breeze on my face and the smoothness of the asphalt beneath my feet. I decided that I did not want to go back on the same path on which I entered the park. I took a path that was not far and seemed to curve back in the same direction. I ran and ran. I took a detour through the woods. I ran some more. I looked around and everything looked pretty much the same as it did before, but why was I not back at the entrance. I ran a little further. I passed a girl riding a horse through the woods. I saw a man talking on his phone in Spanish. I really wanted to ask him where was the exit. I started walking along the path that I thought I came in on, and everyone was really into their workout. I couldn’t interrupt them. It was a beautiful sunny morning, so I decided to just enjoy my time in nature. I started walking in the direction that I thought was the exit. Finally, I saw a mom running with her two kids in a jogging stroller. I asked, “How can I get out of here?” She told me stay on the path and turn here and then turn there and walk this way and I would be out.
I started off in the direction she mentioned, and I must have done something wrong. I have been to the park many times, once for the farmers market, another time just to walk around a little. I had no idea how big the park was when I took off for a run. I finally made my way out and found myself on the far southern end of the park. I had no idea how close I was to the hotel. I spent another 20 minutes walking back to the entrance with which I was familiar. I had to laugh at myself. I got so caught up in the moment and enjoying myself in New York City, that I got lost in the park. It wasn’t the first time it happened and I am sure it will not be the last, but for someone who has a good sense of direction, it is always a surprise.
Another thing I enjoy to do in The City is go on walking tours. Actually, in any city, I like to take a tour either by bus or foot to get a feel of the place. New York City being as big as it is, I often don’t feel like I will ever know it well. I also never know when I am going back, so I try to do as much as I can when I am there and spend some time getting to know the place better. I have a friend who is a tour guide there and he has shown me some very interesting places like the African National Burial Ground.
This time I did a FreeToursByFoot to Harlem and their six hour Manhattan tour. I am writing about them because I enjoy the tours. I find tour guides fascinating because of their knowledge of a place. I asked these guys if they had other jobs and they said no because both of their tours are special. The Harlem tour, no one else wanted to do it. The six hour walking tour, no one wanted that either! Maybe when I grow up, I will become a tour guide!
After my tours were finished, I spent some time walking around on my own. I saw a sign for dancing in Marcus Garvey Park. I took dancing lessons last year before I left Chicago and loved it. I decided to try it and LOVED it! We did the Argentinian Tango. I have never tangoed before. As with all of my previous dance lessons, I make sure to apologize to my partner beforehand for all of the times I will be stepping on his toes. They are very understanding. By the end of the session, I was whirling around the floor like someone who knew what she was doing! That gives me hope for my future as a dancer.
I went back to Marcus Garvey Park for The Classical Theatre of Harlem’s production of The Three Musketeers. It was amazing. The costumes, the dialogue, the music, dance and just the whole production was truly a delight. I wish I had more time in New York City, I would have seen this play at least once a week. I think New Yorkers are definitely spoiled because they get these types of performances so often that they don’t come out in big numbers to see them. I think tourist are just too timid to find diamonds like these. They don’t know what they are missing.
I have tried to only share a few things about this great city, but as I am writing, there is just so much more to share. New York is truly a place that doesn’t sleep and there is always something exciting and interesting to do. I feel that if people are sitting around lonely and sad in a city like this, it can only be to the lack of imagination. I look forward to visiting again and again, getting to know this place better. Why not? People already think I live there.
Have you ever been to NYC? What was your greatest experience? What do you plan to do the next time?