Meeting in the international airport at 4:00 am we started our 21 hours of traveling, arriving in JFK airport New York City on Friday the 13th of April.
After getting some sleep we woke up the next day ready to go on a bus tour around the city to get to know where we would be staying for the next two weeks. Then it was off to the Guggenheim Museum where we got a glimpse of just how amazing New York would be.
Over the next fourteen days we got a lot done and created some incredible memories - with a group of seventeen students and three amazing teachers. Every day was jam -packed with new and exciting places to see and workshops to do; all across NYC from the Upper West Side to the East, down to SoHo and over to Brooklyn. We went to a natural dye workshop, the New Museum of Contemporary Art, Grand Central Station, had a tour and talk at the Trim Lab showroom, went on a graffiti tour and workshop in Brooklyn, walked our way through Time Square, and we went on a tour of the Fashion Institute of Technology and the Garment District and Parsons School of Art and Design.
We also watched The Lion King on Broadway at the Minskoff Theatre, then the next day went to see where some of the broadway costumes all begin at Euroco Costumes. We continued on to the Flatiron Building where we made a guest appearance from outside the window on a local news TV show! We saw Madison Square Park then finished the day at Mood Fabrics - where we all made pouches with the help of an old ‘Project Runway’ contestant Benjamin Mach. Next it was off to see the New York City Library and Bryant Park and have a makeup class at Sephora on 5th Ave (along with a visit to a few other shops and of course Tiffanys!).
After that day everyones' bank balances were looking a little less than what they were when we started our trip. With just less than half of the trip left to go we didn’t want to leave. The next few days we went to Washington Square Park, East Village Hats, an Aysha Saeed talk, got to see the beautiful ‘Starry Night’ painting at the Museum of Modern Art, Hell’s Kitchen Flea market, walked along the high line, had lunch at the Chelsea Markets, saw the Whitney Art Gallery, went to The MET, had an interesting bike tour through central park, had afternoon Tea at Bergdorf-Goodman and went to the top of the Empire state building to watch the sunset.
Monday 23rd was a day in Brooklyn at the Brooklyn Shoe Spac. We made leather pouches and then explored Williamsburg, walked over the Brooklyn Bridge and admired the Statue of Liberty from afar, had a tour of the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, saw the 9/11 memorial and Wall Street then explored Bushwick Brooklyn to finish the day.
The last day we spent in New York City we had a marketing and historical tour of Macy’s, did some shopping, then went to Century 21.
The highlight of the whole journey for us would have had to be seeing how different each part of New York was, from going to Brooklyn and then finishing at night in Time Square. It opened our eyes to the diversity of the city that never sleeps. This included the wide range of food places that we visited, from Ellen’s Stardust Diner where Broadway actors begin their journey by dancing on tables, to the Butcher’s Daughter vegan restaurant in Brooklyn that surprised us all.
It was then time for the journey home. Leaving New York was hard - there was still so much to see and take in - but we had 36 hours of travel time to get home. This included our ten hour layover in Sydney Airport where we all relaxed and tried to adjust back to New Zealand’s time-zone. The final flight back to Christchurch landed just after 11:00pm and then we were home - dreaming of our time spent in the Big Apple.
Isabelle and Jessica Walker