Friday, April 8, 2011

No matter what they say, today you're a star.

Our trip to New York was incredible. I was just excited to get to go somewhere new, and found myself immersed in a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience.
One week of the most intense artistic experience imaginable. Museums every day, a show every night, lunch on the run, artists studios, galleries, restaurants, and more. What makes this trip so special, so inevitably unique, is the fact that we are Stanford students. The amazing connections and the passionate alumni are some of the things truly set apart for us, and this trip really gave us a glimpse into the artistic world, not only outside Stanford, but through and with Stanford.

It was a marvelous feeling to be interacting with the arts a every moment. I felt at home wandering the museums, watching musicals, and learning about New York City. I'm not too sure what I expected this trip to be like before I went--I think the reality of the Arts Immersion didn't quite sink in until after finals week--but it was almost exactly how anyone might imagine. At Stanford, I some times get lost in academia and have little opportunity to meander about contemporary art. It was really refreshing to be thrown in an artistic environment, and see the opportunities that lie before us.

I don't think I could honestly pick a favorite part of the trip. But I can force myself to mention two things that we did that will always be in my very poor memory:

1) The NY Philharmonic. I've never played an instrument, but I grew up in a very musical environment, and I was completely blown away by this performance. I wasn't sure what to expect. I'd seen orchestral performances before--but something about this rehearsal
(whether it was because we were up and out before 10 and my drowsy state provided the perfect state of mind, or maybe because of the incomparable energy of the conductor) that kept me at the edge of my seat. I suddenly knew, for a few short hours, that I should drop EVERYTHING and do what they were doing. I soon got over that fantasy... but I don't think I'll get over the music.

2) The second thing I would like to mention is the adventure. We had a little bit of free time to explore the museums, the city, anything--and I would advise anyone going on a trip like this to put sleep aside and put time into making incredible discoveries. NY is quick--set your clock to the NY minute and never miss a beat. I loved the artistic culture of NY, the eye opening moments when I saw miles of gorgeous graffiti art dancing along the sides of buildings, or bumping into the lead actor in the revival of the play "Arcadia", or listening to talented Banjo players in the subway, or even getting little glimpses of humanity in the restroom at a cafe. After coming back to Stanford, it was like time slowed down and reality settled back in. But I can't wait to take what I've learned and put it to use, and I know I can always look to these moments for infinite inspiration.

(Image below: Taken in a restroom at a cafe in Brooklyn)

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