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1.31.2013

Back to the lions!

We were extra lucky this week because we have field trips two days in a row! Today, Kathy and the group checked out two exhibits at the New York Public Library (NYPL).

But before I headed back to my lions, I needed to go ice skating first. The NYPL sits right next to Bryant Park so Whitney and I left the hotel extra early so I could get in some rink time.


Lucky for me, going early and on a Thursday means there are substantially less people skating and no small children. The rink was a little rough, but they did clean it up so I was able to skate on some smooth ice.

Whitney and I met up with the group and we ventured into the NYPL. We first checked out "Echos of Silence," a photography exhibit with photos from Philip Trager. All the photos were in black and white and several were of houses. The shadows turned out really well and in my opinion, created the "echoes of silence."

After checking out the photos, we ventured to the Lunch NYC exhibit. This was an exhibit I had been looking forward to. The library used their extensive lunch menu collection and other resources to tell the story of "lunch" in the Big Apple. They showed us how the word "lunch" came into existence and the varieties of lunches available to workers.

Before heading out, I had to check out the children's room. It was BEAUTIFUL, and not surprisingly, I felt right at home.

I finished off my afternoon with a chai latte at a coffeeshop and some writing. Still have more to do, but that's the weekend project.

Will write more and in more detail this week. Pretty exhausted right now, so I'm headed to bed since I have work tomorrow.

1.30.2013

Queens and Fresh Pants

On a normal Wednesday, I spend my day working at NYPL. But today was an extra special day.

Aka FIELD TRIP DAY.

I have just been so fortunate to go on so many field trips.

Today we headed to Queens to check out the Museum of the Moving Image. This will be considered one of our "cinema" events so naturally, Alan, our film professor, met us at the museum.

This is a fantastic museum for anyone remotely interested in film. The building itself was pretty nifty, very modern and slick.

Three stories tall, the third floor is divided into early film, fun things to do with film, and then the specific parts of filming (the actual filming, sounds, editing, special effects, etc.). They had so many neat objects, like cameras from the beginnings of film all the way up to the mask of Chewbacca (my dad better be pretty jealous, he LOVES Chewy).

I had two favorite sections. The first was the section on sound. There was a neat interactive activity where a scene from a movie played, without background music. Then, you could chose what music would go under the scene and depending on what you chose, it really did make a difference in how the scene appeared to the audience. For example, there's a scene in the movie Vertigo (it holds a special place in the hearts of my immediate family). The museum scene (click here to see the section I'm talking about) is dramatically different if the background music leads the audience to believe the man and woman are attracted to each other. 

The other neat section was the one about editing. They actually had a large screen TV that displayed what "live-editing" looked like at a baseball game. It takes a TON of coordination and effort to make a baseball game seem as smooth as it does on TV.

The final nifty thing we got to do was see an episode of the Muppets in an art-deco Egyptian style theater. Kind of a crazy and unique atmosphere.

So now you're probably wondering why I have "fresh pants" in my title. WELL, I also did laundry today. Laundry is tricky (and expensive compared to our unlimited wash and dry for a small fee at Coe). Whitney and I conquered laundry today, heading over to a laundromat a few blocks away. Success. And warm, fresh-from-the-dryer pants. Winning. 

1.29.2013

North to the Bronx!

Sonnets and coffee in the morning
Today was an extremely full, exciting, and rewarding day. I began with heading up the street to Zebar's to pick up some groceries. After dropping them off and wishing Whitney and Ashley a lovely day at work, it was up to the Coffee Bean and Tea coffee shop. This was my meeting location because I was going with Brigid, a NYPL librarian who works in the community outreach department.

Once I met up with Brigid, it was off to the Bronx. Our first stop was the Methodist Home for Nursing and Rehabilitation. We checked in and headed upstairs to their Great Room. It was a magnificent room, with a high ceiling. Fifteen people showed up and they were a chatty group. Brigid and I read some information on Martin Luther King Jr. along with some African folktales and poetry. My favorite moment at the nursing home was when Brigid read the poem, "Trees" by Joyce Kilmer. I think every person there chimed in, creating a roaring rendition of the poem.

This is the sort of outreach I treasure as a librarian. The smiles on their faces as the reading was going was priceless. This is why libraries matter. This is what keeps me coming back. The joy that knowledge and literature brings to anyone, regardless of age.

Since we were up in the Bronx, Brigid gave me the whole tour. We ate lunch at a Mexican restaurant and talked all about libraries, librarians, and the NYPL. Brigid has worked with NYPL for over 30 years, beginning in the Bronx and eventually ending up at the Mid-Manhattan branch. What is amazing about Brigid is the NYPL history she knows. I heard all about the librarians who helped bring NYPL to the level it's at today. I can't tell you how inspiring that was.

