A Blizzard in New York
I decided to spend my holidays in New York for 2010. Every year I go away for the holidays when possible. For 2010 I was debating whether to go to Los Angeles or New York. In the end, New York won the debate. Hindsight, I may have been better off with LA. My schedule over there got seriously messed up by the enormous blizzard that hit the Eastcoast when I was there.
I arrived on Christmas Eve. If you thought immigration was bad normally already, try arriving at JFK airport on Christmas eve. I got off the plane and walked into a 1000 people-line at immigration. It was ridiculous. On top of that, they have not heard of “air-conditioning” in that area. Sweating like a pig I stood in the line for over an hour. Jo was picking me up from the airport but she ran late because of Christmas eve traffic and such. After she got me, we hopped on the train to Pat’s place in Harlem. Finally got there around 9 pm. I was famished. Pat made taco’s and later that night Victor, Marlene and their daughter came to visit as well. It was like a little Jamaica reunion! As tired as I was, I held out til they left and fell out around 1.30 am, which was really 7.30 am for me.
The next day it was Christmas day. I did nothing but relax in my pajamas and eat. Watched TV with Joe (Pat’s son) and chopped it up with Cassandra, a friend from Pat who came over as well. Pat made a wonderful Christmas dinner! You can read more about that in my piggy section. The day after Christmas, they had predicted the snowstorm to hit New York around noon. I had to go downtown to get a coat and Joe went with me. We decided to go early so we could be back before the snowfall. Surely as we arrived downtown the first snowflakes were already falling. By the time we got back uptown to Harlem, the streets started coloring white already. We got in right on time.
That evening I was supposed to move to Brooklyn, to stay with my girl Stephanie for the rest of my trip. I decided to postpone it for at least that night because the weather was getting ridiculous. Not only was the snowfall crazy, the wind was at its strongest. It turned out to be a good judgement call, staying in Harlem. Needless to say that I spent the rest of my trip in Harlem because there was no way I was able to drag my big suitcase through the mountains of snow on the streets.
The day after the blizzard I was not so eager to go outside. Staying on the 8th floor in Harlem made me hear the crazy wind raging through the streets. In the afternoon I decided to walk up the block with Joe and feel out how it was. All I can say is: Madness. Mind you, before I went to New York, I was digging through snow for four weeks already in Amsterdam. But this was just enormous amounts of snow due to one night of a blizzard. We could not cross the streets proper without having to climb through and over mountains of snow on the corners. I tried to film it. You can see the snow and hear the wind.
Tuesday the wind settled down a bit and that evening I went out with Jo for the first time since I got to New York. Still lots of snow to conquer while walking the streets but it was sort of manageable. We hit up the Bowery Poetry Club for More Bondfire where I got to see my good friend Suubs and the homies Keisha & Conscious. From there on we hit up Toca Tuesday with Tony Touch. All in all a good evening despite the snow climbing.
Wednesday afternoon I got up with my friend Joe Conzo to catch up and do a quick photoshoot. (See photo’s in photo album). It was lovely outside and the scenery was beautiful. (Grant’s Tomb & Columbia University). That evening I went out to dinner with my friend R.A. at this great spot in Harlem called Spoonbread Too. (See my piggy section for more on that restaurant as well.) Lovely dinner I must say. After that, Jo, Kamia & I hit up Props where Rich Medina was spinning. Awesome spot and was great to see Rich again, this time on his side of the Atlantic. Now I was supposed to go see Prince at Madison Square Garden but that didn’t pan out. Rick from Mint Condition is a good friend of mine and he hit me up about the after party from Prince. So Jo, Kamia & I went from Props to that spot which was a few blocks from there.
Once we got there, there was a HUGE line in the snow. Of course we passed the line and got in straight away. I kinda felt great about that haha. Thanks Rick! I chopped it up with Rick and Jo and Kamia ran into some people they knew. I saw Janelle Monae and Cyndi Lauper chillin’ in a booth and there was a live band playing, but no Prince. By this time it’s past 3 am already and I’m getting tired. Not to mention that another friend of mine turned out to be in New York that night so he came to pick me up from the party. As I thought the party was not that poppin’, being tired and wanting to spend time with my other friend before he left, I had to find out the next day that Prince WAS in there and not even 5 minutes (!!) after I left, started jamming. Only also to find out that Questlove was jamming with him and a bunch of other artists. No need to slap me in the head over this, I already slapped myself 5 times for it. Oh well. I guess Prince & I weren’t meant to be. Sigh.
The next day I got up for dinner with Stephs and Thembi, who I was supposed to stay with in Brooklyn but due to the weather and nobody offering me help with a car to get me there (shout out to Remy though), never made it there. Finding out Thembi never been to New York, we went to eat on 42nd street. It was already bananas there seeing the next day it was New Years Eve.
That next day, my awesome friend Eric, who had just moved back to Philly from Germany, came to drive up to spend New Years Eve with me. All the parties we wanted to go to were sold out and my so called friends in New York who I had hit up didn’t even bother to get at me that night about things going on. (Shout outs to the few who did though.) So eventually, we stayed in Harlem, good food, good people. Except Pay got a little sick and got knocked out around 1.30 with a terrible headache. Only to have to get up at 6.45 am to get ready to go to the airport.
Once I got to JFK, my flight to Minneapolis was delayed. After 2,5 hours waiting I could finally board. But no, I couldn’t. They bumped me off the flight only to get me on a direct flight 6 hours later. So there I was, spending the entire first day of the new year by myself at an airport. Shout out to Jo & Rabea for keeping me company on the phone. Not to mention that I ran into Thembi again, she was flying back to NC that day as well. What can I say, a perfect ending to a perfect trip? Not so much. Let me leave the part out where they lost my suitcase, found it but lost my key, therefore I had to break open my suitcase only to now buy a new one.
LA or New York? Next time probably LA. Then again, next time no more United States. I’m already looking into my next trip which will most likely be Trinidad or Kenya. There’s more to see in the world than the United States. New York has definitely been overdone. You’ve been lovely, but no more. Shout out to those that did make my trip wonderful. Blessings.