Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Big Apple Adventure


Small Town Girl Goes To The Big Scary Place

New York, if I had to sum it up in one word, is breathtaking. LITERALLY!

But I am getting ahead of myself.

This trip had so many firsts for me. At first, I was nervous with new plane security; I was constantly worried that something would get confiscated or that I would be dragged into that tiny room of doom! Packing was a nightmare; I had to fit enough clothes for a week with extra souvenir room into two small bags, both carry on. Dad tried to stow away but he pulled my clothes out in the process so that didn’t work. LOL.

I woke at 3 in the morning though I didn’t have to be at my ride's house until 9:00. I curled my hair after double checking my suitcases. I was terribly nervous! The ride to the airport was fun, but my stomach was bunched up in knots as I prepared myself for security and the actual plane ride. Being reassured by my friends that it was completely safe and not as big of a hassle as it was made out to be, I went through security without a hitch; though a few of my friends were pulled out to repack their toiletries.

Then I got on the plane.

I was lucky enough to be seated by a good friend who had flown before. He talked to me the entire time and laughed with me at my surprise when I felt jolts of turbulence. However I was ready to be done with planes when we flew from Dallas to Newark NJ. It was one in the morning NY time when we landed and got to the hotel. But it was only 11pm at home. Being on a plane for 3 hours one time and 3 hours another with long waits between transfers is not fun. But I enjoyed the experience the first time.

Tuesday morning. we headed into NYC for the first time. After driving through the already busy traffic, waiting 2 hours through a supposedly 15 minute drive, we got off the bus to walk through the city to experience the full effect. The smell was disgusting! It smelled like old fish and dirty sewers. Not even 5 minutes after we left the bus a man came begging for money. The buildings were so tall! I hurt my neck from looking up so much! We headed out for a tour of the town! we visited St. Patrick’s cathedral, times square, Chrysler building, the apple store, Rockefeller center, and my favorite of the day, THE GUGENHEIM! da da da duh!

ST. Patrick’s cathedral was truly beautiful. the stained glass, the pews. My
favorite part was their enormous organ set up on a balcony in the back. It was at least half the height of the cathedral! The statues and the candles every where made for a beautiful set up. After that I saw a steaming sewer...yes they really do steam. And the vents that are every where in the movies smell like a bathroom that hasn’t been cleaned. We also saw Trump Tower, which was really cool. They have a doorman in the front dressed up all nice.

Now I am a little sore about Rockefeller center, as we walked by I tripped and twisted my ankle. which sucked. I thought the center was a lot bigger than it was, but then again when they fill it with ice in the winter, it has less people in it. or rather less tents. The rest of the buildings (excluding the Guggenheim) we visited were nice, but dimmed in comparison to the Guggenheim!

The Guggenheim is one of the best art museums ever. I saw my first van Gogh and Picasso there! However I was a little disappointed with the permanent exhibits. The architecture sketches were cool, but they all looked the same to me. And finishing the long walk to find sixth grader art at the top was a little irritating. though it is a lot better than art I made in sixth grade.
We took a short break for shopping and a little exploration before dinner. It rained for the first time after that. And it poured! I was drenched before 5 minutes were up. And as quickly as it started, it did not let up! We had the BEST pizza I have ever eaten in NY. These slices were huge! after eating half, it was still as big as a normal paper plate!

After that we headed back to the hotel for some social time and relaxation.

Wednesday! well I got up to prepare myself for one of the highlights of the trip.....PHANTOM OF THE OPERA! We weren’t going to the show until 8...but we were exploring the town all day so unless we wanted to change on the bus we had to get ready in the morning. I wore a blue dress given to me for the occasion. Because it is windy in new York I was wise enough to bring shorts to wear under it. No peeping toms for me! But as we headed to central park for some exploration...I made the mistake of standing on a vent, which blows air as a subway goes by! Needless to say I did a pretty good impersonation of Marilyn Monroe.....I was not happy.. We had picked up a professional tour guide who took us by the apartment building where John Lennon was killed, and his memorial in central park.
We went to the fountain where enchanted was filmed, and met a really cool sax player. who played New York New York for us, and invited me and a few friends to join him in a kick line! Afterward I got to meet Hans Christian Andersen! or rather a statue of him. My mom says we are very likely related so I was tickled. Especially since he wrote one of my favorite stories, The Little Mermaid. I was a little annoyed at first though, because there were a bunch of obnoxious children climbing on the statue, insulting us tourists.

The next thing we saw was a sculpture that had been recovered out of one of the twin towers after nine eleven. It was beaten and bruised and terribly damaged. but it was truly powerful with the message it conveyed.

One of the things about New York is that you never know who you are going to meet! As we walked down wall street a person dressed up in a panda costume walked around, asking for money with its heavily embellished pink sequin purse. As we left Wall Street we headed for the NYC public library. The carving inside was spectacular! The library itself was a work of art! We headed for ground zero next, which looked nothing like the rubble we all picture it as. It is now a busy booming construction site!

After lunch we were given time to explore Times Square and do some souvenir shopping.
Times Square was amazing, there were buildings so covered in light up bill boards that it appeared to be nothing more than that! It was still raining too. At eight o' clock we headed to the Broadway theater. Luckily my teacher had gotten tickets in advance, or we may not have gotten in the line was so long! The musical was amazing! This being my first professional show I was flabbergasted! My only complaint was a couple of sound errors. but that could happen to anyone and they performed admirably besides! I got my t-shirt and went to bed too keyed up to sleep.

Thursday-our last full day in NY, we visited Ellis Island and the statue of liberty! Ellis island was cool but the statue of liberty was better! However I thought she would be bigger than she was. But it's still cool. Then we visited the MOMA or MOdern Museum of Art. It was really cool...but not a lot of classic there. Saw some really disturbing art. We were so wiped out by that time a lot of people crashed (including me) during a brief break we took at the front. I saw Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Rauschenberg , and Chuck Close...all of which are my heroes! Later we explored China town and Little Italy. both of which were so cool! The first thing I saw in China town was a window full of roasted ducks, which all still had there heads on them.

Later we visited the Empire State Building...but only went to the 86th floor, mostly because we would get a better view. I was not terrified like I thought I would be! The view was truly breath taking! Me and some friends goofed off while we waited for our group to come together. Got some funny pictures.

Friday- our final day. We had until 2:00 pm to explore the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and in those six hours I had I barely scratched the surface! I saw Dali, van Gogh, Rembrandt, O’Keeffe, Pollock, Chagall, Monet, Manet, and so many others! I was truly geeking out! I was so excited I couldn’t contain myself. I made a guard nervous, I was just trying to get a good look at one of my favorites, van Gogh ’s corn field, and she asked me to back away. All I could do was sober up and be a civilized viewer. I think I resembled a fan girl beforehand. I saw samurai armor and famous sculptures. I saw the stained glass window from Ferris Bueller's day off, and the painting where Cameron zooms in. Making the Chicago setting inaccurate. At lunch I had my first NYC hot dog. which tasted so delicious!
I had a hard time believing it was a hot dog. We left to board the plane that would take us home. But a Swiss army knife delayed us as a passenger from the last flight had left it on. We waited 2hours for a storm, then another for the knife. Didn’t get home until five in the morning, but I had so much fun it was well worth it.


I am attending NMSU this fall with an honor's scholarship. I will be majoring in art and education. My father, who edited this post, sincerely hopes I learn to use the shift key before my freshman comp professor flunks me.

You can see all 1,188 pictures I took in NYC HERE.