It’s safe to say that the New York trip was one of the most wonderful experiences I’ve had in my entire life. 58 students accompanied by 6 incredible teachers were able to visit all the sights of the world-famous city that never sleeps.
We travelled to New York on a Virgin Atlantic plane on the 23rd of march, flying from Heathrow airport to JFK International Airport. Following check-in at our hotel, our first stop was Hard Rock Café, Times Square, this was then followed by a trip to The Empire State building, which was a perfect start to an amazing trip. We saw the skyline completely lit up at night and it was spellbinding.
On our second day we had the experience of taking the subway, which was a stressful but interesting experience and very different to how we would commute back home. The subway took us right up to where we took a ferry over to the classic Statue of Liberty and Ellis island. Here we were able to explore the iconic monument and look around the immigration museum on Ellis island which was incredibly eye opening. Afterwards we walked through the financial district of Manhattan to reach Ground Zero. Ground Zero affected everyone on the trip very deeply even though most of us were not alive to have witnessed the horrific events of 9/11, we understood how important this memorial was and why we needed to be respectful. Ground Zero was a beautiful memorial to a harrowing tragedy and it made a lot of us realise how important it is to treasure our loved ones because we never know when it will be the last time we will see them. Our last stop of the day was a small Italian restaurant in Little Italy, where we were served a traditional Italian main and dessert. Little Italy gave us a glimpse of one of the many cultures scattered around New York and how many different people live there.
On our third day we again took the subway but this time we were going shopping. our first shopping trip was Bloomingdale’s, we were able to stroll around the lavish shop looking at all of the very expensive clothes, makeup and jewellery. We then visited the symbolic Central Park where we were able to take look around the famous park to get some lunch and relax. Afterwards we made our way to Times Square, where we were instantly greeted with the buzz of excitement and the bright lights, which guided us around all of the fascinating shops and billboards. After a thorough exploration of Times square, with lots of money spent, the group went to Planet Hollywood for dinner. About halfway through our meal the YMCA started playing and not only did Mr Greenhalgh and Mr Bassett join in, they were able to get the whole restaurant joining in including the members of the public who were very amused by the unannounced flashmob created by our school. We finished the day with Times Square at night, where we were able to see everything completely lit up and it was breath taking, the energy in times square was magnificent. There were people making their way to see a Broadway show or doing some last-minute shopping and it was wonderful.
Our fourth day started with a stage combat workshop, where we learnt how to fight people realistically, without actually hurting them. We were taught by somebody who choreographs Broadway show fight scenes, so we were in safe hands. After the workshop we had the time to talk to a member of the School of Rock cast, Alan H Green, who told us all about what it’s like to be cast in a Broadway show, the audition process and how he trained and started out in theatre. Afterwards we visited Macy’s, a world-renowned department store filled with anything you could ever dream of and then we had McDonald’s, which was a lot larger in portions than in the U.K. We then took the subway back to the hotel to get changed and ready to go see School of Rock on Broadway. Before seeing the show, we had our dinner at Bubba Gump shrimp co, a restaurant inspired by the film Forest Gump, throughout our meal we were asked different questions regarding the film and if we knew the answer we would win a small prize. It was then time to see the show, we were all so excited and couldn’t wait for it to start. School of rock was performed at the Winter Garden Theatre on Broadway and it was magnificent. The actors were incredible, and the young children were so talented and inspiring for all of us. The show lifted everybody’s spirits however we were saddened as it was our final full day and we were going home the next.
On our final day the teachers surprised us with a visit to The Rockefeller Centre where we went to the Top of the Rock and saw the Manhattan skyline for a final time. it was overwhelming, and we were able to point out different places we had been and talk about the memories attached to them. It was the perfect way to finish the whole trip, bringing all of us together to look over at the city we had explored for the past five days. It was then time to check-out of our hotel and get to JFK International Airport to fly back to Heathrow. We got home safely and arrived back at The Earls High School shortly before 10:30 the next day. The whole trip was incredible, without a single bad moment and the memories will stay with me for the rest of my life. We were so lucky to have such wonderful teachers who lead and planned the trip and I want to thank them for being so amazing. I will never forget the New York trip it was magnificent, and I am so very thankful for the whole experience.