Posted by: daynamcdowell | June 23, 2010

A Time to Reflect-Post New York

Post New York:  Post June 16, 2010                       

sunset at Coney Island


     WOW!!!  What a fantastic trip!  So many special moments come to mind when considering the best of the best.  As a more reserved and private person, the most intriguing times for me were those when I could contemplate and reflect.  I always need that time at the end of a school year.  Any time that I could be surrounded by nature was an extra special time on this trip.  The short walk along the High Line, seeing and experiencing Central Park for the first time, riding on a ferry to Ellis Island, the boat ride on the Erie Canal, watching the sunset on the beach at Coney Island, walking in the forests to FDR’s Shangri La/ Top Cottage, seeing Oyster Bay with sailboats and swans on the water, gazing at Lake Otsego after dinner, and walking that short distance through the trees to Fort Ticonderoga all allowed me moments to silently unwind after the rush of many busy days.  I guess I love nature! 

     Yet, the grit and glitter of New York City attracted me too.  I enjoyed people-watching while sipping a coke in Times Square and watching the “stranger” people appear as the sun disappeared.  I do remember how awestruck I was the first several times that I saw the skyscrapers from ground level.  Riding the subway was a worthwhile challenge too.  Sometimes I was successful and sometimes, not so much.  I did appreciate the time that we were allowed to explore New York City for ourselves.  A Broadway show was a must, as was a stop at Grand Central Station.  Coney Island at sunset was picturesque from the beach as the lights shined on the ocean.  A visit up to the heights of the Empire State Building provided THE aerial view of New York City while shopping among the street vendors and in China Town allowed time to see the routine lives of New Yorkers trying to make a living.  Of course, simply chatting with New Yorkers to hear their personal stories and perspectives about their city was the best way to learn more about the real New York, regardless of Jonathan’s advice regarding New Yorkers, eye contact, and strangers.  Yet, none of these experiences would have occurred if it weren’t for those who shared these moments with me.  Each person made those moments stand out. 

     Naturally, I enjoyed the many opportunities to learn more content and the chance to take what I have learned back to the classroom.  There were so many places from which to choose as THE best!  My personal favorites of course are Central Park because walking through it was an escape into a different world, and Fort Ticonderoga because it is a place that I’ve taught about for years. I finally saw the real thing and now have a better understanding of its importance!  Two other favorites are the Erie Canal, for I was amazed that such technology could change geography in so many ways, and Ellis Island with the Hard Hat Tour that showed me firsthand the further trials endured by immigrants in their quest for their dreams that were just beyond their grasp.  I definitely enjoyed the contrasts between New York City and upstate New York.  The manmade marvels of the city and the natural wonders farther north contain glimpses into American history.  The bustle and hum of the city contrasted well against the slower pace of northern New York.  Neither locale was better than the other. Sorry Matt and Jonathan, neither of you win.  Both the city and upstate New York hold a place in my heart and soul and, I definitely want to return to both for another visit. 

     I will miss watching Scott count all of us as he ever so patiently tried to keep track of us, the flock.  What a thankless job!   What a guy!   I apologize for taking that one extra picture that caused Scott to look twice for me, alot.  Yes, I will miss Jonathan and his reminders to blog, blog, blog.  His reminders were helpful and I never saw them as rude, because I know through his reminders that he shows his concern.  Of course, I will miss Matt and his conversations when we hiked and ditched the bus (and his surprise that I would catch a snake).  It is nice to know that all our chaperones enjoy exercise too and chose to walk when given the opportunity.  I won’t miss hearing the word “rube” as it was overused by so many.  It’s safe to say that all of us were “rubes” at some point in the trip.  Of course, I won’t miss the bus and the confining, lengthy rides spent inside it, nor the never ending search for a restroom in New York City.  This was definitely the trip to top all trips and I am thankful that I was a participant in this venture!



  1. That’s it, just ignore Jonathan always then.

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