New York: Week 1 & 2

July 20, 2011

I am hoping this is the last overdue blog that I will be writing because, boy, do I have a lot to catch up on! I came to New York for a summer internship with the International Center of Photography (ICP) as well as have some fun in New York. I’ll begin with the first few days being in New York…

The first of July was a pretty hectic day for me- traveling in the wee morning hours from Bloomington to Indy so I could hop a flight with my Aunt Dinah to New York! We started our flight with a nice morning beverage and discussion of the next few days. Dinah was nice enough to come with me to show me some of the New York “ropes”… and of course, have a little fun along the way!

When we got to New York we headed to the Essex House to drop our things and start our day! We then immediately headed to the subway station to get my month long pass and to try it out. It seemed so easy that time around…even worse, I think I got a little more confident than I should have because of my experience with them in Japan. I figured that if I could use them easily in a foreign country where I couldn’t understand/read the language, that I could definitely handle New York’s subways…I was wrong. New York has the most insanely confusing and disorganized subway system ever. If there is one thing that might make me go insane in New York, it will be trying to find my way from point A to point B every single time I want to do something. PLEASE tell me it gets easier!? Anyway, after using the subway we headed to the West Village to check it out and have some delicious mexican food and margaritas. The next few days was a blur of running around, shopping, stuffing ourselves with some of the most delicious food I have ever eaten, and drinking wine.

A few nights into being here, Dinah and I had tickets to go see Wicked with one of her friends. Unfortunately, her friend ended up not being able to come with us, so instead, we took a waitress from the restaurant we had dinner at- which by the way was my favorite meal yet. If you are in New York, make sure to stop by Thalia and get the Mushroom Ravioli with Truffle Sauce. More importantly, Wicked was incredible. The show itself is a really interesting take on the Wizard of Oz, which I really appreciated having been a huge fan of the Wizard of Oz growing up, but what really stood out was the actress playing the Wicked Witch. She had, by far, the best voice that I have ever heard. Every time she sang I got goose bumps. Absolutely incredible. This is definitely a show to see, especially if you can see it with this cast!

After Wicked, Dinah and I were invited back to Thalia for a drink from the manager as a thank you for taking his waitress along. On the way home, Dinah decided that we had to have a “real slice of New York pizza” before we hit the hay. She was right, it was delicious, but still a very very bad decision!

The next morning, Dinah and I headed over to the Plaza Hotel for their brunch. I tried lox on my bagel for the first time and loved it and then Dinah made fun of me because I said that their oatmeal was cold when really it was Muesli. I am guessing most of you had to click the link to know what that was and that I am not the only “uncultured boob” around! -Thanks Dinah! The rest of the day was filled with relaxing and pampering before meeting up with my friend, Steve-who is in the BFA program at IU with me, for dinner which was followed by Molly arriving in New York. Molly is girl from my BFA program who is doing the same internship as I am and will be my roommate while we are here. It was her first flight ever and first time in New York!

Molly’s arrival threw us right back into getting business done, so the next day we made our way out to Douglaston to see where we would be staying and to attempt taking the train back into town.  When we got to Douglaston, we were all blown away at how beautiful and calm the area was. The streets are lined with beautiful old trees and victorian style homes and the area is surrounded by water. We couldn’t have asked for more!  When we arrived at the house we were staying, we were equally blown away at our living situation and the hospitality that was shown to us. Before coming to New York, we put a lot of hours into trying to find places to stay- things we either too far, too expensive, fell through, or unsafe. We couldn’t seem to find anything that worked for us. Luckily, through a common family friend, we were offered a beautiful carriage house to stay in for the time that we are here. We have been spoiled here and we can’t thank Linda, Tom, and Gloria enough for the hospitality they have shown us.

After dropping our things off and getting a tour of our new town, we jumped on the Long Island Rail Road to check our commute to ICP.  The train is actually very nice and only takes about 25 minutes to get us into Manhattan… At first I was a little weary of that, but it has actually been really nice to have a little sit down period to read/relax before jumping into all of New York’s “crazy.”  Once arriving, we trekked it to ICP to see where we would have to go the next day when we started our internship!

Since our Fourth of July wasn’t turning out to be so festive, we decided to take a walk through Central Park (which ended up being a bike tour with a man who I thought might have a heat stroke after pedaling us around), eat some sushi, and watch fireworks from our room while watching Paul.  I had to take a picture of the fountain that is in the intro of Friends just for my friend Brittan! All around, a good 4th!

The next morning we had to wake up early for Dinah’s departure and to get ready for our first day at ICP! Molly, Dinah, and I had some delicious breakfast before saying our goodbyes and heading out onto the streets of New York.

On our first day at ICP, we met with all of our “supervisors” for the different departments we could work for (digital lab, darkroom/cage, education office, and library) to figure out our schedules. My schedule is a bit of a mixture of working in the digital lab, the darkroom/cage area, as well as being a teacher’s assistant for a few classes. Everyone seemed extremely nice and fun to work with (and have continued to remain that way…so far…) so I was really excited to start it all. The first week of working, however, was a bit frustrating for me because I am not used to going into jobs not knowing what to do or not being trained the first day so I can spring board from there. It was really hard for me to feel dependent on everyone’s answers all the time to get my job done. I still kind of feel this way but I think this could change with time.

