FNN Visits The City of Lights

Video and Story FNN Summer Enrichment Program. Edited by Sy'Quan Clark. 

On July 17th, 2015, the FNN Summer Collegiate News Team ventured to the City of Lights. It was a unbelievable visiting Rockefeller Center, Times Square, fancy restaurants, high end stores and interviewing the people of the city. You can read our creative journals below and and watch our video to find out what happened during our wonderful trip to New York.  

First let me start off at the end of the trip...Once we all left New York City, I was sad. I didn’t want to leave because it’s so beautiful there. The lights and the people are so amazing and the buildings are so huge and tall. Okay, I’m finally ready to tell the whole story about my amazing field trip to New York City.

We finally got to see the Empire State Building. I was a little amazed. I just had to pull out my phone and snap a picture of it. When we all made it to Times Square, I saw the bright lights of the buildings and the beautiful people walking around the streets of New York City. I was so ready to get off the bus and snap pictures. I interviewed people and went shopping, which I also love to do. When we got off the bus, we all split up and got ready to do interviews. Our first interview was so good that we just had to do another interview. The people there were nice in my eyes, but some of them didn’t really pay attention to us. So we just all decided to go on with our plans. The interviews went by fast, so we had more time to make our next stop which involved shopping. We made our first stop at the amazing beautiful M.A.C. lipstick store which was so big and full of makeup—a girl’s best friend just like diamonds. I wanted to get lipstick but I decided not to, so I would have enough money for other things from other stores. Next stop...Forever 21, where we did more shopping.  
    We actually tired ourselves out. We were all so hungry and ready to eat lunch. Yes, it took us time to find our pizza place because everybody was so confused about where to go. We finally made it to the pizza place. I bought two slices of pepperoni square pizzas and a small cup of Coke. The pizza was okay. I didn’t really like it but I ate it anyway because I payed for it. A couple of hours flew by and we were ready to go to the “TOP OF THE ROCK” which is the tallest building I ever saw. I was so nervous but once we made it to the top I wasn’t nervous anymore and I got through my interview. I  snapped pictures and took selfies of myself on the Top Of The Rock.
    The last stop was dinner. We got to the restaurant which was called Bourbon Street Grill. It was something. It was beautiful with candles lit on the table which I liked. Once we left the restaurant, I had some good looking nachos. They looked so delicious. Finally, we all went back to the bus and I was so ready to go to sleep.  The New York experience was the best experience I ever had in my life and hopefully I will experience others just like this one. In my book full of life experience memories, this will always be the BEST EXPERIENCE EVER!  THANKS MS. Merritt FOR EVERYTHING.  
-Jasmine Edwards, 11th grade, Friendship Collegiate Academy.

My New York experience was great. As soon as I got to the city, I was amazed by the buildings and the culture. I was astonished by all the beautiful women I saw. As soon as I got off the bus it seemed like I could smell the city. When I walked to Times Square, I expected a lot of people moving about doing their day-to-day activities. I was still surprised by how many people I saw. Every time I tried to walk across the street there were many obstacles. When my fellow FNN reporters started interviewing people in the middle of Times Square I already knew what my job was. I took pictures of New York. As I took pictures of the majestic buildings, I was astonished by the huge buildings I saw. After I was done taking pictures, we went to Bravo's Pizza. I didn't eat the food, but the group said the pizza was real good. After Bravo’s Pizza, we went to the Top of the Rock on top of a majestic building called Rockefeller Center. When we reached the top, I felt like I could see everything from The Top of the Rock. I took pictures of the surroundings and the neighboring building. After that we went to the Rockefeller Center stores which were very nice and tourist-friendly. After the Top of the Rock, my group and I went to Bourbon Street Grille where I had a delicious Triple-B-Burger with bacon and cheese and french fries which I really enjoyed. I feel as though I had a great New York experience. I enjoyed the city and all of the good surroundings.   
- Richard Okpala is a 2015 graduate of Friendship Collegiate Academy.

