New York – Day 1 of a Beginners Guide

While having lunch with an acquaintance a few weeks ago, it came to my attention that traveling to New York to Knoxville is currently inexpensive.  After conducting research, and accepting a couple of days off from work, I decided to visit The Big Apple.

Never traveling to New York before, I also decided to document each day.  When I visited France and Italy right after High School, I took a journal with me, but didn’t document a large part of the events.  That lack of documentation is something I regret, so I decided not to make the same mistake again.

Not only is this the first time I’ve been to New York; it is also the first time I’ve ever taken a vacation this far all by myself.  No traveling partners, no friends to visit in the city…all alone.  Don’t get me wrong; I’ve traveled alone for work related conferences and events, but to travel for leisure alone

Years ago, this type of trip would have scared me to death.  The fear of being alone somewhere new, the idea of not sharing it with somebody always caused me not to do it.  No longer having that type of fear, I went ahead and booked a flight and found a hostel.

Planning and Landing


Allegiant Air flies out of Knoxville and lands in Newark. The flights are set three days a week: Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday.  For this trip, I decided a Thursday to Sunday mini-vacation would be perfect.

Upon landing in Newark, it is really easy to find the air train to the train stop at the airport.

Standard selfie in the hostel bedroom

The train ride to Penn. Station is roughly 40 minutes and allows you to see rustic, urban views of New Jersey, plus a cool skyline of New York City.

Knowing I was going to be at Penn. Station, I was able to find an extremely affordable hostel via airbnb in Chelsea. The hostel cost less than $80 a night, and is conveniently located on 8th Ave.  In fact, this hostel takes all the profits from the hostel and uses it to help feed the homeless.  How cool is that! To learn more about the hostel, visit their aibnb site – Chelsea Retreat Rooms.

Day 1

Once I unpacked at the hostel, it was time for a late lunch. After searching online for the best pizza in Chelsea, I came across Pizza Suprema. Their margarita pizza was awesome. So awesome that I ate it before having the chance to do the  obligatory eating a pizza selfie! 

While eating, I doubled checked the weather and one thing was certain, my first day in town was going to be the warmest. With that in mind, I decided to walk to Time Square and soak in the touristy sites.

Walking to Time Square was great! In fact, I had a stereotypical event happened, in that an up and coming drag queen offer to “buy” one cigarette from me. She then went on to tell me about her show and mentioned a “private” viewing.

I don’t have any photos of Time Square to really share. Maybe later on in my trip. Hell, if you want to see photos of Time Square, there’s always Google!

Later that evening I was able to take in two great shows, and I’m not talking Broadway…or the private show that was mentioned earlier.

Two Night Stops

The Comedy Cellar is a place I’ve wanted to visit for years.  All the greats have performed there and I wanted to experience it first hand. Since I didn’t make a reservation, I had to wait with all the other slackers and procrastinators to see if there would be any room left for the show. While waiting to see if my name would be called, a traveling drug dealer shouted at me between his blunt hits –

Get your black eyes to stop avoiding my black face. I don’t have any cocaine for you.

Please note, I didn’t ask this man for any drugs, nor was I looking for any.

What I was looking for was a way to get into the 8pm show.  Luckily for me, I made friends with door man, and secured the last open spot for the show!

The lineup was stellar. An Emmy award winner writer for Last Week Tonight, a writer for last years Emmy’s…the list goes on and on. Plus the food was okay.

After getting my laughs in for the night, I walked on down to Smalls Live to catch the 10pm show. With a one drink minimum, I loaded up on coffee and relaxed while the group played some killer jazz. The first act consisted of a pianist, xylophone player, soprano saxophonist, tenor saxophonist stand up bass player, and drummer. The pianist was a Brit and looked like a stand in for Ed Begley, Jr. the xylophonist looked like the hippest dude in the room, and all the women chasing him during intermission was living proof of that statement. The drummer was the front man and has been coming to Smalls since 98.

Enough rambling for day one.

Any suggestions for the rest of the trip?

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About Jeremy M. Price
For twelve years, I had the pleasure of working in community banking. Starting in customer service, I worked my way up to a senior level marketing and human resources director. It was great leading teams that improved strategic initiatives including, but not limited to brand awareness, digital communication, employee development and product development. This experience has now led to an exciting role with CRS Data. As the Product Marketing Analyst, I am currently reviewing the company's banker suite product. This product is able to help community banks reach their fullest potential in real estate lending. I am extremely fortunate to share time with my son while enjoying life in East Tennessee. The two of us enjoy the views of the Smokey Mountains, eating good food and having fun. During my free time, I enjoy running races, traveling and listening to great live music.

One Response to New York – Day 1 of a Beginners Guide

  1. Pingback: NYC Journey – Days 2 and 3 | JuMP Around

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