By: AMANDA BARNETT
New York City is a place of bustling beauty, architecture, trash, traffic and getting stuck in elevators. It is a place that everyone should experience in their lifetime.
I recently ventured to New York City for the very first time with the good company of my fellow writer Jordan Rae, who had previously been to the city.
We went to NYC to attend a journalism conference that was located in the heart of Times Square. While at the conference, we learned a lot about what makes student newspapers from all over the country successful, and we hope to implement some of those methods at The Preface.
Upon arriving in the city Jordan and I were faced with the decision of taking a taxi or airport shuttle to the hotel. The counter for the shuttle was located directly in front of us making for an easy choice. The easy choice isn’t always the right choice. It took us two and a half hours to accomplish a twenty mile trek from LaGuardia Airport to our hotel in Times Square.
The shuttle ride was spent appreciating the ease of South Bend traffic, even during a Notre Dame game. There’s a reason everyone in the movies takes town cars or taxis. My first NYC lesson had been learned.
Never having been to the city, I only knew what I had seen in guilty pleasures like “Gossip Girl,” “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “30 Rock” and my personal favorite “GIRLS.” In all four, the rate at which they travel around the city is false advertising, or teleportation had been discovered. Other than that, for the most part, how popular culture depicts NYC is true.
From the moment you arrive, the melting pot of cultures feels electric. One walks a little taller and faster as this is NYC and everyone has a place to be. Set foot in the city without a plan, and the adventure will find you.
During our free time, Jordan and I walked through the city a lot, enjoying architecture and stumbling upon our adventures.
On the first night there, we frolicked in Times Square and found out for a fact that NYC is the city that never sleeps. Instead of sleeping or frequenting a local watering hole, 20-somethings flock to the Forever 21 clothing store until the wee hours of the morning. Best of all, there’s no sales tax on clothing.
At nighttime the city reeks of trash as the food vendors have gone and left their trash bags lying on the sidewalk. By morning, the trash has magically disappeared and the city smells clean once again.
The best part of the journey was strolling through Central Park, a green oasis surrounded entirely by towering skyscrapers. There was a copious amount of joggers. I felt compelled to tell them all “congratulations.” Self-control was exercised and pictures were taken instead. New Yorkers find it perfectly acceptable when strangers take pictures of them.
It was surreal to see iconic buildings like Rockefeller and The Plaza Hotel. We made sure to stop by the original Tiffany’s store, Harry Winston and Bergdorf Goodman.
A highlight of the trip was the thirty five miraculous minutes it took to get back to the airport. The cabby, who I can only assume is a genius, took us on a short cut through Harlem.
Harlem is a place of beauty where the culture felt more real compared to Times Square: flashy churches and music pumping out of every little store front; cops walking up and down the street in groups, adorned in old fashioned uniforms – hat and all; everything seemed to move a little slower there.
New York City was a success. Jordan was the perfect adventurer. Tasting the city life has left me with a desire to return and stumble upon much more.