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Monday, July 6, 2015

New York City | July 3, 2015 | Part I: Arrival & Central Park

I have decided to post in increments since I have a lot to write about and a lot of pictures! Also, it will be easier for readers to digest and comment on in small increments. Tomorrow I am taking my film pictures to be developed; they'll take a week and a half to develop and I will devote one special entry to the film pictures. Enjoy!


After a two hour delay after SEPTA (Philadelphia public transit) decided to change their trains to holiday schedule last minute, I arrived in New York City via a New Jersey Transit train at Penn Station at roughly 10:35 AM. When I exited the train, I followed the signs that led me to the Metro. I asked some people if there were any places where I could be a Metro card and they all pointed me in the right direction. The Hudson News shop would only take cash and I'm glad I had exactly $19.80 in cash to pay for the card. Once I bought my Metro card, I followed more signs to get to Central Park. I needed to go Uptown, the one information lady said I had to go to 59th Street for Strawberry Fields. I thought it was weird because the travel book said 72nd Street, but she maintained it was 59th Street. I walked to the C stop, I spotted a musician playing. I took a picture.

I then spotted a musician playing the steel drums on another platform and snapped a picture as well.

I hopped onto the C and got off at 59th Street. I quickly found out that I did need to get off at 72nd Street for Strawberry Fields, so I waited for the next C. I liked looking (and apparently photographing the signs) as I waited for the next train to come.

Once I arrived at the right place, I exited the subway station. When I was on the street, I asked a young couple for directions. I never printed directions from the subway to Strawberry Fields. They were friendly and were headed to Central Park; they showed me how to get to Strawberry Fields. It was only a five minute walk.

A sign welcomed me and in 100 feet or so, I saw the Imagine tribute to John Lennon. It was very crowded with tourists from all over. There was a school group from Portugal and they were nice to talk to. I snapped my pictures. I then saw a musician playing Beatles songs on his guitar. I asked him if I could take his picture. He smiled and said, "Of course, you don't have to ask. You're an artist and artists shouldn't have to ask!" I smiled and said, "Well, I now ask because someone once got offended for me taking his picture in Philadelphia. He said I didn't know him and I had no right to a picture. He called me ignorant with bad manners." The musician extended his hand and said, "I'm John. Nice to meet you." I introduced myself and we talked for a bit. I took some pictures. He was really nice.

While I was talking to John, two foreign girls were listening in. They asked if I could take their pictures with the Imagine sign and I obliged. The one girl took a picture of me.

When we went our separate ways, I sat down to plan where I'd go next. I sat down next to this long haired, young guy who was sort of cute. We started talking and I said to him, "Are you from here?" "Yes?" "Do you use the Metro?" "Absolutely!" I was telling him how the Q changed and I needed an alternate way to Brooklyn to see the Morbid Museum. He wasn't sure about that, but he said since I was eating in East Village, there is a lot to do there if I didn't make it to Brooklyn. I told him I liked to write and asked if they had any poetry readings. He said they usually have poetry slams at night. I thanked him for his time and walked around a bit more.

On the way to the fountain, I saw they had an Alice In Wonderland display. I made my way to that, but the fountain and lake were so pretty! Then I was caught up in the performance by Peace Industry Music Group. They were amazing!

After seeing the Peace Industry Music Group, I finally made my way to the Alice In Wonderland display. However, before I arrived to that display, I arrived at a fountain with toy sails. I was amazed by the toy sail and had to watch and take pictures.

The Alice In Wonderland display was in back of that - it was an easy place to get to. When I arrived at the Alice In Wonderland display, I took my pictures, had someone snap some pictures for me, and it was just so magical watching the kids climb on Alice, the mushroom, hang with the caterpillar, and then pose with the Mad Hatter.

I sat down and saw an older woman, I would assume a hippie at one time because she was a gray haired woman, but had pink dyed ends. I asked her about the alternate way to Brooklyn. She wasn't sure, but her friend Nancy would be here soon and she worked in Brooklyn. We talked for a bit and she asked where I was visiting from. I told her I was from Philadelphia and I was spending the day in New York City for my birthday that was tomorrow. We talked for a good 10 minutes and I told her I was going to Balade, a Middle Eastern/Mediterranean restaurant in East Village. She exclaimed and said, "Oh! That place is so good! How did you get into that type of food?" I told her I studied Arabic for two years and we visited these type of restaurants a few times, but I always liked that type of food. She smiled and said that was neat. She also introduced herself as Mary.

