4th January 2013

New York Inspection Trip- Written by Adaptable Travel Educational Travel Consultant Ricky Behan On Wednesday 31st October.

Despite the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, I had the pleasure to visit New York as part of an inspection visit to explore the hustle and bustle of America’s most famous and iconic city. Flying from London Heathrow with Virgin Atlantic I arrived in New York and was greeted by the city’s famous skyline shrouded in relative darkness due to the destructive nature of the Hurricane which had passed through the night before. Although many cities would crumble under the intense conditions of the hurricane, I am pleased to say New York was up and running within days due to the city’s resilient nature allowing me to explore the city with little to no trouble.

Fortunately for me my hotel, like many of the hotels we use for school trips, was located in Midtown New York which had escaped relatively unscathed from the hurricane and was conveniently situated next to Times Square, the commercial heartland of Manhattan where neon adverts and street performers dominate the local surroundings and in particular your senses. Times Square represents a great place to start exploring New York as it really offers you a sense of what is to come so being located close by was perfect.

On leaving my hotel on the first morning, like being on the set of a famous film, you are greeted by towering skyscrapers and iconic building that are synonymous with western culture and American blockbuster films which make your surroundings surprisingly familiar. From Times Square I made my way to the architectural masterpiece that is Grand Central Station which has successfully stood the test of time to remain as one of America’s most important historical landmarks and train stations. Here I was able to experience the everyday life of New York and see first-hand the frantic pace of living that characterises the city.

After a short break to enjoy the many different cuisines on offer at Grand Central we took a short walk to another famous landmark of New York-Central Park. The huge urban park is located right in the centre of Manhattan and its greenery represents the perfect balance to New York’s colossal sky line by offering a relaxing break from the trappings of busy city life. From Central Park you are only a short distance from the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, the largest art museum in the United States with a permanent collection of more than two million pieces of work. Featuring an extensive collection of ancient and modern art from all around the world, the museum represents a must see landmark for any art and design student and is a museum I would certainly recommend due to its fascinating Andy Warhol exhibition which showcases much of his famous and celebrated works. New York possesses a host of fine museums and art galleries and I was fortunate enough to also visit the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) which offers a definitive collection of modern and contemporary art including works of architecture and design, drawings, paintings, sculpture, photography and prints. Here students can experience and see first-hand the works of Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso and marvel at Edvard Munch’s iconic “the Scream” painting.

Like all cities New York has a story to tell and this is no better told than in the 9/11 memorial centre which takes you step by step through the chilling sequence of events that lead to that infamous day where both towers of the World Trade Centre were destroyed. The memorial site acts as a timely reminder of the atrocities of the past and is a poignant tribute to all those who died in the terror attacks of September 11. After the sobering yet moving experience of the 9/11 memorial centre I continued to be amazed by New York’s never ending variety of buildings ranging from the tall skyscrapers of the UN National Headquarters and Trump Tower to the distinct triangular Flatiron building.

Therefore to conclude a very successful few days of sightseeing I finished my trip by visiting the Rockefella Centre fondly known as Top of the Rock where you can gaze out all over New York’s skyline and experience the many different buildings and sights that make up this outstanding city. The views from the top are breath-taking and once again you find yourself picking out all the different buildings and landmarks that have become so familiar from watching famous American films and TV shows.

New York is a city like no other and combines seamlessly a wealth of historical landmarks and museums with a unique set of architectural gems which will leave students looking to the skies in amazement. New York can quite literally be described as jaw-dropping which is why it is one of the most popular destinations to visit in the world and an ideal destination for a school trip. Students can not only expect to marvel at the different buildings that make up New York’s skyline but be educated in art and design and the varied history of the United States as well as having time to enjoy themselves in other cultural pursuits such as shopping and of course eating. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in New York and recommend it as must see destination for anyone. If you are interested in visiting New York please contact us today for more information on school trips to New York.

Written by Ricky Behan, Educational Travel Consultant 

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