Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Discoveries in media

This summer, I like this song:


This DVD:



This magazine:


This iPhone app:


This online game:


And, sooner or later, I'm sure, this book:


... which I keep promising to start any day now.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I want to drink

John hydrates. For some reason -- doctors' opinions welcome -- New York dehydrates me severely. I won't go into details, but there are symptoms. So I'm making a concerted effort this week to drink inordinate amounts of H20. Evidence is above.

QueersIn the evening, I attended an Ivy League LGBT alumni event at the Yale Club. Tons of fun, I must say. I met loads of nice people who I hope will hang with me this summer and make my New York experience livelier. A few SOMers in there, too.

And that is all.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The pride parade

Gay Pride 2010, New York CitySo. I'll just be honest -- parades aren't really my thing. Standing in the heat, watching stuff slowly go by on the street, longing for a place to sit or a cold drink or a toilet ... I dunno, it's just not my idea of a good time. But nevertheless I did go to the Gay Pride Parade because, well, it was Pride Weekend, and I live in New York, and I'm gay, and so there isn't much room to wiggle out of this one.

My friend Mike came in from New Haven, and we joined up with one of my friends from high school and his friends, and his friends' friends, and it was good to meet all of them. I preferred the pre-parade mingling to the parade itself. We trekked what felt like 30 miles along this crowded route, both crowd-watching and parade-watching, and, well, I just wasn't all that impressed. I thought the parade itself was sort of meh, even for a parade. Then again, I have nothing to compare it to.

School has spoiled me a bit because I always had three-day weekends -- fourth quarter I actually had four-day weekends. Now that I'm back to ordinary two-day weekends, it's all the more important to make the most of them. I feel I did that this weekend. Soon it's back to the grind.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Dazzled and bamboozled at the Met

Kejia at the Met My friend and SOM classmate Kejia and I enjoyed what was barely a surface-scratching visit this afternoon to the Met, which is freakin' enormous. Kejia is interning this summer at the Guggenheim, so we got in for free. Yay perks! Our first stop was the roof, to look at 5,000 bamboo poles held together by 50 miles of nylon rope, also known as "Doug + Mike Starn on the Roof: Big BambĂș," an evolving installation by two artists who are twin brothers. It was nifty -- I hope they were going for "nifty" -- although having experienced the piece before reading the explanation, I must admit I missed the deeper intended meaning. Something about all of us being connected and life being uncertain? Anyway, nifty.

Then, of course, there's all that's inside. My very favorite were the 17th and 18th century furnishings, which I photographed, but I'm not pleased with the outcome. The iPhone, in case you hadn't noticed, doesn't do so great in the dimly lit indoors. Anyway, I'm always drawn to furniture at museums because I like to imagine what life was like when they were used. Probably absolutely horrible for everyone but the family patriarch.

PicassoWe spent quite a bit of time at the Picasso exhibit, which was more interesting than it sounds because it showed the chronological evolution of his style, starting at age 20. It was fascinating and made me feel like an underachiever who has wasted the best years of his creativity. Some of the works were downright naughty, nothing as much so as the depiction at right of the artist as a young man receiving a special kiss from a bare lady friend.

Kristin enjoys a signature brunch coffee cocktail at Los Feliz. Before the Met, I had an absolutely amazing brunch at Los Feliz, a taqueria on the Lower East Side, with my friend Kristin. The place just started doing brunch about two weeks ago. I had a chicken casserole dish, which was fantastic, but what really makes the place stand out is an original frozen coffee drink with tequila. Think frappuccino meets frozen margarita. Absolutely sensational, the best of both worlds. Because doesn't it always happen that at brunch you can't decide between a coffee beverage and a cocktail? Now you don't have to!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Methinks the Yale Club's not stuffy

Elis participate in a traditional Mory's cup-drinking exhibition. My friend Carolyn is doing marketing for Mory's over the summer. Mory's is a private dining club in New Haven for Yale alumni. Tonight, Mory's piggy-backed on the regular Thursday evening happy hours at the Yale Club, which is near Grand Central. I am officially, as of this week, a member.

