December and the City Again

December and the City Again

We embarked on our second STAC journey on December 14, 2018. The adrenaline had been building up through every fiber of our beings as we waited for the bus to round the corner. It hadn’t even been two seconds before it halted to a stop as we bounced with joy, slowly hopping onto each step entering the bright mustard doors. The ride to the train station was short but filled with conversation about the day ahead. We reached the train station, rushed out of the bus, and went on our familiar way to end of the platform where we spent the time waiting, shooting pictures and videos, documenting our adventure. The train arrived and Luke’s anticipated call rang through air, “Use all the doors! Don’t be a blood clot! Use all the doors!” Every time we enter the train, a rush of nervousness runs through all of us: Is everyone on? Did I drop my phone through the crack? Did I get caught in the door? Once we find a seat the nervousness is completely forgotten and we go back to discussing our plans for the day.

Usually we take the train from Mineola to Penn Station but instead of our usual city bound train, we went from Mineola to Forest Hills and transferred to an E/M/R train to Queens Plaza Station where got of and continued on foot towards Sculpture Center. We arrived a bit early for our tour and decided to split for a quick coffee break. My group preferred the artisan coffee shop across the street, Toby’s Estate, rather than your now trending Starbucks. After ordering, we discovered the patio in the back and spent the remaining minutes there before heading back across the street to Sculpture Center. We regrouped inside the giant box that served as a gate to the gallery to watch the doors being unlocked by the tour guide. We hung our coats and bags in the cubbies behind the front desk and let the tour commence. For the next hour, we were shown around the gallery and saw extraordinary sculptures that show media in a new light. The room and basement consisted of monitors and televisions that tell of the artists’ pasts, thoughts, opinions, state of mind, and view of life overall. After the tour, as tradition, we all pulled out our cameras and had what seemed like a professional photoshoot, each of us interchanging between model, photographer, and location manager.

From Sculpture Center, we got back on the train and headed towards our neck of the woods: Manhattan. We were supposed to make our way to the Whitney but we made a last minute decision to stop at the David Zwirner Gallery to see the incredible works of Diane Arbus and Lisa Yuskavage. STAC has seen another Diane Arbus exhibit in previous years and it was a bit nostalgic to be reacquainted with her work. Lisa Yuskavage’s work, on the other hand, was like a breath of fresh air, new ideas and inspirations swirled around in our heads.

From there, we walked the Highline to the Whitney Museum to see Andy Warhol and broke into groups to make our wandering all the easier. Walking through the museum, you could see the wonder in the eyes of the STACies as we absorbed the work of Warhol and the other artists. Photoshoots materialized once again around the museum out of habit and allowed us to feel as if we were a part of the art, not just there to look at it. We made our rounds through the museum until we felt that we could no longer ignore our growling stomachs.

It was then that we made our way to Chelsea Market for lunch. Upon entering the industrial looking food court, the smells of food from all over the world was pleasantly overwhelming. We traveled down the corridor, our heads turning left and right trying to quickly read each and every sign, attempting to find a place that would satisfy our stomachs for the remaining hours of the trip. We each enjoyed our fusion of Asian, Tex-Mex, and French-American cuisine and headed back to the Whitney to regroup and continue our journey towards the theatre.

Once every STACie was accounted for, we headed off for the night’s entertainment, “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui”. The play tells the story of a Chicago gangster, named Arturo Ui, who is trying to take over the cauliflower packing industry; it’s an allegory to Hitler’s rise to power during the Holocaust. The play was incredibly written and the cast’s performance left us speechless. The show was the center of conversation for the next week. Our thoughts, opinions, jokes, and favorite parts were tossed around and analyzed until they were stripped to the core.

Our second STAC trip was deemed a success by all and we are all waiting patiently for the next one.

-- Styliani Rallis '19