Chelsea market was the first destination. On the way we passed some important LGBT sites. Christopher Street is a hot spot for many LGBT people, especially when warmer weather rolls around. Another important landmark in LGBT history is the Stonewall Inn. The Stonewall Inn is a gay bar that was popular among people in the 60’s. Mafia-owned at the time (most legit business owners did not want to involve themselves with the LGBT community), the Stonewall Inn was the place where the Stonewall Uprisings took place, due to police oppression and this was a powerful force in the making of the LGBT liberation movement.
The Chlesea Market is a new-age vintage, industrial feeling market with a number of specialty food and craft shops. It was very nice to look at and the food was pretty good too. It is the kind of place where you could find organic, non-GMO everything.
We walked from the market to GMHC, but not by sidewalk. The High Line is an elevated walkway that winds its way in between buildings through Chlesea and other parts of Manhattan. It features many awesome works of art that really add to the already apparent beauty of the walkway. Works of art from paintings to sculptures were displayed for everyone’s viewing pleasure. The High Line gave people a opportunity for some awesome pictures, and was a great change of pace from the downtown Manhattan sidewalks.
Our day at GHMC today was quite full. It began with a filing project from the finance department. They provide a plethora of enriching and important services to their clients. The filing project dealt with organizing their housing program. Some of their clients are in danger of losing their residence. This could begin the client on a downward spiral and they would stray away from taking care of themselves. To prevent this, the GHMC can take control of their Social Security and Medicate benefits and pay their bills for them or cover a certain amount of said bills. I talked to a client who was in this program and she really expressed great gratitude. The cost of living in New York City is far higher than in Wisconsin for example.
Thursday was our last day of serving lunch, my personal favorite job. Everyone was quite happy to see us again, and we recognized a few familiar faces. During lunch break, as I was trying to find a table, I was flagged down by a client who had already finished his meal and was socializing with those at his table. One of the questions he asked was, “What made you give your spring break up to come here to us?” It was an interesting question, because I had never thought of it like I was sacrificing anything. In fact, I thought my spring break trip was better than most of my friends. This question also highlights the stigma this community still faces in light of all the new information and research on HIV/AIDS. We discussed a number of other things along with another person; topics like family and stigma, to politics, and even New York nightlife. It was so insightful to see New York from a native’s perspective. These are some of the most impactful and important experiences from this trip that I will take on with me throughout life.
Katz’s Deli on the lower west side was on the menu for dinner. This Jewish diner is very popular. Kosher dishes are served here. Things that were ordered ranged from a corned beef sandwich to salami sandwiches and even a salmon and cream cheese bagel. Dessert was gay ice cream. Actually big gay ice cream. Big Gay Ice cream is a well-known ice cream shop that served up the kind of ice cream sundaes you would almost come back twice in the same night for. Highly recommend. As a whole through this whole trip, our taste buds have been in paradise and campus food is just not going to even pale in comparison. Oh well, guess we’ll just have to come back, won’t we?
After ice cream some desired an early night and headed back to the YMCA. The rest of us headed to Chinatown to visit the Museum of American Chinese. The museum had a lot of great and informative exhibits about the immigration and assimilation process of the Chinese into America especially during a time when the American people and government did not want them here (Chinese Exculsion Act).
That’s it for Thursday! One more full day to go.