12 Things to do in NYC This Summer

12 Things To Do In NYC This Summer

Summer break is approaching and I know many of us are staying in the city to work, complete an internship, or get ahead with a summer class. If you're also looking to take a break, get a good photo-op, or simply take advantage of a warm NYC, I have compiled a list of free/cheap activities to take advantage of in order to make summer '19 the best one yet. For reference, I have starred activities that are free. Enjoy and get out there!

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The High Line*

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One of my personal favorites, the High Line is approximately a mile and a half in length and takes you down the Lower East Side. Take in some beautiful views of the water and new architectural installments, as well as floral elements added to this converted train track turned walkway. And make a day of it! Hop off one of the entrances to get a drink or a bite to eat on a sunny day.

The Planetarium at the Museum of Natural History*

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Best to visit at night, the planetarium located on the upper west is a New York City treasure. Go with friends or that special someone to take in the view of otherwise non-visible stars. Located in a lovely neighborhood and close to the subway, it's easy to grab dinner and head over to this lesser-known NYC spot.

Riverside Park*

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Riverside Park, located along the Upper West Side, is a great place to take a stroll with friends, picnic, and experience both the beauty of the Upper West Side architecture as well as one of the prettiest outdoor spaces NYC has to offer. Especially if you're over Central Park and the tourists it brings in, this is a great place to spend the day.

A Yankees Game

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Inexpensive if you buy tickets in advance, Yankee Stadium is a short ride on the D train from both the Rose Hill and Lincoln Center campuses. Take someone out to the ball game! Eat some peanuts and cracker jacks!

Boating in Central Park

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There are several boat-rental locations spaced around Central Park. I recommend making a reservation for a temperate morning and going solo with a book or with friends for a scenic row. This is an amazing place to take a sweet photo and get a different and unique view of the park.

Bar Nine*

Are you over the actually terrible and overpriced Fordham bars? Bar Nine is a short walk from Fordham Lincoln Center and boasts live piano music on a nearly nightly basis, and with a request and a few bucks, pianists will play nearly anything you want. With no cover and great vibes, check out this Hell's Kitchen place to be.

St. Mark's

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If you're looking for a place to get a few drinks and then buy a pipe and get a piercing in the same place, this is it. Filled with cool places to shop inspired by the punk scene and subsequently interesting places to window shop, this summer you should absolutely make the journey to this neighborhood on the Lower East Side.

Sheep's Meadow*

Less populated than the Great Lawn of Central Park, Sheep's Meadow is a great place to sit with friends with a bottle of wine. If you're looking for a good place to take a sit on a day in the city this is a sunny spot to sub out crowds for clouds.

Williamsburg

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Williamsburg is a hip spot to grab a bite to eat at a gastro-pub or a pint at a dive bar. If you're bored of the Bronx and Manhattan, Brooklyn is also a nice place to shake things up a bit. Also, make sure to check out venues such as Brooklyn Steel for inexpensive and intimate concerts.

Thrifting

I always strongly suggest to people interested in thrifting who could theoretically afford to buy clothes at retail prices that they bring clothes to donate when they thrift. It is important that, if we use resources meant for disadvantaged communities, we help in the cause as well. That being said, some of my favorite shops to frequent are the Salvation Army under the Fordham 4 train stop, Buffalo Exchange, Beacon's Closet, and Crossroads.

South Street Seaport*

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South Street Seaport is an outdoor area and boat dock on the southern tip. There are grassy areas to sit next to the water, making this a beautiful and temperate location to grab a coffee and chat with friends while enjoying a view of the Brooklyn Bridge and East River.

Coney Island

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Albeit a bit of a journey (about a 2-hour public transportation commute), Coney Island can be made into a great weekend day-trip. With rides, a beach, and fair food, Coney Island is a nice little vacation away from the city.

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Dear Taylor Swift, Christians Are Not Homophobic Bigots, Sincerely, The Majority Of Christians

Taylor, you need to calm down when talking about how most Christians act.

