Another intern’s point of view.
At Home in a New York Minute
Image courtesy of google.com
I stuffed my weekender bag with essentials and leapt onto the Greyhound bus out of New York City with my friends, excited for a long 4th of July weekend at Long Beach Island. After five weeks of interning in the city with mark., we thought some sand and sun a few hours south was just what we needed. As the bus emerged from the Lincoln Tunnel in New Jersey, I somehow found myself with my face pressed up against the glass gazing longingly at the distant Manhattan skyline like a kindergartner being dragged away from home on her first schoolbus ride.
The Manhattan silhouette now looked so different than it had a short month earlier, from a plane gliding downward toward the LaGuardia airport. Whereas before the island had looked like an intimidating mess of towers, a thousand foreign streets and people, now all I saw were familiar bridges, buildings and places where I had managed to cultivate a sense of place and community- a community I now found myself uncomfortable leaving. This was when I first knew that my time interning here was more than just a summer vacation. My life in the city had become a part of myself and had already changed me and my future forever.
You don’t notice it happening. You spend the first week (or three?) with your nose buried in a map trying to get your bearings… realizing that yes, Broadway and W Broadway are two very distinct avenues; no, Houston is NOT pronounced like the city in Texas; 15 blocks equals roughly one thousand miles on foot- especially in those new heels. But after all that, you slowly find yourself in conversation dropping districts and coordinates like it’s nothing and finding little nooks of your favorite boutiques, bars, parks, cafes and restaurants. Each seemingly insignificant event somehow turns into a wild new experience that you never imagined and will never forget. Boat rides, meeting celebrities, swing dancing, impromptu trips to Queens, crepes outside the Cathedral, fireworks on rooftops. In a city among millions of people, every new contact leads to exponentially more new people and acquaintances, who somehow become as close to you as your oldest friends. Before you know it, you have your own daily habits, friends, routines, inside jokes, ‘regular’ spots, community … your own life.
Seven weeks ago, I was worried about how I would figure out this big city. Now, I’m stuck trying to figure out how I can possibly leave.
For all of you who live here, I hope you can relate and remember to freeze-frame all of your life-changing, whirlwind experiences. To those who haven’t gotten the amazing opportunity to live in the city yet, I hope this gives you some insight and reassurance that no matter how daunting this place may seem at first, just give it a couple weeks and be open to new, seemingly scary experiences. You just may find a habitat of your own somewhere in this concrete jungle.
– Haley Garrett, alliances intern