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3.31.2013

Looking ahead to SENIOR year

Senior year? No, that can't be right.
But it is.

While I'm in NYC, I've been planning for next semester and one big project I just finished was my senior thesis proposal.

It's an English one (no surprise there) about Mary Robinson, a 18th century British author who wrote sonnets.

Perfect for me, right?

I've spent the past couple of weeks working with Melissa, one of my English professors and also my thesis advisor, to create a proposal. Assuming it is approved by the English department (there's a really really really good chance) then I will take an independent study next fall and spend all summer researching and beginning to write the paper. Finally, in the spring, I will defend my thesis.

Intense.

But I'm really excited. I think it will be a good challenge for me and a way to harness and showcase my skills as an English major!

Actually Trailblazing!

I slept in a bit on Saturday morning before grabbing breakfast at a nice diner with Mike and Courtney. I then decided to high-tail it out of city and visit my aunt, uncle, and cousins in New Jersey. Also, since it's Easter weekend, I figured it would be nice to spend it with family.

The train into New Jersey was much nicer than previous Friday night trains I've taken. Since it was a weekend, I had a whole two seats to myself and, boy, was it relaxing. Calm. Perfect.

My uncle and cousin, Will, picked me up and we headed home. I spent the afternoon in the kitchen with my aunt and my cousin, Anna, cooking and preparing for Easter. We even made a lamb cake! Don't worry, no lambs were harmed in the making of this cake. It's pound cake. Promise.

My aunt, uncle, and I then went on a walk. It was sort of a trailblazing adventure because a few times the path disappeared but we blazed ahead, determined to have a good walk. And we did.

Happy Easter and I hope you have an enjoyable day!

Subway Surfing and Oral Histories

Our third to last Friday in the city was a good one. I woke up and headed to the Paley Center. My mission on Friday was to create pivot tables in Excel.

But what are pivot tables, you might ask. That's exactly what I wondered. Luckily Marni, my boss, explained them and helped me create one before unleashing me into Excel.

Basically a pivot table allows you to look at data from multiple angles and discover new trends. We were looking at a variety of stats on traffic to the Paley Center over a long period of time.

It surprised me that I enjoyed making pivot tables. After working so long in Excel last summer for the first-year program, I do sort of feel at home in Excel.

I did leave the Paley Center early on Friday to head north to the Bronx. I visited the TAG group to see how the iPod drive was going.

We had one donation!!!!! Yippee! :)

And I got to spend some time with the teens, which was awesome. I bonded with some girls over One Direction (I did write a paper sophomore year about them, because I somehow found a way to write about boy bands in college! Haha), and we also bonded over books.

Obviously.

Then it was back on the subway and I was headed to the same stop I started at when I left the Paley Center, 50th Street. We had a movie event at MoMA.

It was a documentary called The Stories We Tell. It was made by a Canadian woman and in my opinion, was an oral history. It told the story of her mom and one event that changed the director and her family's lives. It was a fascinating documentary and the director, Sarah, was there for a post-film talk back.


That's probably been one of my favorite parts of the film events, the talk backs. I love hearing from the director and I love seeing what other people initially thought about the film.

Since the movie was so early, few of us had eaten. So post-movie we grabbed some food and chatted.

This sentence seems to be trend in my post: An excellent way to spend a Friday.

3.28.2013

It's a Walking Sort of Day

Each day the slow realization that my time here is almost over continues to sink in.


This morning we headed off to our eighth art event. The group met at Kathy's studio, in the Times Square area. The last time we were here was on our second day in the term, when we met the other professors and reconnected with Coe alums who are currently living in the city. 

Much as changed since then.

Kathy chatted with us and then we were off to the High Lines. It use to be a raised freight line that now has been converted into a walking path. It's the only spot to really see nature (aka plants and grass) other than Central Park. 

It was so neat. I could have spent all day walking up and down the path. Since it was before noon and a little overcast, there weren't too many people there. If it was sunny, I might have stopped at a bench and just read my book for a while.

Alas, we could not stay and instead went to check out a few art galleries nearby. There was some interesting art, but I'm still claiming the National Academy as my favorite museum we've visited on this trip.

Post galleries, Courtney and I headed to the MegaBus station to meet the third member of our Trailblazing Trio, Mike! He's currently in Washington D.C. on Coe's D.C. Term. He thought he would make a weekend in NYC to reunite with his two favorite hikers. He rode the bus up and will be staying in the hotel for a few days.

The three of us ate a late, late lunch (or early, early dinner) at Joya, the thai restaurant in Brooklyn Whitney and I found. Then we decided a visit to the Brooklyn Bridge was required.

Totally worth it. Although still a little overcast with an occasional drizzle, it was still nice to be on the bridge and walk from Manhattan to Brooklyn.

Needless to say, we did a lot of walking. Very appropriate for the Trailblazing Trio, but now I'm tired. Guess I'll be calling it early tonight.




3.27.2013

Who wants a hand written letter?

My Wednesday was surprisingly eventful.

Began with work at NYPL. Still cranking out those veteran pages. I spent a fair amount of time today on Ralph Stern. While I can't pick an all time favorite veteran, I really appreciate Stern's story. He was almost a part of the D-Day invasion, but due to faulty equipment, he was stuck in England. His group arrived in France 20 days after D-Day and he witnessed the bombing of St. Lo (the town that was considered the gateway to Paris) and also participated in the march of Paris.

So pretty neat, right?

What Stern does well in his interview is locating people and places. It made the compilation of his resource page a lot of fun.

I also had lunch with my aunt and uncle. We ate a neat restaurant called STK and I had a delicious chicken sandwich.

Then it was back to work at NYPL and then home to the Hotel Belleclaire. I had just enough time to drop my stuff off before Whitney, Ashley, and I headed back into the NYC concrete jungle.