Nancy finally arrived. She gave me some directions, then Mary told her a bit about me. Mary said, "Jessica is going to Balade for lunch. She's studied Arabic!" Nancy exclaimed, "Oh! Balade is my favorite place! And Arabic is such a beautiful language!" Then someone walking by overheard me talking about the subway and also gave me directions. After that, Nancy, Mary and I discussed Alice In Wonderland for 20 minutes. It was neat. I then had to leave for Balade.


  1. Hi, dear Jessica Marie! This was an amazing adventure and I think you were awfully brave going to New York City alone. At the same time it is freeing to be completely on your own, ride with the tide, do what you want to do and see what you want to see when you want to see it. In a way this was the perfect birthday present to yourself.

    As I told you before, I was in New York in the summer of 1983. I don't remember people being nearly as courteous as the ones you encountered. I remember arriving by train at Penn Station, doing a bit of sightseeing at Times Square and 5th Avenue, and taking my date to Xenon, a disco nightclub similar to the famed Studio 54. As I recall it cost $20 each to enter the place and a 4 ounce glass of warm Coca Cola w/o ice cost $18. That was 1983 dollars, too, very pricey! The people at the club were pretentious and snooty. I'm very happy to learn that the people you met were eager to give directions, have their picture taken and sit and chat with you. Central Park is a beautiful oasis and I'm glad you had a chance to visit John Lennon's Strawberry Fields and other exhibits. I look forward to more of your pictures next time, dear friend!

    1. I do most traveling alone. People think it is odd, but whenever I travel... I have specific things planned and I love talking to locals when I do travel. I can't do that if I'm with others. The other times I was in NYC, I was with people, and we only did one or two things. I did four or five things and it was perfect. I love riding with my own tide. :)

      Eeek! That is really expensive! I managed to spend $95 on my card, $20 in cash. If I don't factor in the NJ Transit tickets ($30) and the Metro Card, I spent $65 on my day. $50 for the restaurant - it would have been $35, but I left my waiter a $15 tip because he gave me a free meal to take home for my birthday and he was awesome, then $8 at the Morbid Museum and $7 on a souvenir there. The restaurant was downtown and museum in Brooklyn and they were just really friendly. Maybe downtowners are more friendlier than uptowners. :D I actually preferred downtown more than uptown. Downtown was more my style. :D

      I never realized how big Central Park is! When I go back, I want to explore more of it! I also want to go swimming there. Apparently they have public pools. :)

  2. My headache implies I should comment in increments, too, though that probably just has to do with what I was doing and the proximity to bedtime.

    Is this your idea of a small increment? Ahhh. (I'm just complaining since I'm in acute pain, it is only 1150 words.)

    Film pictures? *research* Oh. Okay, my sister shared nothing of her trade with me.

    Lauren adores the Metro down in DC! I've noticed a publication by that name lying around in public transport. I think. I'm tired, so my memory is slipping.

    So I should probably come back another time and look at this with a fresh start. You don't have to make this public, since it's not got anything of use besides this entry is slightly under 1200 words long.

    1. The Metro was awesome! I have heard the Metro in D.C. is awesome too!

      Yep. Small increments for me are broken up into the activities I did.

    2. I liked the photo where you were lying down above the IMAGINE sign!

      Ooh, I like the cello and doublebass photo, as well ♥
      (The rest of the string quintet seem unimportant)

      I obsessed over Charles Dodgson for a long time (the real name of Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice in Wonderland and the Adventures She Had There and Through the Looking Glass). I'm glad you were able to experience that in NYC. ^_^

      What a wonderful time it seems you've had.

    3. I love that image the best too. I just ordered the prints. I hope they arrive before my scrapbooking class next Wednesday evening!

  3. I'd like to visit the Empire State Building one day. During a business trip to NYC over 20 years ago, Dad visited the World Trade Center and the Empire State Building.

    1. I would LOVE to visit the Empire State Building. Once I get a full time job, I want to go back.