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When Taylor Swift released her newest single "You Need to Calm Down" last Friday, I didn't agree with the entire message of the song, mainly because of its heavy political overtones. But as the great Dick Clark once said, "It's got a good beat, and you can dance to it." So, for what it is, it's really easy to dance to this song, and I can see it becoming a pretty big hit.

But then the video came out, and I saw something that really bothered me.

In the music video for "You Need to Calm Down", Taylor is seen partying and hanging out with multiple LGBT+ icons in honor of Pride Month, such as the hosts of Queer Eye, RuPaul, and Ellen Degeneres. There's also a moment with Taylor, dressed as French fries, renewing her friendship with Katy Perry, who's dressed as a hamburger, which is as amazing as it sounds.

However, there's another cast of characters which acts as a foil to the happiness and colorful joy which is taking place in the video. There's a group of protesters surrounding the trailer park where Taylor and all her friends live. They're all dirty, buck-toothed, and dressed like your typical redneck stereotypes. They're also holding up protest signs while screaming at everyone in the trailer park. I saw one of the signs said something about Adam and Eve, and I realized most of the protesters were most likely meant to represent Christians.

And that...didn't sit well with me at all.

I know that these people never explicitly said they were Christians in the video, none of them even wore a cross. But, whenever someone sees anyone protesting rallies and organizations such as Pride, I can guarantee you that most of the time, the first thing people think is that they're from the Westboro Baptist Church, which is notorious for its protests. And I won't lie, there are some Christians who act that way.

But if you haven't heard this yet, let me be the first to tell you that not all Christians act like that. In fact, most of them don't act that way.

Christians don't agree with the LGBT+ lifestyle because of what the apostle Paul wrote in the book of 1 Corinthians (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). However, Jesus never once taught that just because you don't agree with a person doesn't mean they're automatically your enemy (Matthew 5:44). Christians are supposed to represent the love of the Savior of the world, which encompasses every and all aspects of humanity. This definitely includes people whose lifestyles we don't agree with. By not showing love to certain types of people, we are directly going against one of Jesus's greatest commandments.

Not agreeing with people is one of the cornerstones of humanity. It's a divisive world out there to be sure, but that doesn't mean people from any side of the debate need to perpetuate the division. Grouping all Christians into one group of hateful bigots is no different than Christians grouping all the members of the LGBT+ community into one group of evil people. One of the key elements of Christianity is showing people who have different beliefs from us the same love Jesus would show to anyone. And I know I'm not the only Christian who wants to show love to people of all walks of life. I may be the only Jesus they ever see in their lives, and we all wish to express the same love to others.

So Taylor, it looks like you're the one who needs to calm down on this issue.

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School Shootings Are Increasing, And That's Unacceptable

A perspective on school shootings in the United States, the current climate on gun legislation, and why these shootings continue to happen.

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Sidenote: This story is fictional, including the characters and the plotline. However, T Dennis Brutus' Letters to Martha, and the March For Our Lives Movement are not.

"If I'm going to be honest, nothing monumental has happened with gun policy since Parkland, and, even then, nothing much happened," Jacqlyn said as we walked to our World Literature class.

"Well, there was that whole march thing that happened; I think that it was called March For Our Lives? Yeah, that was it." I replied.

"Yeah, that happened, and I love that there was a lot of attention to that subject, but what happened in reference to gun legislation?"

"I don't know, I don't remember".

"Exactly! Also, I heard that we are going to be talking about South Africa in class today, and I'm so excited!" she said.

When we arrived in class, we took our seats quickly, and I whipped out my phone to check out what was happening in Instagram today. As I did this, Jack, a person I talked to sometimes, sat down next to me.

"Hey, Ed! How are you?" Jack asked.

"I'm doing great! I've just been a little busy with homework from our World History class; that essay that we have to write is going to be my literal demise," I replied.

"LOL same, literally I'm not even thinking about it right now," he remarked.

"Hey, since we're both struggling with it, do you want to work together on it today?" he added.

As I was about to say yes, Mr. Walters walked in and started the class.

"Good morning, class! So, today, as some of you may have heard, we are going to be reading some South African Literature. So, we are first going to read an excerpt of poems from Dennis Brutus' Letters to Martha.

