A couple of weeks ago, I went to Manhattan, New York. If you are a reader of my newsletter, you will know that I attended a blogging conference. I was excited to go to the conference, BlogHer15, but I was more excited to go to NYC.
NYC has been on my bucket list for a long, long time. At one time, I thought that Big was going to get a job in Manhattan. Let me tell you, my fingers were crossed. I could just envision walking the streets of the big city, shopping in small local stores and going to shows, events and more. Thinking about these things was like little “sugar plums” dancing in my head at night. Needless to say, Big didn’t get the job and we moved to West Virginia instead. Not quite the exciting move I was hoping for, but that is another story.
Amtrak did a great job of getting me to the city. If you have never had a chance to take Amtrak, you might want to consider it. The seats are comfortable and there is a lot more leg room than you get in an airplane.
I left early in the morning and was treated to some beautiful views. I just wish I would have known where the heck I was and what I was seeing!
I arrived at Penn Station in the center of the city. Oh My! It was so busy and so crazy. I decided the best idea was for me to begin to follow everyone else to make it from the train platform to the street. They seemed to know where they were going. It worked – I ended up where I needed to be in order to get a taxi. I also ended up in the pouring rain – without an umbrella.
Not to worry, New Yorkers are entrepreneurs. There were at least 10 people selling $5.00 umbrellas. Perfect. The gentleman who sold me an umbrella was nice enough to tell me to open it before I walked in the rain, to make sure the umbrella worked. Good guy.
My first look at the city. Busy streets, rain and lots of taxis.
Umbrella in hand, I waited in line for my taxi. I was really overwhelmed by all of the people, sites and sounds. My taxi driver was a nice guy and got me straight to my hotel. I stayed at the Hilton and was really pleased with the hotel. My only complaint was no coffee pot in the room. Really? Who does that?
My roommate Janis (who writes a blog over at Mommy Blog Expert) was there and we hit it off right away. I was really relieved to know that we had so much in common. We headed off to our first event – Getting Glam. Janis is an expert in New York (or at least I think she is, she may not agree) and I tagged along after her to get on a subway. The subway ride was just like those you see on television. Packed! I felt a little like a sardine in a can.
After our event, Janis had to head off to another event, so I decided to walk back to the hotel. Our hotel was on Avenue of the Americas which was the street my last event was near. I probably should have taken a taxi. I got a lovely blister not he bottom of my foot. I walked over 35 blocks.
During my walk, I began to wonder what it was that everyone loves about New York. It was a hot and humid afternoon. The streets were packed with tourists and people rushing to get home. There was an overwhelming scent urine and worse. Trash was every where. The longer I walked, the more I disliked the city.
Things changed the next morning. Remember I told you there was no coffee pot in the room? Well, I got up the next morning and walked dow to McDonalds for a nice big, strong cup of java. The air was fresh and cool, the streets were not so crowded and I began to think I could actually like visiting the Big Apple.
Another things that changed my mind was an event I watched. I walked in front of the Fox News Channel building and saw an event for the Wounded Warriors. Some of the warriors and those who supported them were having a ride through the city. The NYPD and the NYC Fire Department were there to honor the warriors.
It was a very touching scene. I must admit, I stood there in the crowds watching and crying. My heart breaks for those who have given so much. I think that events like this touch me deeply because of my Father and his service in the Army and his time in Viet Nam.
My heart began to soften. I saw others crying and felt love and respect in the air. I began to think that New York City might be alright after all.
I have a great video of the event and I am eager to share it with you. Make sure you come back next week to see what else I was up to. I will give you a hint – I got to eat dinner with a very famous Chef!
See you next Friday!