At 21 years old I had always wanted to see New York City. I lived in New York State at the time at the completely opposite side of the state in Buffalo. I went home to visit family in Indianapolis, Indiana for the holidays and had planned a visit out that way with my girlfriend Katie.
It was a bad weather year because on the first leg of our trip we had great difficulty going from Indianapolis to Buffalo. We ended up stuck in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for 12 hours. When we were finally on a plane I so wished we were going directly to New York City, but we only returned to Buffalo.
We were supposed to have a place in stay in New York City. My friend Katie’s grandmother had a little studio in Greenwich Village in the borough of Manhattan on Bleecker Street for $125 a month rent. You have to love rent control!! Her grandmother was sick at the time and had relocated to Indianapolis, but the family had kept the apartment. Some family friends in the area supposedly had the key we could use.
The trip to “the City” was long. We took the 12 hour regional train ride that stopped in every little town between the two destinations. Passing through the towns of Rome and New Amsterdam I thought of their counterparts in Europe. What a long train ride after the airport delay and dealing with the snow of Buffalo. I have to say it was all worth it. Arriving to Penn Station I was amazed by “the City”. What a wonderful place. So much energy, so many people, so much to do. And we were there for New Year’s Eve!! Wow, something to take off my bucket list.
Luckily we were able to make contact with the family friends with the apartment key in the middle of the night and slept comfortably that evening. The apartment had so much character and was located in such a great neighborhood with lots of history. I loved the corner store as well where we would get fresh bagels that were delivered daily from the borough of Brooklyn.
New Year’s Eve we hit the streets to celebrate a tradition that started in 1907, the ball drop in Times Square to mark the turning of a new year. Off to Times Square we went. Being young the cold was not an issue; we were wrapped up in warm clothes and the large crowd all packed together helped to keep us warm too. I met the nicest people from around the world. Of particular I remember a couple from London who had celebrated there and then flew to “the City” to celebrate in Times Square. I also remember seeing Paul Shaffer from “The Late Show with David Letterman” hosting his own show near our location. We had lots of fun, used lots of energy, and had lots of good vibes with the crowd to bring in the New Year.
I almost moved to the apartment on Bleecker Street that year, but in the end I ended up back in Los Angeles. Katie’s family ended up giving up the apartment since no one was ever going to live there again. I’ve visited New York another 3 or 4 times since and have never felt that same energy of that New Year Eve’s experience. I’ll probably never make it back there again on December 31st, but I can say I did once celebrate the New Year in one of the best places to celebrate the holiday in America out there!!!
Topic tomorrow: Having fun at Camp Snoopy, Knott’s Berry Farm