Tag Archives: nyc

Summer Plans

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By anthonyscheergwu.

Summer is right around the corner. This Thursday I’ll be done with my final exams and all my papers and I’m really excited so I’m going to take a break from studying and write about my summer plans!

From May 11 to 15, I’ll fly from DC to Denver and back. While I’m in Denver I’ll be meeting up with a childhood friend who I haven’t seen since 2014. I have no idea what we are going to do apart from a 14er hike, but I’m super excited to see him!

On May 17, I’ll officially say bye to DC and head to York in Pennsylvania again. I’ll be spending Friday night with my cousin to celebrate the end of my semester!

On May 18, I’ll take the train and arrive in NYC just in time to celebrate the birthday of a couple of friends. I’ll be in NYC till the 27th. During this time a bunch of my high-school friends are flying in and it’ll be fun to have a mini reunion in NYC. I’ll make sure to get a bagel while I’m there because I’ve never had one and apparently that’s weird.

On May 27 I’ll be flying out to Miami, and if you’re looking for me, I’ll be spending most of my time on the beach till June 3. Hopefully I’ll get a tan because that just isn’t possible in DC. 

On June 3rd I’m going to fly out of Miami and go back to LA (during Spring Break I fell in love with LA and I just had to go back). I’ll be in LA for 2 days, and then on June 6, I’ll drive out to Las Vegas. I’ll get their just in time for my birthday on June 7 and that should be fun! Hopefully, I’ll have time to visit the Grand Canyon during my 3 days there.

On the 9th of June, I’ll be flying towards San Francisco. I’ll have 2 full days to visit this city and I’m looking forwards to squeeze in as much as possible in this time frame.

On June 12, I’ll be on my flight back to NYC. I’ll be spending my last night in the US there with a couple of friends who’ll still be around.

On June 13 (the last day of my 30 day grace period) I fly out to Paris where I’ll be spending 3 nights there before heading back to my grandparents house to attend my family reunion just in time!

If you’re interested in following my adventures while I’m visiting all these cities follow me on instagram: @Anthonyscheercuzy, cause unfortunately, my exchange semester at GWU is coming to an end and which means that so is my run with this blog!

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New York

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By anthonyscheergwu.

I decided to go to New York after a week of living in the library as I had to work on my mid-terms. I took the bus Thursday afternoon and arrived in New York by 6pm.

Thursday night I didn’t too much because I was so tried. I met up with some friends and walked around the city randomly to explore it.

We woke up early Friday and did the touristy things right away. We went to the one world trade centre, 9/11 Memorial, the charging bull on wall street, and saw the Statue of Liberty from far. I personally thought the two most impressive things were the one world trade center and the 9/11 memorial right next to it. Standing right under the one world trade center and looking up is really impressive because the triangular angles of the building give the impression that the building’s top is infinite. This was the same impression I got at the 9/11 memorial because I couldn’t see the bottom of the hole in the middle and I kept wondering how deep it was.

After a morning and afternoon of visiting New York, I started planning a dinner with a couple of friends that live in NYC. People always say that NYC is great because there are so many different things to eat, and while that’s true, no one ever says how annoying that is. Because NYC basically has all the different types of food you can imagine, planning a dinner with 8 people is close to impossible. After juggling between 8 different options, we decided to go to none of them and just go to an Italian restaurant 30 seconds from where we were staying.

That night we decided to explore the NYC nightlife and I understood why people always say that NYC is the city that never sleeps. We went around different places and every-time we were moving from one place to the other, there were people on the street, the subways were not empty and the roads still had cars circulating the streets. By 5:30 we got hungry and unlike in DC, Paris, or Yangon, finding food at the time was actually very easy. We even had a couple of different options to choose from which was pretty amazing.