When I thought of the Yale Club, I thought of older people sipping on cocktails reminiscing. Think of this clip of the New Yorker from Family Guy. But no, no, no. A thousand times no. It was packed with loud young people, living it up. I felt old.

One of the features of the evening -- in addition to the array of free food -- was $40 chalices of colorful cocktails, passed around from drunkard to drunkard. By the rules, the person who finishes it off is to spin the container around his head as other people sing a song, and then he puts it face down on the table. If anything drips from it, he "loses." The photograph above depicts the part with the head. I wouldn't want to do that, for fear I'd get stickiness in my hair or stains on the shoulders of my shirt.

Anyway, I'm glad to be a member of the club. This Tuesday is an event for LGBT alumni, in honor of Pride Month. I am also going to be attending my first NYC Pride Parade this Sunday. Yay gay!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Can't escape tea & ade

Honest Ade Everyone at Yale SOM knows of Honest Tea and its offshoot, Honest Ade, because it's a bottled beverage company founded by an SOM student and a professor who co-instructs two of our core first-year classes. Thus we are not only familiar with the drink as an SOM success story, but because we read about it in case form and get a behind-the-scenes look at how the business got started. (Long story short: Bottled tea is vile and doesn't taste like tea, so they brewed tea and put it in a bottle, and it was a lot tastier and better for you.) While on a break today I explored the store at the base of my building only to find two refrigerated shelves of the stuff. I like it, personally, and I like to buy it as a show of solidarity and school pride. Do pick some up if you see it.

After work, I returned to Houndstooth with a couple coworkers before meeting up with my classmate/friend Lizzie at Pearl Oyster Bar in the West Village, a crowded little place with delicious food. We had an after-dinner drink at a bar I don't remember the name of, but I had a gin cosmo that was $12. New York, I tell ya!

Today at work I turned in a report I've been toiling away at for more than two weeks. It ended up at 16 pages, including tables and a graph. I have to say I was pretty pleased with it, but I'm anxious to see if my supervisors find it useful. I put a lot of thought into it and think it's well-written, and I did a whole lot of research, but it's on the abstract side. ("Considering A, B and C are perhaps happening or will happen, the Associated Press should consider X, Y or possibly Z, to the extent that B is determined to be related to either X or Y, and of course contingent on various unknowns, such as D, E and F, which we can look at in three ways ...") More like that. Less like: "Do X."

Monday, June 21, 2010

Another Golden Girl hosted SNL

Bea Arthur hosts Saturday Night Live The Betty White episode of SNL was quite popular, among me and the general public. But I re-discovered yesterday that fellow Golden Girl Bea Arthur hosted back in November 1979. I was able to watch online thanks to my Netflix subscription. (To fellow Netflix customers, I recommend checking out seasons 1-5 of SNL; you can watch episodes in their entirety, including musical guests.)

Once the episode actually got under way, I remembered it surprisingly well; I'm sure I saw it back when I was 10 or so, and Nick at Nite was re-running old SNLs. There's a rather long skit that's shot like a made-for-TV drama, and it's about the tragic pain and embarrassment a man (Bill Murray) goes through when his wife (Gilda Radner) has a mastectomy. Bea Arthur plays the doctor who has to explain that even though his wife is "half a woman" now, he should remember that there are other parts of her body that are sexually arousing. What's funny is I remember the skit very well but when I saw it 20-some years ago, I was too young to realize it was a joke. Wonder what that did for my development.

Anyway, the reason I had time to explore such things yesterday was that I had a genuine day off. My friend Dave crashed over night (and helped me discover I've had a sofa bed all along, which would have been handy to know for any of my previous three overnight guests this summer). We had brunch on the block, and then he was off to meet with another friend, and I spent the whole day in utter relaxation. Went to the store to pick up some nibblers for dinner and basically watched movies, read and caught up with a few folks on the phone. It was surprisingly paradisiacal/paradidaical.

