Monday, July 8, 2013

New York City Experience: Day 3

I got my ID! I am an official NYU student according to my new purple shiny card. The process to get that took a while. I took the subway to the NYU district, but I had a little complication on the subway. My parents were testing me to see if I would know what I had to do if I were to go on the subway by myself. I did pretty good until we started nearing the destination. I had been aware of each stop we made and was ready to go, but my dad started to talk to me and I got distracted. We almost missed getting off at the right stop. Lesson of the day: New York City isn't a place where you should get distracted.

I also learned a little something about the New York attitude, too. The guy was really rude and grouchy. At first it made me really defensive, but I started thinking . . . this is the kind of mentality I have to adapt to. This city is no joke. I went to Milos Greek restaurant that night with my parents, aunts, and grandmother. The majority of the conversation was about city safety and how I have to be aware of everything surrounding me. I would be lying if I said I'm a little nervous of living here, but I am sure I'll adapt.

That's all for now,

Camila (Nap. Snack. Read.)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

New York City Experience: Day 2

I am titling this post as “Day 2” because this technically was my second day in the city even though I have been in New York for three days. The reason being is that I spent the whole morning yesterday in a car driving up to somewhere in the wonderful state of New York. I visited family up there and had a good time, but I think I can count that day and today’s day as one. An exciting part of yesterday that I can proudly inform you all is that I shot my uncle’s really big shot gun. He used this catapult to launch small flying discs into the air as targets. It is way harder than it looks, but you will be surprised to hear that I successfully hit TWO targets! I lost compared to my family, but whatever even hitting one was an accomplishment.

I had to leave bright and early from the farm because orientation was today. NYU did require it mandatory to all precollege students so it was a must. I was really nervous that I wasn’t going to make it, but lucky that wasn’t the case. We drove past all the beautiful greens of New York. Definitely beautiful, but I don’t think I could live anywhere like that. I was excited when we started to see signs of the city. We passed through New Jersey and stopped to have a snack at this small local plaza that was Korean. We went in to what I took to be a Korean based grocery story and bakery. I’m starting to think anything we do the Koreans do better . . . the fruit was absolutely gorgeous. At the entrance there was a little stand where a worker had cut up samples of the fruit and put little toothpicks so that people could try. It was all the regular fruit I loved but Korean style. The kiwi was yellow the melons were white and all of it was fresh. I was tempted to buy the fruit and take it with me for the next half an hour ride back into the city. However, I decided against that when I discovered the authentic Korean pastries. My parents and I shared the most delicious cream filled pastries. It was a nice way to fill up our stomachs before heading back to the Big Apple.

Today was a big day because I had scheduled an orientation mandated to all the incoming precollege students. I had to say I was a little nervous at first because I knew that I would not know anyone there, but I’ve never been too shy to talk to new people. So it was with mostly excitement that I went with my parents in the afternoon to the Kimmel building. I was dropped off there and began to follow the signs and people to the fourth floor waiting area. It was literally not six minutes into arriving that a fellow student began to talk to me. A friendly girl from Jersey with enough energy and excitement to kill a horse began to excitedly speak to me about stairs, classes, and herself. It eased my nerves a little bit after speaking to her. Clearly there were other people like me that wanted to get to know others.

The first half hour was a power point presentation on the program and everything we could possibly need to know. The people in charge of the program including the program director spoke to us and gave us a warm welcome. I spoke to no one at this point was starting to feel a little awkward again until we started to go off into assigned floor groups. My group appointed to me was great, and I got the chance to speak with almost every single one of its members. One girl in particular seemed nice, a Latina like me except she said she came all the way from Puerto Rico! Hopefully I get to see more of them as the program continues on. First day of class starts in two day!!


Camila (Nap. Snack. Read.)

Friday, July 5, 2013

New York City Experience: Day 1

I have been given the blessed opportunity to explore one of the world’s most amazing cities . . . The Big Apple. I am currently sitting in my new home for the rest of the summer and writing not only for my readers, but also more as a documentation of my experience in New York City. I have decided that a chance like this to explore the city life on my own and become independent in the ways of the world should be remembered. With that in mind, I have decided to record my experiences and such here, on my blog, every day if possible.

