Sunday, July 17, 2011

So Long New York City, Hello Bay Area

I’m coming home. Man, time flies. It’s hard to believe that three and a half weeks ago we at El Cerrito High School waiting for our shuttle, and now I’m typing as we fly over Sacramento. Our final hours before our flight home, Mrs. L. was nice enough to take us to the Top of the Rockefeller Center Observation deck because we had quite a bit of time between when we checked out and when we had to arrived at the airport. After checking out of our dorms, I think it’s pretty safe to say that our entire cohort was exhausted. Each of us had stayed up past 1AM and Irene didn’t even sleep at all. Regardless, we all summoned our last bit of energy and made our way to the Empire Hotel to drop off our luggage, and board the subway heading towards Rockefeller Center.

The Top of the Rock is amazing. I admit, prior to coming to Columbia I had seen Top of the Rock on top tourist attractions and each time I saw the name, I always wondered “who on Earth would want to stand on top of a rock in New York?” From the Top of the Rock, One can see all of Manhattan, the Hudson, New Jersey, The Statue of Liberty, and a long list of other famous attractions. Today, we were extremely lucky because there was almost no line to go up, and the weather was absolutely amazing. What struck me the most about view was the sheer size of New York City. I knew that the Big Apple was a large metropolitan area, but seeing Manhattan from the top really put it in perspective. Another thing I found interesting was a point Mrs. L. raised after she showed us the flight path of the plane that landed in the Hudson. The question she asked was “Can you imagine what it would have been like for the people on the top when the 9/11 attacks and the miracle on the Hudson happened?” I cannot imagine what it would have been like. The only thought that came across my mind was that I would have felt a mixture of hopelessness, anger, and sadness.

After our visit to the Top of the Rock, we rushed to grab lunch at The Boathouse, a restaurant alongside a lake at Central Park. From where we sat, w had a clear view of the lake, and the beauty of the Central Park. It was really nice to see people taking a break from the hustle bustle of New York life and slowing down to take in the sights and relax. Another aspect of Central Park that I really enjoy is that it is literally a large patch of green smack dab in the middle of Manhattan. It is a great place just to unwind and admire the nature, trees, and characters. I think that eating lunch alongside the lake in Central Park is the best way we could have gone out. I’m going to remember this trip for the rest of my life, and I’m eternally grateful for the opportunity was given to me. This trip has really opened my mind to consider schools on the east coast. Through this program I have learned so much about being independent in addition to constitutional law. I absolutely loved my class and I hope that future participants of the ILC will have the choice to apply for this fabulous class.

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