Expect the unexpected – An amazing day in New York City

This day should be different than all other days before – going to New York, conducting the first two job interviews and experiencing the Macy’s Fashion Show. Feeling the freedom and the diversity of New York City as well as getting in touch with the American Business Culture for the first time was an unforgettable experience. Already, as I left the Port Authority Bus Terminal, theDSC05337 difference between the life in New Paltz and New York City was noticeable. I have been overwhelmed by all the impressions and I realized that this feeling is the reason why I am taking part in this international program – to experience diversity. This feeling was a big motivation to do my best during the job interviews. Both interviews were totally different regarding company’s location, the building (outer facade), the interior and the people working for the company. I was impressed by both companies and its various working environment. All interviews have rather been an informal conversation than a formal communication which created a comfortable discussion.

After successful conducted interviews, Karina and I rewarded us by going to the Macy’s Fashion Show – “Macy’s Presents Fashion’s Front Row” – in the theatre at Madison Square Garden in order to gain valuable inspirations for our internships in the fashion industry 😉 Watching the season’s latest fashion and listen to the hottest music by Nate Ruess and Jason Derulo was an unforgettable experience. The show was definitely worth the money because of the show and Macy’s commitment to the awareness and prevention of HIV/Aids.

Even after the show the dayPicsArt_1444764398953 didn’t end. The day was still young and Karina convinced me to go for a last drink in the rooftop bar in the Hyatt Hotel (http://timessquare.hyatt.com/en/hotel/activities/hotel-activities/rooftoplounge.html). Without expecting anything Karina and I ordered a cocktail and enjoyed the beautiful view. Suddenly, one man was walking towards our table and talked to us in German. In the first moment I did not realized that he was a friend from Germany because I did not expect him at all. He told me that he was in New York for one week with his girlfriend. I knew before that Germans are everywhere but I never expect that I would meet a friend from my hometown at the rooftop bar of the Hyatt Hotel, approximately 3.800 miles away from Germany. All of us were surprised but we were very happy to meet each other incidentally. Unfortunately, it was only time for one drink because we had to take the last bus home to New Paltz. However, I was really happy of unexpectedly meeting friends. It felt like home.

It was an exciting and amazing day with a perfect final. Sometimes the unexpected can result into a really positive surprise. I like unexpected surprises like this. Thus, open your eyes and look around you, probably your home might be closer than you expect. Great experience!

Tourists in New York

IMG_7856In a couple of weeks, we are not going to be tourists in New York City anymore. We will live for at least two months there, which means that we will start to behave as proper New Yorkers. For that reason, Einar and I decided to go to the city to be proper tourists while we can. It was a great day, as we decided to go to some of the main landmarks, where we saw some of the best views of New York.

First, we decided to go to the Empire State Building. There were many lines to get to the 88th floor, but the view was worth the wait. It was amazing, as you can see the whole city and its surroundings. The only bad thing about it was that I was freezing. Being at the top of one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world means that there will be a lot of wind, so if you are planning to go there, take a jacket with you.

After the Empire State, we went to the 9/11 Memorial, which was astonishing and emotional. Aesthetically, the memorial is very pleasing and beautiful. Nevertheless, thinking about the events that happened there makes you have mixed feelings about it.

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After spending some time at the 9/11 Memorial, we went to Wall Street. Some of us are going to work there, and some of us also want to get there with our own companies. Therefore, we decided that it was a good idea to start to get to know such an important place for us.

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The next stop was taking a ferry to go around the Hudson and see the Statue of Liberty. Again, the wind and the lines were an issue, but it was totally worth it. Looking at New York City from afar is spectacular, especially if there is a chance to say hi to the Statue of Liberty.

After having some dinner at one of my favorite fast food restaurants, Wasabi, we went to Times Square. It was our first time at Times Square by night. Besides all the lights, I was surprised by how it is possible to see people from all over the world, doing all kind of things, in one single place.

Without doubt, it was a great day. New York City is huge, and the best way to start to know the city is to start with its main landmarks!

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Getting here! Memories…

Today, I don’t know why, but I’ve suddenly begun to think how I got New Paltz. Before coming I knew anyone who is doing the IIB program and I decided to book the cheapest flight that I was able to find, by Aer Lingus, the Irish airline company. Usually, I use to spend my time in airport with other people, because when I go for holiday I am never alone. But that day no one was with me, so I decided to look me around all the time through Milan, Dublin and New York, trying to understand that strange place, always full of different kinds of people, called ‘airport’.