Our destination was Housing Works Bookstore Cafe. I've been to Housing Works before and LOVE LOVE LOVE it. Not only is it a great organization (all the money they raise goes to raising awareness and helping to fight HIV/AIDS and homelessness) but the cafe (and thrift shops all around Manhattan and Brooklyn) have the greatest vibe. Very laid back and chill.

The event was called Women of Letters: "To the Person I Misjudged." Basically three years ago, two women created this literary salon of sorts where they have groups of people read letters that are addressed to somebody or something. The authors of these letters read them to a crowd and it helps to sustain the letter writing culture that is slowly disappearing.

Personally, I love letter writing. Close family and friends of mine can attest to my letter writing (and card making skills). I love my handwriting and I love writing a note to someone. It goes back to my love of writing in general; the ability to put words on the page that mean something. Especially since the person who received the letter can keep said letter. Reread it when they are happy (or sad). And letter writing is disappearing with emails and people just not setting aside time to sit down and write.

Maybe I'm just a weird kid who loves handwriting over typing and sending out random letters to my friends. I'm also that kid who prints out special emails and who pins them on my wall to reread when I need a Hailley pep talk. It's way easier to read the printed version instead of scrolling through my massive inbox.

Moral of this little rant: letter writing is powerful. Just so you know.

I loved the performance. Each author brought something different to the table and they really got me thinking. It was one of those performances where I have the itch to write. You know, grab some coffee and stay up late scribbling away. I do have a bunch of stamps sitting in my room....maybe some people will be getting letters soon!

Once the event was over, we all headed back. Tomorrow is an art day with Kathy; it's our second to last art event. Can't believe how fast time is flying by!

So. Much. Blogging.

I'm at it again, blogging that is. 

Got another post up on the NYPL's website. This post is about the Music & Memory drive I am helping to coordinate. It even has a fancy title: Harnessing the Power of Music.

Woah. 

Mandatory photo of recently published blog post:


Happy reading! :)

3.26.2013

Two libraries in one day!

I arrived at the library to have a brief, impromptu meeting with Nick. We talked about the Music and Memory program (he's really excited about it) and how it's crazy I only have two weeks left.

NOOOOOO.

If you can't tell, I really, really, really enjoy my internship. I like the people I'm working with and the projects I've taken under my wing. Might not be quite ready to leave yet.

Anyways, went to my cubicle and got to work on creating a new page for one of our veterans and then started on some more resource pages.

After several good hours of work, Brigid and I took lunch and went to The Morgan Library and Museum. It's only a few blocks away from the library and Brigid could get us in for free.

Perfect.

We went on a guided tour that lasted about an hour. It was fantastic and who doesn't love a good library? I even saw an original Gutenberg Bible! I might have to go back and explore but it was nice to get a peek.

Then it was back to work. I headed home, grabbed dinner with Alison and Whitney, and now Alison and I are catching up and working on responses. A quiet night but totally okay with me!

3.25.2013

Another NYPL Blog Post Up!

Well today marked the publication of another NYPL blog post by yours truly!
I couldn't help but snap a picture











Read it here! It's called "The Beauty of Snail Mail." Pretty proud of it :)

3.24.2013

Another Sunday

Well woah! I've just been blogging up a storm, trying to update everyone on my week. It's been a busy one and I feel bad for falling behind!

Sunday was nothing exciting. I woke up, worked out, and then Ashley and I headed to a nearby coffee shop. Irving Ridge Coffee Roasters is a nearby coffeeshop Ashley and Alison discovered a few weeks ago. It's a lovely little place tucked away. While there is no wi-fi, their homemade chai latte was delicious and the atmosphere reminded me of Brewed Awakenings, with way more space. We spent a few hours there, working on responses and writing.

Hungry, the two of us found a nearby restaurant we have been wanting to try out. During our late lunch, we were finally able to catch up and chat about life. It was a nice lunch.

Now I'm back in the room, finishing up my responses and getting ready for the week. Can't believe we only have a few weeks left!

Laundry + Books + Shakespeare = Saturday

Saturday morning I finally decided to do some more laundry. I loaded up, grabbed a book, and walked over to the nearest laundromat on 79th Street. I threw in a load and then sat down and read while my clothes spun behind me.


After that two hour adventure, it was back to the hotel and then off to the library (Mid-Manhattan branch). Sarah, the Correctional Librarian, was having an organization day and needed volunteers. She offered free pizza and heck, I couldn't say no! 

The past several weeks Sarah has been organizing the collection of books that move in and out of the jails she and her staff services. The most popular books stay in the libraries at the jails while other books sit at the Mid-Manhattan until they are requested or the collection is looking a little light. Currently, the books had fallen into a bit of a mess and Sarah wanted to start fresh.

With pizza in our stomachs, myself and several other volunteers were ready to work. I was helping with the fiction collection. I weeded duplicate copies and books that were no longer fit to be in circulation, alphabetized books, and shelf-shifted this new collection. It might not sound like a ton of fun, but I was sort of in paradise. It was neat to see what books the collection consisted of and find the most ridiculous fiction titles. There were lots of good ones.

Once that project was finished, I walked to a nearby Barnes and Noble to do a little reading and people watching. In reality, I was buying time until the event I had later Saturday night.

We saw Macbeth at the Japan Society. It was directed by Mansai Nomura and was a fascinating performance of one of Shakespeare's most well-known plays. 

The play was done in Japanese with English subtitles on a screen on the right hand side of the stage. There was no intermission and that was a smart choice. It was the entire story of Macbeth, but Nomura had different elements he wanted to emphasis. There were only five actors and this was considered a stripped down version of Macbeth. The three witches (played by men) ended up playing other roles while Macbeth and Lady Macbeth stayed in character throughout the entire performance. This adaptation focused on the three witches and it appeared Macbeth's motivations were commanded by the witches. This is always an interesting way to read the play and the commentary it makes on human free will. 

