Posts Tagged ‘central park’

The Things I Miss The Most

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

I’ve been out of New York City for almost a week now (with many more to go), and I’ve realized I miss a lot of things I wasn’t expecting.


My college is pretty much in the middle of nowhere, so the only thing you hear is students talking, partying, playing their instruments. And crickets. I honestly miss the sound of people going places, the subway rumbling beneath the sidewalk and the soles of other New Yorkers’ shoes scurrying off to start their days. I miss being able to hear the fireworks from Coney Island (every Friday night until autumn hits) from my house. I miss the constant buzz of excitement, the sense that things are always happening.

Coney Island


 There is an amazing street artist of the name De La Vega that puts his creative stamp on the city. The first time I saw his work was on the sidewalk by my high school, on the Upper East Side. It was a very simplistic chalk drawing of a fish with the words: BECOME YOUR DREAM written in bold letters.


I know this probably sounds weird, but when you have to eat all your meals in a single dining hall, you realize how unique NYC food is. While I do miss the bagels and the pizza, one of things I miss the most is actually all the stores that sell only one item. S’MAC (East 33rd Street or East 12th Street), for example, sells only mac and cheese. (I promise it will be the best mac and cheese you’ve ever tasted.) Wafels & Dinges (trucks located around the city, one stationary cart on the Great Lawn in Central Park, new café in the East Village) sells only waffles with a variety of delicious toppings to smother them in. If you’ve never tried a Liége wafel with spekuloos, you haven’t really lived. And, my personal favorite, Pommes Frites (2nd Ave between 7th and St. Mark’s) serves only french fries with a menu full of interesting and strange sauces to dip them in (try the pomegranate teriyaki mayo, one of the best/weirdest). Savor these!


I’ve visited cities with subway stations that are clearly cleaner than the ones we have in New York City. But none have been more creative or alive. A lot of the street performers/musicians are actually painfully talented in the way only the undiscovered can be. But people set aside, the stations themselves have a lot of personality. On the NQR train platform at Herald Square, for example, there are green pipes that hang from the ceilings. If you put your hands over different holes, different sounds come out. Just a little something fun to do while waiting for the train. My favorite of these stations is, of course, Grand Central. But not for the constellation-covered ceiling or the analog clocks or even the shops. I love Grand Central for the whisper gallery. There are four columns, and when you speak into one of them, the person standing at the opposite column can hear what you say.

Whisper Gallery, Grand Central


As intimidating as the MTA subway and bus system may seem, you will eventually learn to navigate them like a native. I really miss being able to hop on a train and go anywhere, all by myself. (Up in Vermont, where I am, I have to rely on friends with cars.)


The benches in Central Park have the most lovely, funny, and witty engravings on them. These are for and by your fellow New Yorkers. Read them all.

Central Park, Upper West Side



Katie Yee, Bennington College

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Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Photo courtesy of susanv

Written by Megan Soyars

Christmas is over, classes haven’t started yet, and you’ve still got some holiday partying to get in before you drag yourself back to campus to start the spring semester. Well, it’s almost New Year’s Eve, and you’re in one of the greatest cities in the world to celebrate! (Hey, the word “new” is our first name!)  From the legendary ball drop in Times Square, to the fireworks display in Central Park, there’s something going on everywhere in the City.  I’ve got some handy tips and info that will help you enjoy this night to the max.

This is undoubtedly the most “rockin’” event to ring in the New Year. Millions of people brave the cold to experience the exhilaration only a festivity like this can bring.

The subways around Times Square are a little crazy during this time, but they will all be open. However, it’s recommended not to arrive by the Times Square stop, but instead a nearby one, like 50th St. and 8th, or the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

It’s recommended to arrive in the afternoon (by 3 pm) to secure the best place. At least try to arrive by 6pm, so you can watch as the ball is raised.

Unfortunately, there are no portable public restrooms in Times Square. Don’t resort to using diapers or empty bottles like some tourists have confessed to doing. Charmin provides public bathrooms around Times Square until 3pm, and the Port Authority Bus Terminal also has public restrooms. But be prepared for a line. And I mean a looonnnggg line. Also keep in mind that once you leave your spot, you can’t return to it.

But the ball drop is only one of the 10,00000 things to do this New Year’s!

1)   Central Park is hosting several events for those who would like a more low-key atmosphere. Participate in a midnight run through the park, enjoy drinks at Tavern on the Green, or watch the midnight fireworks display!
2)   The AMEX theatre in the heart of Times Square is hosting parties and movies all night long. This is also a great venue to watch the ball drop (without the crush of the crowd below).
3)   Take the Brooklyn Bridge walk starting at 10 pm, then stay to watch the fireworks at midnight.

And to forget about your student discounts. You can use them this holiday when you’re looking for a place to refuel. From TGI Fridays, to the Outback Steakhouse, you’ll always be sure to get a good deal with your coupons.

-Megan, Trinity University

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Let’s Dance: SummerStage

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

I don’t often splurge for cabs, but after a long afternoon of traveling back to the city from a short trip home to New Hampshire, I decided to switch up the subway for a cab back to my apartment. This is mostly because it was downpouring and I was trying to catch a dance class (no such luck – too late!), but the reason doesn’t really matter.

Long story short, the cab was zooming through Central Park back to the East Side and I saw groups of people heading towards a stage with large signs reading SummerStage.

