WARNING: This post will not contain any pictures, talk, or discussion of the typical touristy attractions that people from all over the world travel to see in New York City. The reason why is because I have already gone to these amusements and when I came to NYC this time around I was more focused on visiting with my friends and finding the cheapest places to eat and drink at (this is a struggle for anyone on a budget in NYC). I believe that one should take advantage of going to see Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty and fantastic museums if it is their first time in the city. I personally did not need to go do the whole shebang over again. Instead, I wanted to provide a great list of things one should do if they revisit New York or they’re looking for a couple neat venues to check out.
CHINATOWN: I stayed with my friend Jake and his compassionate mother on the Upper East Side near York Ville. On Tuesday night we went to get Dim Sum in a shoebox cut out in the congested streets of Chinatown. We went to Nice Green Bo and split orders of dim sum and entrees. The seafood dim sum had a great flavor and it was my first time trying scallion pancakes (yum!) The prices were not too bad especially for dim sum. Right across the street is the original ice cream factory in Chinatown. If you’re not too full, you should check it out.
NUYORICAN POETS CAFÉ: This is the bees-knees of open mic poetry, jam sessions, and local culture. On the first Wednesday of every month, the café hosts an event called All That. A groovin’ band plays background music to whatever the performer is spittin’, singin’, or speakin’. It’s $10 for students and $13 for regular admission and definitely worth every dollar because the hosts, WiseGuy & Gaston, will not let you down!
I was lucky enough to get an open slot and after performing a spoken word original. I was even invited back up for another performance in which I sang lyrics to a song I’ve been working on. It was great hearing how the band thought the rhythm and melody should go. I loved the vibes, the mix of New Yorkers and visitors, and the support the audience had for the performers. Check out there site here to view upcoming events. (http://siteline.vendini.com/nuyorican-poets-café)
BREWSKEE BALL: I met my friend Miranda in Manhattan but we soon migrated to Brooklyn to grab some (cheaper priced) drinks. We waited for the Full Circle Bar to open so we could play Skee-ball with our PB & J’s (PBR with a side shot of Jameson). Miranda had the high score of 320 and although I was trying hard to beat it, my luck (or depth perception) began to decline and my highest scores became a lowly 150. Drink prices here are very reasonable ($4 for a well drink of your choice!). The only disappointing thing is the fact that the Skee-ball company is suing the bar for using their name “Skee-ball” in the promotional advertisements for Brewskee Ball, a national skee-ball league that competes around the nation. Heads up! On Tuesdays & Thursdays they serve free hot dogs and pretzels (:
BIKIN’ THROUGH CENTRAL PARK: If you haven’t done so already, I definitely recommend it. Not only is biking through the park fun, but also biking through the bustling streets of New York is even more eventful. If you don’t mind biking beside cars, racing to try to make it through stoplights, and you’re able to keep up with Palmer, a beastly biker who hails from Hell’s Kitchen and whips through traffic faster than Flash, then it is quite an exhilarating experience.
LAWRENCE BEACH: On the weekends, many New Yorkers escape the skylined oven of Manhattan and bask in the cool breeze off Long Island beaches. Jake’s family are members of a beach club at Lawrence beach and his kind mom treated Jake, Palmer, Sarah, and I to a day devoted to lounging in the sun. I swam in the chilly water even though there were clouds of seaweed swimming right beside me. After being in the most overly populated city, where throngs of people clog the grimiest concrete streets it was gratifying to recharge near the environment I missed the most in Florida. Having granules of sand between the crevices of my feet made me reminisce about the beaches I considered home. I am glad that I traded a day surrounded by gray architecture for a day surrounded by the natural blue and green.
Thank yous & Shout Outs:
THANK YOU SO MUCH JAKE & Your INCREDIBLY KIND family! (: I’m glad I was able to kick it with you for a week and stay in your brother’s vacant bed. Keep cookin’, your food is dynamite, and keep writing because you have a lot of revelations to reveal with your wicked words. Your mom is the coolest and you all have a place to stay wherever I land on the West Coast! Hope your fam enjoyed the wine and I hope to see you in Florida if I get a chance to visit!
Palmer: It was great meeting you and NYChillin’. We are both survivors of our past circumstances and it’s due the perseverance of our fiery spirits. Keep the spark alive and blaze forth new trails and adventures. I hope you and Sarah will come out to the West Coast and when you do let me know so we can meet up! You both are welcome to crash at my place anytime.
Sarah: Your warm smile could melt icicles and your energy is as tranquil as a trickling waterfall. It was great meeting you and reminiscing about Big Sur, hope you make it back there some day! You should eventually convince Palmer to move out there, haha. I wish you the best and hope you continue to stay the cool grounded person you are.
Miranda: It was great seeing you back in the United States! Hope you have a great time working on an organic farm somewhere, let me know if you’re ever on the West Coast!