Our restaurant was only a block away from one of the Bronx library branches, Kingsbridge. This branch just moved into a brand new building and boy, is it beautiful. Brigid took me in, showed me the place, and introduced me to the young adult librarian, Andrea.

Part of Heritage Collection
From there, we moved over to the Bronx Library Center, aka Mid-Manhattan's counterpart. It was a beautiful branch, five stories tall with a large computer lab, a wonderful children's section, an active teen department, a large auditorium, and a reading and writing center, especially focused on teaching English. The clerks and librarians were extremely friendly and I met several, thanks to Brigid. We also got a sneak peek in their Puerto Rican Heritage Collection, which was fascinating.

Right next to the library is Edgar Allen Poe Park. I need to do a little more research on Poe but according to Brigid, Poe lived in the Bronx for a period of time. Poe's house is in the park along with a...RAVEN (yes a raven) shaped building. Pretty neat?

But the day wasn't over yet. From the Bronx, we headed back to Manhattan and over to the Modern Museum of Art Education Center for: Adults on the Spectrum Share Their Experiences at Museums. A panel, composed of three woman and a male moderator, discussed their experiences in museums as someone with either autism or Aspergers. It was a fascinating panel and I learned a lot.

A final highlight of this day was talking to Brigid about a big project I could work on. I won't give it all away (I need to do some research and exploration) but it deals with helping Alzheimer patients and working with teens. I'm thrilled and already hard at work putting together a proposal.

So yes, that's a pretty quick run down of my day. Probably my favorite day in NYC so far and much thanks to Brigid for showing me around and spending time discussing libraries. An incredible day in the world of NYPL and Hailley Fargo! :)  

Why I'm an English Major

Quick note: I started this post last semester after countless moments when I was reminded why I am an English major. Of course, last semester got away from me and this post sat unfinished. After my amazing day (which I'll describe in the next blog post), I decided I needed to finish this post up to give my readers a little background to understand why today (1/29) was so out of this world.

I remember when I was in high school and reached the stage where I wanted to know what I was going to major in. I wanted to have some direction in my life and I figured picking out a major was the easiest way to find that path.

I had several ideas on what I wanted to do. People told me I could be the next president of the United States (Fargo 2028?), I could teach, I could write, or I could do whatever I set my mind to.

Lots of options.

But nothing really sparked my interest. Sure, I had wanted to be a teacher when I was younger but I grew out of that as the years went on. All I really knew was that I loved to read, loved the library, and loved to write in notebooks. What could I do with that?

I wavered back and forth between a major. Business administration was practical, financial degrees ran in my family, I loved writing, and English was my favorite subject in high school.

English seemed the most logical. It allowed me to do what I loved, aka read books and discuss them with other book lovers like myself. It also required me to write papers, lots of them, tapping into another strength of mine.

So English it was. It took me my first year at Coe to really cement that choice. I was fortunate enough to take excellent introductory English classes that not only allowed me to meet the faculty but also fall in love again with literature. My first semester I took African American Literature, discovering Gwendolyn Brooks and Colson Whitehead. Second semester tested me even more with British Renaissance Literature. That class was taught by Gina Hausknecht, who had just recently become my English department advisor. Gina pushed me in that class and I spent countless hours in her office, going over my papers, finding ways to improve them, and discussing the poetry to better understand it. This class is still influencing me today, considering the sonnet form is my favorite type of poetry.

These classes, along with Honors Composition my second semester confirmed English was my path. And so I continued on my merry way. Every semester, especially last fall, I had these moments of clarity. Sometimes it was in the middle of class when I made a connection I hadn't thought of before. Sometimes it was in Brewed or the Writing Center, as I recapped a class period with fellow English majors or even my professor. And sometimes it was while I was studying, when I finished a particularly good book or finished writing a paper.

This confirmation was paired with my continual love of libraries. My first "real" job was working at my public library. I helped with the summer library reading program and loved it. My second semester at Coe I worked at the Stewart Memorial Library. Sure, it was just being a clerk but it allowed me to see a different kind of library, a college level academic library.

Now while I love college kids, I also really missed working with younger kids, teens, and families. Through these experiences, I decided on pursing a library science degree in youth/teen services post Coe. Now, I'm ready for changes to be made, especially with my experience in New York, but this is my current plan.

Continue reading my next post to see how much fun I had in the Bronx!

1.28.2013

Hello Monday.

This will be a short post, nothing super exciting occurred today. The Happiest Song Plays Last last night was OUT OF THIS WORLD. Stunning. Really. And it was only a reading. The actual play will open up in April in Chicago. Slash, I'll be back in the Midwest by then and I really really really want to go. We'll see.

Worked at the library today. Went on a field trip to pick up some donations from Housing Works. I've been wanting to go there since I discovered them on Tumblr several months ago. I just got a sneak peek today but I'm most definitely coming back.

