Got any plans for the weekend?

We have three! For those studying at a New York English School and would like to take a break from the busy city, we will be having weekend trips to three different cities on the east coast. First up is a 2-day tour of Washington DC, our nation’s capital, on October 12th and 13th where you can see the White House, the Capitol building and many more.  Next is our 1-day tour on October 19th to Philadelphia, the second capital of the United States, where you will visit Independence National Historic Park, home of the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. Lastly, in the spirit of Halloween, we will visit the ‘Halloween Capitol of the World’ Salem in historic Boston from October 26th to 27th. You will visit haunted houses, mystery theaters, Dracula’s Castle and the Salem Witch Museum. The price you pay for the trip includes: transportation, a professional tour guide, lodging and related taxes, and gratuity (tip). If you have any questions, please come to the front desk. Take some time to explore these great destinations! By Saran Wilson

The Amish Country

One of EC’s weekend trips is to the Amish Country. In the early 18th century, many Amish and Mennonites emigrated to Pennsylvania for a variety of reasons. Today, the most traditional descendants of the Amish continue to speak Pennsylvania German, also known as Pennsylvania Dutch. However, a dialect of Swiss German predominates in some Old Order Amish communities, especially in the American state of Indiana.[4] As of 2000, over 165,000 Old Order Amish live in the United States and approximately 1500 live in Canada.[5] A 2008 study suggested their numbers have increased to 227,000,[6] and in 2010 a study suggested their population had grown by 10% in the past two years to 249,000, with increasing movement to the West.[1] Amish church membership begins with baptism, usually between the ages of 16 and 25. It is a requirement for marriage, and once a person has affiliated with the church, he or she may marry only within the faith. Because of a smaller gene pool, some groups have increased incidences of certain inheritable conditions.[7] Church districts average between 20 and 40 families, and worship services are held every other Sunday in a member’s home. The district is led by a bishop and several ministers and deacons.[8] The rules of the church, the Ordnung, must be observed by every member. These rules cover most aspects of day-to-day living, and include prohibitions or limitations on the use of power-line electricity, telephones, and automobiles, as well as regulations on clothing. Many Amish church members may not buy insurance or accept government assistance such as Social Security. As Anabaptists, Amish church members practice nonresistance and will not perform any type of military service. Members who do not conform to these expectations and who cannot be convinced to repent are excommunicated. In addition to excommunication, members may … Read more

Quincy Market in Boston

Quincy Market is a historic building near Faneuil Hall in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. It was constructed 1824–1826 and named in honor of Mayor Josiah Quincy, who organized its construction without any tax or debt. By the time Boston was incorporated as a city in 1822, downtown commercial demand grew beyond the capacity of Faneuil Hall. To provide an expansion of shop space, Quincy Market was built, as an indoor pavilion of vendor stalls. Designed by Alexander Parris, the building was built immediately east of and “behind” Faneuil Hall, which at the time sat next to the waterfront. Thus Quincy Market was at harbor’s edge at the town dock. In an early example of Boston’s tendency for territorial growth via landfill, part of the harbor was filled in with dirt to provide a plot of land for the market. The commercial growth spawned by the new marketplace led to the reconstruction or addition of six city streets. From its beginning, the Market was largely used as a produce and foodstuff shopping center, with various grocers of such goods as eggs, cheese, and bread lining its inside walls. Digging performed for expansion of the market in the late 1970s uncovered evidence of animal bones, suggesting that butchering work was done on-site. In addition, street vendors took up space outside the building in its plazas and against its outside walls. Some surviving signs of early food and supplies merchants hang today in the upstairs seating hall. The market is two stories tall, 535 feet (163 m) long, and covers 27,000 square feet (2,500 m2) of land. Its exterior is largely traditional New England granite, with red brick interior walls, and represents the first large-scale use of granite and glass in post-and-beam construction. Within it employs innovative cast iron columns and iron tension rods. The east … Read more

