2012: The Story So Far...

Beginning this blog was not planned, through my first four months since arriving I have been busy! Getting use to the nature of Newark's Ironbound District with all of its tasty Portuguese food, I had those craving satisfied! Airport life has been mad, I keep learning those jobs for my Industrial Placement! New York City is schooling hard and Philadelphia came into my life, BB!


After landing into Newark Liberty International Airport I had no idea what the next four months had in store for me! The dark Newark night that I arrived on had my sensed all messed up, the sirens and lights blared as the car I was in drove me through Newark's Downtown District. In that moment I had no time to make any sense of that situation, leaving the craze of Downtown it was time to get used to my new home for the year ahead. Living in one of the ground floor apartments at 333 Lafayette Street had me sharing with two fellow Brits who had also studied at the same university in Birmingham, UCB. The flight was comfortable but the bed that I climbed into that night would be mine for the best part of one year! I had lived in America before during my Walt Disney World College Program during the previous summer, that Floridian 'Wisteria Lane' looking neighbourhood had me in some kind of culture shock in Newark!

During my training period it gave me the chance to get to know my Ironbound District ends, the vibe was nothing like I had ever experienced, for that I was truly living the life! Teamed with a Portuguese/Brazilian and strong Hispanic flavour it was such a blessing to hear those languages bounce off each other, it wasn't the image of America that I had experienced before and for that I felt blessed! The food had me coming back for more, the Portuguese barbecue chicken that was served with yellow rice and black beans in gravy had me in some kind of food paradise. That Newark neighbourhood held the key to being close to the airport, work had to come into the equation at some point. Ferry Street held the key to everything that I needed, off that jack of all streets I found laundromats and bodegas to name a few places that made life much easier during my off days. I was looking forward to donning my Virgin Atlantic 'Passenger Services Agent' uniform, I needed to trust the 62 NJ bus!


I was no stranger to the sights of New York City, I had seen something that attracted me no doubt! As my LGA airport taxi drove me to JFK for my post Disney College Program flight back to England I caught a glimpse of the NYC skyline! Interviewing for the airport work placement was the only choice for me, I wasn't feeling the hotel options one bit! Fast forward to my first day exploring the Big Apple had me all excited like a kid would be for Christmas! Getting off the NJ Transit train at Penn Station with my roommates was the plan, we made our way to Times Square to be acquainted with a possible playground that was only twenty five minutes away from Newark by NJ Transit train or the PATH. It was the early afternoon so the lights from the advertisement billboards weren't at their brightest, that honestly didn't matter because the whole moment looked vivid enough for me! I was just getting ready for NY City!

Our Hard Rock Cafe lunch was the only at that venue for the foreseeable, it was just for the first time! Have you heard the news? I'm basically over some things or something, maybe someone? So good am I because this time is about being told I am not a child, a certain individual really needs to bore off! My first visit to NYC was lovely, it was typically tourist with all the right measures of life in another country. If I am not mistaken I clearly wasn't over the bright lights of NYC's Times Square, I know that I'll be seeing more of New York City in the forthcoming months. Work is the reason I am in the U.S.A again, keeping that reason it was time for us to make our way back to New Jersey. Words don't mean a thing, I knew that I would get lost within the charm of NYC during my placement year. I know that I'll be navigating this megacity with the same sense of adventure, a new sense of being because this is my time! In the future this will just be a distant memory! I'll make it count!


Once work had sort of settled down I tried my best to see as much as possible during my days off. After I had straightened out my schedule I was able to plan trips outside of the New Jersey and New York City areas, making those train reservations I left New Jersey for Philadelphia for the first time! Taking the train from Newark Penn Station to 30th Station via NJ's Trenton Transit Center. Hitting the city streets fresh from the station, I made my way closer to Center City! After my McDonald's breakfast in Center City I found myself in the heart of LOVE Park, I honestly loved it! To be in a new state felt so good, that day that I spent outside of NJ gave the motivation to experience more places in the USA, more than ever before! Philadelphia had an edge, it wasn't nothing new to me because Birmingham had prepared me and Newark had instilled that readiness to deal with the realest! Now, where was Penn's Landing?

Finding my feet in a new city without maps, I relied on stolen Wi-Fi hotspots with my iPod in hand to track my location. Stumbling upon Old City I was reminded of 'home' with the colonial English style houses that served 'New World' realness! I had heard that Philadelphia stood famous for its cheesesteaks, I wasn't going to stress to find some place to eat. I was enjoying the city streets of Philadelphia's inner core, I knew in my heart that my day would continued at some other point in the future. Before I headed towards the train station I found the 'Gayborhood'. Getting my 'Attitude Magazine' fix at 'Giovanni's Room'. I loved my UK Gay Lifestyle magazines very much, they made for interesting reading during the train journey back to Newark Penn Station. Philadelphia opened my eyes to what was waiting for me outside of my NJ placement location. 2012 will keep me moving me on forwards to new places! This blog has opened my eyes, I know there's no way back! I'm ready, ready!


The New York Yankees Stadium called me over to watch my first ever Baseball game, I had completed four U.S sporting achievements! By the time that I had booked my tickets for the baseball I had become accustomed with watching sporting events in the U.S.A! I took the 4 train from Grand Central to reach the Yankees Stadium. Yes, 161 St. Yankee Stadium turned out to be my final stop, opening my eyes to the NYC Bronx neighbourhood. I've just about mastered the strange lines on the New York Subway system, I classed that journey as a grand achievement. Once reaching the famous Yankee Stadium the strong police presence could be felt as I did have some mild apprehension about my visit to the Yankees. I live in Newark, New Jersey, I have become used to street realness! Once reaching the grand Yankee Stadium the strong police presence put me at ease as I approached the Yankees Stadium. B-Town!

The strong presence of baseball could be seen all round the Yankees Stadium, those Bronx youth were playing their best game in the stadium side courts! I'm loving life in the Big Apple and taking every opportunity to see new places like the Bronx of all places! I loved my quick hop up to the Bronx really, I just wanted watch the game! I didn't really see any Kansas City Royals fans at all really, its safe to say the Yankees fans are a loyal crowd standing by their team. Making my way to the highest point of the stadium to find my seat, you know when there's no lift just stairs its going to be high! With my nerves slightly shot I needed something strong to drink, purely medicinal to help me settle into the height before the game began. My Miller beer helped a lot, it would have helped a lot more it didn't cost almost $13.00. The fact I was sitting at the Yankee Stadium waiting to watch my first baseball match was a moment which didn't feel real. The game was good, I had my fill! Yass, NY Yankees!

Dreams For Plans...

Joseph Harrison

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