Singers, Carriages, and Protests- Oh my! Part 3 (The Protests Part)

Before starting this post, I’d like to address that this is Part 3 of “Singers, Carriages, and Protests- Oh my!” Here is the link to entry #1 and #2 if you haven’t read them previously.

Part 1 (The Singers Part) https://wordsmithobservations.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/singers-carriages-and-protests-oh-my/

Part 2 (The Carriages Part) https://wordsmithobservations.wordpress.com/2017/05/20/singers-carriages-and-protests-oh-my-part-2-the-part-with-the-carriages/


… I could tell the grown ups were a little anxious about our bus being parked so close to Trump Towers, what with the protest scheduled for tonight. Even though it was, for the most part, a very peaceful protest in New York, they knew that at a drop of the hat situations change.

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Seeing the globe!

We eventually came a completely different scene before us. This point of the city was filled to the brim with police barricading and sectioning off areas we shouldn’t go to if we wanted to keep our distance. We kept walking, eventually crossing the street, where there was a police woman starting to barricade the place behind us.

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In sudden realization, we remembered that our bus would be picking us up on the opposite side, where we just came from. “Can we go back?” we asked the policewoman.

“No, ma’am. Not if you want to stay safe. The protesters should be here any minute.”

The minutes before the protest were, actually a little nerve-wracking. We didn’t know what to expect. And since there were so many police milling around, ready for anything, we knew we should keep our distance. It was an adrenaline moment, police from all sides with sirens blaring. But in another way, there was a very exciting aspect to it. I knew at the time that this was a time in history people would remember, and I got to see it up close and personal.

“We need to find a place farther away,” someone in the group mumbled. Because at the time, we were right along where the protest would be going by.

We found our way to the fountain in the middle of the street which was the perfect place to be since there there were benches to sit on and a good view of everything taking place. As much as we didn’t want to get in the middle of it, I felt a distinct sense of adventure even being there to witness everything, as I said, in a “this time in history” sort of way.

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Trump Towers

It only took about ten minutes before a huge group of people started walking through with signs blazon. And it sure didn’t help people’s nerves when a group of skateboarders came into the fountain area, jumping and skidding around.

Thankfully, it wasn’t long until our bus group was able to meet in the same fountain area, where we called the bus driver and explained our dilemma. After talking with him, we were told to walk a little bit more so we could meet up in a different location. Many of the roads were blocked because of the protest, so we needed to go to a road easily accessible to the bus driver.

At around 7:30 or 8 in the evening, we were all safely boarded and able to relax in our seats. It had certainly been an eventful day. An awesome day that I will remember always. It’s hard to believe so much can take place in such little time, but you realize in times like that just how much you can really get done in a day.

After stopping for a late night Cracker Barrel dinner, which was fun, to say the least, we drove a few more hours, got off the bus, and headed home. I was soon dropped off at my house, and even though I’d been gone for a day, it felt like I’d been gone for a month. I’m so thankful that I was invited to go on this trip. I’d learned and experienced so much just by doing so. So, thank you so much, Ms. Jen and Brooke! I never got around to that thank-you card, so I hope you accept this instead. I’m very thankful for all you do for me, and all the fun times we have! Love you guys.

And thank you, the reader, as well, for sticking around for all three parts to my NYC trip. I’m glad I have it all documented on these handy little blog entries. There was much adventure to tell of!

Your trusty blogger signing out,

Hannah

Singers, Carriages, and Protests- Oh my! Part 2 (The Part with the Carriages)

(Now before we get started, I want to address that this is Part 2 of “Singers, Carriages, and Protests- Oh my!”)

Here is the first entry’s link to catch you up on all the adventure…

Part 1 (The Part with the Singers) https://wordsmithobservations.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/singers-carriages-and-protests-oh-my/


When we left the Radio City Music Hall, where we saw the amazing Rockettes perform, Ms. Jen (my friend’s mother) told us she had just received a text from another lady in the group telling us to watch out because there was a protest going on just minutes away. Looking at our map, we realize that Trump Towers is, IN FACT, the exact destination in which our bus would be meeting everyone to take us home.

