What is this New York City you speak of?

A bustling, sunny day at the Bethesda Fountain in NYC's Central Park

Does Yale feel a little too cozy at the moment? Want a weekend getaway? Look no further, because New Haven is situated only a quick train ride away from a town I heard is called “New York City.” Known for its lack of famous New Haven pizza and Connecticut charm, NYC is a perfect second option to spend a Saturday or Sunday afternoon as a student at Yale. This semester (my fall of junior year) was the first time I actually capitalized on the close proximity between New Haven and New York, and looking back on the few trips I made down there, I wish I had done so sooner.

Busy NYC street at night, Empire State Building illuminated blue in the far distance

My #favorite excursion to the city was a day-trip in November organized by the team of a play I’m currently in the rehearsal process for. Because certain parts of the play take place in Manhattan and Brooklyn, the production budget covered our expenses to go see some of the story’s sites in person! We read scenes in the characters’ neighborhoods, outside their places of work, and in locations across Central Park so that we could get a better sense of our characters’ world, as well as better comprehend the rich history of the play.

To get down to the city, we met at New Haven station Saturday morning and boarded a train altogether. Once we got into Grand Central station in New York City, the rest of the day was a little adventure. Easy enough to say, we took a lot of pictures.

Me and the play's producer smiling on the train down to New York City, shot on film.
Yes, we busted out the film cameras…

Me and a few cast members sitting outside the Hall of Justice in Brooklyn, smiling for the camera

Rainbow neon sign of the historic Stonewall Inn in New York City

But the fun did not end there!! I struck gold again this semester and was able to hitch a ride to the Big Apple with another group I’m involved with on campus. For an event we were both performing for, my comedy group joined forces with an a cappella group to get some twenty of us down there. This time, though, our mode of transport was not train, no no no! — rather a minibus.

Someone sleeping on the minibus with their feet kicked up on the seat on our way back to New Haven, illuminated in color
Riding in style…

We departed on Saturday afternoon listening to the smooth ballads of 21 Savage over the bus speakers. On the return, we listened to the actually smooth ballads of Sinatra while people caught some shut-eye.

Stunning view of Manhattan skyline from Brooklyn

These trips have definitely inspired me to visit more towns and cities around New Haven, especially New York. That said, one of the best parts about these excursions is the excitement felt when getting back to New Haven. Whether it’s because of my comfy bed or the community I’ve become so appreciative of, New Haven certainly feels more special whenever I’ve been away. New York is great, but New Haven is home.