I arrived at Collegiate at 5:30 a.m. We left at 6:30 a.m. We stopped in Delaware for a break and the people were so rude. No one said excuse me. When we arrived in New York at 11 am, we started out doing our videos and they were great.  A lot of people volunteered and most people were just interested and watched. After we did all of our interviews, we started to walk around and take pictures.  Then we went to this little souvenir store. We took pictures of some of us at food carts and some with Broadway actors. Then we went shopping at a couple of places like M.A.C. where I bought two different kinds of lipsticks, as well as H&M and Forever 21 where I bought a cup with a straw phone case. Before that, while we were walking we saw these really tall buildings and all the poster boards and the huge TV screens. We then went to a place called Bravo Pizza and the pizza was so terrible and thin. After we left the pizza place we went into Zara, a clothing store, and did more sightseeing. After coming from Zara, we went to a place called “The Top Of The Rock” and it was 850 feet high! Everyone was so scared to go up so high but I was just so ready to get up there and see how it was. When we got all the way to the top of the building it was so beautiful I almost cried. You could almost see all of New York. I saw huge buildings, The Empire State Building, a whole bunch of homes and large bodies of water. I saw food places and just a lot of nature. New York was so beautiful and amazing. After we left “The Top Of The Rock” we went to a store called “Top Shop” where you can create your own iPhone cases for iphone 5s and 6s. You could also make shirts, crop shirts, leggings and socks. Finally I bought two more phone cases from a little street cart and we took a long walk down to a restaurant called “ Bourbon Street Bar and Grill” where we ordered our dinner but we couldn’t stay and eat so we had to get to-go boxes. We walked back to Times Square to get on our bus and we headed back to DC. On our way back to DC, we stopped in Delaware again but this time we went to a different place. I bought a Starbucks that had four shots of espresso in it and some Auntie Anne’s cinnamon sugar pretzel nuggets. After we left the shopping center, we headed back to DC and had so much fun on the bus.  We arrived at Collegiate at 11:30 p.m.  All in all, New York was the best experience/field trip in my life and it was so fun and beautiful. I would go back to New York if I could have the same amazing experience.  
- Janiah Cloutterbuck, junior, Friendship Collegiate Academy.

My New York experience was really something to remember. This experience was just about as good as my experience on the college tour. New York, in my opinion, felt like home but a little better. The ride to New York was peaceful, well at least until my peers started drinking coffee. I enjoyed the time spent in New York City’s Times Square. The time spent in New York gave me time to clear my mind of all the problems I had back home in Washington DC. New York City is filled with all types of stores that best fit your character. There are stores for everyone there. New York is like a big shopping district that fits everyone’s personality when it comes to style. There were stores like Guitar Center, Forever21 and M.A.C. The time I spent in New York was actually really amazing and interesting. I enjoyed the walking, and I really liked all the stores we visited but I would have liked to visit the Guitar Center. The people in New York City are so kind, well at least the ones we interviewed. The food was great as well. For lunch I really didn’t eat anything because of what I ate on the bus before we left that morning. For dinner, we went to a place by the name of Bourbon Street Grille and it was fantastic. It felt as if you were in a bar. The food smelled great. The environment made you feel like you were at home. The meal I had was a turkey burger well-done with fries. We couldn’t eat in the place because we had to go back to our bus but when we started, eating the first bite felt like….. well words can’t even begin to describe how good it tasted. In my opinion it felt as if I could die happy. That’s how good it was. The burger tasted a little sweet but still had the feeling of a regular burger and the fries were just a out of this world.    
- David Lucas is a 2015 graduate of Friendship Collegiate Academy.