We decided to try our hardest to avoid those areas for as long as possible, for safety’s sake, so we thought the most reasonable thing to do next would be shopping at some stores near Times Square. We knew our time was ticking down, and of course, in natural Hannah fashion, you just can’t forget to shop! …Even though, *fun fact of the day* Hannah used to hate shopping as a child. My, how times have changed.

After shopping and getting a wonderful Starbucks (something I never get to do in regular everyday life), we knew that we should start to head back in the general vicinity of where the bus would pick us up. Times Square was such a surreal experience, all the ads and shops. BUT on our way back, after we caught up with another group from the bus trip, we were reminded of one thing. There were carriage rides on the side of the street! Some of us had never done that before, and of course, when in Rome…or, um. New York, you have to try new things!

So, we stopped some of the men and said that we wished to take a quick ride. They said “of course” and we jumped right in, a couple people to each carriage. The three of us got into a huge extravagant one, with the sweetest Clydesdale ever leading us up front. He sure seemed to be a fan of his owner, the buggy driver!

The man driving our buggy was a sweet older fellow who had a lovely accent I thought to be Scottish, mixed with a little something else. He conversated with us very pleasantly over the ride through Central Park, showing us from a distance the different sky scrapers and the purpose of each one. He pointed out CNN towers and explained to us that when those red lights were on, CNN was live. And he made sure to point out the different places in Central Park that were in famous movies, such as Elf and Home Alone.

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a glimpse of Central Park (this was earlier in the day, before the buggy ride)

He pointed out Trump Towers, too, where right at that exact moment protesters were getting ready to march past.

“I’ve heard that there are protests that are going to go on tonight,” Ms. Jen said to the driver.

“Oh, yes. They’ve been going on for a while now. Those and the animal rights protesters really slow down the people that are trying to get to work.”

We nodded and said that we were sure it did.

“I know people are angry, but there’s no changing it. The election is done- finished. Nothing can be done about it now.”

We went through little bursts of him explaining things on the way. When it was silent, it was so easy to be relaxed by the clip clop of horse’s steps at a slow and relaxed pace. It was probably nice for these horses to walk through the park at night, with no one around. No bustle, no crowds. It sure was nice for us.

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Who are those handsome creatures??

When we were turning the bend to go back into the city, we saw a group of people on the side of the road with big signs. As we slowed down, one lady gave a pamphlet to us, which I almost took, out of pure confusion. She looked at us and went, “I know you probably don’t know what you’re doing, but take this.” My mind was spinning. What were these people talking about? When I looked up, I saw the sign, of a horse and buggy in New York.

They were protesting buggy rides.

Out of the back of the crowd someone yelled, “YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF.” This was when realization set in. If they wanted to stop “animal cruelty” as they called it, human cruelty isn’t the way to do it! At least the first lady was kind about her beliefs.

In front of us, there was a buggy with a few women in it. One person from the protest yelled at them, “It’s animal cruelty!” The woman inside, part of our bus group, looked up in confusion and said, “No, it’s not.” Which, indeed, was not a good decision because the man from the crowd dropped his sign and started off in a sprint toward their buggy.

As we were leaving the scene the Scottish driver in the front seat looked back at us and reassured us everything was okay. “Don’t listen to them, folks. They wouldn’t know a horse’s hoof from it’s behind!” He gave us a jolly laugh.

When we were back safely at the drop off, he thanked us very much for coming along. The other horse driver that was present gave us each a carrot to feed to the horses. They were such sweet and happy creatures and, to our delight, we got to pet them and give them a carrot for being such troopers with all the yelling and ruckus that was going on.

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The other driver started talking to me as we walked to the side.

“Yes, we have to deal with that daily,” he told me. “But what most people don’t know is that it’s a few of the real estate companies that are behind it. They purposefully are spinning people up, making it seem like it’s indecent to be doing what the horses love. They’re born wanting to be active, but the real estate companies wanted the land that our stables are on, and now they are trying to get their way.”

I shook my head. “That’s too bad. The horses seem like they’re being cared for.” He smiled and nodded his head.

