Students visit New York on Programming Board trip

by Elizabeth Smith | 1/27/14 7:40pm

While in New York on a Programming Board trip this weekend, Rebecca Burten ’16 asked a stranger in Times Square to take a picture of her and her friend, and he unexpectedly asked her to videotape his marriage proposal.

The moment surpassed the sightseeing and tourist attractions that composed the rest of the weekend, said Burten, who spent the rest of the trip shopping, dining and visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

For $60 each, 50 students traveled to New York City over the weekend to go sightseeing, visit family and enjoy a variety of cuisines. Spots for the trip filled up in under a minute.

Programming Board organizes trips to help students travel out of Hanover, Programming Board executive director Caroline Steffen ’14 said in an email. Accommodations and transportation are both included.

Approximately 50 students take advantage of Programming Board trips each term they are offered. Over the past two years, in addition to New York, the group has organized trips to Montreal and Quebec City.

Programming Board public relations chair Blaine Ponto ’14 said the group does not plan specific activities for students on these weekend trips. Some students, she said, may choose to visit family or friends while others may decide to tour the city’s monuments and museums.

Programming Board plans the trips to accommodate class schedules, leaving at 4 p.m. on Friday and returning early Sunday evening.

Top attractions students visited over the weekend included Times Square, Wall Street, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Empire State building.

While some participants said they went for a change of scenery, Gavin Huang ’14 celebrated Chinese New Year a week early with his family in Chinatown and to conduct research for his thesis. Over the weekend, Huang interviewed Chinese-Americans, including his uncle, who swam from mainland China to Hong Kong during the Cultural Revolution.

Huang is a former member of The Dartmouth Senior Staff.

Angela Noppenberger ’17 said she and her friends wanted to take advantage of their limited time in the city by visiting authentic New York sights.

“We tried to go to places that weren’t franchises, places that would be specific to New York,” she said.

She successfully hailed her first New York City cab, and said she was excited to see the 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the building that lends its name to her favorite TV show.

“Tina Fey is one of my idols, so it was awesome to see 30 Rock,” she said.

Ponto visited an old friend, a member of the Class of 2010 she met her freshman year, and used her time in New York to “eat all the things you can’t eat in Hanover,” including Ethiopian and Moroccan food.

Some participants said they enjoyed the chance to bond with classmates. Josh Alexakos ’17, for example, said he became better friends with two of his floormates who also attended the trip.

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