It was set be a night of sweatpants, studying, and SVU but I’m glad it wasn’t. My friend D from Albany surprised me with tickets to see the New York Philharmonic last night. One of the reasons why I chose Rutgers-Newark was because of how close I am to the city and it’s really comforting to return to someplace that is familiar while I’m getting my bearings around Newark.
And boy, did I get my bearings, except not in Newark, but with NJ Transit and PATH. For those not familiar with the two train routes, if you’re coming from Jersey and you want to get to Penn Station, other than a stop in Secaucus, NJ Transit will bring you right to it. With PATH, from Newark, you’ve got to go to Journal Square, then transfer to the Penn Station bound train that makes 6 or 7 stops in between.
After I purchased my NJ Transit ticket (only 5 bucks), I sat down and found myself in a flurry of confused and anxious passengers. We knew the train was going to be delayed but someone checked their Twitter feed and found out that the train would be delayed by 60 minutes. It was 7:20 and the show starts at 8. We all made the collective decision to switch over to the PATH.
Once I got to Penn Station to switch over to the 1 train towards Lincoln Center, I see a girl who looked very familiar, Don’t you hate and love those moments? You hate them, because you legit look like a creeper, scoping this person out to see if that is someone that you know, but it’s so awesome once you two recognize each other! I thought that this girl looked exactly like my friend E from my youth leadership group, HOBY, but she was carrying this book bag that said “Selina.” As I was about to call E, after eye stalking her for 5 minutes, she says, “Lexie?” It was so cool because it was completely random, since she goes to Cornell and was the last person that I’d expect to see on the 1 train during my first week living in the NYC Metro area! Ahhh, it was so good to reunite, and as I type this, I realize that the whole night was full of 518 reunions!
For those unfamiliar with “518,” it’s the Albany-Capital Region’s area code. It really is the only place I’ve lived in that takes so much pride in their area code that people don’t even call it “Albany” half the time, they call it the “518.”
When I finally got to Lincoln Center, it was 9PM. Although I missed a hour of the show, it was perfect because I arrived during the start of intermission. As I was waiting for D, I was getting high fives from the ushers who saw my pin from my last job assignment (it feels so good to be back in New York). Then D walked in and another reunion commenced! I haven’t seen him in two years and it was very appropriate to see the show with him because he is a music teacher upstate and was filling me in on what I missed and what was yet to come.
It was my first time seeing a professional classical show and now that I found out that the New York Philharmonic has special tickets priced at $13.50 for students, it surely won’t be my last. The concentration that the musicians have is incredible and we both appreciated how intense the maestro was. It was funny though, because it’s winter and we’re in the middle of the flupocalypse, everyone held their coughs in until the break between movements and you didn’t know whether Lincoln Center was an infirmary or a concert hall! You’ve got to love the performing arts rules of respect.
Afterwards, D and I gallivanted all over Manhattan, got some yummy pizza and took in the sights. This week has been full of new experiences and it was so nice to come back “home,” if only for a little while. Thankfully, there wasn’t a delay with NJ Transit coming back and I really appreciate Rutgers for thinking things through. As much as I love the convenience of the light rail, it’s a little sketchy taking it at night, and I was happy to go back home on the University’s Midnight Express shuttle that takes you from Newark Penn to your dorm fo’free! I’m sure that I’m a little sick from waiting such a long time for it in the cold, but it’s better safe than sorry.