The Big Apple

This week was a busy one. Between classes, quizzes and travel I was kept fairly busy.

My classes came and went as usual apart from a philosophy quiz on Tuesday. My brain was fried from trying to remember the difference between disjunctive and hypothetical syllogisms. That night I went to the men’s basketball game against UPenn in which they made a startling comeback towards the end but unfortunately fell to a narrow defeat.

Thursday I left for suburban Philadelphia before setting out for New York City on Friday with my girlfriend. We drove to Hamilton Station in New Jersey and got the New Jersey Transit into Penn Station on 8th Avenue. New York absolutely lives up to its reputation. It’s a vast and bustling city that has an entirely unique feel. It was very exciting to see so many buildings that I grew up seeing on TV up close in person. What blew me away the most was the sheer size of the city. It was nothing but high rises for a far as the eye could see.

On Friday we took a boat tour along the waterfront of the Hudson River. The river view of the city was truly unique and definitely worth the money. We got up close to the Statue of Liberty and were treated to some interesting trivia by our tour guide. For example, that the engineer in charge of the internal structure of the statue was none other than Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, the namesake of the Eiffel Tower in Paris! For lunch we got ourselves a famous New York slice at Joe’s Pizza. The walls were covered in pictures of famous celebrities enjoying a slice with the owner.

We made sure to hit up all the famous spots – The World Trade Center, Empire State Building, Chinatown, Madison Square Garden, Grand Central Terminal, and of course, Times Square. For our two days in the Big Apple we purchased a hop-on-hop-off bus ticket. They were very much worth it for the sake of convenient transport alone however the buses also provided commentary on the history of the various buildings and neighbourhoods of the city. We stayed overnight at Drew University, a small school in Madison, New Jersey, where my girlfriend’s friend goes to college.

Saturday we meandered through Central Park as dusk set in. It was amazing to see so much greenery in such a big city. It was a lovely experience to stroll down 5th Avenue and see the Christmas lights that decorated the various boutique stores, past the Rockefeller Centre to see the Christmas tree and down to the Macy’s entrance on 34th Street where the Thanksgiving Turkey sat perched in advance of the parade. I made sure to stop by St Patrick’s Cathedral and light a candle along the way. 

Sunday was the opening game of the soccer world cup. The hosts Qatar got off to a disappointing start with a loss to Ecuador. Since Ireland didn’t qualify for the world cup, I decided to take on the US as my adoptive team. I’m confident of their ability to make it out of the group stages if they manage to bag a favourable result against England. Also on Sunday the Eagles managed to muscle their way back to winning ways after a narrow win over the Indianapolis Colts to go nine and one. Next week is one of the tougher games in their schedule this year against the Packers but I’m confident. GO BIRDS!!!

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