A Short Summary of My New York City Trip

I got the opportunity to travel to New York City last week and it was definitely one of the highlights of my year! I’ve dreamed of visiting for YEARS. So when I joined my school’s Magazine Interest Group and heard they were taking a trip to visit magazine companies in NYC, you can bet I jumped on that band wagon.

It was a whirlwind of site-seeing, magazines, food, and culture. I had an absolute blast. The magazines we visited: Departures, Real Simple, Brides,  Lucky, Harper’s Bazaar, and Sports Illustrated.

I wandered the city, seeing as much as I could with the precious amounts of daylight each day. My feet definitely hurt at the end of the day. But it was worth it. So worth it.

These are some of the photos I snagged during my 4 day trip. Hope you enjoy!

NYC Skyline

 

 

 

One of the first things I did: The Empire State Building. The view was absolutely fabulous. I could have spent hours there.
Atop the Empire State Building

 

 

 

 

 

Such a glorious view. Every angle was interesting. I loved this little viewfinder, patiently waiting to show off the view.

Times Square

 

 

 

 

And I (of course) went to Times Square my first night. How could I resist? It’s one of the first things people think of when they picture NYC. And it most certainly did not disappoint. Especially loved all of the Hunger Games!

The Subway

 

 

 

 

I loved the subway. So many people each going their own way. And contrary to popular belief, I did not run into any mean New Yorkers. Everyone I stopped to ask questions or directions was nice.

 

 

Time Inc.

 

 

Time Inc. One of the major buildings that hosted some of the magazines we visited! It was absolutely amazing to talk with these editors and assistants and hear about how magazines worked and their advice for people wanting to break into this industry.

 

NYC Streets

 

 

 

I couldn’t get enough of the streetscapes. So much movement and color. There was always something interesting going on.

Delicious Food

 

 

 

 

 

My first meal in NYC: Le Pain Quotidien – a french bakery/cafe. I had a Grilled Chicken & Mozzarella di Bufala Tartine and it was absolutely delicious.

Shake Shack

 

 

 

 

 

Another fabulous meal: a burger, fries, and shake from the Shake Shack. Basically the east coast version of In-N-Out Burger (one of my all time favorites.)

2 Bros. Pizza

 

 

 

 

And NYC is famous for having these little hole-in-the-wall $1 pizza slice places. These are THE GREATEST. Probably one of the best deals of NYC. If you have a dollar, you have pizza. AND they’re open late. Double score.The Strand BookstoreGrand Central Station The Chrysler Building  Standing outside of the NYC Public LibraryThe Original Winnie the PoohWhere The Wild Things AreCentral Park Foliage Beautiful Trees in Central ParkCentral Park      

   Sailing in Central Park     The Met

Guggenheim MuseumGoodbye, NYC...I'll be back soon!  

 

 

We also visited The Strand, the largest independent bookstore in NYC. So many aisles of books! They boast over 18 miles of books.

 

 

 

 

 

And how could I NOT visit Grand Central Station? They were celebrating their centennial! So that was pretty neat as well.

 

 

 

 

 

I also stopped by the Chrysler Building. I’m a big fan of art deco, but unfortunately it was closed. My friend told me it had gone bankrupt, so I don’t know what is going to become of it…

 

 

 

 

 

Me on the New York Public Library steps. Whenever I travel to new cities I always try to visit either a library or a bookstore. I can’t help but gravitate towards book-oriented places.

 

 

 

And the NYC public library was running this FANTASTIC exhibit: The ABC of it: Why Children’s Books Matter that featured so many timeless classics and new favorites. This is the original Winnie the Pooh.

 

 

 

 

Inside a playful Where the Wild Things Are cut-out. One of my all time favorite children’s books. Their exhibit was excellent because it had elements for adults and children.

 

 

 

 

I walked through Central Park for a few hours. The fall colors were BEAUTIFUL. I Could not get enough of that fall color hue. It was a lovely day. I could have easily spent my whole day there if I didn’t have other things I wanted to see.

 

 

 

 

BUT SERIOUSLY, HOW COULD YOU EVER GET TIRED OF THIS? I was having a heyday taking all of these pictures.

 

 

 

 

Central Park is huge, expansive and beautiful. I thought I had been walking for miles and I felt like I had gone so far. But when I looked at my phone’s map, I realized I hadn’t even gone a mile.

 

 

 

 

 

They had remote-controlled sailboats and they were fun to watch. I absolutely love this picture. The contrast of dark and light and the darker hues of the reds and oranges in the background. Love.

