After recently returning home to Florida from a trip overseas I began to feel displaced. Even work seemed more of a daunting task, and I love my job. So I guess I had started to suffer from wanderlust or fernweh. Having some family up in the New England area I found it was only fitting I make my way north.
I began my trip right after returning from Nashville, Tennessee. The road was still familiar to me. Now my drive would take me up the pot hole riden Interstate-95 and through eleven states. Being the type of guy I am I had to make stops in Washington, D.C. and New York City, with my final destination being Boston, and the occasional random night in a small town.
It takes awhile to get out of Florida, especially from South Florida. Once you hit Jacksonville it is all open road and smiles, with no looking back. I find it some what freeing being on the open road, but we will save that for another time.
The landscape doesn’t change much from Florida to Georgia(actually it doesn’t really change until the Carolinas) and it is a little harder of a drive because of the scenery, or lack there of. By the time I was out of Florida, a good six hours later, it was already getting dark because of the fall hours. I had made it all the way to outside of Richmond, Virginia, and decide to call it a night in Petersburg. I copped a room at a hotel off the highway and got my first real taste of the cold this season(37 degrees). Bedtime.
Never having stepped foot into D.C. or NYC I was naturally excited and the first stop was the nations capitol!
On approach I started to feel the anxiety that goes along with driving in a big city but I kept my cool. Once in the city I was over taken by how beautiful everything was and how vibrant the culture felt. I checked into my hotel and began to trek around the city. Exploring all the basics that a tourist does. Only staying in D.C. for one day is sort of a crime, but I consider myself a villainous type anyways. There is so much to do there and if you plan to go don’t be like me. If you are like me at least walk to the Capitol, down to the monument, and off to the Lincoln memorial. This is a long walk and if you circle around you can catch the White House on the way back to the Capitol area. There was a row of food trucks about half way between the Capitol and monument,around where the smithsonian castle is. These food trucks aren’t bad, a bit pricy, but then again we are in D.C.. After trekking down to the Lincoln memorial I made my way back to my hotel and stopped by the White House, which was a bust. Two fences separated me from any type of good photograph and being a photographer by trade I was pissed. So, back to the hotel it was…
D.C. was good to me but I was ready for New York!
Even when traveling getting up late in the day is kind of my thing. I also didn’t think I would hit much traffic going into NYC because I guess I am oblivious. That being said, it took awhile to get from D.C. to NYC and by the time I got to my hotel in the financial district of Manhattan it was already dark. I couldn’t do much exploring in the dark so I decided to walk to the east river and look for food; my inner fat kid and foodie were on a search to destroy some New York cuisine. I walked a few blocks and found nothing. Then a miraculous thing befell upon me. A random stranger, a New Yorker at that, stopped me and told me to eat a a local place that was right around the corner, it was called cowgirl sea horse. He must have saw the hunger in my eyes or maybe I looked like a lost puppy.
The place looks like a dive, somewhere that I could frequent if I could afford New York rent prices. I ordered some oysters and shrimp bisque after a little input from the waiter. The food was awesome and the beer was plenty, the whiskey too.
Guess after that much alcohol it is best to retire to bed.
Rise and shine! Waking up to a view of New York City is like no other experience I’ve had to date. Being in any big city will give you that feeling but growing up in the states there is just something about New York. They say it’s where you go to make dreams come true. Anyways, it was time to explore and again I only had one full day and night to do that. I guess I have achieved Bond villain status in the travel world. My hotel was only about 16 minutes from the World Trade Center by foot and taking in the site of the 911 memorial was on the top of my list. That is an errie place. Just standing there, looking at vast emptiness that is now turned into some sort of waterfall pond thing is a chilling feeling. After a few moments of soaking it in I moved on.
Now it was time to hit up Times Square and that whole area and time for my first New York City subway experience! The subway there was much easier to navigate than the one I had the pleasure of taking in Berlin. Very easy, on and off, maps everywhere, even for being a weekday.
Once I was off the subway it was pretty much all walking from Times Square to wherever else I would wander. Times Square was massive and there where so many tourists, which I try to avoid at all costs while traveling. It was overall a cool place to stand in the middle of and just soak in the chaos around you.
Next up I tried to get to “the top of the roc” but that would cost me 35 USD and I was not going to fork that over for a view and a picture I could brag with on social media. It was time to hit up Central Park.
Even for it being winter time this place is beautiful. I would take all of my tinder dates here, if I could only afford rent. Horse and carriage rides, ice skating, this place was a hopeless romantic’s dream come true. The beauty was so astounding that I grew hungry. Lucky for me I had just passed a place about two blocks up, The Halal Guys. I follow these food carts on Instagram, I guess everyone does judging by the line I stood in for almost twenty minutes, the food was amazing though.
Walking after eating is not something I like to do, I try to avoid anything after eating, but I was in NYC and had to continue on my journey.
Next stop… Chinatown?
See all this time I was traveling with my father and he is sort of stubborn like me. I see where I get it now. Well, we took the wrong subway, or according to him the right one. I come out of the tunnel on to the street where a small Asian women kept wheeling her tiny suitcase into my ankle. All I hear is yelling and all I see is fish markets and other outdoor/indoor food stores. I quickly pull up my gps. What do you know? We are about seventeen blocks from the hotel. I do love getting lost though, I got lost at night in northern Italy, so I’m accustomed to just going with the flow by this point in life. This kind of thinking led me to a delicious cannoli from a shop in little Italy. See, Chinatown and little Italy are sort of smushed together at one point and this made me happy, especially after the cannoli.
The last stop was the Brooklyn bridge, which is filled with hipsters, tourists and people going way too fast on bicycles. Once I got far enough on the bridge and snapped a good photo it was time to rest my feet and do what a New Yorker would do… Order Italian take out.
The view from my room was pretty cool and I could watch the world go by without anyone knowing I existed. Sleep sometimes avades me.