NYC: Memories, Moments & Milestones!

New York City will always have a hold on my heart, with an unstoppable beat and a no-nonsense demeanour I had to return! December's 2019 comeback trip had me making those memories, moments and milestones that had me feeling the fantasy in real-time motion! Going back to the beginning allowed me to rewrite the book within that Empire State! No mistakes! Brit was back! 

Being my place to run to when those airport shifts got me tired, the city of New York City was my very own playground! I loved the lights of Times Square but that 'Desperately Seeking Adventure' moment didn't hit me until I found myself walking along the waterfront at NYCs Battery Park! I returned to that NYC Downtown location in December 2019, my heart had been stolen but my blog had a working title name! It was like my heart knew the way, I didn't need any map as I navigated NYCs Downtown from the WTC Station. With Lady Liberty and Port Newark in the distant, my Newark pursuit linked the whole experience perfectly, it was a full circle moment. I didn't want any cruise tickets or tourist bus tours, all I wanted was to stare into the vista over Hudson Bay because that was my seven year milestone! I didn't think about any of my worries, I had worked hard to make that monumental trip happen! Nothing that good comes for free! Not needing an invitation, I had a million places to visit during that milestone week, B! 

My original hotel choice within Columbus Circle had fallen through during the planning stages, it was a blessing in disguise because it led me to my hostel location over the water in Long Island City, Queens. No reservations were made within NJ nor did I rely on friends who I had previously worked with. I had worked for every penny, I do not freeload like others and that is the end of that! Taking the train back from the Downtown to my hostel for a brief interlude, I jumped back on the train towards Canal St. Not like that lively Manchester rainbow hangout, I was back in the heart of New York City's own Chinatown! The previous night from the airport, I had the opportunity to drive through during my Newark Airport transfer. Reading those Traditional Chinese signs had me confused because I can read the Simplified script better. I ordered my meal at the Vietnamese restaurant in Chinese because my recent life in China had perfected those skills since the last time I had frequented Chinatown, NYC. 纽约市, 我会说中文! 

I had hardly visited Brooklyn during my 2012 placement year, I had walked across the Brooklyn Bridge from Downtown and had briefly checked out the Hasidic corner of Williamsburg but nothing else. With Newark revisited and NYCs One World Trade Center bossed, I woke up before the birds to begin my two day Brooklyn marathon of sightseeing. Being on the Queens/Brooklyn side of the East River, I chose to visit the Brooklyn Bridge Park to catch the world famous bridge from a different angle. Getting those views snatched in photo form had me feeling very accomplished as I stood under the bridge in D.U.M.B.O. Feeling the seasonal vibe, I went to a trendy looking location that served me two delicious servings of mulled wine. Needing to move on, I took several trains on the NYC Subway system to reach Jefferson St because I wanted to see those famous murals! I knew that Bushwick would give me life, but I wasn't going to be partaking in any 'Hot Yoga!' No! A new side of Brooklyn, NYC had been opened up to me! 

Bushwick had me visiting the Cobra Club for a craft Cider, it was giving me everything that I had wanted! Catching those warehouses, I knew my Chinese artist friends would love this side of New York City! Intoxicated by the feeling, I loved the bright murals that had been artistically sprayed onto the buildings. The Rookery kept me hydrated with more craft cider and the best grilled cheese sandwich that was served with tomato soup. Brooklyn was the best and it still is! I wasn't ready to break up with Brooklyn, the next day I took the NYC Subway down to Coney Island to be greeted by some awful weather. I wasn't mad because I had finally made it down to that seaside location. Heading back to Bedford Av, I embraced Williamsburg's Kosher once again. Discovering Babka and hot chocolate had me feeling cosy within that Kosher cafe, it was all about the culture. The Hebrew signs had me feeling like it was August 2012 all over again. Gottlieb's served me the best potato kugel and fresh pastrami sandwich in my whole living life! 

Trading one day off from my airport duties back in 2012, I took the train over to Jackson Heights in the NYC borough of Queens. I was originally in hot pursuit of Indian food but I did catch a glimpse of those track tracks that overshadowed Roosevelt Avenue! Wanting more, I had done some research, taking that 7 train from Long Island City I made up with that Jackson Heights thoroughfare. Hitting up Friend's Tavern I drank my margaritas and danced the night away, I was living it up in the Latino corner of NYC without a care in the world! Feeling like I needed to eat everything in sight before sunrise, I headed over the La Abundancia for a plate of Colombiano goodness! Only mimosas would cure that debilitating hangover, I hatched yet another New York City moment of nostalgia because I was living for every single flashback moment! Heading back onto the 7 train, I headed towards Hudson Yards to be reunited with the High Line. From December 2012 to that present 2019 wintry moment, another NYC milestone! 

Being at one with the High Line transported me back to that formative moment, back then I had been in Newark for the best part of 2012 and I felt situated. Returning from China, I consumed every single second, sight and sound I could because the High Line held the best memories for me. Growing closer to Christopher Street I kept things by the riverside, taking in those Hudson Pier views near that former Pride street I was in during 2012 meant the world and over. Getting those moments from Pose FX that I had watched before I had flown to the United States had to be done, it was everything! Stomping back along Christopher St, I was getting all of those spring time feels from 2012, it was still cute and campy! Needing a livener, I looked towards the world famous Stonewall Inn for a Corona or two! That beer was a bad choice because what would follow in 2020 would seriously mash things up! That legendary LGBT venue impressed me much! I spoke to a wonderful human called Angelica, it was such a New York moment! Oh, NYC!

Let me break this down good and proper, I will not have any of this twisted because time was precious and Britney Bitch wasn't about to make any mistakes! Laying my head on my pillow after flying across the Pacific Ocean, my phone was blowing up with messages from friends that I had worked with at Newark Airport during 2012. I had made plans to meet with two friends, time was a key factor and to be honest we had already agreed from the moment that we had said goodbye seven years previous to that 2019 return. Yes, that contact who was blowing my phone up was a friend but I didn't appreciate how it was OK to act like that person was excited the moment I had arrived, I was not playing! I kept the week to myself, getting back from Philadelphia before my Broadway show I retraced those steps back to the tree at the Rockefeller Center in Midtown Manhattan. Valerie and I would be meeting that evening for a brief meeting. We chose Pret to put the world to rights, we enjoyed our brief meeting to the fullest with truth!

Packed up and almost on my way to New York's John F Kennedy Airport, I made a pitstop via an Astoria bistro to meet with Fiorella! Clubhouse sisters reunited, it was the best to see my Peruana sister! The time spent away didn't matter because the friendship remains true and real. I am not talking down to those others who filled my airport shifts with laughter and Realness but situations are different and peoples lives cannot just stop because I returned. The love remains but lets keep it clear, I will never be like the other interns that worked with me from the UK because my trip was about the place, the memories not the fanfare of the return. During this darkened 2020 moment, my life might be trashed for the moment but this brief light I can see regarding my 2019 USA trip gives me hope. NYC will forever be my playground, it will forever be a city that I will continue to find new things and to make those moments to remember. Let us not leave it another seven years? Britney Bitch will not let that happen! Until next time, NY City!

Get It Right!

Joseph Harrison 


  1. That sounds like such a fun getaway! NYC is so magical and I'd love a chance to go back soon. I explored Chinatown the last time I was there and was so intrigued!


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