I think living in New York can make people feel as though they have to squeeze activity into every moment of the day, but that's unsustainable, at least for me. You gotta get your rest.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Upright Citizens Brigade

People are excited to be in line to see the Upright Citizens Brigade On Saturday night, my friend Dave came into town from Hartford, and we enjoyed a delightful cheeseburger followed by unnecessary pie followed by improv comedy courtesy of the Upright Citizens Brigade.

You might recognize the Upright Citizens Brigade because several SNL cast members sharpened their skills there. Friday night's ensemble included a face familiar to those who watch 30 Rock -- Scott Adsit. It was at times very funny, and a good value for $10. Maybe I saw a future star. I predict big things for Zach Woods.

Improv is hard. I tried out for a troupe back at UNC and made callbacks, but I'm more of a dry, sit-on-the-sidelines kind of guy, not a bounce-around, embody-lots-of-wacky-characters kind of guy. At the callbacks I got some laughs, but when I sat down after a scene, I saw one of the current members taking notes on the performances, and next to my name were the words "no energy."

Anyway, I gotta go to brunch. Then nap. Cuz I have no energy, see.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Pic-a-nic

Kristin and her friends enjoyed a picnic and have legs. I had no plans for Friday night until my friend Kristin suggested I join her and her friends for a concert at Grand Central and then a picnic in Central Park. The concert was full, so we just picnicked, then dropped into a bar's grand opening. It was not grand, but it was pleasant. I think it was called City 55 ... something with 55.

The picnic was delicious, and Central Park is a beautiful, serene escape from the city. A couple bottles of wine (which I'm not sure was legal of us to consume, but whatevs), some cheese, bread, chicken salad, hummus, strawberries, corn salsa, cherry-chili chocolate. We had more than enough.

One of the neat things about two of Kristin's friends is that they design handbags and accessories for a living. One designs sunglasses for a company as a full-time job and has a handbag business on the side; another just has her own handbag-and-accessories line. My instinct, not being from New York, is to assume that when someone answers the question "So what do you do?" with "I design handbags," that the person is lying ... they must really wait tables or work in an office or something, and dabble in handbags on the side, right? Not in New York, I guess. And that is why artistic people journey up here from all corners of the globe to make it.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

La Cage Aux Folles et al

Chris in Times Square My friend Chris, in town from Fort Worth, and I had a fun Manhattan evening. Perhaps the highlight was embarrassing him by taking his picture in Times Square -- how utterly touristy!

We had a delicious and reasonably priced dinner at Brasserie Athenee, a Greek restaurant with a three-course prix fixe theater menu. I had arugula salad, skirt steak and almond cake. Then we saw La Cage Aux Folles, starring Kelsey Grammer and Douglas Hodge, who won a Tony for playing Albin. I quite preferred it to the movie, actually -- it was more moving and had some very nice songs and dance numbers. I always say I'm not a big fan of musicals, but I usually end up liking high-production musicals a lot (like Urinetown, which I saw on Broadway a few years ago).

I signed up for my fall classes yesterday. I'm going quant-heavy because I want to make sure I take full advantage of this opportunity to learn skills. For now I'm signed up for Competitive Strategy, Data-Driven Marketing, Corporate Finance, Policy Modeling, and Venture Capital. All are full-semester courses except Venture Capital, which is just a first-quarter class. I wanted to take a class called Pricing Strategy, which is very in line with what I'm doing this summer, but SOM also releases professor and course evaluation ratings, and this course was by far the lowest-rated for both the professor and course. So I can't in good conscience sign up, even though the subject matter interests me. We touched on pricing strategy in my Managing Marketing Programs class anyway. And, I suppose, my internship could be considered a 12-week crash course in pricing strategy.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Third houseguest in 10 days

Christopher Kelly and John Metz
My friend Chris, a gifted writer, is in New York to do gifted-writer things. We worked together looong ago, way back in 2009, at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Being a fan of all things narrative, he is planning to get us tickets to some sort of show tonight, which breaks my previous vow to wait until I had received at least two paychecks before blowing $70+ on theater tickets. But, eh, c'est la vie. Speaking of French, I think the show he wants to see is La Cage Aux Folles. Ooh la la.