Now, I have seen signs and seen the stage set up in years past, but I have never taken the time to figure out what SummerStage was all about – I just figured it would be expensive or impossible to get into. Since I was too late to go to my class, however, I had some time to look into the details about what this stage is all about.

SummerStage is put on by the City Parks Foundation, and it presents a variety of free and benefit concerts. On the list for their Mainstage in Central Park this summer is a wide variety of acts – musicians such as Public Enemy, The Specials, and other famous bands, as well as dance groups such as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and other performers such as poets, comedians, and actors. I’m really looking forward to trying to see St. Vincent on August 1 and Complexions Contemporary Ballet on August 10, but hopefully I can get into the action earlier than August – there are plenty of shows to choose from!

This event happens every year, and most shows are free – but for the shows that require payment, order ahead. It’s the first day of June, and some shows are already listed as sold out! The free shows just require getting there early enough to find a spot – I’ll try to go to a show soon and see just how early the crowds normally get there. Keep in mind, too, that there are shows happening not just on the Central Park Mainstage, but also throughout the rest of the city and its boroughs. Check out the website for the full listings, and I’ll keep you posted on what I see and find out about this SummerStage deal. But so far, it looks like an amazing program – keeping the arts alive and accessible to NYC residents is a great goal, and utilizing the beautiful parks of Manhattan and its boroughs is a unique way to see the performances. I, for one, can’t wait!

-Meghan Q.

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A Spot of Green in a Grey City

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

It’s crazy, I think, that no matter what time of the year it is I feel like I’m being run into the ground. Right now, for example, I’m in the middle of my finals. Unlike most semesters, though, this semester seems to be all about papers instead of tests, and I’m still not sure if that’s an improvement or not. On top of that, I’m supposed to be finding a job — which I’m sure everyone can agree is almost harder than doing well in school. I think it’s different for people not in New York, though. Everywhere else is moving at a different pace than New York…like we’re always trying to catch up and move ahead at the same time, so everything is muddled and rushed and it’s hard to focus on anything.

My old roommate is commuting from Long Island to the city this semester, and she has an early final tomorrow. I’ve offered to let her stay here for the night, but she won’t get here until late (some people, apparently, take advantage of the libraries being open all night during finals), and I’m already exhausted. Not to mention my mind is on a million different things, none of which include cleaning the apartment and having some kind of breakfast offering in the fridge. I like to consider myself an adult, but I really don’t understand how “real adults” can multitask so efficiently when it feels like I’m stumbling along to get just one or two things done in a day.

What I need, and what New York happily provides when weather permits, is a peaceful day in Central Park. All too often we’re intent on doing something cool and exciting, or something flashy and expensive, that we forget that New York City offers one of the most peaceful places imaginable, for free.

Sure, there are dogs barking and kids running around, but I think that’s what makes it so perfect. Reading a chapter for a Literature class while a couple of guys play Frisbee is just the perfect college experience, as if Central Park is the communal college ground for every single university in the City. I used to be jealous of my friends who would show pictures of them sitting on grassy knolls at Rutgers, or lounging in the sun at Rider between classes, but it’s really everyone else who should be jealous. Central Park offers that unique melting pot that the United States is lauded for; on a nice day you can walk along the 5th Ave border and see a stand from the Strand, or buy a classic print of Aubrey Hepburn. Walking down one of the many paved areas, one will be surrounded by musicians of every different style imaginable. It’s easy to forget about these little things because we all take them for granted, but that colorful spot of green shown in every satellite picture of the city is really the best way to keep grounded, and entertained, in a city as fast paced as New York. And hey, maybe before finals are up we’ll see some sun again.

-Mary K

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Relax Your Mind and Feel Good

Friday, May 14th, 2010

As a student, it may sometimes seem that stress is never-ending, especially in New York City, which, based on data from is the third most stressful city in the country. The difficulties in balancing school, work, and our relationships can increase stress to the point where it has a negative affect on our physical and mental well-being. According to WebMD, “People who don’t manage stress well can have headaches, stomach pain, sleeping problems, illness, and depression.” However, if it is managed effectively, stress can be defeated, allowing us to live a healthy and more fulfilling life.

Cost Effective Ways to Reduce Stress in Your Life

Workout at the Gym for Free– Many gyms offer guest passes that vary from one day to two weeks for non-members. Colleges and Universities around the city also offer students free access to their facilities. This is a great way to work out without coming out of your own pocket. Just contact your local gym for more details or click on the link below for access to another way to get fit for free.
Shape Up NY

Talk to Someone– Sometimes you just need someone to talk to. Contact your school’s mental health center for details on what services are available to you free of charge. It may also help to find a clergy, relative, friend, or therapist that will listen to you; afterward you may feel relieved to have let it all out. If you still feel a sense of urgency, you can always call 1-800-LIFENET.

Meditate– Look for a quiet place to relax, put your body in any position that you feel comfortable in; stand up, sit down, or lie down and take deep breaths, keeping the focus on your breathing. Continue to do so until you feel the stress melt away. For more information on meditation courses in New York City, take a look at the link below or go to your local library for some books on the topic.
Meditation in New York

Listen to Music– Ever wonder why music is a universal language, it’s because no matter what culture or background you come from tunes can speak to you. Just turn on the radio and before you even realize it, you’ll be dancing and singing or humming and bopping your head. There are also places throughout the city where you can listen to free music. Check some of them out below:
Music at Madison Square Park
Music at Licoln Center
Music at Central Park

-Shana H

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