a day in the city by myself

I cannot believe how quickly time is flying by this summer! It is crazy to think I only have a few weeks left before I must say goodbye to this amazing city and head back to our safe little “bubble.” With time passing by so quickly and me typically spending the weekends outside the city visiting friends, I really wanted one full day to enjoy everything that NYC has to offer all by myself. Last Saturday I made plans to go on a bike tour of Central Park for the day however, when I woke up that morning and it was pouring down rain, I opted for the next best thing: the American Museum of Natural History!

To be honest, the subway still terrifies me and I try to avoid it at all costs. I am thankful enough that my internship is only a mile away so I walk to work everyday. Because of my fear of the subway system and the proximity of my internship office, I really only utilize subways on Mondays for class. With the rain coming down, there was no way I was about to walk 2 miles to the museum so I decided to overcome my fear and take a subway to the museum. After pulling up HopStop, I successfully got off the first subway and made my way to the second train I had to take to get me uptown. I ended up waiting for a good 30 minutes for the next local C train before I gave up and decided to hop on the next C express train… Needless to say that was a bad idea because I ended up in Harlem (or at least I think it was Harlem) about 40 blocks north of where I needed to be! Not knowing where I was and with no working cell service, I jumped in a cab.

Well, I was not the only one who decided that a rainy day called for a museum. Once I got there, the line was out the door and wrapped around the block! About 20 minutes later I finally made it inside with only 4 minutes to spare before the 1:15 free museum tour was about to start. I found the information desk for the tours and asked the lady if I had time to buy a ticket before the next tour began and for some reason or another she took pity on me and let me enter the museum without paying the admission fee (score one for me FINALLY)! All in all, the tour was wonderful and really put me in the mood to watch Night at the Museum and the new Jurassic Park movie!

After the museum I went to go see the play, “It Shoulda Been You” by myself, which I strongly recommend, and then met up with Claire, Linley, and our friend Matt at Ellen’s Stardust Diner for some fun entertainment and delicious milkshakes!

Below are a few pictures from my day:

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~Hailey Greene~

NYC: Thats All the Title You Need

I’ve been in New York City a little over a month. Less than a month until I leave. I’ve gotten to experience so many incredible things in NYC. My first day, I decided to make note of the big, exciting, and meaningful events that happened to me each day. Looking back on the past weeks, there have been so many. From a very special Yankees game with prime seats, to just strolling through the east village eating ice cream, the city has opened my eyes so much.

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I’ve become closer to two already very good friends, and made so many more along the way. Leaving New York will be very bittersweet. As excited as I know I’ll be to go home and then back to Elon, I’m going to miss it here. I will miss my girl gang of fellow interns and apprentices, and the incredible individuals I’ve connected with at my internship. I’ll miss the easy access to top quality theatre.

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But mostly I’ll miss the pulse of the city itself. Since I’ve been in NYC, there hasn’t been a single night I’ve slept with the blinds down. The view out my 13th floor window is full of twinkling lights and in the distance, clear dark sky. If I sit up I can see the street below bustling with people and cars even at 1 or 2am. Some people might think it’s silly that I don’t close my blinds at night. But I’m a part of this city now and it is a part of me. I love falling asleep at night knowing that my friends are a room or a floor away. That the incredible actors and actresses I saw on that Broadway stage tonight are somewhere in this crazy city. That there are thousands of people I’ve never met coexisting in the same place. I don’t close my blinds at night because I like to fall asleep listening to the sounds of the city. The honking cabs and noisy sirens and drunken laughter are the accompaniment to the pulse of the city that resonates deep within my soul. That is my lullaby as I fall asleep at night. As I breathe that deep breath right on the brink of sleep, I know that I am safe in the cities arms.

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In these few short weeks I have left in New York City, I plan to make the most of every minute. I end this post with a quote from my favorite musical, Rent. “There’s only us, there’s only this. Forget regret or life is yours to miss. No other road, no other way. No day but today.” Thank you New York. I love you.

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Reflecting on Old Memories and Creating New Ones

It’s been over a decade since my family and I moved from New York to North Carolina. Now being here for the summer, I was nervous to come back. Nervous that the city in my childhood would look like a stranger. Nervous, yet, of this new chapter in my life where I’m in Manhattan without my family. I knew that some parts of the city changed over the years, but deep down I hoped that some part of it stayed the same.

Of course the major landmarks stayed the same, but it was the little things that I worried about. Little Italy got smaller. The Pokemon Store is now called Nintendo World. Even the quirky pizza place in Queens is now closed. Rationally speaking, these changes are inevitable, but there is one special place I hoped didn’t change: Shun Wang Restaurant.