 

 

 

I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a few hours. It was also SUPER VAST. And I’ll admit that I got lost trying to make my way out. And, fun fact: when I got back home, I saw an article that said Psy (Gangnam Style) had visited the Met the SAME EVENING I was there! How crazy is that?!

 

 

The last place I visited on my free day was the Guggenheim Museum. I’ve seen this building in various movies/places for years. So when I saw they had pay-what-you-want hours from 5:45-7:45pm every Saturday, I had to go. Such a cool piece of architecture designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

 

 

 

One of my last views of the city. The taxi ride to the airport. I was sad to say goodbye, but I know I’ll be back soon.

A Week interning in Indy: first reflections

So I’ve been here just a little over a week. It’s crazy. I feel that I’ve settled in well. The apartment is really close to a variety of shops/stores (which is great!): Panera, Barnes and Noble, Chick-fil-A, DSW shoes, Trader Joes, Whole Foods, Target, Paradise Cafe, Five Guys, Noodles and Company…I mean, seriously, there’s SO MUCH within a 15 minute drive!

But I’ve been enjoying my work for Pearson. I’m working in the IT video department. So I help edit the videos they produce, as well as developing some content and overseeing the production of the videos. I was worried I was in over my head (since I’m not a super tech-savvy person, though I do love my keyboard shortcuts) but it hasn’t been a problem at all. I have really enjoyed seeing the other side of video production and I’m looking forward to learning more! I’ve only done a couple of projects, but I’m going to get started on some new ones this coming week.

I’ve also gone exploring – how could I not? I love cities and I love photography. From the moment I unpacked my car I was itching to go out with my SLR. And I did, briefly, that first weekend. But yesterday I went exploring to my heart’s content. I visited the heart of downtown Indianapolis and brought my camera. It was great! The weather wasn’t too hot and it was a little bit cloudy (which is perfect for taking pictures) and I just wandered around spazzing out over monuments/memorials/statues.

I strolled through downtown for several hours, visited the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, and stopped by el Dia de la Familia Festival. Um, Mexican food? Yes. All the yes. I got a yummy plate of freshly made enchiladas. Though I was a little sad I didn’t have enough cash to grab a churro as well. Note to self: carry more cash so I can buy everything I want. Note to self: moderate how much cash you give yourself and control the urge to buy everything.

Also, last Friday, some of the interns got together and we went to the First Friday Food Truck Festival! There were SO MANY FOOD TRUCKS. It was fantastic! I wanted to try everything. And I don’t know about you, but there aren’t very many food trucks where I’m from, so this was exciting and somewhat of a novelty. Pretty much everyone tried something different. This Food Truck Festival happens once a month and I’m pretty sure I’m going to be attending again.

Sorry this post just showcases a little of what I’m been up to. I’m working on being better at blogging…though we don’t have Internet at our apartment, so that’s a little tricky. But I’ll leave you with a photo I took at the Soldiers & Sailors Monument in downtown Indy. I’ll be going through the pictures I took with my SLR and posting some soon! I also have more pictures on Instagram.

Soldiers & Sailors Monument

I wish I could freeze time

I’m at Barnes and Noble for an extended period of time because there’s no Internet in my newly acquired apartment. I’m in Indy, btw, so YAY! It’s been a crazy couple of days, that’s for sure. Working on settling in and finding out what’s in the area.

But what struck me as I was sitting in the cafe, was a family of four. I can’t help but look up and gaze at the people around me and wonder, imagine backstories, tidbits of trivia. The writer in me is always dreaming and plotting.

But across the way was that family of four. They entered the cafe, sat down at a table and after five minutes moved to another table. They waited, and eventually their Starbucks drinks arrived. Even though the two children were fairly young, the little boy probably around 8 or so and the girl around 11, they all got Starbucks drinks.

But this is the moment I wanted to capture, the moment I wish I could freeze in my mind, the snapshot of family and love portrayed: the little boy took a drink and made some strange gesture, some noise, some face that alerted the rest of the family to his plight. I looked up to find the mother gently stirring his drink, a small smile on her face, the sister facing her brother and smirking, and the father in the corner, trying hard to suppress his grin. For a tense moment it was quiet, and then the little boy burst out laughing, quietly, but loud enough to draw my attention away from my screen.

It was just as the little boy’s laugh gave way that the mother, sister, and even the father joined in. And that perfect moment, where all four were laughing, their heads leaning towards each other and the center of the table, caught completely in their own mirth and completely unaware of the rest of the world. That was the moment.

And just like that, I fell in love with the family.

