nyc outlook - rewind 10 years.

 life is constantly changing 
& mine has especially in the last few years...

i found the below article that i wrote for my hometown newspaper in 2002 about my first visit to the city i now call home...
i haven't decided yet if my life has taken a crazy turn from what i had planned... or if i've just gone completely crazy. 

anyway - enjoy & don't judge me for this lame 
and  way too LONG of a story. 
take that & rewind it back - to 10 years ago...

or not? 

“City girl? Well, maybe not.”  
(*terrible title - i'm aware)

Thursday, August 15, 2002 12:00 AM CDT

"City girl."

This term had always appealed to me. It just sounds so fun, independent, and different than anything I have ever been. Well, it did appeal to me -- until I traveled into the streets of where real "city girls" reside -- New York City. I found out very quickly that I am no where near "city" material, and the "city people" were quick to label me just what I have always been and will always be--"the practical southern belle."

I was ecstatic as four of my sorority pledge sisters and I planned this trip up north. We visited another friend from school that is from Pennsylvania. I had always wanted to go up north, especially to NYC!
So during the week of July 20-27, I got to experience this dream! We visited in Pennsylvania for a few days, before loading a train early Monday morning (and, by the way, I had no idea trains were actually still used for transportation!) This started the trip off in a neat way, but it sure was a hassle! We unloaded and loaded at three more train stations before arriving at our destination. Finally, there we were--five Arkansas girls trying to flag down a taxi to our hotel!

My first impression was definitely what I had always imagined--humongous buildings, tall billboards, millions of people everywhere, and crazy taxi cab drivers who were not afraid to run over the millions of people everywhere… As we rode in our Lincoln taxi, I stared out the window and ooed and aaaed at the scenery.(Take note that this was the first and last Lincoln taxi we took--yellow cabs did just fine for us after the Lincoln's $30 charge for less than five blocks)

Our first day in NYC was filled with shopping on Fifth Avenue! Wow, I had always dreamed of saying I'd been there! We also walked through St. Patrick's Cathedral, as mass was taking place! Man, talk about a beautiful church! After about an hour of shopping, I declared that I definitely had not saved enough money for this trip--it was going quicker than I could hand it out!

After a full day of shopping, we got ready for our first night on the town! We ate at an awesome bar and grill in Times Square, which I could probably write an entire article on by itself! The lights and nightlife were amazing! There were people everywhere, but for some reason, the five girls from Arkansas were quite an attraction! As people would catch an earful of our accents - they were hooked. Finally, we decided we were just going to act mute, so people would quit making a big deal out of us…but that didn’t quite work.

We got on a local television, though, the first night, as we called the hogs and told all about Arkansas! (Don't worry, we represented it well!) We also made friends with a NYPD cop and "The Naked Cowboy," a guy who stood in the middle of Times Square in his underwear, cowboy hat and boots! (Don't ask!-- that's NY for ya I guess? )

Our second day started off early, as we ventured down into China-town and SoHo! These are locations where you can buy fake name brand things for almost nothing. This day, however, was the hottest day I had felt all summer, and with all the people, things were less than enjoyable. All I wanted all day was a bottle of water--instead of a fake Gucci purse -- but the bottle of water was more expensive, so I just settled for the purse instead (which in fact had “C’s” monogrammed on it instead of “G’s” – which makes me the thirsty idiot.)

This second day was also the most memorable, because we visited Ground Zero. The sight was very cleaned up, but it was still so emotional to see the actual location. Workers were still cleaning and people were everywhere. This day made me realize that what happened to our nation was real and not just something that took over our television stations.

As I stood and looked at the site, there was the largest American flag I'd ever seen, - flying freely in the wind. This gave me an emotional and raw sense of patriotism - but what stood out to me most was a cross - crafted out of the building’s structure beams. This stood in the center of the site and moved me in a more personal way.  I thanked God that no one I knew was involved and took a few moments to pray for the many families that did have loved ones involved or lost in this terrorism tragedy.

This second night we also did what I had always thought of when traveling to New York--we saw the Broadway play "The Lion King” - nothing short of amazing!

It was now time for our third and last day. As we sat in our hotel with no money and  completely out of ideas of anything to do with NO MONEY – we went with the obvious option and decided to try to get on TV again. So--we went to a convienence store and got a box out of the trash dumpster and made a sign. This sign accomplished our final goal--we were on the Today Show! We made a sign, wore Razorback noses, and matching "I love NY" shirts--and not only got on the show, but they talked to us and let us call the Hogs! We were so excited, after that, but to make it better--Katie Couric made time to come and talk to us and take a picture with us during a commercial break! Hey--we finally had an advantage to being "the Arkansas girls!"

As the day ended, we went back to Pennsylvania -- with no money and not enough space to carry all of our purchases! This was an amazing and unforgettable trip--I saw Fifth Avenue, the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Rockefeller Center, The Empire State Building, etc. But I learned that I love the South--the friendly people and slower pace of life! I will never wish to become a "city girl" again--I'm just fine as "the practical Southern belle."

1 comment:

  1. You thought you were PRACTICAL once? PRACTICAL?!!!!!?!!?!?!?!?!??!?!