My journey to NYC and back amidst rising concerns from COVID-19.
It was possible…but probable?
We took our chances.
My classmates (those who didn’t drop out), adviser, and I attended the College Media Association convention at the Marriott Marquis on Times Square, New York City while COVID-19 concerns were still rising.
The first day was pretty normal other than the smaller than average crowds. We walked several miles exploring the city and got settled in our hotel.
On the second day, I left the convention early to try to find binoculars for watching a Broadway show. (I packed a couple hours before the trip in the college parking lot by shoving random things I threw in my car in a backpack I emptied. I had midterms and a choir concert the evening I flew out so I didn’t have much trip prep time🤷♀️)
Being a small-town girl, I didn’t really think I’d wander NYC alone. But there I was.
I found a $29 ticket to The Phantom of the Opera at the box office a couple hours before the show and decided to snag that. Before the show, I met a classmate and we grabbed some NY pizza together.
As I left the theater, I found out that all Broadway shows were suspended until April 12th due to COVID-19 concerns. At least I was able to see one show!
After a group meeting, we decided to finish our stay in NYC. My classmates and I went on a National Geographic tour, rode the wooden escalator up nine flights in Macy’s, then stopped at Junior’s Bakery to grab a cheesecake. We split that in the apartment using dental floss to slice it up and ate it out of the hotel cups. We weren’t able to finish the whole cheesecake that night but it worked out okay because we found a mini-fridge in a side room at the hotel while wandering around in our PJ’s trying to find ice for the ice bucket, our original storage plan. The mini fridge looked like an upgrade so we carried that back to our room.
The third day we left for the Museum of Modern Art in the morning, but all the museums were closed in NY for social distancing. We decided to just walk around the city and stopped by the Empire State Building and New York Public Library. Since almost all the convention meetings were canceled, we had to look for other things to do. I was able to attend some sections on photojournalism.
That night we had a group meal at an amazing Asian restaurant. We all got ramen bowls and ginger ice cream. Afterward, we took the Staten Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty and a cool view of NYC. On the way back to our hotel we grabbed some dollar pizza.
Saturday morning we all slept in late and then went out for a brunch at the Ellen’s Stardust Diner, a cool restaurant where the waitstaff performs Broadway songs. That was quite a fun experience!
We walked off our meal in Central Park then got dinner in Chinatown. The streets were getting emptier and more people were using masks.
Sunday morning we decided it would be best to flee NYC as soon as we could since everything was shutting down.
As of now, my classmates and I are self-quarantined and working on our school assignments online.
In two weeks we’ll know how much we liked this trip 🙂