Monday, 16 March 2015

Desperately Seeking Adventure - The Third Strike!

The third strike is real! It's been three years since I upgraded my Facebook notes, for a blog that would become my own international phenomenon, from a simple idea my pursuit of adventure has turned into something else! I hate looking back sometimes but having any excuse to produce a flashback blog works for me anytime! Yes, I'm serving up third year Realness! 

My university placement took me to Newark, New Jersey in 2012 for reasons I have mentioned several times, yes I'm bringing this old relic back one more time! It's where my blogging odyssey began and where I was acquainted with the gargantuan powerhouse of New York City! Looking back at my first and second year blog birthday round-ups I don't seem to be recognising those places I captured on a whim during my placement years! Things must change right about now! It took me a quick second to realise I had been bitten by the blog bug when I visited the Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, at the time I saw my first baseball match it just seemed like a new experience when it was another monumental memory for my blog. Baseball was good but you know I was searching for something fabulous! Madonna stopped by at the Yankee Stadium during her 2012 MDNA Tour, did she make it rain alright?! Yes M! 

From a home run to getting into the groove with the queen of pop I made it up to Bronx twice during my year over the pond! I kick myself that I didn't investigate the neighbourhood but that's for another time I will make it back B! Surrendering to the charms of NYC didn't take a second to compute, I was in love with a mega metropolis that won't ever leave me, I long to return but I need serious funds for that epic reunion with that Big ole' Apple! My blog didn't mean much when I was stateside because my life was crazy, I have become obsessed with the blog count for each month and monitor the paragraphs with a fine tooth comb! Jennifer Lopez's former block put me in my place, oh my Bronx! Getting my ass over to Broadway for a bizarre rendition of Evita at the Marquis Theatre only to see Ricky Martin play the part of Che! The crazy life was mine to document in my own special way! I feel forever connected with my year of desperately seeking adventure! OK?!

Retracing the journey's of New York's early immigrant history I found myself looking up to the Statue of Liberty! Self guiding myself from my former Ironbound, Newark neighbourhood to Ellis and Liberty islands to seek something quite remarkable! Hoboken was my intended hangout for that summer 2012 day off, I saw Hoboken early on in the day but was left hungry to see something that ticked some of my boxes for the year I wouldn't be repeating anytime soon! Miss New Jersey helped me sail across the Hudson River to see the former Ellis Island Immigration Centre, a fusion of stories and struggle faced me during that day to realise we all have a dream! Deep down in the depths of my heart I was living my dream! Let's go back B?!

Getting half the day off work wasn't enough for me so I gave away my evening shift at the airport during the October of 2012, making way for my unplanned day out to the New York Borough of Queens. I got lost on the NYC Subway as I made my way west from Newark into the city, luckily I found Jackson Heights to be fronted with a vibrant south Asian neighbourhood that served me some lovely Indian food for my lunch! I wasn't satisfied ending my day after my dinner so I hopped off the N train at Astoria Ditmars Blvd to find a different part of that Royal Borough of Queens, there was something of a Greek and Italian feel as I passed the market stores and businesses that traded along Ditmars Blvd. Walking off the main street revealed a Middle Eastern hype, Queens serves spice! 

My American blog crusade of 2012 had a short intermission during my weeks holiday in England, I wanted to see my new cousins and get back to Bilston for a short turnaround! Whilst I was away a certain evil called 'Sandy' caused havoc along the east coast of the USA not long after my Virgin Atlantic flight departed from Newark Liberty Airport! Upon my return to Newark I was faced with a waiting time for the PATH to resume its 24 hour service, lets just say it made my trips into New York City a little stressful because the last train would leave for Newark Penn Station at 10pm! Even then I didn't realise how much of an impact my blog would have on me after my placement would end. Well three years down the line I have to pinch myself for all the places I documented throughout that distant time. I had under three months remaining of my placement and winter had arrived, there was no time to loose! Oh life B!

I looked towards the festive season with a smile, if you had of asked earlier on in 2012 about Christmas I would of had a breakdown but with time and my visit home I came to realise that spending the holidays in the NJ/NY area to be an absolute pleasure! I took my final trips to NYC in December of 2012 to be welcomed by the High Line, an urban garden project that takes form on the base of a former freight line that spans from the Meatpacking District to 34th Street, showing me a view from the top always looks better in the freezing cold. I accidentally deleted my blog photos during 2013, for a brief second I thought I had lost my snaps of that elevated walkway forever! I recovered the necessary photos finally if not with some struggle! So, year one, two and three of blogging haven't been so bad after all! I know that I shall keep on desperately seeking adventure into the future, no matter what life throws at me! Newark and New York City, I shall return one day soon!

Happy 3rd Birthday Blog of Mine! 

Joseph Harrison

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