Monday, May 9, 2011

NYC, Part 6

Woke up in the old fancy hotel; I took a shower and got ready for the day. I headed out the door confidently, and started walking towards Times Square. I realized after a few blocks that I was headed in the wrong direction, towards the UN. So I asked a construction worker where to go. He simply told me to turn around and walk the other way.

On my way, I found a Starbucks on the way, and a gorgeous park across the street. I got a frappucino, pumpkin bread, and a croissant for breakfast, and then crossed the street to Bryant Park, where I got a free copy of the New York Times. I sat and ate, read and people-watched. There was a beautiful fountain, ping pong and chess tables, and a coffee cart.

Once I finished eating, I headed towards Times Square. I stopped at Urban Outfitters on 5th Avenue and bought some much-needed eyeliner and a French book. I had forgotten just how big Times Square is. I went to the Disney Store, Forever 21 (I bought a t-shirt, and some makeup brushes), took pictures of some theatres, and then went to the Harry Potter Exhibition!

As I was walking towards the door, a school tour exited. As I walked towards the ticket takers, another school group was leaving. I asked the girl if there were any more tours in there, and she said "No, you have great timing!"

I walked into an almost empty room, where there was an English woman standing there, with a stool and the Sorting hat! She asked me if I wanted to be Sorted. OF COURSE I DID. So I got to sit on the stool, and she asked me what house was my favorite.

"Well, I really like Gryffindor, but I feel like I belong in Hufflepuff." She smiled and placed the hat on my head. It didn't slip down like it did on Neville Longbottom. Then the hat said "Hmm, there's bravery in you, and a willingness to help others...a kind heart too...better be...GRYFFINDOR!!"

I squealed, and the woman started clapping. "Lovely, just lovely!" she said. I was then taken to another room, where a short film played of clips from the movies, and after that, steam filled the room and the actual Hogwarts Express lit up. It was awesome.

I was then directed into another room...the rest of the review was taken from here. They have much better memories than I did. It's behind the cut, but here are 2 illegal pictures I took:
 Harry's Invisibility Cloak, and his bed.
Lockhart's test from the Chamber of Secrets.

I got to toss a Quaffle into the Quidditch hoops, and scored 40 points for Gryffindor! I also pulled a Mandrake which squealed terribly, and sat in Hagrid's chair. My feet didn't touch the ground, of course.

The rest of the review can be found behind the cut.

To come later: Checking into the Youth Hostel, eating at a real NYC deli, and watching 'How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying' (AMAZING!)

We passed by a wall of Hogwarts portraits (some animated), including the Fat Lady. In the Common Room hung the Common Room rules, and the bulletin board with student posts. We saw school uniforms and casual attire from specific films. Of the wands, I most enjoyed Ron’s Spellotaped wand and Hermione’s beautiful vine-wrapped wand. It was fun to see wizard money (Galleons, Sickles, Knuts), Honeyduke’s candy and Zonko products. The Dumbledore’s Army signup roster with handwritten names somehow made the students’ courage even more real. There was also the Evening Prophet from CoS (“Flying Ford Anglia Mystifies Muggles”), and a Quibbler from OotP (“How Far Will Fudge Go to Gain Gringotts?”).

In Harry Potter’s trunk, it was touching to see Harry’s glasses, his green-inked Hogwarts acceptance letter with that familiar envelope, and the closed photo album of his parents.There was also Romilda Vane’s red heart candy box.

In the dorm set of Harry’s and Ron’s tower section with their beds and dressers, including Harry's Invisibilty cloak.

Personal items included Quidditch magazines, Ron’s knitted top blanket, and the boys’ clothing, from Prisoner of Azkaban. There was also the Triwizard Golden Egg, taken from the 4th book, second task.

In the next room, it was Hogwarts teachers classrooms. The first as potions, Snape and Slughorn. Snape's robes hung beside Slughorn’s before numerous glass jars filled with strange potion-making ingredients, and his wand and other effects were in one of the museum boxes, including the open Half-Blood Prince's potion book, opened to Polyjuice Potion.

