Well, that was a great response.
I want to thank everyone who wrote in suggestions. You all had great ideas, but to be completely honest, once in NYC, I almost felt like we wanted to go our own path, as you’ll see in our writings. I didn’t see times square. I didn’t walk the Brooklyn bridge. I hung around cool places and did my own thing. Overall, far from a typical trip but fun nonetheless.
We stayed with our friends Dave and Eva in Pearl River. They both are very interesting people, and both are public sector workers. Dave is DSNY (New York City Department of Sanitation) which is responsible for garbage disposal and emergency response, and Eva is the assistant principal of a high school in the South Bronx. They have a place in Pearl River, which is just an hour away from the city.
So on this day, we did a walking tour around Harlem. It was done through a group called Hush Tours (http://www.hushtours.com) and while it was mainly a lot of fun, it also had an interesting subplot about gentrification, and how a lot of the families and people who created the culture there are being kicked out because it’s too expensive. Our tour guide, Rayza (who is a rapper- here’s a link to his single Welcome to America.) put it well-“I’m not against things getting fixed up, but you’ve got to meet people in the middle.” Crazy stuff.
But in spite of that, a lot of Harlem culture is still alive and well. We actually got to meet this guy.
So on our second day, we visited my mum’s friend Oliver. He is an interesting guy, and he is married to a well-known author called Ruth Ozeki, who I actually read a book by. It was called My Year of Meats, and I recommend it wholeheartedly. His apartment really showed his interests – he had mealworms eating styrofoam (because mealworms can actually safely digest the stuff and so could reduce what we send to landfill. I think it could be interesting for a science project.) Anyway, we grabbed a couple sandwiches,hung out in a community garden and walked along the East River.
This day was… interesting. Trump got elected, and especially in a dem state like new york, and even more blue concentrated in NYC, the mood that I got as we walked around was sombre, to say the least. This day, we walked around a bit, met some friends from Kamloops at Katz’s Deli “send a salami to your boy in the army” before heading to a cool hotel near Prospect Park in Brooklyn that we rented out for a night. We also saw a cool indie movie called Moonlight at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Really interesting story. I’d say a bit more about it, but personally, I went in completely blind, and I think I got more out of it because I had no clue what kind of story I was going to be told. If you do want to know more about it, however, The guardian has a good review. http://bit.ly/2c2VmRj
This day, we took a walk through Prospect park, which was made by the same architect that made Central Park. A beautiful walk. Afterwards, when my mum asked me what were the few last things we wanted to do in NYC, I responded “something nerdy.” That translated into going to a comic store and buying some graphic novels. One of them is even educational. Once done with this inconvenient Indian stuff, I might move on to this book. It’s called Climate Changed.
We also went to an interesting little project Oliver told us about. It’s a barge, called Swale, that contains a small food forest on it. Sadly, it wasn’t open but I did climb onto a ledge and get an aerial shot of it.
After that, we had dinner with Eva and started on the road the next day. A very fun trip all in all.