The play left me with much to think about as I made the trek back to the hotel. Another successful Saturday!

Another Friday Adventure to the Bronx

Another Friday arrived which meant I spent most of the day at the Paley Center. PaleyFest is officially over, so I was working on some post-event items.

I left the Paley Center around 2:45 PM to head up to the Bronx. I was attending another TAG (teen advisory group) meeting. Good news is that the iPod drive for Music and Memory is taking off and Friday was the first "official" day of the drive.

It is so cool to see something I've put together take off. I got to talk to a woman from the NYPL's PR department about the point of the drive and she said a news team was coming to cover the event. Unfortunately, New York City traffic got in the way and they were delayed. If all goes well, they will come back next week. If they do return, I will most likely be interviewed because I know the most about the drive. Who would have thought I might be on Bronx TV next week?

After the library, it was back to the hotel to drop things off before heading to the Hell's Kitchen area to visit Whitney. She has an uncle who lives over there and she was watching his apartment while he was away. Whitney made me dinner (yum home cooked food) and we chatted for a while. Nothing like a calm Friday to end the week!

Thursday Adventure!

I was long overdue for an all day adventure. So on Thursday, as things fell into place, an all-day adventure emerged and not only was it a lot of fun but it also wore me out!

Thursday morning the group met Kathy in the lobby and then we did something we had all talked about doing but never did: ride the #1 to it's final downtown stop.

For those of you unfamiliar with the #1, it's the subway that I probably use at least once a day. There is a stop two blocks up from the hotel (on 79th Street) and then a larger station five blocks down from the hotel (on 72nd Street). With the #1 you can get pretty much anywhere on the west side of Manhattan and the Bronx -- from Times Square all the way to the Kingsbridge Library in the Bronx!

But we have never gone from 79th Street to Rector Street, the final downtown stop. It was a long ride, but we all found seats and relaxed.

As we got off at Rector Street, we only had a few blocks to walk to reach the National Museum of the American Indian. The museum is housed in the old customs building and is part of the Smithsonian network. It's the only Smithsonian museum not in Washington D.C.

But the group is really glad this museum is in NYC.

After going through security, our first stop was the big rotunda where the customs hub use to be. A giant circle of granite was in the middle and the space had high vaulted ceilings that allowed sunlight to stream in. It was a beautiful space and very grand.

Off to the side of this rotunda were several exhibits. There was both contemporary American Indian art as well as artifacts from tribes across the world. It was interesting to see all these varieties of art and the way it was set up allowed the viewer to have a greater appreciation for the artifacts. My favorite exhibits where C. Maxx Stevens House of Memory (contemporary and focusing around the idea of what "memory" is) and Julie Buffalohead Let the Show Begin (watercolor paintings focusing on storytelling and motherhood).

The group split up once we were finished touring the museum. Some headed back to the hotel, while Whitney and I caught a #4 train. This train covers the east side of Manhattan. Let the adventuring begin!

Our first stop was Dylan's Candy Bar. My friend, Anna, recommended we stop there. It is crazy.

I mean, a store full of candy is always crazy. This building was three levels, all filled with as much kind of candy as one can imagine. You could buy it by the pound, by the slice, by the piece, or by the packet. So many options. Whitney and I took advantage of some free samples but didn't buy anything else because there was almost TOO much to chose from.

After that little adventure, we walked down the street to Serendipity 3. This restaurant is popular for several reasons. One, it was a major meeting place in the 2001 Jon Cusack movie Serendipity and it boasts the creator of the frozen hot chocolate. Again, Whitney and I were here based on friends' recommendations.

Apparently we should have made reservations because we ended up waiting for 20 minutes before being seated. There was a man seated at a small table taking reservations over the phone and we later discovered this was the owner, Stephen Bruce. Whitney and I ended up ordering a frozen hot chocolate to share and a piece of pecan pie with butternut ice cream.
Beautiful menu

Owner Stephen Bruce

IT WAS SO RICH AND DELICIOUS. Sugar overload. And I don't say that very often.

Our sweets ;)
Good thing we had more walking to do to help digest all that delicious sweetness! We actually headed to the Union Square area just to say hello before heading back down to the National Museum of the American Indian. Susan had recommended a reading that she was going to and thought we would enjoy it as well.

The reading was in their conference room of sorts, which was a big beautiful room in the lower level of the museum. The museum had paired up with Poets House to host a weekend filled with American Indians sharing their writing. The official title of the event was Native Innovation: Indigenous American Poetry in the 21st Century. 

Joseph (center) and Joy (far right)
On Thursday night it was a reading and conversation with Joy Harjo. The conversation portion of the event was lead by fellow poet, peer, and friend Joseph Bruchac. It was a fascinating conversation and I really enjoyed Harjo's work. She has most recently published a memoir which she read from and also some of her poetry. After the reading, she just talked with Joseph and I learned so much about her and her style of writing. It was fascinating to hear her thoughts on the world, time, and writing. It was such a good way to end Thursday night.

And there you have it, a fun-packed Thursday adventure. One for the books, that is for sure!

 






Dinner with Library LEGENDS

On Tuesday night, I left the library a bit early with Brigid to head uptown to the Columbia area. Our destination, Le Monde, a French restaurant. We were meeting two retired NYPL librarians, Karlan and Lydia. Both are friends with Brigid and both of them helped me land my current internship. Lydia has taken a memoir writing class for the past 19 years at her assisted living home. Her teacher for the past 19 years has been none other than Susan, my theater professor. It's a small world!


Anyways, the four of us had an amazing dinner. The food was out of this world (I had a croque monsieur aka grilled ham and cheese with melted cheese on top of the bread) and we just talked about libraries. Both Karlan and Lydia shared stories of their time as librarians. They talked about what they did and the branches they served at. They also wanted to know more about me and why I love libraries. 

