New York Trip
Kristen Pine from McNeil High School in Austin, Texas
Bright lights, huge city, thousands of people littering
every street corner, what more could you ask in a vacation? Okay so
it's not everybody's idea of paradise. Most probably imagine caramel
beaches, clear turquoise waters lapping gently at their feet, and the
glorious sensation of a gleaming sun warming the face. Well me, I
would definitely go for a romp on that fantasy island, yet that's the
thing about fantasies, they aren't real.
So I went for the next best thing, crime,
purse-snatchers, high rises, tourist shops with naked people pens, and
more yellow cars than a person should ever see in a lifetime. I went with my drill
team, the McNeil Majestics, to New York City. Three nights and four
days of pure chaperoned fun, and I had a fabulous time. Did I ever
Can you imagine sixty plus people "moseying" down a
New York Boulevard wearing identical green and blue jackets with Majestics
emblazoned across the back for all to see. I've never heard so many
complaints of strangers accosting us as we made our way around the city.
My personal favorite came from a man who decided to give us a lesson on being a
good tourist. All we had to do was go around annoying real "New
Yorkers" as much as possible and we would become experts. He was
clearly using a roundabout way to say "move it freaks, you're in my
On the flip side the trip was unbelievable as a cluster of
teenage girls got to see and do things that most grown adults only dream about.
We danced at Alvin Ailey and Steps on Broadway, saw Fosse on Broadway, which
fueled my obsession for live theater, and received a grand tour of the old
history of New York. New York has always been an exciting city in my eyes,
and I'm not the only one who thinks so for I heard more languages in this city
than I did on my European tour!
Arriving at Ellis Island in the freezing cold I stepped from
the ferry shielded my eyes and leaned far back so I could get my first close
look at the Statue of Liberty. What history I thought! My ancestors
and so many others came through this way and this huge, green statue was the
first thing they saw of America, the land of the free. I felt their
excitement as my eyes
feasted on a symbol that foreign travelers saw as a new
beginning for their dreams. Pushing through the crowds (we were learning),
we got in line to climb the 342 steps that led to the top. Where was the
I climbed those stairs nonetheless and went through
alternating bouts of terror that my legs would crumble and warp, that the tiny
spiral staircase would crash down at any second, and that the three cute foreign
guys ahead of us would think I was a wimp for wanting to bail out after thirty
steps. I said I was a dancer, not He-man.
Of course I can't leave out the dancing with the masters in
their studios. Now I am definitely not a master dancer, but I love the art
and respect all who have this gift. Nothing else blends gorgeous music,
expert costuming and moves that tantalize the soul and convey deep-rooted
emotion than dance. I took classes from instructors that have built their
lives doing this and it was amazing to see them perform. They actually took
the time to teach a lowly high school girl who tried out for the drill team with
no dance experience, but came away with a love and appreciation for dance.
My favorite time was spent striding down the gilded hallways
of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Culture and history can be found in
every crevice of this building. In the Metropolitan Museum of Art I can
reach out and touch the past as if it were happening right before my wildly attentive eyes.
I can stand courageously in the thick of the grittiest
throng of nightmares and dreams as they surround me like a deep whirlpool.
I can experience every magnificent moment in history as if it occurred for me alone. This is why I love museums and why I consider the Met to be one of
the finest treasures of all time.
Lost in these never-ending hallways filled with mysteries
that only the secret and silent walls of the past can know is the best place to
linger in my opinion. The ancient remnants of people who saw terrifying,
amazing, and crucial moments in our world's history call out to the modern day
views, craving to tell their stories and doing so with the treasures they've
left behind. Can you hear their whispers?
I became lost in awe an envy as I stood silently in a room
filled with walls of steel in the Arms and Armor section of the Met. I
stared at iron blades that had taken the lives of so many during the blood
stained centuries. I could almost hear the metal clanking together as two
knights fought to the earth on a battlefield soaked with their blood, filling my
nostrils with it's metallic scent. I could see these valiant warriors
leaping over the silent bodies of their fallen comrades, praying to be the
victor over the other. Who wouldn't lose their mind in this place, it's
all things beautiful, tragic, priceless and gone.
Sisterhood, friendship, and laughter, were all part of this
magical trip that our director Denise Cochran led us on, and I'm so thankful she
did. I'll never forget it and the experience made me want to do so much
more. Eating in style, sleeping with crowds, traveling by bus on roads
that really weren't wide enough. Hailing a cab driven by a psycho with a
death wish, and pretending to shop on Fifth Avenue were some of the funnier
moments of the trip, and I know that graduating this year and leaving friends
that have been my constant companions for four years will be very hard.
I'll never forget my trip or the people who traveled with me. They will
live forever in the remembrances of my mind and soul.