Skipping forward to when we got on the bus everyone was there except for Simone and James. When Simone arrived it was at 6:05 and she walked to the bus angry with a scarf around her head. Once everyone was on the bus I gave Sy`Quan my phone so he could calm down because everyone on the bus was loud and yelling. I was talking to the others about the outside surroundings and celebrities. I was so happy when we got to the rest stop. I went to Starbucks and ordered a small caramel frappacino. The cashier asked where I was from because I had an accent. I told her D.C. and she said she could tell. Then, I moved to the bottom of the counter and waited for my drink. The lady gave me the wrong thing and I had her correct my order.
We later arrived in New York and Ms. Merritt split us up into groups. My group started their interviews. I recorded the group's first five interviews but we ended up doing more than five. Once we were done with those interviews the girls went to M.A.C. and the boys stood outside while Marcel and I went to Forever 21. About 10 minutes later everyone came into Forever 21 and we then left from there five minutes later to eat. The group walked about 10 blocks to a pizza place called Bravo’s Pizza where I got two slices—one cheese and the other pepperoni. The cheese was greasy and not edible at all but the pepperoni was great and tasted like herbs. Five other people went to McDonald’s and then came where we were and talked about how we were eating nasty food. We proceeded to clean our mess and walked across the street to Sephora, then to another clothing store.
    I was scared to go the the Top of the Rock. We made our way there and went inside. But when I got to the top, it was a beautiful scene that left me needing air because we were so high up. The worst part came next, when we walked all through Times Square looking for the restaurant for dinner. Everyone was yelling at Sy`Quan except for Marcel, Angenique, and me. Sometime later we came to the restaurant and waited for Ms. Merritt to come. We had to go and order our food to-go because the bus was going to pick us up soon. It took us awhile to find the bus, but when we did everyone got on and started to eat like no tomorrow. After we stopped at the rest stop, I was knocked out until we arrived at Collegiate.  
- Savannah Matthews, Friendship Collegiate Academy.

First off, what could I say about New York? Well when you enter New York, you flip as you see the Empire State Building standing as strong as the United States Army and looking as beautiful as a star twinkling in the night—a star that you yourself can’t seem to reach. But back to reality. When I stepped off the bus the loud noises in New York hit my ears—all noises hitting me at once. It was beautiful and new. We all stood on the sidewalk waiting for the directions from Ms. Merritt and she said our teacher for the day was Mr. Womack so we took off to Times Square to start our intro and interviews. After Mr. Womack and Sy’Quan set up the equipment, Sy’Quan handed the mic to me and I’m, like, “Here I go. It’s now or never.” I went to met this pretty girl in New York who said she would do an interview with me. We did an interview and the questions I asked were perfect but Sy`Quan and Mr Womack told me my voice was too low. So I took that into consideration for my next interview. Then I found another girl to interview and she was pretty nice. During our interview she told me that she was visiting New York for her 16th birthday celebration with her family and I thought that was interesting and a good idea.                                                                                                                     As we moved on from Times Square to H&M, my eyes captured the


sight of M.A.C. cosmetics and something inside of me lit up. I entered in the store first and it looked a little more up to par than some M.A.C.s in D.C. I tried on smoky purple, but I ended up not buying anything. When we exited the store, I saw a gift shop that had stamps of New York...10 for a dollar...and I bought ten stamps for myself and others in my family. When we entered H&M, I was impressed that they had so many levels. Savannah, Simone and I entered the second level to look around for shirts for twin day and we came upon some $7 shirts. We all tried to get the same shirt but they didn’t have all our sizes, But they had my size, so I bought that shirt. Then we went to Forever 21. I wanted a cardigan but I couldn’t find them. Sy’Quan told me we had to leave. So we went to the Top of the Rock and did our outro. Next, we walked all the way to the restaurant. But we had to wait for Ms. Merritt. As we sat and waited, we look over the videos we recorded and realized that our videos had no audio so Simone and Jasmine re-did the intro and try to do at least one interview. And we also did our outro over again. After doing our videos over, we got dinner-to-go and ate on the bus on our way home. 
-Tyjai Robinson, Friendship Collegiate Academy.  