After all, as long as the animals are being cared for, loved on, and are genuinely happy, I do not see a problem. But for the the people out there in the world that are genuinely NOT taking care of their animals, come on! Animals are a blessing in life. They give the most pure and unconditional form of love out there, and we must stick up for those innocent that cannot stick up for themselves.  (I just hit you with a truth bomb, didn’t I)?

After this run-in with the animal rights protesters, which was thoroughly unexpected, we went on our way. If we left now, we’d be right on time for the bus to pick us up! All we had to do was walk a little more to the place we were supposed to meet, near Trump Towers…


Thus concludes the 2nd Part!

And again- thanks for reading! And get ready for this third and final part!

Your trusty lil’ blogger signing out,

Hannah

Singers, Carriages, and Protests- Oh my! Part 1- (The Part with the Singers)

So, now that I’ve gotten back from disappearing into oblivion for a solid three months or so… I know that it’s time to *gasp* ACTUALLY post every week like I said I would do! In hind sight, I should have thought that through a little more. Although, how was I to know that some of the craziest months of my life would follow this silly proclamation of a blog schedule? Can’t blame a girl!

But I’m back, my dedicated little readers, and many an adventure has taken place in my time of absence. One day, in particular, sticks out from the rest.

What day am I talking about, you might be wondering? The day I went to none other than the Big Apple itself- New York City! And somehow, somehow, I survived. Oh, I know. I’m sure you’re very proud of me. I am aware I inherit impressive survival skills few people have acquired, no need to remind me!

Well, “excited” was an understatement when it came to describing my feelings for this trip. New York City would be my first ever major travel destination, and considering the fact that I want traveling to be a huge part of my future? This was a pretty big deal for me.

Not to mention, I’d be going with one of my best friends I’ve had since childhood and her equally lovely mom on this particular trip. I mean, that alone makes for a fun time!

After much anticipation, (I think a month’s worth of it), the date arrived and everyone was happy to get this show on the road. We loaded onto a bus at around 3 in the morning, tired and dragging, then drove for a consistent two hours before stopping at a Burger King for breakfast. After breakfast, which served as a great break from the bus, we loaded back on to travel the rest of the way!

The group arrived in New York at around 8 or 9..the details are a bit fuzzy considering I was half asleep from the bus ride. Even so, nothing in the world could have been so fascinating as the first few minutes entering the city. I looked out the window of the bus only to see building upon building reaching their fingertips to the sky. Yeah, yeah. Buildings don’t have fingertips. It’s a metaphor. Go with it.

I couldn’t wait to bounce right out of that bus and go exploring! We exited soon after, gathering in one big group of oblivious tourists on the sidewalk. I look up and the first thing that my eyes wash upon was the tallest and widest skyscraper I’d ever seen in my life. In a way, it was a humbling experience. Ya know that saying “everything’s bigger in Texas”? New York City would have been more accurate.

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The first few hours of the trip we spent merely trying to decode the subway’s very complex (to us) way of going about everyday life. To be someone from a small town walking into a subway…? Well, it’s the feeling of complete and utter stupidity of the world around you. Honestly, not even exaggerating. I just thank God I wasn’t alone, because then lil’ ol’ me would be lost in 2 seconds flat.

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a mural on the Subway I found striking

First stop was the Staten Island Ferry. Cool, right? Yes! It’s 100% cool, everything about it is cool: the waters, the Statue of Liberty, the gigantic boat!…But, just a warning, if you’re anything like I was that day, you’ll feel pretty queezy on what was probably the wimpiest boat ride you’ve ever taken. (Wimpy as in, the boat is going a snail’s pace, so you’d think you wouldn’t feel sick, but you still manage to). And this is coming from a girl that has been PARASAILING before. I am a walking oxymoron.

I don’t know. Perhaps the boat was too large for my liking, or perhaps it was because I ate three big Burger King pancakes in the morning…ahem. With a side of hash browns. BUT, one thing I knew for sure was that I felt queezy. I did, in fact, get to see Lady Liberty, though, so that made up for it for about 4.2 seconds! But sooner than later, the overwhelming Patriotism was squelched by the overwhelming nauseousness. Funny how that works.

