Monday, May 14, 2012

It's Adventure Time!

Oh New York, a concrete jungle where dreams are made of. And fortunately for the students of the West Contra Costa Unified School District, New York City is a destination we are given the chance to experience. As an ILC representative for the 2012 summer, I am given the opportunity to study and live in New York for approximately one month. I am able to study at a prestigious Ivy League university while enjoying the exciting city of New York.

While attending Columbia university for the summer, my ILC group will be provided with chances to tour beautiful New York City and the surrounding area. Possible famous landmarks I hope to visit are the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Central Park, Rockefeller Center, World Trade Center, and FAO Schwarz Toys. Famous museums I hope to tour are the American Museum of Natural History, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Skyscraper Museum, and Discovery Times Square.
Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty is a national monument on Ellis Island, known as a symbol of American immigration and the immigration experience. As a gift from France, the Statue of Liberty is a universal symbol for freedom and democracy.
Empire State Building
The Empire State Building is a one hundred and two story skyscraper that overlooks all of New York. With an observatory on the eighty-sixth floor, tourists are able to admire the breathtaking views of streets, rooftops, and metropolitan areas.
Central Park
Central Park, located in the center of Manhattan, is a public park that encompasses about eight hundred forty-six acres! With discussion seminars and research at the library occupying our time, Central Park is a great escape to the hectic workload ahead of us.
Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center, built by the infamous Rockefeller family, is a complex of nineteen buildings located between forty-eighth and fifty-first street. Tourists are able to walk upon the creation of some of the wealthiest Americans during the Gilded Age.
Ground Zero
After the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, this complex, once consisted of the Twin Towers, is now named the Ground Zero Memorial.
FAO Schwarz
FAO Schwarz Toys is the oldest toy store in the United States. After a long day consisted of textbooks and papers, it’s good to explore one’s inner child at this New York attraction, especially on the candy floor!
American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History is one of the largest and most well-known museums in the world. With forty-six exhibition halls and thirty-two million specimens, exploring this museum will never be a bored. (Maybe the displays will come to life too!)
Guggenheim Museum
Solomon Guggenheim Museum is a modern architectural building housing collections of Impressionist, post-Impressionist, early Modern, and Contemporary art.
Museum of Modern Art
The Museum of Modern Art is exactly that; a modern art museum that is continuously developing and collecting modern art of architecture and design, drawings, sculptures, paintings, photographs, and many more.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of art holds works of many different cultures; from the medieval arms and armors in the Cloister section to a Ming Dynasty -style garden court.
Skyscraper Museum
The Skyscraper Museum is the only museum that holds works of different designs of skyscrapers. Personally, this is one I’d really like to visit due to the variety of architectural features presented at the museum. (My inner engineer is showing!)
Terracotta Warriors at the Discovery Times Square
Discovery Times Square is an exhibition that specializes in traveling exhibitions. The current exhibition is the Terracotta Warriors: Defenders of China’s First Emperor. This exhibition is China’s most famous archaeological discovery, comprised of six hundred clay soldiers to protect the Emperor in the afterlife.

A Month In NYC

As the school year comes to a close, our ILC trip to Columbia approaches quicker and quicker. I could not be more excited, especially since I have never been to New York City! In all my travels, I have only been to Rochester, which is in upstate New York. I really like touring famous landmarks (without looking too much like a tourist, of course) and seeing museums, so this New York City experience should be the best yet.

A. Landmarks I'd Like To See 
1. Statue of Liberty 
Why wouldn't this be the first one on my list? The Statue of Liberty was a gift from the French to the United States. To me, the Statue of Liberty represents independence and the utter strength and courage that America possesses.

2. Empire State Building 
Although I suffer from a huge fear of heights (seemingly not from airplanes...strange), I would love to visit the Empire State Building. When people think of New York City - they think of skyscrapers! Although I'd prefer not to go from the top, I'd still love to spend time in this idyllic skyscraper.

3. Rockefeller Center
After learning after John D. Rockefeller in my AP United States History course last semester and how he seemingly "had the people in one hand and the government in the other", it would be interesting to learn about this powerful man at a center dedicated to him.
 4. Central Park
I like taking long walks or just relaxing, and Central Park would be an interesting place to relax and observe the beauty of New York.

