Dreaming in Central Park

Part 2: Dreaming in Central Park

New York

September 20, 2014 

Somehow, I made it out of that hell hole and am currently sitting in beautiful Central Park. Who knows how many bed bugs I slept with! I could hear the Brazilians snoring all night. I wonder if I snored. At first, I wondered if I’d even be able to fall asleep. I was pretty paranoid. 

I woke up around 8:00 and got ready. The Brazilians were kind enough to share their breakfast with me.  Reuben, especially, was super nice. We all walked to the subway together at 10ish. Thank God because I’m certain I would have gotten lost on my own. 

I was NOT sorry to say goodbye to that hostel. In fact, I didn’t. I just left. 

I felt another rush of sadness when the Brazilians left me on the subway. They were going to Rockefeller and I was carrying on to FIT Hotel. I found it pretty well with the help of a power-washing guy and a kind doorman across the street. It looks much nicer than whatever the hell Grand Glamour Boutique was. Urgh. It makes me shudder to think about. URGH! 

Anyway, I am going to try to find Times Square now and meander about. 

PS: There are a lot of dads around with strollers. Daddy Daycare or something. Hah! 

Later: 4pm

I’ve had quite the day so far! Now I’m back in Central Park. All around me, people are jogging, walking, and taking horse-drawn carriage rides. Lots of people are biking or reading on their own or lying in the grass with someone too. One couple is even throwing paper airplanes.  Behind me, a guy is playing “Life Goes On” on the guitar.

This morning, I wandered through the park in all its splendour. As I was walking, the sound of music caught my ear. I made my way over to it and there was some sort of German parade! I took a lot of pictures to show Omi. It’s the time of year when the leaves are just beginning to change colour and it’s beautiful. What a lovely place to dream. I love looking at the rowboats on the lake; it’s like a scene from a movie. I wonder what the people in the rowboats are talking about. It reminds me of William and Rosalie when he told her that he wanted to kiss her. I wonder if anyone will ever take me out on a rowboat. If I ever come back to New York (of course, I will) I’m going in a rowboat. I promise you!

Central Park is a good place to people watch and think about the impossible. When I envision all the people who have met here and fallen in love walking through the tree-clad paths, or people who have thought of their next book idea sitting on these benches, it really blows my mind. 

Afterwards, I went to Trump Tower (no sight of Donald) and went up the elevator. I also hurt my neck when I tried to take a picture because it was so tall and I had to crane it uncomfortably. 

I walked past Tiffany’s (there was a good-looking security guard) and then I wandered aimlessly. I was looking for Times Square but I didn’t have a map. I happened to stumble upon a BOMB SQUAD instead where I saw a guy dressed up like Guy Pearce in The Hurt Locker. It was scary! I left pretty quickly when I saw that. Other idiots stuck around to take pictures. 

After passing Radio City Music Hall and Magnolia Bakery, I took a rest just outside of Central Park and two guys sat beside me. One started talking to me. He asked if I was alone and when I said yes, he said that says a lot about my personality. He said I’m brave. Maybe I shouldn’t tell strangers I’m by myself. Anyway, he was actually kinda funny but then he said:

“Hypothetically speaking, if we lived on the top floor of that building, would you come up with us?”

WEIRD.

Then he said, “What would we do? Watch movies?”

His friend told him to stop talking to me because I looked young and the police might come.

Anyway, I don’t know what that was about but I got up to leave shortly after. I don’t mind talking to strangers but that was just weird. I was just trying to eat my pretzels.

Alright, well, I’m going back to my hostel now to check-in. I like being by myself but it would be nice to have someone to talk to. 

Later – 9pm

I forgot to tell you that I bought a book today. I bought it at an outdoor store called Strand Bookstore. I bought The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir, author of She Came to Stay which we are reading in book club and which I am in love with. It’s really a fascinating book.

Right now, I’m sitting in my room. It is 1000% nicer than whatever hell I was in yesterday. It’s just me and another girl but I haven’t met her yet. I went back to the hostel around 5ish, got internet, and met a German boy named Georg but unfortunately, he won’t be staying here because he booked a woman’s room by accident and they don’t have room for him.  It’s a shame because I really want to hang out with him. Or SOMEONE. 

I didn’t go out tonight because I didn’t want to be in the dark by myself. I did go for a walk earlier but it was a bit scary so I came back. Instead, I’ll just have an early night so that I can have energy for tomorrow. It was quite the adventurous day and I’m proud of myself. Tomorrow, I am exploring Central Park in detail. Woohoo! Gotta take a shower and all that so I hope I wake up bright and early! 

September 21, 2014

Back in Central Park overlooking the sailboats in the water. I could honestly stay here forever. It’s a bit cloudy today, quite muggy actually, but I am thankful it hasn’t rained.  It feels so nice to be able to wake up early and then head straight for the park. I did hear some guy only call me a “seven” when I walked by (haha) but it couldn’t put a damper on my spirit. I walked and walked and saw and saw. It is so peaceful and beautiful that I swear your soul is lifted to another realm. I can’t describe what exactly it does to your heart – you have to experience it on your own. 

At Turtle Park, I talked to an old man who was a real “New Yorker.” He showed me the turtles and his glasses kept fogging up because the air was so humid. Then he walked me to the Ramble. 

I walked past a group singing Amazing Grace by the Bethesda Fountain and it brought tears to my eyes.  It was absolutely uplifting and I think if you had heard it, you would have felt something too.

I could get lost in Central Park for hours. There are so many hidden treasures to discover. Although there is still a lot going on, it’s a different sort of busyness, a quiet busyness. Like a hardworking mother who never complains.

Later: 8:33pm

Back in my hotel room for the night. I took a deep breath and did Times Square in the evening. Now I know I can do anything. Afterwards, I took the subway home and walked by myself – in the dark! I know it’s not “late” but everything is scarier in the dark, don’t you think?

I have to admit, I was a bit frightened I would have trouble with the subway, but I found it alright. People were more than willing to help. I like that about people. I always thought I would have such a hard time in NY because people would be all mean and scary, but turns out, there are plenty of good people in the world. It’s not as scary as I thought it would be. Maybe I just had a prejudice against New York or made up a bad image in my mind because I was scared. I guess it’s proof you really have get to know someone before you judge them. 

I simply love Times Square! I was there this afternoon too but it’s just a whole different experience at night. New York makes you feel ALIVE. There’s something about it. Maybe it’s because the city itself is so alive. You can feel its pulse in every corner you turn. Its blood flows in the cars that race the street. So many sights and sounds! You can’t go ten seconds without hearing a taxi honk its horn, or brakes screech to a halt, or music drifting through the air, or someone shouting. And it makes you want to be part of it – even if your part is just sitting on a park bench watching it all happen. Or maybe your part is to walk down the street with a smile on your face. Or to sit a cafe with a cup of coffee.  The hustle and bustle is inspiring. Makes me wonder how many people have been inspired by New York. I wonder how many people have dreamed dreams that have turned into realities. And I wonder if there have been other 22 year old girls like me who have left the comforts of home and walked through Times Square, not feeling too small for the world anymore.

I wonder what it would be like to live in NYC. Do you always love it or does it lose its shimmer and shine? I’ll have to ask someone sometime.

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