My first fall break was fantastic. Even though I was fighting a sinus infection, I was able to see several friends and family members back home. My favorite part, though, was my trip to New York City. I went to visit my friend from high school, Brendan, at Fordham University, where he's studying in the business school.
I'm going to tell of our shenanigans:
After a rather unpleasant flight, one that no over-the-counter allergy meds could improve, I arrived at LaGuardia (my least favorite airport) early Thursday morning. I summoned an Uber car, and was on my way to Fordham University. After arriving in the Bronx, I was immediately welcomed by a large gate and a security guard. Soon after, Brendan came to get me. We walked to his dorm, appropriately and lovingly referred to as "The Loyola Hotel." As soon as I walked in, I was impressed by the intricate molding, precise painting, and all the amenities. I put down my bags, and Brendan took me on a tour of campus. Fordham's campus is beautiful, and reminded me a lot of our alma mater. Oberlin could take a hint or two from that dorm.
We went to lunch in the dining hall, where I overheard complaints over the cafeteria food—apparently that's a common sentiment that extends outside of the Oberlin bubble. After lunch I met up with another Michigander, high school friend, and Fordham student: Teresa. Teresa showed me around a bit more, and I went on to take a nap (it had been a long morning, and I wanted to be well rested for the evening).
After I woke up from my nap, the real adventure started—Powerhouse 2015!! Brendan and I walked to the subway station and began our hour-long ride to Brooklyn. Brendan had a pretty good grasp on NYC transit, but we still went past our stop and had to do some maneuvering. Eventually making it to Barclays Center, we got through security and made it to our seats. The concert was live. Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean, Meek Mill, Fetty Wap, Future, Nicki Minaj, and Rick Ross all rocked the house.
We left the concert and headed back to the subway station. While on our way to Grand Central Terminal, I ran into an Obie from one of my classes. Only at Oberlin I thought, would I unexpectedly run into a classmate in a different city, during the wee hours of the night, on one of essentially a billion subway cars. At Grand Central the adventures didn't stop—the fire alarm went off. After everything was sorted we got our tickets, headed in, and called it a night.
The next day was just as interesting. We woke up, carried on with the normal morning routine, and walked back to the subway. This time Brendan and I had a guest; his friend Adrianna joined. We took the subway to Manhattan, getting off right on the edge of Central Park. Taking a nice, leisurely stroll, the three of us made our way through Central Park until we reached the Museum of the City of New York.
The museum was awesome! I'd visited NYC several times before, but I had never visited a museum while in the city. There was so much history and knowledge exuding from the walls. One exhibit in particular caught my eye: the Activist New York exhibit. I was familiar with many activist movements and the ground gained in NYC, but I had no idea just how many social changes had roots in the Big Apple. I read so many untold stories; there were so many silenced voices that were given life in this exhibit. It was phenomenal. I was enamored.
Once we left the museum, we hopped on the city bus down to Niketown to do a bit of shopping. After thoroughly looking through every crevice and corner of every floor, we made our purchases and headed back to Grand Central Terminal. After dropping off Adrianna, we went to Union Square to do a bit more shopping (I mean it is New York City). In the midst of all the hustle and bustle, we realized we needed to eat something. I decided to take us to my favorite restaurant in Times Square, Da Marino. Shameless plug: the Chocolate Fettuccine is the bomb! I first came here with my mom a little over a year ago for my birthday. We wanted a bite to eat before seeing The Book of Mormon, and Da Marino was right down the street. Long story short, I've been in love ever since! Brendan enjoyed his food as well. After dinner, we once again walked back to the train station and returned to the Bronx.
Fast forward to the next day. I was reacquainted with another good friend, Javi, from UDJ (high school) and who studies at The George Washington University. We're both intending to major in Politics, so we talked a lot about our classes and how things were going at school. That morning we went to a Fordham football game to cheer on the Rams. This was a little foreign to me being at Oberlin, where there's not a huge "game day" culture. Still, it was fun to sit and talk with friends, and to catch up on the daily oddities of life. Teresa also joined; she clearly had a blast.
The day moved slowly, but after lots of reconnecting we headed to dinner at Chipotle (and I truly wasn't ready for NYC Chipotle prices). We ate dinner, then hopped on the train to go see our feature for the evening, Les Misérables on Broadway. It was a phenomenal performance. I'm a fan of the theatre, and I was particularly impressed by Montego Glover's performance as Fantine.
This pretty much sums up what I thought was an awesome fall break. We went back to the dorms, and I had an early flight home the next morning. I used fall break as an opportunity to reconnect, reinvigorate, and rethink myself for the next big push of the semester until Thanksgiving.
I'm leaving it here—'till next time, NYC!
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November 30, 2023