As Mr. Waters explained the life of Dennis Brutus, with his life during Apartheid, and the censorship of his poems, many of the class became bored and yawned; I and Jack, however, did not.

When the school day ended, Jack joined me on my walk home, and we simply talked again about our classes.

"Did you understand what Mr. James was talking about today in Algebra 2 today? I could barely stay awake in that class, so I didn't get that much of it," Jack explained.

"To be honest, not really. I was too busy thinking about what I was going to write about how powerful Dennis Brutus' poem about Apartheid was."

"Yeah, it was very deep. Also, I meant to ask if you wanted to brainstorm on that Social Studies essay in English class today, but we got interrupted," Jack said.

"Oh yeah! Sorry, I got slammed with a lot of homework, including figuring out how to do that Algebra 2 homework assigned today," I replied.

"Ok, don't worry about it! I have other stuff to do also," said Jack.

"This is my stop, see you tomorrow!"

"See ya."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

After talking to Ed, I got home about 10 minutes later. I then opened up my math textbook and tried to understand the material but could not. This was so frustrating that I took a break from it and decided to take a nap. Since my parents don't come home until 6:00 pm, I had the house to myself for a while.

When I woke up, it was 6:00 pm, and I cursed out loud. I had less time to do homework, and I rushed back to the table and started to work on my homework again.

2 hours later, I heard Mom's "Jack! Dinner is ready!", which, honestly was nice to hear, so I ran down and into the dining room. However, as I began to eat, I couldn't not think about how much work I had that night.

My parents didn't help much with my academics either. "You need to do well in school!" they would always say; they would even compare me to the other kids. "Ed is literally doing better than you! Come on, we taught you better than this!"

After hearing this again at the dinner table, I got up quickly and ran back up to my room; I cried for about 15 minutes. No one understood me! I mean, I am doing my best in school, but I am given so much work, and my parents are constantly comparing me to other students. I would love to be like Ed and have so many more friends, be so smart, and have great parents, but no.

Here I am, literally struggling with Algebra 2.

I thought about going to the school counselor, but she is always busy with other students and wouldn't help me with my problem. How could she help me feel not lonely anymore?

As these thoughts clouded my head more and more, I gained a hatred towards my fellow classmates, especially Ed. If I continued to feel like this for the next couple of days, I might reach my breaking point. We'll see what happens.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I again was walking with my friend Jacqlyn to our World Literature class and was excited again to read more South African Literature. When we arrived in class, I sat down and took out my phone to see what was happening again on Instagram. When I looked to my left, I saw that Jack wasn't there and found it a little weird.

"Eh, he's probably just late," I told myself.

A couple of seconds later, I heard a big bang, and one of my classmates fell to the floor. I turned around quickly and saw Jack in all black holding a gun; we made quick eye contact before everything went black.

"Good evening everyone, we are here today because of the recent shooting at a local high school earlier today. As of right now, the death toll has increased to 4 students, with 8 that have been injured. We have taken custody of the shooter, whose name is Jack White. Our reports say that he is a student who attended the local high school where he shot the students and faculty. At the moment, his motivation for doing this is not known; however, we do know that he obtained an AR-15 through a friend. We are currently questioning the friend now. We will give you more updates as we learn more information"

The Next Day

"Good morning, everyone; in regards to the shooting that happened at a local high school yesterday, we still do not know the motivation for the shooting but now have the numbers of students and faculty killed and injured.

Those who were killed include:

-Jacqlyn Woods

-John Walters

-Eduardo Gonzales

…..

…..


For Further Reading

Brandon Griggs and Christina Walker "In the year since Parkland there's been a school shooting, on average, every 12 days"

Bob Ortega "Santa Fe shooting survivor at vigil: 'All that was going through my head was to get out'"

Faith Karimi "'Why UNC Charlotte? Why my classroom?': All-too-familiar shooting scene plays out on last day of classes"

Valade, Svrugla, Anderson "'His sacrifice saved lives': UNC-Charlotte shooting victim tackled the gunman"

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