I recently went on my first solo adventure in New York and thought I would share. For my adventure, I decided to go exploring around Rockefeller Center. This was partially because I had been desperately trying to figure out if Saturday Night Live was doing live audiences (30 Rock is where their studio is), but also because I was slightly hoping to run into one of the cast members (specifically Pete Davidson, and Machine Gun Kelly because he was the musical guest) on their way into work. SPOILER ALERT! I didn’t run into anyone famous.

My day started by walking to the subway station a couple of streets down from my place, and taking the train to 57th street. Rockefeller Center is between 50th and 49th street and an avenue or two over from the station so it was a bit of a walk, but I didn’t mind. One of my favorite parts of New York is all the different kinds of architecture, so I’m happy to take the scenic route. That being said, it was only five degrees outside and I was freezing, but that wasn’t going to stop me from exploring New York. Once I located the massive Rockefeller Center, I circled the block a couple of times to try and find which part of the building SNL was in. I was also unsure if you were actually allowed into the building so I did a couple of laps to build up the courage to walk in. I saw other people go in and out and there were shopping stores inside, so I figured it was fine. Walking into the building, I felt very out of place in my big parka and Carhartt stocking cap. The floors were a shiny black marble with gold lining throughout it, and there were security guards around every corner guarding certain doors and elevators. Occasionally, I would see a business man come out of a door that said “employees only” and I would think to myself, “They probably know Lorne Michaels.” 

Once I explored as much of the Rockefeller Center as I could, I walked back outside into the brisk air. Not far from the Rockefeller is St. Patrick’s Cathedral, a historic church in New York City. The architecture of the cathedral is absolutely breathtaking and a lovely contrast to the modern skyscrapers that surround it. Unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed inside the building, but it was still worth seeing from the outside. Just behind the cathedral was another incredibly beautiful and gothic looking building called the Lotte New York Palace. At the time of my adventure, I had no idea what the building actually was, but I thought it was pretty so I took a picture of it. Now looking it up, I’ve discovered that it’s an incredibly luxurious hotel, so if you’re ever in New York City and have a couple thousand dollars to spend (per night), I suggest staying at the Lotte New York Palace. 

As I continued to walk, I began to feel the effects of the cold, so I looked on the map for a place that I could step inside and warm up for a bit. At the time, New York wasn’t allowing inside seating at restaurants or cafes, so obviously the next best thing to a nice coffee shop was the American Girl Doll store. I walked around the store for quite a while trying to regain feeling in my fingers, while also reliving my childhood. I got a few looks for being the only girl above the age of ten inside, but I didn’t mind. 

After the American Girl Doll store, I walked around a bit more, window shopping down Saks 5th Avenue. I ended my adventure by getting a coffee and a blondie from Magnolia Bakery before heading back to the subway station. On the train ride home, I felt slightly defeated because I didn’t see Machine Gun Kelly, but I’ve still got plenty of time to have my New York celebrity sighting.

Published by Katie Shantz

Class of 2022 Studio Art Major New York Arts Program

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