I caught the "4" train to 59th and Lexington Ave and strolled the 5 blocks to Brooke's office building. I looked around a lot (as I always do when I'm walking around NYC) because I'm fascinated by the varying architecture. One of the most beautiful buildings I saw during my walk was the Central Synagogue, which is located on 55th St.
Drums of Thunder
The magnificent Earth Wind & Fire performed! I kept waiting for them to belt out my favorite "September", but alas, it never came. Additionally, performers from the Broadway musical "Jersey Boys" sang some numbers from their show.
The colors were presented, and a giant American flag was unfurled as Earth Wind & Fire performed "God Bless America" along with Songs of Solomon.
That's Jankovic in the yellow dress receiving Vandeweghe's serve
And this is Jankovic hitting one of her autographed balls towards fans in the upper level seatsDonald Young is a 19-year-old U.S. Open rookie from Atlanta, and he gave James Blake a run for his money! These two put on a very exciting match that went 5 sets and well into the next morning (Blake won). At this point, the wind was blowing and it was actually pretty chilly! Brooke and I were exhausted and cold, so we left around 12:45 a.m. during the 4th set. Part of me hated to leave because we were witnessing a very exciting match! But the part of me that wanted to be warm and in bed won. The trains don't run quite as frequently during non-peak hours, so it was almost 2 a.m. by the time we got back to Brooke's place. Needless to say, we went straight to bed without much fanfare. We were both exhausted.
That's Blake at the bottom returning Young's serve
I got up early the next morning so that I could say my good-byes to Brooke before she left for work. Thankfully, she decided to go in a little late, so she had time to recover a bit more from her long and late night. We hugged as she was walking out the door and we said good-bye.
The balance on my Metrocard was enough for one more bus/subway ride, so I decided to take the $2 bus ride to the airport rather than the $15 cab ride. It's a little bit of a pain keeping up with luggage on the bus, especially when it's crowded (which it was), but it's worth saving the $13. I disembarked at the Delta terminal at LaGuardia, and I got my luggage checked within 10 minutes. I grabbed a slice of pizza at Sbarro's along with a bottle of water, and I plopped down at the gate with plenty of time to spare.
I'm happy to report that the flight back to Charlotte was uneventful AND on time. My suitcase came through on the baggage claim carousel very soon after we landed, and then I rode the shuttle to the daily parking garage. I was out like a flash, and I walked into my apartment around 6 p.m.
As always, I'm eager to get back to New York City ASAP! Hopefully, I'll be returning there as a new resident by the end of the year. I'm grateful for the trips to Westchester (north of NYC) and to Long Island, because it showed that I have other options of places to live if/when I become a student at NYU or Columbia U. Living in the city is going to be very expensive, and I think it would be very very difficult to live there as a poor college student. Brooke and her friends gave me some good advice about places to live that are right outside of the city, as well as the various modes of public transit that take you right into the city. The Long Island Railroad takes you to Penn Station, and the Metro-North takes you to Grand Central. Each of those locations is a short subway ride away from NYU. Knowing about these other options eases my mind and makes me feel more optimistic about my chances to succeed there. Once I have my master's degree and a job, then I'll look into completing my dream and moving into the city...preferably to Queens.
My application to NYU is almost complete, and I'll be putting it in the mail tomorrow. The NYU School of Social Work's website states they take 4-6 weeks to review an application and make a decision. Hopefully, I'll know something by the middle of October, and then I can start taking the next steps.Stay tuned!