I have been getting creative in finding things to do. Most of the time when I fly solo it’s usually as a result of looking for something on a whim. Like going into the depths of Chinatown I never knew existed. Where you can buy 5lbs of bananas for $2. As my friends back home put it after I texted them the experience with GroupMe, there’s always money in the banana stand.
I’ve also walked around the Upper West Side to get a glimpse of a quirky little neighborhood. Along the way, I walked past a thrift store beneath a church that was a few minutes from closing. I decided to run in and check it out. Scored a Chemex for $7.
Last Sunday, I went to the only Target I could find on Google maps. Little did I know I’d be walking through El Barrio to get there from the subway. I felt right at home. Walked past several panaderias, taquerias, and a woman sitting outside a shop making fresh gorditas on a comal. Signs of summer are every where. Kids cooling off by running around open fire hydrants and Mister Softee trucks and coquito carts on every corner. Childhood nostalgia started hitting me hard.
Target was an interesting experience as well. I envied those that were walking up to the shopping plaza with granny carts and watched as others lugged their purchases into cabs to get back home. Despite the fact having a car is very convenient, I think I would actually prefer doing without one when I finally decide where I will start my career, or maybe I’m just really entertained by the people watching I get to do on a daily basis.
The rest of my solo excursions have been shopping related. As weird as it sounds, I think grocery shopping has become a hobby. Each store has something different to offer, and whenever I spot a store I don’t recognize, I can’t help stopping in to take a peek. I think the one I’ve liked the most has been Fairway. It reminds me of Whole Foods, but less emphasis on everything being organic and all natural. There’s also an Asian supermarket within walking distance from my apartment that stocks everything from fresh shark to fruits and veggies I’ve only seen on Wikipedia.
I’ve also been exploring as many coffee shops as possible around the city and boroughs, but those are for another post.