New York City by iPhone

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Museum of Natural History

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In line for Jon Stewart!

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Mike Huckabee was the guest. We got his book fo free, then ate some cupcakes.

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Washington Square Park

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Hitchin a ride on the LIRR

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Katz’s Deli

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Vertical panorama of the new Freedom tower (that’s why the other buildings look a little janky), with one of the World Trade Center reflecting pools at the base

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Times Square at sunset

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Us, now, at JFK. I hate how I look (took a jog this morning and went straight from shower –> car) but T-Man’s sad face is too good!

See y’all back in California!

Leaving on a Jetplane

So, we’re doing it.

My friends are still evacuated from their downtown apartment and my aunt is still awaiting power on Long Island, but T-Man and I are still leaving for New York early tomorrow!

I actually love traveling. As you all know, I studied abroad for a year in college. During that year, I made frequent weekend and week-long trips to a grand total of 18 cities in at least 12 different countries.

Going to New York for 5 days isn’t exactly a huge adventure like traveling to another country is (especially when I’ve been visiting family there since i was a kid…The last time I went, I spent way more time hanging out with friends and family than sight seeing). But T-Man has never been to NYC! So it will be for him!

Any tips on must sees that aren’t too pricy? We only have 2 1/2 days in the city so we won’t have a ton of time. Our only plans thus far are a taping of the Daily Show (!!!) and the Tenement Museum. Oh, and going to Rockefeller Plaza because though I claim I have seen enough touristy things in NYC, I always have to stop by 30 Rock and gaze at the Plaza adoringly and wishing I could work there some day.

So in anticipation of my first cross-country trip in a couple of years, I’ve done am doing a few things to prepare.

1) Bought a new camera: The Nikon 1 J1

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I’ve been thinking about replacing my Canon Powershot Pro1 (circa 2005) for a while now, and upgrading to a DSLR. I decided to instead go for the compact Nikon 1. I’m not sure how I feel about it yet…it is a very good quality camera, but I have yet to find a manual mode, which means I might not have as much control over my pictures as I’d like. It seems like a pretty smart camera with a fair amount of settings, though, so maybe I won’t miss it. (all the photos in this post were taken with it {besides the one taken OF it, obviously})

2) I made pumpkin granola to bring on the plane. (Well, I’m making it right now and it smells delicious.)

I used this pumpkin granola recipe, but decreased the amount of sugar and syrup. I’m hoping it turns out; I’ve tried making granola before with Quick Oats (which is what I have on hand 99% of the time) and it never really works out right. My apartment smells delicious though, so at least it will taste great, even if it doesn’t have the same crunch as store-bought does!

3) I packed our bag am in the process of packing our bag

This is not a packed bag, as it may seem to be. This is my suitcase filled with a couple of cold weather items I grabbed from my parents house that I thought I’d need for the trip…So…I’ve got a ways to go… Haha. Plus, we found out you have to pay for checked bags, so T-Man is going to take most of his stuff in his carry-on, and I’m going to check a bag for both of us and fit whatever else I can of his in there.

I do consider myself a pro-packer, though. For a 5 day trip, I’m thinking I’ll probably bring 2 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of shoes (one comfy, one cute), and a couple of different shirt + sweater combos. I’ll be wearing all of my bulkiest clothing tomorrow (bulkier shoes, and my heavy jacket) so I can fit more in the suitcase. Tips of the trade, I tell ya. When I was in France, I used to bring only a backpack for week-long travels. Check this out:

This was what I brought with me on a 8 day trip (at the end of October…COLD!) to Edinburgh, Dublin, and London. I’m wearing a tank top, sweater, hoodie, scarf, AND a jacket. I pretty much just traded the same 2 sweaters and 3 different shirts the whole time. Ballin’. Hey man, it’s what you’ve gotta do when you’re flying Ryanair (the airline who charges 14 euros per flight, but 25 euros for each checked bag) the whole way.

Wish us luck!

The Problem with Internships…

So after a week here on the east coast, I finally had some semblance of job-hunting action today in Manhattan.  An interview for an internship.  The internship was for a non-profit organization that I wasn’t completely familiar with, but its main goals of fighting poverty and AIDS internationally seemed right up my alley.  I scoped out the location yesterday; not too shabby.  The building, which I later discovered hosts several UN committees and non-profit organizations, was across the street from the United Nations (one of my several dream jobs).

I went back today for my interview and was feeling pretty good about myself.  I wore a nice collared shirt, slacks, boots, and toted around my spiffy UCSB resumé portfolio that came as a gift for graduating tour guides earlier this year.  I certainly looked the part, and didn’t feel so much like a tourist as I traveled the several blocks from Grand Central station along with all the other business attired professionals.

However, the passersby that I noticed wearing the more expensive suits and the higher heels were probably not headed to interviews for unpaid internships at very small non-profit organizations like I was, as I came to find out.  The office I entered was bare, as they had recently relocated, and the staff was sparse.  I had a very nice talk with the Director of Communications, who repeatedly reminded me that the internship wasn’t so much of an internship as it was a volunteer position, since it’s unpaid.  She told me about the organization and what she would need from a Communications/Outreach “volunteer“.  She did most of the talking.  After she asked if I would like the position, I told her that I needed some time to think about it, since I’m in the process of deciding whether or not to relocate to New York…and moving across the country on the promise of a 2 day/week unpaid internship isn’t exactly what I’d consider a sound decision.

I spoke on the phone recently with a friend of a family friend who gave me some advice about my job search.  He works in the Washington, DC area and when I told him I had been struggling finding an entry level job and had shifted my search to internships, he said (more or less), “Don’t settle for a job that doesn’t pay.  Paid jobs are out there!  You are talented and you deserve to be paid for those talents.”  I started thinking about that right after I was done with my “interview”.

Internships are, ideally, for students.  The fact that so many companies and organizations have begun to hire more and more unpaid interns out of college to do the jobs that entry-level workers used to do flat out sucks.  College isn’t easy.  It’s expensive, and stressful, and eye opening, and I’d even assert that a lot of students learn more in one semester than they ever did in high school.  I know I certainly had a few quarters at UCSB that felt like it.  Having a college degree may be more common now than it was in the previous century, but it’s still an accomplishment, dammit! So why are we, as college graduates, now being relegated to the bottom of the barrel?  The obvious answer, I’m guessing, involves the state of our economy.  Another response could be that college graduates are so eager nowadays that most of us don’t care.

As lovely as it’s been to visit New York & Connecticut in this beautiful autumn weather, I don’t think I love it enough to stay just because of the promise of having a volunteer position that “could look good on a resume!”  My interview today was both literally and figuratively across the street from the UN.  I need to find my job at the UN itself, so to speak. I’m going to hold out for my big break.  Because, as L’Oreal would say, I’m worth it! And as I myself would say: I’ve earned it.