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I am sad; I had to say goodbye to my cousin Francoise and my new friends and it was hard. Francoise is my family and I feel as if she is my older sister so of course I’m sad having her leave, but I was sad saying goodbye to my new friends. They are such wonderful, funny and warm people, I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to meet and get to know them. I look forward to the next time that I get to go to France because not only will I stay with Francoise, but also get to see my new friends again, especially since I am an honorary member of the photography club.

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Today I met them at the Empire State Building at 9:30; they had already taken their morning pictures from the observation deck and we were all ready to start walking downtown. What a difference a day makes; yesterday was as if we were in the Everglades of Florida whereas today was bright, breezy and warm, not outrageously hot. It made walking down to the Flatiron building such an easy thing to do, as opposed to melting along the sidewalks as we did yesterday each second that we were outside. Today walking down the streets of New York felt invigorating and exciting as we looked for interesting and different images to capture with our cameras, even though mine is only a cellphone, I can still capture images.

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We walked from the Flatiron building down to Union Square and I was delighted to see the Farmer’s Market still open, I had completely forgotten that it was going to be there for them to see and that it would be a possible thing for taking great pictures, which I then took advantage of, while certain persons weren’t looking.

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At this point I was getting excited to show them my old neighborhood, my alma mater, N.Y.U and Washington Square Park. It is such a lovely area in New York City, plenty of trees and a huge fountain with plenty of small playgrounds for children to play while N.Y.U students are sitting around everywhere reading or writing. It made for some nice pictures.

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We kept walking downtown, making our way towards Soho with the final destination being Orchard Street. Why Orchard Street? We still don’t know, but it was described as a magnificent street, we didn’t quite agree, though we did spot signs indicating that it was on its way towards fulfilling that future promise of magnificence. We saw the early birds planning to cash in on the proverbial worm because the monied people are moving their way further East towards Alphabet City and Orchard Street is seeing the first steps of that push. However, we did manage to stumble on a great place for lunch; The Meatball Shop. It was an adorable little restaurant and the concept couldn’t be simpler; four meatballs are served, if on their own with a sauce of your choice for eight dollars and if you get a side dish, add another five dollars, thirteen dollars for meatballs, sauce and a side, not bad at all for New York City and the meatballs that we had were tender and moist and very flavorful as were the sauces. The sides that we chose were delicious as well, the salads were fresh, filled with great produce and the vinaigrette was bright and underscored the salad really well. It is located on Stanton Street right off Orchard Street, if ever you are in the neighborhood, be sure to pop in, it really is a great find.

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Afterwards, we headed back to the hotel to rest; during our time resting, Claudine and Marc had a generous and wonderful idea; invite the rest of us to a rooftop bar for drinks as a way to say thank you and also as a special last night of New York outing. Claudine picked the Gansevoort Hotel on 29th and Park Ave South that we walked to from Times Square. The rooftop bar at the Gansevoort was beautifully appointed with lounge chairs, low back less sofas and small tables designed for tete a tete encounters. We ordered interesting drinks and enjoyed the atmosphere and each other’s company, meaning that we spent the whole time making jokes and laughing a lot.

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Lastly after that, I walked my group back to the Empire State Building so that they can get in one more night time photography opportunity and before they went up, I said my goodbyes. I was sad, but I got all of their email addresses and phone numbers so that we can stay in touch. That will have to do for now.