Sleepy Hollow Journalism Students Report, New York City: Through a Teenager’s Eyes

Please enjoy this piece from SHHS Journalism Student Paula Unger.

The glamour. The fame. The rich and those who pretend to be. Beauty, history, and art.

New York City is screaming these words. Not only is it one of the best cities in the world, but it’s right in our backyard. Many people came into the city this break and I was not going to be an exception. I went with my Mom for a mother-daughter bonding kind of thing. I didn’t mind at all and was excited for our attempt at adventure. We decided to go to the Guggenheim Museum since it is known for its interesting architecture and modern art, which we like. We took the railroad into Manhattan and then the subway to the 80’s. After a short lunch, we walked to the museum, which was just a few blocks away. The architecture was breathtaking. Everything was circular and was extremely modern. I had never seen a building like that in my life. There were lights flickering outside and I felt that New York City glamour I’d been looking forward to. We got inside and there were many people as was to be expected. Very few spoke English; it felt like we were foreigners. These people were real art experts and my Mom and I were the opposite of that. There was writing all over the walls and if that wasn’t enough to weird you out, the sayings were written in all different directions, upside-down, backwards, and flipped. The best (or worst) part of it was the meaning of them. They were meant to be profound, I suppose, but they seemed like nothing to me. "Those you forgot and will never remember." "Those you don’t want to remember." "Those you will remember." Really, people? I could have written better sayings than that. But I guess that was the point and maybe they really meant something to those art geniuses that this museum was actually for. To really enjoy the museum, my Mom told me we should start from the top and make our way downward. The floors were spiral-like and naturally if you start on the top "floor" and walk you will get to the bottom. We climbed the stairs, reading the strange sayings and then began our journey. We kept on walking and were wondering if there were invisible paintings because we didn’t see any artwork at all. Wasn’t this supposed to be a museum rather than just a building? On about the fourth floor we hit these strange cardboard walls that had turtle lights, random shape cut-outs and squiggly black lines. Great, I thought to myself. But it wasn’t over after one piece of cardboard. No, we had to walk through what felt like a millioncardboard walls! It took up a whole floor, and that I’m not exaggerating. This was the art, I realized, and sighed knowing this was a great waste of a day. Eventually we realized that there were exhibits off of the main part of the circular building. The exhibits were better than the main part but not really my cup of tea. The first exhibit I saw was featuring a female photographer. The photographs were so strange, all looking the same. There would be a little house in a bright color and then nothing. My Mom and I thought it was boring and were not impressed but the other people were, quietly whispering to each other and gazing in pure awe. We quickly walked out of that room and moved on to another exhibit. This one was a lot better; it featured artists like Picasso, Chagall and Kandinsky, which we have more appreciation for. This artwork was better suited for us but there weren’t that many pictures and before we knew it, we had seen every picture on display. There was another room of photography only a little improved from before. There were pictures in black and white of New York City and Chicago that my Mom liked and then some small shots of highways which we looked at in a few seconds. It was definitely not my thing. We had seen everything in the museum in an hour except the best part, the gift shop! We headed there excitedly and after looking around, we bought a nice print by Kandinsky. Now we have it framed and are looking forward to finding a spot for it in our house. It might seem like this was a disappointing visit to the city for us, and in truth it sort of was. But it was quite an experience and I learned a lot about art from it. This was definitely not something we will forget and it might have been the most memorable part of our winter break. And in case you’re wondering, we did go shopping afterwards so really it wasn’t bad at all.

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About the Author: Paula Unger