Night!

1.27.2013

Ice skating and "The Elliot Trilogy"

Happy Sunday! It's a beautiful 32 degrees in New York City and a great day to be out and about. Sure, it's a little chilly but warmer than the past week.

Whitney and I went adventuring today to Bryant Park. I went ice skating! For those of you who don't know me extremely well, I ADORE ice skating. I can really only skate in circles, use my toe pick, and attempt to skate backwards. I think I will need to watch Ice Princess a few more times or befriend Michelle Trachtenberg and hope she remembers a few moves from the movie to get any better. But nevertheless, skating is a lovely pastime of mine.

I love it so much that I am lucky enough to own my own pair of pretty skates and lucky enough that my dad let me bring them on our road trip to NYC! Before arriving, I had done a little research. While it might be every girl's dream to skate at Rockefeller Plaza, not only is it a tad pricey (even if I brought my own skates) but the rink is also VERY tiny (kind of incredible how small it is). So I continued looking. I've been told by native New Yorkers and my relatives that Central Park has a lovely rink but once again, there is a small cost to use the ice. The best option I found (aka it's FREE) is skating at Bryant Park.

It's a reasonable size rink (although not as big as the rink in Mt. Horeb) and it wasn't too busy. There were lots of families there so I had to keep alert as to not run into anyone. The ice was also a little rough but regardless, I throughly enjoyed myself.

From there, Whitney and I walked a few blocks to 2nd Stage Theater. We saw a special reading of part one of "The Elliot Trilogy" by Quiara Alegria Hudes. We saw the second part of this trilogy, Water by the Spoonful, on Thursday night and were invited back today to see the first and third parts. The first part, Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue was fantastic. This part premiered at Page 73 Productions in 2006. For this reading, they were able to bring back the original cast.  Although it was only a reading, it was still moving and allowed the audience to imagine what the set would look like.

Once the reading was over, we had lunch at the nearby Shake Shack. It's a popular chain, which started off as a hot dog stand in Madison Square Park. The place was packed but luckily we were able to snag a few seats.

Now I'm back, catching up on some journal entries. Later tonight, we'll head back to 2nd Stage Theater to see the final part of "The Elliot Trilogy" The Happiest Song Plays Last. Then it's another week in the city. Can't wait!

1.26.2013

A Play, Twitter, Post-Modern Dance, and Chinatown

Apparently I like creating titles that encompass every plot point in the post. Interesting.

Anyways, where I last left off was Thursday afternoon. Post-library, it was to the Theater District of Manhattan (near Times Square) to see Water by the Spoonful. This play by Quiara Alegria Hudes won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Drama. Water by the Spoonful is actually part two of a trilogy. The plot focuses on a man named Elliot, a Marine who returns from Iraq and is dealing with his own demons that continue to haunt him. Elliot is also dealing with his complicated family. The final aspect of this plot is an online chat room that is for recovering addicts. All these story lines collide in an incredibly moving piece of theater. I think each of us cried at some point during the play and one of the strongest aspects of the play was its ability to hit us square in the heart in a variety of different ways.

After the play, we had our usual discussion and then headed downstairs and towards the chilly NYC streets. Right near the door, we ran into two of the actresses (both were stunning). We started chatting with them and telling them how much we enjoyed the performance. They were so impressed with us they informed us that a reading of the first and third sections of Hudes' trilogy were being read on Sunday. They would be read before and after the matinee performance of Water by the Spoonful (so the trilogy would occur, all the on the same day!). They didn't know if there were any tickets left, but if there were, we should come. The best part was that they told Susan (our theater professor) that she should tell the box office we were family and friends! It pays off to be friendly and complimentary.

Susan was able to nab us tickets so another field trip on Sunday! It should be really fun and based on Water by the Spoonful, the readings of the other two plays should be out of this world.

Friday was another day at the Paley Center. I really enjoy working there. I created more potential tweets and Facebook posts to advertise for Paley Fest. I'm such a social media junkie at times (especially when it comes to Twitter) so the ability to write tweets all day is right up my alley. I also enjoy it because I am able to research TV shows and attempt to learn how their fandom works. Fandoms are extremely interesting and unique to each show. I helped out with six shows and then it was time to head back to the Hotel Belleclaire.

Our Friday night event was seeing a dance performance. There were three dances performed, all choreographed by Yvonne Rainer. She is a very famous choreographer and her dance is a rebellion against traditional ballet and modern dance. It's sort of post-modern and definitely unique. Quite a change from the ballet last Friday. In two of her dances, she included talking, either from herself or the dancers. It was definitely unexpected at first but as it continued, you got use to it. Many times, the speeches were critiques on society and did get you thinking. I'm planning on writing my response to it later today so I don't forget anything.

