New York with OLLI at Furman

New York with OLLI at Furman

I recall, Central Park in fall… At Explore Up Close, we think New York may be at its most pleasant in the fall, especially for Southern visitors. The brisk yet pleasant weather and changing foliage makes it a perfect time to explore the city by foot. Explore Up Close spent five days exploring New York’s historic neighborhoods and sites with an OLLI at Furman (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) group from Greenville, SC. The trip was born of a “New York, New York” class taught at OLLI at Furman in the spring of 2017, and our itinerary included many highlights of the class. Our group fearlessly hit the streets and the subway to take it all in!

Our first stop was Grand Central Terminal – not to be confused with Grand Central Station, the nearby post office. At Grand Central, we took in the impressive architecture and history of the Beaux Arts style train station. We also enjoyed a tour of the Morgan Library and Museum, where we marveled at the incredible collection of books, art, and striking interiors. The art lovers in the group also visited the Neue Galerie on the Upper East Side, where we saw Gustav Klimt’s “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I,” which may also be known to cinema fans from the film “Woman in Gold.” The Neue Galerie also features an impressive array of Austrian art and design work from the early 20th century.

For the outdoors lovers among us, Chumley led the group on a jaunt through Central Park to soak in the changing leaves and crisp fall air. Highlights from the park included views of the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain, the Strawberry Fields homage to John Lennon, and Belvedere Castle. For a special aerial view of the city, we crossed the East River on the Roosevelt Island Tram. With all our walking and sightseeing, we kept our energy up with an onslaught of New York delicacies – bagels, sandwiches, and Italian food, oh my!

We didn’t just stay in Manhattan. Our group braved our way through the fog across the Brooklyn Bridge, and made the journey over to Liberty and Ellis Island. We continued to learn about New York’s immigrants’ stories at the Tenement Museum on the Lower East Side. Finally, one of our favorite highlights of the trip was a night out at the award-winning Broadway show, Come From Away, which brought to life an incredible true story of hope and humanity following the 9/11 attacks. The end of the show included a rousing rendition of Gaelic-folk rock music that had us all on our feet.

Thanks to all who came and enjoyed the sites and bites with us!  Until next time, New York.