NYC: Rollin' On The River!

Feeling very rough from the night before, five mimosas brought me back to life! Pulling myself together I got back onto the NYC Subway towards Hudson Yards, I had something familiar to see through new eyes and with a certain show I needed to see those piers. Finding room for two beers, making moves towards the legendary Stonewall Inn was right! Sure, I know my herstory! 


December was the month when I first discovered the High Line, an elevated walkway that used to be a freight rail line through the Meatpacking District. It felt like a lifetime since I first visited the High Line in 2012, nostalgia was all around me in that moment. Getting off the NYC Subway at 34St-Hudson Yards I was fronted by a sea of skyscrapers and construction. It was then I saw the Megabus, I used that chance sighting as fate because I was going to get the train to Philadelphia the next day. Following the Apple Maps on my phone I found myself a brand new entrance to the High Line. Walking onto the elevated train tracks gave me breathtaking views of the Hudson River, this new section of the High Line gave me maximum life! I was feeling all of those feelings that I had felt before during that first visit, some years later the sleek elevated walkway/park gave me so much more! The High Line had me speechless! Likened to when I saw the Yangzte River again in Wuhan, I was seeing a familiar place through new eyes. So grateful! 

The fashioned wooden benches and abstract garden space had me feeling every second of that New York City state of mind. Nothing could interrupt my thoughts or feeling in that moment, the wind blasted one freezing chill but New York's High Line gave me everything! When had the extension even been built? I had missed so much during my absence from NYC and NJ! Getting one more chance to be with the High Line felt so good, being back within that riverside location felt correct! Taking every sight in like it was the very last time, I loved it! Walking so far I didn't see it as necessary to walk to the part of the High Line that I had seen before, I had many things to accomplish that afternoon, the sunset was mad early! As I walked away from the High Line back on street level I couldn't help but notice the office types gather together around televisions in some posh lunchtime hangout, it was the trial for impeachment for the current President of the United States of America! Perfección! All around, no mistakes made! One but not mine! B!


Paris was not burning during that bitterly cold afternoon in December 2019, but the memories made during that period could be felt in the air like a raging fire! Located near to Christopher Street and the Stonewall Inn stood Pier 45 & Pier 46 along the Hudson Riverside. I strolled down Christopher Street Pier past the Marsha P. Johnson Memorial Fountain, one legendary freedom fighters for civil rights for the Transgender and Gay movement. The rainbows told me that Christopher Street Pier held the same as the street because of its LGBT reference and commemorations. If truth be told I lived for Pier 46 along the Hudson riverside. Taking my chosen photo was something of a task because I wanted to catch the piers in the sunset, so much had happened along those piers. I tried to figure out at the same time how the ballroom queens and working T-girls would walk and dance along the piers. The piers were serving Hudson River realness! The fight is far from over, listen we're just getting started! MPJ, keep the fire burning! 

It's January 2020 and I have just finished watching the first two seasons of 'Pose FX'. That legendary show took me by the hand, showing me the piers in the most artistic and raw fashion. The ballroom culture features around the early 90s NYC on the brink of the HIV-AIDS epidemic. Intrinsically linked with the Trans advocate Marsha P. Johnson, the immediate area held significant to that community within New York City's rainbow population. Hopping back to that cold December 2019 afternoon, the fact those piers stood quiet gave an eery feeling, I had visited this area for that reason to understand more about a time that would have been my fight, looking back on their time its becoming parent this generation might have to fight all over again! I could visualise Blanca looking for new house children along the piers, with Pray Tell strutting along the same pier in his flamboyant get up! The piers near Christopher Street schooled me and Pose helped me put my visit into perspective! Another faultless moment in NYC! Divine timing!


There's one bar that I had to visit, the Stonewall Inn was something that I didn't think about when I actually lived across the Hudson River in Newark, New Jersey! Getting myself from the piers before the sun had set, I propped up the bar with a beer to soak in that heroic NYC LGBT boozer! Claimed as a National Monument and U.S. National Historic Landmark, during one hot summer night in 1969 the patrons at the Stonewall Inn that night fought back after the police made another raid. I have seen bits of information about the riots and to see the people from the LGBT community fight back with such ferocity, their heated rioting did just the ticket to get the police off their backs to leave them to their fabulous everyday business! Those movements made on that summers night forged the way for New York City first Gay Pride parade on June 28, 1970. Truly, Lower Manhattan's truth has helped me study my Herstory! To say that I potentially walked past the Stonewall Inn without realising in 2012 wasn't right! I am sorry, I came back! 

With the riots taking place in 1969, the escape of the ballrooms in the 80s and 90s must have felt like a holiday? Through the rioting and pride marches, the community worldwide stands together with venues such as NYC's Stonewall Inn. As I sat the bar I got talking to a lovely lady, she was part of the LGBT community and what we spoke about wasn't important it was just nice to meet a kind human being. That half day in Lower Manhattan zoomed past, from the new riverside views along the High Line's extended route to the 'Pose' worthy piers near Christopher Street, the day ended with a beer or two at the Stonewall Inn without any hiccups. Learning my Herstory and recapturing Christopher Streets kitsch nature, it was like NYC Pride all over again, those years past had made things look more vivid. Taking the NYC Subway back to my Long Island City station had to be the one, the mimosas and beers had worn off, I needed to sleep properly before going to Philly. NYC kept on giving me more and for that I wasn't mad at all!

I Know My Herstory!

Joseph Harrison

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