I begin my travel experience with an extreme sense of excitement. It should first of all be known that I never really have “time off”. I work multiple jobs all year round, am a full time student most of the year, have my own dance company, and somehow manage to maintain healthy relationships with family and friends. Needless to say, I really never take breaks from my day to day routine even while on the road.
This trip is different though.
My phone will be off for most of my travels. I have brought countless journals with me to document my experiences, and I truly submit myself to the whims of my inner travel agenda as well as the ways of the various groups I will be traveling with. I will be spending a day in New York City before leaving for Israel on a ten day Taglit-Birthright trip with a group of forty other Berkeley Hillel students from my school. When I return from Israel, I will stay in New York City for five more days visiting with family and friends, and taking advantage of my rare travel to the East Coast!
Today I flew from San Diego to JFK Airport and took the subway into Manhattan. The subway is apparently the cheapest way to get into the city, but it takes longer than taking the Long Island Railroad. For those with a looser budget, taking a taxi is definitely the fastest way to go but because I would rather spend money on food and not transportation, and because I didn’t have a schedule, I sucked it up and buckled down for some excellent people watching on the New York Subway.
Because of the time difference and long flight, I arrived to my friend Briana’s apartment in Greenwich Village totally starving, so we went out to dinner at Arturo’s. We enjoyed incredible Italian food as well as ambient live music in this homey and adorable local eatery. From there, I took advantage of my time-difference energy and dragged us to the famous Nuyorican Poets Café on the Lower East Side for a poetry slam. This is a venue I have heard so much about, and have actually visited other times I was in New York. I had never seen a poetry slam there though- and that is what they are famous for. Incredible artists have come through this venue and it is truly legendary to get to experience the creative and sharp atmosphere fostered for poets here. It just so happened that their poetry slams occur late on Friday nights, so after standing in an extremely long line and cramming ourselves into an aisle way seat on the floor, we finally made it to the Nuyorican Poetry Slam.
The slam itself was so full of energy and flavor- I highly recommend checking out this venue for any sort of event when you are in New York. The work they do is incredible and I am honored to have been able to witness the history they continue to make here. The doors for the slams open at ten on Friday nights, but a line usually starts to form around nine so be sure to get there early! They turn people away every weekend and I promise this is absolutely worth waiting in the cold for.
For more information, visit http://www.thedefianceproject.com/day-1-dec-28th-2012-travel-to-nyc/