I have to tell that in the airport there is free entry so, until get the metal detector, there is the possibility of meeting everyone… Firstly, there are people that are not able to control themselves; they use to exceed with drugs or alcohol. They are easy to recognize because they often are bent down on the floor or on café’ sofas, wrapped in their jackets. How to identify them? Their heads are always kept up by hands or by their luggage. These become part of the furniture. Secondly, there are busy and active people. It doesn’t matter if it is morning and they haven’t slept, they must walk and walk again. I love them because if the airport life exists we need to thank them. Thirdly, there are barmen, shop assistants, warehousemen, hostess and stewards and so on. They are in the airport just because they are paid. They don’t look happy but if I asked them something they would help me. Then, there are techno-addicted. Are they, maybe, driving the world with their lighted apple?

In the end, here I was. I was excited and full of energy, but even a little bit scared for this new experience. I really didn’t know in which category I could allocate myself so I choose to observe the others. Milan, Dublin, New York…there aren’t big differences. This is the airport life. In Italy we use to say “Tutto il mondo è Paese” and the meaning of this sentence is that it doesn’t matter in which country you are or you are from because, more or less, everyone is similar concerning habits.

To whom is going to read this post next year, I will suggest to live as well the airport experience with each related feelings. To whom is already here, I would like to push everybody to remember how has been your “getting here” experience.

New York – 360 Degree Observatory – One World Trade Center

Although, I was only eleven years old I still remember the moment as I heard of the attack on September 11, 2001. As soon as I came back from school and entered the front door, my mom informed me immediately about the occurrences in New York. Without having lunch I turned on the television. Almost all channels reported about the incident. I didn’t fully understand what had been happening but I remember realizing that nothing will be the same again.

 

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As I arrived in the US in the mid of August 2015 one of my first destinations was the place where 9/11 happened. Due to the fact that it was my first time in New York I did not know what to expect and had no imagination how I would feel. As I went to Lower Manhattan, I directly walked towards the 9/11 Memorial. This memorial, consisting of a North and South Pool, honors the lives of the people that were killed during the attack. The pools represent the former location of the Twin Towers. The dimension of the memorial is impressive and can be seen as a place for memories and hope for the future. The 9/11 memorial is free of charge and is open from 7:30am to 9:00pm. For further information please use the following link: http://www.911memorial.org/.

 

 

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As I walked further I stood in front of the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere – the new World Trade Center. By looking up at the inspiring building I felt like a small child that wanted to experience the whole power of the new tower and the city. Therefore, I decided to pay $32 for the One World Observatory, also called the Freedom Tower, which is located on the 100th to 102th floor within the One World Trade Center. The observatory deck is open since the end of May 2015.

I had to wait 1,5h to start my experience because only a specific amount of people is allowed to go up at one time. After passing the security point the ground level is reserved as being a 9/11 memorial. On a wide screen, people who survived the attack are sharing their feelings with the visitors. Moreover, constructions workers and engineers are interviewed to talk about their association with the new building and the memories of 9/11.

 

 

 

 

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After watching the documentation, we stepped into one of the five elevators, called Sky Pod. Instead of a boring ride, we reached the 102th floor within less than 60 seconds by seeing time lapse images showing 500 years in history. We entered a dark, long and narrow room with one wall full of screens, presenting New York as a fast-paced and diverse environment, called Seen Forever Theatre. During the presentation the music was getting louder and louder. When the maximum was reached, the screens lifted and the light shined through the windows. In this moment we discovered the beauty of New York City.

Arriving at the observation deck, we had a 360-degree view of the amazing cityscape. We explored all areas: the main observations, the Sky Portal and the City Pulse. While I was walking around I always had the feeling that the tower was moving. Moreover, during the stay I watched a nature spectacle While it was raining in Brooklyn, it was only cloudy in Manhattan. It seems that the East River is a meteorological divide between Brooklyn and Manhattan.

 

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Every visitor has the opportunity to borrow a tablet for $15 that provides an interactive survey. That means you are holding the tablet in your hands towards the sights you want to explore and the tablet is telling you what sight it is and the background behind it.

If you are interested you can also dine in three different bars/restaurants. Especially in the evening an unforgettable view on the New York skyline is guaranteed. But please be aware that the One World Observatory does not offer any open-air sections. Information about the One World Observatory is represented on the following website: https://oneworldobservatory.com/.

I definitely recommend visiting the Freedom Tower!

To gain firsthand experience please get inspired by the following video. Enjoy!

 

 

MY DAY!

September, 21st was an unbelievable day for me! I left from New Paltz in the morning, taking the bus towards New York. I was scared because I had to be interviewed at 2PM by the human resources corporate of Bertelsmann group and my mind was focused on the target like never before. While I was in the bus Martha, my advisor, called me telling about another opportunity: I had to sit another interview at Jimmy Choo and it was scheduled at 4.30 PM. I thought … even if I am sat, i am going to faint. I decided to do whatever I love during that day because everything should has been perfect. I arrived early and I started taking care of myself with a tasty pumpkin spicy latte at Starbucks. At 2 PM I was at Penguin random house building, which is the biggest publisher in the world and it belongs to Bertelsmann group. I have been interviewed by 4 people and I loved that moment because I felt myself confident, alive and important. Later I went in the “Sex and the City’s shoes kingdom”, also called Jimmy Choo, and it was like reaching a dream! After these two big steps of my life I just had to pamper myself again, so I went to buy my drugs: trousers and sushi at Topshop and Wasabi. That day has been such a perfect one. I really believe that one of the best thing that a person can do is to fight for something, to get it and to treat himself after a success. Everything seems bigger if I think that i am just 23, I come from another continent and I live in a very small town… but I am able to dream, this is my strength!

 

I am in the public eye

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On Wednesday I went to the New  York Public Library to see the photograph exposition of “I am in the public eye”.

At the entrance of the exhibition there was a plasma t.v. with directions of Manhattan with the name “instagram”, so you would choose an address, then click on the photo and you could see all of the “free content” everyone posts on this app. Without them noticing, they are been watched at all times by completely strangers.

There was one project of a man that “posed” for 600 security cameras all around the world. He dressed in the same outfit, so we could spotted him easier. The whole point of this, is to demonstrate that we are being watched at all times, at all places. And it’s completely true, after seeing his project I started noticing everywhere I walk I could see a camera pointing in a direction.

“Thanks to the development of new technology and social media, more photographs are created, viewed, and shared today than ever before. Public Eye, the first-ever retrospective survey of photography organized by NYPL, takes advantage of this moment to reframe the way we look at photographs from the past. What are some of the platforms and networks through which photographs have been shared? In what ways have we, as photography’s public and one of its subjects, been engaged over time? To what ends has the street served as a venue for photographic practice since its beginnings? And, of more recent concern, are we risking our privacy in pursuit of a more public photography? Ranging from photography’s official announcement in 1839 to manifestations of its current pervasiveness, this landmark exhibition, drawn entirely from the Library’s collections, explores the various ways in which photography has been shared and made public. Photography has always been social.” – NYPL

Isn’t a scary thought to know that every time you walk or you are posting on social media, talking a picture on the street, or in the restaurant, it doesn’t matter where you are, everyone is watching…

Yes, weekend!

Hi everyone!

Please, read this post questioning…

Have you ever been into a movie set?

Do you know what does “Big City Life” mean?

Last week I went with some mates of mine to NYC to spend our free time in a town that, usually, I’m only able to dream. Firstly, Andrea and I went to SuitSupply to tailor his new suit. The place was amazing. Huge windows let the daily light come inside and permitted us to have a real “newyorkese” view: big buildings and junctions between streets and avenues; furthermore, a huge and soft sofa and fashion newspapers filled the tailoring room. The shop assistant offered us an expresso waiting for the clothes that Andrea must try and we changed floor with a man who “drove” the elevator with a kind of lever, that I’ve never seen before except for Harry Potter’s movies. Later, we strolled around Soho and we had an amazing brunch with other mates. It was unbelievable: delicious eggs with beetroot hollandaise sauce and mint lemonade. In general, Soho is glamour, green, full of famous shops and people enjoy their spare time doing shopping or just walking with friends. Later, we decided to go to the Freedom Tower both to see the new building, that carve NYC’s sky, and to do not underestimate those were important days for United States. Our tour runs out at Bubba Gump, the famous Forrest Gump’s shrimp-restaurant in Times Sq., where we ate with a wonderful view on the LEDS. I believe that this was the best way to finish our day! I really loved this day because, sometime, is very important “to recharge our body battery” after a hard week at campus.

Big city life? ✔

THE SKY IS "AZZURRO" IN NEW YORK TODAY!

This post is a “Pre-recorded Broadcast” ;-)… but enjoy it!!!

Yesterday was an ordinary day for me.
I was in New York with a friend of mine and my only concern was to find the right shoes at Macy’s rather than the right Jacket at Zara store….Then, something happened.
Rumors came from the street and I surprisingly found out that Roberta Vinci, a 33 years old unseeded Italian veteran, playing in her first Grand Slam semifinal, had defeated Serena Williams, considered by many the best female tennis player in History.
WOOOOW… Let me say it, a day to forget for the great Serena!… But that wasn’t the biggest News!
The second finalist who had to “fight for the crown” with Vinci, in the Grand Slam final, was another Italian girl, Flavia Pennetta.
Thus, to sum up: Two girls, not only from Italy but also from my beloved Puglia… One Grand Slam final… The US Open 2015… and no one (NO ONE) could have ever imagined it!
How could I miss the opportunity to watch this entirely Italian, Live and Epic One-Time Event???
Well, I couldn’t! So, my day became a race against time to find this one GOLD ticket for the final match… And after a while I found it!!!! 😉
The next day, I went back to NYC, took the train from Penn Station to the Arthur Ashe Stadium which is incredible by the way, and reached my craved destination.
I was by myself but too excited to feel lonely!!!
People from all around the world were there to see the match and I felt the adrenaline running into my body as never before!
The game started and the few Italians that luckily were there didn’t know who to cheer for! So, everyone started cheering and whooping and hollering for both the Italian girls that actually knew each other since childhood… and it was amazing.
At the end, Flavia Pennetta won but that was a victory for Roberta Vinci as well because they will both be remembered as the two Italian girls who left America speechless!
When I thought it was enough for one day, another crazy thing happened. After winning the US Open 2015, Pennetta announced her retirement in front of the entire world…
… and I realized that, one day, THAT moment would have become an adventure worth telling to my grandchildren, great grandchildren and friends!

Hope you loved the story as I loved living it!!!
Hugs and Kisses.
Gaia.

First interview – done!

Today I went to my first interview for our internship this spring. I woke up early in NYC, got dressed and walked over to Union Square. The sun was shining and once again I fell in love with this city. After spending a few weeks in New Paltz I started to enjoy the small town life more than the city life but no, now I’m hooked again.

My interview was at a company called Wikia. Wikia is founded by the same person who started Wikipedia: Jimmy Wales, who is also a friend of mine. I met with the New York sales director and the Vice President at 10 a.m and it was so much fun. I just love going to interviews.

Everything went very well and we will see if this is the company that I will work for during the spring.

Let’s do this!

I love Meatpacking District

Last Saturday , I went to NYC for the third weekend in a row since we came to New Paltz. My plan was to stay in New York during the day and then take my wonderful Trailsway bus back at 11:30 .

I walked all afternoon, tried to lose myself in the beauty of Manhattan buildings. (I have a Lonely Planet , but really , I’ve never used it). I can not get used to the height of these buildings. Usually, I feel really small when I see the world from my 1.60 cm. These buildings may be huge but I feel alive, like I’m in my own world and while a bit like an ant.

Anyway, in the evening I met some Italian friends for a happy hour at The Standard ( view from the rooftop is really awesome ) and to eat a real Italian pizza al Luzzo ‘s in the East Village ( Roberto Benigni , the actor of La vita è bella was unreasonable beside me).

In fact, when the clock struck 11:20 , I did’n’t felt like to leave the city , it was ” too early ” . I decided to miss the bus and fall in the vibrant feeling of the New York nightlife . We went to a bar in the Meatpacking District , this area is something amazing . In the end I came back to the Super 8 on Sunday afternoon.

Below is a selfie, made ​​at the motel at 05:17

” New York, New York, so good they named it twice ”

me after club

me after club

#no filters 🙂