Sunday, May 5, 2013

Day 3 in New York

Sunday May 5th, 2013

Midtown HA! Comedy Club
     Happy cinco de mayo! Another busy day for us in the city. We are all wiped and sleepy after our day of service and sight seeing. Without too much detail yesterday some of the places that different people in our group visited were Carlo's Bakery(home of the cake boss), Times Square, Little Italy(yummm!), and Midtown HA! Comedy Club (I heard it was a lot of fun!).
   Today we headed out to different churches in hopes of exploring something outside of our normal types of worship. We attended three different churches (at least that I am aware of). St. Patrick's Cathedral, Grace Episcopalian Church, and a nondenominational church called Crossroads Tabernacle. I think for most of us it was a different experience than what we are use to. The Catholic church was only 47 minutes, which compared to what you think of most the time that is really long. The nondenominational church was an experience unlike many other. People were very welcoming and open with their faith. The service is suppose to be two hours long, the first hour is set for musical worship. Unlike many Lutheran churches people really got into the worship and took it to heart instead of just singing the words and going on with the service.
    After church the majority of our group headed off to the Yankees game, sad loss, but it was a good game. A few of us sat next to a couple that were from northern New Jersey. They were a very friendly couple that were telling us about things they do when they come into the city. We talked to them about the cost of housing in New York City. They said the average price to buy a house was over $200,000, rent per month for a small one bedroom apartment was between $1,000 and $3,000, needless to say we were shocked by the amount. It made us start to think, if rent is that much per month how do people
who make minimum wage are able to afford housing in the city, especially if they have a family.
Carlo's Bakery(Cake Boss) 
   Hard Rock Cafe is located in Yankee Stadium so a group decided to go there. The service was less than impressive to say the least. A think that may be common in a big city, especially in a popular restaurant. Our waiter hardly paid attention to us, messed up our orders, and didn't split our checks correctly. Frustration led to us leaving a bad tip and being quite disappointed with our Hard Rock experience.
  Another group left the Yankees game a little early to head to an Irish dance festival along the Hudson River. They got to experience Irish culture with dance classes and watching various dance groups perform. There were lots of other Irish music, language and art programs as well.
  We also had a group that ventured throughout all of New York City today. They went and walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and visited Canal Street and Times Square. When they had crossed the Brooklyn Bridge they looked for the Subway to come back. They were struggling to find it so they asked a traffic director who led them in a complete circle just to find out that the entrance to the subway was only a little ways a way from where they had started.
  The last thing that I was told about, although there were many more, was a trip to Central Park and eating at a Thai restaurant. This group that in their time here, as well as other places, they observed a lot of diversity of all sorts including different nationalities and languages.
View from our seats at Yankee Stadium
  To end our story for today, I thought we could talk about the experiences in the subway. For many of us riding the subway is a new experience and it is an excellent place to people watch and observed different lifestyles. Often times people come in and out of the subway doing different types of performances. Performances we have seen so far have included dancing, singing, and playing different types of instruments. Most of them are interesting to watch, however we have noticed that many locals will not actually watch the performers because if they see you watching them they try and get you to tip them.  The other thing we have noticed is the variety of people who ride the subway. Anybody from Businessmen to homeless use the subway as their main mode of transportation because it is the fastest way to get around the city. Today I saw a Chinese lady reading a newspaper completely in Chinese. I was really surprised because that i
s not something that you would see anywhere but due to all of the different cultures in the city they make the different types of accommodations. It seems like in the subway skin color, language, lifestyle, and background are not significant, everyone rides and there is no problems. I wonder if that will ever be the case for other places.

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