(This is post 1 of a 3 part post) part 2 here
When I decided to start traveling solo it was not a real big epiphany decision. I was working with a woman who was always going on trips with her husband, which were always quick getaways. She told me to start looking for flights on Google flights and just browse deals. I put in New York and a round trip ticket for $120 popped up for American Airlines. I thought, okay now I don't travel much but even I know this is a good price. The dates were for Saturday May 5th to May 9th. I had 3 days to explore this large scary city. Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Bronx, and Staten Island are the five Boroughs that form New York City. Think of the state you live in and imagine its biggest city, now add four more cities and give them a name; you now have your very own New York City.
Before going to New York I really didn't understand how the state was divided. I just didn't understand; was Harlem a City? is Time Square and Statue of Liberty in the same city? What's a ferry, how do I get to it? I had soooooo many questions. I decided okay, now that I have my ticket where should I stay. I decided I wanted to live like a local, a black girl who had been raised there. I thought to myself, hmmmm when I think of black people and New York, Spike Lee comes to mind. I Googled Spike Lee and New York and of course Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn (pronounced Bed-sty and short for Bed ford-Stuyvesant) was the first thing that came up. I created an Airbnb account and started looking around and found a white guy who played Jazz, had a Jazz themed apt and piano in his living room and often played for his quests. After reading over 75 five star comments I felt comfortable enough and decided to book my stay. I must add I booked after emailing him and asking questions about his proximity to everything I wanted to do, specifically was he super close to the subway because I knew I would need that to get around.
Now before I booked my stay I went on Youtube and typed in “visiting New York in Three Days” “Best sites to see in New York” “Best places to visit in Brooklyn”. I watched about 10 different videos and decided that I wanted to live in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, visit Harlem and eat at the famous Red-Rooster restaurant, go clubbing in Manhattan, visit Williamsburg, see the Hudson River, Visit Central Park, Visit the famous High-Line in Manhattan, visit the neighborhoods Dumbo and Williamsburg in Brooklyn and of course walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, take the subway and visit Chinatown, SOHO and the Meatpacking District. Yes I was busy. I still don't know how I got all of that done. I guess since it was my first ALONE trip I had to make sure I stayed busy. Its very hard not to stay busy in New York. Tons to do, especially if you have never been. My trip was not the typical “go to the empire state building and take some photos” trip. I did my absolute best to emerged myself as much as possible as a local. I'll be sharing a bit more in my next post Part 2.
This post is a three-part post. The next post I will dive into what it was like living in a Spike Lee movie, clubbing in Manhattan and seeing Sisqo perform at a strip club. Yes that happened. And yes I lived on top of a store front in Bed-Stuy with plenty of colorful characters all playing their part in making my experience memorable. Children playing outside, couples arguing and the Mayor of the block playing oldies and selling CD’s. It literally felt like I was an extra from the famous Spike Lee movie Do The Right Thing. If you have never seen this movie and would like to get an idea of summer time in some areas of bed-Stuy this can be a start.
I also need your help with the next post. What would you like answered? What is it you would like to know more about and I'll be sure to try to answer. For more behind the scenes of my trip you can visit my instagram highlight stories, I'm at @ainformedparent.