A month ago I was in New York City, my first time ever, and a bucket list photography destination! I wasn’t there just for photos, I went to see my fave five, New Kids on the Block! They already slated the Mixtape Festival in Hershey, PA but threw in a very special one-night-only concert at Coney Island in Brooklyn, NY for 2 nights before Mixtape. Now because it took about 2 days of travel getting there and back, it’s going to be a long story, so grab a snack and a drink!
Getting to NYC
Now, because I still had a cruise to finish paying for, there was no way I could go to either concert with top VIP and had to save money so the cheapest option was Greyhound. I HIGHLY suggest you never do this unless you are desperate. Besides being uncofortable and smelly, the only good things are that they have outlets to charge devices. The free wifi blocks many sites inclusing Spotify so forget working, or sleeping. Also I am friendly and like to chat with people and every bus I was on the drivers were VERY rude about noise and pulled the bus over more than once for other people that refused to be quiet. I was supposed to meet a fellow BH in Cleveland but her bus was late because they had to get police to remove a passenger! Also, as a side note, Cleveland terminal is probably the worst place I have ever been, never felt safe what with beggars INSIDE and people looking at my stuff. I just will never take the bus again, if I can’t afford a plane then I will take the train, much more room and just a nicer ride.
I’m So There
About 18 hours into my trip, we left Newark NJ and it was minutes when the New York skyline came into view…and 12 seconds until I started crying. I live in the country in Michigan, we have no skyscrapers not even in our biggest cities do you see buildings so tall. I’ve wanted to see NYC my entire life and here I was minutes from it.
Funny how lots of my bucket list items seem to be attached to NKOTB in some way. I had my BFF waiting for me right outside my bus (love you Stephanie!) and we walked a few blocks to the subway. According to Stephanie, you haven’t been to NY if you didn’t ride the train at least once. I was tired looking but that went away because I was with my bestie in NY! During our walk to the train I got glimpses of the Freedom Tower, the public library used in the Ghostbusters movie, and even got a glimpse of Times Square!
When we started across the bridge to Brooklyn it got really real. You see, NKOTB shot their first video at Coney Island, it was surreal going back to where everything started. We got to Stephanie’s apartment in Brooklyn where I met my new girl crush, Ange, and Steph’s cat that I wanted to steal in my suitcase! After that was bagels (OMGGGGGG) then it was already time to get ready because the girls had VIP and had to be there hours before me. We got so pretty then headed out on the train to Coney!
We got to Coney and the first thing we did was visit Wahlburgers. This was also a first for me! I WISH I had real positive things to say but I don’t. We got a table pretty fast but had to wait an hour for food. I KNEW I shouldn’t have ordered a burger, I don’t eat meat often but I was starving. I got the “Our” burger and tots. It tasted okay, little too buttery but I inhaled it. Tots were amazing! Service was slow, food was just okay for me. Unfotunately, about 2 hours later I was hit with intense stomach problems. I had to find toilets all over the Coney boardwalk because my guts gave up. I can’t say it was food poisoning because nobody else got sick but my stomach hurt the entire weekend because of it. I will not go back until I go to the flagship restaurant in Hingham, Mass., where I am told the experience will be so much better.
After Wahlburgers it was a short walk to the VIP area for the concert. I finally got to meet Sabrina who was to be my travel buddy and talked to daily on twitter, and also Sandy who secured the tickets for us and was just AWESOME! Me and Sabrina sat on the curbed and immediately were cracking eachother up like old friends. I LOVE HER! I took off after Stephanie’s photo group finally arrived with a girl I met just talking in the VIP area outside. She lives in Jersey and told me a lot about the history. I felt bad having to go to the bathroom so much but she really made it fun. I feel like a jerk because I can’t remember her name. We walked the boardwalk until it was time to go inside the concert.
It was not a big place but boy, was that place loud!! My friend that bought my ticket for me landed me smack in the middle of the ampitheatre. This only posed a problem when I needed the bathroom. Also, it was really REALLY muggy and hot, I was dehydrated from my stomach, and had to get a drink. I had to pay SIX BUCKS for a gatorade! And they don’t give you the cap to your drinks which was dumb! At any rate I settled in and got ready to rock after the opening act, and found out my friend Kristin was near. I had an extra ticket and told her to come sit with me. I am sure she will tell you that sitting by me was the best idea ever..more on that…
Okay it’s time to party!
Just as we are getting our jam on to “Block Party” we see the guys hit the audience and there’s girls screaming all over. Seconds later…DONNIE POPS UP IN FRONT OF US! I was so excited that most of my pictures of him are blurry because I was shaking. I fangirled, and I apologize but OMG he was just feet away (not that we could go where he was). I just kept turning to Kristin and saying OH MY GOSH and HOLY SHIT!.
But…It didn’t stop there…
JORDAN KNIGHT IN ALL HIS BEAUTIFULNESS POPPED UP IN FRONT OF US TOO!
I had a pretty okay zoom on my point and shoot and got pretty good pictures of the concert!! Of course my favorite parts were when I was directly being looked at by JK
Then, as if it couldn’t be a bigger or better party, OUT COMES NAUGHTY BY NATURE. I lost my shit!!
A few more songs later and the place ERUPTS because out comes TIFFANY!! OMG I was running in place I was so excited! I never saw her as a kid (or nkotb) so I just about died!!
Joe sang his hit Please Don’t Go Girl and then all of the sudden a choir comes out, we were about to go to church! Joe sang his 5 Brothers and A Million sisters. Having never seen that life I super loved the performance.
Then Donnie came out and made me CRY! He sang I Need You with that choir and had me in tears it was so beautiful!
Not wanting to waste that choir, Jordan came out and sang my favorite, I’ll Be Loving You Forever. It was so light and ethereal with that choir, I had tears flowing yet again..
Pretty soon another surprise guest came out! Nice and Smooth!! They did some rapping and beatboxing but then Donnie butted in and got Dirty Dawg started (never saw it live!) of which Nice and Smooth sing in the single from “The Block”. LOVED LOVED LOVED it!
He had them stay on the stage then called ALLLLLLLLLL the stars out and the choir and started the most funky fresh and HOT version of Hangin’ Tough I have seen with my own eyes, EVER.
Coney Island was OFF THE CHAIN!!! So many songs, surprises, even Jordan singing Let’s Go Higher from his solo album. As I was walking out and down the boardwalk I stopped for a quick snap
Then met up with Stephanie and Ange. I kept thinking holy shit, if Coney was this good, I cannot WAIT to see what mixtape holds. While my seat turned out to be VERY good at Coney, I knew my seat would be better at Mixtape because I had VIP. I didn’t realize HOW good it would be. More on that later 🙂
We went to a diner with some kick ass friends of Stephanie’s and finally got back to Stephanie’s apartment. If you payed attention, you probably realized I was awake for over 24 hours at this point. 2 AM I passed out and then had to get up early the next morning because Stephanie had to work for 4 hours and we had to take the bus for a while. I got maybe 3 hours sleep. But that didn’t matter, because this morning was when my camera was going to meet NYC.
Stay tuned for part 2!