Now, this might not sound like the most interesting dinner conversation, but let me tell you, I was hooked. It was hard to eat because I was talking and listening to their stories. It's librarians like Karlan and Lydia that remind me why I want to be a librarian. They also remind me that I have the passion to be an excellent librarian and that's always encouraging to hear.

I am so thankful for this amazing dinner. Another New York Term item to add to my list of incredible opportunities. 

So yes, I got to eat with NYPL legends. Pretty neat, right?

3.20.2013

"Where is the theater?"

On Tuesday night, the group ventured into Williamsburg, Brooklyn to see an independent film. Alan had given us directions and said it wouldn't be too hard to find.

Wrong.

I was actually coming from a dinner (which I'll expand on in a future post) and I was rushing so I wouldn't be late. The subway ride was fine; an easy #1 and a transfer to the L. I got out of the subway and orientated myself and started walking.

When I arrived at what I thought was the correct street, I couldn't quite find it. I looked and looked but nothing. Suddenly, it appeared.

What I had found was Spectacle Theater, a tiny independent theater. It is run entirely by volunteers, which is pretty incredible. When you walk in, BAM, the seats and screen are right in front of you. The theater doesn't hold too many people, making for an intimate setting.

The film we saw was Panorama Ephemera. It is based off of the archives of Richard Prelinger. He collected "ephemeral" films aka short films on a wide variety of topics. The film we saw is Prelinger showing off his collection by stitching together over 60 films. Some were short clips and others were much longer. Below is the trailer from Spectacle's website:


The film was fascinating because there were so many great clips and it was interesting to think about how Prelinger put the film together. Many of the clips seemed to be from the 1950s and it allowed the audience to think about the 1950s and how the 1950s viewed the past.

After the film, some of the group went home and a few of us went to a local hot dog joint Alan knew of to discuss the film. Tasty and a nice way to end the night!

3.18.2013

More snow!

So we did Henry IV Part I yesterday.

Woah, guys, WOAH.

It was that good.

My geeky English major side definitely came out as soon as we took our seats. The stage was amazing and did such a wonderful job of blending the courtly world and the tavern world (a major idea that runs throughout the play). It was so helpful that I had read and throughly discussed the play before I saw it; I vividly remember discussing certain sections of the play so it was neat to see it play out in front of me.

One of the neatest parts is that last semester I wrote a paper on one particular scene (1.2 for anyone who has read the play) for my Shakespeare class. It's where Hal, the Prince of Wales, has a soliloquy where he tells the audience he knows he has been hanging out in the taverns for a bit too long but it's okay because he is just waiting for the right moment to reveal himself. I imagined Hal in a leather jacket with a white undershirt and guess what? That's what the actor was wearing. Maybe not a big deal to you, but I was pretty proud of myself.

Overall, the play was a nice blend of more traditional, Renaissance costumes with a modern flare. When the play finished, Susan knew one of the women who is a part of the company and that friend brought one of the actors to our seats to have a small talk back. It was great to hear from him and to hear what my peers were thinking about the performance.

Whitney and I decided we needed food after the performance and attempted to find St. Patrick's Day food, aka a rueben. We ended up at Good Enough to Eat, a local restaurant up the street from our hotel. Unfortunately, they had already ran out of corned beef (really!) so I had something similar to a rueben. Am still looking for a rueben sandwich in the next couple of days!

After dinner, I wrote a few responses and then went to bed (still trying to feel full strength again!). I felt much better this morning and headed to work.

Work was full of research as I'm still working on building out our veteran pages. I really enjoy it because I get to discover all the neat resources NYPL has and I also expand my own knowledge. Today, I learned so much about the Vietnam War.

When I left the library, a weird rain/snow had begun and when I got home, it was more heavily snowing. I don't know how much we got, but there's definitely a nice white layer on the ground right now!

3.16.2013

New York City Fever

Friday started off like usual, I worked at the Paley Center and worked on some projects to wrap up PaleyFest. I then headed home and ordered pizza for the group. Susan arrived and we had our final group meeting (before our final celebration meeting at Susan's in early April). The topic was Shakespeare. Tomorrow we are seing Henry IV Part 1 and next Saturday was are seeing the Japanese Society's performance of Macbeth. While many of the girls are English majors, not all of us knew the plots of these plays.

Being the English major that I am, I know both of these plays very well. I read both of them last semester in my Shakespeare class with Gina. Both are fantastic plays and I'm excited to see them staged. I'll probably geek out but hey, it's acceptable!

Once the meeting was over, I decided to go to sleep a little early because it had been a long week and I was feeling a little under the weather. To make a long story short, I ended up having a pretty serious fever.

Get my title, NYC Fever?

Clever, right?

But never fear, I have wonderful friend named Whitney who has helped me onto the path of getting better. I've done a lot of sleeping and drank a ton of water. I'm currently just resting in bed and catching up on some responses. It should be a pretty lazy weekend.

Weather is still crazy here; it snowed today! Got to love New York! :)

3.14.2013

Sometimes you just fall in love...

With a painting.
(I feel like I've been doing a lot of lead in titles; guess it's my way of drawing you in!)

But I seriously did fall in love with a painting. Kathy met us at the hotel and we ventured to Museum Mile on the Upper East Side to visit the National Academy. It's both a museum and a school. Located in the Archer M. Huntington Townhouse, this museum shared characteristics with the Frick Collection. Both collections were housed in gorgeous spaces and because they once used to be places of residency, are not necessarily built for museum go-ers. The National Academy was compact and the building is built up, not out.

The goal of the National Academy is to feature artists, of all ages, and induct artists every year into their "family." There is also a focus on architect, which is a favorite of mine. Our focus was two exhibits and the art in both was out of this world.

