Where do you go when you are tired of hanging out in endless small towns and villages? Of sitting on a slew of buses to move to yet another location, another border control? Well the best option for me was to take up a friend’s offer to camp out in their spare room in New York City for a few weeks. Ah the joy of traveling, you never know what amazing opportunities will pop up at any time. Let’s begin the domestic adventures in a city I have not been to as an adult.
On arrival I was a smidge overwhelmed as I tried to navigate a series of rush hour subway transfers with 60 lbs. of pack on my back. Luckily a delicious welcome back lunch of Xian style food (bonus points for my friend for finding a cuisine I did not have on this trip) was a fantastic reprieve. Then we ventured forth into Chinatown just as the city figured out the blizzard was approaching and every old Chinese lady in the area rushed to get their Chinese New Years’ provisions. Nothing like cold shocking your system the first day so that everything else is easier. The blizzard was a different experience even for some of my friends living there as we went sledding and made snowmen and snow animals in the oddly clean snow cover.
I spent the first week just getting all the boring things one has to do once arriving back in their country of origin and not having their wallet. The city itself was sensory overload so I spent a lot of time just sipping hot chocolate and relaxing. This is not what I imagine most people go to New York to do. I caught up with some old friends from various points in my life and smacked into the Indiecade East festival.
Once I got all my pent up cooking urges out in my friends’ well stocked apartment, I ventured outward into vast Manhattan. The city is so large I feel like I barely started exploring. I greatly enjoyed the large number of museums and endless food items the city is known for.
Ethnic food is also at a premium to find as I know each major American city has their own cultures excelling at different foods. My tastebuds quickly returned to South America with arepas and cachapas. There was filling Filipino fare as I helped my friend do a lechon tasting for her graduation pig. For the record, that is way more fun than any wedding cake tasting could ever be. Back in American food, there is delicious soul food to be had.
While being on a budget in a city like this is perhaps not the best idea, being there for weeks to slowly explore definitely is. What better way to ease back into America than realizing that ten dollars is probably cheap for a sandwich here?
I did not make it to any Broadway shows but I continued my love of more interactive forms of entertainment by attending the play Sleep No More. It’s a whole multistory building turned into a giant series of sets where you walk and often run through trying to catch all the action. The starting/landing area of a speakeasy only hints at the moody experience to come as you enter the darkened corridors and race down the rabbit hole.
I can think of no better way to return to America than to get to visit a slew of old friends and make some new ones. While I may be returning to the country, it appears the adventures will only continue. I may be blogging less and switching over to other types of activities (recipes anyone?) but my curiosity will continue to roam.