**Author’s Note: My apologies for not posting as often as I’d like. Being in college has kept me fairly busy. **
Last Sunday 9/24 I took an adventure about three hours south onto the island of Manhattan, or as it`s called around here ” The City”. The assistant manager of the house I live in had been assigned by corporate to chaperone two ladies from the agency`s apartment program; she agreed under one condition, that I could go too. After inviting me she then spent the next few days assuring me our traveling companions were “cool” and that I would probably get along with them.
The following days were filled with making reservations for the Sugar Factory an elite restuarant known for insane 60oz drinks dubbed “the goblet”, celebrity clientel, and a selection of candy that rivaled Willy Wonka. Because trains are expensive on a fixed income my assistant manager who is a Queens transplant herself, offered to drive. This meant that although we were saving money I wouldn`t be able to bring my motorized chair, which was a good idea anyway.
Transfering me into the mini van was the least of our worries because as long as I have my AFOs (ankle foot orthotics) on I can stand-piviot transfer with some help. Our real fear was that we’d run into bathroom trouble; if you’ve ever been to the city you probably noticed public bathrooms aren’t really a thing there. This poses a major problem because you can pretty much count on my needing to pee every two to four hours like you can count on the sun to rise. So that meant I had to keep my food but especially fluid consumption to a bare minimum, oh and did I mention it was about 90° F that day? I didn`t eat or drink anything from 7:30 that morning until about 5:30 that night. I had to purposefully severely dehydrate myself because of NYC’s general lack of public bathrooms.
While on our 45 block trek uptown in the blistering heat I was nearly tipped from my chair 50+ times because of potholes and uneven sidewalks. Why on earth did we walk nearly 8 miles both ways? Because, it is simpler and faster as well as more wheelchair friendly than navigating various accessible subway entrances scattered throughout the city.
Overall, I had a wonderful time and would do it again but it’s not a trip I could do by myself. And if it weren`t for the Toys R Us employee that graciously let me pee in the employee bathroom after drinking the majority of a 60oz mojito, I would’ve had wet pants. In general though, NYC needs to step up their accessibility.