I spent a good twenty minutes watching a digital piece where a crowd of people were sprayed down with water. The artist's name is Bill Viola and this piece is entitled Tempest (Study for the Raft). The movie is also down in slow motion so the expressions and actions are drawn out (and why it takes so much patience and time to watch it from beginning to end). It reminded me how incredible human emotions are and how stunning they can look, especially in slow motion.

But the piece that is the title of this post is Concert by Walter Hatke. It was created in 2011 (get this, Hatke was born in 1948). It was on the forth floor. I was by myself, notebook in hand and I turned the corner and saw it and audibly gasped.

Photo from National Academy website
I probably sat and looked at this painting for at least 20 minutes. It was probably the longest amount of time I have spent looking at a painting this entire term and maybe even in my whole life.

I just think it's stunning. It's a relatively empty room but it's also full. It's a room that could easily be transformed into something else but is perfect just the way it is. I also filled up about three notebook pages of thoughts and description, so Kathy will have a lengthy reflection of this photo in this week's response.

We had a little break before heading to Carnegie Hall for our second opera of the term. We saw an adaptation of Tennessee William's A Streetcar Named Desire. Murray was able to get us seats in a booth, which put us a little closer to the stage than we were in the same space to see Dianne Reeves. The only unfortunate part was that based on my seat, most of my view of the stage was obstructed.

But never fear! At the first intermission, Ashley, Whitney, and I moved down a tier to empty seats dead center (Murray encouraged us). With a better seat, I was able to see all that an opera adaptation had to offer. It was not my favorite event, and there were some questionable changes that were made. Nevertheless, when we were leaving, we ran into Murray and he told us, "It's important to remember that this production was not a failure; there were people who enjoy this performance. The question you have to ask yourself is why?" It was such a good question to wrap my head around and it helped me to be critical yet complimentary of the things the opera did well. The music was definitely out of this world, especially the clarinet playing. The clarinet was heavily featured and their tone was so wonderful; full, rich, and expressive. Makes me miss my own clarinet back in Wisconsin!

I'm glad I saw this opera, but I was able to realize that I have learned so much here. I don't think I could write that message articulately at the beginning of the semester, so I'm grateful to my professors and our previous events that have helped me reach this level!

And speaking of responses, I should probably go write some. Night!   

3.13.2013

Why Being NYPL's Community Outreach Intern is PERFECT

I sort of love my internship at the New York Public Library. When I first arrived, I had no idea that I would become so involved with the community outreach department and that I would so deeply fall in love with it.

It's such a unique way of interacting with people because a lot of my work is at a distance. But at the same time, I know that I'm making an impact, regardless of the distance between me and the community.

My day today started off with a staff meeting which Nick invited me to. It was for the Outreach department and included Nick, Sarah, Luis, Louise, Emily, and Brigid. We began by going around and explaining what we were working on.

I realized something beautiful: they are all incredibly busy just like me. Their lists of projects are incredibly long and they somehow have the knack to make the impossible, possible.

They are my people.

This describes my life.

They were all incredibly supportive of my projects and wanted to see me succeed. Slash they don't also want me to leave. Nick says I don't need to go back to Iowa. Sarah said I should just stay here.

I'm glad they appreciate my hard work.

After discussing our current projects, we talked about the urban novels we read. For many prisoners we serve, they request urban novels. It's a genre that was popular in the 1970s and 1980s and came back in the early 2000s. These novels heavily use vernacular language and often focus around sex, money, and drugs. It was interesting to hear about the stories my co-workers read and what they thought about it.

Finally, we ended our meeting discussing goals for the upcoming months. I can't even begin to explain how motivatonal this meeting was. It was inspirational to hear about what they are working on and their goals for the upcoming months. This encourages me to do as much as I can until I leave in April.

So here is how my afternoon turned out:

  • I sent off another four veteran interviews to the Library of Congress. That brings the count up to nine fully completed interviews sent to LOC. Sure, it will take 6-8 months to process but at least the ball is rolling.
  • I created an additional page for LaTanga Blair. Nick wanted me to push each interview a little bit more and create a space for the listener to discover more about the topics the veteran discusses. 
  • I began an additional page for Gerald Brown. 
Needless to say, it was a productive afternoon and I didn't actually want to leave at 5 PM. I brought my notes home and actually might do some work on these additional pages over the weekend. We will have to see if there is time. See why this internship is just right? 

Why I Love TODAY

When I was getting ready to come to NYC, I made a bucket list of things I wanted to do. My aunt Melanie said I should go to a taping of the TODAY Show. I mean, who doesn't love Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, and Al Roker? So when Ashley told me last night that she and her mom were headed to the TODAY Show this morning and wanted to know if I wanted to come along, of course I said yes!

I woke up early, 5:30 AM, to get ready. Ashley, her mom, and I left the hotel around 6:15 AM and arrived at Rockefeller Center. We got there at just the right time; there were already people standing outside, but not too many. After having our bags checked, the three of us nabbed a pretty decent spot near the barriers, but not right next to them. While the camera panned the crowd, we waved frantically, hoping for a chance to be TV stars. Then, the couple in front of us decided to leave, giving us the perfect opportunity to step right up to the barrier.

A little after 8 AM NYC time, Al, Matt, and Savannah came outside to do their daily segment. I was lucky enough to shake all their hands (woah!) and even was behind Al when he talked about Twinkes and the weather. The funny thing is, I'm not sure what he said; I just concentrated on smiling and waving.

Everyone cleared out around 8:30 PM and I walked a few blocks to the Subway to head to the library. What a morning before my internship even started! Before I went to the library, I called my dad and texted my grandma to let them know I would be on. Aunt Melanie was already taping it and she snapped a photo of me on the big screen.


