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Britt Takes New York

A blog about a chick in a place

Britt Takes New York: Day 5!

My.

Aching.

FEET.

How do they still work at this point? I’m amazed at the tenacity of the human body.

We’re going to explore the Highline and the Chelsea galleries today. That means lots, and lots, and lots, and lots of walking. It was nice. I had fun. But I did a lot of sitting down when I could and I didn’t really take a lot of pictures.

After we crossed the Highline, we were set off on our own to see the Chelsea galleries. It was kind of neat to just see the different artists of New York, even though some of it was really weird. (clowns and murder and plastic geodes and blood and lady butt smacking? ok) Lauryn and I branched off and explored the galleries on our own. We met up for another presentation at the Whitney Museum of Modern Art, then we all went to this garage-like place that had lots of little shops and restaurants in it. It was really cute, they had little gelato stands and noodle places and bakeries and all sorts of cute little shops. I ended up getting some spaghetti and some gelato. It was a satisfying lunch.

After that Lauryn and I stuck around with Ben and Neil to look at more weird New York art. I think that was my favorite part. I don’t have much to say, because I don’t want to sit here and type up descriptions of everything I saw, but it was definitely and experience. Part of me is disappointed that I didn’t take more pictures, and another part of me is okay with myself living in the moment at that point.

Ryan did join us later and he brought his daughter.

Yay.

Chelsea Galleries

(I got lucky and I found this series online… It was my favorite gallery I saw in Chelsea. I forgot to take pictures, so I’m glad I get to share!)

There really isn’t much else to say. We explored the galleries more, then we went back to the hostel and waited for everyone to meet us there so we could get back to the airport. We got to LaGuardia fine, and we were all exhausted, I could tell. I think someone had been tracking on their phone, and we walked an average of 17 miles per day in New York, which was awesome for my calorie counter but not my feet.

We got back to Starkville fine, and the guy shuttling us was nice enough to drive me to my apartment.

I was so grateful I was able to go on this trip. Not only did I get to know my teachers better and I made awesome new friends, I got to explore the most glorified city in the United States. And though it wasn’t as spectacular as movies and television make it out to be, I think that humanized it a little bit for me and made it seem like a real place as opposed to this scary, big city where everyone dies and only murder happens and art people suffer and make no money. I saw it was a real place full of people living there making a living doing what they love. The opportunities I saw there were just within my grasp, I just have to be brave enough to reach out for it.

Thank you, New York. You’ve opened my eyes. I hope that someday we may meet again.

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Britt Takes New York: Day 4!

The hurricane has passed along with the cold front that came with it. It was a lovely 65 degrees outside, and only a few clouds littered the blue New York sky. My feet at this point were tender to every step I took. The long rest I had the night before didn’t really do much to alleviate the pain. I had to start wearing bandaids over the bubble blisters forming on my feet.

Today we were visiting one of Neil’s old friends from college, Ryan Cobourn, at his studio. He’s a talented gestural painter, and it was really cool to see him talk about his work and sort of get an insight on his day-to-day life. The dude had just had a kid too, so the poor guy looked pretty tired, but I was glad he was willing to talk to us.

We quickly ran over to Jessi Arrington’s rented studio space… It seemed like such a cool idea to me. It was basically this studio space you could go out and rent, and you’re surrounded by creative people who can help you with your work or just provide companionship. I would love to work in something like that… I function best when I’m in an area where I’m comfortable to be in, I’m more motivated to continue working, especially when I know I have people I can bounce ideas off of. She was super nice too and her baby was adorable. I saw many babies on this trip and I’m perfectly happy with that.

She took us to one of her friend’s design firms, Hyperakt, and we listened to the creative director there tell us more about the design world. Again, it was really neat to see actual designers diligently working away. It makes my major seem a lot more plausible haha.

After that we needed to rush to our Pratt tour. Rushing and my feet weren’t getting along, and so at this point in the trip I was pretty cranky, though I was looking forward to the Pratt tour.

The campus itself was beautiful. The building themselves looked like they’d been there for decades, and sculptures riddled the campus grounds. Pratt used to be an engineering institute so all the buildings were named things like “Engineering” and “Machinery.” These buildings were all turned into art buildings, though. I found it ironic and it amused me.

Pratt was incredible. It seemed like such a hub for creativity and art, and I didn’t want to leave. It only solidified my idea of going to grad school up in New York (maybe not necessarily at Pratt… but somewhere).

Studio and Pratt Photos

After Pratt, we hurried over to the Museum of Modern Art. Again, we only had a couple hours to really look around, so we had to use hour time wisely. For Brittany, that meant use half your time looking, use the rest to take a break for your poor feet. So I looked around, and I’m not really the biggest fan of modern art, but I do find it interesting. I was particularly happy to see the Starry Night there and some of Klimt’s pieces. They had a Picasso sculpture exhibit going on, and that was incredible to look at. Then you get into the modern… modern art stuff and that’s just plain weird. Not a fan.

