It’s the lights, the shops, the street performers, the attractions and the people that make New York City a perfect place to explore. I traveled to NYC with the Moose Lake Concert Choir the summer of 2013 and had an amazing experience. It was bright, loud, fun, and there was hardly a dull moment in the city that never sleeps!
Our journey started with a 24 hour bus ride packed with approximately 50 choir students (and chaperones) heading straight to the Big Apple. We were only able to stay in NYC for three days, but those three days were packed with adventure. Our choir performed at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine and Saint Paul’s Chapel. It was amazing to hear our voices ring out loud and clear in both of those places, especially St. John, that was extraordinary. Did you know that if you took the Statue of Liberty off her base and stood her upright in St. John, her torch wouldn’t touch the ceiling? It’s pretty hard to imagine unless you see it for yourself.
We also had the honor of performing at ground zero, and what an emotional time that was. I swear I saw tears in everyone’s eyes as we held hands and sang sweetly in a place so tragic. I saw the names of the people lost in the attacks carved into the memorial, and I felt my heart break for themselves and their families. America is definitely the land of the brave. I don’t remember that dire day in September, but standing at ground zero with my choir and running my fingers along the names gave me a connection to the event that I feel a lot of my generation is missing. I will always feel my heart break on September 11th.
Although there were emotional times I will never forget, there were also happy memories I made there that I will always hold close. One memory was seeing the Broadway show Wicked. The performance, the seats, the actors and actresses, everything was amazing and the props were to die for. NYC got me hooked on Broadway, and I’ve now seen Wicked twice.
Another fond memory I have from my trip was getting to see Times Square, especially at night. The lights alone were superb, not even to mention all the shops and street vendors. Two girlfriends and I got our picture sketched right on the street! Now, I will challenge anyone who says there is another place you can be drawn on the street other than NYC!
Besides singing at some of New York City’s most famous places, (including Times Square and many different restaurants) we shopped ‘til we dropped, got sushi at 3:00AM, watched street performers dance, make art, play music, and just about everything else. We toured the NBC studio, took a ferry to Staten Island, went to the Rockefeller, Trump Tower, onto the set of Saturday Night Live, and even got to see an interview with John Stamos! We explored downtown Manhattan, Harlem, parts of Brooklyn, and even got lost and had to ask for directions. The woman we asked was gracious, but only after we convinced her we were from Minnesota and not New Jersey! But don’t let anyone fool you, all the people in NYC I met were very nice.
New York City was an amazing experience and I recommend it to anyone who wants to enjoy a fast pace, upbeat, always something to do vacation. I will never forget it and definitely plan on coming back to the Big Apple for a round of seconds!
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