Saturday, July 6, 2013

New York must be a pineapple under the sea...

. . . because I feel like a sponge. OK—not the cartoon, Squarepants-wearing kind—more like the learning kind. I feel like since I’ve been in New York, my pores are soaking up the electric lights of the city, the colors screaming from graffiti walls, the gritty attitudes of the people I pass in the subway, the mystery crud on the ground.

Who knows—maybe I’ve got absorption on my mind because of the DIY sponging paint techniques I’ve been researching for This Old House, and it’s a sensory overload from this wide-open, home improvement field I’ve never explored.

When I’m at work, I’m always learning something about something.

So far, I’ve put up wallpaper, I’ve helped pick paint colors, and I’ve (probably) researched enough kitchens to merit an honorary interior design degree. OK, maybe not, but they probably recognize me at Home Depot anyway.

Stepping out into Midtown after work only jolts me back to the realization that I’m in a breathing being of a city with a mélange of cultures, varied neighborhoods and an endless supply of attractions. We’re definitely not in Tallahassee anymore, although I will say the mugginess level is just about equal.

I did get a refreshing little slice of the 850 (area code for home) when my boyfriend, Zak, came into town for the weekend. We switched our exploration gears into overdrive and walked everywhere—and I do mean everywhere—in Chelsea and Greenwich Village, on a tour that was completed with a stroll through the High Line and a brunch at the quaint but cave-like Café Reggio (it was in a scene of the Godfather, you know).

We went to Central Park, found Balto, came home, and bounced right back for NYC fireworks on the Hudson River, which, frankly, is easier said than done. Nevertheless, the show was spectacular (“Look, Fruity Pebble ones,” Zak said. “Smileys!”… “Well I like the weeping willow ones—no, no the squigglies”).

And on July 5 at the crack of dawn, I learned that John Mayer has some hardcore fans. He certainly drew the crowds to Rockefeller Plaza for the Today Show’s Summer Concert Series. Look on TV for Andrea and me in the crowd waving a sign that says “First Big Internship in NYC, ASME 2013!”

No matter what I’m doing, I’m trying to Carpe Diem the heck out of each moment and soak up the New York way of life. I’m going to learn, dance, work, and eat everything I can while I’m here.

Next stop: Chinatown. I think it’s only fitting to pay a visit to New Kam Hing for a slice of their famous sponge cake.

By Kayla Becker, Florida State University, This Old House
Edited by Harmony Huskinson, Arizona State University, National Geographic 

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