So we're finally closing in our last few days in College Park and I really don't know how to feel about it. On one hand, it's been a wonderful summer experience and I don't want to have to leave all the great people and the family-like environment I've been working in here at ACP since I arrived. But on the other hand, I think nine weeks in the congested streets of downtown DC is long enough for me; I'm ready to get back to West Texas where I can stretch my legs a little more ...and see some stars at night.
This last week has, by far, been one of the most eventful 7 days since we got to DC. So here we go...
Saturday: Kunal, Meagan and I started our morning a little earlier than the other interns - at about 3:00 AM!! Bound for New York City, we boarded a Chinatown-to-Chinatown bus departing at 3:30 am and arriving in Manhattan at 7:30 am. Now I realize this may seem a little over-zealous for some folks, but I think it's safe to say that over the course of the summer, the three of us have become nothing short of professionals at this whole sight-seeing business... So with our travel "itinerary" in one hand and a Google Map printout of the Manhattan Subway in the other, we fearlessly stepped off the bus and into the busy New York City streets ready to tackle an exciting day in the Big Apple!
Our first stop was "Tom's Diner" in Upper Manhattan. This RESTAURANT was made famous by its frequent appearance as the fictional diner ("Monk's") in many episodes of Seinfeld - a favorite of mine. Next we made our way south into Central Park and stopped by the John Lennon memorial at "Strawberry Fields". This is a really neat site, adjacent to the apartment where he and his wife, Yoko Ono, once lived. If I would've known that they redecorate the memorial 'peace sign' every day, I would have suggested that we wait until the afternoon to see the finished product. The local hippies had only begun to place flowers and strawberries around the outside when we got there that morning and weren't near being finished at all.
Next stop was the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art), a little closer to downtown. Like most museums, you need almost an entire day to truly appreciate all they have to offer, so we weren't able to take it all in. But we did spend the better part of two hours inside and got a chance to "skim" through the majority of it. The special exhibit this summer is a feature on Salvador Dali which was really interesting. They devoted an entire floor to the artist, focusing on his life in art, movies, and pop culture. I've always enjoyed his artwork, but I will admit that sometimes he seems to be a little too "trippy" for my taste.... but it was a nice exhibit nonetheless.
We spent the rest of our day moving from site to site Downtown and managed to fit quite a bit into our schedule. Some of the highlights include: FAO Schwarz, Tiffany's (no purchases though -whew!), Trump Tower, Ed Sullivan Theater, lunch at "Angelo's Pizza" (more than appropriate for the three of us), Hello Deli, Times Square, Rockefeller Plaza, a tour of the Rockefeller GE Building and an elevator ride up to the observation deck - Awesome View!, Ground Zero at the WTC, Battery Park and a view of the Statue of Liberty as the sun went down, followed by a rollercoaster-like taxi ride back to Manhattan Bridge and dinner in Chinatown. Our returning bus departed NYC at 11:00 pm and arrived in DC around 3:20 am.
So I think I speak for the rest of the group when I say that it was a fairly successful trip - all 24 hrs of it!
I apologize for the length of this entry, but the remainder of the week was equally eventful. However, I will try to be brief.
Sunday: All the interns were invited to dinner at the White House. We didn't get a tour of the Oval Office, but we did get a chance to here Gary's rendition of "Roxanne" before the night was over.
I think Monday was the only "normal" day this week without any irregular scheduling or out-of-office events. We did get another chance to go watch the free Bond Movie in Crystal City that evening though, which was nice. "Octopussy" with Roger Moore was playing - a true classic.
The interns spent the majority of the workday Tuesday at ACP rehearsing final presentations. I think we were all a little tired of listening to each other talk before the end of the day, but it all paid off because everyone gave a great presentation Wednesday morning. I think everyone in attendance was very impressed with the bunch and glad to hear about all we've accomplished this summer.
Thursday morning, the other Texas interns and I made a trip to Capitol Hill to "have breakfast" with Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. Apparently she's quite the celebrity nowadays, so there was a lot less "breakfast" and a lot more "take a number and get in line for your picture", but it was nice just to get to meet her and shake her hand. Thanks Meagan for arranging the tickets!
I'm almost ashamed to say it, but I don't think there are any big plans for the upcoming weekend...
This will be our last weekend in the District, so we'll have to think of something. I imagine we will most likely be playing "catch up" to try and see all the sights we haven't made it to yet this summer.