Check it out, me on the TV! 

Such an excellent way to start my morning. Hope I made Aunt Melanie proud! 

Events, Events, Events!

With about a month left in the city, our events are really kicking into high gear. Monday night, we saw the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center. They played two pieces; Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58 and Mahler's Symphony No. 5 in C-sharp Minor. The piano concerto featured superb pianist Helene Grimaud; I was able to see her fingers from my seat and she glided across the keys. She is known for her unique interpretations of classical music. A brief intermission occurred after the Beethoven piece and then it was time for Mahler. This was a much longer piece but my favorite out of the two. Without Grimaud there, it really allowed the orchestra to shine. It was a beautiful piece and my favorite moment was the third, "Scherzo, Kraftig, nicht zu schnell." The movement was darker and the string players could really dig into their instruments. The sound was fuller and the clarinets had a feature where they lifted the bell so the sound was shooting directly out towards the audience.


On Tuesday night, we had our final pizza meeting with Murray (I think it's our final). I ordered pizza from yet another place. For every single pizza meeting, I've successfully managed to not order from the same place twice! It keeps things interesting and tasty. We discussed Carmen and the London Philharmonic as well as prepped for our event tomorrow night: A Streetcar Named Desire: OPERA.

Yes, you read that right, opera version.

Tonight was our free night and I'm currently spending it with Alison and Courtney, catching up and working. 

Kathy has an art event tomorrow morning and then we'll head to Carnegie Hall for our second opera. We end the week with a pizza meeting with Susan. 

Apparently even though I'm not in the Midwest, it doesn't mean I can't be impossibly busy. Some things never change I guess.    

More Posts Coming...

PROMISE.

So many fantastic things have been going on, it's hard to find a chance to catch my breath and relax! Lots to fill you in on and will fill you in on soon! Internet wasn't working last night, so I read instead. Actually, it was sort of a nice break from technology.

Nevertheless, I'm "plugged" back in. Expect more posts from me later today.

Have an absolutely fabulous Wednesday!

3.12.2013

Hailley Blogs Again!

Well, I mentioned it a few weeks ago, but I just officially became a new blogger for the NYPL! My first post went live yesterday. If you go to the blog page, my post is the very first one. See screen shot:


I also have a second post which will be upcoming in the following weeks. I'm so jazzed that I'm a blogger for NYPL. I hope to write several more posts before I leave; have to make my mark before mid-April! 

3.11.2013

400th Post

Wait...what?

Does this make me a blog all star?

Regardless, this calls for a celebration photo. Or several.

It's as exciting as spelunking in the Lake District...

Or playing air guitar during Iowa's Private College Week...











Or eating late night milkshakes with Whitney...











 Or being in New York City and seeing the New York Public Library lions.















If you're a new reader to my blog, I get really excited about 100 post landmarks. See my 100, 200, or 300 to understand :)

Think I can make it to 500 before I graduate?

3.10.2013

Flamenco Ballet and Central Park

Last night I went to another dance event. Patricia is our professor and she always has so much energy. We got a nice change of pace last night and saw flamenco ballet. It was at the same venu as Romeo and Juliet, the New York City Center.

This was definitely different than Romeo and Juliet. The first dance, the curtain went up and on an elevated platform was the live band. A single guitar was playing and five men were on stage. It was a beautiful first dance and the whole first act definitely paid homage to traditional flamenco dancing. The second act had the ballet and was equally beautiful and passionate. Here's a snippet of what I saw, curtsey of the New York City Center.



One of the coolest things was that once the "actual" performance was over, all the dancers were taking in applause and then they started dancing again. It had an improvised feel and when we were talking in the lobby afterwards, Patricia told us that was like if you went into a bar and saw people just dancing. It was beautiful and a lovely way to end the performance.

Today was another beautiful day in NYC. It's about 50 degrees and sunny. Definitely don't need a hat today! The time change got us so once I got up, I was ready to do things. Whitney and I decided a walk in Central Park was needed.

Can I just say I love Central Park? It's so huge and wonderful and yes, beautiful green space in the middle of the city. Whenever I enter the park, I think back to my Cultural Studies class my sophomore year and an essay I read about parks. An ideal park does not have one set path. You could go to the park a thousand times and each time, walk a new path. That is exactly how I feel about Central Park. Whitney and I walked around for a bit and then grabbed some food cart food and sat on one of the giant rocks.

The other task we had to complete in Central Park was obtaining photographic evidence of me doing a cartwheel.

Okay, story time. So the freshman this year at Coe are fantastic and I have several favorites. One of them, who works in the Writing Center, is Sara. We bonded over cartwheels. Usually, we both spent several late nights in the Writing Center and when we needed a break, we could go out into the hall and do cartwheels. It was a lot of fun and a perfect break before jumping back into our homework. I promised Sara that I would do cartwheels in Central Park and take a photo for her.

Mission accomplished:


Can I also just say I love this photo because of the expressions of the people in the background? Priceless.

From there, Whitney and I took a standard Hailley and Whitney photo...

...and then headed to the Coffee Bean. I successfully wrote postcards and now am catching up on random stuff. I also am planning my library extravaganza  Aka one Saturday I'm going to go to as many Manhattan branches as I possibly can. It's going to be intense and awesome. Because that's how much I love libraries.  

We've got another pretty busy week. The London Philharmonic tomorrow, pizza meeting on Tuesday, National Academy Museum on Thursday morning and then A Streetcar Named Desire opera still Thursday night, another pizza meeting on Friday and finish off the week with Henry IV Part I (YES) on Sunday. Wonderful.




3.09.2013

The "Suite" Life Isn't Always Sweet (Or Tidy)

When I talk to people about my living situation, everyone says, "Wow, I would LOVE to live in a hotel for four months." Or, some of my peers will make the humorous reference to the Disney channel show, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody

Um...think again.

