Merry meet friends!
Michelle here, bringing lots of love and light
Empire State of Mind......Jay Z Chorus... Alicia Keys
New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There's nothin' you can't do
Now you're in New York
These streets will make you feel brand new
Big lights will inspire you
Let's hear it for New York, New York, New York
Each time I've been to New York on the bus, I usually travel at night and arrive early morning. I took a 10am Megabus from DC back in June which was pleasant. This past week I took a 10am Greyhound from Richmond, VA. This was not a good experience. This is what happened:
Greyhound separates you in lanes according to your boarding number. I was in the second lane with number 13. One doesn't have to be in order within the lane. I noticed that there were more than ten people in the first lane but didn't say anything. A young man in my lane noticed and vocalized it. I nodded in agreement. No one did anything about it, however. I wanted my duffel bag stored in the overhead area. Once on the bus, the young man was seated in the second row on the right and I stopped in the second on the left. He readily jumped to my assistance to help with the bag. I guessed he felt a connection because I was the only one who seemed to agree with him earlier.
The bag wouldn't fit and so I said I would take it outside to store beneath the bus. The young man stated that there was an empty seat on the first row in front of me and asked the woman seated there to be certain. She stated that the seat was indeed vacant but then she stated, it's not for a bag, in a very defiant tone. I agreed and took it out. When I returned, I sat beside the woman on the front row because the original seat belonged to a woman and her young daughter. Apparently while I was outside the front row woman had continued to speak about the situation. He asked why was she having a smart mouth and she replied because he was stupid. This led to him saying it wasn't the time or place but she would see him again and she asked if it were a threat. Words flew back and forth between them.
Her phone rang but she was still mouthing. Another call came in for her and she rang off the first to take the second. She asked the person to meet her at Port Authority with some of his boys and for them to wear their uniforms. She stated that she would start wearing her badge even while on vacation. She said some fool had just gotten out of jail and wanted to show off. When she hung up, the young man told her that she could have an army and he shouted vulgarities and she responded in kind. The woman behind asked them to stop because of her young daughter. The young man said he was just trying to help and that it wasn't his bag, he had Gucci. He became quiet but the woman beside me continued. I said to myself in the words of my deceased Grandfather, "Lawd, ain't I in it!".
The rest of the ride until the rest stop was peaceful. When we returned to the bus, our seats had been placed in the upright position. The woman beside me reclined hers. The woman behind us asked her politely if she would place it upright because they had no leg room. We didn't either. The woman beside me stated that she didn't have it completely down to which the other woman asked if she would put it up more. Well naturally she wouldn't and went on to say the woman was a nag and if the seats weren't supposed to recline they wouldn't be made that way. There was more discussion about having or not having people in their lives. The woman beside me stated that she had "tapped into" the other woman's conversation and knew that she was unhappy. The woman behind became quiet but once again the woman beside me continued mouthing.
We were due to arrive in NY at 4:50pm. At that tine we were still trying to get inside the Lincoln Tunnel. The young man (the Gucci bag one) asked the woman behind me if he could use her phone to call his wife. He stated that he had gotten a traffic ticket in VA and spent a night in jail and his phone was in his Benz. I guess police woman knew what she was talking about. We arrived at Port Authority at 6:30pm, one hour and a half later! I was meeting/surprising some friends in Midtown for dinner. We were due to meet at 5:30pm. Iliana had to tell Sonya and Kristy that I was the surprise so they waited for me.
I had a margarita and dinner while we caught up with each other. We walked to the train together. Sonya left to go home and Iliana, Kristy and I continued to the East Village. Kristy wanted her nose pierced. Iliana and I both have our nose pierced so we went for support. She waited until we found the third place and she liked the energy. Kristy had the man to place her ring on the right since we had ours there. She looked so cute with her diamond! We then took the subway together, Kristy stayed on while we continued on to Brooklyn. I was exhausted upon arrival and after preparing for bed fell asleep. What a day!
The next morning I rode the train to Manhattan to meet my son in order to help him look for an apartment. He was so concerned that I was taking the train in from Brooklyn alone. It's cute but I lived in NY and always took the train, albeit not from Brooklyn. We met at Central Park West and went to see some places before having breakfast. Jason has lived on the upper East side for five years but decided he wanted more diversity. He thought he would try Harlem. The upper East side has spoiled him. He is used to having great culturally diverse restaurants within a few blocks of his home. No Popeyes or KFC. Harlem is different. I asked Jason to determine what his priorities are: money, apartment amenities, neighborhood, train location, etc.
As we walked around the neighborhoods, we would both say, "Oh there are a few Europeans. On the upper East side one would probably see more African Americans than one would see Europeans, who are not visiting, in Harlem. He wants diversity, not one ethnicity. We went to a restaurant in another area for breakfast and as we waited to be served, we looked at each other and laughed. We were thinking the same thing, more Europeans! I said to him that it was funny that we using that as a guide to ethnic diversity. We toured a few more neighborhoods.
I am the type of person who speaks to anyone and asks questions. We went to one neighborhood which had vacancies in more than one building. While Jason was trying to get someone on the phone, I saw a woman (European) get out of a car. I stopped her and asked if she lived in the neighborhood. She did and we exchanged questions and answers. She said the tenants who had been there for a long time were moving out and more young professionals were moving in. Each time a tenant left they renovated the apartment. She felt safe and stated that a few blocks up there were great restaurants. She let us in the building and to see her apartment. She lived on the same floor as the vacancy and said to Jason that they would be neighbors. For the money, I think it was ideal. We saw another area of Harlem that is being gentrified and the apartment was new. It was fabulous! It was a noisy block though but I think in a few months it will completely different. After a few more stops we grabbed a bite and seeing that Jason was tired and knowing that I was, we called it quits. Jason dropped me at the subway, no protests this time, I might add.
Iliana and Bill ordered Thai for dinner and we had a delicious Chardonnay and Chablis. Iliana asked if she could draw a bath to help me relax. YES, I said! I did relax and felt so much better. The next morning we walked to the neighborhood health food store to get some additional breakfast items. Iliana buys organic which is right up my alley. She prepared breakfast. Afterwards we walked around Prospect Park. She was hoping I would see some loc haired men per Sonya's suggestion, but alas, I didn't. After leftover Thai, I purchased my ticket and took the subway to Port Authority, heavy bag and all, but I made it. I had a seat to myself, the bus was not crowded. Traffic was good and we arrived 45 minutes ahead of schedule. It was a really great trip even with the drama. I'm glad I got to see some of my friends and to see the apartments with Jason.
Until next Sunday,
Merry part and merry meet again!
Gypsi Mama Michelle