Friday, May 7, 2010

Activity 8-Alina Gertsenshteyn

For this activity we went on two different trips during our designated lecture time. The first one was to Roosevelt Island which the other group picked for us all because not only is it one stop away from Hunter College through the F train but it is actually a pretty place. We took the train there together and when we got off we ran into starbucks and got ice coffee. Matt was the only guy with us and he was our tour guide. He did a great job leading us through the area in the limited time we had since some of us had class afterwards. The water was very pretty and one the other side we saw large hospital. The area was residential with apartment buildings, a church, and a school. Matt actually called his friend- a local Roosevelt Islander to come out of his apartment and say hi to us all. Everything there was clean. I liked a cozy restaurant we passed there which had outdoor seating. We also spotted a Hispanic woman with a white child and we started talking about this trend we noted in class- we assumed it was the nanny not the mother.
The second trip was also done during our class time on one of the days class was canceled. We went to Central Park and one again Matt was our tour guide. I had been at central park many times before on my own and I still love it. We saw the statue of Balto which was very cute and made me remember the part of the movie when the grandmother was showing the statue to her granddaughter in the park setting. In my opinion, Central Park is more of a public place than Roosevelt Island is because it is not residential. Roosevelt Island had signs that said “private property” even though we ignored it. I learned that the Great Lawn in Central Park was called just that and there were many people relaxing there (like always during good weather). It made me feel a little bit jealous because I did not have that luxury at the time being that I had class right after but it definitely appealed to me enough to want to go there during my spare time and read. We passed by benches which is essential to any park setting and there were vendors selling food and water…they were much at need to make the environment comfortable (as we had said in class). Central Park also provides lots of shading to allow individuals to hid from the sun. Also, people used the rocks to sit on. It is interesting to explore which individuals prefer the rocks and which prefer benches. It seemed that teenagers liked the rocks and that the elderly went to sit on the benches. There was a musician in the park that day and I drooped a dollar in the instrument case. Lastly, we came across the Chess and Checkers House. I was surprised to see it there because I thought that within the tri-state area chess playing was exclusive to Russian grandfathers within my community and they only went to the Brooklyn parks. Yet this hobby is popular there as well and not only among Russians. When I was a kid I used to always watch my grandfather play chess while I occupied the playground part of the park so seeing this brings back happy memories.
In conclusion, I loved going to these two trips. I feel that we had connected together as a group which is rare being that Hunter is not really a place I socialize in (I am mostly just in and out). Besides that I explored Central Park past my usual exploration of it and was introduced to Roosevelt Island- a place which I would actually LOVE to move into!

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