I spend a lot of school breaks in New York City. It's not that it's the only place I ever go, but it sure is a good option; I never end up doing the same thing twice. That, and Oberlin never feels too far away from New York during breaks.
This break was a bit of the same old same old, but with a twist. First of all, I didn't get to see my grandmother, who I have spent most of my vacations with since coming to Oberlin, but Daniel and I spent our break apartment-sitting for her. I did get to see a cousin of mine from Israel for a couple hours, and I saw my aunt, uncle, and cousin just a few hours before they flew to Peru for Passover.
We arrived in New York with a long list of things to do, places and people to see, and foods to eat, much like our past breaks, with a few repeats (Cafe Lalo, B&H, dim sum in Chinatown, seeing a Striking Viking Story Pirates performance) to keep our favorites fresh in our mind. We also did some things that have been on our list for a few breaks thus far, but never got around to: visiting the Museum of Modern Art and the International Center of Photography, seeing a circus show, being in the audience for The Late Show with David Letterman, eating at the Carnegie Deli...
We also experienced some Oberlin things in some cool New York places. The Obertones, Oberlin's male a capella group, tours often to the New York area and points north for spring break. While checking my Facebook for college updates from my brother one evening, I ran across my friend Phil's update that the Obertones were singing in Union Square earlier that day. I promptly emailed him and told him to keep me posted on where they were going to be the following day. After a good deal of texting, we tracked down the Obertones in Washington Square, joining a sizable audience to listen to them perform many classics, including covers of Don't Stop Me Now by Queen, Crazy Love by Van Morrison, and a medley from Abbey Road.
Later that week, we also attended a musical revue directed and producer by Anna Strasser '09, co-produced by Jamie Caplan '08, and music directed by Ian Axness '09, featuring the talents of Melissa Bayern '07, Sam Heldt '09, Shelly Irvin '08, Rachel Jacobs '09, Paul McKenney '07, Courtney Merrell '08, Jill Murdoch '09, and Raphael Sacks '09.
It was a wonderful collection of modern musical numbers, jam-packed with energy in the Shetler Studio. This was a great opportunity for casting, and the audience was filled with current Obies, recent grads, family members for support as well. I loved seeing that much Oberlin talent in one room, especially in New York City.
On our last day in the city, we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of my favorite museums. It had been on all our NYC trip lists, but we hadn't made it there yet. This time there was a doubly good reason to attend: with the Allen Memorial Art Museum's closing for renovations at the beginning of this semester, many of its star pieces have a temporary home within the Met's collection in a show called Side by Side. The Met's collection is extensive and one of the most comprehensive collections in the world, and the singular pieces the Allen has contributed to them makes their collections even more stunning.
This is a less-traditional exhibition, with all of the Allen's pieces situated side by side and interspersed with the Met's permanent collection in four different galleries. We overheard several groups of people asking where the Oberlin exhibit was located, which wasn't in a central location and caused a bit of confusion. We treated the exhibit like a scavenger hunt, viewing the Met's collection at large and celebrating joyously when we found a recognizable Oberlin piece.
Many of my favorite pieces are currently residing at the Met, so going through these galleries with all these famous pieces and seeing my favorite pieces with them, including pieces I have talked about on tours before, like the Kirchner sculpture Standing Female Nude in the second and third images, made my trip.
The show runs until the end of August, so if you have the opportunity to pop into the Met and play hide-and-go-Oberlin-seek, please do! If you can't make it to the Met, selected Allen pieces are on exhibit at several other museums.
The only thing we were really looking forward to but have to schedule in for a future trip is visiting the geniuses behind the web cooking show Economy Bites. Founded by Allie Schwartz '07 and Daniel Schloss '07, this weekly cooking show touts easy-to-make meals that can allows to you "Cook on Sunday, eat till Thursday," all on a budget of less than $30 a week. I fell in love with their show over Winter Term, and I learned recently that a friend of mine, Emily, was their intern over Winter Term. Food plus videos plus Obies seemed like a great combination to me, but our timing over spring break didn't really fit with their schedule, but next time, we're hanging out with them!
This was a great transitional spring break for me, as I'm just about to graduate and seeing where Oberlin fits into the world at large is a pretty good thing.