I spent last week in NYC. I went there to attend the February Institute at Teachers College of Columbia University. Classes were from 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. each day. Once classes were over and we had done our homework for the next day (and sometimes before we’d done the homework), we headed off to soak in every ounce of NYC experiences and sightseeing that we possibly could. I doubt if we could have fit in another activity. It was an extremely full week. Here are thirteen of my favorite things about the trip.
(1) The beautiful and intricate architecture of the old buildings - all over NYC. I loved looking at those old buildings.
(2) Wicked. It was a wonderful Broadway show at the Gershwin Theater. It was totally delightful.
(3) Shopping in Chinatown for purses. They made it a seem like such a cloak and dagger experience, although since every tourist knows about them, I’m sure that all the police officers do, too. It was a hilarious experience, though.
(4) Jersey Boys - another Broadway show. This one was about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons - wonderful music and great show!
(5) The Empire State Building. It was my first time to see it, and I loved it. We lucked out in being there at a time when there were no lines. We were able to go right up to the top and walk around in the wind and cold of the observation deck. I thought of “Sleepless in Seattle” and “An Affair to Remember” and just thoroughly enjoyed it.
(6) Meeting my niece at the Empire State Building. She’s a nanny in NYC, has a degree in Musical Theater, and she didn’t think twice about hopping on the subway to meet me at the ESB and then going with me to have dinner with some of my teacher friends. It was just cool to see family when I was so far away from family. Does that make sense?
(7) The snow storm on Friday morning. It was wonderful waking up to the beautiful snow on Friday morning and then walking through the falling snow with about 6 inches of snow already on the ground to get to our Friday morning classes. I learned that the northerners who come to the south and make fun of us for shutting down because of a little snow don’t have room to talk. Lots of things shut down in NYC because of that snow last Friday.
(8) I especially love the fact that our flight home was not cancelled or delayed because of the snow. Although earlier flights had been cancelled, ours went home right on time. While NYC was great, I was ready to sleep in my own bed and see RT again.
(9) A. - one of the session leaders at the institute. We started counting how many times she used the word “like” - it was in the hundreds on any given day. She was very knowledgeable and likeable, but her speech had a definite Valley Girl bent. At one time she said we were going to talk about mini-lessons, and she declared: “I love them! I LIKE THEM A LOT! They’re really good!” (I know that is EXACTLY what she said because I started writing down exact quotes once I realized what a treasure trove of bizarre quotes she was providing us). Anyone who becomes orgasmic at the mere mention of mini-lessons was someone who held our interest and provided lots of material for discussion. My roommate was particularly adept at imitating A., and we spent one evening in absolute hysterics laughing and talking about things A. had said and done in class.
(10) Staying at the International House in NYC. Great place to stay. Very much like a college dormity - bare bones type lodging, but clean (except for the shower curtain) and the atmosphere of having people from all over the world staying there was really fun. Plus they had a great cafeteria with wonderful food. That saved us a lot of time and money for our other NYC adventures.
(11) Being in the audience of the Late Show with David Letterman. It was a fun experience. RT and I watched the show when I got home, and he said it was about the worst show he’d ever seen. The jokes weren’t funny and the guest was boring. However, the experience of being there in person was lots of fun. Plus, there’s a clear shot of me in the audience - so I have that tiny claim to fame.
(12) Riding the subway and seeing that yes, people are people are people. In general, the people we met in NYC were friendly and helpful - and several of them went way beyond the call of duty to offer assistance and information when we needed it.
(13) The airline employee in the Nashville airport who told us about the best view of NYC: “It’s out the airplane window when you’re leaving NYC on your way back home.” While I can understand why people would want to live in a city like NYC - there are so many wonderful experiences available there - I can’t imagine living there myself. It was crowded, it was noisy, and bags of garbage were everywhere. I was grateful to return to my country home in Tennessee.
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