Ashley, Whitney, and I decided to sleep in and once we woke up and got ready, we joined Rina and headed to Chinatown on the lower East side of Manhattan. This area of Manhattan is...special. A main cross street down there is Canal Street, aka the home of knock-offs. People stand in on the sidewalk, talking to you at every opportunity asking if you want a bag, watch, or want to sell your gold watches. And not only is it Chinatown, but Little Italy, and other ethnicities live in the area. The area ends up being a large melting pot of traditions and food. We ate lunch at a Chinese restaurant, drank some bubble tea, and looked around in a few Chinese bakeries.

The weather currently in New York City is one word: FREEZING. Yes, yes, I'm from Wisconsin and should be use to teen temperatures but not ready for this. It's chilly. And we walk everywhere so it's walk quickly and take the nearest subway possible. I'm hoping it will warm up just a bit. Then I could handle that.

Well, I need to write some responses so I don't fall behind. Hope all is well wherever you're reading this from!

1.24.2013

Field Trip Wednesday & Thursday

So as I talked about in my last post, I was scheduled for a Bronx field trip on Tuesday but it was postponed. Little did I know that I would have the opportunity to go to the Bronx on Wednesday.

I arrived at the library at my normal time, worked on various projects, and took a lunch break around noon. When I returned Nick asked me, "Hey Hailley, want to go with Sarah to the Bronx?"

I said, "Sure, that sounds awesome."

So Sarah and I headed to Grand Central Station to hop on a train to take us north and into the Bronx. Sarah is another librarian in the correctional services department. She is wonderful and we always have good conversations about the purpose of libraries and our own personal experiences in libraries.

We were headed to Bronx Hope, a non-secure detention and placement school for incarcerated teens, to meet with their librarian, Anja. These teens live in group homes and go to school at Bronx Hope. This school is part of a New York School system called Passages Academy. The New York Public Library and the Brooklyn Public Library system work with these schools, primarily their libraries (obviously). I learned a lot about the program through my visit and through research post-trip. (Aka get ready for a lot of interesting links if you want to know more). First, I read a NYPL blog post that was an interview with the Passages Academy librarians. From that page, I visited the Passages Academy librarians' blog called "What's Good?" and then that blog took me to a website devoted to the Passages Academy libraries.

When we got to the school, we checked in with security and Anja met us. We discovered Bronx Hope had just moved into a new building this year and although there were many benefits to the building, an elevator was not included. So it was solely stairs. We swung by the library on the way to the teachers' lounge and it was nice. It wasn't huge, but there were plenty of books, DVDs, and places to sit. Anja was clearly proud of the space and you could immediately tell it was her home.

Up in the teachers' lounge, Sarah and Anja discussed different programs that the NYPL could bring in for these teens. The main program Anja was interested in was one that Sarah has perfected over the years, a resume building workshop. Sarah is extremely passionate about working with incarcerated people and helping them build a resume that highlights their strengths.

Once the meeting was over, so was my day. Sarah and I hopped back on the subway and rode back into the city. I got a little turned about leaving Grand Central Station but eventually found my way back to the West side and my hotel.

Ashley, Whitney, and I went out to dinner and were recommended a cute little Latin restaurant a few blocks from our hotel. As usual, we had fabulous conversation. This roommate situation is working out quite well! :)

So that was Wednesday. Today, we met Kathy in the lobby of the hotel before taking a crosstown bus to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

I. Love. The Met.

It is fabulous. I could have and would have spent all day there if I could. Our purpose was to check out a photography exhibit that highlighted photoshop techniques before photoshop and computers were around.

Yes, you could manipulate photos without photoshop. Crazy, right?

It was a fascinating exhibit. Each room had a different focus, beginning with the first photos that were manipulated all they way up to the crazy photoshopped photos. The exhibit was also close to the impressionist gallery.

And who loves the impressionist period? This girl.

Yes, I spent about ten minutes in one of the Monet rooms just looking at the beautiful artwork. I plan on making several return trips and spending much more time with Monet and a bunch of other artists.

It was time for lunch and Whitney, Ashley, and I experienced our first food-cart lunch. Delicious. That's all we can really say, delicious.

Now the three of us are camped out in a New York Public Library branch (it's only a couple of blocks from our hotel). It's the St. Agnes branch and heavily used (especially by families). Perfect!

We do have a play tonight, Water by the Spoonful. It's been getting great reviews and I love plays, so naturally, I'm excited to go.

  

1.23.2013

More Organ Music!

After a long weekend, I was ready to head back to my internship. I thought Tuesday would be a field trip day to a library in the Bronx with a fellow librarian, but unfortunately, she wasn't feeling the best so the trip was postponed until next week.