The decision to come to New York this summer was planned earlier on in the year. During the school year I began too look for programs of any kind that I could participate in that would allow me to do something that I love, cultivate that, and also have an amazing cultural experience in the mean time. New York University quickly drew my eye, as well as its incredible precollege program. I have visited the city on numerous occasions, as my grandma and other family members have lived here many years, but the idea of spending more than just a few days studying in such a prestigious university would be absolutely incredible. I spent some time researching which studies it offered and have applied and been accepted into the Expository Writing Class and the Creative Writing Workshop. This past year has been really focused on my academic studies, as well as a business and marketing program competition called DECA that really wrung most of my energy this school year. I thought to really center all my energy this summer on my love of words and language before all the chaos of college applications arrive in the fall.

Today was the beginning of my journey, one that will hopefully take me to some unexpected places and exciting experiences. I traveled by plane with my parents. I am so grateful to them for the opportunity they have given me. They have come with me for the first leg of my journey to make sure I am settled in and help me learn the in’s and out’s of such a complex and modernly exotic landscape. They themselves have walked these streets and are familiar with everything—from the subway to the people to the hotdog stands. I feel comfortable with them here, but I know that my time with them is running low, and I have to learn as much as I can and adapt to whatever they can’t teach me. They leave in 10 days time, but will be returning every couple of weeks to check up on me. (Secretly, I know it’s because they’ll miss me too much.)

From the moment we left LaGuardia Airport, I have been soaking up details and places faster than I can process. Apparently, this entire place is one long strip of land. I’m trying to familiarize myself with the way the avenues and the streets work (i.e. the long streets and the smaller ones that cut across.) I arrived early on and had time to settle my things down at the apartment before going out to explore. Can I just say that I am one lucky girl? The apartment is beautiful. My very gracious cousin has lent me her home for the next 2 months, and I am so grateful to her. It is absolutely incredible, and I can’t believe it’s all mine for the next 6 weeks! I spent the first few hours exploring the surroundings. Everything I need is basically just a few blocks away. Coming from the suburbs, I am not use to such close distances for everything. It’s nice to think that for whatever food craving, whatever need I have, I can just walk down the street or catch a subway to the nearest accommodating store. The cutest bakeries and shops are within walking distance. I had a late brunch with my parents at the most delicious organic French cafĂ© called Le Pain Quotidien. Absolutely amazing quality food can be found there. I had the most delicious mixed berry tart that I practically had to battle for with my mother. We are both suckers for fruit tarts. I guarantee that will not be my last visit there, that’s for sure. We freshened up at the apartment and continued on with mapping out my route to get to NYU.

The university consists of multiple buildings in a huge area that takes a big chunk out of downtown. I geeked out a little when we passed the NYU Bookstore. Like the typical student who goes crazy over NYU branded merchandise, I became super excited over all the purple products. That place is a sucking vortex for any overly anxious new student of any kind. I might have gone a little overboard, but there was no way I was going to leave without an NYU cap, NYU t-shirt, and NYU hoodie. No. Way. In. Hell. My parents indulged me in this and my dad even got his own cap, so it wasn’t just me!

We spent the remainder of the day to check out where all the buildings I would have to go to are located and such. It was too late in the day to go get my id, but Monday I will have mine and become an official NYU student! Everything nearby there is so urban-like. Typical college environment with brewed coffee shops on every street and brick buildings. Walked down 3rd avenue for a long while, and based on what I have observed today I have come to the conclusion that I could spend a decade in the City and I will never be able to eat at all the amazing places that are here. I can’t even put to words the absolutely mouthwatering and amazing dinner I had. Momofuku is a noodle bar in downtown that serves the most amazing—you guessed it—noodles I have ever had so far. Personally, my favorite plate was this delicious pork bun that I had to order twice because there was just no way I could leave without second helpings. If you are ever by the city, look it up. Absolutely incredible. My tummy was satisfied, my feet are currently sore, and I count this as a successful first day.

I have written a lot, and this is only just the beginning. Most likely there will be days were I do not have much to say, and other where I wont be able to stop. I look forward to many days, all different in their experiences, and I hope you will keep up with them, too.

New York City enthusiast,

Camila (Nap. Snack. Read.)