Me taking a picture of the Gutenberg Bible at the New York Public Library.
There are certain things here that just are unlike anywhere I’ve ever been. The smells of the street, the sounds in the air, the friendliness of the people (yes, like rumours of the French being rude and surly, rumours of New Yorkers being less than friendly are nearly the complete opposite, maybe it’s because of me, but frankly, I love New Yorkers)
This is the third time I’ve been to New York- both previous trips were when there was more than a little snow and more than a lot of cold. This one is different, for one, I am only here for a day, and secondly, it’s not really that cold. It rained a bit this morning, but then the day turned into a perfect (for me) 70 or so degrees.
Since I’m not really on a vacation, I chose to walk around. I walked from where I am staying on the upper East side down 3rd avenue, meandering a bit to Madison, Lexington, Park, and then to 5th Ave. I did some window shopping, ate a slice of pizza ($3.49 for a mozzarella and riccota slice) and grabbed a cup of coffee for $2.
Another thing I love about New York is the fact that there are every shade of skin you can imagine all swirled together, from snowy white to a rich chocolaty brown. It’s actually hard to tell ‘races’ here because there are people of every conceivable type and combination. White people that are darker than black people, red people that are more umber than yellow people, and ye3llow people that are far paler than white people. I love this. This blending of people, this melting pot. And yet…
I don’t know if it is a result of traveling the world or of becoming tired of one place after another or living in cheap places, but the fact is, New York is EXPENSIVE! No surprise here, but I forget that there are places in the U.S. where cigarettes cost $10 for a shitty pack. Most meals here are over $10. Accommodation and transportation here are way too much…though my transport costs are low so far at $12.25 and my accommodation is also very low at $43.50 for two nights. How do I do it? I’ll tell you later.
I’m looking at less than $100 for two nights in New York City including everything…including cigarettes. But that isn’t what this post is about, it’s about my day.
I walked and walked and walked. I have some Florsheim Ease shoes I replaced the old Johnson and Murphy’s with for $5 at a Utah thrift store and I have horrid blisters because the shoes were incredibly new, leather, and Italian made, i.e. not super flexible for about a hundred miles walking.
I walked through Central Park.
I walked to the New York Public Library.
I walked to Times Square.
I walked to wherever it was I went.
However, when I arrived, I arrived at LaGuardia Airport in Queens. I walked outside and asked a guy named Sean who was loafing around the exit where I could catch a bus to Manhattan. He told me the M-60 and walked me to where I caught it. Along the way, we talked story and he told me he had met a few people from Hawaii…he showed his Shaka. I told him the story of the Shaka. He dug it and started to adapt it so he could tell it to people who rent cars from him at Hertz.
The hostel I had booked was on the Upper East Side and said that I should catch the bus to 125th and Lexington Ave. I did, but I missed my stop, it was 11 pm and I found myself wandering around Harlem looking for where I could catch a bus back to 94th Ave East. People were incredibly nice and helpful. It helps to be an idiot sometimes.
I made it to the hostel, checked in, and crashed out. The hostel, Tone Hostel, aka The Lex is a little more than $20 a night if you stay in a 10 bed dorm like I’m doing. It’s tight, small, and cramped. Nice staff, weak wi-fi, decent courtyard behind it, and slightly out of the way from anything you might want to see if you are here for the first time, but, it’s just about the cheapest thing going in New York City.
My ramble through the park was nice, but the blisters cut into the enjoyment a bit. I feel like I’ve done enough here, I don’t want to pay $20 to visit any museums. I don’t have any shopping to do. I’ve got a couple of friends here, but it’s Thursday, they’re working and they have to work tomorrow and I have a bus to catch to Maine (which it turns out, does NOT have a connection to Quebec City which the Greyhound site showed…more on this later)
And so, here I am. Not bad, good, and on the way to whatever it is my future will provide.
Overall, I think that if I had the money to live in New York, I would use it to live in Honolulu. But since I don’t have that kind of money, I’m going to do neither.