On July 3, 2015, I went to NYC and went to Central Park for the first time!
Adventures Through Central Park
My Arrival in New York City
After a two hour delay after SEPTA (Philadelphia public transit) decided to change their trains to holiday schedule last minute, I arrived in New York City via a New Jersey Transit train at Penn Station at roughly 10:35 AM. When I exited the train, I followed the signs that led me to the Metro. I asked some people if there were any places where I could be a Metro card and they all pointed me in the right direction. The Hudson News shop would only take cash and I'm glad I had exactly $19.80 in cash to pay for the card.
Once I bought my Metro card, I followed more signs to get to Central Park. I needed to go Uptown, the one information lady said I had to go to 59th Street for Strawberry Fields. I thought it was weird because the travel book said 72nd Street, but she maintained it was 59th Street. I walked to the C stop, I spotted a musician playing and had to take a picture. Once I made it to the platform heading for Uptown and the Bronx, I saw another musician playing the steel drums. Although he was far away, I still shot a picture.
I hopped onto the C and departed the subway train at 59th Street. I quickly found out that I did need to get off at 72nd Street for Strawberry Fields, so I waited for the next C. I liked looking (and apparently photographing the signs) as I waited for the next train to come.
Once I arrived at the right place, I exited the subway station. When I was on the street, I asked a young couple for directions. I never printed directions from the subway to Strawberry Fields. They were friendly and were headed to Central Park; they showed me how to get to Strawberry Fields. It was only a five minute walk.
Central Park Adventures
A sign welcomed me and in 100 feet or so, I saw the Imagine tribute to John Lennon. It was very crowded with tourists from all over. There was a school group from Portugal and they were nice to talk to. I snapped my pictures. I then saw a musician playing Beatles songs on his guitar. I asked him if I could take his picture. He smiled and said, "Of course, you don't have to ask. You're an artist and artists shouldn't have to ask!" I smiled and said, "Well, I now ask because someone once got offended for me taking his picture in Philadelphia. He said I didn't know him and I had no right to a picture. He called me ignorant with bad manners." The musician extended his hand and said, "I'm John. Nice to meet you." I introduced myself and we talked for a bit. I took some pictures. He was really nice.
While I was talking to John, two foreign girls were listening in. They asked if I could take their pictures with the Imagine sign and I obliged. The one girl took a picture of me.
When we went our separate ways, I sat down to plan where I'd go next. I sat down next to this long haired, young guy who was sort of cute. We started talking and I said to him, "Are you from here?" "Yes?" "Do you use the Metro?" "Absolutely!" I was telling him how the Q changed and I needed an alternate way to Brooklyn to see the Morbid Museum. He wasn't sure about that, but he said since I was eating in East Village, there is a lot to do there if I didn't make it to Brooklyn. I told him I liked to write and asked if they had any poetry readings. He said they usually have poetry slams at night. I thanked him for his time and walked around a bit more.
On the way to the fountain, I saw they had an Alice In Wonderland display. I made my way to that, but the fountain and lake were so pretty! Then I was caught up in the performance by Peace Industry Music Group. They were amazing - the way the musicians played their instruments and the way the two vocalists sang, I couldn't help but singing along!
After seeing the Peace Industry Music Group, I finally made my way to the Alice In Wonderland display. However, before I arrived to that display, I arrived at a fountain with toy sails. I was amazed by the toy sail and had to watch and take pictures.
The Alice In Wonderland display was in back of that - it was an easy place to get to. When I arrived at the Alice In Wonderland display, I took my pictures, had someone snap some pictures for me, and it was just so magical watching the kids climb on Alice, the mushroom, hang with the caterpillar, and then pose with the Mad Hatter.
I sat down and saw an older woman, I would assume a hippie at one time because she was a gray haired woman, but had pink dyed ends. I asked her about the alternate way to Brooklyn. She wasn't sure, but her friend Nancy would be here soon and she worked in Brooklyn. We talked for a bit and she asked where I was visiting from. I told her I was from Philadelphia and I was spending the day in New York City for my birthday that was tomorrow. We talked for a good 10 minutes and I told her I was going to Balade, a Middle Eastern/Mediterranean restaurant in East Village. She exclaimed and said, "Oh! That place is so good! How did you get into that type of food?" I told her I studied Arabic for two years and we visited these type of restaurants a few times, but I always liked that type of food. She smiled and said that was neat. She also introduced herself as Mary.
Nancy finally arrived. She gave me some directions, then Mary told her a bit about me. Mary said, "Jessica is going to Balade for lunch. She's studied Arabic!" Nancy exclaimed, "Oh! Balade is my favorite place! And Arabic is such a beautiful language!" Then someone walking by overheard me talking about the subway and also gave me directions. After that, Nancy, Mary and I discussed Alice In Wonderland for 20 minutes. It was neat. I then had to leave for Balade.