There are definitely pros and cons of our hotel life. First and foremost, the staff at the Hotel Belleclaire is OUT OF THIS WORLD. This is a pro.

I honestly can't say that enough. Since they know we are living here for four months, they've gotten to know us and do whatever they can to help us make our rooms feel "homey."

Take this morning for instance.

I got up and worked out and when I came back, I knew our room needed a good cleaning. This is a con of living in a hotel room; things seem to get messy fast. Faster than my apartment or room back home.

I showered and once Whitney was up, we got to work. I called down to the front desk, asked for new towels, garbage bags, and a vacuum. All were brought up to our room within ten minutes.

An hour and a half later, the bathroom and bedroom/living room had been vacuumed and dusted. We got rid of our old towels and about a weeks worth of trash. I reorganized my counter space and put all my clothes back in their right boxes.

The room feels so much better. Being clean in a hotel room is really key because you don't have a lot of space. Getting lazy for a few days is totally okay but if you extend it past that, it's not good.

It's a beautiful day here, 55 degrees and sunny. We have our windows open and I've already taken a stroll just around the hotel.

Maybe we are living the suite life after all. ;)

Well, I Guess You Can Use Your Umbella For That...

I woke up on Friday morning to watch snow fall onto the city streets. It seemed to be a beautiful snow, sticking to the trees outside my room.

But, when I walked out I realized that this was not pretty snow. Instead, it was a mixture of snow and rain which only meant slush in the streets.

As I walked to the subway, I was fascinated by the New Yorkers who insisted on using umbrellas.

For snow?

Yes indeed. The rain-snow fell lightly on top of their umbrellas, keeping their hair snow free. I, on the other hand, was perfectly content with my snow-covered hat and hair. It was just a little snow.

But the umbrella trend seemed to be very acceptable on the Upper West Side. I tried to imagine what would happen if I walked around with an umbrella when it snows on campus.

I would get a lot of stares. So many New Yorker things I have to get use to.

Anyways, it was a busy Friday at the Paley Center. They are in the middle of Paley Fest and my projects continued to revolve around this event. The main application I worked with was Tweet Reach, a website that helps to measure the impact of your Twitter account. This allows companies like the Paley Center to see how their message is being received and how it is being passed from user to user.

I find Twitter fascinating, so I have been thrilled to work with Tweet Reach and Hoot Suite to gain a greater understanding of how to make Twitter really work.

About halfway through my day, I also got to work in Storify, which is a place where you can pull from all different social networks into one central place to create a story. Myself and other interns are pulling some of the best of Paley Fest (tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram, and Flickr) in a story form. It was a lot of fun and I hope to make some stories of my own during my spare time (because you know I have a lot of that!).

I ended my day by watching clips from The Walking Dead panel that happened on March 1st. I've never seen the show, but after watching the panel, I think I might have to pick up the first season. It's a zombie, apocalypse show based on a comic book series. I was looking for memorable quotes that could be turned into a tweet or post to help send people to Hulu to watch the panel.

By the time I left the Paley Center, it had stopped snowing. No umbrellas out and about this time. Whitney and I decided to have a quiet night at the hotel. We wandered down to the lobby, ate chips and guacamole, and I watched the live stream Paley Fest panel with the cast and producers of The Mindy Project.

The Mindy Project is created by Mindy Kaling, who was a writer and actress on The Office. She is also the star of this show, playing Mindy Lahiri, a gynecologist in NYC trying to find a You've Got Mail romantic love.

Obviously, that's a bit problematic.

She's backed by a great cast of characters and it was neat to hear them on the panel. The inner workings of the show were revealed and I suddenly had a greater appreciation for the show. I also want the show to do well, so knowing the underside will make me a better cheerleader and supporter!

After the live stream, I just sat back and appreciated my internship at the Paley Center. I was proud of the work I had done to help promote the event and was so happy it was going well. I'm hoping to catch three more panels, Nashville, New Girl, and The Big Bang Theory


3.06.2013

Hello Wednesday

Every week seems to go a tiny bit faster, which frightens me, but I guess that means I'm having a good time! Monday was just a regular day; Whitney, Ashley, and I crashed the Hotel Belleclaire lobby for some major study time. I think the hotel staff thought we were a little odd, but we got work done!

Tuesday was almost the same as Monday except Steven is in town! If you remember, Steven is a theater professor at Coe and technically is in charge of the whole program. Since it's Coe's Spring Break this week, he and his family flew out to NYC to check up on us. Every girl had 15 minutes with Steven to talk about the good (and the bad) parts of the term. Steven is meeting with our professors later this week and hopefully, our feedback will make next spring even better! After my meeting was over, Whitney and I high-tailed it to the Ensemble Stage Theater (which we visited already in February) to see Susan, Alison, and Ashley. They were all part of the Vagina Monologues.

If you've been a faithful reader, you know that I've already seen the Vagina Monologues twice at Coe (2011 and 2012). These monologues are performed by club members of V-Day, an organization on campus to alert campus of violence against women. These monologues are performed all over the country and Susan just happen to be in one such production. Susan, being the wonderful professor she is, knew both Ashley and Alison are passionate about V-Day and got them involved. While Ashley and Alison didn't read from the "original" monologues, they were able to read a special one for the One Billion Rising event that occurred on Valentine's Day. Whitney and I went for support and boy, it was FANTASTIC. All the women were excellent actresses and really made the monologues believable.

Wednesday was just another day the library, doing a lot with the Veterans History Project. We've got a base and now Nick wants to push the boundaries. I'm more than game to help him do so. I suspect that will be taking up a lot of time the next couple of weeks.

