Taking a bite out of the Big Apple

The day is here-almost. Tomorrow I embark on the most daunting, but also most promising, adventure of my life. My flights are booked, my bags packed, my roommate expecting me; I’m all set for my summer in New York.

I remember about 13 months ago I was preparing myself in a fairly similar way. I spent my first summer away from home ever on a ranch in Montana, for an internship with a political nonprofit. A nonprofit much more poorly funded than Common Cause, the organization I start work for on Monday, but a nonprofit with a similar goal in mind, nonetheless. And now the stakes are perhaps raised, but the form stays the same. I will be doing research (of what nature I am still a bit unsure, but I know it has to do with campaign finance), along with a large workforce, for an organization dedicated to the preservation of ethics in politics- for free. Again. Hopefully, though, it will lead to some sort of opportunity post-graduation that will be accompanied by a paycheck that will make the past couple summers’ worth of free labor all worth it in the end.  Now, all I have to do is get there.

It doesn’t seem real. The idea that I will be in New York City, the ‘Big Apple’, this time tomorrow, is completely unreal.  Over the past couple months, I have been showered by congratulatory statements and excited missives by family and friends. “That is so exciting!” “You’re going to have the time of your life!” “I’m so jealous, you’re so grown up now!” Etc, etc, etc.  But the truth is, the whole idea is so surreal, even now when it looms just around the corner, that none of those things people have said really sunk in.  I don’t think they will until I wake up to the sights, sounds, and smells of the city, really.

Everyone has seen pictures of New York. Everyone has seen movies set there. In fact, a few of my all-time favorite films take place there. And always, the storyline is highly complimented by the grandeur of the bright lights, buildings that seem to scrape the atmosphere, and beautiful people, all which make up the backdrop to characters’ lives. That’s all I’m going on, really. So I have a very set expectation of what it will be like. I cannot wait to have some of those expectations met, hopefully some exceeded, and to be completely baffled by some unexpected turns in the road ahead of me.

Going into my summer in New York City, I have a few goals to accomplish while there. Call it an IBL. Intern Bucket List. Some of these are as follows;

  1. Visit the Prada flagship store;
  2. Purchase one key designer item to mark my time there;
  3. Visit Ellis Island, where my great great grandfather passed through on his journey from Germany (original, I know. And touristy. But I don’t care about what kind of stigma may come from my interest in this classic NY landmark.);
  4. Visit all of the museums on Museum Mile (The Met, The Guggenheim, The Museum of Modern Art, etc);
  5. Find the best gnocchi in New York City (My closest friends will understand this);
  6. Get my hair done at the Frederic Fekkai salon;
  7. Get into Provacateur (look it up);
  8. Not get lost- too many times;
  9. Actually learn something in my work at Common Cause;
  10. Be open to the people that I will undoubtedly cross paths with.

That last one comes with a certain subtext- As much as I hope to make many connections while I am there, I know not to get in too deep, like last summer. While it made that little town in the backwoods of Montana a gem to me, a place I will never forget, I also don’t want to go through the kind of heartbreak I experienced the last year, while trying to move past it.

Enough of the serious stuff, though.

Now, I will try to just not be too nervous, get some sleep tonight, and keep an open mind. It’s the city of dreams! And it’s all mine for two and a half months.

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