Day 4 [NYC] Over and Under

IN NEW YORK, IT IS EXTREMELY COMMON TO SEE EXTREMES IN EVERYTHING. A hairdo that is way too tall, skin tones that range from snow white to charcoal black, the extremely tall to the very short. With that much people, that much going on, it’s hard to only notice the averages.

*** MEDICAL ALERT ***

The two clinics that I attended today were also two separate cases of extremes. The morning ‘Pediatric Craniofacial’ clinic demonstrates how the Cornell physicians work so greatly as a team. There are only 3 patients that were in for an appointment, but at least 20 physicians are visiting them. What they do is, those pediatric patients under the category of craniofacial diseases who need multidisciplinary care, will be asked to come to these clinics where a LOT of doctors get to see them all at once. To give you an idea how a LOT is, there’s the Pediatrics, the Dentist, the Geneticists, the Plastic Surgeon, the Neurosurgeon, the Otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose and Throat), the Speech Therapist, the Rehab Medicine people and a Social Worker. The teams of people take turns to visit the patient while the patient sits in the exam room for the whole morning. After all consultations are done, everyone take a lunch conference together in discussion of the 3 patients involved. In this way, the patient does not have to make individual appointments with all those doctors, and can receive an all round advice and treatment. I find the team very focused and yet gives a lot of concern to each patient. Every detail is discussed and every opinion is tentatively heard. I never knew anyone who meets with that many doctors in one day and so I guess the patients here are very lucky.

The other clinic in the afternoon was extremely uninspiring. I was expecting a lot from the Diabetes clinic with hopes of learning something great. But, during the whole clinic, I did NOT see any patients, and did NOT discuss anything medical-wise. The only thing I learned that afternoon was about disappointments of the fellows and attendings towards the hospital, and that I guess is worldwide, as it happens everywhere. They are complaining about too much work and too little salary (sounds familiar?) and so I ran off around 4pm, not wanting to waste my time in all those negative energy.

*** END OF MEDICAL ALERT ***

WHAT I DID WAS EXTREMELY SPONTANEOUS, because I ended up in Times Square, looking around the spot where many of the movies are filmed at. Times Square is in fact an intersection of the Seventh Avenue and Broadway, and from this crazy traffic mania, evolved the never ending bright neon lights and the infamous Broadway shows which it is famous for. This small area is so bustle and noisy New Yorkers almost always try to avoid them, but visitors flock here every day, posing and taking pictures to prove that they HAVE visited New York.

There is this Information Counter at Times Square, which provides free internet access, a lot of useful brochures and information, restrooms and a place to rest your aching legs. Just across the street, there are so many tall video screens with colorful advertisements please do not try to watch while you walk, it can be fatal. The M&M’s is totally cool and creative, and it worked because I was immediately drawn to visit the M&M’s World. This place is like a world where color and chocolate rule. There are so many beautiful collectibles to choose from, even if you’re not a fan, there’s always something that’s worth your money. They have these walls of M&M’s in different colors so you can mix and match your personal favorites.

While walking around, I found these steel caged parks that you often see on television. They do really exist in New York (I noticed a lot of them later on). Suddenly, I had an out of this world experience when a horse carriage walked past in front of me; in the middle of the rush hour traffic (They obey traffic lights too). Wow, everything DO happen in New York.

I bought myself a pretzel for dinner from those little Jewish carts that you can see at every block of the street. I’ve heard of the New York pretzel but this is my first time tasting it (and this is definitely the last time). It seemed like a bargain because it is gigantic but costs only 2 dollars. However, after the first bite, I knew right after that it is too salty and too hard for me. I hastily finished it up (I don’t waste food) and went to TKTS to see if there were cheap Broadway tickets left.

For those who plan to come to New York, TKTS is heaven sent. This booth sells same day Broadway shows for discounts up to 50%-75%. If you’re in town for a short time, and haven’t decided on which show to see yet, come on over during the afternoons so that you can get unsold same day tickets. The line is long, it crosses a street and goes around the block; but it moves fairly fast and I got to the counter in about 15 minutes. I decided to watch Hairspray in the end, and got a bargain of 59 dollars for a front mezzanine seat.

Having watched Hairspray the movie for at least five times, I loved the Broadway version so much I have to hate the movie. The show is located at the Neil Simon Theatre, which is at the north end of the Times Square area which gives it a distance from the Times Square mania. There are beautiful posters out on the wall, and inside, it is has a classy old charm. Once curtains were lifted, the stage caught my eyes and I never got it back. The show was so good it was definitely worth the money.

Loved the extremely funny Hairspray, loved the extremely chaotic Times Square, loved the extremely unforgettable day I had. Now, I won’t be surprised if a dinosaur carriage showed up on the streets; if they can do horses, they can do everything.

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