Blog, Travel

My Whirlwind New York City Adventure

Instead of making resolutions each new year, I make a set of goals. It’s kind of like resolutions but better for me. Not so much things I would like to change but more things to accomplish. At the top of the list for 2015 was a trip to New York City. I had never been and have always been fascinated by everything there. Arranging this trip was really complicated but finally two friends and I made the decision to drive and stay for just one night and the majority of two days. I’m not sure what I was expecting it to be like before I got there, but I know it wasn’t at all how I imagined. (Not in a better or worse way, just different.) I was amazed at how many people are living and working and staying and socializing and being in such a seemingly small space. I was surprised at how much I recognized. It seemed like every few blocks I would point something out from some movie, book, play, or picture that I had seen before. And the entire time I felt like I was living in an episode of How I Met Your Mother. I’m obsessed with the idea of all the history that has taken place there, and I sang New York, New York out loud Frank Sinatra style for anyone to hear through most of our walks through Manhattan. We got to go to Top of the Rock which was a highlight for me. The view was incredible. I obviously didn’t get to do too much exploring because of time so I was grateful to be able to get the full view of the city. IMG_1581IMG_1576IMG_1584IMG_1583IMG_1578

While walking through the city we decided to see St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Outside the church were several news reporters and NYPD officers, but people were still going in so we did too. I’m not sure which one of us figured it out first, but we had accidently walked into a viewing for Cardinal Egan who had died a few days before. The look on our faces had to be priceless as we noticed the dead body in the front of the church. So our look-around of this famous cathedral was more hurried than anticipated, however this was probably the funniest part of our whole trip. We could not get out of that building fast enough. Next we took a walk through Rockefeller Plaza, 5th Avenue, and over to Central Park. I was excited like a kid on Christmas. We had a snowball fight and took lots of pictures with all the statues. (The Alice in Wonderland one was my favorite.)

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That night we had dinner in Times Square. We went to this burger place called The Counter and it was one of the best I’ve ever had.

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Times Square was smaller than I had imagined it to be but all the huge stores were bigger than I had expected. We went into Toys R Us and it took me about approximately 10 seconds to notice the Kevin Love cutout on the second floor. (If you didn’t already know, I have major love for my man KLove.)

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The next morning we woke up ready to take on our last day. We decided to try to figure out the subway to get to the 9/11 Memorial. We got there with no problem and, as silly as it sounds, I was so proud of us for just figuring it out. That seemed like the most New York City thing you could do while in New York City.

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The memorial was breathtaking. The Freedom Tower is unbelievably gorgeous. We decided to visit the museum and I promise it’s worth the money. We were there for almost 3 hours taking it all in. IMG_1601

It’s truly amazing to me how much they have saved from that day and how many personal stories are told. One of my favorite things was this wall. There are 2,983 blue squares, one for each person who died in the attack. They were each painted a different shade of blue by Spencer Finch who came up with the concept. This piece of art is called “Trying To Remember the Color of the Sky on That September Morning.” It symbolizes how every person has a different perspective of colors and memories. In the middle of this is the quote by Virgil, “No day shall erase you from the memory of time.” This was carved from pieces of steel from the actual towers. It is such a strong statement. We all have a different viewpoint and remember it differently, but that isn’t what is most important. It’s most important that we just remember what happened. Behind this wall is the closed repository that holds unidentified remains of victims. It took me a few minutes to take in all that I was looking at and the symbolism used, but after walking through the museum I decided that this was my favorite part. IMG_1534IMG_1603 My own memory of that day is so small because of how young I was, but I can say that it feels personal to me because people in my life have shared their personal experiences of the event. I had several teachers in school who would set aside their lesson plans every September 11 to show us documentaries in an effort to not let it fade from our memories, which I think is so important. I said all this just to note that every one 18 and under has little to no personal memory of this specific day and it’s up to everyone who does remember the shock and horror of it all to make it personal  and important to us so that it isn’t forgotten.

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After we left the museum we walked over the Brooklyn Bridge into Brooklyn in search of a specific pizza restaurant. It was only supposed to be a twenty minute walk but we got so lost. After about 45 minutes we FINALLY found it and I’m not sure if the pizza would actually taste that great now but because of how hard we had to work for it, it tasted like it had fallen from heaven and I never wanted it to end. IMG_1604IMG_1605 IMG_1607IMG_1608

After we left the pizza place we got lost again (Brooklyn really was not our friend) and then ended up stuck on the subway during rush hour which pretty much ended our short NYC adventure. On the way home we went over our favorite and least favorite parts. All three of us had a mutual agreement that the Memorial and Museum was our favorite part of the trip and us getting so lost in Brooklyn was our least favorite. Overall, I was just proud that we only got lost that one time and that everything else had gone according to plan. New York has to be one of my new favorite places and I’m so glad we made the trip. So what did I miss out on in NYC that I have to experience next time I’m there? Let me know in the comments.

– Amelia

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