Published: April 10th 2008March 18th 2008
Well, somehow I find myself back in New York.
This time, I'm here for some preliminary law school visits—as I head into my final semester of undergraduate education this fall, law school applications are all I'll be thinking about. So I thought I'd take my last spring break and go on a mini tour of the best law schools on the East Coast, starting with New York University and Columbia University. And of course, while I was here, I might as well further my education of New York City. So this is going to be a fairly short entry, but I'm sure I'll be back sometime soon.
Since my first and main reason for being here was the law school visits, I didn't have too much time, but true to form I did manage to get into the groove of the city. But it wasn't without its road-blocks. Before leaving Chicago, I did not even realize that I'd be on spring break during St. Patrick's Day. I also didn't realize that St. Patrick's Day was so big here in NYC. So much that I had trouble finding a place to stay Sunday night. I procrastinated finding a place to
stay during my stay here in Manhattan, so when my plane touched down in LaGuardia and I found a bus to take me to Manhattan, I found myself outside of the hostel Keith and I stayed at over the summer. It was a miracle; when I arrived, they had one bed available by chance, and I had a place to stay. Thank you Harlem... (!)
So when I was getting ready to visit Columbia Monday morning, talking with my new French friend Odile, I decided to check out the festivities with her and rearranged my schedule accordingly. It was worth it. The parade was incredible, and the crowds were impressive. And I've got to say, bagpipes always get me going. It took Odile and me a while to find a good spot, but when we did we found ourselves walking down 44th Street and getting to see the paraders getting ready to march. It was crazy: people drinking everywhere, shouting to their friends above the noise; scores of bagpipes practicing their melodies before walking down 5th Avenue; gangs of rowdy NYPD and NYFD laughing with each other on the sidewalk (and also sporting the green colors of the masses);
people pushing to get as close as they could to 5th Avenue. Everybody
was Irish. And having a good time, apparently. We had our picture taken with a few Scots too, so it was very fun. It took us a half-hour to fight the crowds, going against the push toward 5th, and leave the festival sites. It was a good time, but after a while, standing around (and being sober) got a tad old. So Odile and I walked around NYC all the way down to the Village before we went our separate ways.
The rest of my time in New York primarily consisted of exploring the Upper West Side and Greenwich Village (were Columbia and NYU are located, respectively) and kind of taking it easy. I also got to visit and take a tour of the New York State Court of Appeals. It was so inspiring, especially as a future law student. I didn't get to take pictures of the actual courtroom, but seeing the names of Marshall, Taney, Story, and the actual seats where they sat before heading to the Supreme Court will be forever be etched in my mind. I also bought Love in the Time of Cholera
and have enjoyed just sitting around and reading non-textbooks. I'm trying to get the feel for NYC from a non-tourist standpoint. As much as I loved NYU and Columbia, I don't know if I'm a NYC kind of girl. Maybe a summer... but 3 years?
New York is just so fast. And while I'm no stranger to the fast pace life, but somehow New York is different and I can't place my finger on exactly how it is. Maybe I'm just so used to the Chicago-style big city feel. There's just more of a concrete jungle feel to New York City that Chicago doesn't have, despite Central Park and all the squares scattered here and there. Maybe it's the fact that it's an island containing four times as many people as Chicago, maybe it's the fact that although New Yorkers are friendly they still have an air about them, or maybe it's just the fact that deep down I'm still just a midwestern girl trying to figure out where to go to law school. But I still love New York. She's kind of an exciting lady.
The one thing I will say about NYC is
there is always plenty of things to do here. Even if you just want to relax. I was so bummed when I realized that the Jack Kerouac exhibit at the New York Public Library was on display here while I was here. I would have loved to have seen the original scroll of On The Road (my favorite book), but alas... the last day was the exhibit was apparently Sunday, my first day here, and I came across this information on Tuesday... Perhaps my next adventure will be to track down the scroll's next home.
There are more photos below