Tag Archives: President’s Day

Away from D.C

Standard

By geovolpe

It was a random, rainy and cold Thursday night when we decided that we had had enough of D.C.

Not actually, of course. But sometimes, when your routine gets overwhelming and the weather doesn’t help you power through it, it is normal to feel the urge to escape for a few days.

Me and my roommate felt that urge last Thursday night, as soon as we found out that there were no classes on President’s day and that we had not planned anything. We bought round trip tickets from DC to Philly, by bus. This type of short term, last minute planning is definitely my favorite. And the US East Coast serves that purpose pretty well. I mean, where else in the US can you get away for 2 days at a price of 80$ to visit a major city?
This isn’t something you can do if you’re in California, or Texas or even Chicago.  I like this European dimension of closeness that the east coast has.

We planned it out, recruited 2 friends and then we were ready to go. The details of our trip were as follows:

Departure on Sunday morning, and return on Monday night. 2 full days, 1 full night, 4 people and a full hostel. Full hostel meaning that other than us 4, our room was filled with additional people which, I know, is the very principle of a hostel. But as I had never sojourned in one, I was slightly weary of the concept. I did shared airbnb’s or even co-ops several times in the past, but never hostel. The bunk beds remind me of a military setting and the fact that you share them with strangers is a 50-50 situation. Either strangers are normal, or they are not. However, there is no room for such perplexities and considerations when the price for one night is so low: 26$. Unheard of in D.C.

We arrived at around 11 am on Sunday. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get rid of the D.C cold, as in Philadelphia it was about the same temperature. It was sunny, though, unlike in D.C. So the absorption of vitamin D compensated for the lack of heat.

We spent the day doing touristy stuff: the liberty bell, the independence hall, the museum of Art. We went to a pub at night, and the rest is history. No, we didn’t do anything malicious by American standards, of course. We chilled at the pub and then went to bed. There was no weirdo, and we made friends with the other people in our room.

On the second day, we visited a super cool garden (see pictures) made with re-purposed waste.

  

Philly is a cool city. Middle ground between a European city and New York. It is high rise, but also historical. Pretty hipster-ish, and more lively than D.C on a Sunday night. Food is good (shout out to Philly cheese steak!) and cheaper than D.C

My verdict is: great get away destination for a weekend. Hostels are mostly safe.

  

Advertisements

Only in New York

Standard

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.

unnamed-12

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.

unnamed-13

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.

unnamed-11

 

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.

President’s Day Weekend in DC

Standard

By audrey

While most of my friends are exploring the East Coast over the President’s Day weekend, I stayed behind in DC to do some sightseeing and bring some friends around who were visiting from out of town. Sun’s out guns out – woolly coats and puffy jackets were replaced by shorts and dresses in the sunny 70 degree weather.

Recreating some of the magic I experienced at the Monuments by Moonlight Walk during orientation, we did it in the daytime this time round. National Mall was bathed in sunlight with plenty of people playing casual baseball, football and having picnics. Crowds milled by the reflecting pool and filled the steps outside the Lincoln Memorial – it was a challenge trying to get a good picture. Word of advice – if you’re planning on photographing the monuments on the national mall, it would be a better bet to go later at night. Not only will you be able to get an unobstructed view, you will also enjoy a breathtaking rush of unparalleled tranquility in the company of historical heavyweights.

Food dedication

Remember how last week the spot I was planning on having brunch at had an hour’s wait? Well, I remembered to make reservations this time round and went during dinner hour.

medium-rare

Medium Rare is a steak diner located in the chic Capitol Hill neighborhood. The menu boasts a grand total of 1 main dish which is served in 3 courses: baked bread, rocket salad and 2 sets of steak and fries (refillable). It also has a great wine menu and whenever in doubt, ask the waiter for tips on how to get the best wine-steak combo. The best part is, it only costs 20 dollars (minus tax)!

Also, if the night is still young and you desperately don’t want to go back to good ol’ Foggy Bottom just yet, head across the street to Banana cafe and piano bar for some sweet treats. Located on the second floor of a yellow building by the road, the puerto-rican and cuban style diner serves up some fancy cocktails (and mocktails if you’re not of age) and there’s always a jazz pianist available to entertain. On the weekends, pop piano is available at certain hours.

Midterm week is coming up so all the best everyone! Don’t forget to study and play hard.

lincoln