Things to do in Sacramento and Beyond

The Bee's guide to events, activities, arts and entertainment

January 22, 2007
Big trip to the Big Apple


Four days fly fast when you're having the time of your life in New York City.

Remember the "Couturshion" girls and their fall fashion show to raise money for a trip east?

Well, they went - the day after Christmas - and I just caught up with their mentor and sponsor, Kitty Griffin, to find out all about it.

"I was quite pleased with our adventure," Griffin says. "The girls got an opportunity to see so much in four days." (Next time, she says, she'd need eight days to wedge it all in!)

Here's a brief look at what the 11 middle and high school girls - and four chaperones - took in:

* Metropolitan Museum of Art: "If I was to say what was the most exciting part of the trip, it would be the Met," Griffin says. "We saw the fashion exhibition. The girls wanted to stay all day, but we could only spend two hours."

* Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Instead of seeing the Broadway show "The Color Purple," the group visited the Alvin Ailey theater (shown above) and met some of the dancers. "I wanted to give the girls a true fine arts experience, so they also got to see a show."

* Saks Fifth Avenue: If you're from Sacramento, department stores usually go two, maybe three floors. But Saks in New York is a staggering 12 floors. Kitty's daughter, Katrina Griffin, who works there, took the group on a tour, from bottom to top. "It was breathtaking," Griffin says. "They were able to see designer clothing that caters to their age group, and a whole lot more."

The girls were given cameras and journals to chronicle their trip. Each girl also received a Visa card with $150 on it. Some of the more fashion-oriented girls came back with about 50 cents on their cards; others had up to $60 left.

"They learned to stay on a budget and manage their money on the trip," Griffin says.

One student, who is interested in a career in architectural engineering, spent much of her time taking pictures of different buildings from different eras. Griffin says she, along with the fashion and theater students, "came alive while they were there."

The subway was an adventure all its own, and the girls had their share of culinary delights, from Greek to Mexican food to eating in a diner down the street from Malcom X's home. They made it to Rockefeller Plaza (although it was too crowded to get on the "Today" show), and took a horse ride through Central Park.

They loved the energy and beauty of the city and got together each evening to recount the day's events.

Griffin, who is the founder and director of Progressive Women of Excellence Inc., says she's planning another fashion show in March to raise funds for another trip - possibly to Paris. "We're going to be studying and reviving looks from the 1950s and '60s."

I'll keep you posted on a specific date and location for the fashion event.

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