When the check-in lady at the Nashville airport first informed me that I would be flying into a place named "LaGuardia", I thought that I was being sent to a third world country. I wasn't all together wrong, but it was merely a brief stop on the way to our dirty, rat infested paradise in the Garment District of New York City.
We stopped in our rooms briefly, where I prettied up and changed into a little number of my own personal design, and then were off to our very first retail experience of the trip, a concept shop titled "Story" in the Chelsea area, where Ashley could have sworn Orlando Bloom was working the cash register. The whole premise of Story gelled beautifully with my own personal commitment issues, in that it's entire theme and layout changes every 4-8 weeks. To experience something so unheard of, and to see all of the success that it has achieved, was a much needed reminder that their is no exact formula to success.
With our introductory group stop having come to completion, our instructors set us loose. We made our way over to Jeffrey, where the infectious beats gave me a serious case of boogie fever, and try as I might to control myself (though, let's be honest, I didn't try very hard) I danced from rack to rack, thumbing through all of the designer goods that the store had to offer. We didn't stay terribly long before ending up at Chelsea Market to grab dinner. Food, it turns out, would become an incredibly consistent and expensive theme throughout the trip, as would the gut wrenching indecision that comes with trying to form a group consensus. A restaurant having been decided on, food having been eaten, and other areas of the market having been briefly explored, we made our way to Shmackeries, a tiny cookie joint with a less tiny line of people out the door. Treats in hand, we trudged through the cold rain back to our hotel and cozied up for a night in.
9:30 roles around, and there's a light rap at the door. My classmate Christopher's friend Audrey, an aspiring comedian living in New York, has arrived, not too far proceeding our mutual friends Wine and Chinese Food. We ate, laughed, and half payed attention to the episode of SNL playing in the background, and somehow managed to convince an exhausted Christopher to join us on a voyage to Rockefeller plaza, where the show's season finally was being filmed.
We saw no celebrities, but walking the relatively vacant sidewalks of Time Square in the early AM hours was an experience well worth sleep deprivation.