Lupin’s coarse-cloth vest and robes were on a mannequin not far from Snape’s. Beyond his, Gilderoy Lockhart had an impressive display, including a large self-portrait of a self-portrait, one of the first quizzes from his DADA class, and numerous copies of the photograph of him laughing, reclining on a flying broomstick.
 In the greenhouse, I pulled a baby Mandrake, just for the fun of it. That thing has a horrible squeal. I would have appreciated the pink fluffy earmuffs.

Trelawney’s classroom featured a crystal ball, and Harry’s teacup with the Grim, shining wetly exactly as it does in the film.

Defense Against the Dark Arts (Lockhart, Lupin, Umbridge)

Gilderoy Lockhart:There were his clothes, promotional photos, lavender envelopes, and published works including Travel with Trolls. There was a Cornish Pixie.

Remus Lupin: Lupin’s gramophone records were a revelation. The labels on each were detailed right down to the record company name, Spello-Fonix.  I think my favorite Lupin classroom things were Parvati’s Riddikulus jack-in-the-box, and the big Boggart wardrobe.

Jenna: Umbridge’s office was incredibly pink. Her coatdress is super pink, and her wand, like her, is thick and stubby-looking. Seeing the table where Harry wrote lines (including the detention quill, inkpot and the famous document itself) was chilling. Umbridge’s old outdated textbook, Dark Arts Defense, Basics for Beginners, with its old-fashioned European art of two children and black cats, shows the children reading the book.

Robes, broomsticks, the Snitch with its long wings, and Quaffles that you could actually pick up and throw through three nearby hoops made for a fun experience. I scored 40 points for Gryffindor! They also had Oliver Wood's Captain robes! The filmmakers went to town on the Quidditch stuff—both Hogwarts and World Cup, everything you saw in the films down to the scarves, binoculars, periodicals, award cups, printed tickets, and Malfoy's, Diggory's and Wood's robes. There was also Harry’s Nimbus 2000 and Draco’s Nimbus 2001.

Hagrid’s Hut
I walked through Hagrid’s Hut, and it was one of my favorite sets, because I got to sit in Hagrid’s chair. There was the Monster Book of Monsters, too, unfortunately not snapping, and Hagrid’s pumpkins.

The Forbidden Forest
Buckbeak the hippogriff stood nearby, and I bowed to him. He didn't bow back. At the edge of the Dark Forces exhibit, Bane and Magorian stood just as watchful. There was the scary full-sized Hungarian Horntail dragon head scaled to the size of the digital creature, a baby Thestral, and an Acromantula, though not Aragog.

Dark Forces
The Hogwarts High Inquisitor’s decrees hung on a wall between the Dark Forces and the Great Hall. I found it infuriating just to look at them. The full size angel of death statue in the dark graveyard, with dramatic lighting looked really creepy. Death Eater costumes with the awful Klan-like hats and skull masks. Voldemort’s robes and his bony-looking wand; Bella’s prison uniform, Malfoy robes, Quirrell’s turban; two giant chess pieces from the first book. Riddle’s open stabbed diary. There was Kreacher. And the Petrified Colin Creevy, like a nightmare wax museum piece. There were also Horcruxes; Hufflepuff's cup, Slytherin's locket, and Riddle's diary.

Great Hall
There were a few floating candles, the Yule ball wear, and Dumbledore’s robes–some of them Richard Harris’, some Michael Gambon’s. There was Dobby, and Fawkes on his stand. There were the GoF tournament entry slips, the glowing Tri-Wizard Cup, Fleur’s and Viktor’s entry costumes, and Rita Skeeter’s Quick Quote quill and notebooks. Also on display was Sirius Black’s Grimmauld Place velvet-jacketed costume. There were O.W.L. exam papers, and several of a student study aid series, “CRAM IT! How to Soar on Your O.W.L.s,” each featuring a different subject; Ministry of Magic flying airplane memos (seen in the elevator in OotP); and a Yule Ball section including the Trio’s (and Cedric’s, Cho’s and Viktor’s) dress robes. Ron’s dress robe looks even more hideous than the film, and seemed to reek of dust and mothballs. McGonagall’s tucked green dress robes were beautiful, as were Snape’s and Dumbledore’s. Capping it all off was the fabled Elder Wand.

Here's EW's review

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