I Want to Wake up in the City that Never Sleeps

New York, New York…

It seemed like a must to spend our first weekend in the city, and oh was it good. From the lights to the fashion, the streets and the smoke coming out of the sewers, the people and the architecture, the food and the drinks, you just never have enough time to see it all.

With streets full of mysteries and surprises, New York enchants you from the minute you get in. I can’t wait to be there 24/7 and get lost in all it has to offer.

Definitely the best way to start the year.



Getting to know the city!

On our first weekend in New Paltz we decided to go to the city!  when we arrived everything was different, people walking in all directions, lights, music, lots of shops, museums! we didn´t knew where to start!

We definitely know now why they say New York has its charm, with a great diversity of cultures, people and interests.

For now we will enjoy the tranquility of living in New Paltz, seizing the opportunity to take classes that will help us in our career and especially in our next internship. But above all the friendliness of the people here!

Happy Birthday Martin Luther King!!!

Our first Monday in the States was Martin Luther King’s Day, so we decided to visit his monument in Washington DC…and we had a great time!!

We left the snowy New Paltz and headed towards the Capital of the United States. Fortunately, the weather was really nice: sunny and not that chilly. We walked a lot and visited many monuments and museums. It was a great start for this once in a lifetime experience!

We have now landed in New Paltz and are ready for what’s to come!

A 180° Change

Twenty days ago I was celebrating New Year’s Eve almost 10.000 miles away from where I am now writing. We were toasting with my family and friends for our good summer and the incredible 110°F we had at that time, planning a trip to the beach for a week and other usual summer activities. I mean, I had to enjoy as much as I could, my summer was only going to last 10 days.

I must say back then I was complaining on the Heat Wave we were suffering, but, as long as I had a swimming pool or the seaside nearby it was good. Now, with -15°F I can’t help regretting all those wishes against weather being that warm.

But this whole change was not all about going from a super hot summer to a freezing winter, that is a small part of it. I also changed my holidays back home to study and work in a foreign country with a pretty different culture. This I think, is the most important part of the change. The one that I am still getting to understand and explore.

The best is still to come. As I heard in a song:

I can’t tell where the journey will end, but I know where to start

NIagara Falls and Toronto roadtrip

Hi guys! Take a look at my video from our last roadtrip at Niagara Falls . Niagara falls is gigantic and it’s very incredible that it is in the midde of a city. The video was made by me during the boat trip under the falls with a lot of water over my face!

Waiting for New York!

It’s almost the end of our adventure in New Paltz and we had a great time during these weeks, but I think that now we all are focused on just one thing: New York City!
I can’t stop to imagine how our next two months will be! I’ve never been in the City before this experience and my first time was few weeks ago: during that trip I discover an amazing place, where I will spend a lot of time, the High Line.
Some days before I left  for the U.S., I was watching television and there was a documentary about Chelsea and the Meatpacking. What I immediately liked the most was  the High Line. So you can imagine how  curious I was to walk in the middle of it. Well, now I can say that that park is more beautiful than I expected. It’s really particular! The rails, the wood benches, the plants all around…there aren’t enough words to describe this place…here are just some photos.

The Wall Street Walk

The Wall Street Walk

Thinking about a career on Wall Street? Do you want to understand how every day billions of dollars move from one pocket to another one? Do you want to know how some of the richest men in the history made their money?

Well, that’s Wall Street.

Before leaving from Italy to head to New York I was very interested in visiting Wall Street and the Financial District. But I was looking for something different from the normal touristic tours, organized by travel agencies, in which you have only some quick stops near the Wall Street Bull and the New York Stock Exchange Main Entrance. I wanted to get an insider view of this fascinating place, I wanted to talk to someone with a real knowledge of its history. Because Wall Street is not just a street in Downtown Manhattan! It’s a symbol of the U.S. financial industry with a long history stretching back over 200 years.

So I did my own research online and it came up the possibility to join a tour called “The Wall Street Walk”. They offered you the guide of real finance experts and the chance to get into a real main trading room in the NYSE and stand there for some minutes just to take some pictures and look around. The problem is that this tour is only available few days per month and it is always overbooked, but planning it in advance can be really helpful.

This experience offers a unique angle on the buzz behind the biz, with tour guides who have all worked for such industry titans as Goldman Sachs, Deutsch Bank, and J.P. Morgan. Tours include the “Wall Street Insider” tour, the “Wall Street Movie” tour, and the “Financial Crisis” tour.

