So day after tomorrow I'm coming home for the holidays, making tomorrow my final New York day of my first semester of grad school. In some ways it feels like time has gone by quickly. On the other hand, it definitely feels like it's been a long time since I first saw the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry. I've been busy, as the stack on the left indicates. That picture is of everything I read for my classes this semester. Every page there, my eyes traveled at some point. Some may have gotten a closer reading than others, but I still think it's pretty impressive. There's some proof it hasn't been all food and frolic, I've been doing the learning.
I've also been doing an awful lot of the essay writing since we saw The Daily Show last week. I'm halfway through my last essay, and although it is not an especially fun one to write, it is coming to me pretty well now. I'm hoping that by the time my feet hit Charleston soil, it will be totally behind me.
But still, it's important to seize those uniquely New York opportunities when they arise. Last night Rachel and I went to the Fifth Avenue area to see the windows that had been decorated for Christmas. They go all out, and some of them really are dazzling. Whole streets are lit up for Christmas, with trees and lights and even music in some places. We started our tour at Macy's (whose themes were "Yes Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus" and "Miracle on 34th Street," hit Lord & Taylor ("Memories of Christmas"), and saw the Rockefeller Center and the Saks 5th Avenue Bubble and Snowflake Show (a coordinated light and music show projected on the side of the building, which was a major highlight of the evening. It was 22 degrees when we left our building at 5pm (in the pitch black of night), and despite my impressive layering it was bone chillingly cold. Fortunately we were able to duck into Rockefeller Center for a hot chocolate and heating break. After that we saw "The Gift Machine" at Diesel, some strangely overly glam mannequins at Henri Bendel and Bergdorf Goodman, a giant star in the middle of 5th Avenue, childlike whimsy at FAO Schwartz (another heating break), televisions at Bloomingdale's, and Marshmallow Love at Dylan's Candy Factory. It was an incredible way to start winding down the first third of my graduate school experience. Here are some highlights:
Macy's from across the street.
Macy's Miracle on 34th Street
Department stores ready to go under the tree.
The one, the only, uber-famous and oh so gorgeous, Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
Inside the children's wonderland that is FAO Schwartz
So unless something incredibly unexpected happens tomorrow, and I don't just get up, go to the library, go to class, and then come back to the apartment to get ready to leave on a super early train to Charleston the next day, this will be my last blog post until I'm back in New York towards the end of January. So far graduate school has been amazing, and I've gotten a lot out of the city. But I know that there's TONS left to get, so be sure to tune in to my further adventures when the Spring '11 semester starts!