Snowmaggedon: Day 8ish – Retreat to NYC

Every day this past week has been good enough to write a solid post about. But, each day has also kept me busy having fun in the Snowpocalypse we’ve been having in the DC area. It hit us while we were at Valley Forge last Friday night. Sure, we were warned it would snow 20 inches, and sure it was the topic of conversation as the government planned on shutting down Friday, but none of us Utah students expected two feet of snow would actually slow anything down. But, we were wrong. It came, it snowed, we got stuck at Valley Forge. That alone was tons of fun, then we had to try and drive home through it. A trip that normally takes 3-4 hours ended up taking 7 hours. We got back to DC to find the place frozen over and silent. And that was the beginning of this past week of no work! Everyday we would find out the next had been cancelled due to increased snow storms or needed clean up from it all. It was great! Sure the government was losing millions of dollars from being closed, but we’re a bunch of interns so we didn’t care! Instead we whitewashed each other and pushed cars out of snow banks and hiked through 13 degree blizzards in order to buy beanies from North Face. It was all very memorable and tons of fun.

We got a bit nervous towards the end of the week because we have planned to come to New York City for a while, and the busses from yesterday were cancelled. But, luckily the weather cleared up and we made it to the Big Apple! Dang, it’s huge! I don’t even know all the things we did today. Central Park, Patsy’s Pizzeria, Dylan’s Candy Bar, the famous Apple Store, FAO Schwarz Toy Store, Times Square, Toys’R’Us, more Times Square, Rockefeller Plaza! It has been a blast! Sadly a couple days ago hiking in the snow I twisted my knee and pinched a nerve, though, so it has stunk hiking everywhere and taking so many stairs. But, totally worth the pain! My mom would probably hate the hotel we are staying in, but overall it is good enough for a bunch of college kids (even though all our room has is two beds and a dresser. No closet, no bathroom, and only one electrical outlet. We actually have our entire party of 16 interns sharing one bathroom for this half of the floor! Kinda crazy, terribly sketchy, tons of fun).

So what do I think of NYC after one long, half-day? In short: I like DC more. NYC is amazing, and really is best seen at night when it comes to life. But it feels like one huge monster where anything can happen and nobody would care or notice. There is no unity in the people here, while DC you honestly feel like you have a good idea about everything going on in the beltway. And it feels claustrophobic. Many of us have agreed that there is NO room to breathe and feel comfortable. Everywhere you go you are surrounded by thousands of people scraping the sky with their apartment buildings. I guess Central Park is for healing those feelings, but in the winter even the park seems drained of any powers of respite. Don’t get me wrong, NYC is AMAZING, and has lived up to all of my expectations, but it also quickly reared its ugly side. Within walking 5 blocks from our hotel to Central Park we saw two somewhat serious car accidents, we also saw our first subway rats (we’ve been searching for the Foot Clan, but no luck yet. We know Shredder is out there still), a ton of homeless people, and literally garbage bags piled up on every street we walked down. NYC seems to be a test of humanity. It is too big for local government to truly manage, so it has become what humanity has decided for itself to become. I wonder if that isn’t true for all of us. There is always a limit to how much control someone on the outside has on us, and in the end it is what we choose for ourselves to become.

Anyway, it’s quite late and I have three guys in my room trying to go to sleep, so I should just leave this post as is. Tomorrow is 9/11 Ground Zero, Statue of Liberty Ferry, and hopefully a Broadway show! Wish me luck!

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