“Darker than the East River, larger than the Empire State…” – MF DOOM, Kon Karne
For years I have wanted to visit New York. I finally got to do so on the way to a destination wedding in Dominican Republic in July. We had an 18 hour layover in Newark, New Jersey, so Gloria and I decided to take an Uber to Manhattan. Even with traffic, it took us just over half an hour to get there. Our first stop was The Flatiron Building. It was great to finally see it in person, as we have artwork of it.
From there, a nice view of the Empire State Building and a few snacks at a nearby cafe.
While walking through the Manhattan borough, we stumbled upon the Museum of Sex(NSFW?) and spent a bit of time there, but didn’t fully explore it nor buy tickets. Trying to see NYC in 1 day is tough.
After several blocks, we found ourselves in Times Square. It’s HUGE, and there were so many people! It was cool to see it lived up to the hype.
Eventually it was time to meet up with my childhood friend, Danielle, who I had not seen in over a year. We walked several blocks to find her waiting for us at Waverly Diner, one of her favorite spots in NYC. As expected, it was a wonderful reunion. The service that night wasn’t spectacular in my opinion, but I did enjoy my meal, and the company I enjoyed it with was the most important part.
Getting back to Newark, New Jersey was a bit of a struggle. Uber surge prices were at over $135 for the 30 minute ride back. It took a while to hail a cab in the busy streets. Between Gloria and Danielle, there should have been enough leg to get a cab to stop quicker (Gloria and Danielle’s words, not mine 🙂 ).
When they were successful in finding a cab, the charge was still $100, a number the driver just pulled out of the air (by comparison, the Uber ride from Newark to NYC was $66). We just didn’t feel like paying $100+ for a ride, so we ended up taking the subway and a taxi in New Jersey for a total of $30.
The next morning, we were off to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic for the wedding of Crystal and Michael, friends of Gloria. Upon arrival, we were lucky to find a young woman from New Jersey named Julia, also traveling to the same resort we were staying at, and ended up cab sharing. Confresi Palm Beach Spa & Resort was beautiful.
Crystal and Michael had a lovely ceremony on the beach. I’m glad we got to share in the joy with them.
The next day, after grabbing breakfast, we got suckered into a tour of the resort for a timeshare-like offer. As nice as the resort was, staying at the same resort and not seeing any of the city or country I’m in isn’t that much fun after enough days. Still, they had a lot to offer, including Dominican Rum and everything needed to make Mama Juana.
VIP Pool, and a ridiculous villa.
As part of the resort package, we had a scheduled dinner at one of the nicer restaurants. We chose Indochine, and I was happy with the decision.
Before we knew it, the trip had breezed by. We did run into some minor issues on the way back. Somehow there was “potential bomb residue” on my hands in the Newark airport on the way to Houston, then Austin. We were already close to missing our flight, and this delay didn’t help. They said that this actually happens a lot, but better safe than sorry. After I was cleared, we ran to our gate and got seated on the plane, only to find out that they needed a few people to get off the plane as United overbooked and some flight attendants wanted to catch this flight to Houston. As the offer increased to $800 per person, Gloria gave me the nudge to get up. We were given a voucher for $800 each towards our next flight, a Best Western Plus voucher for the night, and meal vouchers. We would have been stuck in Houston anyways because of the flight delay, so this worked out greatly in our favor! There was a cool hip-hop/jazz event going on across from our hotel, but we only caught the end of the performances. The city isn’t as rough as I’ve heard, at least from what we saw. Newark Loves you bruh.
It was another successful trip. I’m glad I got to experience an all-inclusive resort, but I don’t think it’s my thing. I didn’t get to see much of the city or country. The hard part was knowing about the current events of the country, but I was advised by more politically-savvy friends that not going would only hurt the locals that work at the resort. Gloria recently shared this image with me, and it’s very accurate to our lives:
I’ll do the little I can to help people, and one day I’ll be able to help the world on a large scale. Anyways, that’s all for now. Until next time.
Song of the post: MF DOOM – Kon Karne. This might actually be my favorite MF DOOM track, though any song from Madvillainy can compete.