It’s been about two months since I’ve been home after a couple of years away. I am so happy to be back home. After living in South America and Europe for almost four years, it feels really good to be back.. Grad school itself was exhausting and mind consuming, so yeah, I damn near ran all the way to Brooklyn. In anticipation of being home, I was chock full of ideas with things I was going to do, dishes to cook and people I would spend time with.
Chile, I lied.
Where the hell was I going with little to no money in this expensive ass city. The subway fares alone keep me at bay. Here is a list of more things I thought I was going to do when I got back.
- Cook what I learned on the Road I was talking to a friend who asked me what was the first thing I ate when I got back to NY. My answer? A sammich from the corner bodega. For those not familiar with NYC jargon a sammich is a sandwich from the corner store usually referred to as the bodega, a Latino-owned establishment. Living in Europe and South America taught me how to make different types of dishes including crepes, duck confit, different thai specialties and many more delicious meals. I was introduced to spices I had never cooked with before. My plan was to come home and make amazing dinners for my family…et voila!! But as soon as I settled in, I knew it wasn’t happenin’. At least not right now. It was much easier to just buy something that I had been craving sporadically during my travels, and for me it was a tasty sandwich from the corner bodega.
- Meet up with Friends This was actually tough. Coming back home I was eager to meet up with my peoples…but I wanted to relax at home first with my family. It had been a tough year of paper writings and dissertations and I had just finished a month-long jaunt to southern Spain. Since I plan on being home for a while, I figured I’d see all of my friends… eventually. Usually, when I’m back from a trip, I post on social media or call some friends up. This time, however, I chilled. Though some people knew I was home through Instagram, even less reached out to see how I was doing and to be honest, it kind of hurt.The older I get the smaller my circle becomes and I feel OK about that. On a brighter note, those who wanted to get in touch did, and some even came to see me.
- Eating healthy One of the things I learned while traveling was a way to eat healthy. Crazy considering I damn near devoured everything in sight. I wanted to try all new flavors and spices but I also wanted to eat in moderation. It was fairly easy but when I got home, that shit went out the window. I arrived at the beginning of the holiday season. Not only did I eat dem sammiches, but I had everything else my momma cooked at home. Did I gain weight? Hellz yes, but it was worth it. I’ll start getting back into shape when everyone else does- at the beginning of the new year. Sike!
- Appreciate the sights and sounds of NYC Girl, bye. I’m a New Yawka at heart, this is where I was born and raised. True New Yawkas have been appreciating this city our whole lives; we revel in it. Sure there are new things I want to see and things that have popped up since I’ve been gone ( I had to ask what the hell the green taxis were for), but it’s called the city that never sleeps for a reason.
- Immediately start looking for work Now this has taken a bit of time mainly due to the holiday season. But I’m back and roarin’ to work. I’ll be honest and say I haven’t tried as much as my peers, I wanted to take advantage of being in Europe and travel around a bit. I’ve come home and deflated but it has not been easy getting back into the swing of things. Now I’m taking my time, looking at my options, rediscovering my passions and tailoring my resume to suit. I’m ready world!
- Tell my friends all about my travels See number 2. I love my close group of friends, but I have spared them from countless stories and they, in turn, have spared me from glazed over eyes. We understand each other.
- Chilling in NYC What the hell?! NY has always been a relatively expensive city but GAHT DAMB! New restaurants and little eateries popping up in places that were more or less affordable. Gentrification has reared its ugly head in some of my most favorite places, bringing with it high prices. It’s ridiculous. It’s already taken over South Brooklyn. But something that I have noticed is the number of closed down restaurants. Is the tide turning? Transportation in the city is something else, with the price of the train fare going up. In March 2015, there will be another fare hike which will break the bank of many NY’ers.
But I digress. New York City is still one of the BEST cities in the world. Hopefully, I’ll find a fulfilling position that will make it easier to enjoy all of its comforts.
Any advice for free or low-cost things to do in the city?