I’m back from my four day New York City excursion. Well, technically I returned yesterday. Anyway…
This trip was to be about healing, rejuvenation… Both things I desperately needed. I was kept too busy exploring new art of various mediums to remain stale. I guess that’s a good adjective to describe the rut that is depression. Life becomes stale, you be come stale. Self worth and things you love just become stale.
I stayed in the gentrified Bushwick part of Brooklyn, a few minute walk from the L train. The street art is remarkable there. I shopped at local businesses, not chain stores. The vintage shop was lovely. I picked up a pair of Oxfords for $10 that were in my size. The shoes that brought me into the vintage store (L Train Vintage). It was wonderful, since I have a fairly common foot size so finding shoes my size are a one in a million chance at most vintage shops.
I then travelled from Brooklyn into Manhattan. I walked and explored, eating the most terrific falafel sandwich in Greenwich Village. I walked and took plenty of pictures through TriBeCa, SoHo and The Bowery, stopping to see where the old CBGB was. What wonderful history and art found there.
I saw the band Sons of an Illustrious Father play at The Mercury Lounge. They were the band I was there to see and they did not disappoint. The members – Lilah Larson, Ezra Miller and Josh Aubin, are all wonderful people. They were grateful that I came from Toronto to see them (and said they’ll try to come play Toronto). The show was mostly their friends and family as it was the official album release party and homecoming. (You can check their album Revol out on iTunes, trust me it is worth it)
Myself and a friend I made (from Toronto as well, who lives sorta near me too) chatted with the band members afterwards. I told them that I was also seeing them the next night at Aviv in Brooklyn.
I travelled back to my Air BNB accommodations in Bushwick and marvelled at how wonderful the whole day was. I actually tired myself out enough that I passed out quite early, which was something that hasn’t happened in a long time.
The Friday I was there, it had snowed a bit the night before but most was melted by the time I got out from the sun. I decided to check out a neat cafe close by (Your Way Cafe – great place) and I took it easy that day, my whole body hurt from all the walking and standing the day before.
One thing I noticed between Toronto and NYC subways, there is no such thing as escalators. Just stairs. A lot of stairs. Constantly walking up and down them is quite the exercise, in addition to the walking through all the little parts of south western Manhattan.
I met my Toronto friend for pizza dinner at Roberta’s (excellent pizza!) Before the Aviv show as it was on the way. We ended up getting there super early after finally finding the place. This venue was a DIY venue (with illegal bar of cheap booze). Many scribblings all over from graffiti to the old sharpie writings in the washroom. It was fantastic!
The first band started off a bit rough but pulled it together by the second sonf. There was a variety of bands that played, with all different types of music which I always tend to find wonderful.
This evening, I challenged Sons of an Illustrious Father to a thumb war. I ended up winning against Josh, then losing against Lilah and Ezra – both calling out my lousy cheating technic, in a playful way. Ezra said I had skills though and was actually pretty good. As I mentioned before, the band is as a whole really great. They also recognised me from the day before and waved/said hi! With big smiles when they saw us. That was really nice.
There was a woman drawing in the dark the whole show. Turns out she was drawing people she thought were cool. I ended up being one of the people she drew! I was honestly flattered. I found out yesterday when I was scrolling through instagram. NYC just has this “cooler than everything” vibe about it. I’ve never been comsidered one of the “cool girls” so it touched me in that way as well. I wasn’t the awkward, disposible person that I feel so much from work and some old social circles I have since left.
I spent my last day exploring my old haunt Coney Island and walking around Manhattan again. If you ever are at a loss at how big NYC is as a whole, try taking the train from Union Square to Coney Island. It takes almost an hour.
Everything was closed at Coney Island, but it was awesome walking the boardwalk again. Then I took the train up to Times Square (which was crowded, as always). I was originally going to skip that area altogether but decided to walk from there up to the Plaza Hotel and Central Park. I walked north along 6th avenue, revelling again in the Rockefeller building and Radio City Music Hall. When I finally saw the Plaza hotel, my heart leapt a bit.
I am a huge Home Alone fan, have been since the first two movies came out. I ate a slice of cheese pizza in the same spot Mac got into the limo with his cheese pizza. I walked up to Central park, stepping in a bit to go through the tunnel that the pidgeon lady was at in the movie. It was something short of magical, to check it off my bucket list.
After that, I relaxed a bit to charge my phone then started heading back down through Hell’s Kitchen, Meat Packing district and Broadway to get to the bus stop to go home to Toronto.
I’m not sure what it is about New York, with it’s overly pushy citizens (for the most part) and vast areas, but my whole “get rejuvenated” thing worked. I actually felt genuinely happy for the first time in over a year. Happy in the heart and mind.
I am now back in Toronto, with my cats not leaving my side once. I also have brought back a nasty head cold, probably from the slightly different climates and all the weather changes (works every time). I’m relaxing from the busy-ness of NYC and taking my “vacation from the vacation” period.