Sunday, September 29, 2013

Invigorating Adventure

Day 4 report by Angela Smolders and Fera Kennedy

The sun was shining upon New York City on our fourth day as we headed down to the Dumbo neighbourhood (an acronym for District Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), inbetween the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. Much to our delight, there was an arts festival and the area was brimming with artistic sights and sounds. The NYC Bhangra entertained us in a courtyard with their colourful costumes and poses. We were then treated to a strange and wonderful procession of people dressed like bubbles! As they marched past us blowing bubbles and playing music in their absurd costumes, it was like a scene from a Dr. Seuss book.

We took a leisurely stroll along the water and then headed towards Brooklyn Bridge to walk across it. Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States and was completed in 1883. It connects the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn by spanning the East River. It is a New York City icon and has been designated a National Historical Landmark. As you walk higher and higher up the bridge, the scenery becomes even more beautiful and a new perspective of the city is gained.  Walking up the bridge and all along it is the most invigorating experience and a must do for travellers to the city. We were all in photography heaven up there!

After descending the bridge, we headed to a Buddhist Temple in bustling Chinatown located in Manhattan.  With an estimated population of 90,000 to 100,000 people, New York City’s Chinatown is the largest and oldest in the Western Hemisphere. The markets, shops, food, vendors and street life are truly fascinating.

After Chinatown, we visited Central Park and happened upon ‘Museum Mile’ – a beautiful stretch on Fifth Avenue spanning a mile and is chock full of museums and other fine arts institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim to name a few.

Central Park is so massive that it takes up 6% of Manhattan’s total acreage and includes seven bodies of water. We were able to watch the sunset along the largest body of water called the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir while a large fire was smoldering in the distance. We are excited to head back to the park tomorrow to have a Digital Video class at the Central Park Zoo!

We ended our beautiful day at Grand Central Station, which is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. It was way more grandiose than we had ever imagined with its marble floors and stairs and the iconic brass clock in the middle. The ceiling is painted with constellations and is 48 feet high! It was a surreal experience to view this historical landmark that is so often mentioned in books and has been in countless movies. It truly was a perfect ending to yet another adventurous day in New York City. 

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