Scary Situation While at Work...The Suspicious Packages
Working on my corporate gig started out as a normal day. Came into the office a little late, thanks to a heater situation, however still getting a good start on the day. So as the hours passed, I received an alert on my phone. Of course this alert came in while I was daydreaming, needing to get back to work. The alert notified that there was “Police Activity” on W58th St. I work near Grand Central Station (Around 42nd St. on the East Side of Manhattan). Although alarmed, I wasn’t worried.
Taking a break, I ventured outside and saw normal New York activity. People rushing to from work. Food stands full of customers, police sirens (very normal), and horns blowing because someone stayed in place two seconds after the light turned green. Normal New York afternoon.
Coming back into the office, I got an alert that there was a suspicious package in the building I worked in. WAIT WHAT!?!? HERE??! NOW!?!? Grabbing my stuff to get the hell out, I pondered about why this was happening. My mind immediately went to the 9/11 documentaries I tend to obsess over. Knowing what really happened in those offices, their thoughts, their last words, and things that could have possibly saved them. Like the notion of getting the hell out. See, within the docs I watched, planes hit one of the towers and the employees within were told that things were “under control”. Next thing you know, CHAOS!
Leaving the building, there was a bit of madness. Men in suits walking fast-style to elevators and once I reached outside, there was a line of NYPD officers holding rifles in front of the building. Another slew of officers lined up sitting on motorcycles, sniffing dogs and more officers putting up barricades.
What the hell?!?!
Who could function during this madness? I couldn’t. Watching the news earlier due to my phone alert showed a pipe bomb being mailed to the CNN center, causing everyone to be evacuated. Now I have to be evacuated. Scary sh*t! And newer alerts advising that “packages” were sent to Obama and Hilary Clinton. Not understanding any of this, I took on my first instinct to ensure the trains were still operating along with praying that nothing was going on there as well.
Gathering outside and comparing notes with a few co-workers, “I’m going to head on home.” Was my final decision. Although the situation was said to be “defused”. NYPD was still surrounding the place. I didn’t feel comfortable going back in until the last officer left. Why are you still here? I’m glad you’re here but why? I watch too many documentaries and drama TV shows (art imitates real life) to know that there are always something else to the situation.
Feeling a little better as I was on the train back to Harlem, scenarios ran through my mind. Is this real life now? Leaving your work space because people want to be crazy?!?! And it’s all for some evil agenda set out to hurt innocent people to grab the attention of the powers that be. Sad right?
Safe to say that when I got home, I called my mom. I her baby I HAVE to let her know I was okay. For hours, I sat in my living room chair staring at the ceiling. Nerves rattled and mind not knowing what to do with myself. I was glad to learn that the package was a fraud. But at the moment how could you know? And you can’t take things like that lightly because once you do, something horrible happens.
Glad everyone involved is now safe and can return to work. However, THIS cannot be a new normal. I’ll take the crazy subway rides, random noises, even the angry New Yorkers, but a bomb threat….NOPE. I’ll never be able to get used to that one.
Oh Yea its just me…I’m cool with that.
Eating alone is always deemed as a bad thing. “She doesn’t have friends?” “No man to take her out?” Not even. You just need that time alone. And why wait on someone to schedule you in just to get a meal or a nice drink. Many people stay inside day and night just because they don’t have anyone to accompany them. What’s up with that?!?!
I LOVE hanging out alone. Yes it’s safer with a friend in the big city but there are ways to have a good day/night without the fear. Stay on guard, trust your instincts, go home at a decent hour...ALONE! And don’t make eye contact with the creeps.
Outside of that, you can have a perfectly good time with yourself. I know I do!
It’s the weekend baby! Time off from work and sleeping in. But I tend to go stir crazy being confined within the four walls of my apartment. Even during my freelancing days I took a weekday afternoon for an adventure or just some quiet time in public. It’s fun having time to relax at home but I need sun, I need to feel a cool breeze, I need to stretch my legs and most importantly, I need food!
I like to take the train and pick a stop. I know I’ll find a good place to eat where I can sit outside or inside of a unique decorative restaurant with perfect strangers ready to strike up an insightful convo. Or just sitting with my own thoughts to jot down in my “notebook”. Or to study my lines. Either way, I’m enjoying time out of the house, just exploring. In New York, no place is the same and as a “newbie” its hard for me to visit the same place multiple times. There’s just too much to choose from.
Although I have my favs, my random adventures help me find new place and new faces. Whether a light lunch or a big meal, I know I’ll have a great dining experience without the awkward silence or the long yammering about nothing. I sit. I watch. I eat. I enjoy!
Day time dates with myself entails beautiful scenery, people watching, cute pups searching for that perfect spot to lift its leg, and getting some exercise in for the day.
Into the Night.
