DC Program, Washington DC – Week 4 – Christmas in NYC

Carl Schelling

Our formal program had come to an end in Washington D.C and it was time to go our separate ways for our Christmas break. The past three weeks have been a fantastic experience with many new friends made and unique experiences had. My level of insight into US politics and the internal practical functions of government has increased significantly from my recent experiences and I am able to take these experiences into my future writings and ventures.

John and I got into the rental car in the morning and drove out of DC and up the east coast towards our first stop, Gettysburg. The site of one of the most decisive battles during the US Civil War is now a drive-through battlefield and museum. We visited the museum planning to spend only 30 minutes browsing before leaving to our next stop, we stayed for almost two hours. The museum was complete with artefacts and articles from every aspect of the civil war and documents from the battle itself, a very worthwhile experience.

When we hit Philadelphia, we parted ways. I stopped for a Philly cheesesteak at a local pub before getting on the bus to New York City.

I arrived into New York on the night of the 22nd of December to a very lively and light-soaked area of Manhattan called Times Square. After spending near 40 minutes in an uber to my Airbnb in Brooklyn, experiencing the infamous New York traffic, I planned out the sights I wanted to see during the week.

I spent the lead up to Christmas experiencing all the usual NYC Christmas icons. The Wall Street Christmas Tree, The Rockefeller Christmas Tree and the Macy’s Christmas Windows. On Christmas Day I went down to Central Park to see the ice skating and wander around. The line for the ice skating was about 3 hours long so I passed on that and took some photos instead.

The rest of the week I spent trialling various foreign cuisines from Colombian to Korean to Eritrean and taking in the usual tourist stops. My personal favourite was the top of the Rockefeller Center as it gave some of the best views of the city skyline and central park and wasn’t nearly as crowded as some of the other attractions.