The big apple. The city that never sleeps. The concrete jungle. New York, New York.

I crawled out of bed at 5am, the nighttime fog still in the air, the moon still in the sky, but I wasn’t complaining, I was heading to one of my favorite cities in the world; New York, New York.

The Millrose Games is the longest running indoor track and field meet in the history of indoor track and field. As a self-proclaimed track-head ‘(noun/adj): someone who is addicted to track and field,’ I have been watching the Millrose Games on TV for as long as I can remember, but this year I was competing in them.

The meet was nothing like I had ever experienced before.

There was no official warm-up/pre-meet area. Just two long hallways with strips of track laid on them. It was hot, like really hot. Imagine a sauna with the door open. Enough of a breeze to keep you from passing out, but still hot enough to make sure you were really sweating.

In a loaded field with a few other Olympians, I came in 2nd place and ran a new personal best of 7.17 seconds in the 60-meter dash.

After the Meet

I had about 16 hours to soak in everything I could in New York. Since the city never sleeps, neither did I. Accompanied by one of my best friends and NYC native, Chamique (check out our hashtag #MorlaMique on IG), we took the city by storm.

I spent about a week of summer 2015 in NYC visiting Chamique. During that week, in her efforts to convince me that New York style pizza is better than Chicago deep dish, we ate at a different pizza spot almost every day. I am still not convinced. But this time I didn’t waste anytime or meals on pizza.

Craving a burger and milkshake, we found a hole in the wall restaurant called Burger Joint. It’s actually a hole inside of a very nice Manhattan hotel. There was only room for about 25-30 people to sit, but there was easily 50 people trying to grab dinner there. Their decorations were old posters that people had wrote and drawn on over the years. There was no “kitchen” just a fridge, grill, deep fryer and sink in the back. I had one of the best burgers I’ve ever tasted…or I was just really hungry.

In some thigh high boots that weren’t really made for walking, we headed to Times Square…because it’s Times Square.

I ended my night at the Ludlow House, a member’s only club on the lower east side of Manhattan. I danced with my good friend and reminisced about our time spent at the University of Texas together.

New York never ceases to amaze me. Every person you talk to has a different accent, and if you dare to ask…an interesting story. Yet, everyone belongs to the city and identifies themselves as a “New Yorker,” which I think is a beautiful thing.

Until next time

all my love,

Morolake.

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