Sunday, May 6, 2012

Favorite Sites

My favorite sites.
1- My first favorite was ground zero. Actually seeing the memorials and being in that area really made 9/11 more real. It was sobering to be there and imagine being there during that day.
2- My second favorite site was Times Square. Being in such a well-known place was really cool. It is a well-known landmark of America. I really enjoyed soaking up the culture.
3- My third favorite thing was our pedicab tour through Central Park. Our tour guides were able to tell us so much about the history of the park. It is definitely the best way to tour the park.

Friday, May 4, 2012

We started our day by going to the council of foregin relations, speaking with specialist Husain. Recieveing his degree in London where he was born. In Husain's early years in college he joined a muslim extreamist group where he was exposed to many intense situations, a series of events as well as time led him to abondon those extreamist ideas. Husain specialized in politics associated with Aeribic countries. At this point we were all a little shocked at this amount of knowledge he portrayed upon us, his expriences was incredable. Conversing and listening to his stories were more than a pleasure. We really appreciate this experiance and in knowing the fact that there are people working to improve foregin relations. Next we went to tour the Intrepid. This is a museam unlike anyother. Being able to walk in a real submarine in the water was an experiance unlike anyother. We really enjoyed looking at the different types of planes. The museam was so interactive that it was a fun way to learn about air and space. We just wish the spaceshuttle was already there. Our next stop was China Town. This place is awesome. It almost feels like you are in China. We had a great time emersing ourselves in the culture. We briefly got to look inside of St. Patricks Church. Although this church was not as breath taking as the St. John's Church, we all enjoyed exploring St. Patrick's although we did not have very much time. The next stop was at Rockafeller Center's, Top of the rock. We got into an elevator and rode to the 68th floor, and then had to take the stairs to the 70th floor, where we saw the whole entire city of New York, and New Jersey. The view was breathtaking and amazing how you could see the entire Central Park, which is the biggest park in the middle of a major city, in the country. We all thought it was cool that we got to see, on top of the city, was every stop we made the entire trip we were here. Another cool aspect of the top of the rock was while riding the elevator, we were told to look up. At first we didnt get why because it was just plain white. Then, as we started up to the top floor, the ceiling went clear and we could see the inside machinery of the elevator and how fast we were going. After this stop, we went to a buffet for dinner which was good. Now we are in Time Square and waiting another hour for eveyone else and we are having fun. It is hard to believe that our trip comes to an end tomorrow and we head home. We will be arriving on campus late saturday night. Happy cinco de mayo everyone!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Gound Zero

Another action-packed day in NYC, including St. John's, the Apollo (we had a student take the stage--cool!) the MET, Central Park (via pedi-cab), and Times Square.  We look forward tomorrow to a discussion with a CFR scholar on the Arab Spring, a visit to the historic Essex-class Intrepid (go "Fighting I"), Top of the Rock, and much more in between and after.

Moment to reflect on Ground Zero....I left off yesterday with St. Paul's.  It's difficult to capture Ground Zero in words on a blog.  For me, to be physically on site, to gain perspective on the scale of carnage, to have an opportunity to hear first-hand accounts in person, really drove the event home for me and the students.  It so happens that one of our students lost his uncle on 9/11 and found his uncle's name on the remembrance wall.  Our guide says that when it comes to 9/11, there are two degrees of separation for New Yorkers:  You knew someone who was killed, or you know someone who knew someone who was killed.  Man.  The memorial, the fountains, the water falls and draining wells within the towers' footprints, against the backdrop of the 1776 Freedom Tower, speaks to the tragedy of the event and honors loved-ones lost....CSC-NYC   
Today was another awesome day in New York. We started off by going to St. John's Cathedral. It was beautiful. We found out that it is the largest cathedral in the U.S. The articheture was amazing and told stories itsself. One thing that was particularlly interesting was that the church has two distinct arcitecture styles. The oldest part was done in a roman style while the newer part was in a gothic style. After the cathedral we went to the Apollo theatre. It was an anazing historical site. To be able to stand on a stage that so many great people have was humbling. We were also very fortunate to have an amazing tour guide who had been there since the 1960's. His stories are unmatched. We aldo really enjoyed seeing all of the famous signatures on the stage. The MET was our next stop. We saw so much art that it was almost overwhelming. A majority of us really enjoyed the Roman exhibit. The Islamic exhibit was also breath taking. We really reccomend visiting it. The favorite part of our day was our pedicabs through Central Park. Central Park is beautiful. The tour tourguides were awesome and did an oustanding job. It is definately the best way to see the park. Ourdinner tonight was at Ellen's Stardust. The food is good and the wait staff is different from the average resturant. They sang the whole time!! All of them had great voices and entertained us with awesome numbers. To end our day we spent more time in Times Square. This place is incredible. It is definately one of our favorite places. We can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Sent affectionately from Global Issues students...

Our first day started with a few inconveniences related to weather and traffic.  Nevertheless, by midmorning we found ourselves on Ellis Island via ferry from Battery Park (the George Washington bridge is stunning).  On our way, across the Hudson river, en route to Ellis Island we steamed within  yards of "Liberty Liberty."  Can you imagine the tens of thousands, millions, who first witnessed America with her image!   On Ellis Island, many students found themselves emotionally relating to the entry process experienced by so many would-be Americans.  Some students even traced their family name to the stone monument outside, dedicated to the migrants who risked much to start a new life in the US.  The day was just getting started...

On to the UN!  Wow!  To realize that UN grounds are international territory has interesting implications.  We sat in the Generally Assembly and the Security Council, as well as a tour of the UN humanitarian mission--such as poverty relief, women's empowerment, and primary education.  It was incredible to realize that representatives from all sovereign nations of the world meet here to discuss the most pressing global issues.

After the UN, we visited St. Paul's Church.  This was a moving experience, to put it mildly.  Built in 1766, the church is the longest standing public building in NYC.  It sits only yards from the former location of the twin tours, and served as the nerve center for 9/11 response teams.  While buildings around it collapsed or were severely damaged, St. Paul's emerged from the carnage without damage.  Having been there, it's hard not to consider a spiritual connection.  The church's interior is adorned with emotional memorabilia, family keepsakes, informational material,and the like.  The visit conjured up the images and reflections of that fateful wasn't easy, but entirely worthwhile....more tomorrow.--C-SC in NYC