The Queens apartment is fine for just me, but I have felt like a sub-par host when people have stayed over. The couch isn't great for tall people to sleep on, and I don't even have an extra set of sheets or pillows with me; those are back in New Haven. But, you know, you get what you pay for, so if people want to stay here for $0, then a small couch with no clean sheets is what they get. It's not like I'm keeping anybody imprisoned here.

Here's a quick look at 3 things I prefer about the Queens apartment I'm subleasing to my New Haven apartment, and 3 things I don't.

Queens apartment is better than New Haven apartment because:

1. There is fantastic water pressure. If there's one thing I hate about my New Haven apartment, it's that, as my roommate Matt put it, the shower feels like a you're standing next to a 12-foot-tall man peeing on your head.

2. There's an A/C unit in the bedroom. I haven't spent too much time in my New Haven apartment during the cruel summer months, but what time I did spend was not pleasant in the boudoir.

3. It's on a street with stuff. Below me is a diner, and within 10 steps is another restaurant, a wine bar, a dry-cleaner and a full-service laundry. In New Haven, nothing is next to my apartment but other houses.

New Haven apartment is better than Queens apartment because:

1. My belongings live there. Specific stuff I miss includes my coffee maker, my piano and, I hate to say it, but my TV. I didn't even watch TV much at all, but there's something about having a TV that makes you feel connected ... somehow a computer isn't a substitute.

2. The hardwood floors are beautiful. The Queens apartment has carpet, which is fine, but I think nothing brightens up a room quite like some beautiful floors.

3. Wonderful people live there! Nobody wonderful lives here but me.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bryant Park is nice

I put my feet up in Bryant Park. After work today I had two hours to kill before meeting an old friend from high school, D.D., whom I hadn't seen in 10 years, at a restaurant called Essex for dinner. (Delicious, by the way; I had swordfish with mussels and shrimp.) With this time, I decided to enjoy the weather in Bryant Park, where there was some pleasant and unobtrusive live music that created a delightfully relaxing atmosphere.

Some complain that the taxes in New York are high, but I imagine that they should be, considering the subway system, all the parks and the elaborate array of public goods and services required to keep the city up and running. Two cliches apply: You get what you pay for, and nothing comes for free.

Meanwhile, at work: This week I'll be starting a pretty big data-heavy project that I interpret as being entrusted to me because of some combination of interest and expertise I may have conveyed during my first two weeks. I intend to exceed expectations because I am an overachiever, which is to say I need other people's approval to feel any sense of value because my father has never told me he loves me. Same thing.

I also am getting to know the dry-cleaner next door. This morning I picked up a jacket and three pairs of pants, and dropped off some dress shirts and another couple pairs of pants. When I handed him a credit card to pay, he said he only takes cash but that I shouldn't worry about it -- I can just pay for my first order when I pick up the second. Smart business man! He has endeared himself to me and knows I'll be coming back. Unless, you know, there ends up being some nasty stains on those pants.

Some New Yorkers make it seem as though it requires savvy to navigate the subways, a notion I sort of scoffed at because there's an app for that. But those New Yorkers are right because there are certain times of day when some trains only go one direction. Case in point: After dinner on the Lower East Side tonight, I wanted to take the F train to the 4-5-6 uptown, then to my beloved 7 train. When I mentioned this mundane plan to my dinner companion, he mentioned that the 4-5-6 only goes downtown at this time of night and so I would have to take the F train farther and catch the 7 elsewhere. And he was right. Who would know something like that? But now I do.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sunny day, sweeping the clouds away

Sesame Place in Langhorne, Penn.I acquired many great photos as well as a sunburn this weekend at Sesame Place, an amusement park for small kids in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. I met up with my brother, sister-in-law and nephews (4 and 5). Because I met them there, I didn't have any children with me in the car when I paid for parking -- I did, however, have a tattered overnight bag in the seat next to me. Surely I was put on some "Creepy Man Watch List."