5. Broadway

WHO DOES NOT WANT TO GO ON BROADWAY?! It's been a dream of mine to see at least one Broadway play. I wouldn't even care what play it was, as long as I'd get to see one then I would feel complete satisfaction.
6. Twin Towers Site 

The 9/11 attacks on America happened when I was six years old, and I only remember coming into my parent's room and watching as CNN filmed the 2nd plane crashing into the building - live. I think it would be interesting to learn more about these events in the place where they occurred.

B. Museums I'd Like To See
I'm really into history and cultures, so the top two museums I'd be interested in seeing are the American Museum of Natural History and Ellis Island Immigration Museum. I learned a lot about these two subjects in my AP United States History course but it would be interesting to learn about them from a museum and not a textbook.

The other three museums I would be interested in viewing are the Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Whitney Museum of American Art. Seeing different perspectives on art would be really interesting.

Experiencing New York

Hey everyone. As you probably know by now, our four-week stay on the East Coast will, for the most part, take place in New York City. While the majority of our time will be devoted to our classes, we will have a little time to go out and explore one of the most fascinating cities in the world. To prepare for this, we were asked to find at least 12 attractions that we would love to visit most. Unfortunately, many people living in New York go their entire lives without visiting all of what New York has to offer, so narrowing down to 12 was no small task. But this is a good problem to have. What follows is the list of attractions I would most like to visit.

-Metropolitan Museum of Art (right)
I am not as big a fan of art as most, but many aspects of it do interest me, particularly the historical aspect. The Met seems to offer a variety of art that reflects certain historical periods, and for that reason, I'd be very interested in going.

-Ellis Island Immigration Museum (left)
Immigrants coming from other countries and cultures around the world make up the nation that America is today, particularly New York City, and I would love to step foot where many of these immigrants arrived to the United States.

-New York Historical Society / Museum of the City of New York
I am a huge fan of history, and I love New York City, so it only makes sense that I'd love to visit a museum describing the history of New York City. I'm not yet sure which of the two will do a better job of that, although, I know that I would have a good time at either of the two museums. +

-Statue of Liberty (left)
I have actually been in New York and have seen the Statue of Liberty, but the statue's head was under construction (renovation?) and I never set foot on Liberty Island. I would definitely like to go back and do this.

Yes, I know this isn't a museum or a landmark, but I am a passionate lover of food and New York has some of the best food in the world when it comes to quality and diversity. New York offers some tastes that you cannot find in the Bay Area, and if I have the opportunity I will be the first to take advantage.

-Coney Island (right)
With roller coasters, baseball, games, the beach and more, Coney Island is the picture of summer fun. My kind of place.

-Citi Field (left)
Being the baseball nut that I am, there is no way New York's two Major League Baseball teams could not make my list. Yankee Stadium would also be on here, but I don't think even Mitt Romney could afford a ticket at Yankee Stadium (Often over $30 for simply an unobstructed view; Mets tickets start at $5). Additionally, the Mets kind of live in the Yankees' shadow when it comes to popularity and wins, so I'd rather watch a Mets' game anyway.

-USS Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum (right)
Again, I'm really big on history, and I'd love to board a ship which played a large role in American history. Additionally, the museum is filled with aircraft such as passenger jets, fighter planes, and as of today, the space shuttle Enterprise. Definitely not for everyone, but this is something I would love to see.

-Museum of Natural History (below right)
Simply put, this museum is a huge collection of exhibits depicting the history of the natural world. A place I could spend hours and hours in, definitely I place I would enjoy seeing.

-Central Park
Central Park itself probably has more to do than you could accomplish in one day. One of the most well-known parks in America, I'd have to at least take a walk through Central Park.

-Ground Zero Memorial and Museum
I would like to visit the memorial and the museum at Ground Zero to remember those that were taken by September 11th, 2001's tragedy, and those who fought valiantly to help others make it through. A sad day in our history, but still something that I'd like to visit.

