Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Heat

It was hot today. Really, really hot today. That's something that you need to understand about today's events. All the traveling we did through NYC and Bronxville, was done in weather bordering 100 degrees.That being said, I discovered something today. I've found that although I don't yet enjoy heat, I can bare it pretty well, as long as I'm in motion. I can't stand sitting or standing in some place hot, but as long as I'm on the move, I can deal with it, and even appreciate it.

I felt prepared for today's schedule, because it followed the same basic pattern as yesterday's: We went to the subway, got breakfast/lunch, passed through a major train station, toured a school, headed back to the hotel, dressed in formal clothes, went out to dinner, came back and of course, our favorite, blogged. That seems to be the basic daily schedule for this week, with visits to historical sites thrown in. It's a pretty good system, and I'm glad it's consistent. When we are off in a foreign place like this, it's nice to have some regularity.

I can't remember when Lucas and I woke up this morning, but we met up with everyone down in the lobby at 10:15 AM. I wore my new shorts, which, besides PE shorts, are the first pair that I have owned in at least six years (if not more). I don't like shorts that much, but when in Rome, do like the Romans. I think I wore all white or light gray today.

We headed to the subway, just like the last to days. This time, we took in Grand Central Station. I have to say, it sure is a "grand" central station... well, I thought that was funny. I want to say, that everything I've heard about New York seems to be true, word for word. I'm amazed at how much of what I've been told has come true right before my eyes. There really are rats in the subway; I've seen them. There really are huge cockroaches in the streets; I've seen them. The underground tunnels really do become ovens; I've felt it. More importantly, the city really is amazing. The skyline is just as impressive as I was told, and it's true that the city never sleeps. Everything seems to be open all night. All the cliches about the Big Apple appear to be accurate.

We took a train from Grand Central Station to Bronxville, home of Sarah Lawrence College (SLC). Like UPenn, I'm going to post a separate blog about my thoughts on SLC. I'll probably do this for all the schools we visit. The SLC blog probably won't be as long as the one for UPenn, but that's just because UPenn really struck a chord with me, and I took a ton of notes and photos for it. All of the school posts will be thorough, just some more than others. These may not go up for a while.

At SLC, we sat through an info session held by a women in the admissions department. Afterwords, a rising SLC senior named Cody gave us a tour of the campus. I have to say, SLC is quite beautiful. All the grass is a vibrant green, and the tutor style architecture is stunning. It's located in a quiet community of luxurious houses. One drawback though, is it's very small and hilly. I think I would have liked it more if there was less vertical and more horizontal. It was also an extremely unfortunate day to be walking up steep hills in the sun. Cody was an entertaining guide, and the tour was very fascinating, but it didn't end too well for us. We decided to leave early, so we wouldn't be late for our train, but when Ms. L. called taxi service, they told her that a cab wouldn't be available for quite some time. They had promised us that plenty of cabs would be available when we were done at SLC; clearly, this was not the case. We ended up missing not only our train, but the next one after that.

Our tour guide, Cody

Long story short, we ended up boarding a train an hour late. This meant that when we got back to grand central station, we hail cabs to hurry back to the hotel. Another thing that is absolutely true about New York, is that cab drivers really do drive crazy. By the time we got back to the hotel, we only had 20 minutes to change clothes and get ready for our dinner. Miraculously, we all made it down to the lobby in time, where we met with Ms. Kronenberg. She joined us for dinner. The restaurant for tonight, was Brasserie 8 1/2. Our guests were two UPenn alumni. This place certainly had the nicest atmosphere of all the ones we have been two. It combined the modern elegance of Petrossion, with the warm atmosphere of Keens steakhouse. I wish I could show you what it looked like, but my camera died on the way back from SLC, and there was no time to recharge it. I'm sure other people put photos of it on their blogs.

Lucas, Tomi and I sat near Lissette Duran, a UPenn alumnas who just finished her first year of Columbia Law School. We had a fascinating discussion through out the dinner, covering UPenn, Columbia, New York and law school, as well as other topics. The food was excellent there, just like everywhere else that we've been to. I had the steak tartar as an appetizer, rabbit (which I didn't care for) as the entree, and an amazing chocolate cake, chocolate ice creme and chocolate pudding trio for dessert. The conversation, ambiance and dessert made this my favorite meal so far.

The walk back to the hotel wasn't too bad, as the sun had set, and it was beginning to cool off. Tomorrow is expected to be hotter than today was in NYC. Hopefully that won't be the case in Poughkeepsie, because we'll be heading there tomorrow to tour Vassar.

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