If New York is anything like it was this time last year… Today is cold but slightly warmer than it has been for the last 2 days, or maybe I’m used to it now. Sunday was eventful, and yesterday I went on one of those free walking tours where you end up paying anyway because you’re too grateful to the guide (aka Josh) to walk away without giving him some $10-$20.
So maybe before I tell you about today, let me tell you about yesterday. I woke up as the shy, introvert version of myself. And no, I wanted nothing to do with it because I’m in the big apple. You cannot possibly be shy and introverted in the frigging big apple.
The 1st thing I did when I realised what was happening was decide on a change of clothes. I ended up rocking a jean to jean outfit with some red Levi sneakers to make sure I was dressed to fake it till I made it. I got on the subway and made my way to Spring Street Station (3xS). I must have taken the E or C train, I never quite remember. We were to meet Josh at the park opposite 3xS. We started the walk in SoHo then Little Italy and finally Chinatown. I must tell you some of the things we saw were such a shock. Like fruit and vegetable twice the size of the ones you find back home and meat sold alive. And by meat I mean turtles and eels and other creepy things. Shock. Josh, now retired, went on telling us about the history of these places, what street sign colours mean, what he had done during his time and so on and so on. Two things rang my ears after the tour, 1) the history of New York as a whole. Quite dramatic. 2) the history of black people in New York. Anyway, yesterday was good, I am so hyped up and ready to be a change agent for urbanisation in South Africa.
I am so inspired by the way New York is built upwards and integrated. So it accommodates more people, the transport system is efficient and accessible and everything you need is here. I told you my apartment is right next to dunkin’ donuts, a sandwich joint, a Mexican restaurant, a tacos joint, a nail bar, a laundromat. All here a stone throw away. New York New York
Today is a bit of a lazy day. Another thing I was hoping wouldn’t be a part of my life in the big apple. But that’s what happens when you travel alone. Most days are your days. So today I got out of bed about 12:00 midday. Even the decision to get up was a heated negotiation. So I decided to meet myself halfway. I dressed all the way down to leggings, a hoodie and my red sneakers. I figured if I’m to succeed today that’s about all the effort I can make. But oh boy did I have fun walking the streets of New York. I ended up having tacos for breakfast @13:10 (yes I checked the time stamp) and desert at Carlo’s Bakery about 1 hour later. Finding the bakery was such a lovely surprise because I hadn’t expected it. We call it Cake Boss back home, that’s what his show is called on TLC. I did all kinds of other random things today. I walked into retail stores 3-4 floors high and walked out with nothing. I walked and walked and walked some more. I had a proud moment seeing a Ladysmith Black Mambazo poster in Time Square. They are my homies.
I did some more window shopping in Time Square and when I was ready to retire the day I got a strawberry and lemon sorbet on a freezing winter’s eve because that’s what you do when you meet yourself halfway.