Saturday, July 12, 2014

Day 6: "The Big Apple"

Bright and early was the wake up time for today, regardless of the fact that it was Saturday. The reason for this was that we were going to New York City for the day. We had to wake up bright and early as the entire Summer Discovery program was going to go on the trip.

We ended up arriving in the city relatively late. As a result we were only given a brief amount of time to view Columbia University and the area around it. After there, we moved on to the area surrounding Times Square. I had been a few times to Times Square, but I had never had the opportunity to spend so much time viewing the sights and major attractions that it possessed. The amount of people that visit Times Square amazes me because it thousands upon thousands who most likely come from all over. Being that my floormates and were unable to get spaces for any of the major trips, such as the top of Rockefeller Center, because the slots were all filled up, we decided to do the only one that was left available to us, Central Park.
Images from around Times Square
 Last year, I never really got a chance to see Central Park at Columbia. Most of the time it was because I was either focused to much on school or because other excursions appeared more interesting and desirable. The few times I did go was for only briefly and even then I was only able to see very small fragments of the expanse of the park. This year however, I was presented with the incomparable opportunity to experience the true serenity and beauty that is Central Park. Being that we arrived there a bit past noon, the park was fool of life, with many being able to bask in the parks glory. For me, it was a very soothing and calming experience. It gave me time to reflect on the fact that even in a fast-paced world filled with stress and competitiveness, there must always be time to take a step back and relax for a bit. This experience gave me that exact opportunity, a chance to relax after a long week of classes and intellectual advancement. It gave me a chance to reflect how everything I have learned so far has impacted my life and how now I view things very differently from when I first began the program. I have learned to question rather than following the mainstream and to treat everyone in society as equals no matter what. For a while, thoughts such as these raced through my mind as I enjoyed the scenery of Central Park. I look back and think how strange it may be that in a city known heavily for its fast paced lifestyle, can posses a spot where residents and visitors can escape that.
Central Park at its finest
After returning back to the home area around Times square, my floormates and I spent time to continue viewing the area. I was amazed once more by the quantity of different food that was sold in the city. There was apparently a festival being held in the center of our home area as many of the streets were blocked and were lined with vendors. The diversity of food types, as well as the mixtures of cultures really captivated me. Everywhere I looked, it was as if I was seeing different part of the world congregated in a single location.

At around 6:00 PM, our day in New York was concluded. The experience had been great, as well as a memorable one. Not only was I able to spend more time with my floormates, building upon the friendship we had established, but also we were able to see NYC in the greatest of forms, its true beauty.

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