In a New York state of mind


A view of Manhattan

Madalyn Cottrell, Staff Writer

For my 16th birthday, my mom decided to surprise me with a trip to New York City over Labor Day weekend. She was quite aware of my love for the city, that love mostly centralized around Broadway. New York City was definitely way different than the small town I’m used to. It was much bigger than expected. Not to mention, it was also a challenge to navigate with no prior experience in big cities. My first time there was fun, but I was not as prepared as I should have been.

Airports in New York are a giant, confusing mess. The airport was huge and it took my mom and I hours to get into the city. People were so rude, and no one seemed to know where they were going either. Staff was too rude to spare a minute to give directions, and google maps was majorly failing us due to bad service. After a long ride on an old, sketchy train, we finally made it to the busiest place I have ever been.

The city was absolutely full of people. It’s nothing like what it seems on TV, and it was a lot to take in. I couldn’t walk down the sidewalk without running into someone or getting yelled at over absolutely nothing.  New York lived up to its reputation of rude pedestrians. While there are quieter parts of the city that I visited, the main tourist area we stayed in was bustling with people at all hours. It was almost too much for someone like me to handle. I would not recommend visiting the city for someone who is a true introvert. The city truly never sleeps.

The noise was another issue entirely. Traffic in the city was ridiculous, and super annoying. There were horns and sirens going off at all hours, and it was nearly impossible to block out the noise when trying to sleep. I was lucky to have managed to gain more than five hours of sleep.

As the days passed, the city became much easier to navigate and I eventually got used to the amount of people. Visiting the city for the first time definitely takes a bit of adjustment, especially for someone who is an introvert.

I visited a few more residential parts of the city that were much quieter than the busy area I was staying in. The quieter, more residential areas of the city were the only part of the city I found easy to tolerate, and the locals there were much friendlier than those near Time Square.

One of my favorite parts of city was the food. There’s so many places to eat, it’s wrong to  go to New York and eat at a chain restaurant. It’s boring to do that considering all of the options available around the city. While the food was expensive, it was worth the money.

Specifically, Broadway was the highlight of my three days in the city. I had tickets for “Wicked,” “Phantom of the Opera,” and “Spongebob the Musical,” which sadly just recently closed on the 16th. Each show I saw was as amazing as the last, but “Phantom of the Opera” has been my favorite show for years, and seeing it live truly was the highlight of my trip.

After the two of the shows I saw, I even got to meet a few actors at the stage doors. When “Phantom of the Opera” was over, I got to meet at least half of the cast along with Ben Crawford, one of my favorite actors who has portrayed the Phantom. After Spongebob, I was able to convince my mom to take me to the stage door where I met Ethan Slater, the lead in the show and one of my favorite tenors on Broadway. All of the actors I met were incredibly kind and gracious to answer questions and sign playbills. I expected stage dooring to be a stressful experience, but it was surprisingly calm. No one was shoving or pushing to get to the front, and everyone was surprisingly patient

Going to New York, be prepared to spend money and face waves of interesting people. It wasn’t an easy place to be, but it was fun once I adapted I would definitely go back because three days was not enough.