North Hills takes on NYC

North Hills takes on NYC

Samantha Smith, Editor in Chief

Some of us are still trying to dry out after our wet and wild weekend in the big apple this past April. The North Hills Music Department did it again as they hit the road and traveled to Messiah University for clinics and a live-streamed concert. The concert hall where the band clinics were held was absolutely gorgeous. The sound and the ring of the band in the hall were absolutely astonishing. After the live-streamed concert, we boarded the buses again, grabbed our personal pan Pizza Hut pizza, and headed to our hotel. 

Day two was one for the books. We knew there was indeed a chance for rain, but I don’t think anyone was entirely prepared for the hurricane we were about to enter. Our first stop of the morning, after a delicious hotel breakfast, was the ferry to Ellis Island. Recently my friends and I traveled to Niagara Falls, and let me tell you, the ferry ride to Ellis Island gave me major Maid of the Mist flashbacks. By the time we got off the ferry, I had my hair blown every which way, ice pellets in my face, and a poncho that was barely on anymore. The boat, however, is not the main character of this narrative; the incredible museum is. So many rooms were filled with history and artifacts; it was like a real-life history book. After we left the museum, it was time to board another ferry to Liberty Island. 

When we got there, it was lunchtime. We were handed our meal vouchers and set free to explore the island. My friends and I decided to join the other 280 hungry teenagers and absolutely pack the food court. Mind you, it is still raining, pouring, actually. I decided on a burger and crinkle-cut fries. Was it the best thing I’ve ever eaten? No, but those workers need financial compensation for the rush we put them through. After we ate, we hit the gift shop (I got a shirt) and made our way to the lady herself. Ms. Liberty, I love you, but the wind and hail I had to endure to reach you was insane. It felt like that Krusty Krab Pizza episode of Spongebob (IYKYK). The pictures we got are absolutely classic, and I will never forget that experience. On our ferry ride back to the mainland, we met some very nice Canadians who were also on a school trip. 

Our next order of business was walking through the city to the 9/11 memorial. Now picture this, 280 kids with ponchos, walking in a line through the NYC sidewalks WHILE A HURRICANE is going on. Pretty picture, huh? The memorial was beautiful as ever, but what really stuck with me was the elevator ride up to the 1 world observatory. Let me paint a picture if you’ve never been on it before. The walls are all screens, showing the evolution of the world around you. At the top is this beautiful view, allegedly. It was 0 visibility that day. ZERO! We were, in fact, in a cloud. Nonetheless, the elevator ride alone was worth it to me. 

By this point in the day, I was thoroughly soaked to the bone, my hair was destroyed, and my energy dwindled. However, nothing gets me more awake than a good dinner dance boat party. The food was delicious, the views were breathtaking, and the MUSIC was fire. After the DJ got off his Bruno Mars kick- he was playing hit after hit. My voice was completely gone by the end of the night, so I’d call that a win. 

By day three, I really just needed a nap. My friends and I stayed up late talking and having fun, so the 7 am alarm hit like a truck. We packed up our things and headed down to breakfast. We were supposed to walk the Brooklyn Bridge that day (which I really wanted to do..), but it was raining so hard, so we took to Dave and Buster’s instead. Was I disappointed? Yes. Was Dave and Buster’s a better choice than being out in a hurricane? Yes. I was able to rack up 1,600 tickets, and all I had to show for it was a Minecraft cat (Emily, if you’re reading this, I want it back). 

After our time at the arcade, it was time to eat at Bubba Gump. Now listen, I know what I am about to say is controversial… I don’t like Forrest Gump… Nonetheless, the fried shrimp at this place was FANTASTIC. Not a day has gone by since then that I do not think about that shrimp. I miss it every day 🙁 

My favorite part of the entire trip (besides the dance) was seeing Wicked on Broadway. The music, the theater, and the acting were absolutely fantastic. I genuinely didn’t think I would like Wicked, but I am so glad I chose it. Although some people may have dozed off during the show.. (@TREVOR SMITH), It was still an amazing experience, and it makes playing the songs in band class less painful (RIP LALA LAND @WIND SYMPHONY)

My overall rating of the trip is a solid 6/10. We had our low, low, low moments but also our high moments. I am just relieved that I will never have to sleep on a coach bus ever again… (hopefully.)