Because I am exhausted with writing this and I am sure no one really wants to read all the boring detail, I am just going to give you a recap of the last two weeks with pictures and captions!

Molly and I headed to Caliente Cab Co. after our first day of work to treat ourselves to some delicious guac followed by some touring of Greenwhich Village.

That weekend, after working and getting situated in our temporary home, Molly and I set out to see some New York sites. First stop was the World Trade Center site and Museum. We couldn’t see much of the WTC area because of all of the construction but the museum filled us in on what we were missing. To be honest, I found the museum to be really strange… not only was it poorly laid out but I felt that the content choice for the displays and captions almost made the situation seem silly. It was a very odd experience for me. The memorial, from the plans, however, seems like its going to be beautiful.

After visiting the WTC museum, we stopped for the “world’s best pizza” before we headed to see the Statue of Liberty…Turns out it is really hard to see when it is rainy and foggy outside…

The next day, Molly and I headed out to find some galleries to check out… apparently we ended up in the wrong areas to see the best art but we did find the show that included this and other similar images….I am not sure who the artist is but I will update it when I figure it out. Loved this work, though!

That Sunday, Douglaston had it’s first farmers market. We were told to be weary since it was the first attempt ever for them, however, we were blown away when we got there. It is not Bloomington, Indiana farmers market…but it sure holds its ground. We got some of the best peaches I have ever eaten, some other tasty produce, and some fresh fish and scallops (which was a huge treat since we don’t get that at home!)

Later that day, Molly and I headed over to Gloria’s house. Gloria is “our neighbor” here in Douglaston who helped us find our living situation. Her sister worked for my dad before so I had never met Gloria, but I soon learned that she was an incredibly wonderful lady! Molly, Gloria, Libby (Gloria’s niece) and I spent time getting to know each other and swimming in the most beautiful back yard! After swimming, Gloria treated us all to dinner and bingo at her country club. It was quite a swanky, yet extremely fun place! During dinner, Gloria explained that she really enjoyed photography so after dinner I got to give her a little mini lesson and she showed me where all the good flower shots were 🙂

After a jam packed first week, we took the trek to ICP again to start our second week. This week, I served as a Teacher’s Assistant for “Photography in the Digital World” taught by Maynard Switzer. Throughout the week, Maynard discussed how to use the different functions on your digital camera. I even picked up a few things here and there that I had never used/known about before. Maynard’s work currently involves freelance travel shots so it was interesting for me to hear his perspective on traveling and shooting in other countries.

That Tuesday, when I went outside for lunch in the little plaza next to ICP’s school, I found this…  You can’t tell from these shots but the women were actually dancing and spinning on these huge poles! Pretty awesome to walk out for a quick lunch break and find something like this!

The best part of the trip so far happened that Wednesday! Molly and I finally found tickets for the Book of Mormon! The show was outstanding. I had such a huge smile on my face the entire time that my cheeks throbbed afterwards. I was incredibly impressed with the way they balanced “critiquing” Mormonism/religion in general as well as showed the benefits of it. It was especially interesting to me because they set the story in Uganda, and having been there and seen some of the negative effects of missionaries, I was thoroughly impressed and pleased that they tackled that subject! I would recommend this musical to anyone that has any inkling of a sense of humor and humility! SO SO GREAT!

Later that week, I took Molly to my Dad and my favorite place to eat in New York, Cranberry Cafe. Better yet, it happens to be a few blocks away from ICP!! After that we took a walk over to Times Square so Molly could see it for the first time….It was packed like always.

Friday after work, I finally got some time again to do a few fun/relaxing/”New York” things! Molly and I headed over to the ICP Museum to check out their gallery. Right now they have a very large show from Elliot Erwitt and two smaller ones from Ruth Gruber and Hiroshima. I knew who Elliott Erwitt was before but I had yet to see a good number of his photos. The photos on display were ones that he personally selected which made the show extremely dynamic. He chose a lot of his funnier images, which I really appreciated.

This past weekend was filled with all sorts of fun. We finally went out for a bit at night. We didn’t stay long but we got to go to Greenwhich to see some night life at a bar as well as the park where there were tons of people playing music, dancing, and having drum circles. The next day, Molly and I headed over to Gloria’s pool to swim for a while before Gloria, Molly and I headed to the Nassau County Museum of Art for a Richard Avedon photography show. The show was really beautiful. First of all the museum was incredible. It is an old mansion that was converted to a Museum and park. The Avedon show was also incredible. I had seen a show of his at ICP a couple of years ago and was impressed but somehow the prints at this show really stood out to me. I cannot believe the detail that he gets in his images. What an amazing photographer.

The next morning, Molly and I got up early to do another day at the farmers market. This time, there were a few more vendors with equally amazing foods and a lot more people. When we got home, we met up with my good friend, Tony, to go to Long Beach. Tony and I have known each other for the four years from doing IU Timmy Foundation stuff together. He is now in New York, attending the Albert Einstein School of Medicine.  Whata smarty! Long Beach was beautiful and extremely hot. The sun, unfortunately, got me pretty bad that day but it was completely worth it to have a beautiful day on the ocean with good friends!

I promise my next post will be much better! There was a lot to catch up on and very little time…. I will not procrastinate ever again….

until tomorrow….


+ Show / Hide Comments

Share to:

  1. cindy says:

    gab, i really enjoyed your blog. good to see you, the people with you and the things you are enjoying! xo mom

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *