Notes from the first days @ Columbia
I do not find New York City overwhelming, much to my surprise. Living here by myself is going to be an adventure, one that I want to relish with open arms but there’s still that slight hesitation nagging at the back of my mind. It’s been 48 hours since my folks have gone back to the other side of the world, leaving a distance of two contents and three oceans between us. I have yet to experience homesickness but I suspect those days aren’t too far off in the horizon.
Classes have started with unforgiving rigor and intensity as I try and get myself adjusted to Americanized spellings and terminologies – I still get blank stares from people when I ask them for their visiting cards instead of business cards. I am constantly fighting off the urge to put my Us in color and Ss in place of Zs. This is the rest of growing up in two former British colonies.
My reporting class is very interesting. It is taught by not one but two tenured professors, both of them former and highly accomplished journalists. Our section is going to be reporting out of the Bronx and my neighborhood is Hunts Point – one of the poorest neighborhoods in all of New York City. Historically the Bronx has had a terrible reputation for murder, violence, and all the negative press in the world. As an outsider to New York, I went on my first trip to the Bronx with as much reservation as I could have brought along with me. Two weeks and multiple trips down to Hunts Point, I think it was a gross exaggeration on my part to think of the Bronx as a horrible place to be. It isn’t. I’ve had the fortune of meeting some extremely good people, all of whom are trying to change the way outsiders view their borough. They’re a young, energetic, and well-spoken bunch and are excellent news sources.
Between attending class and spending the nights with my folks while they were still here, I haven’t had the chance to explore much of New York city yet. But I reckon by Thanksgiving I’d have acquainted myself with every nook and corner in the city.
(some photos I’ve taken on my Galaxy Note 3 to document the first two weeks here)
The view from the window at Hotel Beacon where my folks stayed
First sunrise in New York
Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, founded by the legendary Joseph Pulitzer.
View of the sunset across the Hudson River, from my hostel.
The famous Tom’s Restaurant, whose exterior was used as a on-screen location in Seinfield.
In the middle of nowhere; out at the Hunts Point Food Market in the Bronx
Bronx residents claim the Hunts Point Food Market is one of the biggest wholesale food distributor around.