LONG POST ALERT...
I’ll start with an update on my UAE documents and then move into what I’ve been up to “In the Meantime”.
My Proex contact confirmed that she had not only received all my documents but that hefty payment that made me shed 1 lone tear too. Now I wait to hear back from her in about 14 days but I’m hoping for a shorter amount of time. I paid extra for her to scan my documents back to me so I can send them directly to my recruiter.
I bet you’re wondering what I’ve been doing in the meantime. If you are, keep reading. If you’re not wondering about what I did in the meantime, keep reading anyway because reading is fundamental.
Here’s a little background info so you’re able to grasp how monumental what I did in the meantime is:
Growing up I loved acting and musicals. As I got older nothing changed. I still love acting and musicals though I don’t act. I love the idea of BIG city life and the hustle and bustle that comes with it. Key words: the idea.
For example, when the kids from “Glee” had to compete in New York and they did a song and dance number in Times Square I felt and I pretended that I was right there with them. When I’m watching musicals that I’ve seen more than twice I say the lines with the characters, sing the songs (even though I cannot sing) and I do the choreography. Some examples are “High School Musical”, “Sister Act 2”, and “Annie”, when an opportunity to go to New York presented itself I jumped at the chance. I’ve always wanted to go and here I was 4 months before moving out of the country checking things off my “Places I want to go 1 day” list.
A friend of mine invited me to New York so we caught a super early flight, and I was in New York right as the sun was rising. Just like New Yorkers, we hailed a taxi to the hotel and the hotel stored our bags and said there could be a chance that we could check in early. We sat in their restaurant that had outlets on the table and charged our phones and took in the scenery. My stomach began to let me know that it was feeding time so we ventured out in the 15-degree weather and walked down 1 block and came to a place named “Raffles”. It’s like a restaurant you see in the movies and television shows; all the diners engrossed in their food and conversations and there is an area right by the window that faces the busy New York City street. We decided to sit at the window and people watch while we ate our breakfast. I ordered my standard breakfast: pancakes, bacon, and potatoes. It also came with fruit and eggs but I gave that right to my friend. The service was satisfactory and the food was good too. After we ate, we headed back to the hotel in hopes we would be able to check in early and much to our surprise, a room was ready and we ventured up to take a nap!
Lunch was at an Indian and Chinese infused establishment called “Spice Symphony.” I am trying to get myself accustomed to eating new things and this restaurant was a great start. The restaurant wasn’t far from the hotel at all. The food and the service was impeccable. If you’re ever in New York, I whole heartedly recommend eating here. If you do, tell them you heard about them from this blog. Click here to see their menu. On their lunch menu you can get a 3 course meal for $14! That is not a bad deal considering I had paid $29 just for breakfast that morning. I chose the Sweet Corn Soup, Chicken and broccoli in ginger sauce, and Rice Pudding. I never would’ve chose those things if I were home. Each course was delicious . I just knew I’d have to visit the hot dog stand that we passed on our way to lunch but lunch was excellent.
After lunch, we headed to where I’ve been dying to get to for so long…Times Square. My Dad told me not to look up at the buildings because people would know I’m a tourist but my question was how would I take it all in if I didn’t look around. As a happy medium, I put on my sunglasses so people couldn’t see my eyes. I guess it helped because someone asked us for directions. *insert shoulder shrug*
I was so in awe of all the buildings and the view. Once I got to Broadway Ave. it took everything in me not to break out into one of my favorite Broadway Musicals, “Rent”, or sing:
"They say the neon lights are bright On Broadway..."
We saw all there was to see in Times Square especially the people dressed as characters who weren’t afraid to take off their character heads to get a breather. That shocked me. If I were a little kid who still believed that characters were real I would’ve been heartbroken by seeing that. If I’m being completely honest, when I saw that a little piece of my heart shattered because I’m a kid at heart.
We visited an Arabian perfume place called “Arabian Oud”. I wanted to know what “oud” meant so I asked. It means wood. You’re welcome, that was your Arabic lesson for the day.