The Independence Hall

Independence Hall is the centerpiece of Independence National Historical Park located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, on Chestnut Street between 5th and 6th Streets. It is known primarily as the location where both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitutionwere debated and adopted. The building was completed in 1753 as the colonial legislature (later Pennsylvania State House) for the Province of Pennsylvania. It became the principal meeting place of the Second Continental Congress from 1775 to 1783 and was the site of the Constitutional Convention in the summer of 1787. The building is part of Independence National Historical Park and is listed as a World Heritage Site. Independence Hall was built between 1732 and 1753, designed by Edmund Woolley and Andrew Hamilton, and built by Woolley. Its construction was commissioned by the Pennsylvania colonial legislature which paid for construction as funds were available, so it was finished piecemeal. It was initially inhabited by the colonial government of Pennsylvania as its State House, from 1732 to 1799. The hall is a red brick building designed in the Georgian style. It consists of a central building with belltower and steeple, attached to two smaller wings via arcaded hyphens. The highest point to the tip of the steeple spire is 168 ft, 7 1/4 inches above the ground. The two wings were demolished in 1811–1812, though these have since been reconstructed. Two smaller buildings adjoin the wings of Independence Hall: Old City Hall to the east, and Congress Hall to the west. These three buildings are together on a city block known as Independence Square, along with Philosophical Hall, the original home of the American Philosophical Society. Since its construction in the mid-20th century, to the north has been Independence Mall, which includes the current home of the Liberty Bell. The … Read more

The City of Philadelphia

Philadelphia is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the county seat of Philadelphia County, with which it is coterminous. The city is located in the Northeastern United States along the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers and it lies about 80 miles (130 km) southwest of New York City. It is the fifth-most-populous city in the United States, with a 2010 U.S. Census estimated population of 1,526,006. Philadelphia is also the commercial, cultural, and educational center of the Delaware Valley, home to 6 million people and the country’s fifth-largest metropolitan area. Popular nicknames for Philadelphia are Philly and The City of Brotherly Love, the latter of which comes from the literal meaning of the city’s name in Greek “brotherly love”, compounded from philos (φίλος) “loving”, and adelphos (ἀδελφός) “brother”). Philadelphia was founded on October 27, 1682 by William Penn, who planned a city along the Delaware River to serve as a port and place for government. The city grew rapidly, and by the 1750s Philadelphia was the largest city and busiest port in the original 13 American colonies. During the American Revolution, Philadelphia played an instrumental role as a meeting place for the Founding Fathers of the United States, who signed the nation’s Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 and the Constitution on September 17, 1787. Philadelphia served as one of the nation’s many capitals during the Revolutionary War, and the city served as the temporary national capital from 1790 to 1800 while Washington, D.C. was under construction. During the 19th century, Philadelphia became a major industrial center and a railroad hub that grew from an influx of European immigrants. The city’s dominant textile industry represented 40 percent of total United States output in 1906. It became a major destination for African Americans during the Great Migration and surpassed 2 … Read more

The Allen Lambert galleria in Toronto

The Allen Lambert Galleria, sometimes described as the “crystal cathedral of commerce”, is an atrium designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava which connects Bay Street with Heritage Square. The six storey high pedestrian thoroughfare is structured by eight freestanding supports on each side of the Galleria, which branch out into parabolic shapes evoking a forest canopy or a tree-lined avenue because of the presence of building facades along the sides of the structure. The Galleria was the result of an international competition and was incorporated into the development in order to satisfy the City of Toronto’s public artrequirements. It is a frequently photographed space, and is heavily featured as a backdrop for news reports, as well as TV and film productions. The parabolic, arched roof that Santiago Calatrava created for the assembly hall of the Wohlen High School in Switzerland is generally considered to be a precursor of the vaulted, parabolic ceiling in the Galleria.

The US Capitol Building

The United States Capitol is the meeting place of the United States Congress, the legislature of the federal government of the United States. Located in Washington, D.C., it sits atop Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall. Though it has never been the geographic center of the District of Columbia, the Capitol is the origin by which both the quadrants of the District are divided and the city was planned. Officially, both the east and west sides of the Capitol are referred to as “fronts.” Historically, however, only the east front of the building was intended for the arrival of visitors and dignitaries. Prior to establishing the nation’s capital in Washington, D.C., the United States Congress and its predecessors had met in Philadelphia, New York City, and a number of other locations. In September 1774, the First Continental Congress brought together delegates from the colonies in Philadelphia, followed by theSecond Continental Congress, which met from May 1775 to March 1781. After adopting the Articles of Confederation, the Congress of the Confederation was formed and convened in Philadelphia from March 1781 until June 1783, when a mob of angry soldiers converged upon Independence Hall, demanding payment for their service during the American Revolutionary War. Congress requested that John Dickinson, the governor of Pennsylvania, call up the militiato defend Congress from attacks by the protesters. In what became known as the Pennsylvania Mutiny of 1783, Dickinson sympathized with the protesters and refused to remove them from Philadelphia. As a result, Congress was forced to flee to Princeton, New Jersey, on June 21, 1783, and met inAnnapolis, Maryland and Trenton, New Jersey before ending up in New York City. The United States Congress was established upon ratification of the United States Constitution and formally began on March 4, 1789. New … Read more

