|New York, New York (So good they named it twice!)|
18th to 22nd February 2012
The adventure began at 2.45am on Saturday morning, when 28 students and 3 staff picked up the coach to Heathrow for our flight to the Big Apple. The aims of the trip were to provide a unique insight into the workings of the American Media and Film Industry as well as developing a critical understanding of a very different and diverse culture that seeps from the pores of this amazing city – a melting pot of the world’s population all in one small island – Manhattan!
We arrived at JFK airport to be greeted by glorious sunshine and made our way through the skyscrapers to our base for the next four days – The Hotel Pennsylvania, right in the heart of Manhattan. Determined to make use of every minute of our time, we took a walk up 5th Avenue towards Central Park. It was incredible to walk round this glorious man made collection of greens, walkways and tree lined paths – our route took us past a fabulous outdoor ice rink and on to Strawberry Fields, the memorial garden in honour of John Lennon, who was shot and killed outside his apartment directly opposite Central Park. We made our way back, via a stop at a hot dog stand, to our hotel for a quick change and then headed for one of New York’s most famous landmarks – The Empire State Building. We took the lift to the 86th floor and walked onto an outdoor platform where we had stunning 360 degree views of New York at night, a truly unforgettable sight and a brilliant way to end our first day.
After a well earned sleep and the traditionally huge New York breakfast, we headed uptown to the world famous Museum of Modern Art, situated in the heart of Manhattan and home to some of the greatest pieces of work from artists such as Matisse, Dali, Picasso and Warhol. After that we walked 2 blocks south to the iconic Rockefeller Center for ice skating at the famous outdoor rink loved by all New Yorkers. After a hilarious hour on the ice we headed across the block for a tour of NBC TV studios, one of the most famous stations in the USA. The tour gave us a fascinating insight into how a major TV studio operates, we even got to see the working set of ‘Saturday Night Live’, one of America’s most famous shows. After a quick stop off at the hotel we crossed the street to see the New York Rangers play Ice Hockey at one of the most famous stadiums in the world – Madison Square Gardens. Here we got the full American sport experience – the national anthem, foot long hotdogs and huge foam hands!
The next morning we split into two groups – the shoppers headed for the glitz and glamour of 5th Avenue, Macys and Bloomingdales for a not to be missed experience. The other half headed south for a very different slice of New York – the traditionally bohemian district of Greenwich Village, famous in the 50s and 60s for the counter culture movement and the gathering of great writers, poets and singers such as Jack Kerouac, Alan Ginsberg and Bob Dylan. In the afternoon we all met at Radio City, America’s most famous music hall. This amazing building has been home to some of the biggest shows over the years and is well known for having the largest stage in the world – we were lucky enough to stand on it and see the incredible views from a performer’s perspective. Our next stop was to have a pre show dinner at the Stardust Diner, which really has to be seen to be believed! Serving classic American food in a retro 50s diner, the waiters/waitresses are all aspiring Broadway performers, so we were treated to 2 hours of song and dance while we enjoyed our meal! After that, we headed to the Palace Theatre on Broadway to see a dazzling performance of ‘Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’ – winner of multiple Tony awards, and it was easy to see why, what a show! To round off our day, we headed out of the show for an hour in the amazing neon-lit Times Square, which truly underlined why New York is the city that never sleeps.
On our final day, our intrepid group took on the challenge of the New York subway system, successfully negotiating our way to Battery Park where, after a wait for a ferry made bearable by a brilliant busker, we took the boat out to the Statue of Liberty. Not only did we see this historic landmark on Liberty Island, but we were also able to take in the remarkable view of the Manhattan skyline from the water. On our return there was time for the determined shoppers to snap up some last minute bargains on 5th and Madison Avenue, while some us decide to explore the delights of Chinatown (where we found some fantastic, authentic food), Little Italy (chancing upon the restaurant where many scenes from The Godfather were filmed) as well as the upmarket suburb of Soho. After one last corner street hot dog, we dragged our weary souls on to the coach, headed for Newark Airport and the long flight home. Even there the wait was fun as there was still time to hand out the annual and highly prestigious ‘Turner’ awards, after our leader! On the flight home, talk then turned to next year – Los Angeles and Hollywood, in February 2013!
Steve Fitzgerald, Keeley Crispin and Pauline Turner
Home Courses Full Time Courses Part Time Courses Student Life Student Services Everything Else Contact Us Accessibility