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My Favorite Places to Shop in NYC, Plus How I Almost Got Arrested During Occupy Wall Street

A couple of weeks ago me and my mom went to New York City for the day. We were just going to go to do a little lunch and a lot of shopping! It was great. My mom's supervisor rented a coach bus to take us and her coworkers from Maryland to the big city. This also happened to be the day when the Occupy Wall Street Protesters took over Times Square.

The ride up was wonderful. It was basically just me and a bunch of middle aged women watching cheesy romantic comedies with Richard Gere and eating donuts (which is pretty much how I spend every Saturday with my mom).

When we got to the city we were dropped off outside of the Ambassador Theatre (the home of Chicago the Musical) on 49th street between Broadway and 8th avenue.

Across the street was this little Italian restaurant and my mother was OBSESSED with the way it was decorated for fall. She took over 15 pictures (not kidding). One of our missions of this trip (besides eating and shopping) was to take a picture of any and all things fall related. Apparently, New York City fails at fall decorating because this was literally the ONLY sign that fall was in the air.

This is the restaurant that had the pretty fall display

So during the day we did our thing. I got this AMAZING Kensie dress that was originally $125 for only $20 at Macys! It is listed for $44 on the Kensie website. We also hit up my other favorite stores including Zara and WHO.A.U.

I got this comfy sweater at Zara. It’s my attempt at following the jewel tone trend and wearing a bright(er) color; I usually stick to black in the fall and winter. The best part was that it was only $19.90!

I also got this really cute black dress with poka dots that is very 1960s.

WHO.A.U. is this new store that is kind of like a wannabe Hollister, only they have cuter clothes! I bought this really unique looking plaid top. It even has a faux corset in the back!

Some of my other favorite stores to shop at in NYC are Uniqulo and Strawberry. Uniqulo has a lot of great affordable basics and they just opened a new location on 34th street. Strawberry has many locations throughout New York. It is a great place to buy trendy pieces at an affordable price. I don’t think I’ve ever bought something there over $30!

After shopping we went to Angelos on 57th. I don’t know why, but we always eat there, and it is always delicious. The staff is SOO friendly-the manager must of come over five times to ask us if we were enjoying our meal. And I just LOOKED at our waitress for a second and she came over to ask if we were ok.

After the amazing shopping and food we went on a walk through central park. It was almost time to leave so we decided to walk back to the Ambassador theatre, where we were going to pick up our bus to go home.

Mom and me hanging out in Central Park

We turned the corner onto Broadway and BOOM we were in the MIDDLE of the protesters in Times Square!

At first I didn’t realize what was going on because Times Square is usually always really busy, but that night there were HUNDREDS of cops and most streets were blocked off. When I realized that they were indeed the Occupy Wall Street protesters an I RAN towards them. My mother started running/screaming after me because she was afraid I was going to get shot.

But, luckily for me, I didn’t even have to run because they were marching right at us! I had never been involved in a protest before and the energy was like nothing I had ever felt. It was so exciting!

The protesters were very peaceful. They were wearing costumes and had a marching band that was playing, “When The Saints Go Marching In.” I found out later that evening that dozens of people got arrested that night. Granted I wasn’t very deep into the protest (at a certain point the streets were blocked off and you couldn’t go into the heart of Times Square where the majority of protesters were), but everyone I saw was very pleasant and peaceful.

At some point, I jumped into the middle of the street and started snapping photos (trying to be a journalist and everything). And then, I ALMOST GOT ARRESTED! Guys, It was so exciting! This real NYC Police officer yelled at me, “If you don’t get out of the street young lady I’m going to arrest you!” It was possibly the most memorable thing a guy has ever said to me. My mother had to come drag me out of the street and I didn’t get arrested, but I did get some pretty awesome (and shaky) photos. I tried to get some video too. I didn’t have my flip camera so it is not the best quality (and I was really frazzled so it's all over the place).

Police crusing by after they arrested someone-this could have been me!


Protesters in Times Square

 I took this video of the sky-there were dozens of airplanes circling all over the city. It was pretty incredible. It was shot on 49th street down the block from the theatre, we weren’t in the heart of the action, but everyone was still buzzing.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t take anymore video because the bus rolled up and I had to go home. In that one moment on Oct. 15, 2011, I felt like I was on top of the world. The Occupy Wall Street protesters taking over Times Square was the biggest news story that weekend-and I was THERE! I went to New York to buy a new dress and I ended up making history with the Occupy Wall Street guys. I think that is better than any dress money could buy.

Alexandra (Ali) Pannoni is a senior at Towson University majoring in journalism with a minor in theatre. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of Her Campus Towson. As the Campus Celebrity columnist for Her Campus Towson, Ali has interviewed Country Music Superstar Chuck Wicks and Major League Baseball Player Casper Wells. In Spring 2012 she was an editorial intern with Baltimore magazine. Currently she is an intern for the nationally syndicated radio morning show, The Kane Show, heard locally on HOT 99.5 in Washington D.C. and Z104.3 in Baltimore.  You can view some of her published work for Baltimore magazine on her website. She loves reading magazines, (attempting) to run, and hanging out with friends and family. 
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