We began our day by settling onto the charter buses provided by APB (along with excellent snack bags!) and as soon as we stepped off the bus, we were on our way. Our first destination was Central Park, which was a beautiful sight to see first thing in the morning. We spotted a nearly overwhelming abundance of joggers preparing for the day ahead. My friends and I settled onto a large rock in the park that overlooked a playground. We sat along with parents who supervised their children playing and spotted so many adorable dogs that we lost count. We basked in the sun that rose above the skyscrapers, and I couldn’t help but express to my group how grateful I was to be spending this day with them.
We then kept our eyes peeled in hopes of spotting a celebrity (despite my greatest wishes, Pete Davidson was nowhere to be seen) as we walked to the Summit Vanderbilt exhibit. In the building, an elevator took us up 90 floors before we were suspended over the New York City skyline. The view was unbelievable, and we could so clearly see the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, and the Brooklyn Bridge, making for an unforgettable experience.
After a long day of shopping and sightseeing, my friends and I stopped by a hot dog stand on our way back to the bus, from which I obtained the most delectable hot dog I have ever consumed in my entire nineteen years. It was no upscale candle-lit dinner; it was better.
My day in New York started in Times Square. I was joined in the "Big Apple" by four friends — all fellow Ship students. It was my first time in "The Big Apple," so I was excited. We took a stroll through the Disney Store in Times Square and discovered that we've aged out of the target demographic when we didn't recognize some of the newer plushies.
We then grabbed some bagels (and some extra to take home) from a shop near Bryant Park before making our way to Grand Central Station. Taking the 4 train south, we ended up at the 9/11 Memorial, which was a harrowing experience. I had never learned about the "Survivor Tree," so discovering it was a highlight. From there, I took a trek over to Trinity Church, to visit the gravesites of Eliza and Alexander Hamilton, two personal heroes of mine. Making our way back uptown, we visited the Intrepid Museum. In our rush to get dinner before leaving, we somehow forgot to go into the Shuttle Orbiter shed. So, it looks like I have a reason to go back...
The moment we arrived, my friends and I hopped off the bus, eager to see what the day would bring us. The first thing we did was buy overpriced iced coffees (in true tourist fashion). Then, we walked to Central Park to explore and take in the captivating scenery. After we walked through a decent amount of the park, we headed back to the city for the Summit One experience at the Vanderbilt. Tickets were only $50, and the price got us a breathtaking view of the city 1,100 feet above all the chaos. We spent the rest of the day eating good food, shopping and taking in everything the city had to offer. This was my first time in the city, and I am extremely grateful that I got to spend it with such amazing people and that APB was able to provide free transportation.
“History is happening in Manhattan, and we just happened to be in the greatest city in the world” are the lyrics that played in my head as my friends and I traveled around the city. NYC is indeed everything everyone says it is: fast paced and busy. But for me, this day was all about fashion. Rightfully so, considering it was fashion week. Most of my trip was spent spending money that I would have to somehow justify to my parents once they see my bank statement. But when you walk into as many stores as I did, you can’t help but want to get your hands on the unique clothes that mostly only reside in NYC. We stopped at stores that are likely trending on TikTok as we speak. Stores like Lululemon, where I was able to score the belt bag in a blush pink; Zara, where my friend brought the most beautiful dress for Valentine’s Day; and, of course, H&M, home of all the basics which seemed to be endless in my opinion. After all that shopping, we found ourselves in Koreatown enjoying authentic Korean food and bubble tea, all while still admiring the unique fashion sense of every individual.
I am much more familiar with New York City than some of my fellow Slaters, as I live just about two hours outside of Manhattan and try to take a train into NYC as often as I can. I saw 22 Broadway shows in 2022 (this was not planned), so I booked tickets as soon as APB announced this trip. I took advantage of Broadway Week, an annual sale that allows patrons to take advantage of lower ticket prices due to the post-holiday off-season, and got tickets to Wicked. I am also a huge foodie, so I filled the rest of my day with decadent foods as seen on TikTok (thank you @devourpower). Angelina Bakery, Unregular Pizza and Chip City will all be seeing my face again in the near future. Nine hours in NYC left me with a full stomach and slightly less full wallet, but I’ll be back to do it all again during spring break.