Over the next year, as I post memories of my time in the big apple, I don’t plan on posting in any particular order. Whatever I feel like writing about each week is what you’re going to get but this week I do feel it’s necessary to start from the beginning of it all; the trip from Denver to New York.
On August 25th 2004 my father drove my mom and I to Union Station, Denver’s historic train station located in lower downtown. My luggage was an appropriate reflection of someone moving their life across the country and because of that, bag restrictions that come with flying meant we needed to find other means of travel. And so, my mom and I had planned to set off across America the old-fashioned way; Amtrak train.
Once everything was checked in we settled on the benches, probably 100years old, and waited with nervous excitement. My high school boyfriend made the trip downtown to see me off, giving me an awkward hug and kiss, assuring me that him going to college in Boston meant we’d see each other all the time. Oh young love. My mom and I hugged my dad goodbye, tears in eyes, and boarded our train to the east coast. Because of this exciting life transition, my mom splurged and purchased our own private room, first class baby! We thought we were so cool and glamorous. We settled in and for the next two days we watched Scrubs on DVD on my 20lb Dell laptop, a huge novelty in 2004. The room was extremely tight, only allowing for one person to stand at a time. Perhaps it can be considered practice for the tiny living spaces my future self would be living in. Our time on that train was special. Quality mother/daughter time that we’ll both cherish forever.
We arrived in NYC close to midnight on August 27th and I will never forget the feeling walking off that train and into hustle of Penn station. It was so amazing! So late on a Thursday and there were people everywhere! Where could they possibly be going this late at night!? I couldn’t stop staring, every person was so entertaining. It was like any movie set in New York come to life. It was magical!
We collected my bags and headed outside to the taxi line. At the time, this experience was so exciting! The taxi attendant was grumpy and non-communicative and made me giddy as it fit the stereotype I’d been warned about. If only I knew then that taxi lines after hours of travel would become one of my least favorite activities. Sometimes when I’m in one of those stressful travel moods, I try to remember how I felt that night. If only for a moment, it makes me feel a little lighter.
Once the cab was packed with the many suitcases and our frustrated driver threw a tantrum because one of the bags had to be his front seat passenger, we were off! Hotel bound and wide awake at 1am, I watched the city fly by with pure intrigue. I had arrived. My very first night in NYC, a blank page eager to be written on.
NYC meet Jessica. Jessica meet NYC. You’re about the spend the next 13 years together.