Raynor Mendoza ‘13 - It is hard to imagine that my time in New York City is over, but like anything else — all good things must come to an end. However, looking back at a week full of adventures is in some ways blissful and relaxing, I have mixed feelings about leaving, in some ways I wish that I could stay here forever, living as New Yorkers do — constantly trying to find their own way amidst millions of people trying to accomplish the very same thing. On the other hand, I surely miss the rural countryside of Indiana — the simplicity of the area, my friends and my wonderful girlfriend. All of this is waiting for me when I get home.
In recalling my experience being in the city that never sleeps (as it so aptly named) a few choice memories come to mind. Oddly enough my favorite experience of all happened to be yesterday. It was the first time that we (as a group) were allowed to create our own journey and most importantly find our own way through the city. For me it was a very liberating experience and one I would not trade for the world. Traveling on my own in a foreign city or country is how you really experience what it is like to live in that respective area (In my honest opinion). It was definitely a nice change from hiking all around the city with out the option to stop at places that interest you, and it allowed for each person to experience something different and compelling.
Me being the watch enthusiast that I am (and someone who plans on becoming a watchmaker after Wabash), I found myself navigating through the blowing snow, to find famous watch stores and boutiques that I have only dreamed about setting foot in. The first was Central Watch, a famous New York staple for all things horology — from repair work and restoration to buying and selling. It has been in operation for over 5 decades and is still doing well today. Oddly enough the store is tucked away in the back corner of Grand Central Station, and if you don’t know its there you are likely to miss it. I spent time talking with the staff and making connections for later on in my life. The people at Central Watch were exceedingly professional and very pleasant.
From there I navigated my way to 5th Avenue (the shopping hub of NYC) to tour some other watch boutiques. I found myself at Rolex’s new 5th Avenue Boutique that is absolutely breathtaking in its own right, and at WEMPE another very impressive store. Both of these stores were filled to the brim with expensive luxury watches and decades worth of skill and knowledge. I spoke to the watchmakers at both stores and was exceedingly pleased knowing they thought my career choice was headed in the right direction.
New York has been great, and it is very sad to see it slip behind the horizon as flight 4309, leaves JFK airport. It has been a fun filled week, and full of new cultural experiences, but it is now time to head home and begin the next school week.