At one point soon after the beginning of my senior year in high school, my dad casually mentioned that he was contemplating bringing me to New York City on his next business outing. He is a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch-Bank of America, and used to only travel around our home here in Michigan, but has recently been sent to more significant locations like Florida and New York as he gains more clients and recognition. I remember nonchalantly shrugging and suggesting I could have a good time.
For some reason, I was completely passive about visiting, oh, just one of the most incredible cities the world.
At least in my opinion.
When we arrived, my ears were clogged and my head was pounding from the plane ride (the third I had ever been on), so the walk to and through the hotel was kind of a blur. However, I do remember being particularly impressed to find a man carrying a sign with my dad’s name on it as we exited the airport. It was at that point I kind of felt myself leaving the old small world of Plymouth behind and entering into something bigger, something exciting and worldly.
Even though it was late and we were both pretty tired, my dad and I quickly left the hotel and went exploring. Because… well, we were in New York.
That night, I met the love of my life, my goal, my dream: Times Square. Or… was it even nighttime? Because it was so bright you couldn’t even tell. But then, when I looked above the buildings, towering higher than I’d ever seen buildings reach, I could see the dark sky. It seemed so far away as the buzz from the city consumed me. That is what I loved the most about Time Square: the energy. It was amazing, and nothing like I’d ever felt before. Just one in the crowd… but it felt so cool. To be part of something enormous, and unfamiliar. It was incredibly exhilarating.
We just walked around that night and saw the sights, but it was the next day that I really was able to see the insides of all the famous sites and buildings I had heard about but never experienced: F.A.O. Schwartz, Central Park, The Cake Boss Café, The Financial District, M&M World, the 9-11 Memorial, the giant Macy’s, and so many more. However, it was the third night we were there that I experienced the most exciting part of our trip: seeing Newsies on Broadway at the Nederlander Theatre.
Being a drama club girl for all of high school, I was absolutely thrilled when my dad had first announced we could go see a show. And right when I saw Newsies was playing, I knew it was the one. For some reason, I became weirdly obsessed with Newsies—the story and the music and the dances—my junior year, when my APUSH teacher let us watch the Disney movie after the AP test was over. Seeing it in New York was unforgettable.
The actors in Newsies furthermore exemplified the whole New York aura for me: undying energy and commitment, striving for success and recognition, and a common unity between many people with different backgrounds. All in all, I’d say my blasé attitude toward the city was quickly obliterated on this trip. Because at the end, I was just another tourist leaving with that cliché t-shirt… painfully cliché but now an utter truth in my life… ya, I pretty much love New York.
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