Wow, New York City was so much more exciting and adventurous than I was anticipating. I loved it all so much!
The energy, the food, the art (I’m talking about that graff!), the people, and even the trains were so electrifying! I can see why musicians like the Ramones, Velvet Underground, The Cramps, and other memorable punk acts that will forever hold a place in my heart had such unique styles of vibrancy and edge. The city was like no other I have visited. It sparked a creative force in me again, coupled with the kismet timing of reading Just Kids by Patti Smith on my flight there. The city didn’t sleep, with food joints being open well past 9pm, a foodie’s dream (not that I would call myself a foodie but I enjoy late night food). Sadly I could not help but compare San Francisco and Oakland to New York and Brooklyn. The train system was an anomaly in and of itself, putting BART to shame. I had a few thoughts of what it would be like to live in the city…
The bizarre shops like Search & Destroy and the variety of selection (and gender-inclusive helpfulness, unlike a local favorite kink shop of mine) in Purple Passion/DV8 ignited a childlike wonder, very much like my experience of visiting Haight Ashbury for the first time when I was a young teenager. A young woman in East Village, not far up the block from Search & Destroy, handed me a sunflower just because, reminding me of the authentic experiences I would encounter when I hung out with the street kids on Berkeley’s Telegraph.
I had some of the best food I’ve ever had in my life. I tried lox for the first time. I tried oysters for the first time. (Bear in mind I was vegetarian for several years). Despite the waits and the prices, majority of the food I ate in the city was well worth it (had one bad diner experience but can’t win ‘em all). The recommended joints (albeit maybe a bit touristy) I went to, Katz's Delicatessen and Russ & Daughters, were beyond worth it and I was blown away by the simplicity of these dishes (something that Bay Area food is not known for). (Food pictured below was from Zou Zou's).
I’m not really an art aficionado and avoided the art museums (I did visit the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia though and it was well worth the visit!), but the free art on the streets was dope and I wish I had had more time to explore and take photographs. I’m a bit of a lurker (if you know, you know) and was thrilled to be in the city that started the graffiti scene as we know it today.
The clients I saw were a delight! I feel very fortunate to have experienced such memorable sessions with them and am already scheming my next trip back!
I love traveling in general and this being my first tour cemented the idea that I must do it again soon! Where should I go next? LA, Portland, New Orleans, Atlant