A big thank you to my folks for sending us to explore NYC for my birthday!
This wasn’t my first trip to New York City.
For I had visited once before during my freshman year of high school. My high school choir was chosen to perform at Carnegie Hall amongst many other high school choirs. All 60 (or so) of us traveled to New York City as one big mass with a team of parent chaperones. We wore matching t-shirts with all of our names on the back.
Back in 1999, we didn’t have laptops or smartphones. We actually traveled without smart phones or laptops. I took lots of photos with a disposable camera that I had to bring to a drugstore to develop. At the time, my disposable camera was high-tech because it could take panoramic photos, too. You put your eye to the camera viewfinder and pray that most of your photos would turn out well. If you wanted to appear in your own photo, you asked a friend to take it. It didn’t occur to us to turn the camera around.
A big thank you to my folks for sending us to NYC for my birthday!
“Wouldn’t it be funny if it ended up tasting like Brueggers,” I joked as we settled into the back of the bagel line at Esse-Bagel.
An hour and a half later in line, I found myself pleading with the bagel gods, “Please don’t taste like Bruegger’s, please don’t taste like Bruegger’s.” The hunger and hostility inside of me bubbled.
Two of my friends included Ess-a-Bagel in their Quintessential New York Bagel recommendations. We were excited to learn it was less than a mile from our hotel in Times Square.
However, we should have known better than to arrive at this popular bagel shop at 10 a.m. on a Saturday morning. By the time we arrived, the line was wrapped around the corner. We joined the back of the line.
Thank you to my folks for sending us to New York City to celebrate my birthday!
There is a place in Times Square where you can forget that you’re in Times Square.
Times Square is out of control.
The buildings are adorned with towering, skyscraper-tall screens flashing advertisements. The sidewalks and plazas are packed shoulder-to-shoulder with people. Know that you can’t get anywhere quickly.
Even though I was a tourist, I could not wait to get away from the tourists. There is no rhyme or reason to the way people walk down the sidewalks. Hugging the right does not exist. Groups of tourists move through Times Square in big, slow blobs that take-up the entire sidewalk width and abruptly stop.
The air smells like a million different things: Trash. Urine. Bodies. Car exhaust. Cigarettes. Cinnamon roasted candied nuts, falafel, and griddled meats and onions.
Thank you to my folks for generously sending us to NYC for my birthday!
Our trip to New York City ended in a high-speed car chase.
The taxi driver wove around cars at every intersection, accelerating suddenly from 5 mph to 50. Things got funkier on the freeway. For he was engaged in a high-speed chase with himself.