NYC Trip a success
The annual New York/Philadelphia Trip for upperclassmen took place a little over a week ago. Approximately 80 students attended and the itinerary was extensive. (see below for a detailed outline of the trip.) A new addition to the trip was a behind the scenes tour of Madison Square Garden. Phil Poggi, Athletic Director, played a huge role in the organization of this trip. A large contribution to the overall success of the trip was due to the Chaperones, 6 to be exact. One of said chaperones was Judy Sichterman, of the athletic department. This was her first time going on this trip with Kings High School.
Sichterman is no stranger to big cities, she’s visited New York 8-10 times, and she lived in Chicago for 6 years. Relative to New York, Sichterman says she’s much more comfortable in Chicago. “I am not as familiar with all of the New York boroughs, so New York City seems way more overwhelming to me. I love the beaches of Lake Michigan and the big marinas with incredible yachts that are adjacent to city of Chicago. I met my husband in Chicago and started my family there, so Chicago will always feel more like ‘home’ to me.“ Sichterman says that the portion of the trip that included Philadelphia was very exciting, even to an avid traveller like herself. She was impressed with the history that Philadelphia held. Christ Church was a big contribution to the architectural and cultural aspects of this part of the trip.
Sichterman was also impressed with the students’ overall behavior, “My favorite part of being on the trip this year was getting to know students that I don’t normally get to interact with. Since I work in the Athletic Department, I primarily work with athletes here. On this trip, I got to hang out with lots of amazing students – many of whom are not athletes at Kings High School, and that was a lot of fun for me.”
Phil Poggi, Athletic Director, organized a great portion of the trip. The trip was set up through an organization called FeatTravel, and this year’s trip was the first time our school used it. FeatTravel was recommended by a past tour guide, Mike Morgenthal. The organization was a pleasure to work with according to Poggi, “FeatTravel did an amazing job organizing and being flexible with things.” Poggi also commented on how impressed he was with the students’ respectful behavior, and how much he enjoyed hearing their experiences in the Big Apple. However, he suggests small changes to improve the trip overall. “Moving forward we must continue to tweak the daily schedule and add new places to visit in NYC as we only touch a portion of what is available.”
The New York/Philadelphia trip is sure to hold memories for the group of students that went this year. Chaperones and students alike recall unique experiences, from witnessing a rap battle in Times Square to watching Sylvester Stallone filming the Rocky sequel on the Rocky steps. Beatles fans were able to stop by John Lennon’s memorial, Strawberry Fields, and all were welcomed into Madison Square Garden for a behind the scenes tour, just hours before a hockey game started there. This trip proved to kids who’d never normally leave Ohio that there is something beyond this. There’s a whole different life in New York.
One student’s perspective: Maddie DePaoli
The annual trip to New York City and Philadelphia for Kings business students has yet again come and gone. Students departed from the high school for their 12 hour bus ride at 6pm on Thursday and made their return at 5 a.m. the following Tuesday. Throughout the trip, students were lead by two tour guides of Feat Travel who showed them around and shared with them their knowledge of the cities.
After arriving for a quick check in at the Holiday Inn in Clark, New Jersey, students were greeted by their tour guides and lead into downtown New York City on a chilly but sunny day. The first stop was Battery Park where the Statue of Liberty and Newark, New Jersey were visible from afar across the Hudson River. A quick walk lead to the statue of the Charging Bull, Trinity Church, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and then to the bustling Financial District where students took a tour of the Museum of American Finance. Afterward they walked to the 9-11 Memorial and were able to walk around and take in the beautiful site. Students then were given an inside tour of Wall Street before walking to Chinatown and Little Italy to enjoy a dinner from a restaurant of their choosing and to go shopping before heading back to the hotel.
With a lot more time to sleep students were up and ready for another action packed day in the uptown part of the city despite the on and off rain and chill. The day started off with a trip to the American Museum of Natural history where students could go off on their own and explore the 4 floors of the museum and eat lunch there. Once the exploration was done the group moved on to Central Park, a few blocks away where they got to enjoy the quiet park due to the weather. A peaceful walk through the park then lead them to 5th Avenue where they were able to shop for a couple hours before heading to dinner at Ben’s Deli (a kosher restaurant) After dinner was a walk to the much anticipated Times Square for a few hours of free time to look around and shop. Once done there, students left the city and returned to the hotel.
As a start to the final day in the Big Apple the group was able to go up to the top of the Empire State Building for a wonderful view in the morning. After the 86 story descend from the building, students then walked over to Madison Square Garden for an inside tour of the famous arena. Post tour, the group then went over to Grand Central Terminal for a tour and time for lunch. After leaving the terminal students went for a look in the New York Public Library and were even shown the original stuffed animal Winnie the Pooh characters on the lowest floor. Once they left the library they then went to Rockefeller Center and were given more time to look around and shop throughout the area. After they were done students said a final farewell to the city as they departed for Philadelphia, but first stopping in New Jersey for dinner at Uno’s Pizzeria and Grill and then to the Hampton in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey.
For the final day of the trip, students woke up bright and early for a much more sunny and warmer day in Philadelphia. The first stop was a tour of the Eastern State Penitentiary where students learned about the history of the famous prison. After that, the group went to the Rocky Steps where they were able to see Sylvester Stallone filming his new movie before running up the steps like the original Rocky movie. Comcast Center was the next stop where students got a look at the largest LED TV in the world. Reading Terminal was after that where many students got to experience a true Philly cheese steak and about an hour of time to look around at the other local restaurants in the terminal. Students also were able to see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall before having the choice to continue on a historical tour of Philadelphia or to shop on South Street. The historical tour included seeing Elfreth’s Alley, Benjamin Franklin’s gravesite, and Christ Church before those students were also given shopping time on South Street. Once done there, the group then went to dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe where some prizes were handed out for the best pictures taken throughout the trip. Finally, after an eventful few days, the group departed for the long trip home.