We weren’t starving but we knew once we got back to the hotel we’d be ready to eat because we had a nice walk back to our hotel in this frigid temperature so we decided to eat at Bubba Gump Shrimp and I’m so glad we did. I’ve been to the one in Florida and I discovered the one in Times Square was just as good but a bit more expensive. All the aforementioned activities encompassed Day 1. At the end of Day 1, we were super tired and ready for bed by 8:00pm which I guess isn’t too much different from my regular 9:00pm bedtime. #nojudgement
Day 2 in New York was filled with as much sight-seeing as Day 1. We travelled to the Empire State Building and the 9/11 Memorial. The Empire State Building was filled with tourists and I was so amazed at how high it actually was. We had to ride a subway to get to the 9/11 Memorial. I’ve ridden the Light Rail in my city but the subway was no comparison. The Light Rail is a straight shot from the southern part of the city to uptown and vice versa. Nothing to be confused about, 1 route. The New York Subway routes were so confusing and every car was packed! Different trains went to different parts of the city. Just looking at the map gave me a slight headache. Before we got on the subway we stopped for a slice of pizza from Little Italy. I see why people from New York always say there is no pizza like New York pizza. I absolutely love pizza and there have been a few times when I’ve ALMOST eaten an entire pizza all by myself but I had 1 slice and I was okay with that. #Nojudgement
We got to the Subway and the adventure began. We got on one train and had to switch to another one to get to 9/11 Memorial. Had I been alone I would’ve taken that one train and rode until they kicked me off. Once we got to the 9/11 Memorial it was so captivating. The wall that was built and showcased all the names of the deceased was very touching. There were some people who were crying as I’m sure they were there to remember their loved ones. It was quiet and the waterfalls provided a sense of peace and serenity. I will never forget this moment and my heart goes out to anyone that lost a loved one due to the tragedy at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. It was a definite reminder that life is short, we need to embrace every day like it’s our last, tell our loved ones they are loved, and give people their flowers while they can still smell them. #iloveyouDaddy
After our Subway adventure, we stopped at a local stand for hot dogs and smothered BBQ Sauce Chicken Kabobs. Both were served on warm buns and they were delicious! We decided to rest our feet and think about dinner. While we were thinking about dinner we might’ve dozed off to sleep for a short bit. Once we woke we decided to find a nice Italian restaurant that happened to be about 1000 feet from the hotel. We walked to it and because we didn’t have reservations we were seated at the bar. My usual Italian meal of choice is penne or fettucine Alfredo with either shrimp or chicken. “Toscana 49” didn’t serve either! I checked the menu and I decided on fettuccine lamb regu. Here I was again stepping out of my food comfort zone and I was happy that I did. It was served with bread and I loved it. We both ordered a glass of wine, we sat and talked, enjoyed the ambience, enjoyed each other’s company and we just had a great time!
The next day we decided to attend a church service in Harlem. We were in time for Sunday School which led directly into Church Service. I truly enjoyed church service. The pastor came out of Matthew 4:1-11. This is when the devil tempted Jesus in the wilderness during His fast. The Pastor went over 3 points: Resist, Recall, and Rest. RESIST the devil when you’re tempted, RECALL the scripture because the Word of God STILL works, and REST in your Triumph. I hope the Pastor of that great church reads this and knows that I appreciate his message and will be applying this to my future endeavors. The beauty in this story is recognizing that in Jesus’ wilderness moment He recognized that He was being tried and in the end, He went back to his foundation and He came out on top. I encourage you to recognize your wilderness moment(s), learn what there is to learn, and in the end, know that God has a plan for your life. In my wilderness moment, that I’m currently experiencing, I’m learning a lot about myself and I’m learning true patience and I know that everything is working together and is all a part of God’s plan that I am so looking forward to see come to fruition. After church, we were invited downstairs where the kitchen committee was serving fried fish. I had to shout for Glory for this wonderful treat! The fish was so delicious! Once we devoured our food we were invited to a church member’s house for tea. This young lady is 86 and she was just so sweet to us. At the tender age of 86 she was yearning to learn more about God’s word and how to apply it to her life. What an inspiration!
After tea, we went to “Sylvia’s” which is a Soul Food Restaurant. When we got there, we could hear the live Gospel Music that was playing so instead of taking it to go, which was our original plan, we decided to sit and enjoy. I love to eat and it was hard to contain my excitement. I ordered smothered pork chops, rice with gravy, and candied yams. The portion sizes were large and the food was great. Mimosas came with our meal and it was a great way to end a beautiful day! I took a piece of double chocolate cake to go and that would serve as a before bed snack! On our taxi ride back to the hotel we passed the “Malcolm Shabazz Harlem Market”. I saw African pieces and at that moment we decided that would be our adventure before we headed back to the Queen City.
We ate breakfast at the place we first visited and it was as good as our first visit. We ate, got our bags and checked out of our hotel, and we Ubered to Harlem. The Harlem Market was a lover of African Print’s dream! African prints, African fabric, African décor was everywhere. I bought a few gifts for my husband and a 6-yard Blue Dashiki print for myself. I absolutely loved that market. If I wasn’t leaving the country I’d make plans to go back to the Harlem Market!
This trip taught me a few things that I plan to take with me and hopefully you’ll be able to apply these to your life too.
1. Embrace adventure.
2. Don’t be afraid to not know where you are. Look around and enjoy.
3. Get out of your comfort zone and be okay with coloring outside of the lines.
Until next time, Enjoy the pics, Be Kind to One Another, and Be Uniquely You!
Hi! I'm Unique. Follow along with me as I try unique things and travel the world!