Snuffy in the parade.It's really a good little park. Almost all the rides and attractions will get you wet to soaked, a detail my brother failed to share, requiring an ill-dressed John to have to buy a last-minute swimsuit and some sandals. There's not much there that's strictly kid-only or adult-only, so it's a great place to spend time with people around my nephews' age. My brother's family has been several times and learned a few tricks, one of which is to make a reservation to have breakfast with the characters. We did that Sunday morning. It's a great deal -- a decent buffet and delighted kids who get to hang out with Big Bird, Bert, Ernie, Elmo and some of the new muppets I don't care about. Best of all, it gets you into the park two hours before the general public, so after breakfast there are almost no lines.

Driving through midtown Manhattan.Driving there was no problem, even though my GPS took me through Manhattan, which sounds like it would be troublesome but was no sweat. Coming back, though, I thought I would avoid Manhattan nevertheless, since there seemed to be a direct and convenient non-Manhattan route through I-278, which I shall never drive on again if I can help it. What a nightmare! The bridges, tolls and general traffic create such extraordinary bottlenecks that I almost never broke above 20 mph. I'd almost have been better off walking. This area of the country -- and I include Connecticut in this gripe -- is no fun to drive in. I guess that's why people smarter than me don't even try to do it.

The week has not even begun, and I have 3 definite and 2 tentative plans for the 5 weeknights, failing to give my wallet the rest I know it needs. Oh well. Gotta live while the living is good. And I got paid Friday! Even though it was just for 9 days of work, and even though the taxes here are steeper than in Texas, it was still the biggest direct-deposit I've ever gotten. (That's both a testament to the generous compensation The Associated Press affords its summer interns, and the highly ungenerous compensation newspapers afford their journalsits.)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I'm not missing an arm

A man named Jonathan Metz (not my name exactly, but close), also 31 years old, also a bachelor, also a Connecticut resident, endured a tragic ordeal when he was trapped in a furnace and had to cut off his own arm. This John Metz is fine, however. His only ordeal today was having to relocate his car to avoid the street sweeper, then doing a terrible job parallel-parking.

Last night I met up with a friend of a friend whose only instruction was to come to Boxers. Feeling invincibly connected due to my iPhone I searched for a Boxers and trekked down to the West Village in the pouring rain, only to arrive at the address and find nothing called Boxers. When I inquired at a placed called Oliver's, I was told that Oliver's used to be Boxers. But then at the bar when I did another Google Map search for Boxers I discovered there was another one that turned out to be a $6 cab ride away. I could've walked, but there was that pouring rain thing.

The correct Boxers was a gay sports bar. What's next, a straight Oscar party? Nice place though. Tonight I went to Houndstooth Pub with co-workers where I had a delightfully salty shepherd's pie and a couple brewskies.

Work is still going well, I think. I've been working pretty independently on a report, sometimes confident in my insights and sometimes not sure if I've actually said anything. My supervisor today seemed to like what I've been doing. It's not that I'm not confident in my abilities, it's just that in a new environment, I'm not exactly sure of what the expectations are regarding deliverables. I guess all I can do is do my best and assume I'll be told if something is wrong.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Home sweet hotel?

'My' room I like Sunnyside, the neighborhood in Queens where I'm living this summer. My friend Mike was in town and noted the remarkable and welcome difference that the peace and relative quiet of Sunnyside offers to the chaos and cacophony of Manhattan. "My" apartment is above a restaurant, on a street with lots of neat places to pop in and eat or drink, but it's got a very inviting, neighborhoody feel. It's also incredibly diverse ... you'll see a gay couple drinking wine at an outdoor table as a family of Puerto Ricans walks by and two old German men stand out having cigars next to Japanese teenagers giggling and listening to music. It's just a totally new neighborhood experience for me.

My apartment is just great, but no matter where you sublet, a sublet never really feels like "home." It feels more like a hotel. It lacks a certain comforting connectivity that makes being at home worth coming home to.