Saturday we started our day going to Kellogg’s Cereal Bar. I definitely recommend going there because I don’t think there are a lot of places in the world where you have a bar that serves only cereals. We got a seat in front of a TV and watched cartoons while we ate our 5 dollar bowls of cereals. Afterwards, we walked around Times Square and SoHo, and basically just shopped and ate throughout the day. For dinner we went to Chelsea market and this place, again, has the bittersweet feeling that I got throughout my trip in NYC — there was so many different things to try and everything looked so good that instead of enjoying what I chose I kept thinking of what I didn’t get to taste. Therefore I ate at 4 different stalls, of which one serves really tiny doughnuts.

Sunday morning I took a bus back to DC and booked my next trip to New York while going back because I loved this city and I didn’t see enough in my 3 days there.

Fall in D.C.

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By yassineaourid

This is it, fall arrived. The nice weather we knew when we came here is gone now. I can’t realize how fast time is flying, and I can’t believe that I’m leaving the US in almost two months. It’s time to review what I did so far and to make a quick assessment of my experience abroad.

From my window, I can see the leaves of the trees turning from green to a kind of yellow. But leaves aren’t the only one who changed. In fact, since I am here, I noticed that a lot of things changed in my way of life. I think that living in the heart of the nation’s capital and going from time to time to NYC, makes you become “American” quicker than living in any other American city. If we talk about food, I can say that food here really changed me, literally. I gained 4 pounds since I came here. Well, it’s sort of understandable when you have Chick-Fil-A on campus and a Subway downstairs. Also, I have a new habit now, I can’t go to class without a Vanilla Latte in my hands. Back in Morocco, I used to drink only strong coffees but here… I got Starbucksized.

From the study perspective, I am very happy that I took such great courses. On the first hand, my psychology class is really interesting and fascinating. Although the exams are not always easy, the content of the chapters allows me, now, to understand better my behavior and some of my actions. On the other hand, my computer science class, a more pragmatic approach, is by far my best class here. I get along with my classmates and my superb professor. A good thing about American people and mentality, that I noticed especially in NYC, is that they hate wasting time. They are always to the point. Even when they speak, their phrases are a sequence of shortcuts, and they love approximations. “I was like…”, “sort of”, “kind of”, “for some reasons”, “a bunch of stuff” How much is a bunch? What’s a stuff? I don’t know… (Gad El Maleh, American Dream)

In a nutshell, my experience is not done yet, and yet, I have learned so many things, made so many acquaintances and seen great things. I’m looking forward to knowing more about the American culture especially with the upcoming events (Halloween, the Midterms, Thanksgiving…)

P.S: Don’t be surprised if I write another post about NYC, we never get tired of this city…

A memorable week

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By yassineaourid

If you read my posts regularly, you would know that the last week was the most boring one and that I promised you that the following will be great. Well… the promise is made.

When I finished my psychology exam on Wednesday afternoon, I quickly ran to Union Station because something was happening. I was going to New York for the first time. People told me that the train was comfortable and it was quicker than the bus. Before going, I had some plans that turned out to be a little bit eccentric. A dear friend of mine invited me to spend the weekend with her.

The trip on the train was great. It was super comfortable and although the trip duration was 3 hours and a half, I didn’t feel bored at all. When I arrived at Penn Station in NYC, I had goosebumps. It was a historic moment for me. The next morning I walked around the city and had lunch in the Rockefeller Center. This center, localized in the center of the city, is very impressive. After a lunch rich in calories, I went to see all the famous avenues that I only have seen in movies and social media. The Fifth Avenue is incredibly amazing. Police officers were everywhere because of the UN summits. I took advantage of my presence in the 5th Avenue to say Hi to my neighbor Donald.

“New York is one of the most crowded cities in the world”. When we read this sentence between the lines, one will understand that safety and security are key in New York. This is why I wanted to pay tribute to NYPD officers. They were very kind and helpful. I had a conversation with them and they appreciated it.

Nocturnal life in New York is totally different from every other city’s nocturnal life. The best way to discover a city is to get lost in it. My friends and I ended up in Little Korea, a neighborhood that brings you from NYC to Seoul. We decided to try Korean barbecue. It was a great success. Korean food is delicious. We had chicken, beef, shrimp, dumplings and all kind of vegetables. I tried for the first time Saké. This night was culinary excellent.

