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Stories from New York City

What have faculty been up to in the Big Apple?
Stories from New York City

Every teacher on campus has a backstory, and you’ve probably heard bits and pieces about them. A lot of these stories come from one of the most iconic cities in the country: New York City. So what iconic and even moving moments do faculty have in this cultural center?

 

If you could choose only one location/establishment in New York City to revisit, which would you choose? Do you have any memories from here?

“Zabar’s.  I love it!  It is the quintessential shopping spot for a foodie, which I am.  I could spend hours in there (and tons of money…I still have that bear in the picture on the left).”  -Ms. Gibbs

 

“The Public Theatre – I worked there as an usher, saw tons of beautiful plays and later went back to see Hamilton and Phat Ham. When I sit in any of the six theatres I have loads of memories, all evoking my love of theatre.”  -Mr. Dolan

 

“Lower East Side, of course!  —  although from what ‘ve seen in the past few years, none of the dirt and grime that once gave SoHo its edginess remain. I think I’d recommend a visit to the same place, but a different time — when artists, actors, and rockers defined the culture of cool for a few city blocks.”  -Mr. Hines

 

“The Neue Galerie. It houses the famous ‘Woman in Gold’ painting by Gustav Klimt.”  – Ms. Stewart

 

Ms. Stewart wanted us to talk about the WWII history surrounding this painting. In 1938, the Nazis seized the portrait along with four other paintings. The portrait was renamed ‘Woman in Gold’ and moved to Vienna to help the painting and its caretaker evade the Nazis. After some decades, Maria Altmann, the surviving heir of the family that initially owned the painting, fought to reclaim the portrait. In 2005, the United States Supreme Court declared her right to reintegrate the painting into the family possessions. The portrait is now on display in the Neue Galerie, fulfilling the later wishes of the family.

 

What part of your life did New York have the biggest impact on? How so?

“The people I met there, from my wife, to my best friends, to the artists I worked with, and the restaurant people I worked with. A crazy awesome array of folks. They were from all over the world, all coming to NYC to try to be part of something bigger than what they could experience anywhere else.” -Mr. Dolan

 

“Early twenties, just out of college. If you want to discover what you’re really made of, move to NYC with only a handful of cash and a lot of drive. I’m half-kidding since I wouldn’t want anyone to put themselves in any peril of sorts. For me, however, moving there without any financial support taught me how to hustle, grind, push myself, and be personable, so that I had the tools I needed when things were rough.”  -Mr. Hines

 

“The Lower East Side.  This is where thousands of immigrants settled when coming to America to fulfill the American dream. They lived in squalor and very crowded tenements.”   -Ms. Stewart

 

Tell your funniest story from New York.                                                                                                         

 

“No funny stories, but great memories of a trip I took there with two friends of mine around Christmas time when I was a freshman in college. We skated at Rockefeller Center, which was such a highlight! I also have great memories of attending a conference there with Ms. Horton, Mr. Goodman, Mr. Chung, Ms. McCain, Dr. Murtuza, and 3 more former faculty members.  We had fun visiting with alums that were then living in NY (Ikem Leigh, Heather Yu…).”  -Ms G

 

“I was walking down a street on the upper west side hating on myself for blowing an audition, and a man came walking toward me who looked to be unhomed, and for some reason he looked me right in the eye and said, “critic.” He was right, but I wasn’t criticizing him, I was criticizing myself and that stopped immediately. For that day anyway.”  -Mr. Dolan

 

“On my way to meet a friend, I once got so lost that I ended up in Hoboken, NJ. Not really that funny, but my funniest stories aren’t entirely suited for the Bell! :)”  -Mr. Hines

 

Do you associate a song or band/artist with New York? If so, why?

 

“Billy Joel – New York State of Mind (b/c obviously)”  -Ms. Gibbs

 

“The RAMONES!!!!”  -Mr. Dolan

 

“SO MANY! Bowie, Dylan, The Cramps, The Strokes, Run DMC, The Dictators, Beastie Boys, Television and Jay-Z to name a few. Once you see a show at CBCG’s (which is no longer there) or at Bowry, or take the subway to different parts of the city, you get a taste and a feel for the history of all those musicians who helped write the script for art and culture on the streets of NYC.”  -Mr. Hines

 

“Billy Joel probably like everyone else.” -Ms. Stewart

 

Where would you recommend tourists visit?

“Zabar’s :-). Also the Highline.  So cool to have a park on top of the city! Central Park, of course. Walk by the ‘Restaurant’ used on the Seinfeld set (with someone familiar with the show) but don’t tell them you’re about to walk by and enjoy their reaction when they notice.”  -Ms. Gibbs

 

“The people I met there, from my wife, to my best friends, to the artists I worked with, and the restaurant people I worked with. A crazy awesome array of folks. They were from all over the world, all coming to NYC to try to be part of something bigger than what they could experience anywhere else.”  -Mr. Dolan

 

“Who knows, now? The city I knew isn’t the city that’s there now. I recommend just walking around or riding the subway — Central Park is always cool, too.”  -Mr. Hines

 

Museum Row; the Guggenheim is worth it for the architecture alone. The MET.

The Edge has the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere. Broadway; the shows are magic. The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The 9/11 National Memorial and Museum” -Ms. Stewart

About the Contributor
Rebecca Cole
Rebecca Cole, Managing Editor
Rebecca Cole is an 11th-grade day student who started writing articles for The Bell in freshman year and now also serves as Managing Editor. As a policy nerd, she also loves being a part of Green Goblins, Elevate, and Model UN.