My first trip to New York City was my senior year in high school. Our small, little mountain school took the senior class to Washington DC and New York City every year. This is a tradition that has continued for many generations. Having my first time in New York City as a senior in high school was very overwhelming. I remember climbing the stairs to the top of the Statue of Liberty (which you can’t do now). and remember the twin towers. I still have my picture looking at those buildings across the bay.
Fast forward a few years later ... I decided to take my church up to hear the wonderful Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir in Brooklyn New York. During this time, we also had a few days to explore the City, and as always, it’s a rush and a blur to see everything you can see.
More recently in 2016, I took the role of executive Director at the City of Morganton Municipal Auditorium. This was a great time of growth for me not only as a play writer and show producer, but also learning to be a fine arts director and learning the ropes and meeting many new people. This would help sculpt my future. They made and impression on me, and I hope I left a southern, and christian influence on them. During this time, each January, my role as director would send me to New York to do what I call “show shopping.” This was a weeklong convention of bands, shows artist, comedians and celebrities - all coming together to fulfill the coming years dates of show routes. I met many celebrities and agents, attended many workshops, which is ultimately what lead to me starting my own company called WJS Creative Group. Many of these artist and agents are still close friends to this day!
During these weeklong stays in New York, I learned my way around pretty well. I learned where to eat and we’re not to eat. During my downtime, I was able to walk and see many things, watch people, shop, and just explore being in New York for a week. I was able to become very familiar with Chinatown, Wall Street, street vendors, and wonderful restaurants along with many famous blues and jazz clubs. But the best of all - seeing the city during Christmas. New York City doesn’t stop Christmas in December - they continue through mid-January.
Above at famous Birdland Blues and Jazz Club - one of my favorite places