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This is the view FROM the Staten Island Ferry. Trust me, I’m not in that little Coast Guard boat bobbing up and down. I couldn’t be that heroic, even if I tried. Plus it doesn’t help that the most skillful type of swimming I can do is the doggie paddle..
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Lady Liberty herself. Oh, look, she’s waving to us in the distance.

 

After the Staten Island Ferry, the three of us were very ready to sit somewhere to relax and eat. We all loaded onto the Subway, once again, in hopes of going to our next destination. Ellen’s Stardust Diner!

That’s not all, though. On the subway, we got to witness a very pleasant surprise. A group of five or six older fellows came from the front of the Subway and started singing oldies in a cool and collected harmony. I’m blown away at all the talent in New York City. I couldn’t get enough of it!

Something else that I have realized is that many of the native New Yorkers seemed to be numb to talent like this. They stare at their phones and pretend that these singers and musicians aren’t there. They missed out on their very own live performance.

Although, we all tend to make that mistake sometimes. We get so used to life and wrapped up in ourselves that we become indifferent to the beauty of every day. We neglect to look at even the little details  of life as a blessing, and in effect, we forget to live in the moment. We forget to appreciate things as they are, and the people around us that make life beautiful.

All said and done, the singers left the subway, and the three of us came to where we’d be eating. Ellen’s Stardust Diner!

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I had never been there till that very day, but now that I know what it’s like- the excitement, the spontaneity, the bustle, I will definitely be going back. That is one place that was very worth the wait.

What’s Ellen’s Stardust Diner? Well, it’s not like a regular ol’ restaurant you might be used to. Here, all their waiters and waitresses are aspiring Broadway actors, meaning they can sing, they can dance, they PERFORM as you’re eating! You literally get Broadway quality entertainment as you eat, which isn’t exactly what I’m used to in my usual form of establishments *ahem* McDonald’s.

So, to describe it a little better, there were two levels of tables and booths to sit at and enjoy the performances. Typically the performance was on the first floor, making it easier for everyone to see the star of the show!

My favorite part out of everything was that our very own waitress ended up performing in the end. And she was good! She circled by our table and took the mic away from her face for a split second to tell us, “Thanks for coming, guys!” Then there she went, continuing on in her awesomeness. You can be sure the coolness factor went up extensively after that..

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Unfortunately, we were only able to eat there for about thirty or forty minutes before hitting the road for the Radio City Music Hall, where we would be seeing the one and only Rockettes perform a Christmas show! (Yes, this was quite a few months ago, I should remind you)…

In addition to all that, we still had to take special precautions on the routes we were taking, since on that day there were Trump protests scheduled. This trip was very soon after the elections, which sparked an uproar in parts of the United States.

We had to walk a ways to get to the Music Hall, which was not that far, though. You see, the interesting thing about New York is that if you ever actually lived there, you would probably be the most fit person ever, just because of the simple fact that you have to walk EVERYWHERE. Wouldn’t be hard to rack up those steps on your trusty ol’ FitBit.

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The Rockettes ended up being phenomenal, as expected. They did more than I could ever do… especially because the most of the dancing I do is when I’m home alone with my music blasting. Ahem. I mean. What were we talking about again??

The most striking thing about it, though, was how very long the show was. I couldn’t imagine being in their shoes, doing show after show like that. It’d probably get old after a while. All the same, it was such a great and unique New York experience. I was amazed at all the glitz and glamour of many of these New York destinations.

Then there was the finale, and the room went to black…


 

Well, after careful inspection, thought, and the suggestion of a viewer, I feel as though it’d be a wise decision to break this already published post (which was admittedly as long as an unabridged Dictionary, sorry not sorry), into a few separate entries of the same series.

Not because of the tip given to me by someone, mind you, although that person did give me the good idea! Truthfully, I had my doubts about the length of the post to begin with, even addressing it at the end of the previously published post. But I know this arrangement will be much better for everyone involved. Me for simple organization- and for you, the kind and gracious reader- to make it more enjoyable reading!

Your trusty (and quite exasperated blogger) signing out,

Hannah