"The only good thing to do with good advice is pass it on; it is never of any use to oneself."— Oscar Wilde

Friday, 20 May 2011

Music trip to New York City + Big Bike + YMCA Awards

'Allo everyone! So I was thinking it might be a good idea to talk about the music trip to New York I went on from the 12th to the 15th of May, so it would have been last weekend. It was an absolutely awesome trip, I am so happy I went on it. It's amazing how much you can squeeze in on 4 days! The trip was only for music students, so that would be students who are involved in extra curricular activities in music, such as Senior Band and Jazz Attack as I'm involved in. This blog entry will probably be the longest one I've made for quite some time...
The 12th of May I woke up at 3.30 in the morning, was picked up by Stephen, and we drove to the school and met with the others. It was raining so heavily outside! Good thing we soon left Canada! The trip was very long (I think 10-12 hours, I'm not sure) and I had no problems going over the border to the U.S. at Niagara/Buffalo. We survived the trip though, but I mean it's quite easy with these awesome and nice people. See, the strange thing for me was that I certainly didn't really feel like a foreigner going to the U.S. as a person who has lived in the english speaking  part of Canada for 8 months, but I'm pretty sure my friends here from Canada did. It's strange, because there is so many similarities that you should think it wouldn't matter. But apparently it does! Anyway, we arrived at our hotel in New Jersey, quickly unpacked, ate pizza on the way on the bus, drove in to Manhattan, rushed to the broadway area and hurried to the musical we were going to watch called "Memphis." It was an extraordinary musical, filled with energy, it can really be recommended! After the musical we went to the hotel again and slept quickly after a VERY long day.

The good bus with TV (sorry Holly, not the best pic of you)
Marisa defeating the guys, relaxing in sunshine at a bus break
First view of Manhattan going in to NYC
Our awesome guide Ryan with his sword
First Broadway show - "Memphis" Lindsay, me, Jenna, Amanda

Amy, me, Stephen, Corinne
On Day 2 of the New York trip we went to the NBC Studios "NBC Center" as I would call it. It was pretty awesome, we pretty much saw the history of American television. We also saw the live studios from "Saturday Night Live" and other shows. We tried to make our own news reading from a tele prompter, which was hilarious. We weren't allowed to take any pictures unfortunately. After this we went down to the huge basement for lunch, it was very good, and then we went to the Top of the Rockefeller Building where NBC Studios are located. It was called "The Top of the Rock," and it had the most amazing views! From here we could see Empire State Building, Central Park and if you looked closely: The statue of Liberty on the island. After looking a lot around, having fun, we went down and took the bus to the building at central park where John Lennon was shot and after that we entered Strawberry Fields, which is a small part of Central Park honoured to The Beatles, but most of all John Lennon. It was very touching; definitely a place dedicated to peace. Shortly after this we went to one of the biggest Cathedrals in the world; I have to say it wasn't really that exciting to me. I love to see churches, but... it can't be compared to Europe's. Still, the decorations of New York on the church outside was pretty amazing. It was time to eat dinner, and we went to "Bubba Gump Shrimp & Co."-restaurant at Times Square, which is a restaurant based on the famous movie "Forrest Gump." It was such a funny experience, the whole place was full of references to the movie. As an example, to stop a server we had to pull down the sign saying "Stop Forrest, stop!" over the sign saying "Run Forrest, run!" Hahaha... we changed into more formal clothes and wet to see the musical version of "Billy Elliot." Personally it's one of my favourite movies, so of course I had some expectations to this musical. And I have to say, the little guy who played Billy, oh my! He did such a great job dancing ballet and tapping, and also singing! Wauw! It's difficult to compare "Memphis" and "Billy Elliot", but I think I prefer the singing in Memphis, where as the choreography and dancing was superior in Billy Elliot. When we went outside we saw some famous person, or well, he was famous for the other students, but I had no clue who he was... Keith-.. Keith something. Yea. So of course some pictures were taken, and we went back to the hotel and fell asleep very quickly. 
NBC's many flags and Jeremys awesome hair
Central Park from the Top of the Rock
Empire State Building 
Marisa and I with Empire State Building on the left
Stephen, me, Corinne
Where Lennon got shot
Memorial: Imagine
See some stuff from New York? This was on the cathedral
Times Square
Bubba Gump Shrimp & Co. Notice "Run Forrest, run!"- sign 
Billy Elliot in Broadway!
On Day 3 of the New York trip we started driving from the hotel to the Ferry that would lead us to Ellis Island. We had to go through Security to get on, which is understandable, and then we went to Liberty Island to say hello the lady out there. Haha, I'm sure the people on the ferry thought we were mad since we were singing and yelling some Barbara Streisand on the way... it's one of those things that is just nice to do when you are with a good group of musical people. Okay, so arrived and looked us a little bit around. Took some picture of Lady Liberty, bought some things in the gift shops, and then we went to the ferry again to go to Ellis Island. If you do not know what that is; it's the immigration place where millions of people from across the world came in the hope to be able to immigrate to the United States to get a new life. Some might have been fleeing from their country, some might have just seeking for something new, they all had something in common: They wanted freedom. I think the statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are part of the most beautiful symbols of that. It's a very touching place, remember, not everybody were allowed in. People who were sick or something else couldn't come in to the U.S., and it separated families. It was fun to see though, I enjoyed reading old Danish and German passports. We went back with the ferry to Manhattan and walked to Ground Zero. It was hard to see much because of the construction of "The new, one, World Trade Center" which I think they're planning to be done with on September 11 2011. On the tenth year of the tragedy. But we went to the memorial church just beside it, which nothing was harmed with. After this we went to China Town, where we spend about an hour barging with the locals for "I <3 New York"-tshirts. Sometimes we suceeded. We also got a GIllato in Little Italy. It was funny how everything was in chinese. Then we went with the bus to the MET Museum of Arts, which definitely was one of my high lights of this trip. There were numerous paintings and sculptures from different time periods and places all over the world, to me the collection of Musical instruments was one of the most interesting things. And well... all of the music students of course went straight there, since that was one of the only things they could identify in that huuuuge museum. I HAD to see the collection 19th and 20th century paintings, because I knew there would be some awesome paintings. And what did I see? Clause Monet's Water lilies! It was absolutely stunning. And so different from the pictures of the paintings I've seen in books. It was a bit surreal though, finally seeing something you've seen many time in books. Well, after this amazing place we went to Central Park to walk through it, and it was so funny! There were a lot of funny people in there, as an example we saw a whole group of people wandering around with Harry Potter clothes. And a couple taking wedding pictures. Of course we yelled as the whole group: "Congratulations!" Central Park is such a nice place for getting away from the city - in the middle of the city. It's huge. I can't even describe how big it is. We kept walking till we were at Times Square again, this time to get dinner at another restaurant which was a little disappointing comparing it to Bubba Gump. Afterwards we were picked up by the bus and went to at Jazz concert, which was very cool. It was other schools that played! Uhmm... the last hour of the concert was awards for the school, so we went out and waited an hour for the bus driver who thought we still were in there for an hour. But that did not matter! We found a way to spend the time, I showed the people to play the Danish game called "Schluuuuuurp" and Stephen and Jeremy had other games going. People were staring at us though - which is understandable, since we were singing, dancing, and lying on the ground beside a beautiful Water fountain in the dark. At last, the bus came and we went to the hotel and had fun there until we just had to go to bed, since we had to wake early up to be on the bus home to Canada. There is not much to tell about Day 4, but we got home about 10:30 pm, so the next day everybody were just... exhausted.

