The morning started off early with my crawling out of bed after a night of restless sleeping and odd dreams. At the train station I sat next to Tom from South Carolina, who was travelling back home from Buffalo (his hometown). Tom and I shared some conversation, but he mostly slept. I dozed off for a few minutes and in broken patterns. He wished me luck with my travels, job searching, and life. He complimented how he left Upstate New York 13 years ago because of the same issue and said if I find an opportunity to take it no matter how much money is in the bank. Life is about taking risks, and money and success will come if you seek it out.
We stopped in Albany, where we stretched our legs. Tom smoked, and I shared his secondhand smoke, which was oddly satisfying.
While Tom was dozing, I stared over his head and out the window. The picturesque landscape had a natural sepia filter to it, which was really cool. Taking a picture was second-guessed and never taken, because I didn’t want to get the sleeping travel buddy in the frame. The guy across from me, whose travel buddy was in front of him, a suave and well-dressed man, had a unique appeal. He was also dressed differently than his friend. Talking to either of these gentlemen would have been a treat, and I should have. The stories they have probably are priceless, their presumed ages showed they’ve experienced a lot, and being African American only would enrich their anecdotes much more.
After exiting Penn Station, I bumped into a good elementary school friend of mine, Justin, who was leaving for Central New York. I hung out with him the last time I went to New York, Queens specifically. The thought did cross my mind, wondering if I’d cross paths with anyone familiar at the Penn Station. My intuition finally was correct.
Stepping out into the New York streets: There was no snow. Of course, it’s best not to think that NYC will ever get as much snow as Syracuse, but I hoped for a light dusting. After overshooting my destination by three or four stops, my arrival at the bed and breakfast, At Home In Brooklyn, was cordially welcomed by owner, Don Matteson, his friend and Italian artist Marco, and my sister-from-another-mister Rebecca. This place is as cozy as it looks on the website.
I set out for Hell’s Kitchen to meet John and his friends at The Pony Bar. I was hellbent on getting there, not only to see friends, but because I was starving. I had only consumed a sausage, egg and cheese croissant from Dunkin’ Donuts (breakfast) and half a bag of Peanut M&M’s (previously opened, bag rolled up to maintain freshness).
En route to the subway station at 7th Avenue, aiming for the Q, I ran into an old friend from SUNY Oneonta: Molly. Molly and I were both dual majors when Secondary Education and English were on our minds. We both dropped it, graduated with our respected degrees, and that was that. Cue life. We both did a double-take and talked for a minutes while walking to her gym. It was nice to catch up with her, and the surprise was a delight.
Here are aspects to my cozy room:
After the introductions to the group, I quickly ordered a sirloin burger with a side of chips and went to down on it. The food hit the spot. I tried a couple 8 oz. imperial stouts and a pint of Saranac Brewing Company’s Farm to Tap IPA. I got a nice slight buzz for so little. That will teach me to eat more.
The burger was cooked perfectly medium, topped with cheddar cheese, lettuce, and tomato. The pickles, however, were not anticipated. As normal habit, the pickle was to be consumed first. I put a quarter of pickle into my mouth and a burst of horseradish potently seeped out my pores. If this could be illustrated: My mouth was a bath filled with water and the pickle was a cat, which was thrown in without hesitation; put a cover on the tub and see how the cat freaks out.
Yet, aside the shock, this pickle is probably one of the best things that I’ve ever eaten. Although, I am not a huge fan of horseradish, the combination of dill was a symbiotic relationship for a delicious result. This was a fiery combination excited me to the nth degree so much that another quarter of the pickle spear was consumed. Doing this quickly and consecutively was a dumb idea on my part, but you live and you learn. This was as if Green Lantern formed a Hulk hand and uppercut my chin. Tears were brought to my eyes, and this was consistent with every piece of pickle; each was more potent than the last.
Dear The Pony Bar: thank you. This pickle is genius.
The sparkling facade welcomed me last night after evening out. This was after I overshot my destination by one stop and walked up and down Flatbush Avenue for five minutes each side of the subway station. Good thing I had my Schmackary’s red velvet cookie to keep me company. (The peanut butter cookie is currently waiting its consumption. Poor thing doesn’t know what’s going to happen to it.)
The first day, as short of time as it was, was a success. Now, it’s time to start thinking about where to apply, how to, and how to keep on top of the process without feeling discouraged.