Top of the Rock in New York

Top of the Rock
March 20, 2013

A fantastic blog recently written by one of Adaptable Travel's group leaders on their school trip to New York.

You are in one of the world’s greatest cities at ‘Top of the Rock’. Before you stands The Empire State Building and below you there are 1.6 million residents of Manhattan along with the millions who come here each day. A truly stunning sight and an almost incomprehensible density of people. But after three photos you have to go back into the warmth of the viewing hall to warm up a bit. New York in February. Cold, crisp, clear. Especially cold. We had narrowly avoided the previous week’s snow for a mid-February arrival and in that sense the luck was on our side. The only aim of the first night was to enjoy watching the students lose all sense of reserve as they dropped their guard to reveal just how amazing they thought everything was…and we’d only been to Times Square. Once the grid system is explained, along with the unnerving tendency for traffic to encroach towards pedestrians on crossings, New York really does feel a very safe place to be. The most likely risk is probably a shove in the back from a native should students decide to stop suddenly and point a camera skyward. “Whadareyoukiddinme?” is the rebuke that usually follows.

New York never stops; that much is certain. But it also has a have-a-nice-day-smile and a can-do outlook that is truly unique. In the days that followed we took in The Museum of Moving Image in Queens, an intriguing ninety minutes of film history and interactive activities such as recording voices to classic dialogue and choosing new soundtracks for iconic scenes. Top of the Rock remains a favourite – almost every student cited it as their best bit. Visiting at 5pm meant the joy of letting mums, dads and siblings join the experience via facetime calls…more “Have a look at this!” than “Wish you were here!” We also visited Central Park, The Staten Island Ferry and the NBC Studios Tour. The 911 Memorial site is developing fast and volunteer guides now offer a wealth of information to your group for free, with enough emotion to move several of our students to tears. A ride on the Roosevelt Island cable car was our new discovery this time, worth hunting out for some not-in-the-guide-book views. Our second trip as a school; another great one. Fast, tiring and very hard on the feet. The fuel that drives you in New York is the enthusiasm in the air, a constant desire to see what might be discovered next as each block goes by. But do pack thermals if you go in winter.

Written by group leader Mr Deakin