Today was quite a busy day at the GYLC, however we can say that we all thoroughly enjoyed our first day in New York City.
We started our day off with breakfast in the Manhattan College, whose cafeteria offered a wide variety of food choices that satisfied everyone and led to a good, energetic start to the day. After breakfast, we walked to our LGM’s (Leadership Group Meetings) to meet with the rest of our Country groups. We were all assigned these on the first day of the conference, I was assigned to Turkey along with some of my fellow classmates; Yoav and Ashley.
During the LGM, we discussed last night’s notes from the commission groups we chose for the Global Summit. We did this in order to make sure that Turkey’s interest and aims were represented to the best of their ability in the policies of the various resolutions from each sub-commission. I chose the Human Rights Council and was assigned to the issue of Genocide and how it would be best minimised, if not completely resolved. Fellow BISS student Sammi was also in the Human rights Council and represented China’s interests regarding internally displaced persons. After thoroughly reflecting on the policies of last night and how they could best meet the interests of our Country groups, we prepared ourselves for today’s journey in New York City.
Our first stop was Chinatown and later, Little Italy. Unfortunately we weren’t able to spend much time in it, due to our rather full schedule for today. Chinatown relieved some of the minimal homesickness as it reminded us of Shanghai with its aroma of sweet and sour chicken and bustling streets filled with tourists and locals alike. Some of us headed to Little Italy for fresh stone-oven baked pizza, whereas some remained in China town to order their exotic (or in our case homely) food. The brick walls surrounding the area were elaborately sprayed with beautiful graffiti imagined that posed for very nice photographs.
Following the delicious and very filling lunch we headed off to the three different museums: the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan and the Guggenheim. Sammi, Seb and I were able to enjoy the wide variety of modern and very thought-provoking art pieces and sculptures of the Guggenheim. Many of the art works in the museum tackled modern world issues in society in a very interesting yet entertaining manner, some even included humor in their pieces to give their work a certain flair. I, personally, thoroughly enjoyed the abstract architecture of the Guggenheim and how it reflected it’s contents.
Since we were able to finish the Guggenheim with some time to spare, we were able to take a short trip to Central Park. A highlight of the park was the absolutely stunning view of the lovely modern and old-traditional New York skyline in contrast with the peaceful and serene green scenery of the park. After taking numerous pictures and looking around we boarded the buses once again.
Our next stop was the famous and extremely popular global tourist destination: Times Square. This was evident given the large crowds pouring into the streets at all times and thus truly reflecting the vibrant nature of New York City. We were given an area boundary and 2 1/2 hours to find dinner and do some vigorous shopping. We then set off in groups of a minimum of 3 and explored the wide range of popular globally known brands. We also set out to take pictures of the iconic billboards decorating the sky high buildings.
Finally, we returned back to the College and reflected upon the day in our LGM’s. We also got time to work on our National Delegation’s rally, which is set to be tomorrow night – something everyone here is looking forward to. Overall it was a great day with wonderful experiences and a great time to make new friends from all across the world.