This past weekend I had the opportunity to TURNUP with one of my besties in none other than NEW YORK CITY. It was one of those spur of the moment trips…
This was a trip with no plans. We had flights and a place to stay…in Brooklyn. And those were the only absolutes that we needed. It was such a wonderful sense of freedom to do whatever the heck we wanted to do. We had a list of “stuff we’d like to do,” but looking back, NONE of it happened…AND that made the trip perfect! I had never been to Brooklyn before so I was extra excited. The trip was absolutely AHHHHH-MAZING!! It was filled with rest and relaxation with some sleeping in and fantastic weather (a little hot to start tho). BUT I am most #turntup about these 3 things from our trip:
- Harlem. Need I say more? I have a growing fascination with the Harlem Renaissance, so spending time in Harlem made my day! It was freeing to walk the streets of black excellence from back in the day. I loved my time exploring “Harlem’s heartbeat” (Lenox Avenue), coined by Langston Hughes in his poem Juke Box Love Song, where we saw Harlem Hospital, dug into history in The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and grabbed lunch at Sylvia’s Restaurant.
- The Schomburg Center was an extra special treat. My nerdy research senses were screaming with joy as I wandered through exhibits highlighting various aspects of African American culture including Langston Hughes. I even took time to think about our ancestors as I sat on the Speakerbox, an exhibit that highlighted protests that occurred on Lenox Ave throughout the years. The gift shop overstimulated my mind. There were so many books and gifts by black folks for black folks… I definitely blew my budget, but it was totally worth it. I can’t wait to go back!
- Sylvia’s oh Sylvia’s…THIS Restaurant is a must-visit for anyone visiting Harlem. It was been around for years and is still owned by the family of the original owner, Sylvia Woods. It was been a gathering place for the local community for years, and did I mention the food is DELICIOUS! I opted for the chicken and waffles (shhh! don’t tell my personal trainer). They bring out cornbread to the table and the atmosphere of the restaurant reminded me of the soul food cafe described in A.L. Herbert’s Mahalia Watkins Soul Food series (excellent murder mystery series by the way). While I would love to eat there again, I have to be cautious because I know those meals would do harm to my waistline.
- NYC Subway System. The last time I was in NYC, I stayed in Manhattan in the area between Times Square and Central Park. It was walkable to all of the touristy destinations that we wanted so I didn’t really have a need to use the subway…except on one occasion. We walked down into the subway station and when I saw that map with colors and numbers and letters, I knew this little small town, country Georgia girl was waaaaaaay out of her league. BUT I refused to stay defeated. On this trip my girl made sure that I had tons of practice with the subway. And while I have not quite mastered the process, I now have a better understanding of how the system works. I refuse to remain defeated, so I will keep trying.
- Bourbon Street. Now this last piece wasn’t about our time in NYC, but instead about what happened once we landed in New Orleans. We began Saturday morning walking around the streets of Brooklyn, hopping from various street music festivals, and then while on the way to JFK we decided that we would go to Bourbon Street instead of going home upon our arrival in New Orleans. We got upgraded to FIRST CLASS so we had a comfortable, pampered flight back and landed with plenty of energy. We made it to a restaurant in enough time to grab some oysters and then to The Jazz Playhouse in just enough time to enjoy the live music set by Nayo Jones. I even danced the rest of Saturday away.
So this is how on a random Saturday in August, me and my friend #turntup from Brooklyn to Bourbon.