Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Oh, What a Beautiful Season!

Fall in NYC! 

To me, fall is the best time to be in New York City-- summer’s stifling heat and is like a jungle. Like the blinding green of a jungle, certain things stand out-- skyscrapers, monuments, museums, etc.-- which every visitor should experience. Yet just as a jungle teems with life hidden from anyone lacking the knowledge to find it, NYC has many hidden gems that the average tourist never gets to experience. At Hi-New-York, we structure our programs to include the biggest tourist highlights and those special places only native New Yorkers know about, along with everything in between.
humidity is replaced by a pleasant cool air, and the changing leaves add streaks of color to our concrete jungle. As the most diverse (over 800 languages are spoken in the five boroughs) and exciting city in the country, NYC really

Life in Every Corner

During our visit to the Natural History Museum, we studied the similarities and differences between humans and our mammalian relatives. This was the perfect way to learn vocabulary like thumb, knee, fur, etc. The students were especially awed by the herd of elephants that marches through the African mammals section and the massive mountain gorillas.  The sight of the gorillas led one student to remark, “They look like we do!”  Mission accomplished.

At the Aquarium, students got to see the fish made famous by the movie Finding Nemo up close and personal, along with penguins, otters and octopuses, to name just a few of the sea critters that call the aquarium home. However, the sea lion show was by far the biggest hit for our students. Their jaws were on the floor the whole time watching their incredible acrobatic stunts.

The highlight of the Bronx Zoo was a 4-D movie with vibrating seats and mist that fell on the audience from the ceiling. It’s not surprising that this was the favorite part of the zoo for the students, but the animals were not far behind! Their favorite were the mountain gorillas, many of whom were right up against the glass of their enclosure, including a mother and baby.

Tasty Treats!

At an edible garden in NYC, students helped staff members prepare a soup with many of the ingredients straight from the garden and then got to taste it! They had a great time as assistant chefs, learning about the importance of eating healthy, fresh food and enjoying the garden on a sunny, beautiful fall day-- all while practicing their English!

Although the soup was tasty, the most delicious day we had this fall was a tour of a chocolate factory. An expert chocolate maker guided us through every step of the process, from drying and shelling the cacao beans to liquefying the pure chocolate to the process of adding specialty flavors. Although the students found the tour interesting, their favorite part was the many chocolate samples they got along the way, including some tasty chocolate soda!

Leafy greens were for the tasting on a rooftop farm overlooking the East River.  The students learned about what crops the farm grows, who the customers are, and some challenges of farming in the middle of the biggest city in the country. All this while enjoying breathtaking views of Manhattan.

From All Walks of Life

Our students had the privilege of walking through the exclusive Harvard Club in Midtown Manhattan this fall. The Clubhouse, which has been in use since 1894, was one of the first buildings to be named a New York City landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. From the rooftop restaurant to the hotel rooms for members to the halls and rooms with mounted moose heads and such, I am afraid it was a bit intimidating for some :-)

Louis Armstrong’s house in Queens and the tenements on the Lower East Side were also places we explored. Through music, food and personal stories, we learned about and celebrated the diversity of the people who have made NYC their homes.