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Art history and Spanish students visit the "Big Apple"
by Eric Leventhal, Editor - in - Chief, and Anthony Geraci, News Editor

Not satisfied with traditional field trips to the Cleveland Museum of Art ? Art History teacher Ms. Lori Nells wasn't, and she decided to think bigger. On March
25th through 28th she led twenty-five West Geauga art history and Spanish students on a tour of New York City, allowing them the opportunity to visit the famous Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Museum. "I wanted the students to get out in the real world and see great art and architecture," said Nells.

The students were accompanied by teacher chaperones Mr. Chris Connell, Mr. Jay Bishop, Mrs. Aurea Farquer, Mr. David Houston, and Mr. Jeff Oviatt.

The trip was organized by R&E Tours, a Mentor-based tour company. The R&E tour bus left at 6:15 a.m. on the morning on Thursday, March 25. After a nine-hour bus ride, the tour arrived in Times Square just before the afternoon rush. Students split into groups and explored the midtown neighborhood until dinnertime. The West Geauga group then met for dinner at the Hard Rock Café.

Dinner was followed by a trip to the Empire State building, which in lieu of September 11, is now the tallest skyscraper in New York City.
The bus then headed back to the tour hotel in Hackensack.

The next morning began with a quick trip to the set of NBC's Today Show. West Geauga students fought and screamed their way through throngs of other tourists for a moment of fame on the show. West Geauga didn't get much camera time, but a loud, "We are…West G!" chant was audible on television.

The tour then headed for the main attraction of the trip: visits to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Museum. Art History students enjoyed seeing the famous paintings they had studied in person. Unfortunately, students had only two hours to explore the cavernous museum.

The Guggenheim wasn't as popular as the "Met" with West G students. They didn't seem to like the abstract modern art featured there. Not surprisingly, the groups spent only one half hour in the museum.

After an afternoon trip to the world - famous Central Park Zoo, the tour proceeded to dinner at the Mexican restaurant, Gonzales y Gonzales. The dinner was followed by a night tour of the Manhattan neighborhood, directed by an expert New York tour guide. The quick tour brought students to attractions like Chinatown, Lincoln Center, and the site of the World Trade Center bombings.

Saturday, March 27th

Our day started with breakfast at the hotel and then a trip to the Statue of Liberty. Upon arrival at Battery Park, a long line awaited us before we were herded onto the ferry full of security checks and searches. With all the time constraints and the wait in line, we were unable to get off at Ellis Island and look at our country's immigration history.

Next on our agenda was the United Nations Headquarters Tour. The tour was lead by a woman who was of Malian descent, with an accent that made it only more interesting. Most of the group was very satisfied with how much knowledge this woman possessed about the UN. To actually see where leaders of 191 countries convene was amazing. We were taken into meeting rooms that have been closed off to the public and are strictly for the representatives. These rooms were grandiose, with ceilings reaching outstanding heights and probably enough seats that our whole school could be seated. It put into perspective on such a high level how important the UN actually is in the world as well as our everyday lives.

With a shift from politics to entertainment, we then traveled to NBC studios. Giddy and excited students were able to sit in SNL's audience as well as The Late Night Show with Connan O'Brien. "It was exciting to be in a place that I see every night on TV, " said senior Geoff Protz.

A lighthearted end to the afternoon was a trip to St. Patrick's Cathedral, followed by dinner at Benihana. St. Patrick is like a diamond in the rough with its interior ele-gance and opulent architecture. The rest of the night consisted of dinner at Benihana's and a night out on the town. Dinner was cooked in front of our eyes in a Japanese setting with our chairs seated around the grill. Our chef, a highly amusing man of Japanese descent, named "Brian," made our last night most enjoyable.
After dinner, students were permitted to do as they pleased throughout the city with an adult. Whether it was shopping, going to ESPN zone, or just walking aimlessly through the city, all the students had a great last night of NYC.

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