How I think of New York City:
It’s dream like, it’s big, it’s flashy, it’s everything I run from…but I am drawn to the unquoted conversations that stir as I people watch, as I wonder where they are going, as I think of what I would do if I lived in the city, as I think of how lucky I am to have this the opportunity to travel the country.
My NYC “Plan”:
In my six months plus living out of the van I have only paid twice to park and once for a hotel because the weather got below zero. So, I decided to make a “plan” to splurge a bit to get a hotel in Manhattan for one night. Getting the hotel would be costly but I would have piece of mind knowing pup was safe while I was out. I could make it a full blown touristy day and see all the sites. Plus I was told about a group run on Saturday that would run the Brooklyn Bridge out and back. Well…like I have always said never make real plans because plans fall apart or get broken. Then you’re left feeling sad cause you missed out.
How my NYC “plan” fell apart:
I was excited for the Brooklyn Bridge group run even tough it was road running. Meeting and running with people is what makes my journey fun. Come to find out the same day the group run would be is the Brooklyn Half Marathon. I reach out to the person that mentioned the run to find out if the group was still meeting, no response. I reach out to the group organizers to find out, no response. No worries….they are road runners I tell myself. As a trail runner you learn how roadies can be so no biggie because I can just do my own thing.
Now that I don’t have the group to organize around I can start to plan my quick day and half tour of NYC. My go to for hotels has always been La Quinta Inns mainly cause they are pet friendly. I log into my LQ App on my phone and low and behold there is one in Manhattan with a perfect location to everything! Booked! I happen to be talking with my friend later the same night I booked the room. She tells me that she heard that the Manhattan LQ is the only non pet friendly location. Thinking she was joking I called the hotel to confirm her story. Holy crap it’s true! All I could do at this point is talk to the Manager in the morning. I stressed a bit over how expensive it was and how I missed the deadline to cancel. Realizing that stressing wouldn’t help I started create ideas of how I would spend my time in NYC like I originally planned. A short call in the morning to the manager and it was cleared up. He was hesitant at first and said it clearly states on the website no pets. Told him that may be the case but I only use the LQ App which does not state in details about no pets. I calmly won the debate and he canceled.
My new NYC idea:
“I call it an idea not a plan. Plans change. Plans get broken. Plans prevent us from following the moments that lead to who we are, where we should to be, what we are suppose to do.” This is one of my plan quotes I say and truly believe in to this day.
Letting all the negatives pass by I start to create the new ideas which will be just rolling with whatever comes. First stop is Liberty State Park in New Jersey. This is where you can take the NJ ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. My plan is to just walk with up and take a few pictures quickly. But this park is awesome! It’s huge and has a lot of green space so we took a long stroll.
I met a lady as we were walking that wanted to say hi to pup. She kept calling him a Collie. I let her call him one because it’s not worth the argument. Jayden ran up to her without his normal gruffle bark. Then she started crying as she pet him, she just lost her dog a month ago. I let her vent about her dog and how great he was as well as the breed itself. She asked where we were from and I gave her the short story to focus in her. Her son is a trail runner, hiker, adventurer too and lives in New Hampshire. She is going to the same farm to possibly get a new pup this weekend. She asked me if I thought it was to soon? Told her it would probably be good and it’s never to soon or late to wait. She will know when the time is right and the new dog will never be the same as the other dog. Before I left I told her I was giving her a big hug…and I did. After I did, pup ran up to her turned his butt to her for a pet. She smiled big and I noticed a tear roll down her cheek from under her sunglasses… she patted his bum and walked away.
I don’t write many stories of all great people I have met along the way. This just goes to show that following plans are good to a point but following the moment is what we are meant to do. That lady needed that hug, that conversation, my silly dog and his butt petting fetish. I wouldn’t have been there at that time if my plan worked out.
As for the rest of NYC it was fun driving down Time Square, getting honked at by every cab driver, hanging out in Central Park all afternoon. But the best was my straight dirtbagging it and boondocking on the streets of NYC! I literally slept in my van on the corner of the Upper Westside of Central Park!