The Faneuil Hall in Boston

Faneuil Hall has served as a marketplace and a meeting hall since 1742. Funding was provided by a wealthy merchant, Peter Faneuil, for the construction and local artisan to create the grasshopper weather vane that still perches on the building’s cupola. Inspirational speeches by Samuel Adams and other patriots were given at Faneuil Hall. These oratories became the footstool for America’s desire to obtain independence from the British. Faneuil Hall was expanded in 1806 by Charles Bulfinch. When Boston became a city the use of Faneuil Hall as a government meeting place came to an end, but it was still regularly used. Today, the first floor is still used as a lively marketplace and the second floor is a meeting hall where many Boston City debates are held. The fourth floor is maintained by the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company. On November 7, 1979, Faneuil Hall was the site of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s speech declaring his candidacy for president. On November 3, 2004, Faneuil Hall was the site of Senator John Kerry’s concession speech in the 2004 presidential election.

The city of Boston

Boston, first incorporated as a town in 1630, and as a city in 1822, is one of America’s oldest cities, with a rich economic and social history. What began as a homesteading community eventually evolved into a center for social and political change. Boston has since become the economic and cultural hub of New England. The history of Boston plays a central role in the American history. In 1630, Puritan colonists from England founded the city, which quickly became the political, commercial, financial, religious, and educational center of the New England region. The American Revolution erupted in Boston, as the British retaliated harshly for the Boston Tea Party and the patriots fought back. They besieged the British in the city, with a famous battle at Bunker Hill and won theSiege of Boston, forcing the British to retreat. However, the British blockade of the port seriously damaged the economy, and the population fell by two thirds in the 1770s. The city recovered after 1800, becoming the transportation hub for the New England region with its network of railroads, and even more important, the intellectual, educational and medical center of the nation. Along with New York, Boston was the financial center of the United States in the 19th century, and was especially important in funding railroads nationwide. In the Civil War era, it was the base for many anti-slavery activities. In the 19th century the city was dominated by an elite known as the Boston Brahmins. They faced the political challenge coming from waves of Catholic immigrants. The Irish Catholics, typified by the Kennedy Family, wrested the political control of the city by 1900. The industrial foundation of the region, financed by Boston, reached its peak around 1950; thereafter thousands of textile mills and other factories were closed down. By the 21st … Read more

Niagara Falls

The Niagara Falls are the most powerful waterfalls in North America. These voluminous waterfalls are situated on the Niagara Rivers which drains Lake Erie into Lake Ontario and forms the international border between the Canadian province of Ontario and the U.S. State of New York. The falls are 17 miles (27 km) north-northwest of Buffalo, New York and 75 miles (121 km) south-southeast of Toronto, Ontario, between the twin cities of Niagara Falls, ontario, and Niagara Falls, New York. Niagara Falls is composed of two major sections, separated by Goat Island: the Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side and the American Falls on the American side. The smaller Bridal Veil Falls are also located on the American side, separated from the main falls by Luna Island. The international boundary line was originally drawn through Horseshoe Falls in 1819, but the boundary has long been in dispute due to natural erosion and construction. Niagara Falls were formed when glaciers receded at the end of the Wisconsin glaciation (the last ice age), and water from the newly formed Great Lakes carved a path through the Niagara Escarpment en route to the Atlantic Ocean. While not exceptionally high, the Niagara Falls are very wide. More than 6 million cubic feet (168,000 m3) of water falls over the crest line every minute in high flow, and almost 4 million cubic feet (110,000 m3) on average. The Niagara Falls are renowned both for their beauty and as a valuable source of hydroelectric power Managing the balance between recreational, commercial, and industrial uses has been a challenge for the stewards of the falls since the 19th century.