Just over a week has passed and the NewYorkney pupils and teachers are almost over their jet lag. They have had time to come back down to earth and reflect on their incredible experiences in The Big Apple. ‘This is the most amazing experience I have ever had in my life’ was heard numerous times. Highlights included a trip to the top of The Empire State Building in a gale, The Lion King on Broadway, MoMA and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Macy’s, Times Square, a sunset boat trip on The Hudson River, sunny walks through Central Park and loads more…
Here are some of the pupils’ reflections:
For me, New York was inspiring due to its amazing architecture and its art galleries. The highlight of the trip would have to be when we went on the boat trip and saw The Statue of Liberty and the New York skyline at sunset. It was jaw dropping! Also the people who came on the trip made it even more special and we really bonded as a group. I would like to thank all of the teachers for organising it all – especially Mr Longley, you did a FABULOUS job!
When given the task of ‘writing a short paragraph’ the first thing you think in your head is ‘Oh yeah sure, that won’t take long.. that’s easy!’ But when that ‘short paragraph’ is about the beautiful city New York, the task becomes much harder. You see, it’s impossible to even connect the word ‘short’ to such a city… everything is just so big and overwhelming. What I will say, though, is that New York has the aesthetic ability to make your eyes widen and your jaw drop with the sudden rush of adrenaline through your bloodstream.
The defining moment for me was when our plane landed at JFK, seeing the skyline in the distance out of the aeroplane window. Compared to all the landmarks in New York this may appear to have been a rather insignificant moment in the grand scale of things but for me it was the first time I can truly say that I saw pure beauty and I think I would’ve happily sat on that plane for another eight hours watching that still scene.
New York holds something for everyone; rows of theatres in Broadway for the people who love the glitzy side of the city, unique food stands on the road sides selling authentic pretzels and hot dogs for people keen to try out different cuisines, stunning architecture with the likes of the Chrysler Building and the Empire State for the arty people among us, as well as the world renounced art galleries such as The MoMa, and Strawberry Fields where music (and peace) lovers can visit the memorial of the late John Lennon. But the one site that pulls on the heartstrings of everyone is Ground Zero – the intense feeling is simply indescribable.
So, no matter who you are or what you’re interested in New York has something for YOU. Get on that plane; it really is a big adventure!
For me, the highlight of the trip was going to Broadway to see ‘The Lion King’. It was spectacular and I hope to go and see more Broadway shows in the future. The whole trip from start to finish was amazing and I had a great time! Thanks to all the teachers for organising this trip!
I don’t think I’ve ever stated the obvious more in my life: ‘It’s Times Square’, ‘It’s the Statue of Liberty’, ‘It’s so big!’, ‘It’s NEW YORK!’ But I couldn’t help myself, because it was so unbelievable. New York seems so familiar, since we’ve seen it in movies and on TV, but to be there was just amazing. I loved everything about this trip!
I couldn't believe what I was seeing - everything felt like a dream. The sky was so bright, almost blinding. I looked out of the window on the plane in awe. We were in America! I could see the outer suburbs of New York: almost every house owned a pool, the grass looked so lush and green. My heart was beating so fast from all of the excitement and we were only in the airport!
By the time we got onto the bus the sky was darkening, night was falling and we could see huge skyscrapers in the distance. Almost every building was lit up in different colours, bold and bright. I could not take my eyes off the city, the city that never sleeps. When we arrived at the YMCA I was struck by a warm, tropical breeze. Even when it was dark, or raining, or windy, the air was always hot. I still couldn't believe it - the air, the buildings, the lights, yellow taxis, yellow school buses, the people, the accents, the sky, everything! I swear it felt like a dream.
Every morning waking up in New York we would say to each other, "Guys, we are in NEW YORK!" We just couldn't get over it. I think the main highlight from the trip was the atmosphere, that movie-like feeling. Watching the joggers run through Central Park, looking at people and guessing what their job might be, made me feel like I was part of the city. It definitely took a while for everything to sink in. There was just so much to see, taste, hear and smell.
We visited many of New York's most wonderful and inspiring museums including the Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Metropolitan. The one day it rained we visited the Empire State Building. Personally the building itself had distracted me from the weather, I almost forgot that it was even raining. It was still a warm day; most of us wore shorts or a dress. I was standing at the top of the Empire State Building in the pouring rain wearing a dress! It was hilarious though, we were all getting soaked and our umbrellas were turning inside out but we loved it, we were overlooking the city from the Empire State Building, we were all happy.
Every evening we had the option to go to Times Square. It was beautiful. This wasn't an ordinary city with grey buildings and a polluted environment; this was a city with beautiful buildings, bright lights and an extremely lively atmosphere that never ended. There were hundreds of people at Times Square, it wasn't uncomfortably crowded, and it
was just perfect. We were all pointing at different things that were going on around us. Times Square had so much energy and I had never felt so awake in my life.
Towards the end of our trip we went on a Boat trip and also took the underground metro to where the Twin Towers stood. The last few days in New York were gorgeous. Our skin was exposed to the sun, something that we Orcadians don't experience too often. We did have to stand around and wait quite a lot of the time, but there was so much to see and I didn't complain. During the boat trip we could see the sun setting over in New Jersey and this had a beautiful effect on New York City. I remember taking so many photos on that boat trip. I just wanted to show everyone how amazing the trip was. It was extraordinary how we could see the sky changing in colour, the sun setting and the lights of the city turning on. At home I normally feel bored or unemotional when the night comes to an end, but not here.
In New York there is something for everyone. It was an unmissable experience, which everyone should have the chance to do. It has been the best and most memorable journey of my life. There was still so much more to see, it never ends. I am definitely going back. I want to see everything again, and more!
New York was a brilliant experience. The city seemed so large and small at the same time. I really enjoyed going to the museums and it was great to see paintings I have studied in art in person. My favourite parts of the trip were going to Times Square on the Sunday night and seeing the Tony Awards live on the big screen and seeing New York from the top of the Empire State Building. In the future I would love to go back to New York.
My experience in New York is one I will never forget and being able to say I spent my 18th Birthday there makes it all the more memorable. :)
Out of all the attractions we visited, its safe to say that the boat trip - allowing us to see the Manhattan skyline as the sun was setting, was New York at it's best and for anyone thinking on going to New York, I would definitely add the boat tour to your list of things to do!
Click here to see more pictures on the New York gallery page