Young Lion in the Concrete Jungle: I went Adulting in New York.

This is a love story, because I am a hopeless romantic.

I went adulting in New York. As you know I don’t do anything in life if I don’t get it for the low, have a plug, or free. Reno has a deal with Jet Blue at the Reno/Tahoe airport. Round trip, direct flight to New York for less than $200.

So yes if you are in Reno or anywhere in the area go to New York. But I can’t”…Yes go to New York. “There’s no way I could ever”…Yes go to New York. Cut back on the unimportant things and have an experience. Spend two weekends not buying drinks for young ladies who you don’t have meaningful conversation with, most likely won’t take home and doesn’t care about your well-being. Go to New York. Don’t buy that brand new outfit to impress a bunch of people who are going to talk behind your back or that guy who doesn’t even notice the new way you did your make up or that your bra and panties matched. Go to New York.

I had been to New York once before back in 8th grade as a middle schooler back in Columbus, Ohio. We took a bus, I listened to Ushers confessions and Jay-Z The Black Album the whole way. I remember actually buying these albums proud I didn’t get them for bootleg at the barbershop. Or the DvD man I passed everyday hustling on the opposite block of the drug dealers. I was with my best friends at the time. Our clothes were big and baggy and I remember everything in the city being colossal.

I brought a fake Rolex that had a spinning face and my mom a leather purse. She would later use for anything but a purse. We saw the Lion King on Broadway. Which is my favorite movie and the show was amazing. It opened up my world at the time.

The city that had no love in heart of it, had my heart.

Time went on, because that’s what time does.

When it was time to apply for college. Something I never thought would happen in my youth. I applied to NYU I got accepted on a writer’s scholarship, which was an achievement in its self. But my family couldn’t afford to send me to live in New York. I also applied to Nevada in Reno a place I had never been before. That’s a different story that hasn’t reached its end yet.

I just didn’t want to be local.

I was at a point in life where I needed to breathe.

I had to touch roads less traveled.

So in a sort of anticlimactic way New York broke my heart. The city said she needed space.

Now I am 25 on the other side of the country and going back to New York. And it’s kinda like moving away from home talking to your old girlfriend. You’re both single, you agree to go visit her, you both know why and you just hope she is as majestic as you remember her. You don’t want to show up to her doorstep and find out the girl you loved and thought about all these years is now a woman you loathe.

Expectation is a reality we create in our head.

I got on my flight at 11:57 pm and landed at 7:56 am. A quick 5 hours of travel. Adjust for travel times, due to time change. You could get an Air BnB, hotel, whatever. I was staying with a Lambda Chi brother, Fran better known as Kevin from Jersey. We’ve known each other over 7 years and both went through at Nevada. The thing about Fran is yes he is ugly; I know it sucks. But he is one of my best friends. He lives with his lady friend Lizzy who is way out of his league but I think she is with him because he is literally one of the best people you will ever meet. Fran has been like an older brother to me during some dark times. I never have to doubt if he has my best interest at heart, even if we disagree on something.  The best part about Fran is you never have to fake it with him. Which is dope, because I suck at faking it.

So here I am now in the city.

You can leave your heart in San Francisco. I’m a Midwest boy my massive dreams took vacation here in the Big Apple.

She is as beautiful as ever.

The city.

I’m here for the city

I’m trying to visit Burroughs and intimately touch the culture.

I can taste fall taking over the atmosphere and everything changing with the colors of the wind.

Instantly I want to start creating things.

I want to just ride this subway until I have written down every thought I have ever had and formatted it to be a sculpture that heaven would accept and demons would appreciate. Instead I had some time before my meeting so I stopped by Chinatown. As soon as you walk into Chinatown it is full on Chinatown. Like you can be on the street right outside of it and be like whatever. As soon as you step into it, it’s like you found platform 9 and ¾ and you’re in another world. It was overwhelming right off the plane so I left after 20 min.

I went to my meeting with Abigail. It went according to plan and I already covered that so I will move along.