I almost missed the bus for the trip to New York City. Janiah and Jasmine (BFFs) were being good friends and called me so I wouldn’t miss the bus to New York and then I finally made it. Soon as Ms. Merritt  made a count of how many kids were on the bus, we took off. I sat in front of two of my favorite friends, Janiah and Jasmine (BFF).  After two hours we made it to the Delaware Welcome Center where they had Cinnabon, Popeyes, Burger King, StarBucks etc. We got off in Times Square. We were happy that we were in New York. The first thing we did was our interviews. I did my interview and I was nervous, but I did really good my first time. Then, after more than five interviews, we went shopping at H&M, Forever 21 and TopShop. Half of the group went to Bravo’s Pizza. Simone, Marcel, Angelique and I went to McDonald’s because Bravo’s Pizza was horrible. After we had our lunch we walked to Top Of The Rock. It was a long walk. We finally got there and it was like, ”Ugh”. I had to take some deep breaths before I went up to the top. We had to wait to get our tickets because they didn’t have our stuff on time. Finally, we got our stuff after 20 minutes and got on an elevator. It was very fast and most of us were scared of the ride. I wasn’t scared of the ride. I enjoyed it, but my friends were scared and it was hilarious. The Top of the Rock is 850 feet high in the sky. After we did our interviews, we did our last video on Top Of The Rock. Then we did some shopping again. We went to TopShop where you make your own shirts, leggings and phone cases. After that, we went out to Bourbon Street Bar & Grill for dinner. I had some Bourbon Chicken and it was really good. My best friend, Jasmine had some nachos and Janiah had chicken fingers. After dinner we got on the bus and that was the end of New York City.  
- James White, 11 grade, Friendship Collegiate Academy.

Friday, I went to New York. It was amazing other than the fact that people complained a lot, which was annoying. The New York trip was an experience to remember. I still can’t believe that I was in Times Square. It was my first time in that part of New York. The lights and the signs were amazing and I would love to go back. My experience there couldn’t be better. I have never loved one place so much that I wished I would never leave.
    Being in New York is not about the money and stuff. It is about your experience and how you show people there who you are and what you are made of. The food there was awesome. New York is very famous for its pizza. Sometime in the future I would love to go back. Next time I would really love to see more sights. I had such an amazing time. I would not trade that trip for anything else.There was a lot to discover in New York and so much to do. I don't know what I would do with myself if I ever got lost in New York. 
- Sharissa Simpson, Friendship Collegiate Academy.

When we got to Times Square, our two groups, Summer Enrichment and Summer Bridge split up and each went with our chaperones. We set up near the red steps.The red steps are also known as TKTS and it is a ticket booth that sells tickets for shows, music and dance events. We shot interviews about people’s experience in New York City and how they like New York so far. After we shot like seven interviews, we started to shop. We went to M.A.C., Zara, H&M and Forever 21. Some people went into the gift shop. We didn’t even go to the places we wanted to go because our chaperone, Mr. Womack was not cooperating well with the students. He didn’t even listen to what we wanted to do. He did what he wanted to do. Then we went to lunch, I was upset because he was listening to Sy`Quan on where everyone was going to eat. A couple of students and I didn’t want to eat there so we went to the McDonald’s that was next door. I ordered a sweet tea, McChicken and french fries.  We left there and went to the Top of the Rock to do the rest of our interviews and our outro so we could go to dinner. Some of the students were complaining about their feet and stomach hurting because they didn’t get to digest their food. Then we walked all over the world. We finished early. So we sat and waited for Ms. Merritt to come to the place where we were going to meet for dinner at Bourbon Street Bar and Grill. I ordered buffalo wings and french fries with honey mustard sauce. We didn’t have enough time to sit down and eat. But other then that I had a wonderful time. I really loved the food. I would suggest it for people who have never been there and first timers to New York.    
- Simone Wimbush, 11th grade, Friendship Collegiate Academy.

