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!

Fall Breaking in 2016?

Hi new IIB students!

Are you a fall breaker? Do you want to have fun? Do not hesitate and read one of our posts that we have written about! Everyone chose different places to spend these four free days. Autumn in the United States means, for me, red leaves, perfect weather and… Columbus Day! Some mates of mine visited Montreal, others went to DC and I left for Boston. Every decision you will take, I am sure, it will be a good idea! Boston, for instance, is awesome. There are, China Town, Little Italy, many parks and a harbor from which it is possible to see lovely and pink sunsets. Restaurants offer fresh fish and there is a market in the city center, called Quincy Market, in which you can find whatever you want! It is possible to visit Boston, and even the near Cambridge, in three days without problems; and it is definitely less crowded than New York City. For me, it was like staying in London but with less Italians settled in. And, believe me, especially if you came from Italy, this sounds good! I felt in love with this city and I recommend all of you to spend your time wandering in New England!

 

 

Fall break

Me, Gerardo, Agnes, Frida and Ann Kristin decided to make a road trip on the fall break which turned out to be one of the best decisions so far during this semester. We rented a Dodge Charger (which actually had some American muscles under the hood) and went to Boston, Martha’s Vineyard and Newport. A perfect weather, delicious food, amazing friends, great playlists for the road trip and cool sights characterized the trip and I will remember my fall break here in America for a long loooong time.

I hope everyone else in our group had a lovely fall break as well!

 

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I believe, I can fly!

Two weeks ago, on Saturday, I joint the university group going to the biggest North America park for ziplining. I booked the trip the day before because I was lazy to sign up and I was in the waiting list, but I really hoped to go because I had a hard week and I needed spear time to recharge. We arrived with our yellow bus in a place in which in winter people use to ski. We reached the top of the mountain with a chair lift and some guys explained us the most important safety rules. It was a great experience and we had so much fun! We stepped from a side to the other five times and we performed in different positions according to the gradient. I felt the air on my face and on my hair. I had a good adrenaline in my body and I loved those sensations! When we finished our activity we were so happy but worn out and hungry. At the beginning of the chair lift there were some shops that sold German food and sweetness. I bought an amazing waffle with sugar and cinnamon and this was “the cherry on the pie” of my day in the nature! I would suggest everyone to book this trip, it was worth every bucks.

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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!

 

 

The first true English conversation…

IMG_0456This is THE day. Today is the day when me and my Swedish friends had an English conversation without thinking of it being English. After five weeks of speaking almost only English (yes of course also some Swedish, but just a little) with my international IIB-friends I finally found my self actually having an English conversation with my fellow country friends from Sweden. I felt really excited! Can you believe it? I spoke English with my SWEDISH friends and we didn’t even think about it. I will remember this day for a long time to come!  You may ask yourself at this point why I’m so happy about this phenomena? Well, the reason for me being so happy is that I’m finally feel comfortable with speaking English. Hallelujah!

Have you ever been in a foreign country? Probalby most of you have. Then you know the feeling of not finding your words when speaking to someone in another language. These situations are starting to get more uncommon for us. Its more common that I just spit the word out and sometimes a little bit to fast, hehe.

I’m not speaking perfectly in any way, but I’m just not nervous about speaking anymore.

At least not in everyday life conversations. I never expected it to go so fast, but I believe that the progress is probably a result of us really trying to learn the English language. Another contributor is the fact that we’re practicing it every day. And I have my IIB classmates to thank for this. I’m so grateful! We’ve all improved our English skills and it’s so fun to see how we all get more comfortable speaking it every day.

The first English presentation..

Before coming here, the thought of me standing in front of a crowd and doing a presentation in English was nerve crackling, but now its just one more experience for me. Today we had our first one-by-one English presentation. Oboy you can imagine me being kind of nervous before entering the stage. But as soon as I got started, I actually enjoyed it. It was a great feeling to master a presentation in another language.

As in any situation in life, I like to challenge my self and overcome obstacles. It’s the same with the English language. I want to learn to speak and write fluently. So, with this said, I would like to encourage you all to go out there and learn another language. Its soon much fun!!

Whats next?..

I wonder what comes next, dreaming in English or forgetting the Swedish language? Stayed tuned and you might found out 😉

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? ✔

Having family around is always the best!

My husband is visiting me during my stay at New Paltz. So far, we used every weekend for traveling. Last weekend we went to the Niagara Falls at the Canadian site. We drove by car, which took eight hours. We slept next to the falls in a nice Motel. On the next day the real adventure started:

The Niagara Falls! It was a breath taking view form the visitor’s platform, but it was nothing compared to the amazing view we got when doing a boat tour. We were so close to this huge falls that the water splashed from all sides on us, it was amazing! We kept our eyes open wide to enjoy every second of this thrill of a lifetime.

 

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.