Back in a New York state of mind

It has been an amazing experience since returning to New York City and becoming a member of the New York Liberty. It is a rare thing in sports when a player has the opportunity to truly play for their hometown team.

Since coming back to New York, I have had the chance to visit with so many of my friends and family on a regular basis. For New Yorkers and foreigners alike, there is an incredible energy to this city that you feel when you walk through the streets, especially during the summertime. There is nothing like a New York summer.

My mom and dad are the two people responsible for my love of Madison Square Garden. I grew up going to Liberty games with my mom and I was even part of pregame ball ceremony. I remember cheering on Teresa Weatherspoon, Becky Hammon, Rebecca Lobo and all the past greats. My dad took me to Knicks games when I was little and I was a huge Patrick Ewing fan.

There are always awesome events going on in New York City. My teammate Essence Carson and I got the chance to attend the Flawsome Ball, which was sponsored by Tyra Banks and the T Zone Foundation.

This is a place where I honed my skills: the courts at PS 127.

You can always count on the New York City subway to provide you with great entertainment during your trip.

Being home also gives me more time to tackle my New York to-do list. When I was in Connecticut or home during a break from playing overseas, I had a short window to squeeze so many fun activities into. But now being here full-time during the WNBA season, I have more time to explore all that this great city has to offer.

Right now my top five places to visit/things to do in New York City include:

1. Jacob’s Pickles (Upper West Side): They have the BEST pancakes with fried chicken.

2. Charlie’s Records (Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn): Home of my dad’s (Rawlston Charles) recording studio. It’s always a great time when I can hang out with him and his close friends.

3. Broadway: I love Broadway musicals and I try to get to them once a week. The last show I saw was “All The Way,” the Lyndon B. Johnson story.

4. The Boil (Lower East Side): It’s the best seafood and crawfish hands down in NYC.

5. Williamsburg (Brooklyn): I love the vibe of the entire neighborhood. They have amazing restaurants and pubs.