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Thursday, October 9, 2008

New York, New York ,The Big Apple

It is a commonly held perception that New Yorkers are rude, mean and downright nasty. I am sure that there are some of us(yes, I live in Georgia but I am a Yankee at heart) that fit that bill but in my experience New Yorkers are kind, helpful and all around good people. During my trip today to “the city” of Manhattan I met some entreprenuers that exemplified the good spirited nature of New Yorkers.

My first stop was a natural hair care salon called Locks N Chops. As an African-American woman my hair in its natural state is tightly curled and free of any chemicals. I have chosen to wear my hair in Locks (dreadlocks) for the past 10 years. I don’t comb my hair but twist it at the roots as it grows in and my hair looks very similar to braids. Some may think this is an easy style to maintain but like any other hairstyle it requires work to keep it looking good.

Locks N Chops specializes in hair cuts and loc maintanence. Their styles are gorgeous and since I wanted a nice up-do for my trip I chose to visit. My stylist Chris is a tall , dark and handsome man with the begginings of salt and pepper hair in his beard. Originally a barber, when locs became the rage he learned how to style them too. As he gave my hair the tlc that it has long been missing he was quiet and unassuming. But this was clearly a result of me being a new client because once talk in the salon turned to politics and current events he quickly became very animated in the lively discussion.


The owner Orin is the consummate professional. Although a long term client canceled an early morning appointment, he provided us with ongoing commentary

from the day’s newspaper; including adopting his imagined dialect of the individuals interviewed for an op-ed. When I mentioned that I wanted to take photos of the salon to document my experience but left home sans camera, he quickly offered to take pictures with and forward them to me. Unfortunately technology was not on our side and he wasn’t able to download his pictures – but here a few photos taken with my phone.


My next stop was mere footsteps away. I ventured to Soul Fixins' for a quick meal of down home cooking. I was pleasantly surprised when I walked in and saw the restaurant had been featured on The Food Network, the CW and CitySearch. Soul Fixins’ has actually been a favorite of mine for years, I’ve even introduced a South African friend visiting NY to their great food offerings.

This time I was greeted by the owner Eric. When he saw that I was waiting for awhile he took my order and although the restaurant is more conducive to take-out I decided to stay and eat. This proved to be a a good move on my part. I had the opportunity to talk with Eric and he gave me some great tips about my business. I really appreciated him taking time during a busy lunch rush to do so. The food – magnificent. My meal of candied yams, fried whiting, corn bread and creamy macaroni and cheese was absolutely delightful. My desert? A slice of triple layer double chocolate cake that was simply divine. The portion size was generous and I ended up bringing the food home to share with my mother.

So I will end the way I started. That myth about New Yorkers? Maybe true for some but I’ve only run into great people here. If you ever visit New York and are looking for some soul food be sure to visit Soul Fixins and if you have locs or natural hair Locs n Chops is a must visit.

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And now I must pack for my trip. Click my bird friend here to follow me on Twitter and get all of the updates of my trip. And please don't forget - I am raising funds for public school children in Atlanta ! Every dollar helps, please consider donating!


33 comments:

T.Allen-Mercado said...

Agreed! We're not rude, we're just in a rush and sometimes it comes across as dismissive, but courteous nonetheless.

Be safe!

Brittany said...

I would be all over Soul Fixins...yuuuum.

Candy said...

NO! NOT RUDE!

absolutely AMAZING;-)

Justice Jonesie said...

I want some fixins! Sounds like a great trip!

rockcreekcreations said...

ok, Ill admit it. Coming from wisconsin, growing up in a town of 1,200 (yes, I put the comma in the right place ;-) I have heard that opinion of New Yorkers. But I won't believe it until I see it.

And that corn bread sounds good!

Have a good trip!

Jazzy said...

Since you are wearing a natural, I'm sure you are following afrobella!

Threeboys1mommy said...

It was my perception before I visited but I was always pleasantly surprised. Eternally jealous. Hope your enjoying your change of pace.

Ms. Bar B: said...

Look at you having a good old time at "home" =). I am STILL searching for a natural hair care spot in my area. I really wanna send my baby to someone who specializes in natural hair, but these days folks are quick to wanna slap a box of relaxer on a child's beautiful natural hair.

I hope that you enjoy the rest of your trip and I am looking forward to reading more about it as it unfolds.

Babette said...

Renee, that is a fun way to start your trip! How come you didn't get any fried chicken? That would be first on my list, I love Southern Fried Chicken. :) Take care and have loads of fun! I can't wait to read your Disney World experience. :)

Vodka Mom said...