Holly and Amy on the ferry
The statue of Liberty as seen from the ferry
Fail at lifting the statue
Notice yellow taxis
Ellis Island Immigration
Police marks from all over the world for 9/11
Stewart Little in Central Park! Cute

Central Park
Fun in New York after Jazz Concert
Oh yeah, I forgot to tell about Julliard. I forgot which day it was... but we went to the College of Performing Arts located in New York. It was incredibly fascinating, I absolutely loved it. It was such a big school, with such a big number of practice, but actually quite few students. Because this is like, the best college of performing arts in the world. We had a student from there as a guide, educated as an opera singer, and he actually sang a bit for us. Twas cool. Of course I bought some stuff there for my musical brother, so Lukas, if you read this, be happy!

The Big Bike Ride for the Heart & Stroke Foundation
Wednesday I went to the Big Bike Competition which is an across-Canada event for the Heart & Stroke Foundation. What you basically do is to found raise money (50 Canadian dollars or more) for this good cause and you compete against other schools on a bike that has room for 30 people! We actually ended up having the best time riding the bike a mile, even though we weren't thirty people as some of the other schools.

This is how a bike for 30 people looks like 
This is our school team, the Lancers! Yay!

YMCA Youth Awards Night
Yesterday I went to my last performance with Jazz Attack to the YMCA Youth Awards. It's an awards night for students who have achieved many great things in this county, and Jazz Attack was the entertainment for the night. Two students from L.C.C.V.I actually won an award. And afterwards I went with some of my friends to McD for some crappy fast food. 

Group picture of Jazz Attack ! What a good experience
Marisa and I in the 'suicide seats'... lol
From today there is 43 days left till I leave Canada. It is truly sad. I've been in a great mood since January, and it has just lasted for such a long time that the past 4-5 months have been flying away from me. These are also the months that have earned me the most. Both with socializing, learning more and more music, having fun, etc. - I've said to myself that I've come on exchange to learn something -of course- but it's not the subjects and marks in school that matter that much to learn, no, it's the exchange as a whole experience.
Of course I am really excited to see my friends and family again, but I'm so sad that I will leave all these wonderful people here in Canada. There are some special ones of course that have really meant so much to me, and makes so sad that I wont see a lot of them again.

Wow. That was one long blog entry. I hope you guys are all right where ever you are; in Denmark, Canada, Germany, France, Switzerland, U.S., etc! Have a good and nice weekend, I know I sure have already because of a nice fog day. Gotta love Canada.

Prom: 28th of May - 8 days left
Dress: Check
Date: Check
Shoes: wooops
Transportation: Check
Blue skies, smiling at me
Nothing but blue skies
Do I see

Bluebirds, singing a song
Nothing but bluebirds
All day long

Never saw the sun shining so bright
Never saw things going so right
Noticing the days hurrying by
When you're in love, my how they fly!
- Ella Fitzgerald - 

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