The following day which was a Saturday, I reserved myself a little surprise. I decided to go watch a Broadway show and a very particular one: The Lion King. All my life, this Disney production will always have its place in my heart. I purchased the ticket for $300 but this is a one-lifetime experience. I can finally know how it feels to go watch a great show on Broadway on Saturday. My friends took dropped me to the Minskoff Theater and we passed through Time Square on a Cadillac!

 

 

I encourage everyone to watch this astonishing show.

This trip to New York was the opportunity for me to fell in love with another city. Sorry Washington, your cousin NYC is so special…

And I arrived at Union Station.

See you next week

 

Only in New York

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By sophieheard

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Concrete Jungle Where Dreams are Made Of

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By itsmaggiegwu

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Four day weekend – the perfect amount of time for a weekend away from the peaceful D.C. to the hustle and bustle of New York City. We arrived in the Megabus as the lit up billboards welcomed us to NYC (side note: the bus was incredible – they allowed us to go on an earlier bus with no extra cost and everything was clean and comfy, would definitely go by Megabus next time). We rolled our luggage through the small puddles o water on the sidewalk that had formed from the rain earlier. It was still sprinkling a bit but it was nice. The heavy fog and clouds prevented us from going up the Empire State Building to view the City that Never Sleeps. Nonetheless, we had plenty of other things to explore. We pushed through the crowds in Times Square and stood there for a while to take it all in. Then the  Empire State of Mind started playing over and over in our heads:

In New York,
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
There is nothing you can’t do,
Now you’re in New York,
These streets will make you feel brand new,
The lights will inspire you,
Lets here it for New York, New York, New York

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The highlight of the night was definitely the walk over Brooklyn Bridge. Light rain touched our faces as we paced. We stopped a few time to turn and take in the magnificent lit up skyline of Manhattan on the other side. The bridge was almost deserted with a few joggers and people riding home on their bikes. We walked towards Dumbo in the middle of the darkness to get photos of the Manhattan Bridge.

We stayed at an Airbnb place on Chauncey St in East Bushwick of Brooklyn. It was a small 2 bedroom apartment right next to the Metro (convenient but also slightly noisy at night) with 5 beds crammed into one of the rooms. The hostess was really nice and provided us with everything we needed (cream cheese bagels included). This accommodation costed about $32 per person per night which was incredibly cheap. Slightly far from Manhattan but getting the metro to the city was easy and only costed a standard $2.75 per fare.

The next few days were spent by exploring the Financial District (Wall St, the Charging Bull, New York Stock Exchange), Battery Park,Statute of Liberty, 9/11 Memorial, Central Park (which was quite amazing seeing the massive city surrounding this green piece of land), the MET, getting 99cent pizzas before watching Fiddler on the Roof in Broadway!
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The next two days were mostly spent in Brooklyn which was probably my favorite place in New York. In particular, Williamsburg and Bushwick both had a lot of local culture with amazing street art, markets selling creations in the form of canvases, paintings, jewelry, restaurants (which also drowned in street art) and so much more. It reminded me of Newtown, a suburb in Sydney which gives off the same hip, young, artsy vibe.

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Foods that I recommend: Roberta’s Pizza in Bushwick, best in Brooklyn with long lines on a Monday morning. Criff’s Dogs, for the authentic American hotdogs experience for cheap. Dunwell Donuts, for the vegans with a sweets craving (all the donuts are vegan here and they taste amazing). The Little Owl, which is right under the Friend’s Apartment with people packed to the rim (get the meatball sliders and cheeseburger). 99cent Fresh Pizza near Broadway, it’s cheap, it’s tasty, it’s pizza. Cold Stone Creamery, for some great ice cream in Time Square.

 

I loved the experience in NYC but I probably couldn’t live there long term. The subway was convenient but incredibly dirty, as were the roads. It was also a harsh reminder of the reality of the rate of homelessness and people suffering from mental illness who could not afford shelter or healthcare. It was a sore sight to see this happening in supposedly the greatest city in the world. Maybe this will change in the future – let’s just hope America elects the right president to run the country.

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