MoMA Gallery

For the rest of the time I sat in the sculpture garden and rested my feet. It was very relaxing, and it was just the sort of recovery I needed.

Afterwards Lauryn and I went back to Grand Central Station for some food. I wanted a crepe. I got a crepe. I was happy.

Again, my camera was full at this point, so I couldn’t take any nice pictures. But I did manage to pull pictures from my phone that I took. It’s not a lot, and they aren’t the best, but you’ll get a feel for it.

After we ate, Lauryn and I wanted to go to the 9/11 memorial. We attempted to go, but we got…. very, very lost. We ended up closer to the Empire State building, and we attempted to go up there, but we were getting hassled by scalpers and found out that tickets were $32 each and we decided against it. When we finally managed to find our way to the 9/11 memorial site, we found that it was closed and we could only look at it from afar. We noticed that the security guard let an older couple go in and look at it, so I went and asked him if we could do it too. He let us know that he only did it because they were older and they might not get another chance to see it. Morbid, but I accepted his answer. We ended up chatting, and turns out he is a grad student at NYU studying international business, he’s from West Africa, but he has family from all over including Ireland, and he was overall a really nice dude. Eventually he did let us in to see the site.

After that Lauryn and I wanted to try and go to the Fortunato Brothers again. We managed to get there just in time before they closed, and I got a gelato and some peppermint tea that Lauryn insisted I try. We could only take our food to go, though, so we just sat on the stairs outside and ate. I ended up spilling the tea all over my leg, but the gelato I had was great so I only stayed upset for a little bit. After that we headed back to the hostel for our final night in New York.

Britt Takes New York: Day 3!

We had a little free time in the morning before we all had to meet up in Chelsea for our boat tour of New York architecture, so a group of us decided to cross the Brooklyn Bridge and go to Chinatown.

It took forever for us to find the damn bridge. It involved a lot of walking around in circles not sure what was going on. The weather was nice today, thankfully, but my feet were starting to get upset with me. I had brought nice boots to wear on this trip instead of good walking shoes. I wanted to be fashionable, and I was paying the price.

The bridge itself was really neat and an incredible example of architecture, but it was so CROWDED. Apparently there was a walk to raise awareness of anorexia going on and they decided to just take up the whole bridge. Claustrophobic Britt did not like that one bit.

Though it was really nice when we did finally get off the bridge. We were in Manhattan now, and we needed to find our way to Chinatown. I’m a huge fan of Asian cultures, so I was personally excited to Chinatown. I’d been to the one in San Fransisco, though it was a long time ago, and I was excited to see the one in New York. Unfortunately, the one in New York was a bit more toned down compared to the one in San Fransisco, but it was fun all the same.

Brooklyn Bridge and Chinatown Gallery

There were a few things I wanted to do in Chinatown: eat lunch there, and look at Korean Beauty stores. I’m really into Korean beauty supplies so I was hoping to find a local deal. Unfortunately, crossing the bridge took a lot longer than we anticipated, and by the time we finally got to Chinatown we only really had time for one thing: lunch. We got some really awesome noodles at a super authentic noodle place, then we started hightailing it towards the Chelsea docks. We didn’t even have time for bubble tea…..

Our train was delayed. We waited on that train for 20 minutes before it finally went. We were freaking out because we were super late to the boat tour, but we managed to get there just in time. At this point in the trip, my camera was starting to get full, and I hadn’t brought my computer with me so I could transfer my photos onto it. I did take a couple photos with my phone, but they aren’t as great as quality as my camera. Sad day.

New York Boat Cruise Gallery

(Note to Britt: on next trip, don’t shoot in RAW mode. It’s a pain in the butt during and after the trip.) 

After the boat cruise, we all made our way to a nice little French restaurant for our alumni networking dinner. It was all paid for so I took advantage of that ;D It was really cool to talk to graphic designers who are successfully working in the workforce, or going to school there. I got into contact with June who is currently interning with Penguin books… somewhere I’d like to work someday. It was awesome talking to June and Mackenzie and Sarah and the others and hearing about life in New York. They made it sound possible and not so scary, and I may want to experience it for myself someday.

We didn’t get out of there until late, and after having our delicious free desserts and coffee we headed back to the hostel. Some people went out, but I was pooped, and I didn’t want to force myself to go out when I still had a couple days of adventure left in me. I called it in early and promptly passed out. Three days down, two to go.

Britt Takes New York: Day 2!

This is where the fun begins. It was again another blistery cold day in New York, and we travelled to Manhattan to explore the incredible Metropolitan Museum of Art. I was to do my presentation here, and… well… I botched it. I had forgotten my notes in the hustle and bustle of trying to leave, so I texted my roommate to ask her to open my Mac and email them to me the day before, and she never did it. I was forced to look up the MET’s website on my phone and just read facts from it. Plus it was cold and rainy and I was embarrassed and everyone was watching me so yeah. I messed that up. Oh well. I still had fun!

