I’ve been in New York for seven months now and it’s true what they say about staying in your Burrough and never venturing off. When I first landed, I was like a fat kid at a bakery; I wanted to touch everything that New York had to offer. Overtime though, I became set in my ways and the thought that these sites and wonders would always be there began to sit in the back of my mind. Currently, there’s a three-mile radius that I spend the majority of my life in. If I do venture off, it is out necessity. I go to Manhattan because my job is there. I visit Queens because my girlfriend lives there. I have no need for a Long Island or for a Bronx. In all seriousness, why would I want to go anywhere but Brooklyn? Yeah, I know. It doesn’t make sense to me either, but it happened today and it was a pleasant surprise.
I had to venture off to Harlem to see my tax lady because it is that season again. Since it was my day off, I decided this was a perfect time to get back to my
tourist taurist-y self. I can say with much assurance that Harlem is the next best place compared to Brooklyn. To all you non-new Yorkers out there, Harlem is not one of the five Burroughs. It is a subsidiary of Manhattan, much like a Soho or a Greenwich, but at a much larger scale. The diversity of the city is breathtaking. Of course you’ve got Spanish Harlem and a high Asian population, but there’s also an elevated level of Africans that call Harlem home. The importance of this last fact correlates with my sudden urge for West African food. I’ve been deprived of any home cooking since I’ve been in New York so the ability to eat white rice with peanut soup was a blessing from the heavens. I raise my hands to the sky with thanksgivings.
I tried to take a few photos of this touched-by-an-angel culinary experience, but sadly my camera didn’t have an SD card, so I was shooting blanks.
I plan on taking more trips to see Harlem. It has a bad rap for being dangerous and I don’t want to be naive and say its not due to one visit, but I’m a fan of culture and Harlem represent the melting pot that that New York so famously represents.
“Kisses over presents”. That is the motto. I’ve never been much to celebrate holidays the traditional way. I don’t get into buying people presents and it is not because I’m greedy, it is usually because I’m broke, but I mask it behind the idea that I care about the time spent with the people you love versus the money spent. Regardless I love my nieces and nephew so much that I had to bundle up in the cold and trek out on a quest for the best Christmas gifts that money could buy. Somehow I ended up in the epicenter of frivolous spending: Time Square. I venture to Time Square more than most New Yorkers because it is where my Toastmaster’s club meets.…
I often go to museums to escape, to get lost in paintings, sculptures and other artwork. I could stair at one painting for hours trying to connect with the emotions of the artist who created it. Embracing the colors—or lack there of—and concocting some sort of meaning behind the broadness of each brush strokes.
The MoMa is a museum meant for getting lost in. With what seems to be an infinite amount of galleries, experiencing the MoMa is not a multiple day even. One day is not enough.
Inspiration is all around. From west Asian artwork, which decorates the top floor to minimalist paintings, which I naturally gravitated to, there is literally an exhibit for everyone. If you want to forget, even for a moment any “problems” that may be plaguing your life, I suggest the MoMa for a new form of meditation and enlightenment.
Don’t believe the hype. Central Park is not the best park in New York. It’s not. It’s nice. No one can deny that, but
ProspeKt Prospect Park gives the dainty Manhattan park a run for its money.
I woke up Saturday morning with the spirit of discovery, so I mounted my bike and started peddling in the direction of what I heard was Prospect Park. Previously, I would travel to Central Park by train to do any form of exercise. There’s something about living in this concrete jungle of New York that begs for any form of nature and Central Park—at the time—filled that void.
Before I had even arrived to my destination, my eyes darted in every direction absorbing the scenery that surrounded me. Riding down Easter Pkwy, I passed the Brooklyn Museum—which I promised myself would be my next adventure—and the Brooklyn Public Library, which looks like a gem in itself.
Before reaching the park, there is this arch that transports your mind to Paris’ Arc de Triomphe. The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Arch was built between the years of 1889-92 in honor to union soldiers who fought in the civil war. It is absolutely stunning and there is a fountain a few feet in front of the arch that showcases the Greek gods in all their glory. While I was exploring the area, the cutest little girl started posing for me, so of course I obliged her and took a couple of shots.
There was another surprise that awaited me when I started to enter the park. There was an outdoors farmer’s market sponsored by GrowNYC.com. Food as far as the eye could see. My stomach started to give me a high five as I went around “taste-testing” all of the free samples that were around.
The discovery of Prospect Park was an awakening for me. I felt that I had started become an unimpressed New Yorker who just stayed in his five mile radius, but this gave me the passion to explore more.