In one motion without washing anything, bag already packed, and not telling my mother good bye, I leave for my new adventure to the Big Apple. After spending six hours on the bus, we finally stopped in Times Square.  Ms. Merritt split us up and gave us our orders. It was pretty cool to be left with this responsibility.  We were finally being treated like adults. My job was to, interview people  and take pictures. Simone and Jasmine did the intro. While they were doing that, Tyjai and I found people to interview. Savannah and Janiah were in control of the camera and directed the reporters. Everybody else took pictures and b-roll. We found some really interesting people from the city, from different countries, and all over the US. After we got finished reporting, we had an amazing lunch at Bravo Pizzas. Even though everybody hated the place, I loved the pizza. After we ate, we did a few more interviews and finally we shopped. I got a nice shirt from Yaze and went to The Top of the Rock. I loved that it was a really good experience and we took really nice pictures and video’s. After that, we went to Bourbon Street Bar and Grill and I had the best burger in the history of anything. It was a really good experience and I would love to go back to the NYC.  -Sy`Quan Clark, junior, Friendship Collegiate Academy.

July 17, 2015. The Friendship News Network, Collegiate bureau went to New York City, specifically Times Square. Our charter bus departed from Friendship Collegiate Academy at 6:24 am. Our four hour journey to New York was great with amazing sights as we passed through Baltimore and the Ravens and Orioles Stadiums to the JFK Highway that took us into Delaware, from there we stopped at the Delaware Welcome Center at 8:24 which was a nice, gorgeous place inside and out. As we approached New York, we started to see giant skyscrapers in the distance. We went through the Lincoln Tunnel and on the right side was a baseball stadium near the entrance of the tunnel. Once in the tunnel New York traffic hit us immediately. We got to New York at 10:06. Our ten minute ride to Times Square ended up becoming a twenty-seven minute ride to Times Square because we got off the bus at 10:33 am. Once off the bus I started taking pictures immediately as we were surrounded by big buildings. From there my group walked to Times Square where it is so bright even with the sunlight because of the many massive flat screen televisions. In Times Square they have parts blocked off from cars and NYPD was everywhere. There were stores everywhere in Times Square—H&M, American Eagle, Olive Garden, hot dog stands, a McDonald’s, a Walgreens, a Disney store, a military recruiting post, and the NYPD small building right there. I took plenty of pictures of Times Square as well as a lot of other people. At each corner of Times Square there were subway station entrances and newsstands. From here my group went to a whole bunch of stores. I would step out and walk off to take pictures of many different things. At one o’clock, we headed to lunch where we ended up in this cramped pizza place that three flies called home. From there we went to another store, then to 30 Rockefeller Plaza. In front was a restaurant, a big golden statue and all the flags from around the world going around the sides. Down the street was Radio City Music Hall, the same hall that was the home of the NFL Draft for decades. We entered the Rockefeller Plaza from a side entrance and from it was only up, also known as the “Top of the Rock”. We went up to the 67th floor of the building on an elevator that took only fourteen seconds to reach the top and had animations on the ceiling of the elevator from NBC. At the top we could see over the city of New York. In the distance was a big river and nice greenery. After coming down from the top we went to a gift shop where I bought a shirt with the New York Subway System on it for $24.95. Afterwards, we went to more stores and a restaurant where we met up with the other group of FNN members. The place was called, Bourbon Street Bar and Grill. As we waited for them, the TMZ tour bus passed and I wanted to take a picture but my phone died. At Bourbon Street Bar and Grill I got the “Triple-B Burger” with a side of fries. We originally planned to eat there but we had to hurry up and go, so we got to-go orders. On the bus, I ate the burger which was amazing and so were the fries. The burger had a sweet, tangy sauce. I want to say is a type of barbecue sauce, and some type of spicy sauce on it as well. It had a beef patty that weighed more than a quarter pound, sliced sausages, and onions. As we left New York, it was after 7:40 pm and I had some snacks as we approached Delaware again after nine o’clock. I felt good when I got off the bus after what was an amazing trip in which I ended up taking about 700 pictures—literally it was just over 680. After this experience, I would like to go back up to New York City again. -Isaiah Lipscombe, tenth grade, Friendship Collegiate Academy.