Coffee in hand, I jumped on the subway (very crowded mind you) I headed downtown to the central library, aka the Mid-Manhattan branch. I headed up to my cubicle and worked on a few miscellaneous projects before Nick, my boss, came back from his own outreach program.  I'll also take this time to direct your reading to an excellent blog post that highlights some of what Nick and Sarah (another librarian I work with) do on a fairly regular basis. This is a type of community outreach I've never experienced before (Mt. Horeb doesn't have a prison) so I'm learning a lot so far and really pushing my thoughts of what it means to be a librarian.

My project for the rest of the day was revamping and adding onto the Veterans History Project Homepage. If you remember, on my first day, I was able to sit in on one of the interviews, which was a fascinating experience. We are still collecting interviews but need a central spot to store them all. I created separate subpages for each veteran, added a short biography and a few photos in, and now, am just waiting for the audio to finish off the page. I think it looks pretty good and I'm excited to add more veteran stories to the page.

I quickly walked home (it was quite chilly outside yesterday), had a warm cup of soup, and then headed to Alice Tully Hall for an organ concert.

Yes, you read that correctly, an organ concert.

The performers were Julliard students, all studying under a very well-known organist Paul Jacobs. It was a good concert; I don't think I've ever listened to that much organ music in one sitting. The students performed organ pieces written from the 16th century up to the present, adding a nice variety to the concert. Often, the organist would perform with another instrument and those soloists were also out of this world. When the concert finished, I just kept telling myself that I have to figure out how one plays the organ. As I said often in the Lake District, "It's research time!"


1.21.2013

Long Weekend

Because of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, all the library branches were closed today. This gave me a long weekend to continue to explore the city.

After working in the library for a few hours, Whitney and I wandered back to our hotel and walked around looking for a late lunch. After several, several, several blocks, we decided on Big Nick's, located conveniently right next to our hotel.

We spent Saturday night checking out an art gallery reception near Times Square. The artist was a friend of Kathy's. It was neat to see an art opening and know that there will be many more throughout the next couple of months.

Post-show, I met up with my aunt, uncle, and cousin who happened to be in the city Saturday night. We ate dinner at a delicious Thai restaurant called Topaz. It was nice to see them and in general, it's nice to have family close by.


Sunday was an adventure day; Ashley, Whitney, and I visited The Strand, It's a bookstore so it's no surprise we ended up there. They boast it's 18 miles of books.

It's a lot of books.

Of course, I found something. Aka a Strand bag, a notebook, and one book. Whoops!

The Strand is located in Union Square, so we just walked around the area and did lots of window-shopping.

Today, I had breakfast/catch-up with Alison at a bagel place a few blocks away from our hotel. Then I headed downtown to a coffeeshop for some writing, reading, and me time. Mid-afternoon I returned to the Upper West Side and went for a walk before having dinner with Ashley and Whitney.

Back to work tomorrow and also have event tomorrow night!

1.19.2013

One Week!

Can you believe that last week I was checking into the hotel? It seems like such a long time ago.

I've gotten very very use to the NYC routine. I love the busyness of the city and the independence. It's also a nice change of pace to have an internship instead of classes and all the amazing cultural events I have the opportunity to go to.

Friday was my first day at The Paley Center. It's a beautiful building right next to the CBS studios and pretty close to Rockefeller Center. I got there a little early so I walked around, grabbed a cup of coffee, and just enjoyed the crisp Friday morning air. Then it was time to start my day. I have the opportunity to work with the Paley Center's creative team on their social media sites. I spent the day writing potential tweets and Facebook posts for the upcoming PaleyFest in March. It looks like an amazing festival and if only I was in LA!

Last night was also the New York City Ballet. We finally met our final professor, Patricia. She is absolutely lovely and we had a nice walk from our hotel to the David H. Koch Theater (near Lincoln Center).

And the ballet was OUT OF THIS WORLD. Incredibly elegant and beautiful. We saw three movements (not sure if that's the correct technical term). The music was Tschaikovsky and it was choreographed by George Balanchine.

The first movement was entitled "Serenade" and was very dreamlike. The ballerinas were wearing gauze like skirts that when lifted into the air, slowly drifted back down. Stunning. The loose story around this was a girl walked in late and then became the star of the show. The final "scene" was three men lifting her straight into the air and carrying her almost off stage. Again, just absolutely beautiful.

There was a short intermission and our room snapped a quick photo. Patricia talked to us for a bit, seeing what our initial reactions were. Then it was back to our seats for the second movement called "Mozartiana."

That was also beautiful  A little "darker" than the first, emphasized by the music and darker colored costumes. My favorite part of this piece was the clarinet. Such a rich and gorgeous sound came from the pit. I can only dream of playing that well. It was crisp and full, filling the entire auditorium as the ballerinas danced to it on stage.

The second intermission was spent with me babbling on about how great the clarinet sounded. My friends, bless them, were understanding and just smiled as I talked about the tone and the richness.

