Cultural Orientation

Before we arrived on this trip I really had no idea what to expect of New York. I’ve never been here before but places like Times Square, Harlem, Brooklyn and Central Park are just a handful of the names I’ve heard my entire life but I really couldn’t place them on a map or tell you where they are in relation to each other. I was a little worried about finding my way around before the trip because I’m not a great navigator and I figured such a big city with so many places would be a lot more complicated to figure out than it actually has been. I have a completely new perspective on New York City now than I did before the trip about the different neighborhoods and the ease of getting around the city.

It’s really incredible to me how many things are packed into Manhattan and I am very satisfied with the amount I was able to see. One thing that really surprised me however, is how small the island actually is. On one of our free days I went up to the top of the rock and not only was the view incredible but the span that you could see amazed me. On the north end of the building you could look out and see up past Central Park and into Harlem. On the south end you could see all the way down to Brooklyn. I absolutely loved the view from the top of the rock and it was really cool to me to be able to look out and recognize the buildings I was looking at as well as the direction of the different neighborhoods and landmarks that I wouldn’t have been able to point out before this trip.

This morning when we were at NYC & Co. I really appreciated the campaign they talked about where they’re bringing tourism into the different neighborhoods rather than just Times Square, Broadway and the generic tourist attractions. They talked about how tourists want to live like locals and I really connected with that because coming here I didn’t want to stick out as a tourist and I think it’s great that they realize people feel that way. I thought their campaign was really great in that it highlighted the entire city and brought out the hidden places tourists probably wouldn’t be able to find on their own. I think the way this company has been working to promote tourism really affected my perspective of the city while we were here. Although I did go to places like Times Square that scream tourist, I never really got that overwhelming tourism feel and felt like I was seeing things from a more local point of view. I love that it worked out that way because my thoughts of New York before the trip were definitely that of it being a huge tourism city but my perspective of the city after having been here is much better.

  1. #1 by aliulstad on January 19, 2015 - 2:39 am

    This is a great post, Laura! I found myself agreeing with a lot of what you said. Though I had been to New York before, I was only able to see Manhattan and I felt the same way about having heard the names of so many other parts of New York but never really seeing them. The view from the top of the Rock sounds incredible!
    And I absolutely agree about the meeting with NYC & Company. I thoroughly enjoyed their presentation, and I felt that they were very organized and passionate about their work. One thing I really liked about your post was how you wrote about wanting to live like a local, and connecting those thoughts to what they spoke about in the same topic during the presentation. I was really happy we got to meet with representatives from all of these professional companies because I believe it gave us an inside view of New York that virtually all other tourists would not be able to have. We got to meet with real New Yorkers and hear about how their companies are shaping media in the city, which is incredible!

  2. #2 by spridemore15 on January 23, 2015 - 3:37 am

    Laura I totally agree with your comment about not being the best navigator and being a little bit intimated by the vast city of New York and figuring out how to get around the city. While the subway was confusing at first, by the end of our time in New York I had a pretty good idea of how to work the subway which helped navigating the city seem more reasonable. It sounds like your view helped make the huge city seem a little bit smaller.

    I also loved your input on our visit to NYC & Company. I also thought the campaign to promote the city to those who live in it was a great campaign. Our visit to NYC & Company opened my eyes to possibly working in the tourist industry in the future.

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