In some situations, my inner creeper truly comes out. I decided it would be fun to take pictures of people in New York City, people I have never met, and give them fake or "stereotypical" back stories based on what they look like. I enjoyed doing this a little too much...scroll over the picture to see the captions!
After spending three days trekking around the Columbia campus, it's safe to say that I now know my way around. While I don't claim to be an expert, I finally got the hang of how to get around campus without being late to class.
The campus itself is complex, with tall brick buildings and forbidding architecture. Each subject has it's own building, which seems to be pretty standard in colleges. It's only one building though, while other colleges have while series of buildings. Though some buildings are old brick, and a few of the newer ones are completely glass.
The vibe given off is old, regal money. The type where you would be afraid to walk on the grass or touch anything for fear of irreparably damaging a piece of history. Presidents, leaders, idols, all walked these paths, which is overwhelming when you think about it.
But along with the pretentious vibe, there's an energy about the campus that draws you to it. It makes you want to be apart of it, to be a part of the legacy. To follow in the footsteps of those leaders, those politicians, those idols. I've fallen in love with the campus against my own will.
However, the love affair will be short lived when I look at tuition prices again.
After the monstrosity that was "Cinderella" on Broadway, I was hesitant to watch "Matilda" at a different theater whose name escapes me. My class and I walked into a fairly small theater to find our seats at the very top row (which were still not too far away from the stage). The show started only to hear British accents and right away my friend Vivian and I were holding on to our seats hoping this play would not be completely terrible. After a short singing and dancing number, I could say I was hooked. The small girl who played Matilda, Ripley Sobo, automatically won my heart. Her small yet impactful voice merged with the whimsical and well written script had me crying one minute and laughing the next. Miss Trunchbull's character, though unexpected, was geniously casted and played by a man, Ben Thompson. Mr. and Mrs.Wormwood's characters were brought to life by Lesli Margherita and Matt Harrington. The two on the stage shared the perfect amount of chemistry and brought a large amount of laughter into the audience. Now, the children in this production of "Matilda" were something else. Both their amazing dancing and singing skills were displayed during their roles in the majority of the play. I am telling you, these kids each demanded the stage, and when put together, they made the most impressive child cast I have ever seen. They say music really determines whether or not a movie or play has the power to control the watcher's emotions. Well, the music in "Matilda" was phenomenal and achieved just that. In each musical scene, the orchestra was able to set the mood perfectly, whether it be through heart racing pieces or sad, emotional ones. At curtain call, I feel as thought they got the loudest claps from the audience!
The totality of the play owned a very fun and whimsical feel to it. The lights were so compelling as well as the special effects throughout the production. The sets were detailed enough so the audience could tell where they were. Surround sound and spots in the theater where cast members would appear during the plot aided the production in making the audience feel as though they were really in the play. I bet you're thinking, "how could 'Matilda' the play possibly be so exciting and suspenseful?" Well, the people at Broadway smartly changed up the story in a subtle yet noticeable way. They added small parts to Roald Dahl's Classic children's novel. In conclusion, watching this play made it seem as though I was watching history in the making. I personally think "Matilda" is a classic, and the best play Broadway has put on since "Annie."
A dream is a wish your heart makes, or so they say. This famous lyric comes from the beloved Disney movie, "Cinderella." This song, however, is one of the many thing the Broadway production of "Cinderella" changes. Starring Carly Rae Jepsen as Cinderella and Fran Drescher (from the hit T.V. show "The Nanny") as the evil step mother, "Cinderella" is the story of a girl named Ella who works for her step mother and step sisters. The entire play was a morph between the Disney version of "Cinderella" and "Cinderella II." The play goes back and forth between King Topher, or Christopher, and Cinderella, or Ella (Come on Broadway pick one name and like it). I personally did not like the plot of the story (probably because I am a die- hard Disney fan) though it does have surprising twists that the audience does not expect! Even though I love the classic cartoon movie, my unbiased opinion would have to be that the story was too childish and I was expecting Broadway to at least turn the classic version of the story into one with a deeper message. Overall, the plot was some-what childish and (sadly) did not reach my expectations.
Carly Ray Jepsen is a wonderful singer, especially while listening to her songs with the top off of a car on the way to the beach. On a professional stage known for displaying some of the most amazing voices, however, her voice is not exactly ideal. Let's face it, Carly is no actress, and she is barely a singer. She is given the opportunity of a lifetime and I feel as though she did not properly prepare for the role. But Carly, it's not your fault, the people at Broadway should have worried less about getting a well- known singer and should have invested time into the thousands of young girls across the country trying to get on Broadway.
Fran, who is known for her raspy voice, used it to her advantage and played the roll of an annoying and persistant step mother extremely well. Being in the show biz for quite some time now, she used her knowledge of what she is good and bad at and restrained from any singing in the production. Smart move Ms. Fine!
When I look back and think of the totality of the play, I was ultimately won over due only to the special effects and solos by professionally trained actors and singers. Take my advice Broadway, if the show MUST go on, at least replace Carly Rae Jepson.
New York City, to me, is a place filled with opportunity and wonder, but surprisingly, I didn't always feel this way. When I first visited the city back when I was in seventh grade, I did not want to go in the first place. My family and I were going to leave on Christmas day, and being from Miami, Fl, I was not used to weather below maybe 65 degrees. I had to wear 3 layers of clothing to keep myself warm, and my sister and I would have contests testing how long we could resist the cold before wanting to run into a warm room. I was snuck into hidden pathways and rooms in China Town only to discover multiple fake Prada and Chanel Bags. At the end of this trip, I could say I had a good time, but it was not a place I longed to return to.
Over time and as I discovered that I wanted to become a journalist, I found myself longing for a place that is different from my warm home town. I wanted to live in a place that is constantly filled with drama and excitement, and that would serve as a canvas free for artistic expression. New York City is that place for me. Manhattan reminds me of the island of Neverland, a magical place from the novel Peter Pan. Large sky scrapers replace the tall, plunging mountains. The city's lights are like stars, guiding everyone's path as they're on their way to do something exciting. The mermaid lagoons and pirate filled oceans serve as the Hudson River and the Atlantic Ocean. I'd like to think that I'm Peter Pan, and Manhattan is my island. I am free to roam around encountering new and distinct creatures. I have the ability to go on adventures and form memories that never fade.
I go back to New York tomorrow with my class to attend classes at Columbia University. I return to not only my home, but my beacon of hope that one day I will become successful, and that one day I will reside with the strongest, smartest, and most creative people in all the country. It gives me strength to believe that one day I will live in the city of champions: the people who know they've made it. I go back to Neverland.
In two weeks, two aspiring city dwellers will travel to the city of dreams, the empire state, the big apple: New York city. NYC has been known as a living, breathing art exhibition. Every corner you turn holds stories, inspiration, and self expression. As two members of our school newspaper, you can assume that we are very excited. Time slowly (and excruciatingly) ticks away until we board the plane, and with each passing day we get more and more pumped! As the trip gets closer, we'll be writing more about our expectations and what we plan to do on our trip.
All photos found on Pinterest.com