Why wait for someone to make plans? I love taking myself out on the town. It beats sitting around waiting for some magic to happen. I like to go out and create the magic. Plus it’s a good way to find another cool spot to add on the weekend list when friends visit. In New York you HAVE to experience a night on the town. Watching the beautiful buildings illuminate the sky with their lights on the way to a bar/lounge with more chic décor. (It also gives me ideas to spruce up this apartment.)
Having a solo dinner date can also introduce you to some interesting people. Interesting in a good way. I’ve met many people for networking or “new friends” purposes. And there’s no pressure like there is on dates. Random stuff with a good story behind. I love to listen to people’s point of views that are unbiased and non-judgmental. Very easy to reveal your dreams to a perfect stranger. They don’t know me, and if I don’t agree with their opinion, out the other ear it goes!
Yes NYC is expensive and a good lunch is costly. But that’s what Happy Hour, EventBrite, and the Appetizer menu is for! It doesn’t take a bunch of money to hang. Need ideas to hang? Go to Eventbrite and look up free events in the area. There’s so much going on in this big city: Art Galleries, Speed dating, Dinner Specials, and even a great party or three. Look it up and enjoy your time alone.
It’s not a big deal to treat yourself out of the house. No one is judging you. Those are only thoughts running through your head that only deters you from experiencing a great time.
So hold your head up when you tell the hostess “Just One”. You’re about to be in for a treat!
Where's Your Fav Solo Date Spot?
Nobody warned me about this New York heatwave!
The month of June hit, the weather was heating up, which was a relief because of the never ending cold season. My crop tops were ready to come out and play. I spent the first sunset of summer chillin at Riverbank State Park as the beautiful colors of God’s creation painted the New York sky over the Hudson River. July came around and it started off good. Warm but not too hot. My box fan in the window, along with breezes climbing to my fifth floor, served me just fine.
Why did I have a fan and no central air nor an A/C? Welp in NYC some older building aren’t equipped with central heat and air and in order to cool your apartment down, you need a window unit. Didn’t buy one for my apartment because, as I said, the box fan served me just fine. Plus it’s New York, it’s mostly cold throughout the year. So I thought…
As the temperatures rose, the fan worked overtime to blow out hot air. Since my skin is so sensitive at the wrong times of the year, I suffered from clammy skin and heat bumps. In addition, letting my windows up not only allowed for sporadic breezes to flow, insects felt it was an open invitation to come join my “hot” party. Seeking refuge in my apartment as well as seeing me as a snack. And not the “snack” that’s sweeping the social media comments and captions.
One day while standing in front of my open freezer, I couldn’t take it anymore. I humped it around the corner to a local outlet store and found a window unit A/C. I’ve seen these things get installed before, no big deal right? Well before then, I had to get it home and up my 5-floor walkup. Taking my strength to walk it across the street, I realized that carrying this heavy cooling system was a no-go. Uber to the rescue!
Now it was time for me to get it up the stairs. Usually the walk-up doesn’t bother me but man I needed an elevator for a day like that. All in all, I took a deep breath and carried the A/C up the stairs, no breaks, no one randomly in the hallway asking if I need help. Just me. Reaching the door, I dragged that sucker in.
Installation time. My living room window was too big for the small unit. Didn’t realize that until I tried to screw in the final bolts. My bedroom window was the last resort. However, there was a road block. Bars screwed from the inside of the window, used as a guard for small children to prevent them from going out on the fire escape. Understandable but useless for me. I’m a grown up I don’t need it. After unscrewing the window guard I was ready to install the A/C. Late afternoon turned to evening as I adjusted, re-adjusted, and adjusted the A/C to make sure this thing wouldn’t fall out the window and break.
The big relief came when I plugged it in and the cool air flowed. After all my struggles, the cruel summer inside of my apartment was at an end. Well almost…
Remember the bug party? Well New York seems to have a different breed of mosquitoes that are uncommon in GA. And uncommon to my sensitive skin. One or two bites turned into allergic reactions on my legs. GREAT! So now I sit here, doused in calamine lotion hoping for this irritation to clear up before a modeling gig. A modeling gig that consists of me wearing summer wear and a swim suit. Will the madness ever end?
Definitely looking forward to the Fall. I shall never complain about a long winter ever again. I LOVE summer don’t get me wrong, but it can turn cruel on you in a split-second. Just when you’re getting comfortable. Stay cool peeps!
What’s your “Cruel Summer” story? Please share!
Boat Watching and Beautiful Sunsets.
Upon my many ventures I stumbled upon a new hobby. Now I’ve always LOVED bodies of water. But growing up in the heart of GA, my options were limited. I thought I’d only have a chance to gain the peace and serenity the waves could bring by only taking a vacation. Of course there are lakes and rivers but I couldn’t stay long because bugs usually saw me as their latest meal. Also, the good lakes were always so far away from me.
