by Shelton Bumgarner
I’ve reached a singularity where boredom, frustration and lack of inspiration meet, so I find myself struggling to think of something to write about.
So let’s talk about my visits to New York City. The origin of my visits to New York City is so completely bonkers that you couldn’t make it up if you wanted to. Now, I’m a big city guy. I lived in Seoul for a few years and I kind of think if your city isn’t big enough to have a subway it’s not a real city to begin with. I love the subway — at least in Seoul — and so New York City is definitely somewhere that I would love to not only just visit on a occasion but live for the rest of my life.
But back to how my first visit to New York happened.
Let’s go back to a weird time in my life. I was barely employed — much like now — and had a lot of time on my hands. I noticed pretty randomly the wit and beauty of fashion It Girl, Alexa Chung and started talking a lot about her online. I have an obsessive personality and as such kind of went off the deepend.
I wasn’t threatening or hostile, I was just write a lot about her from different angles as I have been about the #FOTUS scandal theory.
Well, all this writing got the attention of a troll who decided to play a cruel little trick on me. He made it seem to me that Alexa Chung herself was mad at me or some such. Regardless, the point is, at some point I got really mad at what the troll had said and suddenly had an absolute desire to visit New York City to prove a point. The point being — don’t fuck with me.
So, I took the Chinatown Bus and found myself in NYC on morning in the middle of a minor winter snowstorm. It was like Normandy Beach 1944 when bounced out of the front door of the bus in Chinatown that morning. I visited HQ of the then-existent Gawker and eventually found myself in Brooklyn. I was rather underwhelmed by Brooklyn. I thought it was supposed to be the coolest place in the world, but, alas, compared to my experience in the little area of Seoul called Haebangchon, I found Brooklyn lacking.
If I were to hangout in the general New York City for a while I might grow to like Brooklyn more, but from my limited experience to date, I’m much more of a East Village person. I want to live in the East Village, drink beer and sing at Sing Sing Avenue A and stagger home with my new best lady friend.
I specifically got a smartphone for the first time since Seoul for my first visit to NYC. All of this change my life, to say the least. But I only stayed in NYC for about a day, but I realized I loved it. I love it with all my heart. The reason is, Seoul and NYC have a lot in common. Form follows function as they say. Seoul is like NYC with training wheels. You really are on your own in Seoul as an expat and the skillset you develop in Seoul is easily applicable to NYC. In Seoul no one will talk to you because they can’t speak English, in NYC they won’t talk to you because they don’t care.
If you’re really all that interested in my first visit to NYC, look at my Instagram account and go to the VERY BEGINNING. It will take you a while to get to it given how much I’ve used my Instagram account in the years since, but it’s fairly interesting documentation of my first, personally historic, visit to The Big Apple.
Anyway, I visit NYC every once in a while now. Not nearly as often as I would like and because of changes in my life it’s likely I’m not going to visit anytime soon for no other reason than I’m flat broke. I like to say that if you put me in New York City with access to the subway for six months I’d be a minor celebrity at least in the city within a month or two. But, then, I’m prone to hyperbole.