Sunday, September 13, 2009
Cat Reality: My trip to the Big Apple
The main reason I never desired to live in New York--even though over the years I would entertain the idea after a well enjoyed movie set in the bustling city--was the cold. I had learned very early that the temperature drop in the Big Apple could be alarmingly severe, so I blanked that city as a potential place to live. There was also the fact that the cost of living could make your heart stop. All these thoughts were brushed aside when I had to make a quick and unexpected trip to this much talked and fantasised about city to attend the Arise Africa Fashion as part of the annual Fall season Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.
I raided my aunt's purse for money to make the trip, packed an overnight suitcase, rushed down to Bethesda to take the Tripperbus, on which I was the only black person on the bus besides the driver and ironically was seated at the back of the bus, and began my four hour sojourn to the city. The trip was pleasant and uneventful--
I digress: One of the things I always loved about living in Nigeria was the option to travel. Through travel, I was able to experience the complex and beautiful land that is my fatherland. As you passed through each town, the terrain would change, the people would evolve, the sights, smells and colours would mesmerize. Then there was the "buka" food at the various rest stops--if you were going by public transport--or the toll-gate shopping. I loved it all and could not get enough of it.
--there was nothing to look at on the drive from DC to New York. I mostly slept and tried to keep an hourly account or observation of my trip on my HP Vista laptop that faithfully failed to connect with the available wireless connection provided on the bus whilst everyone around me was able to.
When I got to New York, I stepped off the bus and the first thought that popped into my head was "This is like DC on crack." First of all, it was raining and it seemed like everyone was running somewhere, wet and neurotic. I bumped into so many people and apologised but they were so busy hurrying along, they did not respond.
Then it happened, I had to go meet up with a friend who was allowing me to come over, change in her place, leave my stuff while I attended the show--I was going to be spending the night with a cousin I had not seen in years--and rest a while. The catcher, I had to ride the New York Subway.
It is the dirtiest thing you have ever seen. It was like Ojuelegba bus stop with electricity. It was dank, outdated and smelly. The entrance was narrow and there were no escalators for people with suitcases or elevators for the handicapped. There was no one to ask, no maps on the trains to check where you were or where you were going and I got on at rush hour so everyone and their mama was on it. Thankfully, there were people whom I asked for directions who told me exactly where to get off and how to go.
It was at that moment, I realised that I loved DC. I had been so unkind to my resident state that I had overlooked how much good stuff we had. I use the metro all the time and cannot imagine what I would do if I it looked like the one in New York. Maybe, I would be used to it and not be so bothered...
I attended the show. It was beautiful. I am looking forward to the day when everything in my wardrobe is completely African. From my lingerie, make up to hair extensions. The show started late but it went so fast that it was over at the time i expected it to be. I could not take good pictures because my camera's zoom was not that strong and since I was standing--got a free ticket--I could not get that good a view.
Highlights: Tiffany Amber's collection and Eric Raisina's collection. Oluchi was on the runway and so was
I had fun. Got a taste of the city and realise that if I am to live there, I want a nice, clean uptown neighbourhood....and a car.