This is one of my older stories, a school exchange-trip to New York. We first went 3 days to a town called Mountain Lakes where the exchange project took place, meaning we splitted up and all got to stay with a host family. Leah, my host, took me to her theater group several times, which was a really cool experience. The people were really warm, open and welcoming. Kim (who led the theater group) is one of the most enthusiastic, devoted and warm people I’ve ever encountered in my life.
New York itself is everything you expect from it, and at the same time it is not. Manhattan is very, very big, but with a bit determination you can walk almost everything (Why would you, subways for $2, duh!). New York means crowded, it means large buildings, it means a lot of commercials and bill boards, and it means a lot of fast food. Nevertheless, I felt a lot safer than I expected to, and I learned that my typical fat-scootmobile-Walmart-American image is a bit exaggerated (have I actually been in Walmart?).
What I really really loved, was Central Park. I remember that on Sunday we got all dressed up to go for a run in Central Park, and ended up with our lazy asses on a bench enjoying our Dunkin Donuts breakfast in the sun. Whereupon we got to watch a large group actually running.
What was a really fun discovery for me, as the naïve seventeen year old that I was, is that Central Park might seem quite spontaneous in design (creeks and paths curling through each other), but it is as straight as it can be! The whole thing is just one big rectangle. I felt quite stupid in that moment I hadn’t realized that sooner.
So without making this much longer, we’ve seen quite some impressive stuff. Of course we have been to Times Square, Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, but we’ve also been to Billy Elliot on Broadway, I’ve been to the Hard Rock Café and we wandered through China Town and Little Italy. I wouldn’t want to live there, but it was definitely worth visiting!