BY AALIYAH BUCHANAN,Guest Writer
July 22, 2014, 11:30 p.m.
I began my day bright and early at the hour of 4 a.m. My father and I boarded the plane at 8:30 a.m. and arrived at the La Guardia Airport at about 10:45 a.m. It was cheaper to get a private car, so we got to ride a limo to the hotel! I could immediately tell the difference between driving in St. Pete and driving in New York. They’re polar opposites! I made a mental note that I would never purchase or drive a car in New York.
We arrived at the Pod 51 hotel at 11:30 a.m. but our room wouldn’t be ready until 2 p.m. We put our bags in storage and went out to explore the city. While we were out we got burgers at Schnipper’s (Best Burgers Ever!), and walked around the city until we hit Times Square. I was enjoying myself until a man in a Statue of Liberty suit put this crazy costume on me then had the NERVE to charge us $5 for the picture my dad took! I was so annoyed.
We got back to the hotel at 2:30 p.m. and our room was finally ready. It’s so small and cute! There isn’t even a bathroom in the room we have to use the bathrooms down the hall. My dad’s pretty upset about that but I don’t mind. We relaxed for about 3 hours then took the subway and railroad to Long Island to visit my dad’s brother. They sat outside and talked for a long time while I was kept company by his brother’s wife and watched the news (which actually seemed to be more interesting than the news in St.Pete). We ate macaroni salad and barbecue wings then left at 8:15 p.m. because we didn’t want to have to walk back to the railroad in the dark.
July 23, 2014, 11:30 p.m.
Today was the day I toured Juilliard. The school was a lot smaller than I anticipated but I liked it. The atmosphere was very close-knit. The tour guide was down-to-earth and every single room in the school was so beautiful! I wish we were allowed to take pictures of the tour.
My favorite room was the largest theatre in the school, which can seat 907 people. I loved how large the stage was. I was imagining myself performing on it while the tour guide was speaking. Touring Juilliard made me think back on how I was sure I was going there as a little girl. But now I’m not so sure. You have to be 200 percent dedicated to your craft to get into Juilliard. I don’t think I’m that dedicated to anything. I just want art to continue to be a part of my life.
When 8 p.m. came around, my dad and I met up with a few artists in New York originally from St. Pete for an interview. It was really nice to see them again. I already knew most of them from Chocolate Nutcracker. We all hung out until about 9:30 p.m. then went our separate ways. My dad took my sister (also an artist from St. Pete) and me to Schnipper’s and we chatted until about 10:30. We said our goodbyes and that was the end of another successful day in New York. I love this place.
July 24, 2014, 12 a.m.
We moved from the hotel to Long Island to with my dad’s brother and let me tell you — my arms are now 10 times stronger because of me having to lug my huge suitcase from one place to another. Before we changed locations, we toured New York University. I really like the open community feel of the college. There’s also an option to create your own major and that was very appealing to me considering I have no idea what I want to do in college and I like to do my own thing. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a chance to eat breakfast so all I could think about during the tour was that Tree Haus omelet in my bag. The rest of the evening, I relaxed in the guest room and discovered a cable network called GSN…I think I’m obsessed!
July 25, 2104, 11:00 p.m.
Today I had the opportunity to tour the famous Alvin Ailey School and sit in during a Horton class. This was another dream school of mine. But, again, I wasn’t feeling it. Alvin Ailey is an amazing school with phenomenal teachers…I just didn’t feel that light switch go off in my head. I really did expect a different reaction out of myself but all I can do now is be grateful.
I’m very grateful that I’m getting a chance to experience these schools and now be made aware of what I really want. I appreciate my dad making these tours happen for me. If it weren’t for him, I would have been stuck in my “ignorance is bliss” phase all the way up until it will be time for me to pack my bags for college and kiss St.Pete goodbye.
At 7 p.m. I returned to the Alvin Ailey School and took a hip-hop class. It was tight! I really need to get into hip-hop back at home. Or maybe, just maybe, I could teach classes. Hm, definitely something to think about.
July 26, 2014, 1 a.m.
Today I toured Pace University, my father’s Alma matter. The tour guides were amazing and a lot of components of the school seemed very flexible. I just wish we could have gotten to see more of the inside of the school. I’m now laying on a futon in my sister’s living room watching Kevin Hart. Today was very enjoyable because I got the chanced to stay over at my sister’s apartment for the night. We walked around Harlem, got some amazing natural smoothies, got Golden Krust and sat on her couch and talked from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Harlem is a lot calmer than mid-town Manhattan in a sense. Harlem is like south Pinellas County. All the brothas and sistas, just a lot of black culture. In mid-town Manhattan, if you live there, you’re wealthy. There are always plenty of wealthy business people walking around that area. I finally met my sister’s boyfriend, who I could tell right off the bat is a very genuine soul, and we showed each other a few videos on YouTube. I introduced her to “ThisIsACommentary” and she introduced me to British rap music. British rap music seems to have a lot more substance to it. I wonder how long that’s going to last!
July 27, 2104, 12:30 a.m.
My trip is now coming to a close and reflecting back on everything that’s happened I can honestly say it was the best vacation I’ve been on in a while. I’ve learned that even though I’m from St. Pete I definitely have the heart of a city girl and have no problem calling New York home.
We will be leaving the city tomorrow at noon and be home by 2:30 p.m. Though my time here was amazing and fulfilling, I miss my bed and my friends, so I’m ready to go back home. I’ve decided I’m not going to school in New York, but it’s almost a given that I’ll be moving out here after I finish college. I’ll be back soon New York!
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