The First Time Solo

My first solo adventure was 9 years ago.

I had been made redundant and because they gave no notice, I received a nice litte payout.

I was umming and ahhing about what to do as 2 months in I still didn’t have a job. Then my sister suggested a holiday

I didn’t want to blow it all on a holiday but she found me a beauty of a deal! Return flight to NYC in August £250…SOLD!! (2009 btw)

Stayed in a Hostel in Harlem at a Hostel It was apparent to the locals quite quickly that I wasn’t a local before I even spoke so, I did get some stares but thankfully they were harmless. I did arrange to meet friends that were living there and, had  a nice afternoon being shown around  Brooklyn but, Being alone was the best part of my trip. I have my interests that don’t really fit with my family and friends…i guess some of my likes would be seen as…well odd. To have any of them and friends would truly hinder my enjoyment. I like to  get up and explore places and things…take my time…get lost on purpose and see where I end up.

I can spend hours in a  museum or Art Gallery if I see inspiring things. In NYC no matter where I went, when walking somehow, I would always end up walking through Times Square.


                           Trio of Sepia images from my solo trip to NYC. photos by Katty Janneh

The challenge I did have was in the evenings. I can go into a coffee shop, cafe etc and sit alone comfortably but i had never quite managed a bar or restaurant.

After 3 days I realised I was missing out and went for it going into a bar on a saturday night…and the one I went into had a ton of English people innit!  I had my birthday out there too and I was determined to have a nice meal out so, I found a lovely Chinese Restaurant with a nice seating area outside where I perched myself. I had looks and there was a couple of so-called fashionistas smirking at me…so they got a look.  It did what it needed too and I had a lovely meal.

And finally i went to Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market and had a ball. I found so may lovely vintage handbags that I had to buy another suitcase with all the presents I bought as well.

Another place I recommend is the Schomburg Centre for Research in Black Culture.I was able to view rare glimpses of the Harlem Renaissance and especially the photos of James Van der Zee. You can’t take books out but they did photocopy the images I wanted. The other highlights were MOMA and the Studio Museum in Harlem which was a 15 min walk from my hostel. I spent a lovely afternoon in which was my first experience of a museum with a focus on the black narrative. The Museum is in a temporary space for now whilst they construct a new museum. www..studiomuseum.org   

New York was good, I did enjoy it but i’m not in a hurry to return if I’m honest, There are so many places in the world that i want to tick off my list so onwards and upwards!

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