Tuesday, July 1, 2014

My Last Impressions of New York

Breakfast at Aroma Espresso Bar.
We all decided to meet downstairs at 7:30AM in the hotel lobby.  After we met, we agreed to get breakfast at this little café called Aroma Espresso Bar. It was a few blocks away from our hotel. As we walked into the café the sweet aroma of coffee and pastries filled the air (no wonder why it’s called Aroma Espresso Bar).  I ordered a turkey BLT with a chai latte. The meal was perfect for that early morning. Since we were ahead of schedule, we had extra time to hang out at the cafe. 

Later on it was time to start traveling to the subway. I was having doubts about going on the subway because I haven’t been on one before and I didn't know what to expect. As we arrived to the entrance, people rushed in and out trying to get to work. It was very crowded and very humid in the subway tunnels.  I realized that the experience of being on Bart in the West Coast was very different from the subways here in the East. The subways comes by more often than Bart and are on a rapid and timely schedule. I was so fortunate to get a better understanding of the subway system.
One of the many subway entrances featuring the many busy
busy people hustling to work.

By traveling on the subway, we arrived at Columbia. We walked to Columbia University in the City of New York for our college information session and tour. I was excited for the college tour because I really want to know what Columbia had to offer and what I can learn from it. Before the tour we had a few moments to roam near the area. I admired the old architecture and how the college was laid out. I also noticed that the college was going through some renovations. This made me realized that even though there was old styled buildings, the college tried making enough renovations to modernize it.

During the information session and college tour, I learned a few interesting things about the college. Columbia was one of the first colleges in New York that was started during the time when the thirteen colonies were under the King’s control. During this time it was called King’s college but when the monarchy was kicked out during the War of Independence it was changed to the Columbia University in the City of New York. From the information session I learned what where some of the requirement to apply for Columbia, housing details, financial aid details, and how the school system worked. One thing that was different about Columbia from other schools is that the school looks at college application holistically, which means that they weigh everything on a student’s application equally. After the knowledgeable information session we went on the tour. Our college guide, Gaby, who was a college student in Columbia, showed us around the different building and housing areas. I noticed that Columbia is a very diverse school and the school has so many resources that the students are always open to.

After the college tour we were able to roam around the city. Before roaming we had some lunch at this restaurant called The Heights. After lunch, we went to Times Square. Times Square was very busy and tight. Although I was thrilled to have seen Times Square, in my opinion the 9/11 Memorial was the best site we saw today. There are two pools/waterfalls that take place of where the buildings had once stood. Around the pool were engraved name of those who were lost in the tragic event. I’ve always had strong feeling toward this tragedy in particular. I’ve always read about the memorial but actually seeing it in real life was on a whole different level.  
I ordered a turkey burger with a side of fries at The Hieghts.

One of the pools/waterfalls in the 9/11 Memorial.
After site seeing in the city we went back to our hotels and got ready for a dinner scheduled with some student from Columbia University. The dinner was held at “The Cecil” in Harlem. I met four students: Noelle, Ellie, Heather, and Beulah. The four students were very active and a great source of help. I admired how we got to talk to them and ask for their opinions about certain aspects of the school. It was nice to have students that were relatable to us and could give us advice about what we should do and what we need to do. Having that time with them was a great opportunity to get any uncertainties out of the way and make great connections with wonderful and helpful people.
Menu of The Cecil 

Group Picture with the Ivy League cohorts and the students
from Columbia:
Noelle, Chiamaka, Shanti(me), Ellie, Jasmine,
Carson, Heather, and Beulah

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