Shun Wang Restaurant is in Queens and has been the number one place my family and I frequented to get the best roast duck. When I went back a few days ago, I was happy to see it still there and not entirely surprised how much the inside has changed. The waiting staff, lighting, and table setting is different. Yet, even though the surroundings changed, when I got my usual duck over rice dish and took that first bite, I’m back to the time I was 6 years-old when my family came here for the first time. It was heartwarming to know that even after all these years, the food still tastes the same.

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Roast Duck over Rice at Shun Wang Restaurant

The comfort of knowing that one part of my childhood didn’t change gave me a boost to move on and explore the city for it is. That’s what I did when I met SORTED Food.

SORTED Food is a British YouTube channel where 4 men create videos of themselves cooking and baking. It’s not your typical cooking vlog where someone records themselves cooking a dish like Rachel Ray. They get creative by doing challenges and some food prank videos. My personal favorite is when Ben, the “leader”, does his revenge cooking with the other three since he gets “bullied” a lot.

While I sound like I know who they are, to be perfectly honest, I didn’t know a whole lot until the day before I met them in person. My younger brothers are huge fans since they love food and love to cook. So when they told me about the NYC Meet Up, I knew I had to go for them since they’re not here.

Meeting them was an experience I wouldn’t forget. There was a large crowd of fans surrounding the four British men with bags filled with food. Of course since they’re YouTubers everything was filmed. Since SORTED Food is popular in YouTube I thought it would be hard to approach these guys, but they’re all really nice! They’re really easy to talk to. They remember their fans, make jokes with us and bicker between each other in front of us. It was a remarkable experience!

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The men of SORTED Food (From left to right) Barry, Mike, Ben and Jamie.

If it weren’t for this summer program, I probably wouldn’t have revisited the streets of my childhood and I definitely wouldn’t have met the incredible men of SORTED Food. Now because of that I now have a new precious memory.

Hey, Big Spender

As a broadcast journalism major, a day spent exploring business and finance within the city is not something that initially sparked my interest. Gearing up for the day, I packed numerous snacks and forms of caffeine in preparation for what I thought was going to be a monotonous day. Little did I know that this com major could get something out of and find lots of interest in places such as the Federal Reserve, FactSet and Credit Suisse.

The first stop for this Monday activity was the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. We went on a tour of the museum and

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York http://eiptrading.com/the-federal-reserve/

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York http://eiptrading.com/the-federal-reserve/

experienced a Q & A session. The most interesting part of this visit for me was the gold vault. Like a scene out of a movie, we walked in through the open lock (the same locking system as when it was built in the early 1920’s) into a little lobby that looked into the very securely locked gold vault. This vault contains gold from different foreign entities with less than 5% of the gold belonging to the US government. And one of those shiny gold bars comes at a high price of around $640,000. People that have access to the vault have to wear special foot covers because each individual block weighs almost 30 pounds and could do some serious damage if dropped on one’s toes.

Leaving the Federal Reserve, we headed to FactSet. Before this visit, I had never heard of this company before. FactSet is a multinational financial data and software company (yes, this sounded like gibberish to me too at first.) They provide high quality data and analytics and consider themselves a “fin-tech”, a financial technology firm. They have numerous clients and are rising in the ranks as they have had 34 continuous years of revenue growth. What interested me the most was talk of their company culture. They pride themselves on maintaining an entrepreneurial environment with recognition of hard work, continual learning and a friendly atmosphere. They even get free lunch!

Eleven Madison Ave Location of Credit Suisse http://www.sapir.com/_img/_portfolio/gallery/p11_mad/04.jpg

Eleven Madison Ave Location of Credit Suisse
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Lastly, our group headed to Credit Suisse. Credit Suisse is a global investment bank. There

are two divisions: investment banking and private management. During our time here, we met with five Elon alumi. I thoroughly enjoyed this because we got to talk to people who were in our shoes just a few years ago. It was helpful to hear their journeys from Elon student to real person in the working world.

All in all, the day was much more than I expected. I got to learn about a very important industry that I am not too familiar with. And, I have to admit, it wasn’t as monotonous as expected, despite the fact that I had to Google some financial jargon in the back of the room in order to keep up.

Dollar Slices and Open Mics

“If eating this much pizza is wrong, then I don’t want to be right!”

This is something that I would never say, so I won’t say it here. But really, guys… Lot of pizza.