As always, NYC never disappoints. Whether I’m uptown or downtown, I get a chance to view the beautiful Hudson River. And across from it, the state of New Jersey. What first started as a walk on the pier with a friend, turned into a constant activity that gave me peace, serenity, and inspiration.
I’m always looking for ways for this city to just calm down in my mind. New York is ALWAYS busy. Sidewalks filled with fast walkers getting to where they need to go. Subway riders are constantly on the move with an “every man for himself” mentality. Not giving much time to take in a new experience because “MOVE! GET ON THE TRAIN!” The Hudson River is very different.
Whether hanging out, having a picnic at Riverbank State Park or taking a walk along Pier 46, the Hudson gives off good vibes and a place of refuge from the city that never sleeps.
One activity that I love while being a voyeur on the river is boat watching. For some reason watching these machines sail along the river places me in a mood that allows me to meditate, think, and get inspired. I love to develop stories for these mini ships as they make their way to Jersey or along the lines of the Hudson River Ride!
Just try it out! You can’t go wrong with spending an afternoon to evening witnessing the sun set and the clouds paint a beautiful picture of colors that you’ll only get to see with your naked eye once. A new visit, means a new canvas. Take in the moment and just BREATHE!
I’ve gotten so much better with this subway system. Now people are asking ME for directions and I can actually get them going in the right place! Go figure! Of course, I still have to deal with delays, random track switches from express to local. The usual NYC MTA aggravation that makes New Yorkers even more impatient with constant human contact. But all in all, you take it in strides and part of the experience. And we’re not even going to get on the MTA vending machine taking your money while the workers behind the desk tell you to “call the number on the side of the machine”. Umm ma’am I have places to be so just buzz the door, so I can walk through. Thanks!
Throughout the aggravation of transportation, the destination makes it all worth it One Saturday I ventured to lower Manhattan. Not too sure how I got there but I guess my feet and eyes wanted to take my mind on an exploration. The bar scene, shopping and “museums” were impeccable as always. I decided to make it an exploration day. I LOVE the décor in the random bars and restaurants. Each place is different placing its own spin on the dining experience while having fun art and fixtures that creates conversation or if you’re like me, have wonderful things to stare at while chilling alone.
I love to “people watch” when I’m out by myself. For those who don’t know what it is, the name says it all. I like to study various mannerisms, conversations, and create my own scenarios of how two or more people ended up together and where their story will lead.
At a spot near 8th street. I observed a woman alone, eating, drinking and slowly seeing the liquor take its toll on her. At first, she was timid. Making small conversation with the bartender but as time went on, she developed a courage like no other. On the other side of me there was a handsome man sitting and having a drink while doing some writing. I wondered what inspired him and the masterpiece he was in the process of creating. The liquored up woman decided to take a chance and come across the bar to sit next to him. Immediately, he showed that he wasn’t interested. But somehow she missed those signs and kept the small talk going. I don’t know whether he really had to go or he grew tired of entertaining an unwanted guest, but he quickly settled his tab and packed up to go. She ventured back to her original seat and finished her drink before leaving as well.
Hopefully her spirits weren’t all the way shot. I mean it IS just a man. The woman was inebriated heavily so a clouded judgment played a major role in her shot getting blocked.
The next bar was simple yet festive. A group of friends were upstairs playing a game of beer pong while spitting the lyrics to Cardi B. Part of me wanted to join in but #1 I didn’t know all the words and #2 that would just be weird. I grew bored and left to walk the streets. NYC is like none other.
I found a vintage Volvo parked on the side of the street in Greenwich Village along with beautiful brownstones that I’d wished I found when I was on the apartment hunt. Tourists holding up the walking process to take pictures of the high buildings and local spots. Capturing memories that will not only be posted on Instagram, but cherish and become part of the “Remember when we were in New York…” stories.
After all of my venturing I was back on the train heading back to Harlem. Not ready for the night to end, I wandered into a spot I came to when I was just a visitor. Harlem Public. A smooth, chill date spot with dim lights, candles on each table and me sitting alone. For the first time all day I wish I had a companion to chat with. Looking around at all of the conversations, even the loud ones that irked me, I felt at home. I was home. Soaking up the people and scene like I frequent there on the regular.
My night ended at a more “turn up” style bar sipping on my usual rum and coke while meeting new people. It’s amazing that most people I meet aren’t even from New York. They’re “transplants” like me. What connects us all is the hard part of getting used to the mechanisms of the city and making the best out of the situations.
Let’s just say I shut the place down and didn’t’ leave until the house lights came on. 4AM in the NYC streets. Ending on a high note as it began.
People watching mission was a SUCCESS!
E. Alexcina Brown
I just like to write and create stuff. These are the diaries of how I'm living in NYC with sprinkles of life lessons I've learned along the way!