Flavia Being an intern is in many ways similar to subletting an apartment. The company isn't really "mine." I'm sort of make-believing it's mine for a couple months. So between home and work, I'm trying on a different life, and consequently trying on a different lifestyle, including what I eat, what I read, how I dress, how I sleep. It's fun, and educational. Like "Dora the Explorer."

Meanwhile, observe a picture of the free coffee machine, Flavia, near me at work. Flavia is also the name of one of my friends at school, so I feel a spiritual connection to her whenever I burn the roof of my mouth on a hot beverage at my desk. I'm sure she can feel me flinch all the way from Brazil.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

I learned my alphabet today

Katherine, Rasanah and Sharon Rasanah (middle) and I shuffled down to the Lower East Side this morning to meet up with my friend Katherine (left), in town from Dallas, and her friend Sharon (right). We had an excellent Mexican brunch in what I believe was Alphabet City, and then had further alphabeticalistic adventures when trying to get back home. I'll go ahead and share that story, even though I realize it's not very interesting, just in case anyone's curious about weekend subway mishaps:

To get to the Lower East Side, we took the 7 train from Queens to 5th Ave. and caught the F/V down to the Lower East Side/2nd Avenue stop. Unfortunately, though, the F/V was not running uptown, which is to say we couldn't come back the way we came. So instead we had to take the A in the opposite direction, far enough that we could transfer to an uptown train. This was far -- all the way to the Jay Street station in Brooklyn, in fact. There, we hopped off to catch the F back uptown, which was actually running on the A track. After a couple stops, we transferred to an uptown 6 express, which got us to Grand Central, where Rasanah and I parted ways. Then it was an uneventful 7 back to Queens for me.

The iPhone app that's saved me in my subway and pedestrian pursuits is called CityTransit. I really advise anyone in New York with an iPhone to get it because it not only has the famous subway map, but you can look up routes and stops by line, and find the nearest stop using nutty GPS technology. There's also a feed with the latest transit warnings and updates. So it's been very useful. And, of course, the Google Map app has been useful too, although as most people are quick to point out, the numbered street system does make it pretty easy to get around.

MoMA, Coney Island, Brooklyn Museum, party

Australia by David Smith
It was Saturday.

Rasanah and I awoke and had breakfast at the diner below my apartment. Then we headed out to the Museum of Modern Art, aka MoMA, to spend a fantastic couple of hours soaking in furniture, photographs, paintings and sculpture. I particularly enjoyed the photographs, although I felt uncomfortable taking pictures of other people's pictures, even though there didn't seem to be a rule against it. Instead, I took photos of pieces like Australia by David Smith, pictured above. Having spent a few weeks Down Under in March, I naturally recognized immediately the depiction of a leaping kangaroo. Well, not immediately ... more like after reading the description. But then it was clear.

But MoMA isn't just about visual art; it's also about aural art. Observe Days by Bruce Nauman:

video

My frustration in the video is not genuine -- it was actually a pretty cool exhibit, and hard to forget, which is, I think, a worthwhile accomplishment for art.

Suzanne shoots a freak.After the museum, we went to Coney Island to celebrate the 30th birthday of my friend and future roommate Suzanne. I'd never been, but it was pretty close to what I expected -- old-time rides and games, with snacks and people parking by the beach and hanging out on a pier. The group had hot dogs at Nathan's Famous. In New York, (some?) restaurants are required to divulge calories, which is not assuring information at a place that touts its chili cheese fries, hot dogs and giant beers. I totally ate those things anyway. Suzanne shot a freak at the Shoot The Freak booth, pictured at left.

After Coney Island, we went to the Brooklyn Museum of Art, where they have a later-hour party on the first Saturday of the month, with drinks and a DJ and so forth. Plus all the exhibits are open. I really enjoyed the 19th and 20th century fashion display on the fourth floor:

Fashions at the Brooklyn Museum of Art And, finally, we went to a house party near the museum. A long but wonderful New Yorky day. Now we're off to brunch to meet up with one of my friends from Dallas who happens to be in town. I just feel like there's no limit* to what I can do in the Big Apple!

