I didn’t really blog about my personal experiences when I first moved to New York, so I feel inclined to let you in on some of my random adventures from when I first moved here. So here you go. All names have been changed to protect my friends. Disclaimers: no cats were harmed and I do not support the use of drugs. Ok let’s begin.
Allow me to set the scene for you. It is Spring time in the city and I have two weeks left in my first semester at FIT. My roommate who is also my line sister who also abandoned me in Penn Station at 1 am a few weeks prior and I needed a break from each other. I may or may not go into detail about this in another post. We’ll see. Anyway. Enter stage left an old friend from Georgia Southern who has a really cute place in Harlem. She tells me that she is going home to Atlanta for a few weeks and offers to let me crash at her place while she’s away. (Dionn if you are reading this I will love you forever for this kind act of generosity, and I swear I will pay you back somehow one day soon.) My time in New York was winding down as I was heading home to Atlanta for the summer and I wanted to have one last fun night in New York before I left. Be careful what you ask for guys, because this night got really weird really quick.
I have a dear friend here who decided to indulge me in my quest for a last fling in New York. We will call her Chrissy. Chrissy and I started the day by going to the Everyday People brunch/day party. If you are ever in New York in the spring and/or summer then you should definitely attend this party. There are models, and B list celebrities as far as the eye can see. The music is amazing and people dance so hard that the floor literally feels like it’s going to cave in. Of course I am too fearful to take part in that part of the turn up. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad way for your family and friends to find out you died. Like oh yeah Jessica she died while drunk and twerking on a dance floor that fell in, in New York. Wait, now that I’m reading it, it does seem kinda cool. Anyway though Chrissy was talking to this really attractive security guard while I stood in the midst of some fashion hipster kids blowing clove cigarette smoke in my face. Yeah I’m totally that friend that stands by awkwardly while her friends get hit on by hot guys. I have yet to discover a way to not look like an abandoned puppy every time this happens. This is me trying to be cool.
Just to show you that God loves me, Chrissy’s phone completely blacked out on her as she was getting the guy’s number. We decided it was time to make an exit and get dinner, and then head to the 24 hour Apple store to get her phone reset. Note: if you are ever in New York and your phone dies or does that weird thing where it just cuts off for no reason, there is a 24 hour Apple store on Madison Avenue. It’s beautiful. You should just go there anyway.
Whilst at the fancy 24 hour Apple store Chrissy gets a call from a friend inviting us to hang out with him and his homegirls in Chinatown. We will call this friend Bentley. We hop on the train and head over to the address he gave us. Now let me just say this. Chinatown can be a really cool place in the right parts in the light of day. However, if you show up there at a random hour of the night it looks like a stereotypical scene from New York in the 80’s. Have you ever seen Big Trouble in Little China? No? Well you don’t know bad movies. It looks like you are going to discover a body like they do within the first 30 seconds of Law and Order SVU. It’s creepy.
We arrive at this address and the girl’s apartment is above a massage parlor. This should have been our first clue that this night was gonna be…questionable. Bentley shoots Chrissy a text saying: hey there are drugs up here don’t be alarmed. We just assume that he’s talking about weed or maybe pain killers. No. No he wasn’t. We walk up the most steep set of iron stairs I’ve ever seen in my life to this tiny apartment. We walk past a room where there is a hairless cat. If you do not know by now, I despise cats. They give me the creeps, but hairless cats freak me out on another level. They look like snakes with legs or something. Once in the room of Bentley’s friend we see five chicks doing a comical amount of cocaine. Have you ever seen Scarface? At the end of the movie when he’s sitting at his desk and there is a mound of cocaine there?
Yeah that. I have never seen people do cocaine in era life, but I didn’t want to overreact and freak them out so I played it cool. Surprisingly the girl offered us some, which I though then and still think now was extremely generous of her. She didn’t even know us, but was going to allow us to partake in her very expensive drug habit. How kind? Being the southern bells that we are we very politely declined and shot each other a glance that said: girl where the hell are we? Someone suggested that we all go to a techno club up the block and I said yes before they could complete the statement. So we gather our things and head out past the creepy hairless cat who shot me a glance that said: oh don’t worry shit is about to get way more strange.
We arrive at the techno club to meet up with their friends who are the children of some very affluent…Republicans. We will call them Republicans. They get bottle service, but order only vodka. I do not ever drink vodka. I imagine that if satan has tears they are made of vodka. I hate it that much. Chrissy and I are kind of standing back taking in the whole scene when suddenly we see the group we came in with put Molly’s in their drinks. Certain that this was going to lead to a police investigation involving a drug overdose, I decide I should probably head back to Harlem. At this point it is about 3 am and the characters on the subway at this hour are next level. During this train ride I witnessed a cat fight between three transexuals, and was propositioned by a small 4’11 man to “make some money.” Don’t tap out yet. Things got progressively more weird.
I finally come up out of the subway on the wrong side of Harlem. Again, my sense of direction is pure trash. Not only am I on the wrong side of Harlem but it is raining profusely. Not that cute rain at the end of a chick flick where the lead actress discovers she loves her best friend. It was raining like God was trying to pressure wash the streets of Harlem.
Behind me there is a Popeyes. To this day I do not know if this was a 24 hour Popeyes or if it had just opened or if it was closing. What I do know is that it was 4 in the morning and this Popeyes had a security guard. If you are ever in doubt about the safety of a neighborhood, you can pretty much bet that if there is a security guard at a fast food restaurant it ain’t good. So I ask the security guard how to get to 131st Street. Just then a toothless man comes and offers to pay for a cab for me. Again I am a gentle southern rose so I politely declined. This man cursed me out so bad, because he was offended that I would not take his money, and went on a rant about how if he were white I would’ve taken it. Sir if you are out there and reading this I want you to know that it was not because you were black. I am black. I did not accept your crumpled up dollar bills because you were toothless and angry.
I took off in a smooth sprint/jog towards 131st Street and by the glory of God saw a yellow cab stopped in front of a Catholic church. It was then that I had that recurring thought that my life is being secretly recorded because like no way. My saving grace actually came in the form of a yellow cab in front of a church. Look at God! Won’t He do it?! So anyway I got in the cab and headed to my temporary home in Harlem and I thanked God for sobriety and safety and slept until 2 pm the next day. And that is the story of Chinatown and a hairless cat.