In which I need to do all the things I avoided while in school…

Which mostly boils down to cleaning and laundry. During the school semester it’s so easy to focus on the deadlines/projects/activities and tell yourself you’ll clean your apartment later. And then when later finally shows up you really wish it had just called in sick or something. But I’m heading out next week and I know I’ll be so FRUSTRATED with myself if I leave my room a mess. So I declare this the weekend of Deep Cleaning and De-cluttering. So instead of taking copious amounts of naps and reading any book I get my hands on (what I’ve been doing so far) I will now devote my weekend to clean. We’ll see how this goes.

And in other news. I have been absolutely OBSESSED with these past couple of weeks. It’s been on repeat and has already made it into my top 10 most played songs on my iTunes. Anberlin’s Unstable. I’ve included the music video – it’s kind of random, kind of dystopian, kind of awesome.

What I’ve been doing all these past weeks…instead of blogging.

To say I’ve been waylaid by life as the sole means for my lack of posts would be cheesy and cliche. That’s why I’m switching around the wording.

Of late, I have been rather busy with the holidays and such, so I must apologize for my lack of posting.

Doesn’t that sound posh.

Okay, but really…I have been busy. As long as you count sleeping in and reading books busy. (Which I do.) But I figured since it’s the New Year and all – I should do the obligatory New Year’s Resolutions post where I try to shame myself into being better at things.

  1. I resolve to write more frequently on my blog[s].
  2. I resolve to exercise more.
  3. I resolve to make better eating choices.
  4. I resolve to read a gazillon books.
  5. I resolve get an internship in NYC this summer.
  6. I resolve to write a novel.
  7. I resolve to buy less shoes…even if they are on super sale.
  8. I resolve to travel and take photographs.
  9. I resolve to be more disciplined in my writing.
  10. I resolve to actually check back on my New Year’s Resolutions sooner than January 2014.

That last one may be a bit of a stretch. It’s embarrassing to say, but sometimes I forget entirely about my resolutions as soon as I’ve posted them some place. It’s like my brain says, “Whew, glad you got that out of your system, let’s go back to that sleeping in business.”

And then for summary: I had a great winter break, thank you for asking. I saw friends + family and it was a nice bit of relaxation. I saw THE HOBBIT and rather enjoyed it. I bought myself a Nikon D3100 and am so far in love it’s not even the least bit funny. I successfully completed NaNoWriMo in November and now have a very lackluster novel to revitalize (it just needs some tender love and care…then it’ll be a decent novel.) and I’ve also taken quite a bit of photography with that new camera. Now I’m ready to get back into the swing of things as school starts next week.

Cheerio!

Whoops, I’m behind again…

So, it’s the halfway point with National Novel Writing Month. You’re supposed to be at the sweet spot of 25,000 words and feeling pretty good about yourself.

But I’m behind. I’m only at 14,000. Which is still a decent word count and all, but I’m determined to catch up.

That’s why I just sat down and did a marathon sprint of writing. 3,100 words in 45 minutes! That’s pretty crazy, but it actually went by really fast because I got a lot of my plot hammered out. I hadn’t really known where I was going and so this is a great development.

If you’re doing NaNoWriMo right now, how are you faring? Good? Bad? Don’t want to talk about it?

NaNoWriMo – who’s with me?!

So a lot of you have probably heard about National Novel Writing Month. If not, you should definitely check out this link. Basically you write a novel in 30 days. The whole point is to get 50,000 words written and at the end of November you’ll have “won” Nanowrimo. And even though that sounds like a huge number it’s only a measly 1,667 words a day! Anyone can do that!

I love it! I actually did it in 2005, 2006, and 2007 and won each year. (AKA, I have over 150,000 words in 3 random novels that would need heavy amounts of editing to actually be worth reading.)

But that’s not the point of nanowrimo. The point is to get words down on paper. To get the story out of your system. To jump over that terrifying hurdle of “what can I possibly be thinking – there’s no way I can get this down, I’ll mess it up!” It’s about quantity versus quality. Because, let’s face it folks, you’ve got 1 month to write a novel and then 11 other months to edit and revise it.

So, I’ve always been the kind of fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants-let’s-write-about-whatever-today nanowrimo kinda girl. Meaning I’ve never had a plot or any foggy idea what my novel was about. This year I prepared a little. I seriously thought about what I was going to write about beforehand. I didn’t really make any leeway with my thoughts, but I had a vague idea of what I wanted to write about before I started typing. And that’s more than can be said for previous years.

Also, if you’re doing nanowrimo – feel free to add me! I’m under LauraRaquel! I’d love to watch your progress as we embark on this adventure of literary abandon.

So here’s to the start of November and all the other participants writing a novel! You’ll probably be hearing some nanowrimo rants on this blog as well during the month.