*Please send money.

Friday, June 4, 2010

A club means belonging

RasanahAll is well in the Big Apple, at least with me. My Thursday started off roughly. I didn't hear my alarm go off because of the window A/C unit by my bed, so I was in quite a rush after waking up naturally. Compounding my rush was that I had parked my car on a street that undergoes sweeping on Thursday mornings, so I had to move it, which was a time-consuming ordeal. I ended up finding a spot a little too close to a fire hydrant for my taste, but fortunately when I returned in the evening, it was still there, without a ticket. I finally made a trip to an expensive grocery store across the street and had a delightful dinner.

Today's morning went much more according to plan. At work, I was given a rather large and open-ended project, which could turn into either a resounding success or catastrophic failure. I'm putting in an awful lot of thought, though, so I'm hoping for the former. After work I met up with my friend Rasanah, who has an internship this summer that splits her time between New York and New Haven. We dined at the Yale Club, which was tasty and had a charmingly old-fashioned decor, reminding me of the country club in which I spent much of my youth back in St. Louis. Then we met up with some classmates at 230 Fifth, a rooftop bar uncreatively located at 230 Fifth Ave. We then came back to Queens, had a bit of wine at the bar next door to my apartment, and here we are!

Tomorrow, weather permitting, Coney Island!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Park spelled backwards is ...

Washington Square ParkAfter work, I met up for dinner with one of my besties from high school, Heidi, in the West Village. I had a bit of time to kill there, so using my handy iPhone map, I noted that the restaurant, La Palapa, was near Washington Square Park. When I walked up, I noticed something a little off-putting about the park. Maybe it was the chain-link fence, orange construction barrels and lack of both grass and people? Then I went one more block and saw that the second half of the park is not under construction, and I sat there for a bit and made important phone calls, like to my nephew who turned 4 today.

New York is full of musicians everywhere you go. Sax players, drummers, bassists, whatchacallitsers. They perform for passers-by. I'd join them in their unsolicited performances if my instrument of choice were portable. Music adds a nice flavor to the city, though. It makes the people come together.

Work is going well. I think my projects are interesting and relatively important, and that my input is being valued so far.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My first day at work

The Associated Press Today was my first day at work at The AP. Most of the day was spent in orientation. There appear to be about 25 or so interns working out of the New York office, 10 of whom are business associates like me, the rest of whom are either technology or editorial interns. The other MBA students are in departments such as strategy, new product development, corporate communications and client content services. My department is global new media. A couple of the interns had backgrounds very similar to mine -- several years as a journalist, now pursuing an MBA. There's also a Harvard Law student interning with the general counsel. The technology and editorial interns were mostly undergrads. Everyone was cool.

The building is gorgeous. AP occupies the top three floors, and I'm on the top floor in the mezzanine. Pictured is my desk. One of the neatest things in the office is a tremendously nice gym, complete with a personal trainer, a nutritionist and someone who gives massages. There are also showers and lockers, and a basketball court. It's free for interns and open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. I hope I have time to take advantage! Another neat amenity was this sort of strange little room with a bed and a sink called the "quiet room," for people who need a nap or are having a migraine, I guess. I hope I do not have to take advantage of that, ever.

My supervisor, whom I'd spoken to on the phone but never met in person, was very nice. My many questions led to me taking home a substantial stack of reading material in advance of three afternoon conference calls. What I'm doing is to some extent confidential ... not that it's particularly sexy, but my supervisor did make a point of mentioning that I shouldn't be sharing much about it publicly. That may turn out to be good news, loyal reader.

That's about it! The commute wasn't complicated but was more arduous than I'd hoped. It took probably 45 minutes door-to-door, and both coming and going I was pretty sweaty upon my arrival. And it wasn't even a particularly hot day. I may have to explore the bus system so that I don't always arrive at work a stinky disaster. That ain't professional.