After a weekend spent at home (Wellesley, MA), I am writing this post from a comfortably quiet bus. Staring out the widow, I can’t help but feel nostalgic about high school girlfriends I never had. During my relaxing weekend at home, I had time to reflect on my time spent in New York City, a sort of midpoint assessment.

What I’ve enjoyed most about being in New York is the freedom. Every night is another chance to get out and do something. Even something as simple as walking around outside is exciting. New York has a great way of making you feel like you are a part of it. I’ve explored the parks (adventurous!), browsed the museums (cultured!), and eaten the pizza (hungry!). Last Sunday, my roommates and I spent the day reading in Washington Square Park. We also watched performances, ate ice cream, and fed pigeons.

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My roommate Michael having a laugh in the park

My most enjoyable activity in the city has been doing comedy open mics. As an aspiring comedian, it is nice to be able to do stand-up any night that I want to. This is a luxury that I don’t have in Elon, NC, as there is not much of a comedy scene in the area. For me, there is nothing more freeing than being able to get on stage and say whatever stupid things I want for 4.5 minutes. I’ve met many cool and interesting people doing open mics, and I am excited about all that the New York scene has to offer. I’ve also been attending comedy shows regularly. I’ve been to stand-up and improv shows at the prestigious and always fun UCB theaters.

My friend Andrew, Comedian Nick Rutherford, and I. Taken outside of the UCB.

My friend Andrew, Comedian Nick Rutherford, and I. Taken outside of the UCB.

Altogether, I am looking forward to the rest of the summer. I’m going to miss this exciting city back at Elon.

Sincerely,

Ryan O’Rourke

Summer Goal- Get Lost

City life has an energy to it, it is fast passed and focused and it can be intoxicating, however this same energy can create tunnel vision. When you’re living in a city, you’re focused on where you are going and the time it’ll take get there. The journey can become a blur. That’s why whenever I visit a city I make it my mission to get lost. To refocus my perspective, I put my phone away, turn off the gps, ignore the time, and begin getting lost.

In the past four weeks I’ve gotten lost multiple times and had some amazing adventures. My journeys have taken me to Brooklyn, the West Village, Central Park and even my own neighborhood near Union Square.

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Friends apartment in the West Village

Exploring the West Village allowed me to find the Friends apartment and an incredible ice cream store called the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop and the knowledge of a few incredible looking restaurants.

My parents apartment in Cobble Hill

My parents apartment in Cobble Hill

Brooklyn yielded a look into the past; I was able to find my parents’ first apartment in Cobble Hill. The surrounding area was the same as they had described.

The exploration of Central Park has been in several trips. The most recent was a spur of the moment journey; my roommate and I went in search of the Sprinkles ATM and then wandered into the park. Together we explored and happened upon the Balto statue.

Balto Statue in Central Part

Balto Statue in Central Park

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Union Square Farmers Market

Today, as I made my way home from work, I encountered a farmers market in Union Square. The array of stalls and people surrounding the square was incredible, and it was an awesome thing to encounter.

When the phone is down it is incredible what you find. Four weeks in and I’ve seen only a fraction of what New York has to offer. I am so excited to continue to explore for the remainder of the summer.

Finding calm amidst the chaos

After being in New York for about three weeks now, I am settling into a nice routine and feeling more comfortable in the city. While I love exploring new neighborhoods and delicious restaurants with friends, I also really enjoy adventuring on my own. One of my favorite things to do alone is take advantage of the amazing art in the city.

Last week, I headed to a gallery in Greenwich Village called Gavin Brown’s Enterprise. The gallery was featuring a show of one of my favorite artists, Alex Katz. Alex Katz is known for his large-scale paintings that usually depict some sort of minimalist landscape.

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The gallery building was a work of art itself- a relatively large, white corner building painted with a thought-provoking quote (see images below). My awe continued as I walked inside. From the minimalist space to the alluring paintings and the skillful installation, the overall beauty mesmerized me. Furthermore, it was free!

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Before arriving at the gallery, I expected I would experience some beautiful art, see an interesting gallery space, and wander through a new neighborhood; however, I did not expect to have such a serene, peaceful moment amidst the chaos of the city. The exhibition space was quiet, painted with simple white walls, and flooded with natural sunlight. There were only a few quiet individuals looking at the art and no music was playing.

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While I loved the actual exhibition, I arguably enjoyed the tranquil time even more. For about an hour, the unexpected gallery space turned into a secret refuge from the seemingly constant chaos of the city. As important as it is to explore and enjoy all that the city has to offer, finding moments of solace and bliss are just as necessary. I am looking forward to all the future adventures that this summer holds!

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