I LOVE field trips in the morning, and now yours has me wishing I were a black woman. dammit. And to top if off- now I'm hungry. (sounds like it was GREAT!)

Lynn - the piggy bank painter said...

Oh my, that food sounds delicious! Now I'm hungry : )

Check out my prize at the Super Duper SuperWAHMz Contest!

CaraBee said...

I go to NYC all the time and have not found any more rude people than in any other city. Glad you had such a good experience!

Eliot said...

i work right by soul fixins and go there all the time

fly tie said...

i never buy into the hype put out there about people from certain areas being a certain way.

the one time that i've been to NY the folks were nothing but nice and hospitable. a lady *we didn't even know* gave us a ride to our hotel room using her GPS device (after we'd sorta gotten lost). some of my online, "virtual friends" opened their home to us so we wouldn't have to pay for another night at the hotel. and gave us food, took us around, etc.

people on the streets greeted us as we walked by. it was much like home.

i had such a wonderful experience, and look forward to returning soon.

i enjoyed reading about your adventures. lol @ the way chris the hair stylist is just casually carrying on conversation while washing someone's hair.

Carrie said...

Looks like you are having a blast. I am sl glad to read that you are living it up, eating it up and having are hair styled up! Looking forward to reading more about your adventure in the Big Apple.

ali said...

Glad you were able to find some time to post, it sounds like you're having a great time! And don't you hate it when people say the U.S. has no food identity? Soul Fixins sounds delish!

Keep It Classy, Jen said...

Looks like you had a great time...now off to Orlando!! You are a busy woman!!!

mrsbear said...

I don't think I'll be able to visit any time soon, but thanks for the mini tour, every one seems fabulous.

Maternal Mirth said...

Have a safe trip, sweets! And LURVE your new digs!!!!!!!!!

Jenni Jiggety said...

Some friends and I went into NYC and we had a wonderful time! I actually think where I am from (Boston) people are much ruder! They don't call us "Massholes" for nothing!

Rachel said...

I'm so jealous!!!! It looks like so much fun. :)

Jewelry Rockstar said...

I'm from NJ and I live in Atlanta. I find Atlantans to be the rudest people I've ever encountered. NYers are helpful, friendly, and talkative if you are in NY. When NYers are outside of NYC they act a little like elitist. As though outsiders expect something from them because they are from NYC, so they instantly put on a show.

Whether I like it or not, my status as a Jersey girl automatically makes me from NYC in the minds of southerners and I sometimes get mean and rude comments based on who they think I am.

anymommy said...

Fun! I will dream about that chocolate cake.

Black Woman Thinks said...

Renee,
What great experiences you are having!
I love NY. I have found a mixture of people from extremely helpful to rude but mainly the former. NY is fast paced and is a buzzing happening place. Have you been to Sylvia's restaurant yet? If my memory serves me well it is on Lennox Avenue in Harlem. I last ate there a couple of years back so it may have changed but it seems everybody eats there! I could stand on any street in NY for half an hour and find a story to tell.
Keep on keeping on!
Zee

Keep It Classy, Jen said...

Tag you are it on Keep It Classy!
http://keepitclassyjen.blogspot.com

Lorie said...

I love New York and cannot wait to go back again! The people are great!

Erin said...

The few times I've been to NY, I definitely didn't see any one fulfilling the rude stereotype. Then again, I live in Indiana, and I definitely don't fit into the NASCAR lovin', backwoods stereotype that we get, so I don't put much faith in stereotypes.;)
It looks like a fabulous time so far! Can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip.

Lisa aka Serahs said...

Gosh, I was just over there in August for a few days and you just reminded me how much I miss it! Ok, now I'm seriously contemplating making a trip that I don't need to make to NYC! Ah! Have fun!

ermine and pearls said...

I agree with you. I'm a native New Yorker (Brooklyn!) and have always found New Yorkers to be kind and friendly for the most part. I was just "home", spent the entire month of July there. :-D

lilialately said...

TOTALLY agree on your account of NY'ers. If anything, I found many to be somewhat lonely and over friendly especially on the subway.

Keep having fun!

Awake In Rochester said...

Even though I live in Upstate I have never been to NY city. It has a reputation, especially concerning crime. Anyway, I'm glad people are friendly. Have fun!

Kia said...

Let's continue to support each other's business'. This makes me feel so good to see people successful AND professional at what they do. I feel so proud!!

Christy said...

I miss NY...whenever I say "the city" I always get asked "what city?" As if there's any other! Glad you had a good time! :)

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