New York from an Oklahoman’s Perspective part 2

Senior Maren Howard recalls her trip to the Big Apple with HCP Choir in March


Marion Logan

HCP Choir on the stairs at Grand Central Terminal

Maren Howard, Reporter

Day two of the New York trip with the school choir was packed with many fun events and new experiences.  

Friday, March 24 began with a 4-hour walking tour of Manhattan. I got to see many major places in New York City such as Wall Street, 9/11 memorial, the Brooklyn bridge, Chinatown and Grand Central Terminal.  

Besides walking on the tour, we took the subway to get to places. The subway was terrifying. I didn’t get a seat at first and I was clinging to the pole for dear life. Honestly, I’ve blocked a lot of the experience out because I was having an anxiety attack, but it did get better once I could sit down.  

The best things I saw during the tour were the 9/11 memorial, Chinatown and Grand Central Terminal.  

The 9/11 memorial was special to see. Mainly because it felt sacred there, you can feel that it is a prominent place that needs to be respected. A fun fact I learned from the tour guide is that the sound of the falls pouring into the memorial was designed to block out the city sounds to add to the reverence of the place. 

Chinatown was cool to see. The signs had both English and Chinese characters. In Oklahoma City there is an Asian district but it’s not like Chinatown. You can see the culture all around in the decorations and smells from the food. 

Grand Central Terminal was beautiful with a huge mural of the night sky above my head. There was one spot on the wall that was darker and out of place. It is the original wall that got that way from people smoking indoors in those good old days. Everything else was redone to restore it to its original glory. 

After the tour, we headed to Top of the Rock. It is an observation deck on the top of the Rockefeller Center. From up there I could see all of New York City, all of Central Park, the Statue of Liberty and even New Jersey!

I never got close to the Statue of Liberty, but I saw it from afar on the Top of the Rock. It was tiny from that distance, but hopefully one day I could see it up close and go to Ellis Island.  

Looking west across the Hudson River, I could see part of New Jersey. It was wild to me that I could see another state while being in a different one.  

For dinner I went to Ellen’s Stardust Diner. At that diner, the waitstaff not only serve you but they also take turns singing and performing different songs. I had a cheeseburger and fries, and they tasted good, but I was not that hungry.  

The show was the best part. There were so many amazing singers and dancers with fun and engaging personalities. I heard many show tunes, Disney songs and even country songs. Part of me wondered if they did that since we told them that we’re from Oklahoma. I would love to return another time.  

The last event of the night was seeing the Broadway show Wicked on actual Broadway. I’ve seen two Broadway shows prior to this with the traveling Broadway coming to Oklahoma.  

There is so much talent that goes into Broadway shows. The sets and costumes were so beautiful and well-done. The actors were amazing. I enjoyed how the musical expands on the story of the Wizard of Oz and gives more character to the wicked witch of the west. It also makes her less wicked and more misunderstood.  

Saturday’s events include singing at the Heart of America festival so stay tuned for part 3 coming out next week.