The final movement was Tschaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 2. This was probably my favorite piece of the night. This one was loosely structured around a girl and boy who kept trying to find each other among a large group of other ballerinas. There were so many people on stage but they were all in sync. Their outfits were also beautiful with long, flowing skirts in a pale pink for the majority of them. Two girls had a pale purple skirt and the principle ballerina had a pale blue/teal/gray skirt.

Needless to say, the group was pretty speechless by the end. We walked back to our hotel, chatting about the ballet and our first impressions.

So that was Friday. Busy, right? We don't have anything scheduled for today so currently, Whitney and I are at the Morningside Heights New York Public Library branch taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi and getting caught up on our journals and general writing. There is an art gallery opening tonight recommended to us by Kathy so I believe Ashely, Whitney, and I are going to check that out.

Have a wonderful Saturday!

1.17.2013

Adventure Day Thursday

So part of our Coe adventures include not working at our internships on Thursdays so we are able to explore the city, especially the art. And let me tell you, it's everywhere in the city.

Kathy is our instructor on Thursdays, opening our eyes to the beautiful art in museums across the city. Today was the Frick Collection aka Henry Clay Frick's private, personal art collection. Frick made his fortune mining coal in Pittsburgh (he also worked closely with Andrew Carnegie). After a labor dispute, Frick moved to NYC with his wife and children. The house was built and finished by 1914 and Frick was able to enjoy it for five years until his death.

Regardless, the collection is fantastic. It's a combination of every type of art such as paintings and  sculptures and they span almost every century imaginable. Visitors are only allowed on the first floor but you could probably spend all day in there.

The house very much reminded me of Versaille in France or the National Gallery in London. It was beautiful to walk through and a nice way to spend my Thursday morning/afternoon.

To get back to our hotel, Ashley, Whitney, Amy, and I decided to stroll through Central Park.

Good choice. 

We got back to our hotel, ate lunch, and then decided to get some writing done about all the neat things we've been doing. We took the subway up to Columbia, camped out in a coffee shop to write, and then joined up with two Coe (and NYC Term) alums, Brian and Joe for some coffeeshop conversation and then dinner.

One of Columbia's many libraries
Now, back to writing. Hard to believe it's Friday tomorrow. I'll be headed to the Paley Center to start my second internship. A bit nervous but excited as well.

1.16.2013

Just making that routine

My second and third days have passed and sometimes it feels that I've been in the city for a lot longer than just a week. I've got a routine going and it feels great. I wake up early, head downstairs to workout (it also helps to wake me up), then breakfast and shower before grabbing a to-go cup of Earl Gray tea as I walk seven blocks to a subway station. This line gets me the closest to the library so it's worth the walk. I've got the NYC look down pat on the subway, no eye contact needed. After three stops, I get off at the Bryant Park stop and walk two more blocks to the Mid-Manhattan branch. Then it's up to the sixth floor for a day of work.

Working at the library is much different from my past experience at my small hometown library. I think I'll learn a lot and it will help me as I continue on in my library science career.

I'm also really enjoying the cultural events we've been attending. On Tuesday night, we were off to the Lincoln Center to see a movie called The Last Quartet. It was a fantastic movie about a string quartet who had some struggles as they tried to get ready for another concert season. The movie was incredibly moving and entertaining; it definitely put me on the edge of my seat sometimes. Post-movie, the group sat out in the lobby and discussed our opinons. We still have to write about it, but it was nice to hear what others thought of the film.

Tomorrow is our first museum day. We're off to the Frick Collection to see an exhibit there. Then it will be Friday and I'll be off to the Paley Center for my second internship (I get to use my social media skills!)

1.14.2013

First day of the internship

While lots of my Kohawk friends were waking up early to go to class or step foot in the Stewart Memorial Library, I was waking up early to head downtown and begin my first day of my NYC internship.

I was lucky enough to find an internship with the New York Public Library. If you haven't heard, I'm very interested in pursing a degree in library science after graduating from Coe in May 2014. I have lots of library experience back in Mt. Horeb at my amazing public library but was interested in seeing what an urban library experience looked like. Over the next several months, I'll be working with Nick, who is in charge of the library outreach programs, and Chris, who is the director of the teen program. It should be an exciting experience and an opportunity that will help me grow as I continue to make myself an excellent candidate for graduate school.

And boy, was my first day one that was exciting.

I started off with meeting some of the staff I'll be working with and looking through some of the programs the library offers. I had gone over a lot of the material before coming to the city but it was nice to now actually have a picture in my head where some of this programming takes place.

