The Big Apple:

A Tourist's Tale

New York.

I was going to get to spend the whole day in the best city known to mankind.

I almost peed myself from excitement.

Suddenly I heard Evelyn shout from behind me.

"Look, Chelsea, it's New York!"

I turned wildly from side to side. "Where?" Suddenly I gasped as I felt my jaw hit the floor. There it was. The Place of My Dreams. The Big Apple. New York City.

I felt like a Yiddish immigrant seeing the Statue of Liberty for the first time.

I fumbled for my camera, taking a million pictures of the skyline I had only seen in my dreams. Then we entered the Lincoln Tunnel, where Zach Mason made the mistake of trying to hold his breath the whole time. He might have made it if he didn't have the misfortune of sitting next to Evelyn, Crolius, and me.

I breathed deeply. "Mmmm, oxygen."

"The walls are closing in, Zach!" Crolius said.

"Breathe in, breathe out…" Zach clutched his nose tighter as he turned a darker shade of purple.

"The tunnel's getting smaller!" He started rocking back and forth.

"Ah, what wonderful air!"

"Oh my God, we're stopping!" Crolius shouted. Zach let out his breath in a huge whoosh of air as we laughed at him. Then we actually did stop.

Before we left the bus, Mrs. Flinchum warned us not to get into any limos. It seemed like common sense to me, but she said a couple girls got into a limo in New York City a few weeks ago and were assaulted. She also said to try not to act like tourists. At that point I felt Crolius pat my head from behind. I turned around.

"Hey! It's not my fault I'm a newbie!"

"Well, don't act like it," he warned.

"Yeah, you'll get kidnapped," Evelyn laughed.

Finally we were off the bus and walking through New York. I couldn't help but act like a tourist, staring up at the skyscrapers and taking photos of just about everything I saw, including a taxi. I finally restrained myself, reminding myself that I should save the film for more important things. Just then we turned to the right, and there was Times Square. It was huge! There were so many people, and it seemed like there were a million billboards. The scents of ethnic foods and cigarette smoke wafted over me. Evelyn pointed to the left.

"Look, it's TRL!" I snapped a picture of that, too.

We walked to Rockefeller Center, and after that we finally went to Broadway. Broadway was even more amazing than Times Square. Every sign was lit up, even in daytime, and there were too many theaters to count. The inside of the St. James Theater, where we watched The Producers, was so cool, and we even sat in the very front row of the balcony.

After the musical (which was totally awesome), we went to B.B. King's House of Blues for dinner, then back to Rockefeller Center to shop some more. However, we soon found out that most of the stores were closed. With nothing better to do, me, Evelyn, Crolius, Adam Garramone, Melissa Czajka, and Mrs. DeSantis all trooped outside to stand by the ice rink. I didn't realize until I saw the food court set up inside it that there couldn't be an ice skating rink outside at this time of year. While we stood outside, Adam stole Evelyn's camera and took a picture of a homeless guy and Brandon Golden showed me this stand where people were selling photos of Times Square and the skyline. I bought an awesome framed photo of the skyline at night for only fifteen bucks!

Finally it was time to board the bus again. This time I tried holding my breath through the Lincoln Tunnel, but about halfway through I had a coughing fit. Oh, well, better luck next time. As the skyline came into view, Evelyn and me passed our cameras to Zach, who had a better view for taking photos. He took three for each of us. After he gave my camera back, I leaned against the window, staring at the beautiful sight. New York City, Heaven on Earth. As the brightly lit Empire State Building grew out of sight, I made a silent vow that we would meet again.