Last summer I went on a whirlwind of a trip to visit my friend Zach Story. After a few short months of flirting, I decided that I had an undeniable crush on this gentleman. I met him at my university, and he invited me to visit him in his hometown, New York City. I knew I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I spontaneously booked a flight and spent a fun week exploring a land of bright lights and big buildings with my own personal tour guide. He was so courteous to me, and he showed me a world completely foreign to my hometown in Oklahoma.
The first evening I arrived, my host treated me to a romantic dinner at P.J. Clarke’s, where the legendary Frank Sinatra used to frequent. Later we went to a movie. I was entirely wrapped up in the charm of being in a big city with someone special.
Raised by an art professor, I’ve always felt uncommonly connected to art. When Zach took me the Museum of Modern Art, a place I had dreamt about for years, I was elated at every corner we turned. Having finally seen Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon I was certain the day could not get any better — until, of course, I went to my first major league baseball game!
With the Yankees being out of town, we got to see the Mets play instead! Despite some delays in the game due to weather, I had a delightful time. That night I was introduced to Shake Shack. Later that night my host and I strolled along the Hudson and met up with his friends. I was very nervous about being such an alien. However, I received a warm welcome and couldn’t have met a better group of fun-loving New Yorkers.
If the MoMA was the Garden of Eden, then the Metropolitan Museum of Art was undoubtedly Heaven. Following a lovely walk through Central Park, a place so iconic and uplifting, a sanctuary among the steel and the concrete, we arrived at the base of an impressive stairway. Absolutely fascinating to the Classicist in me, the collections in the Met charmed me like nothing I had ever seen before. The day we visited marked the 237th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Coincidentally, I have an unexplainable affinity for Thomas Jefferson. I have read nearly every word the man has ever written. I have an unusually deep admiration for his world view and thoughts on constitutionalism. At the Met, held within an enormous gilded frame is the famous painting, Washington Crossing the Delaware. Viewing this piece on the day that memorializes a very profound point in not only American, but also world history was very special for me. As I stood before the painting, I thought of the sweet significance of Washington, Jefferson, and all the framers defending the principles of representative government and liberty. Nothing can speak to all the beauty I absorbed this day. It was a 4th of July well spent.
After exploring inside, we ventured up to the rooftop of the Met, where I found my favorite view in the entire city. We went on a walk along the High Line, which offered several other great views. We ended the night by meeting up with Zach’s friends again and watching fireworks from the top of his friend’s apartment building. We baked cookies decorated with American flags to enjoy with the fireworks.
The next morning was the day of my departure. Before my flight took off, I was lucky enough to see Times Square. An active center of commotion, my senses were overloaded with flashing, vivid colors from enormous advertisements and the movement of thousands of swarming bodies. As I was feeling more and more comfortable in the unfamiliar places, my return home approached evermore swiftly. It was such a dejecting feeling to leave the place I had just fallen in love with. However, the excitement of telling my friends and family at home about all of my New York adventures made up for it. As I parted with the young man whom I had grown unquestionably fonder of during my stay, I could not have been more grateful for his hospitality and more eager to have his company when he returned to school for the fall semester.
I would like to give and honorable mention to Max, the yorkie, for always providing entertainment on his morning and evening walks with his bizarre antics. Featured below are some miscellaneous photographs.