[Written April 4-ish.]
I know this is quite the belated post, but here it is: New York City was just amazing. The thrill of finding out that I could go and then actually going and then just being there – I just can’t find the words for it. I was just absolutely elated. It’s not that I’ve fallen in love with New York (I don’t think that I could live there for more than a couple months, what with all the hustle and bustle and horrible air condition. I quite like the suburbs and, I know that for some this is unimaginable, but I really wouldn’t mind living in Cupertino when I grow up. Or at least somewhere somewhat like Cupertino, in whichever corners of the world life takes me.) It was just a purely remarkable and unforgettable experience.
The rush was pleasant for the time we were there, all 69 of us. We were quite the crowd and it was quite the time – Times Square (on St. Patrick’s Day! Lots of green-garbed drunk people), SoHo (money money everywhere), Greenwich Village (gelato and Joe’s Pizza! And then the pastry shop, after miles and miles of wandering around the city), Columbia University (so compact and adorable - and I met Noel of Miss Couturable on the library steps!), Washington Square Park (came upon it while looking for the Friends fountain, sang “Don’t Stop Believing” with the piano man and about 40 other MVHSers), Ground Zero (where currently cranes and other construction equipment have replaced the memorial), Central Park (and the Imagine circle), Natural History Museum, Museum of Modern Art (with the most amazing museum guide ever, Mr. Shelton!), and, completely unexpectedly, Broadway, for “In the Heights”. Best. musical. ever. Oh, and did I mention that I got a picture with Corbin Bleu? Oh, and his autograph! On a Broadway playbill! Along with the actors who played Benny and Carla! It was quite exciting!
The CSPA conference was really quite the learning experience as well. Although I had my fair share of not-so-great sessions (to be expected because Ms. B and the head eds have taught us so much!), I had so many questions answered and concerns alleviated during the good ones. Just having people from all around the country there to share their experiences in high school journalism and offer their insight was truly amazing and in a way humbling. One school had all their funding cut, and was creating its newspaper off of just three computers that had the necessary programs. And an overwhelming majority of students present had faced censorship from school administration. I’ve never felt so thankful to be living in California before.
I got to know some staff members who I didn’t interact much with, which made all the outings even more special. I can’t imagine the class of 2010 graduating – no Bhargav, Aileen, Stefan, or Samved, no Natalie, Shreya, Deepa, no Julian, Minh, Hannah, Tammy, Jackie, Jaime, Anyssa, Gene, Sabrina, or Surabhi – not to mention all the non-journalism seniors who will be stepping out into the next chapters of their lives. I’ve learned unbelievable amounts from all of them and made countless memories and I can’t imagine how next year will be without their guidance and personalities (though late nights will be a lot safer for Mansi and Ashley for sure ;) ). I know that we will create new customs and have our own inside jokes and quirky mannerisms, but I’ll always miss the old ones.
I took a taxi by myself for the first time. I used my own debit card. I met a celebrity. I watched my first play on Broadway. I walked by the New York Times office. I further established myself as “Mom”. I saw the “Starry Night”. I met student journalists from New Hampshire and Idaho. I found out that people actually know about Cupertino, California, thanks to Apple. I sat on the sidewalks of New York City and ate pastries with 63 members of my journo/yearbook family. I had my first gelato. I had to pay $4.50 for a glass of [freshly squeezed blah blah blah] orange juice. I had my first McFlurry (a surprisingly satisfying dinner at 12:30 a.m.). I ate waffles with chocolate ice cream and strawberries for breakfast on the subway. (I ate a lot of good food.)
Yeah, this all came up because of a New York Times multimedia concerning the Manhattan travels of Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye.
I wonder what we would think of the book today if it hadn’t gained such a cultish following like it did. Salinger was an interesting guy.