I went to Fran and Lizzy’s place dropped off my belongings, washed the plane off of me. Then I wandered around Grand Central Station and until I had to go over a few blocks and meet Fran at his job. Later that night we went to a bar where I tried a pickle shot for the first time. You take a shot and chase with pickle juice apparently it originated in Brooklyn.

I won’t lie to you it was not bad at all. We took multiple that night. I also ran into Chelik. He was a really good friend in high school I hadn’t seen in probably five years. We caught up about how we use to raid his fridge, what life is now and took a pickle shot. It was good seeing him and pretty remarkable considering the odds.

The next morning tony and Sergio arrived. This was completely random I saw Sergio at our friend Dans BBQ two weeks before, told Sergio how cheap the tickets were and convinced him to come when I was visiting Fran aka Kevin from Jersey. In which he convinced Tony to come because they cannot go on field trips without holding each other’s hands. Tony who I call Tonycat because to me he looks like an overgrown meerkat.

He is a good dude. He is a thousand percent that dude who you won’t see for months, will see him by chance, he will tell you how you need to hang out and he is going to hit you up but never will. Tonycat is a flake but doesn’t change the fact he is a good genuine dude. And he is completely honest with you and himself about life, but never in a malicious way. Which is refreshing.

Big Serg was there too. Sergio is an annoying ball of energy, but you realize you need that in your life. I admire Serg because he is the type of friend you may not see for years but he is always on your top four list when you think of people who would do anything for you or help you out in a bind. Not a quality everyone has. I am fortunate to have people like this in my life

I am appreciative that they were on this adventure with me.

We took on New York like it was Narnia. We went to Katz famous deli. We saw Wall Street. We saw the new World Trade Center. We had expensive steak dinners. We had tequila shots and so many micheladas. We hit up Happy hours. We went to food trucks. We met Australians. We got drunken phone calls and snapchats from Reno. Somebody that wasn’t Fran, Tony or I threw up all over an air mattress. I had a slice of New York City pizza. We watched the Mets play a World Series game while in a New York bar. We dressed up for Halloween. We had more tequila shots. We had brunch. We listened to music. We took photos. We went to Time Square. We saw the Statue of Liberty. We saw some of the most talented people preforming on the street. We asked Fran every dumb possible question we could and by “we” I mean Tonycat and Big Serg.

So many buildings, so much history. We moved through the place like we owned it, like we spoke the native tongue. I can see why people want to make it here more than anywhere else.

There wasn’t a lot of eye contact in New York almost as if these people were scared to become a part of your essence. I don’t know if because there’s so many stories in the city it’s impossible for someone even for a split second genuinely apart of them all or because there is so many stories and moving parts the animals of this concrete jungle become numb to it now more than ever.

 I’ve been many places and nothing sounds or feels like New York. It is as if god was a master chef and added a little dash of everything. A true melting pot in which the recipe could never be duplicated

The best part of New York for me was Central Park. I love New York in the fall. It is a magical place. Every element comes together to create numerous works of art. The man in the yellow taxi yelling with such force that the changing colors fall from the tree. The person on the ground begging for food gives a rustic feel to these buildings that act as mountains to this empire built by the hands of humans.

This city is a beautiful symphony of dark sound and every move I made through it just harmonized me with it. My body was an instrument, a tool. Once you start reading the signs and walking through Burroughs you belong to the city.

All these views and all these angles intertwined like when truth meets lie and just decided to co-exist in disorderly balance. Thank you again sincerely to Fran aka Kevin from Jersey and Lizzy for showing us a side of the city we would not have discovered on our own and opening your home.

 New York will always have a piece of my heart. The city will be known as my high school sweetheart. I’ll tell you again, make the trip. It is worth it. Maybe I will spark and rekindle the flame again at a later date. Romance the culture and become intimate with the Burroughs. Life is all about the view and I have to keep touching roads less traveled. One thing that I did realize as a certainty. The location no longer matters, I just love this life.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Young Lion says:

    I’ve been trying to get “Kevin from Jersey” to comment on why they call it the big apple. Any ideas?

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