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  • Cece

Over the Bridge and through the "Hood"

Updated: Feb 25, 2019

While planning every single move I made for this trip, the internet really hyped me up to see the wonderful Clifton Suspension Bridge. I was so excited about it, that it was supposed to be my very first adventure. WRONG. It ended up being moved to day 3.

The bridge is a wonder historically, however coming from New York, the attraction was just a short bridge. Don't get me wrong, I made this five minute walk a fifteen minute adventure by stopping to talk to people. From the people I spoke to, this bridge is more of a wonder because of the person who built it - Isambard Kingdom Brunnel.

He was an amazing engineer and genius during his time who built the world's first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Okay so maybe that's not as great as building the very first steamship but let me explain. This steamship carried passengers from England to Australia within 60 days (81 days on its first try).

Now to get away from the fun facts....

If you want to get a full experience of a place, map out the neighborhoods and ask locals what vibe or type of people hang around there - if you get my drift. While the neighborhood I stayed in, Knowles, was pretty quiet, it isn't known for it's affluent home owners or collection of small businesses lined on opposite sides of the street. Clifton, a bit uppity, would provide that.

First off, Clifton felt huge and open. The homes were wide and seemed to be Brownstones without the classic steps or funky vibe that echoes through the wonderful streets of Brownstone Bed - Stuy and Brownstone Harlem. Sadly, I did not find anything else to brag about.

I went to a restaurant for breakfast. It seemed like a popular restaurant with tens of people crowded inside and out. Waiters and waitresses bustled through the door trying to remember who ordered the tea and who order the coffee. I cannot remember the name of the place for the life of me but will edit soon.

Bigger Baps, the first restaurant I went to the morning after my arrival, offered me a Full English on a baguette. I order the Full English at this fancy place because well... I was in England. My food was slightly burned and to be honest, not that great. I ate little of my meal. What bugged me the most about this breakfast was that I paid so much for it. Twenty pound is twenty - five eighty-seven in US dollars. That's a lot for someone who is satisfied with a BLT for $5.50 USD. I immediately missed Mo's (owner of the corner stone near me) bacon, egg, and cheese on a roll.

So breakfast was a bust. I skipped lunch and decided to walk around to find some wall art. I hardly noticed anything that I hadn't seen on the bus ride. Wallace and Grommet was by far the best picture I've taken. I saw them every day.

Next was the mall - Cabot Circus. There was hot air balloons when I first entered. That was spectacular. Also, the mall was way better than in New York. It does not come close to Jersey, but every place has it's strength and weaknesses.

I planned to watch a movie and eat dinner there. The theater wasn't showing anything good. They were all the same things played in the U.S. At that point, I started to miss home. I had an okay breakfast and now, in a different country I didn't see a different selection of movies. You can understand my disappointment?

Feeling homesick, dinner had to be barbecue. The restaurant, The Coal is eh. I hate to say it. It smelled amazing and was pleasing to the eye. I walked in and was seated immediately. I thought it was great until it took forever to get my food. I had amazing buffalo wings as the appetizer. I thought it was worth it. I had hope! The chicken was delicious. It was perfectly glazed in a spicy buffalo sauce. Yum.

Thirty minutes when by and I wasn't in the mood for dinner. By the time my food came, I was ready to go.

The food.. dun dun dun... the pull pork and brisket was not at all up to par. I did not each much a-tall. Not a-tall. I sipped on a Virgin Pina Colada and nibbled some fries, trying to motivate myself. Whatever I smelled that attracted me to the place was not on my plate. The price.... out of this world. Nearly 80 USD. Never again. I'm sticking to Eddie's Coffee Lounge.