A fortress? A high school? A castle? Hunter high school, on 94th street, taking up one whole square block, is a spectacle. To its left, residential buildings, covered in gray, historic limestone, that which glistens when sunlight attempts to penetrate the sandy yet sturdy walls. To its right, an odd mixture of upscale yet horrifyingly mediocre restaurants, all offering a $4.00 cup o’ joe and a $23 scrambled egg on two week old toast, with those same, large limestone buildings that scream New York wealth. All in the muck of this, standing tall, stout, and impenetrable: Hunter High School, the intimidating and solid fortress of the Upper East Side.
Surrounded by four blocks of burning hot gravel, this thick and mucky moat is a perfect first line of defense. The large, tall, and imposing red brick walls, which seemingly carry on towards nothingness serve as a fantastic second line of defense. On the top, the hundreds of embrasures, the spaces which the invisible archers stand, dare the daily commuting children to come near, just screaming, “hey, come take a closer look.” Then throw in the cars that speed around with no care in the world, paralyzing any potential little hormonal sixth graders in their tracks, and this already competitive and uninviting high school seems that much more uninviting. And if you can manage to snag a ride in a big yellow submarine up to the gates, have fun walking through the vast, jail like concrete desert playground that separates you from failed tests and college deferrals. To the left, it’s your typical high school clique, judging the holes in your shoes you have gathered on your journey, and the glaring sweaty pimple from the New York summer heat, humid enough to swarm your body and lift you off your feet. To your right, it’s the tennis kids, swinging their rackets like guientines, waiting to chop your head off if you set off the proximity trap on their wall ball court. Just a bit ahead, you catch a glimpse of your old friend, Officer Tom, in his watch post, waiting to save you from the big bad bullies coming up from behind you. But, when you take that second glance over there, you can’t quite find Tom’s whites and pupils, which are seemingly covered by his eyelids. Now, you’ve realized you really have no options. Just then, you turn back and leave, empty handed and barely holding on for life, riddled with nightmares from the fortress on the Upper East Side, dreading the return next day.