I'm currently sitting in the Signature Theater, waiting for the group to show up to see Old Hats. All I know about the show is that it's got lots of vaudeville influences so it should be good. This theater also brings back good memories because I saw my first event, The Piano Lesson, here. This theater is on 42nd Street, so after work I just walked a few blocks down instead of going back to the hotel and then back to where I was for most of the day. I nabbed a salad from the cafe outside the theater and am now enjoying a cello duet.

Not too shabby.

3.04.2013

Modern Dance and French Cinema

This weekend was relatively light in terms of events. We had two, one on Friday night and one Sunday night. On Friday, we went to the Joyce Theater to see the Martha Graham Dance Company. Martha Graham started choreographing in the late 1920s and is considered "modern." This performance included four dances and a video. Two dances were Graham originals and the other two were homages to Graham. It was an excellent performance and the theater was BEAUTIFUL. The red velvet seats were comfy and I felt like I was right there, practically on stage next to the dancers. Also, seeing Graham was crucial to the dance timeline we've been constructing in our heads. Graham comes after traditional ballet and before Trisha Brown, Karole Armitage, and Yvonne Rainer. What's interesting about Graham is that towards the end of her career, she actually slid back towards traditional dance elements, basically defeating her purpose: rebelling against ballet and other traditional dance. Nevertheless, it was an important performance to up my dance knowledge.


During the day on Saturday, Whitney and I went on yet another walking adventure. We spent Saturday night catching up with some Coe alums living in the city and enjoying the night life. 

Sunday was my day of relaxation before our other event. This event was at the IFC Center and was a French film. IFC along with BAM, the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and Unifrance Films presented Rendez-Vous With French Cinema. This is the eighth year of this festival which brings the best of French cinema to us. The best part of this festival is that the directors or actors are available at some of the showings and do a talk-back after the film. 

The film we saw was Dans La Maison (In the House) by Francois Ozon. The movie was originally released in France around 2012, but is just coming to the United States. Last night, we saw the movie and then Ozon was there, along with a translator, to answer questions and discuss the film.



I kind of forgot how much I love French cinema. In high school, our French teacher was insistence on watching films and in my short film class, my teacher showed us La Haine (The Hate). There is a subtle difference between French and American cinema. The French seem to experiment more and it just looks different than the Blockbuster movies I've grown up with. That's cinematography for you.

The talk-back was interesting. The audience was on the older side and asked a lot of plot based questions. While the plot was interesting, it definitely wasn't what kept me going throughout the film. I'm still thinking over the film before I write my response. And now I've got a French cinema bug. I need to see more French cinema. ASAP. Thank goodness I work at a library ;)

Speaking of library, work was good today. It feels so nice to stride confidently into the Mid-Manhattan branch and know exactly where I'm going. It was a slower day, I answered letters and worked on some advertisement for the Music and Memory drive. 

March Madness

No, I haven't joined a basketball team in the city.

For me, March Madness equals a flurry of events as we approach April and the end of this term. Along with events, my internships are kicking into high gear, and of course, because I love the city, I want to continue to explore all sections. It just doesn't seem like there's enough time in the day to do everything I want to do.

I'm about to head off to work, but I will be blogging later tonight to recap my weekend. Hopefully, I can also start a database of sorts of all the events I went to (along with links because I love links). But we'll see.

Have a wonderful March Monday and let the madness begin!

3.03.2013

Do you like TV? Shameless Plug

At my internship at the New York Public Library, I'm working in Community Outreach. That means that I can't really invite my readers to these events. But, at the Paley Center, they are doing something you can check out, no matter where you live.

So here begins a shameless plug.

Do you like TV shows like Once Upon a Time, Newsroom, New Girl, The Mindy Project, Arrow, Dallas, Nashville, Community, New Normal, Parenthood, American Horror Story, 2 Broke Girls, or The Big Bang Theory? If so, you should check out PALEYFEST. It's in LA and popular TV shows bring a panel to discuss the show and talk to fans.

I've spent a fair amount of time composing and scheduling tweets, so I feel pretty invested in this event. I even made a playlist on their YouTube channel with highlights from PaleyFest 2012.



PaleyFest officially started on Friday, with The Walking Dead, and then there are more panels the rest of the week. Every panel will be livestreamed or you can check it out the next day on Hulu.

If you're interested, I hope you check it out; I know I'll be watching some panels!

And if you're really into TV shows, check out this new blog post about season finales from the Paley Center curators.

3.01.2013

The Big 21!

So much has been going on, I've been slacking on blogging! Today marks the 50th day in the city on the term.

Woah.

My birthday was absolutely wonderful. Probably my all time favorite day on this trip thus far. The day began with Kathy and a simulation of sorts:

You are suddenly very wealthy and have an extra $300,000 lying around. You decide the best way to spend this cash is to buy art. You venture down to Madison Avenue and 57th Street to see what art you can find and "purchase." 
So yeah, we pretended to be big spenders. At first, many of us were a little nervous. Kathy really wanted us to talk to the director of the studio and take this simulation as far as asking for a discount (as if we were to purchase the piece).

But the people at the galleries were FABULOUS. Very understanding of our project and were thrilled we were there. Many directors spent at least 10 minutes with us, entertaining our fake bargaining and teaching us the ways of purchasing art. I found some really great pieces (mainly black and white photography).

FIRST GROUP PHOTO!!!
We had a little bit of down time before it was dinner time. Since we had a night off, the entire group (plus Alison's friend who is in town, Flannery) ventured to Brooklyn for a birthday celebration dinner. We went back to Joya, the Thai restaurant Whitney and I had eaten at. This was probably my favorite group activity we had done. Everyone seemed to be in a good mood and we had lots to talk about. With my new "powers" of being 21, I purchased a glass of sweet riesling to compliment my curry. It was delicious!

Post dinner, we found our way to a frozen yogurt place (imagine that!) and then headed home. Just an excellent way to end my day.