Today we didn't do anything academic, howeverwe learneda lot about each other and about exploring on our own.
We started off by heading down to Summer Fest which is a huge fair on the Avenue of Americas. It ad tons of vendors with really cheap stuff. It was super crowded but we ended up getting good things to eat and good shopping bargains! The crowds were huge, and it really made me feel like I was in New York City with the tons of people around.
From there we decided to check out the Empire State building. It wasn't what I expected at all. It was just a building, nothing special. I happily avoided a scam from people handing out CDs and asking for money while others in my group fell victim. At leastthe CD had really good music on it!
We then headed to Ground Zero. This had to have been one of the most powerful experiences of my life. I couldn't help but to just stare and think about what had happened there almost 10 years ago. I could almost picture the towers in my head and see all of the families mourning for their loved ones. How this event effected out history is amazing to me. This is why airports are so strict and why we are over sees. Right now they're building a memorial, kind of like the one a Pearl Harbor, to honor those who have passed away in the tragic accident.
We then watched the movie The Green Lantern to kill time before going to see Time Square at night. It was so beautiful! I could actually get used to all of the commotion and bright lights. No wonder NYC has so many power outages with all the electricity that is being used every day constantly. We walked around to see the sights and local street vendors, then had dinner together. We bonded a lot over dinner and I'm glad we all get along. It's almost likehaving a little Bay Area away from home. I find it really comforting.
Something keeps happening to me that really surprises me. By the way I talk and the words I use, people automatically know I'm from the Bay Area. I'm not sure it's a good thing or not, but when I introduce myself and start talking they know in a heart beat. Kind of strange, but at least I know that what I say or even how I say it is unique to where I come from, even though I personally don't think I have an "accent".
Tomorrow we will see the UN building and hopefully some other sites around New York. By the way, I'm not sure if I can keep up with all this walking; NYC is a pretty big place!