Eight students from the Mount’s Honors Program took a trip to New York City March 16-18, led by Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Strauss. The trip gave students the opportunity to explore the city through the themes of migration, faith and the global age.
The students were hosted at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral by Monsignor Donald Sakano. Sakano hopes to build a relationship between his parish and the Mount, as the Mount’s founder, Father John DuBois served as a bishop there and is buried in front of the Cathedral. Seminary graduates Archbishop John Joseph Hughes and Archbishop John McCloskey also worked at the Cathedral.
The theme of the first day was migration, which allowed students to reflect on how immigrants transformed and built New York City. Their first excursion was a Big Onion Multiethnic Eating and Walking Tour. Students explored the Lower East Side of Manhattan and learned about the different ethnic neighborhoods found there, such as the Jewish community, Chinatown and Little Italy. Along the way, students sampled foods such as Jewish bialys and pickles, Mongolian jerky, Chinese tofu, fresh Italian mozzarella and cannolis.
After the walking tour, the group headed to the Tenement Museum. The Tenement Museum has restored apartments and businesses of the past residents and merchants that lived and worked at 97 Orchard St. (where the museum is located). Students either attended the Sweatshop Workers tour, where they learned about the Levine family’s garment workshop at the turn of the 20th century, or the Irish Outsiders tour, where they learned about the Moore family’s struggle against prejudice and celebration of their Irish identity in the 1860s.
The day ended with dinner at Tir Na Nog, where the students were able to watch Mount Basketball take on Villanova. This also became an opportunity to meet with some alumni from the classes of ’70, ’81 and ’07.
The second day of the trip centered on faith. Students had the opportunity to begin their day by attending Mass at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral. After Mass, they walked in the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade, where they marched down Fifth Avenue. They joined other Old St. Patrick’s parishioners to represent the connection between the Cathedral and Mount St. Mary’s. After the parade finished, students returned to the St. Patrick’s Youth Center for a “Sober St. Patrick’s Day Party.” The day ended with a leisure opportunity for students to explore the city.
The theme of the final day was “A Global Age.” Students visited the 9/11 Memorial and Museum to learn more about the recent history of New York City, and how terrorism has affected the entire country. Throughout the museum, they were able to see remaining artifacts and learn more about the realities of that horrific day.
After touring the museum, students walked through the area to visit St. Peter’s Catholic Church, New York City Hall and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. They finished their trip with lunch at Hudson Eats before heading back to the Mount.
This trip was a great opportunity to experience New York City’s history and culture, both past and present.
“Originally, I went on this trip as a part of a class. I left with new experiences, new friendships, new knowledge and a newly found craving for pickled pineapples,” says sophomore Kayla Pahl.
The Strausses hope to host this trip again next year, potentially during the fall semester.
Photo courtesy of Cassie Mann