8 Must-Dos For Your Next NYC Trip

8 Must-Dos For Your Next NYC Trip

They don't call it "the city that never sleeps" for nothing.

Very few things beat the sight of seeing the high rises of New York City, experiencing the hustle and bustle of downtown, being in the city that never sleeps. I recently was able to go back to my favorite place, New York City, and have compiled my own list of the best things to do for your next visit to the City.

1. Visit the Empire State Building.

If you want the ultimate view of the city, then look no further than the Empire State Building. Not only can you get a mind-blowing view from the 80th floor, surrounded by glass windows, but you can also venture up to the 86th for the famous outdoor viewing. The sight before you will truly take your breath away.

2. Go to the World Trade Center Memorial and Museum.

It is near-impossible to not think about 9/11 when going to New York, so it’s only fitting to pay respects and visit the memorial. The two ponds that sit in the original foundations of the towers, adorned with the names of each and every victim is both beautiful, yet incredibly tragic. The outdoor memorial is free to the public, but for those wanting to visit the museum, I can’t recommend it enough. It is hands-down the best museum I’ve ever been to. It is extremely emotional, but worth every second.

3. Walk around Times Square.

This one seems like an obvious one. Arguably the most famous spot in the world, you simply can’t go to New York City without seeing the bright lights and excitement of Time Square. You. Have. To. Go.

4. See the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

I’ve had the privilege of visiting the Statue of Liberty multiple times in the past, but it wasn’t until this last trip that I experienced Ellis Island. As the great-granddaughter of an Italian immigrant who came through Ellis Island, it was simply unforgettable. Being able to see my great-grandfather Giuseppe’s name in their outside memorial, put there by my own grandfather was so special and so moving. Being there reinforced in me what our country was founded upon, the freedom for endless possibilities to achieve the American Dream.

5. Visit Rockefeller Center.

This one is especially a must if you’re visiting the city in the winter. If you’re lucky enough to go then, you better bring your ice skating skills because there is nothing like ice skating amongst the skyscrapers and the classic tree. If you visit in the summer, don’t worry, it’s still beautiful and a great spot to see.

6. Do the NBC Studio Tour.

Fan of SNL? Love Jimmy Fallon? How about just TV in general? Well, then you better grab your tickets to this must-see tour! In the classic NBC Studios, you’ll be right at the home to some of the most influential and groundbreaking shows in American culture! Don’t wait until the last minute for this one, because trust me, they will sell out!

7. Enjoy Ellen’s Stardust Diner.

I 10/10 recommend this to anyone, especially a theater lover! Ellen’s Stardust Diner is a New York staple. It brings a completely new approach to dinner and a show. Pack in, sip on their mouth-watering milkshakes and listen in awe as the waiting staff belts it out to show tunes, classics, and hits alike. This one is the ultimate entertaining dining experience.

8. See a Broadway Show.

If you’re in the entertainment capital, you need, need, need to see a show. It’s the right of passage to visiting New York. Nowhere else can you experience the rich and decades of artistic history. You can’t go wrong when it comes to Broadway. So, grab some tickets and enjoy. And don’t forget to enter some lotteries or check out the TKTS in Time Square if you’re looking to ball on a budget.

There is truly nowhere in the world like New York City. With endless possibilities and excitement beyond belief, you’ll never want to leave. It’s my favorite place. And I assure you, after you see it, it will be yours, too.

Cover Image Credit: Roberto Nickson

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9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.

Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.

2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.

4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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