November 7, 2009

World Series parade: My homeless adventure of New York City

You may have been wondering why I did not post at all two days  after the Yankees won the World Series. Some of you learned I was at the World Series parade in N.Y.C. through twitter, but others were left in the dark.

Anyway, my two buddies and I arrived at Grand Central at 1:30 in the morning. Rather than staying at my sister’s lovely apartment less than a mile away from City Hall, we pulled an all-nighter. Here’s how it went down.

Getting to my sister’s apartment

After we made our spur-of-the-moment decision to take a train down to New York, I texted and called my sister to make arrangements. However, she never responded and never picked up. I figured she was in a meeting.

By the time we got to her apartment, I had texted her three times and called her eight times. We buzzed in several times in attempt to wake her up, but still, no response. So we began our homeless adventure.

Staying warm
Our first order of business was finding warmth. We had no other place to stay because my other sister and parents were too far away and asleep. So we went into the closest 24/7 convenience store we could find. It was a diamond in the rough. A fully-heated store with a bathroom. We nested there for about a half hour, but later regretted that decision to leave so fast.

We then walked close to a mile to reach City Hall, the culminating site of the parade. It was nice to see a few other die-hard Yankees fans loafing around in the middle of the night. We chatted with a group that stood sat right against the gates of City Hall with the best angle at the podium. We didn’t stay with them because we expected them to be kicked across the street by the police. But they did point us in the direction of a Dunkin Donuts.

Dunkin Donuts

We stayed in DD until around four, drinking hot cocoa, eating stale donuts and playing baseball trivia. “Name the eight states with at least two baseball teams.” (Thanks, Eddie.) We left when we realized it was freezing inside compared to the 24/7 convenience store. We needed a new nest, so we went exploring.

The banks
One of my friends saw a Wachovia, and it was his bank so we went inside the small ATM room to get money. We stayed their for an hour or so reading a free newspaper from DD. At 4:55 in the morning, I thought, “Won’t Modell’s open soon?” I asked my other friend with an iPhone to look it up, and I was right. So we bolted to Modell’s to pick up some Yankees gear. I bought a World Series champions hat and a navy blue thermal “Property of Yankees Baseball.”

We left and detoured past Ground Zero for my friend who had never seen it, and then proceeded to find more shelter and warmth, my other friend’s bank, Bank of America. At around 5:30, we found our standing room, on the corner of Murray St. and Broadway, right across from City Hall. We stood in the same spot for over seven hours, not including my brief trip to Starbucks for a small breakfast.

After the parade, I lost one of my friend’s in the mass of people, and it was nearly impossible to communicate due to everyone’s use of cell phones. Finally, my lost friend’s call got through to me, and soon found him a couple blocks away from where we were.

Instead of meeting up with the rest of my family for a small lunch, we bolted out of the city, finding a subway in Chinatown and then catching a 1:34 train, barely, back to New Haven. We waited a half hour for the shuttle home to Quinnipiac, and then waited 15 minutes for the driver to make an unnecessary cell phone call. The three of us were freezing and tired, and happy to be home when we arrived at school.

The adventure with photos post is on the way.

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