Another month went by unbelievably fast – life does not seem to slow down even for one second here in New York. Now it’s less than four weeks until the end of this semester and BGIA, and until I fly home for Christmas, and it seems like things are speeding up, if that’s even still possible. Looking back at my pictures from this month, it’s all just a blur or a flash. Midterms have reached us and we’ve had plenty of papers and assignments to write and presentations to prepare.
I’ve also been really busy at my internship – this has not been a good month for aviation security, and since my main task currently is threat monitoring for an airline, I had plenty of news and events from all around the world to analyse. One of them was, unfortunately, a terror attack that occurred just a few blocks away from our office – I guess most people have heard about the ramming incident on the Lower West Side of Manhattan on October 31. It’s a very strange feeling when such an event happens, and it was especially interesting how we first found out about it from our parents texting us from the other side of the globe. Of course, the initial response by both the Mayor and Governor of the City was to tell “New Yorkers [to] be New Yorkers”, and go on with our lives – and the Halloween parade scheduled for that night was not cancelled and we also did not let our initial plans be altered by fear and decided to go out anyways.
Despite experiencing for the first time what it feels like to be in a city when a terror attack happens there, November offered a few, decidedly more fun ‘firsts’, for example: I went to my first Broadway show (we saw Come From Away, a musical about planes diverted to a small town in Newfoundland following 9/11 – highly recommended); went on a class trip to the United States Military Academy at West Point with the Power, War and Terror class and learned about the history of the institution; picnicked in Central Park (sort of); took a boat to Ellis Island and ‘chin-selfied’ with the Statue of Liberty; cried looking at Australian Aboriginal contemporary art at the Met; went ice-skating and left the side of the rink (sort of) and lived to tell the tale; stayed way overtime at my internship to be rewarded by the breathtaking view of the nighttime skyline from the 54th floor of the Chrysler Building; and ventured out to other neighborhoods – and decided that I would definitely live in Park Slope, Brooklyn if I could afford a $2 million brownstone.
A few of us from BGIA also went on a trip to Washington D.C. to attend the BardWorks networking conference, which was a very long but really interesting day as we got to hear from former Bard and BGIA alumni who now have exciting careers in and around the D.C. area. It was also great for me to finally see D.C. in the fall (every time I’ve been there before it was over 40°C, which is miserably humid there since the city was built on a swamp), and go to some areas I’ve never been before, like Embassy Row and the Smithsonian Zoo (where the Giant Pandas were unfortunately inside because it was too cold for them, but they were still adorable in their sad little ‘cages’), and I also go to meet up with a friend from the area and explored some of the city’s ‘underground’ scene with him.
Also this past weekend was Thanksgiving break, which I mainly used to catch up on some much-needed sleep and a bit of exploration of the city. One thing that I knew I couldn’t miss, however, was the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade down 6th Avenue. We were pretty late to the party as we couldn’t bring ourselves to get in line at 6 am in the cold, but we still somehow managed to score pretty good viewing spots by the Rockefeller Center and made it just in time to the see the giant Grinch balloon – which is the most important part of the parade anyways. Right after Thanksgiving the city switched to Christmas mode instantly, giant trees are going up everywhere and Christmas music provided the soundtrack for people’s Black Friday shopping sprees at Best Buy. Knowing how busy December is going to be, I’m wary about so much holiday cheer so soon, but New York certainly seems like a city where it’s hard not to become excited about Christmas. I think I’ll let the Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy’s store windows and the Rockefeller tree silence the Grinch in me this year – I’ll keep you all updated.