-St. Patrick's Cathedral.
As Lenny mentioned in his blog, the architecture of this church is breathtaking. Time-permitting, something I'd love to get a chance to see.

-Times Square 
The epitome of city life in New York City.

-Top of the Rock / Empire State Building
Although I'm not big on heights, I would love to go up 70 floors to the Top of the Rock of for an unobstructed view in all directions of New York City. At the Empire State Building, you can actually travel to the 102nd floor, although the view apparently is a little more obstructed than at the Rockefeller Center.

-Brooklyn Bridge
As one of the architectural masterpieces of the world, Brooklyn Bridge is probably the #1 attraction in New York I'd like to visit. 

Trying more than a few websites for information on New York City is probably a waste, as one website alone will take up more than enough time with hundreds of things to do.
The main websites I used:

One Great Apple, an Endless Amount of Possibilities

Hello everyone! So in just about a month, my friends and I will finally be on our way to New York city! Out of all the amazing places we could visit and the endless amount of attractions offered, I would like to share with you all a list of places I would definitely not want to miss.
Here it goes;

The New York Bodies Exhibition- My entire life, I've always been strongly passionate about medicine, and the human body never fails to amaze me. Call me weird, but I'm extremely interested in visiting this museum! According to the website, "The Exhibition provides an intimate and informative view into the human body. Using an innovative preservation process, the Exhibition allows you to see and celebrate your body's inner beauty in ways you never dreamed possible. Over 200 actual human bodies and specimens, meticulously dissected and respectfully displayed, offer an unprecedented and wholly unique look into your amazing body." 

Ellis Island Immigration Museum- I read in my APUSH class about Ellis Island recently, and I think it would be a really fascinating experience to step on the grounds of history, and be able to almost sense and visualize what people in your history book felt like. Ellis Island was the portal for many to the United States, and it's amazing to actually "experience" what you learn in history for once than to read it.

American Museum of Natural History- Ever since I was a child, I've always dreamed of one day being able to go to the American Museum of Natural History. The museum holds thousands of specimens and artifacts from around the world, including Dinosaur fossils. They also have a planetarium space show and an Imax theater. This is definitely a place worth seeing.

Museum of Modern Art- Everyone that knows me probably already knows I absolutely love to paint, so of course I'd be interested in the Museum of Modern Art!The museum showcases many exceptional pieces from the 20th to the 21st century such as works of the great Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, and Henri Matisse. 

Carnegie Hall/Rose Museum- This beautiful site was a place visited by many of the worlds most amazing individuals, especially musical artists. The hall holds a collection of signed photographs, letters, and memorabilia from many musicians of this century.

Statue of Liberty- The worldly known symbol of freedom is truly something that can not be missed.

Empire State Building- Absolutely no trip to New York City would be complete without a visit to the Empire State Building, the most famous office building in the world. The building features an observatory on the 86th-floor giving a magnificent view more than 1,000 feet above New York City.

Times Square- I love busy streets and seeing lots of things going on around me. I'm willing to bet my home-town is one of the most calm cities in the United States, and I'm definitely willing to experience something different. With the largest LED sign the world, and one of the busiest places in New York, Times Square is truly considered "one of a kind."

Central Park- I'm really looking forward to just sitting calmly in the green lush grass, and watching the world around me and the clouds rush above me, surrounded by tall, magnificent, and dazzling skyscrapers.

Brooklyn Bridge- The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States, I'd love to walk across it once on our trip. (If we have time of course, class  is always first priority on this trip!)

Saint Patrick’s Cathedral- This cathedral is absolutely breath-taking. The architecture is magnificent, I would really like to be able to one day see it in person. 

Top of The Rock Observation Deck at Rockefeller Center- City lights have and always will be my favorite. Every time I visit San Francisco, my family and I never miss going to Twin Peaks to admire the beautiful city, now I just might have the chance to view the amazing New York city from above.

Fifth Avenue- Knowing me and my love for shopping, I'd love to walk this street and take a look at the endless stores and boutiques! Aside from all the fancy stores and beautiful products, the street also takes credit for the world's largest Build-A-Bear Workshop and the site of famous annual parades!