Seatonians in NYC
The trip started early Thursday morning at 6 a.m. Buses pulled up and students left their parents’ cars to get on the buses for a senior music trip to New York City. I was excited; it was my first time going down to the Big Apple. As a big fan of the TV shows Friends and How I Met Your Mother, I’ve wanted to visit New York for a long time. The bus was packed; everyone had to double up. As Sasha the bus driver started to pull off the curb and on to the road, the long, exhausting bus ride started.
Around 6 p.m., we were caught in the dreadful traffic of New York City at the George Washington Bridge. To our right we saw the beautiful skyline of downtown Manhattan where the Freedom Tower and Empire State Building stood tall and regal. Everyone was amazed. We spent 50 more minutes in the traffic before we arrived at Citi Field, home to the New York Mets. A lot of us thought to ourselves, “Why are we at a Mets game when the Rangers game is on?”. However, we’d go on to have a great time. While the first half of the game was slightly boring, the camera crew came around to our side. Mr. Gomes shouted, “We’re Canadian!” and eventually we were on the Jumbotron three times.
The mornings started early throughout the weekend. Breakfast was at 7 a.m. and we were on the bus by 8 a.m.. We stayed in the Renaissance Hotel in Newark. Again, the traffic caught the best of us; we were stuck on the road for another hour to get into Hell’s Kitchen. A tour guide gave us a tour of mid/uptown Manhattan, around Central Park, up Amsterdam Avenue and Central Park West to Harlem, and down 5th Avenue. Everyone was mesmerized. We had an amazing lunch at Ben’s at 7th and West 38th. After lunch, we had free time to roam around the city for a couple of hours. We then proceeded to Lincoln Center at Columbus Circle for a jazz concert. The talent level was certainly more exquisite in New York.
Then came D-Day. After some inspirational jazz music the night before, we were feeling good. The competition was at The Riverside Church next to Columbia University, and faced the Hudson River. Upon arriving, we headed to a rehearsal room to warm up. After a solid 30 minutes of rehearsal, the wind ensemble headed up to the main stage for the competition. It was splendid. About an hour later, the jazz ensemble came up and they finished the job for UCC solidly.
After our concerts, we got lunch on our own at Times Square. We proceeded into a well air-conditioned theatre inside The Palace Theatre of Broadway. We watched an astounding Broadway musical: An American in Paris. Then we headed to downtown Manhattan to Ground Zero. We then finally headed to a boat cruise at Pier 83 hosted by the music competition. While going back to the hotel after the boat cruise, there was a crazy incident in which a person hit our bus with a crowbar. Luckily, the bus driver calmly drove away from the situation and safely got us to our hotel.
We reluctantly left the city early Sunday; we were once again on the neverending highway. We ended up winning gold for both wind ensemble and the jazz ensemble and won the “Sweepstakes,” the trophy for the most accumulated (total) points among the schools. It was a great weekend and a great way to end the music season. I wish the best of luck to all the IB2s, Ali Haydaroglu and Luc Cesta in Seaton’s and many others within the day community.
Kyung Phil Ko