As it was President’s Day, we decided to make the most of the long weekend and head up to New York for a couple of days. After class on Thursday we all hopped on the Megabus and within four short hours were in New York City. We were staying on the top floor of an Airbnb in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn with views overlooking the Manhattan skyline from the Empire State building to the World Trade Center.
As this was my second time in New York I had already seen the Statue of Liberty, toured the MoMA and the Met, and taken a picture in Times Square. This time around I was able to skip all the tourist attractions and experience the city as a local. The best way to travel around New York is by subway. Although it cannot compare to the London Underground, the subway still gets you everywhere you need to be. My first visit to New York I avoided the subway and went everywhere by taxi or walking. This time around I wanted to be able to do as true New Yorkers do.
A friend of mine that I met on a previous exchange in South Korea had recently moved to New York and so was able to show me how locals do it. Living on opposite sides of the pond it was great to catch up, hang out and explore the city together. That’s what so great about studying abroad, you meet people from all over the world and get to travel together. From travelling both individually and in a group I have learnt that it is the people you share these experiences that truly makes it.
On Saturday I joined my friend to go rock climbing in Long Island City. Although I am not the athletic type I decided that when in New York is a good time to climb a sixty-foot wall. Surprisingly, this turned out to be a good idea and I managed to make it all the way to the top. I figured studying abroad is a great opportunity to try anything new.
As I didn’t have class on Tuesday, I decided to stay an extra day in the city. We headed across town to catch the East River Ferry. The East River Ferry is a commuter ferry that only costs $4 ($7 on weekends) and takes you from midtown down to Pier 11. It gives you the most amazing views of Manhattan, all the bridges and the Statue of Liberty. From Pier 11 we walked up through the city, stopped for lunch in ChinaTown, I tried my first cannoli in Little Italy went shopping in SoHo.
It was great to experience the hustle and bustle of New York. The city is the embodiment of the melting pot that is America. Endless cultures, languages, food and ethnicities it genuinely is a city where anything goes. Spending a week away in New York, it was finally time to return to home. Leaving DC made me realise how much the city has become my home.