We only had a few hours to look around, and sadly that wasn’t enough time to see everything. I did manage to indulge myself in the European Art, Eastern Art, and American Art Wings.

Check out this gallery here for more pictures.

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After the MET we explored Central Park. I had my first New York Hot Dog (for $3 dollars…….), and though it was still a little cold outside the Park really looked beautiful. Somehow the dreariness of the sky and weather added to the atmosphere of the park.

Central Park Photos

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We got to the Guggenheim Museum, and after the presentation there we went our separate ways before our walking tour of Brooklyn. 

Now at this time, our feet were starting to get sore. We decided to stop at Central Station before resting up at the hostel.

We stopped at this neat traveling vintage store, and I got a big red wool jacket and my current favorite blouse there for $10 each. The jacket proved very useful for the tour to come. It was still pretty windy and cold out, not to mention my aching feet, and any sort of extra comfort was well welcomed.

Graffiti Tour

It was a very interesting tour. Our tour guide had personally hunted down and interviewed each graffiti artist that he showed us, and gave a brief history lesson on how graffiti became the art form today. It was an incredible lecture, but the graffiti art was even more so. As an illustrator it was really cool to see so many different styles of art in only a few blocks. Check out the link above for all the pictures I took.

We were exhausted by the time the tour finished. Our heads and hearts were filled with the art and culture of Brooklyn, but our bellies were empty and I could feel blisters forming on the soles of my feet. But I trudged on! Ben had forgotten his credit card at the Thai restaurant we at at the day before, so Ian, Lauryn, and I stuck with him to help him find his card and grab some food.

We grabbed food at a Mexican place not far from the Thai place we had, and while it satisfied that hunger, I had a craving that wouldn’t stop even when we got back to the hostel. Finally I cracked and spouted the idea to the others.

“I’m craving something sweet! Let’s find a cafe or something…”

I was happy to hear both Ian and Lauryn were down for the idea, and even Ben wanted to tag along too. So I google-mapped local cafes in the area, and there was a place called the Fortunato Brothers just 25 min away by walking. Though that did mean more walking, we were all eager to go and experience the New York cafe nightlife.

We finally arrived, and the place was as quaint as it ever could be. Small tables with aluminum chairs around them scattered the small cafe, and in the front was this giant display case of all the baked goodies they had to offer, with several flavors of gelato displayed next to it. I was in heaven.

I ended up ordering a cappuccino with a couple of pastries (including a canoli… I always thought a canoli was a type of pasta… the more you know). It was pure heaven and well worth the trip.

It probably wasn’t the best idea to have coffee right before bed, but damn it was good. Regardless of the caffeine I ingested I slept soundly that night, ready for the next day of New York excitement.

 

Britt Takes New York: Day One!

Hey, look! It’s me! Yup, here I am. In the Memphis airport, waiting for the plane to drift us out to the Big A. It had been a bumpy morning for me… I got up late, I had to finish packing, and I had forgotten to grab my notes for my presentation at the MET the next morning from my printer. Plus I had to walk all the way from my apartment to the art buildings with all my luggage. Ugh. Talk about baggage.

 

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Anyhow, our plane was delayed due to the hurricane making its way along the east coast. Luckily by the time it hit land it kind of calmed down, but there was some nasty rains and winds in the area preventing us from taking off. We didn’t leave Memphis until around 2:30 P.M. We were originally scheduled for 11 A.M.

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But we did have fun! We played this charades game with our professor, Ben Harvey, and we all looked like idiots. Good times.

When we finally got on our plane to New York, the two-and-a-half flight just seemed to whiz by. Before we knew it, we were in a blistery, rainy, and cold New York City, and we couldn’t be more excited.

We got our full New York experience within a half hour of being there. We got yelled at by taxi people. The guy driving our taxi nearly killed us and many others. Our taxi driver hit another taxi. They yelled profanities at each other. They nearly threw punches. It was fun.

Our hostel was in Brooklyn, and it was a nice place. Not the most luxury of places, but it got the job done and we were relatively comfortable. After we got settled into our rooms, it got relatively dark, cold, and rainy, so we decided to skip the Brooklyn Bridge that night. Instead, we all set out for the subway in search of food and more city experience. I grabbed some lovely Thai food with Ben, Ian, Maddie, and Sarah, and the rest of the group set off in search of their own foodings.

We all met back out at the hostel, and hung out at the Basement Bar there. I was frustrated that this trip couldn’t have been a little later because I turned 21 in less than two weeks… but it’s fine. I had a fun time sober anyway. We discovered an artist by the name of HoneyChrome. A NeoPop ChillWave Legend set in Brooklyn. I… I can’t explain him. Just explore his website and you’ll understand.

We finally settled down into our beds after a long day of traveling, and were quickly swept away with the excitement of discovering more about the wonderful city of New York.

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