Adventures in the big apple

Alyssa Conner

I had the time of my life last weekend because I visited the city known as The Big Apple for the very first time. One of my roommates and I hitched a ride with a friend who was going home to Brooklyn so he could celebrate his birthday.

My roommate and I stayed with two of our close friends who are there for Kent State’s fashion program. Their apartment is in the heart of Manhattan. It was only 10 feet wide and about 20 feet long, so it could barely fit two people, let alone four girls. Getting ready to go out at night was quite comical because whichever way you turned, you bumped heads with someone.

We visited Ground Zero, Times Square, Central Park, China Town, Little Italy and SoHo, all in three days. There were so many other things we wanted to see, but we did not have enough time. I feel there is never a dull moment in New York City.

Ground Zero took my breath away. The area where the buildings once stood is blocked off with a huge fence, but we went up to the second floor of a near-by Burger King and could see over it perfectly. Seeing the site firsthand has such a greater impact than seeing it on television. There are no words to describe how I felt when I saw it.

Times Square was absolutely beautiful at night, and SoHo is every girl’s dream. No mall can even compare to SoHo. Clothing shops line the streets along with little stands that sell knock-off purses, jewelry, sunglasses, hats, etc. I had hoped to see a celebrity shopping in SoHo, but I probably wouldn’t have been able to point him or her out because there are so many people.

China Town wasn’t how I pictured it would be. I thought it would be more “Asian-looking.” But then again, we did visit it at night, so that might be a reason why it wasn’t what I thought it would be. In my mind, I saw China Town with tall buildings with Asian designs on them and with Asian lanterns hanging outside.

I mean, there were buildings written with Chinese lettering on them, but other than that, there wasn’t much to it. The smell of it brought back memories of Korea, though. The smell is indescribable. It was a combination of sewage and Chinese food – not the best smell to bring back such wonderful memories, but it definitely reminded me of Korea.

Little Italy was filled with Italian restaurants. Every restaurant we passed, hostesses would try to bribe us to come in and eat. The only reason we ate at this one place was because the host sang to us and just wouldn’t shut up. It really surprised me how pushy and consistent the hosts were to passers by. I mean, think if hosts and hostesses at restaurants in downtown Kent stood outside and begged you to come in and eat – awkward. Luckily, the food was absolutely delicious, and the service was excellent.

Central Park was beautiful. We walked through Strawberry Fields and visited John Lennon’s memorial. It was neat because instead of sidewalks for the runners and bikers, there was a designated area for them on the road.

Activities in New York City definitely do not compare to anything students can do in Kent. I feel if I lived in New York City, I would always have something to do, versus here at Kent State, it doesn’t come as easy. I know urban life is totally different than small-town life, but it just amazes me how much different New York is compared to Kent.

The best way to describe New York City is fast-paced and diverse. I originally pictured the city to be like Chicago, but it is so much bigger and busier. People are always on the go and in a hurry.

I felt like I fit in so well because at every corner we turned, I saw a different race or heard someone speaking a different language. I had no idea New York City was as diverse as it is. I mean literally, every day I saw handfuls of Asians. It was nice spending three days feeling comfortable in my own skin.

Alyssa Conner is a junior public relations major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].