By the end of our hectic second semester we were all desperately in need of a vacation, and we couldn’t have been more grateful for fall break! Classmates planned trips to New York, San Francisco, Puerto Rico, Boston, Florida, D.C., and even Canada! The trips were mainly for fun, or to visit friends and family — we just wanted to make the most of our well-deserved week off.
I was among one of the groups who decided to take the opportunity to visit New York and Atlantic City. It was my first time visiting New York, and I was very excited!! We happened to be there right before hurricane Sandy hit, in fact we were fortunate enough to leave New York the day before all major transportation in and around the city was shut down.
When we arrived, the first thing that struck me as we got off the bus was that Chinatown is aptly named!! The second thing was the number of people! Coming from India, I’m used to crowds, but New York still surprised me. We checked into our hotel, got ourselves some subway cards for the week, and started walking around the area to get a feel for the city. We also wanted to get familiar with the location so we wouldn’t get lost.
We went to Times Square that evening, and the lights and people were unlike anything I have ever experienced. You really do see the most random people there! We left New York the Saturday before Halloween, so we got a chance to see people wandering around Times Square in the most amazing and absurd costumes! Of course we had to do all the touristy things, like visit the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State building, Brooklyn Bridge, Rockefeller Center and the 9/11 memorial. We made sure we had the chance to eat some authentic New York Pizza, and a bagel with cream cheese from the street carts. We went to the Empire State Building at 1 am. The last elevator goes up at 1:15 am and goes down at 2:00 am. We were completely alone up there and the city lights were beautiful!
At Rockefeller Center, we watched the ice skaters and ate delicious cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery. We even sought out McGees, which is the bar that the show How I Met Your Mother was based on.
Then we went to Atlantic City, where we played a little bit at the casinos, went to the beach and walked down the Boardwalk. It’s heartbreaking to know that we were some of the last few people to see the iconic Boardwalk before it was washed away days later by hurricane Sandy.
We had a great trip, although the destruction that later befell both New York and Atlantic City was tragic. It made me feel an even greater appreciation for my experiences, and I feel so thankful that we were able to leave before Sandy hit. Some of our classmates were not as lucky, and were stranded in New York for almost a week! I know that many were affected by the storm, including Fuqua alumni, and I hope that everyone is safe. My thoughts are with everyone in the Northeast.