“Empire State of Mind” by Jay Z featuring Alicia Keys announces the known New York! The song alone brags about New York and it convinces one to want it visit there; and see what’s going on or if it’s true what they say about the state. We (me and my best friend) went for a celebration, for her twenty-first birthday. As soon as we stepped off the plane I thought it was going to rain, it looked extremely cold and coming from Oakland, Ca; the weather was manageable. Being told before we arrived there that it was going to be cold, we on the other hand were able to adjust to it and some days we just dealt. We rode the train to Manhattan and walked up to the “Hostelling International USA,” where we stayed. We paid about one-hundred and fifty dollars apiece for five days in the hostel. You can’t get any better than that for something simple and decent in New York. The hostel is like a dorm that goes by gender.
There are female rooms and males on certain floors, who share a single room with a bunch of people you don’t know. We shared a room with four other/stranger women, but luckily for us we didn’t have to share the room until the last two nights. Not only that, but we had mini lockers in there as well, one per person to keep a few things in. The showers are in a big bathroom, where within the bathroom there were individual stalls with curtains to seal you off. I felt like was in a sorority team/home. We were cool with the situation, because we only used the hostel to sleep and shower. The people working there were around the same age as us and very friendly.
They informed us on where to go, what to do, and even hooked us up with passes for a few clubs (especially Webster Hall). We went a couple of times and it was fun. The train system was accessible and easy; you mainly need to know if you’re going uptown or downtown and your stop in either direction. Times Square is ridiculous with lights, there was this tall building that displayed pictures. When I walked up to the street I thought there was an M&M walking the street; the picture looked like a real digital image walking. I thought I was seeing things and I was it just looked that real. We went into Champs (a shoe store) and I bought a pair of Jordan’s. The ones I wanted too; white, orange, and gray. The employee gave me an “employee discount,” instead of paying eighty-five dollars, I only paid sixty. The guy told me also that taxes aren’t applied until you spend over a hundred dollars. Our eyes must have lit up, but we thought that was cool as well. Then there was Applebee’s (a restaurant) that was nice, there were two floors, and we ate on the second.
There were flat screens, a bar, and a nice view from our seating. Comparing theirs to the Applebee’s at home, New York wins. We did visit other places, such as Harlem, Queens, and Brooklyn and that was a cool experience. My most remember able moment was waiting on a cold evening in line for 106 & Park (a television countdown show on BET). We waited for about half an hour inside before we got into the studio. Once we were directed to particular benches to sit, we realized it is exactly how it is projected on t.v. I was going to try to be the “liveliest audience member” (which is where they pick the most energetic person to come on stage and announce the next music video), but they weren’t having one, because it was Worlds AIDS Day.
We did get to meet Magic Johnson, Jim Jones, and Julies Santa; besides and of course Roxy and Terrance who host the show. In between commercials they would play music and we would dance and talk among others. I was prepared for that day, I made a shirt the night before with shout-outs written on it and the new Jordan’s that I bought. I was ready to be noticed, but overall I enjoyed it, yet we enjoyed it. New York was more than I expected and yes, I would go back.
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