24 Hours in NYC: A Visit to Kru Phil Nurse

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A few weeks ago, I went to NYC to visit one of my good friends, Max, from college who I haven't seen in almost 4 years. The point of the visit was to see Max, but since I was going to Manhattan, I figured I could also go and visit the WAT gym in Manhattan. It's not really a secret, but I have my black belt in Taekwondo, receiving it when I was 17. I have been into martial arts since then and tried a variety, including Kung Fu, Aikido, and Karate. I have known of WAT gym owner, Kru Phil Nurse, during my Taekwondo days when I was looking for motivation to train harder. I decided to create a poster of about 10 black martial artists including Kru Phil Nurse. I read their bios and watched their fights and training sessions on YouTube; I became obsessed with these people and wanted to emulate their styles and followed all of their tips. During the week day, I would get up at 5am to train and shadow spare before school. I ate, breathed, and slept Taekwondo because I wanted to be like my idols. And in June of 2006, I received my black belt.

I never kept up with Taekwondo with the level of drive that I did while in high school. College took control of my life, which meant less time and less money to devote to Taekwondo. But because I made that collage and learned about the different marital arts from my idols, I decided to take pay-as-you-go beginner classes. Fast forward 7 years and I have since taken Kung Fu, Krav Maga, Akikdo, Karate, Boxing, and Jujitsu. But, I still haven't taken Muay Thai.

In early September, a few of my closest girlfriends and I had decided to take a weekend trip to Las Vegas. Unfortunately, some things had fell through the cracks, and before September was over, the trip was cancelled. I had already pumped myself up for finally being able to go out for Halloween (I hadn't done so since I was 13), so I was determined to go out, and I knew staying in DC would cause to me stay in. I decided to contact my Max who had been asking me to come out for some time, which I had yet to do (and I will admit, it was completely my fault - I was too lazy and didn't want to ruin my weekend routine). Well, he confirmed the date, I got a costume, and at 3:30am on Saturday, November 2, I was up to catch a 5:30am train to NYC, where I would be for only 24 hours.

FroBunni | Shrimp and Grits at Sugar Freak in NYC
(Shrimp and Grits at Sugar Freak)

I arrived in NYC a little bit before 9am, got a Dunkin' Donuts Pumpkin Latte, and waited for Max to pick me up. He finally arrived and we went to Queens so I could drop my bags off at his girlfriend's, Liz, place. We went to get some breakfast at a cute little place called Super Freak (I got the shrimp and grits, it was pretty good), and we discussed the details of visiting the WAT. I had sent an email to the WAT about 10 days earlier (I kept thinking I should send one earlier but never really got around to it) asking if it was ok for me to visit. I didn't get an answer, but I was determined nonetheless. So, all I was able to give Max was the address. We finished our meal, stopped at Liz's one more time to recharge phones, and went off into Manhattan.

FroBunni | New York City

FroBunni | New York City

FroBunni | New York City
(Scenery from the neighborhood surrounding the WAT - I really don't know exactly we were)

After about 20 minutes on the subway (of which I was completely amazed at how efficient everything was…sadly the DC metro does not compare), we arrived in Tribeca…or Midtown…or the Financial District. Ha ha, I will be honest, I do know. We were about a 10 minute walk away from the WAT, and that 10 minute walk turned into 30 because we got lost not once, not twice, but thrice. And we also couldn't find the entrance (it was partially underground).
FroBunni | The WAT schedule
(The WAT schedule. Travis was nice and took the time to circle some of the classes I would be interested)

We finally arrived at the WAT and I must admit, I got really nervous. I wasn't sure if I would be welcome (I've come across this issue at more than a few gyms). Well, I opened the door and was welcomed quite warmly, but Kru Phil Nurse wasn't there. While mildly disappointed, the man at the front desk, Travis, was very friendly and recommended that I return at a later date (but to call instead of email). He showed me a bunch of classes and even made a pitch to Max to join the gym, which he declined, lol. I decided then that I would return soon to meet Kru Phil Nurse.

FroBunni | New York City
(Some of my favorite pics from my trip: From top to bottom, left to right - Max and I with Star Wars characters, a dinosaur in the Toys R' Us in Time Square, The Chrysler and Empire State Building, Time Square, Grand Central Station, and me in front of the Seinfeld dinner)

All in all, my NYC was quite enjoyable. The weather was beautiful (I even took my coat off while we were walking in Manhattan), Manhattan and Queens were quite lovely, and the NYC bug was put back in me (I lost in some time ago when I realized NYC was very expensive - eh, I live in DC, I can live with it, right?). I am hoping to return in December to see Max and Liz again, spend more than 24 hours in NYC (it should be known that I was up for that entire 24 hour period), and visit Kru Phil Nurse.

FroBunni | Foliage in Baltimore MD
(One of my last pictures; it was just outside of Baltimore - I had a lot of fun, but I was happy to be almost home. Autumn is my favorite season so I absolutely love this pic)

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