The plan for my very last day was ambitious. Wake up early, get breakfast from Duane Read, go to the Museum of Sex, then walk to Central Park to quickly see it as I walked up to Dylan’s Candy Bar to get a sugar hit, get the subway to Washington Heights to see the Cloisters, the metro down to the Bridget Dugmore gallery to see the exhibition, back to the Brooklyn Bazaar for Le Sigh before getting back to my hotel at 8pm to get to the airport for 9PM. This would be accomplished in a 10 hour period. Right…
Well, I started off well, getting breakfast from Duane Reed and getting to MoSex in good time. I was planning on only seeing the Zana Bayne exhibition, where she displays her pieces including a replica of Lady Gaga’s Yoü and I outfit.
This is a free exhibition, but I already decided to see the whole thing and I’m glad I did. It’s sexy, political and a lot of fun. I would have liked to have done the sex personality quiz but I couldn’t find the artefacts they wanted!
From there I decided I was close enough to walk to Bridget Dugmore on 99 Bowery. It wasn’t too ambitious, had I not stopped off at every single shop that caught my eye on the way. The exhibition was pleasant, very small and I probably could have just gone on to the cloisters. What I didn’t realise was that it closes at 4:45PM, so I had one hour to get there and see all I wanted to see. Not worth it. I went straight to Brooklyn.
I took a macaroni cheese from a burger store and ate it as I walked around Bedford Avenue. The Brooklyn Bazaar Le Sigh Women and Non-Binary goods market wasn’t quite open yet, but I was glad I went when it did. There are so many handmade zines, cosmetics and jewelleries. There are a lot of creators who I would like to recommend, but my specific favourite was: a funny, chatty, lively, witchy chemist and alchemist called Ash who creates scents and sells wonderful stones. She was intelligent, fun and I bought her scent Clitoria Vittoria. I mean of fucking course. The name was excellent. She also gave me a tigers eye stone as well, I told you – she’s brilliant and a great new person to meet and conclude my trip.
I was cutting it really fine to get back to Manhattan and take my flight, but I managed it in good time walking to Penn Station, taking the Long Island Rail Road to Jamaica where an enchanting woman chatted with her friends for the journey and probably wondered why I was staring but it was because she was beautiful, and finally the Airtrain to JFK.
I write this now as we take off heading back to London and I’m sad. It’s been a trip of learning, exploring and simply being alone with me and my mind. It has exposed parts of myself I like, parts of myself that have made me proud and parts of myself that I endeavour to change. It has given me perspective and a distance from things that I needed, and when I land there’ll be a lot of reality to deal with, but this was a trip I really needed.