Top 5 Places To Go In New York: Rachel’s Take


The exterior of the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Fifth Avenue

Rachel Seo, Editor-in-Chief

In early November, the Publications classes (Newspaper and Yearbook) went on a six-day trip to New York. During the time, we visited art museums and shopped, ate lots of food and went to a journalism conference at Columbia University. I’ve compiled a list of my favorite places that we visited, because–truth be told–New York has a lot to offer, and the trip was glorious.



The Metropolitan Museum of Art was the only place in the entire trip we asked for a time extension on.

Because there was so much to do in such little time, we had fairly strict time constraints on how long we could spend at each place. We were originally only supposed to spend about an hour inside the Met; one step inside, and I knew I wanted–no, needed–to stay longer.

I could have easily spent the entire day there. Founded in 1870, the Met currently hosts about five thousand pieces of art in three different locations. Since its beginnings, the museum has expanded to become an enormous New York institution, currently hosting litanies of programs and special exhibits for the public to enjoy. It has its own app and runs its own YouTube channel, arranges studio workshops for all ages, and even organizes free lectures and ticketed talks.

But beyond the bells and whistles it’s implemented throughout the years, the best and most obvious drawing point of the Met is its art collections. From Asian to European to American–my group and I were extremely excited to see the iconic “George Washington Crossing the Delaware” masterpiece–the art held there represented a massive array of cultures and art forms, to an almost overwhelming effect. I viewed works of art created by the likes of Velasquez and Monet, observed Japanese ink prints and a wide assortment of Buddha statues, stood in the room where the Faberge eggs were collected.

To see such a concentration of art in one space–albeit a large one–is massively impactful for those who understand its significance. Even beyond that, to be connected with parts of history, to understand an artist’s perspective, and to simply enjoy the beauty of it all was wonderful.

In the words of Paige Weingarten (11), “I would plan a weekend trip back to New York solely so that I could spend a whole day in the Met.”


  • THE 9/11 MUSEUM

One of the newest institutions of New York City, the 9/11 museum is still shiny and new, with an enormous black fountain resting near its entrance. As a result of the advent of the digital age, the events of September 11th, 2001, were well-documented, and the museum uses such documentation to its best effect. Clips from TV broadcasts, pairs of shoes worn by firefighters, letters written by children to the rescuers, and recordings of telephone conversations all create an interactive experience. Visitors can track the somber occurrences of the day in a minute-by-minute timeline that covers a multitude of narratives from people who were directly involved and affected by it.

Perhaps the most significant feature of the museum is its display of the people who died as a result of the attack. Those who perished are memorialized in a wall display that includes photos of all 2,996 faces, most of them smiling, and there are several computers that hold information about everyone, some more than others. It puts a face on each of them, instead of a simple number of casualties: he worked at the restaurant on the top of the Tower, she was a secretary, he called his wife to tell her he loved her before the plane went down.

A perpetual silence pervades through the entire museum; it’s not a place where we laughed or joked. No, we remembered them, and recognized the humanity in each of them, and each of us. No matter political party or social status or beliefs or job or anything that could possibly separate us from each other, we’re all human.

Such pointless, egregious loss of life is sobering. Before I went to the museum, 9/11 was a distant, almost historical occurrence, one that I was alive for but don’t recall, a day that all Americans remember each year. I came out of the museum with a quiet mind and a grieving heart.

Out of respect, for a reality check, for the necessity of knowing more about the evil that infiltrates the world–visit the 9/11 museum.



Probably the most iconic New York landmark, the Statue of Liberty provides plenty of fun photo opportunities and lighthearted ways to learn more about the country’s history. With an accessible view of the skyline and iconic green exterior, the statue is, for the most part, a bucket list item, and a great way to soak in the realities of American history. Plus, for all water lovers, everyone who visits the Statue of Liberty must travel via ferry, providing plenty of scenery for any shutterbug.

Given to us by France as a gift of friendship, the statue was dedicated on October 28, 1886, and became an official National Monument in 1924.



Standing at 102 stories tall, the Empire State Building looms above Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Previously the world’s tallest building–a title it held for several decades–the skyscraper allows visitors to snap photos of the city’s massive skyline. Whether people go at morning or night, they should arm themselves with a camera and quick instincts: as one of New York’s most popular attractions, the decks are often crowded, making it very likely that there won’t be any places to take pictures.



A heaven for shopaholics, Times Square boasts several enormous stores (Sephora, Disney, and M&M, among others) and plenty of street performers. Its buildings are a blur of flashing lights and enormous TV screens that constantly play bright, poppy advertisements, and even if money’s tight, window shopping is also a viable option. It’s also a great place to explore: the several different alleyways and narrow streets lead to restaurants and other stores, and Broadway is directly adjacent to it. Perfect for more relaxed and spontaneous outing, Times Square is a place where visitors can absorb New York tourist culture for what it is.

Also suggested are the Hamilton Store (expensive, but for Hamilton lovers, it’s heaven), skating at the Rockefeller Center (definitely one of the highlights of the trip, although it’s not a year-round event, so it didn’t make the list), walking through SoHo and Fifth Avenue, Central Park, and Columbia University.