Part of Nick's job is to work with the New York Prison system in a variety of ways. He heads up outreach programs, a traveling library, and is the editor for a book called Connections which is a directory of resources to help incarcerated people readjust to city life. Many prisoners send letters to the outreach program, either in search of the most recent edition of Connections or for information not available to them (they don't have access to the internet). I spent a few hours answering letters and also getting a behind the scenes tour of the library.

The other project Nick is working on, slowly, is recording war memories from Veterans as part of the Library of Congress's attempt to archive their stories. I listened to a previously recorded veteran and then was able to sit in on an interview of another one. He had a fascinating story and although the interview was almost two hours long, it was amazing to hear what he had to say. It reinforced to me that everyone has a story to share and we all deserve the opportunity to share it. And I think that's a major element of the library; a central place to find and locate stories from all walks of life.

I came back to the hotel for pizza and discussion with the group. Can't wait to see what tomorrow will bring me.

Subway, Library Card, The Piano Lesson, and Jazz

Hello hello. I'm slowly adjusting to big city life. Such as walking quickly, using the crosswalk when the little white man is not flashing, and avoiding any and all contact with anyone on the subway. The pace is quick and in order to look like a "true" New Yorker you just have to go, go, go.

Of course, it's a very different go, go, go than Coe's but I enjoy it.

This post is about Sunday and then I'll write another one for Monday. I'm going to try to be better at posting once a day but we'll see how that goes once the term really starts rocking and rolling.

On Sunday, Ashley, Whitney, and I had our own adventure in the city. Our first stop was to Ashley's internship location, a literary agency called Writers House. Then it was off to the New York Public Library, my internship location.

Yes, I do have an internship at the New York Public Library.
But more on that later.

Anywho, we arrived at the Mid-Manhattan branch where the books inside circulate (the building with the lions that you saw me next to in an earlier post is a research library, so you can't check anything out of it). We went inside and got our very own library cards. So we can check out books and movies for our free and or down time.

Yeah, as you can tell by the picture, I'm just a little excited.


By that point, we were hungry so we tried our first NYC pizza. Our big lesson? If it costs five bucks for two slices of pizza and a drink, you're paying too much. We got this yummy deal for under five.

After milling around Times Square for a bit, we headed to the Signature Theater and saw our first play of the term. It was called The Piano Lesson by August Wilson and was fantastic.

The play centers around a piano, which has a fair amount of family history and sentimental value, and the disagreement about what to do with it. Siblings Boy Willie and Berniece argue, there's a ghost in the house, and some singing occurred that left goosebumps on my arms.

So basically it was beautiful. Along with the actors, they had an amazing set as their backdrop. It was a house, circa 1936 and it was unfinished. The floor trailed off, and it was so detailed that the carpet also trailed off, fraying at the edges. I found so much symbolism and parallels between the set and the plot of the play, but I'll leave that for my paper on the piece to Susan, the professor in charge of the theater aspect of the term.

Post play, we sat in the lobby/cafe area and began to discuss our initial thoughts on the play. All of a sudden, Susan stood up suddenly and brought over one of the actors in the play, who happened to be a good friend of hers. As we talked to him, he beckoned to the director and brought him over. It was pretty incredible that we had a chance to discuss our thoughts and perceptions of the play with the master craftsman himself.

The group swung back to the hotel to drop things off and to grab a quick bite to eat before catching another subway train to Columbus Circle and Dizzy's Club. Aka jazz music. The band that was performing was Chano Dominguez and Flamenco Sketches. Chano was an amazing piano player but I was more impressed with the bass player. Boy, could he play that bass.

That got over a little late so the group quickly made it home and hopped into bed, the idea of starting our "big girl" internships the next day either putting us to sleep or keeping us awake, a feeling of nervousness and excitement preventing us from sleeping.

Luckily, I slept.





1.12.2013

First "Official" Day

Well, after a whirlwind couple of days exploring the city, it was time to check into the hotel I'll be staying at for the next 90ish day and officially start New York Term.

At Ayurveda Cafe
I checked into my hotel on Friday and was reunited with the nine other Coe students on the program. Once we were sort of settled in, we went out to eat at a restaurant called Ayurveda Cafe. It's a place that serves incredibly healthy food (and no meat). It's also all you can eat so that was fabulous. The food was delicious and gave us a chance to begin to catch up with each other.

The trip to the restaurant also prompted an experience on the subway. The subway will be my main mode of transportation and so it's a good idea to purchase a 30 day unlimited pass. We all bought our passes and then for girls who had never used a subway, they got a quick lesson. Luckily, there are girls like myself who have used and are comfortable with public transportation so we can help each other out.

More unpacking happened after dinner and then it was bed. I woke up early today to explore the fitness center in our hotel before heading off to a cafe called Le Pain Quotidient (the daily bread in French). It was an AMAZING place (if my dad comes back we are most definitely going there!). Great interior and just a neat place.

