LOTR : New York City

As a younger individual I had a certain disdain for New York City. It could be because I was brought up on the West Coast and I had that silly East vs. West beef in my head or perhaps I just didn't want to believe that any city could rival Los Angeles. It is hard to accept that there is another place in the world better than your hometown and the few days I stayed in New York just made it even harder. 

Is N.Y.C. really better than L.A.? Is the "City that Never Sleeps" truly a better fit for me than the "City of Angels"?

I tried not to let these questions swarm around in my head or distract me too much from what was going on. I had new people to meet, places to explore and well, life just had to be lived. I will say that after this trip a move out to the East may be in the works or I'll at least have to figure out how to be bi-coastal...

The freedom and independence I felt simply walking through the streets was unparalleled compared to anything I have ever felt at home in L.A. I didn't mind walking for blocks on end through bustling crowds. The thought of taking the Subway actually made me happier than having to drive, even despite getting lost a few times. The fact that I could buy BBQ Chicken kebabs on literally every corner made me freaking ecstatic!

I felt like every individual had a story to tell rather than one to hide. People aren't afraid to look you dead in the eye, ask you questions, or simply have random conversation. The mysterious, "too cool to talk to you" types reign heavy in Los Angeles so it was refreshing to have people open to engage with me. 

After a few days of exploration the ultimate cherry on top was visiting Javotti HQ. 

I listened to archived Hi-Tek beats, unreleased Blackstar songs, and some visceral Kweli gems. To think these tapes were hiding away in a box for years and it just so happens they were found the day I was there. My ears, my life, and my soul were blessed that night. 

I'll be back to get lost in you soon New York ;)