5 June 2013

June 2012: This Time Last Year ...

This year is flying by, I only have to blink and time passes by! 2013 has been blessed so far, but I want to look back at what I was doing this time last year. From my tour around the United Nations HQ to my amazing day at NYC Pride 2012 it was ace! Yes, life has changed so much but I won't dwell about one single thing! June 2012, what were you like? It's been a while B!

I began June 2012 in Las Vegas! Jetting off from Newark Liberty Airport to Las Vegas McCarran International Airport with Southwest Airlines. I would say my outbound flight was very eventful! My friends got re-routed with Delta so I made the best of my situation. Flying via Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport I made the best of Southwest's in-flight refreshment service! I had a great flight and didn't have to spend any money on-board, well maybe $4.00 but I'm not going to be bitter about that! I would love to fly with Southwest Airlines again because their flight attendants were truly delightful! Another gin and tonic please? Throughout my four Southwest flights I got crazy but it was Vegas baby! Would I choose Southwest Airlines in the future? Yes, I need to visit the Windy City for a cut price airfare! I've got you Chicago! Getting to and from Las Vegas was just as eventful as my short packed trip to Nevada! 

Living the Las Vegas life for four days was out of this world, I went with my two British friends who I was working with at Hallmark Aviation Services. Myself, Paolo and Tom had a blast that weekend, discovering the casinos of the Las Vegas strip! Marlene, our faithful hire car took us where we needed to go! We reenacted the 'Hangover Movie' gambling in the 'Bellagio' and 'Caesar's Palace'. I had only been living in Newark for around four months when I embarked on my Las Vegas adventure! I will say that the whole weekend was completely surreal! Tequila became my new best friend! Las Vegas is all about the gambling but I didn't let that change my experience, well I did win a bit of money at the 'Bellagio!' There's really no other place like Vegas, its just oozes that 'Bright Lights, Big City' vibe all day and night long! Thanks boys for inviting me onto your trip, I'll be forever grateful for the immense weekend we spent in Las Vegas and L.A! It was a shock to go back to work! Life!

Everybody goes to Hollywood! I didn't need to make in the neighbourhood because I'm already a superstar! Britney's words not mine! My Las Vegas holiday took a crazy twist as I, Paolo and Tom embarked on a new adventure! Paolo was the only one who could drive and also possessed a United States drivers license, so we drove off to the land of the stars! The terrain changed from the high-rise hotel casino's of Las Vegas to the baron Nevada Desert! It was crazy to see nothing for miles, passing through death valley was an experience as the heat was intense outside our air-conditioned car. We stopped at Peggy Sue's Diner, a American themed Diner that was crazy for it was located in the middle of the desert! Peggy Sue's served us a great breakfast for we departed from Las Vegas at a very early hour! I never thought I would of got the chance to revisit L.A! You know Death Valley was scorching hot! 

Finally, the palm trees of Hollywood Boulevard could be seen! Boys, we were in Hollywood! Treading the pavement on Hollywood Boulevard was amazing, we were at one with the stars! Seeing the 'Graumans Chinese Theatre' was amazing! I must add that Hollywood Boulevard was crazy around the Dolby Theatre and Hollywood & Highland Centre, it was a chore to take a good photo but I got some good ones for sure! Could my month of June get any better? Wanting to see some celebs we took a star-spotting tour around the exclusive 'Beverly Hills' neighbourhood to be at one with the stars of Hollywood! Could I live in 'Beverly Hills?' Yes I could because I'm a superstar! Our day had been super, but we needed to get back to Las Vegas for the rest of our holiday! Being back in Los Angeles, California was amazing! I plan to return to La La Land in the future to get down in West Hollywood, those pretty boys can't have all the fun without me! East L.A I will hunt you down!

As June progressed I found work at the airport very stressful, things just weren't easy around that time. I was twenty minutes from NYC, I knew the perfect way to cure my post Vegas blues! I made my way over the headquarters of the 'United Nations'. My day out gave me a boost! I got a little bit lost but I gave myself enough time to reach the visitor experience, so all was good! I don't know what made me visit the UN HQ? Maybe I was looking for an international intervention? Visiting the headquarters was a sobering experience, it's got a quiet and still feeling about it. The security process was very serious, TSA would of had their eyes opened as it was almost like an airport! My trip around the UN HQ made me realise that I'm one lucky boy! Trust and believe!

After being a political tourist I was feeling rather hungry, so I decided to hop on the NYC subway to Chinatown. Choosing to eat at a restaurant called 'Wo Hop' ended up being a good idea. The food I ate was alright but the restaurant was a bit 'spit and sawdust!' I love a bit of something different so I just treated this as a new experience. I should of kept to 'Pho 88' because that's the my restaurant! The movies sometimes use different sets because New York's Chinatown looks completely different, but I'm glad it does for its real streets serve a clear picture of people's everyday lives! New York City has one interesting Chinatown, it's more than just interesting! This Chinatown has a edgy personality, which should not be messed with! You've been warned! There's no other!

On the 24th of June 2012 New York City's Greenwich Village district prepared itself for 'Pride NYC March 2012'. I waited on the crowded and hot 'Christopher St' with my rainbow flag ready for the campery and fabulousness of the march. Thanks to my new friend Dean we had the connections to grab a great place. Did I mention 'Girl Just Wanna Have Fun?!' Looking back I must say that feeling on the streets of Greenwich Village was amazing, but there was also a sense of cohesion! Until that time I had never been to a Gay Pride celebration, but when in New York City it would've been quite rude not to embrace the festivities! I'm really fortunate that New York City was my first pride celebration because NYC is like no other! I was bitten by the Pride but so I'm on the lookout to experience Birmingham Pride in 2014 due to conflicting issues in 2013. Out of everything I say the pizza that we found was delicious! 

Legendary pop singer 'Cyndi Lauper' happened to be the Grand Marshall of the 2012 march! I couldn't believe my eyes for I saw 'Cyndi Lauper!' I would have to say that she looked amazing, I suppose girls we just wanted to have fun?! As the extravagant floats passed I caught a glimpse of drag-star 'Manila Luzon' looking fabulous alongside her new drag daughter! I was in heaven, the weather was beautiful and the parade was something I had always imagined it would be! Could my day get any camper? As the parade made its way through 'Christopher St' I noticed one group of people were working in it to the fullest! My pride experience within Greenwich Village brought my love for the region to the highest, even though I loved my day back in March 2012. The Puerto Rican's knew how to work it! From that moment onwards I was in love with Pride NYC! It was definitely a Gay day for sure! New York City, you're a place that has a lot to answer for! How about next year! Let's go B!

Counting My Lucky Stars!

Joseph Harrison

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