Post breakfast, myself and some other girls decided to go on a little subway adventure to Brooklyn. Our destination was Target for some essentials we had either left behind or forgotten. It was a bit of a ride to get there but it was good bonding time and gave us a chance to explore an area we had not been before.

Since everyone had different agendas at Target, we all agreed to just have a buddy to get back to our hotel. I paired up with Ashley and post-shopping, we jumped back on the same subway line we had taken to get to Brooklyn. Unfortunately, the line broke down a few stops in and after waiting for 10 minutes, Ashley and I decided to transfer to a different line.

We ended up in the middle of the city at a line that didn't have a lot of good transfer options. So above ground we went, headed to a station near Bryant Park (and my soon-to-be-stomping grounds). Back underground we went and accidentally ended up on an express line. Which basically means it makes few stops, stopping only at major stations. As Ashley and I sat on the subway, I saw the street numbers tick away, moving towards the one hundreds and away from 77 (the street we are on). Luckily, it's easy to backtrack; Ashley and I hopped off at the next station and doubled back, using a local line this time to get to our hotel.

Of course the day continued with a meeting with Murray and Susan, two of our professors. Murray is in charge of the music portion while Susan heads the theater aspect. We went over expectations and guidelines for the class portion of the term. So basically a syllabus day.

Once we finished that, it was back to the subway to go to Kathy's studio. Kathy is another professor, in charge of art (so she'll be taking us to museums and whatnot). Her medium is printmaking and it was neat to be in her studio and see all of her equipment  Kathy served food and invited alums from the New York Term program. Some of the alums who came I knew, because they were on campus my freshman and sophomore years. It was nice to see those old friends and meet new people who went to Coe and participated in this program.

Back to the hotel I went and I think after this blog post, I'll go to sleep! Another long but fantastic day. More adventures to come!

1.10.2013

The NYC Adventure BEGINS

Hello hello!

It's been a while, sorry about that! I've been home in Wisconsin, spending time with my family and taking a much deserved break after probably my toughest semester on campus. While most of my Coe friends are packing their stuff and getting ready for classes to start Monday, I'm over 1,000 miles east of Mt. Horeb and no where near Coe. 

That's because I'm in New York City, about to move into a hotel tomorrow and about to spend three and a half months in the Big Apple. 

Needless to say, I'm jazzed.

I'm also super excited because before the term "officially" starts (which is tomorrow when myself and nine other Coe students, all girls by the way, move into our hotel) my dad, sister, and I drove out to New York to spend time with my aunt and uncle and their family. We have busy since the moment we arrived. 

The first day we ventured into the city and my aunt and uncle treated us to dinner before heading to Broadway to see the play Newsies at Nederlander Theater. Oh my goodness, was that an amazing show. It's based off true events of a paper boy strike in New York City and it's something you should definitely check out. I think my favorite part was the dancing (those boys were superb dancers) and just how excited the actors were to be on stage. The music often gave me chills (hello harmony) and it was just a great story I was drawn into. 

After the play, we checked out where my uncle works on Times Square and saw the infamous New Year Eve's ball. 

Today, we woke up early and took a train to Hoboken. This allowed us to then take a ferry around the tip of the island and then land near Wall Street. We walked around the financial district, grabbed some Starbucks (an absolute must) and then moved onto our next appointment: the New York Stock Exchange. My uncle was able to make this arrangement, allowing us the opportunity to see something you can't see everyday. We were able to go on the floor and see all the trading that happens during the day. 

While we were down in the financial district, my aunt had reserved tickets so we were able to check out the 9/11 Memorial site. Incredibly moving and visually stunning. 

We ate lunch in SoHo (shortened version of south of Houston Street), looked around the area and then tried our luck at the subway system to move our way north to Rockefeller Center. It's sort of like an underground city beneath Rockefeller Plaza and Center, definitely a place to check out on a rainy day! We moved from the basement to the very top for an amazingly crisp and clear view of the city. It's a view I won't forget anytime soon. 

The New York Public Library was only a few blocks away so we ventured there and I got my picture taken with the iconic lions. Let me tell you, I was all smiles. And still am. 

Our final stop was Penn Station and we were there just before rush hour. My uncle met back up with us and showed us some special "only if you're a true New Yorker" things before hopping back on train to take us back home. 

I've now been able to spend a fair amount of time in the city. Tomorrow I move into my hotel and am reunited with the nine other Coe students! I am excited and can't wait to continue to explore the city. 

As a reader of this blog, you'll have an inside look at my adventures. Since I'll be taking a lot of photos, I'll only post a few for each post. The rest you can access here. I hope you keep reading because I'm excited to share my adventures with you! 

1.01.2013

A Year in Review: 2012

Highlights from a FANTASTIC year. As chronological as I can be. The links lead to past posts but feel free to look around to see everything I've done the past year!