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.
It’s always nice to reconnect with old friends. Friends that you think would be long forgotten due to the challenges of becoming a “grown up”. I, on the other hand, have been lucky with the people that I consider to be more than just acquaintances. They all have a similar “down to earth” quality that ensures me that even though I may not talk to them everyday or every week—like I would like to— I know we can always easily reconnect when need be.
My friend and fellow Georgia State alum, Briyonah, visited New York to celebrate her birthday and I had the pleasure of meeting her twin sister Briyyah as we broke bread in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The original plan was to meet at Clinton St. Baking Company and dine into their delicious menu of pancakes and omelets, but just like most things in life plans change.
It was all for the best though. We ended up dining at the Essex Restaurant, which is a few blocks away from the Delancey St./Essex St. stop on the F train. I advise making a stop there for their brunch special for one reason and one reason only: drinks. Their brunch special included the option of three bloody mary’s, screwdrivers or mimosas. Drinks aside, the food was good too, especially the sausage patties even though I had originally wanted to dive into some of their apple sausages that they had inconveniently ran out of—DO BETTER, ESSEX! The best part of the brunch was being able to meet up with an old friend and spend hours talking about everything and nothing at the same time.
Just Call Me Your Zen Master.
Home is where your heart is. That phrase has been implanted in my DNA as a child. My father had an odd picture of a farm with its accompanying farm animals that had that exact quote on it. I never gave it much thought when I passed it every morning going to and returning from school. Even after leaving that house after my dad’s stroke, I seemed to forget all about that piece of my past puzzle.
Traveling to Ohio for Thanksgiving reminded me that no matter how far I ventured and what cave I might find myself in; my home – my heart—will always be attached with my father.
Some day I will have a sit down with my psychiatrist and talk about my daddy complex, but I am with out a doubt a product from my dad.
With all of that said Ohio is not my home. It is dead. It means nothing to me. Riding around the streets of Ohio was eye awakening. It’s weird how, ten years ago, Ohio was everything to me. I saw it as the largest metropolis in the world, but after leaving and going off to Phoenix, Atlanta and now New York, that idea was far from the truth. Space as far as the eye can see.
Farm. Cow. Farm. Horses. Farm.
Thanksgiving Dinner was immaculate. Food as far as the eye could see.
Fufu. Jellof Rice. Stew. Barbecue.
All together, it was a good time because family surrounded me.
God bless Ohio because someone has to.
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.