Hello there, dear readers!
New York is an amazing place.
In New York, there’s always something to do, somewhere to eat, and too many tall buildings to count. Amid hundreds of thousands of people, are actors, musicians, writers, poets, and fresh fantastic minds. One of these incredible minds is Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of the musical Hamilton: An American Musical.
Last year, in October, my family and I got to go to New York. We got to see one of the most talked about musicals of the year: Hamilton. When my sister texted me that we had tickets, I told her, “No. Mom said…” then texted my mom to see if this was true. Mom confirmed that yes, we had tickets. I couldn’t believe it–I was going to fly on a plane and see Hamilton!
I’d never been on a plane before, but wow, was it fun! I was a little nervous once we were actually taking off, but our flight was smooth. It was cool to look down and see the ground receding. I felt safe up in the air, too. There were really cool clouds in the sky, too. They sometimes looked kind of like cotton candy. I’m totally up for flying somewhere if I get the chance.
While my family and I spent only three or four days in NYC, it was a whirlwind full of adventure. We did sightseeing, we ate out, and we took a bus tour that literally took two hours because of the tight, move-an-inch-then stop traffic. We didn’t get to see Ellis Island, much to my dad’s upset, but we did see the Statue of Liberty. We stayed for over an hour at Stardust, a restaurant filled with talented rising singing waiters and waitresses. The memorial at Ground Zero made me realize just how large the Trade Towers really were; I liked how each name was carefully carved out and inlaid so that you could touch the names. The memorial was quiet and solemn. White roses were laid atop (or in) a specific name, which was touching and moving. Because we didn’t have enough time, we didn’t get to go into the 9/11 museum–the lines were also too long for us to wait.
Central Park was refreshing after all the blocks of concrete. We only saw a small portion of it, but the park is gorgeous. I forgot about the statue honoring Balto, so we didn’t find him.
The day we went to see Hamilton, I was so excited. Abbie and I took pictures, beaming. I probably squealed as we approached the Richard Roger’s theater. We stood in line, and patiently awaited what we’d all been dreaming of for months.
The musical itself was flawless. I’m not kidding. There were absolutely no technical flaws whatsoever, the props changes were smooth as glass, and the stage was adjusted perfectly. In the center of the stage, there was a rotating circle that was used effectively–particularly during the duels. The actors were on spot with their lines, the music, and the emotional tone of the play. I actually cried during the two songs that move me so much: “It’s Quiet Uptown” and “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story.”
Hamilton was quick, too. The two hours and thirty minutes in the theater felt like twenty minutes, even with intermission. It was gripping, proving that history is in fact the sheer opposite of boring. I laughed, cheered, and we all gave the cast and crew a standing ovation.
Reflecting on the musical, I am filled with questions: What if Hamilton had decided to listen to Aaron Burr’s advice (“talk less, smile more”)? What if he’d been in charge of the state department, instead of the treasury? What could have been if he hadn’t been killed in his duel with Burr? These questions are ignited by my interest in Hamilton’s life, and the gifts he gave us while he was alive.
The life and legacy of Alexander Hamilton as told by Lin-Manuel proves to all of us that history is important. What our politicians, and what ordinary members of society, do has a lasting impact on our communities and our country. Hamilton, with its rich cast–many of whom are people of color–also reminds us that immigration is an important factor in our American society. If “immigrants. We get the job done!” is true–which I truly believe–why should we consider keeping people who want to come to our country out? With a modern cast, these issues become modern. They become relevant. Hamilton reminds us that our history is current, and always present in our daily lives.
I can only say that upon finding Alexander’s grave that I was filled with awe and respect for this intelligent and hard-working man.
Thank you, Alexander, for all you’ve done for this country. America continues to sing for you.