My guide was Anneline Dinkelmann, a former Morgan Stanley employee, specialized in the retelling and recreation of financial history. Before becoming a guide she spent many hours digging through the NYSE archives, so don’t be surprised if she shows you a copy of the legendary Buttonwood Agreement or photos of the original building where Alexander Hamilton used to live.

This walking tour takes you to parts of the city which you’d never normally see. You will have the opportunity to:

  • Get into a real trading room, to experience the fast-paced and vibrant environment
  • Learn the history of the largest, most watched financial exchange in the world
  • Learn how a group of businessmen working under a Buttonwood tree grew to become the most-watched and important component of the US and global economy
  • Discover the origins of Wall Street when shipping and rail companies ruled the day
  • See where financial icons like J.P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller made history
  • See Delmonico’s, Stone Street and the other fine dining restaurants in the financial district where Wall Street power brokers go to lunch
  • Understand the importance of the Dow Jones Index so that you understand what Maria Bartiromo is talking about next time you watch Closing Bell.

I have a wonderful memory of this tour and I strongly recommend it to everyone interested in. So just keep your mind open and suck in the experience!!

Life as an IIB-student

Nearly three weeks in the program and I think I have everybody´s backs when I say that we are having a blast! The pictures shows what we have been doing for the first three weeks! I would like to make some head shots of some pictures;

The New Paltz ID-card: Hold on to it, this will crush your AMEX at school. This is not just an ID-card. It will also feed you during your first eight weeks in New Paltz. The card is charged with 500 “hawk-dollars”, 100 “dining-dollars”, and 20 meals at the Hasbrouck dining hall. Many of us are already over budget, so spend your money well. And by the way, there is a lot of places off-campus that accepts “hawk-dollars”.

As you can see, the other pictures shows that we´re not only in class. We spent the Labour-day weekend in Atlantic City and in Philadelphia. Some of us went to Boston.

The fall crew also like to go out for dinner. There is a lot of great places here in New Paltz if you want a nice dinner for a decent price. America is all about the food, so enjoy your meal!

Anyways, I don´t want to bore you with all these text. Time to continue searching for internships. Many of us already got interviews. Remember: Dress to impress!


Across the Atlantic Ocean – First Impressions

After studying for more than a month and finally  finishing the Bachelor of Economics back in Germany, I traveled to New York City to spend two weeks of vacation before the IIB program started.

Staying at a student’s apartment I found on Airbnb, I was in the right place to experience New York from a local’s perspective. It was located on East 106th Street, only a few subway stations from the main attractions of Manhattan.

New York can be overwhelming, especially when it is your first time in the city, but after a few days and a lot of walking around I finally settled.

After a few days of sightseeing in New York, I visited a friend in Washington DC. for a weekend. Compared to New York, Washington is much more quite and very pretty. We walked a lot and saw some of the main sights, like the White House, the National Mall, the National Zoo (with its Panda Bears) and much more.

The place my friend lives at, Alexandria, VA, is a small town a few minutes outside of Washington DC. It is very pretty with all its historic houses built by British settlers. All in all the trip felt a little like vacation from the loud and vibrant city of New York.

After my Washington trip I stayed a few more days in  New York to visit the bank I’ll be working at starting in October. Also I went ice skating in one of the best ice rinks I have seen so far (Chelsea Piers).

One day I went to Coney Island for a day on the beach and to ride the wooden roller-coaster that was build almost a hundred years ago.  Scary!

Ann-Christin on the Staten Island Ferry - Manhattan Skyline in the background

Ann-Christin on the Staten Island Ferry – Manhattan Skyline in the background

Panda Bear in the National Zoo Washington DC.

Panda Bear in the National Zoo Washington DC.

From roadtrip to boattrip

Thanks to labor day, our second week in New Paltz started with a road-trip to Boston and Cape Cod. Renting a car in New Paltz is easy and fairly cheap. But finding a cheap hostel in Boston at labor day weekend was far more complicated and as we experienced: Impossible.

Luckily, we found a boat on www.airbnb.com that fit our limited budget. The boat was located in Boston Bay Marina. With the water taxi you get to the center in 15 minutes. The view is simply amazing and you can see the skyline of Boston from the water and take unique pictures. And the best about it was that it is free.

In Boston, we visited the main attractions, such as the USS Constitution, Harvard University and of course the food courts. On Sunday, we went to Cape Cod, which is only 2 hours away from Boston. Here, you can hang out at the beach, enjoy the little stores and cafes or – as we did – go whale watching.  It was a great weekend and I’m already looking forward to the next trip.