Nothing quite beats the feeling of returning back to the US after being gone for a long time.
Even if it’s just an airport — even an airport I’ve never been to before — and I have hours and hours of connections to make before I actually make it back to Kentucky, it’s nonetheless comforting being back in my own country.
My flight from Tel-Aviv left at around midnight local time and arrived at New York JFK at 6 AM in the morning. My next flight to Atlanta wasn’t until 4 PM (though it ended up getting pushed back a few hours — thankfully I was still able to make the connection from ATL to LEX), so with my time, I decided to do what I do best in airports — leave and come back.
After dropping my bags off at baggage storage, I headed to the AirTrainJFK to get into the city. JFK isn’t directly connected to the subway system (compared to say, Chicago O’Hare or London Heathrow or Copenhagen Kastrup, where you can get directly on the metro from the airport terminal), but it has its own train line that then connects to the subway in Queens.
From Queens, I then bought a MetroCard for the subway (hot take: why is it called “MetroCard” when it’s the subway system? You’d immediately give yourself away as a visitor rather than a local if you referred to the New York underground transport system as a “metro” rather than a “subway,” so why do they use the word “metro” for their cards?) and took the J Train into Manhattan.
I only had a few hours — not enough to go into the tourist areas in the center of Manhattan — so I mostly hung out around East Village.
This was my first time in this particular neighborhood, and I must say, I liked it very much. With the exception of a homeless man who swore at me for ignoring him as I walked into a Starbucks, it was a lovely part of town — quieter than the Upper East or Upper West Sides, but still very much a part of New York. And it was relatively balanced in diversity — it didn’t seem to have a particular dominant cultural or ethnic leaning. Not that a neighborhood having a strong cultural leaning is a bad thing at all — but I thought it was cool to see a neighborhood that seemed to have so many different people living together in close proximity.
My one complaint (besides the swearing homeless man — but like, that’s just New York) was that a lot of shops and restaurants were closed, even though I was there during the day. I visited on a Saturday morning, and nothing really seemed to start opening up until around 11AM, which was when I needed to start heading back to the airport. I was able to go into a few consignment shops, but on the whole, I was really only able to wander around the park and read The Times in Starbucks.
Still better than sitting in the airport, but I guess New York does after sleep sometimes after all.
That’s about it for today. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life this summer. Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Bloglovin, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Dress: A shop on either Ben Yehuda or King George Street in Jerusalem (I’ve already forgotten, oops)
Hat: Thrifted (a consignment shop in Jerusalem)