by Manuela Hiches
|Going as a child is totally different than going to this now.|
Although I had gone to the circus before as a child, I hadn’t gone in years which was why I was so excited to relive my childhood. Luckily, I was able to win a free ticket through Urban New York, which I totally recommend everyone sign up for. Not only is it a great way to meet new people and take a study break, its also a good way to get around the city. Urban New York allowed me to see the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, The Greatest Show on Earth, at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn.
First and foremost, you are immediately bombarded with the sight of cotton candy, popcorn, and a bunch of glowing and spinning gadgets the second you walk in. I would have spent all of my money there if I hadn’t restrained myself! Aside from that, there were a bunch of little kids everywhere, obviously, which makes you wonder if you made the right choice by going.
Once I got to my seat, the show soon started as the Ringmaster came out singing with the clowns and assistants. The seat I got was pretty close to the stage, which was amazing since I’d never been that close when I went as a kid. I got to see all the acts up close and personal.
As I sat through the show, there were honestly some parts that bored me. Obviously everything is more entertaining to a little kid but it was a bit saddening that the show wasn’t as exciting as I remembered. Of course there were a lot of acts that took me by surprise, mostly the ones that were the most dangerous, such as the woman who was shot out of a cannon and the trapeze group. Even the elephants and the tigers were fascinating to watch up close. Yet overall, the show didn’t seem as daring as I remembered. There were a lot of time filler acts which were often times the clowns fooling around and being silly. There was even a part where they made camels run in circles while girls did some acrobatics on top of them for what seemed like ten minutes straight. Of course I’m not saying what they do is easy but camels can only be so interesting when they’re only running in circles.
Another thing that kept sticking in my mind throughout the show was animal abuse. There had been protesters outside when we walked in so I kept finding myself checking the animals to see if they were okay rather than enjoying myself. I’m not animal expert so I couldn’t tell from my seat if they were in bad condition or not, but it kept irking me. Sure I love animals and that’s probably the closest I’ll even be to an elephant but part of me regretted going since it could possibly continue to support the animal abuse-if there was any.
Looking back, I don’t entirely regret going-though I do regret paying for far too expensive food while I was there. I got to hang out with a lot of new people on a Sunday night and take a break from school. The thing I regret is feeling a bit disappointed after seeing the show. Made me wonder if we’re being spoiled now since the circus hadn’t ‘wowed’ me enough. However, I haven’t lost complete faith in the circus since I haven’t since I haven’t seen every circus show ever. Yet, I wonder maybe if they got rid of the animals and didn’t rely on them to make the show grand, maybe they could make more amazing and daring acts? Regardless, the circus show I saw as a kid was far better than this one since I was at the edge of my seat the whole time, rather than checking my phone for when the show would finish.
P.S.: You should still sign up for Urban New York since you get to see so many different events for only the price of a round trip subway ride!
Editor’s Note: While registration for Urban New York is closed for the semester, you still have a chance of winning a standby ticket to an event by being at the meeting place. Check out the rest of the Urban New York events at Columbia’s Urban New York page.
Manuela Hiches is a sophomore at Barnard College and the Photography Editor of The Nine Ways of Knowing.
Image courtesy of examiner.com