maanantai 8. tammikuuta 2024

Dear Readers


Dear readers of October in New York,

The past four years have been a period in time that will not be easily forgotten. The global travel came to a halt due to the pandemic and the wars and conflicts still rage around the world. The past few years, if anything, made me miss going back to New York and its unique, international atmosphere. Thus, in 2023, once planning and travelling with a group became possible again, I had the great privilege of leading a group of students through both the American Studies course and a memorable week in New York.

As always, there was a lot to see and much to experience. There were twenty-three of us this year. We were warmly received everywhere, and everyone, be it our tour guides or the staff in any of the places we visited, went out of their way to help us. A special thank you goes to the Consulate General and the Permanent Mission of Finland to the UN for welcoming us for the first time. The Foreign Ministry of Finland as well as the American Embassy in Helsinki have over the years given a lot to my American Studies students. I hope we can work together in the future as well. Furthermore, the locals in New York were even more helpful and attentive than any of us could have expected and we will cherish the encounters with them.

I am happy that you found our blog! Do enjoy the accounts written by my students. They certainly had their own favorites on our itinerary. Mine were the Metropolitan Opera, as always, with an extraordinary performance of Nabucco, &Juliet The Musical on Broadway, and our visit to Columbia University albeit in the midst of the demonstrations our guided tour was cancelled. The enthusiasm the visit to New York always evokes in my students is without a doubt the best possible thank you for me.

I would like to thank my wonderfully enthusiastic and active students as well as their exceptionally supportive families. Without them our adventure would not have been possible. Last but not least, my co-chaperone Ville deserves to be acknowledged – you made it the third time, good job!

NYC is a city to be experienced in person. It feels familiar at the same time as it can feel new and exciting - every time you visit.

Until next time!



P.s. The photos in the October in New York blog are mine unless indicated otherwise. 

Columbia University

We visited Columbia University on Tuesday morning, October 17th. Because of the protest to Israel-Hamas war, our guided tour on Thursday the 12th got cancelled. Luckily for us, we had some extra time before our flight back home on Tuesday so we could experience the campus that was basking in October sun.

Text and photos by Nelli

By Mervi

 We arrived right next to the main entrance. After the gates, we saw a beautiful street with many trees. We headed to the old library and the famous Alma Mater statue. On our way there we got stuck in traffic of Columbia students. The view of the old and the new library and the huge open area between them was breathtaking. Next to the statue, our teacher told us a little bit about Columbia University. After that we got free time to walk around the campus. In Columbia every major discipline has their own building. The campus was wonderful and a united whole, though each building was different. I liked that everywhere on the campus there were a lot of trees and other plants.  


Spectator sports in Brooklyn


NBA game Brooklyn Nets vs. Philadelphia 76ers

Photo by Mervi

On the evening of Monday October 16th our evening was to be spent at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and our goal was to see the preseason game of the Nets vs. Philadelphia 76ers.


A bit of background: After bringing up the possibility of NHL or NBA in the spring, in a vote of 20 to 1 it was decided that we would go to a game. Through 75 emails a price of 55 euro was determined, collected, and paid. Acquiring the tickets ended up taking longer than expected, as the order of names in email addresses seems to matter. Who would have known! 


When the game day came and our free time in the city ran out, we took the subway from our closest stop straight to the Barclays Center. As we were not sure of the right exit, we had to do a bit of walking to get to the arena after being shown the right way by both a local lady, who took interest in our group on the subway, and the local police. A one in a million occurrence was that we saw one Munkka student more while entering the venue. They were visiting NYC with the family.


Our seats were in the section that was almost the closest one to the entrance and filled with the loudest fans imaginable. After finding the seats some of us visited the refreshment areas and the Nets merchandise stores. For some the highlight of the night must have been that three of us got to be seen on the jumbotron, as for others it might have been getting their phone back after dropping it through the stands to the floor below. 


As we decided to get going three minutes before the end to catch the train and not be overrun by the crowds, the game had the nerve to change from 93 to 103 to 119 for the Nets and 127 for Philadelphia 76ers. Lastly, I would like to thank everybody for the opportunity to arrange this experience and for the Nets cap. 

Text and photos by Luukas


P.s. If you are thirsty for more of NYC, you can visit my blog at 

Central Park


Photo by Mervi

Central Park, the heart of New York, spans over 800 acres. The park offers the thousands of daily visitors an escape from the busy streets. The park is the home to many recreational activities ranging from sports to music performances. However, the park’s long history hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows, since many lost their homes due to the construction of the park. Nowadays, thanks to its beautiful landscapes and numerous iconic statues, the park is favored by many New Yorkers and tourists such as us.

Text and photos by Luka

We first visited Central Park on the second day of our trip when we briefly came to see the Strawberry Fields memorial dedicated to John Lennon on our guided tour. We got a better look at the park on our second to last day, October 16, when we got to walk through most of the park. We started from the west side of the park and crossed it walking by the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. Then we went to see the Guggenheim Museum located by the park. Returning to the park we took a group photo by the famous Bethesda Fountain. Lastly, we visited The Mall and Literary Walk where we ended our tour.

Photo by Luukas

American Museum of Natural History Parts I and II


Photos by Ilmari

American Museum of Natural History Part I by Ilmari


We went to the American Museum of Natural History on the 16th of October, and it was such a pleasant surprise. Even though the museum was about natural history, there were so many other things such as a huge collection of minerals and almost a whole floor for artifacts and objects from indigenous people all around the world. 

We first went to the planetarium, but I will let Wilma talk more about that and I will talk about the other ticketed exhibition we went to, Invisible Worlds. It was an exhibition about many different links and connections different lifeforms have to each other. From the very principles of life such as the fact that every single species on Earth uses DNA to store information in our cells, to bigger things such as how different species interact and communicate with each other. It was fascinating to see how many things we have in common with so many other species and to compare different species’ genes to ours and see which species was a closer relative to us. The exhibition was also visually pleasing and had many interesting items such as a preserved human brain. 

Photos by Ilmari

The whole museum was such an interesting place with so many rooms and so many artifacts to see, but if I had to recommend a short list of things one must absolutely go see in the museum, the things would be the planetarium, the dinosaur exhibition, the mineral exhibition, the blue whale room and the rooms with facts and items from indigenous people. There is even a real moai statue transported all the way from Easter Island.

The American Museum of Natural History Part II by Wilma


On Monday 16th of October we visited The AMNH. The visit started with the Space Show where the whole ceiling was a screen. The film we saw there, Worlds Beyond Earth, was about a journey through space. 

After the film we went to the Invisible Worlds exhibition where we got to know about nature’s hidden realms. The exhibition was an immersive experience about life on Earth. My favorite part about that exhibition was the last part where the whole room was a big screen and as you walked, the lights on the floor followed you. In addition, the walls were filled with diffrent things, such as animals and nature moving. Following these, we got to explore the museum by ourselves and we got to see skeletons of dinosaurs, the Easter Island statue and much more. The AMNH was a wonderful experience and I definitely would recommend everyone to visit it when in New York.

By Wilma

By Mervi

By Mervi