24th February 2023

A Taste of The Big Apple

The highly anticipated New York Creative Arts Trip of 2023 finally rolled around the corner, and it passed quicker than any of us could imagine. The time in NY went by so fast because all of us had a great time during this once-in-a-lifetime trip. Many of us (us included) hadn’t previously had the chance to visit the United States, let alone with visit it with our friends and classmates. Throughout the four days we packed an almost endless number of activities, which left us with memories of the big city that will last forever.

After an early start, we travelled for 13 hours before finally arriving at our hotel, ‘The Hampton Inn’, Manhattan. It was a struggle to stay awake, but we managed to explore the streets of New York, visit the Rockefeller Centre and Times Square, as well as seeing the amazing views from the top of the Empire State Building. At the end of the day, we were eagerly anticipating the days ahead yet we were exhausted, so we headed back to the hotel for some desperately needed sleep.

The second day involved a four-hour (long but mesmerizing) walking tour of midtown Manhattan, guided by our beloved guide, Lynn, who revealed all the secrets of the streets we crossed. We visited the Grand Central Terminal and the famous St Patrick’s Cathedral, both with colossal architecture that left us speechless. For lunch, many grabbed the renowned New York bagels, which filled our stomachs to our limits, followed by a walk to the Guggenheim. During this journey we passed the Metroplitan Museum and took pictures of the steps upon which many of the most famous celebrities have walked. At the Guggenheim, non-art and art students alike, took a moment to appreciate the judicious array of modern art pieces, primarily featuring the works of Alex Katz as well as other modern artists making social commentary through their work. Before heading to watch the Broadway show, Moulin Rouge, we had an entertaining dinner at Gayle’s Broadway Rose, which featured singing performances from aspiring Broadway stars. This got us into the musical mood for the steamy production of Moulin Rouge (very appropriate for Valentine’s Day), the show had us ON the edge of our seats we were so invested in the heart-wrenching and hilarious coming of age story of Satine and Christian.

We divided into two groups; those who had signed up for the stage combat workshop and those who had signed up to the art conference at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). Drama students were finessing combat skills, while the art group learnt about career opportunities and techniques in art, especially in museums. All students left with knowledge of what such a culturally significant city like New York had to offer in the arts. We then had the option to have a tour of the United Nations Peacekeeping in New York, or a further viewing of the art gallery at MOMA . The UN tour was a very special experience, as it is not a tour that comes easily booked, and the MoMA was a truly fantastic walk-in experience of the classic works it displays. These trips were followed by either a beautiful walk along the Harlem River or a tram journey to Little Italy, where we had a delicious dinner.

When the last day reluctantly came by, we spent the morning shopping in Manhattan, with the option of ice skating at The Rockefeller Centre. The last hours of the trip whizzed by and finally after our last lunch, we headed back to the airport, where we started our long and tiring journey back home. Some of us crashed as soon as we got home, some tried to stay awake and fight jet lag however whether we were dreaming or awake, the sparkling image of the towering skyscrapers stayed in our minds.

New York was the most brilliant, exciting and eventful trip we’ve ever been on and we all enjoyed every precious moment We are incredibly grateful to the generous teachers who made this dream a reality; it wouldn’t have been this great without you.   Written by Yektaa and Sarah – Y11

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