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Sunday, 1 March 2015

New York

' Some time in February, Holly had gone on a winter trip with Rusty, Mag and José Ybarra-Jaegar. '

" Evening Upper East-Siders "...
As I sit typing this weeks (belated) blogpost, I am transported back to the bustling avenues boasting concrete skyscrapers; brought to life with splashes of yellow from traffic lights and taxis galore, the occasional puffs of steam rising from the manholes and the varying wafts of street food mingling, as the people do.

3 glorious days in NYC:
Upon arrival at JFK airport on valentines day itself, the tiredness from our travels was not enough to bring myself down, nor the other 45 students and teachers from my school. (Sadly, I did not feel like Serena Van der Woodsen stepping off her private jet, but the hype of being in New York was enough to keep spirits high.)

Having been to New York twice before with my family, I feared the cosmopolitan city would not overwhelm me with fascination like it once did. Instead, as I stood in the middle of Times Square, a pang of belonging and excitement hit me. There's a distinctive atmosphere about this city whereby nothing is inevitable - I was just waiting for a flashmob to break out around me like in the film "Friends with Benefits" (see here). After a Thai meal in an area called Hell's Kitchen, we headed back to the hotel to get some rest before the action packed day ahead...
Sundays in NY:

There's a pleasant serenity that fills the city on Sundays. As my friends and I headed out for our bowl of maple syrup (accompanied by a couple of pancakes and bacon), the streets were lacking in locals and cabs, which were instead replaced by tourists like us ready to cram as much into their days as possible.
Our day started with a Ferry trip to Ellis Island with beautiful views of the skyline and the Statue of Liberty. 

Later was a time of reflection for many devastating losses as we visited the Vietnam Memorial wall, the Ground Zero Memorial Fountains and St Paul's Church. Personally, I found the 9/11 tragedy was best reflected in the Church as it demonstrated through children's drawings and memorabilia how it affected locals, families and the emergency services.   
After grabbing some lunch, we then headed to an area called DUMBO (down under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass). Here we admired Brooklyn Bridge in the freezing - literally, at -8 degrees - conditions!

Now onto my favourite part of the whole trip: The Top of the Rock...

At 5p.m, we headed to the Rockefeller Centre and within a matter of seconds in the lift, we were 67 floors high and towering over the toy cars and stick people 259 metres below us. As the sun began creeping below the rooftops, an orange haze was projected over the skyline. From one of the balconies was the view of a snowy Central Park and the other was an unmissable Empire State and Chrysler Building.

We were at the Top of the Rock for about an hour and a half, which was just long enough to see the city darken and witness the city that never sleeps. We couldn't have gone at a better time!

Our evening concluded with tea in Little Italy before heading back to the hotel via subway.

(More about Tuesday in New York to follow) 

xoxo - Holl