New York City
After a successful USA trip in 2014 and 13 months of planning, the Drama department took 21 Students to New York for 4 days in September. Students arrived at school for an early 5:30am start a time that is most unsavoury for teenagers. We left by coach and headed for Manchester Airport. The 7hr 15min journey flew by! and we ended up in the beautiful city of New York and were taken onto a coach by a lady named Betty, a native New Yorker, actor and singer. She gave us some history of the city and sights we would see during our stay.
We then arrived at The Comfort Inn, Hells Kitchen. Rooms were allocated, and after a quick refresh, we set off for a wander round Times Square. Shortly followed by our first meal at Hard Rock Café, and the accent up the Top of The Rockefeller Centre, which gave fantastic views across the city. By 9:15 NYC time (2:15am our time) we were all flagging, so made our way back to the hotel. Luckily for the staff, students were asleep within 5 minutes.
The next day, we all made our way downstairs for our continental breakfast and a huge platter of waffles and syrup! Then began our first full day. First stop was the ferry and tour of Liberty Island. We made our way through a maze of subways in 90 degree heat, and arrived at the ferry terminal. The skyline view from the ferry was phenomenal. We all clambered off the ferry and there she was, Miss Liberty herself. It was a remarkable monument to see up close, a beacon of NYC. Following on from such a sight we made our way to the 9/11 memorial, such a vast space, beautifully mastered into two peaceful memorial pools where the names of every person who died in the terrorist attacks of February 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001 are inscribed in bronze. Students were very respectful and the air bore a sombre atmosphere. More walking then took us back to Times Square for a meal at the ever popular Ellen's Stardust Diner. A retro 1950s theme diner, which is home to the future stars of stage and screen and is the home of the singing waiters and some of the best Diner food in the country. The group concluded the evening with a visit to the Broadway production of Matilda, which was thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable.
The following day, we were stars of the American breakfast TV show Live with Kelly. We gained VIP access to the set, saw the famous actors Aaron Eckheart and Ben McKenzie. One of our very own students gave Kelly Ripa a master class in the basics of speaking with an English accent 'Blimey'. Then after a lunch stop we let the students have some time to explore Times Square, mainly Sephora and Victoria Secret, then on to the world famous Macy's department store. Lastly we made our way through the subway system to the Brooklyn Bridge, our final tour of the day. Students were getting tired and a little grumpy after walking 17km!! The views were worth it. Our group were hungry and had tired legs, but we made our way uptown to Planet Hollywood to celebrate Josie's 18th Birthday. With a full belly we made our way back for our final sleep.
The last day brought the last bit of sightseeing with a trip to The Dakota building and Imagine memorial of John Lennon. A man strummed his guitar and played the tune of Hey Jude followed by Imagine. We then made our way through Central Park, saw the hotel from Home Alone, and had a final hour of gift buying on 5th Avenue. Back to pack and head to JFK for our 7:30pm flight home. It's safe to say that the trip was huge success, and I'd like to thank all the students for their exemplary behaviour and demeanour, as well as thanking the staff for all their hard work. Here's to the next one!