New York, New York through the Eyes of a Drama Queen
Hey Sofa Diary readers, I wanted to take a moment to give cuddos to the people of New York. I am not surprised at the way they pulled together in the rescue of the US Air passengers. My time spent in Manhattan has left me in awe of the day to day lives of it’s residents. It is quite a chore just to schlep your way to work and back every day. I was amazed at the lack of obesity and amount of energy these people posses. They seem to go about their business every day with little interaction until the need arises and then they pull together with amazing strength.
I am one who loves to travel and isn’t content to see only the icons or normal tourist attractions of the city. I want to go were the locals hang out to get a taste of the way real people live. On my last trip to Manhattan I decided to visit the Lower East-side where many of our early immigrants began. I wanted to get a glimpse of the so-called trendy Orchard street and the neighborhood in transition. I read that the rent was still affordable here, so there were many dress designers and young professionals opening up shop on this side of town. It was supposed to be a great place to experience the trendy side of the city and a few sample sales. As I tell you this I can’t help but shake my head and laugh at the naivet’e that makes me an adventurous girl who sometimes gets herself into trouble. After a little coaxing I managed to convince my group to follow me to this trendy side of town. I promised that it would be fun and exciting. Well it was certainly all of that and then some. When I promise-I deliver.
I swear to you it was just like stepping off the subway and onto a movie set. I looked around for the camera and a man shouting action. The buildings were very run down and graffiti covered, many were without windows. I didn’t take time to look around for sample sales or to appreciate the unique culture because I was too busy running and sweating. I laughed (sometimes I laugh when I’m scared), I cried, I might have even screamed. Yes I am a naive girl from a small city and I have never seen anything like this neighborhood- aside from the movies. There were pimps in suits and stereotypical hats pulling sassy hookers down the street in their high heel shoes, fur coats , very mini skirts with barely anything else covering their bodies. Freaky looking people that I had only seen in the movies were everywhere. A young man less than 5 foot tall with one leg much longer than the other walked passed me. He walked with the longest leg bent to match the length of the short one. He was wearing a three piece suit and matching hat as he carried a brief case that hung just inches from the ground. Despite all of this he passed me walking at an amazing clip. There were gang members and drug dealers staring in my face as I passed by. Everyone seemed to know where they were going at a quick pace. Everyone except for my group, who was becoming increasingly angry with me. We were looking for the subway going up-town and afraid to ask any of the colorful individuals on the street how to get there. It was an experience for sure but I missed seeing any trendy people or swanky sample sales. Matter of fact I missed everything because all I could think about was being stuck by the needle I saw in the hand of a junkie, standing on the corner. If I escaped the junkie, then for sure I would be drug off to an alley and stabbed by a knife , hanging off the belt of the man walking next to me. Nothing like that happened. I don’t think any of the questionable people, that I couldn’t take my eyes off, even noticed me. Doesn’t this sound like the backdrop for a movie? Needless to say my friends refused to follow me to Harlem the next day.
New York is a wonderful place of energetic and highly successful people as long as you stick to the right neighborhood. They take in stride the swat teams running in and out of Grande Central Station, which is a must see by the way, and they aren’t rattled by the thousands of people shoulder to shoulder in Times Square, nor do they shutter at the police with assault riffles lining 5th avenue during the Easter Parade.
New York, New York is an experience not to be missed and a visit to the site of 911 is worth the trip alone ( that description will take an entirely separate post) but one word of advice from a crazy girl without a clue- leave your naivet’e at home. I will say that I felt very safe most of the time and yes I am considered to be a tad dramatic at times.
Again my cuddos to the pilot of flight 1549, the flight crew and the many civilians along the Hudson River who helped with the rescue efforts. They are all heroes in my diary. I just had to share; I hope you don’t mind.
5 Comments »