NYC Trip (July 8th-9th)

After two successful weeks of SAT camp, the students took off for a two-day trip to New York City. We packed our bags and boarded an early bus to Manhattan, and students had a busy but fun-filled weekend in the Big Apple!

Day 1: July 8th

Our first stop after arriving in New York City was a voyage on the Staten Island Ferry. This 5 mile trip connecting Manhattan and Staten Island gave the students an opportunity to view New York Harbor, Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty. This ferry provides 70,000 New Yorkers with transportation across the Upper New York Bay every day, and gave the students some time to enjoy the open air before we checked into the Pod 51 Hotel.

After some time to relax in the hotel and explore the city, the students met back up for a delicious dinner at Bill’s Bar & Burger at Rockefeller Center. Students enjoyed an assortment of specialty burgers – from classic cheeseburgers and sliders to shrimp and veggie burgers – as well as fries and milkshakes.

As the sun began to set, we made our way down 7th Avenue to Times Square, where the students had the chance to marvel at the neon billboards, go shopping in the area shops, and run into dozens of caricature artists and marvel characters.  Although crowded, there’s something unquestionably exhilarating about visiting in the neon-lit heart of the city.

Day 2: July 9th

After a 6:30AM wake up call, the students headed to the Pod 51 Hotel rooftop for breakfast, where they enjoyed Ess-A-Bagel’s New York style bagels, a variety of muffins, and an assortment of fresh fruits in addition to a great view of the heart of midtown. The rooftop was decorated for one of the students Aleksandra (Ola) Andrzejewska’s 17th birthday, and the students were able to hang out and start her day off with some birthday wishes before they headed off to some college tours.

For our first tour, our students visited one of the oldest Ivy League Universities. Columbia University,whose mascot is the lion, is centered in Upper Manhattan and includes alumni from Academy Award winning actors, Nobel Laureates, Supreme Court Justices, and Pulitzer Prize winners. Of national universities, Columbia ranks fifth on U.S News. The students were able to walk around the main campus, able to watch and experience the libraries, gardens, and city-life the university’s undergraduates frequent. These group activities were led by our counselor Ana, self-guided tours which allowed students to freely ask questions about the college.

After visiting Columbia, some students went straight to Central Park while others took the train to check out New York University’s main campus. Founded in 1831, New York University is now one of the largest private universities in the United States, boasting over 50,000 students. The campus is built around Washington Square Park, a beautiful spot where students stopped for ice cream and a respite in the shade beneath the trees. This park also features the immense Washington Square Arch, built  in 1892 to commemorate the centennial of George Washington’s inauguration as president of the United States.

After the college tours, all the students sat down to enjoy some pizza for lunch at Central Park: the largest and most important public park in Manhattan which boasts several lakes, theaters, ice rinks, fountains, tennis courts, baseball fields, playgrounds and other facilities. After singing a happy birthday song to Ola with a huge triple chocolate layered cake from a local bakery, the students were able to have a little bit of free time to walk around the park, or do some last minute shopping before they walked back to the station for our 4 hour bus ride back to Boston.

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