D.C. dreams

Since school started and all, I thought it was about time –

What I’ve done this summer:

  • Lugged three stuffed suitcases, with the help of my mother and sibling, from Massachusetts to Washington D.C., a brand new city knowing only a handful of people
  • Survived Washington’s hottest summer in the city’s history – 25 days (and now up to 50 days since I’ve left) of sweltering 90+ degree temperatures
  • Rode bikes through Georgetown’s Waterfront with my sibling on my first night in the city
  • Lived in a college apartment with two other student interns and no income
  • Interned at Voice of America full-time, working 40 hours a week
  • Saw the capitol’s Memorial Day parade
  • Spent time learning and educating myself at twelve different Smithsonian museums, not including the Newseum and the National Zoo – my two most favorite locations
  • Attended various protests and demonstrations in the nation’s capitol, where free speech is advocated and respected; the March on Washington for AIDS, multiple AIDS/HIV marches, an Occupy anti-fracking protest
  • Saw Al Sharpton, Wyclef, Ben Taylor, a member of the Jackson clan, a Nick Kristof lookalike
  • Worked an eight-day work week
  • Became accustomed to Washington’s Metro system
  • Flew out to Arizona for a short weekend attending the AG Bell conference to speak at two sessions, spend time with my mother and catch up with old (and new) friends
  • Went to the Capitol’s Fourth of July concert rehearsal to only have it end early for a severe thunderstorm warning
  • Walked through Watergate
  • Long dinners out in Georgetown with friends
  • Mingled among working journalists in a journalism meetup at the National Press Club in Washington D.C.
  • Went to a Nationals Game and watched them win!
  • Worked an entire weekend covering the Egypt elections curating and live reporting poll updates, protests, gatherings and election results with VOA and on my own
  • Saw the nation’s capital’s Fourth of July parade on Constitutional Avenue
  • Rode paddle boats with two of my closest friends in Washington D.C.’s Tidal Basin
  • Had dinner on the National Mall on the Fourth of July with thousands of other people watching the Capitol’s fireworks with the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial in sight
  • Ran through the water fountain on the Georgetown Waterfront
  • Went on a reporting trip to the Gallup Organization’s headquarters with a VOA reporter
  • Rode the second longest escalator in the world, or something like that
  • Was a member of the audience at the World Jump Rope Championship held at a gym on George Washington University’s campus
  • Got two pieces published, watched an international radio news broadcast in action, and had my own desk space in the middle of a newsroom
  • Experienced DC’s nightlife
  • Put my feet in the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden’s fountain
  • Bid farewell to DC and traveled back home for 6 days for family time, back to back appointments and to quickly pack everything back up for my trip to New York for school
  • A quick day trip to Ogunquit, Maine resulting in a massive sunburn
  • Survived my second year of RA training

I’m so glad to have had the opportunity to spend a summer in a brand new city, especially Washington D.C. and it being on my list of cities to live in sometime in my life, and to intern at such an esteemed and well-known news organization. I was able to gain a lot of confidence, experience and learn more about myself during this summer.

And now I’m back in New York!

I’ll leave you with a few favorite photos:

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hello

I know, I had a bit of a long hiatus posting here. I’m embarrassed for it, but I’m back.

Some highlights:

  • Busy being a Resident Advisor at Pace University!
  • Changed my major to journalism
  • Got a few articles published and some pretty awesome Twitter followers (@patrickdehahn)
  • Turned 21!
  • Planning for a summer in the city with an internship!

Here we go, I’d be glad to have you join for the ride.

apologies for my disappearance.

I do realize that it’s June and that I haven’t written since March.

A lot has happened since my last post in March and I apologize for my, should we call it, unannounced hiatus. Life just swept me by my feet and a lot has occurred.

Ever since my last post back in February, I’ve done a lot! I accomplished my first year of college. I made friends that I know I will keep in touch with the rest of my life. I will never forget those countless walks on the Brooklyn Bridge, late night Dunkin’ Donuts runs, movie nights in the dorms and those midnight/1 AM meals. I won’t forget the subway rides, and that 40 block walk with a friend. I won’t ever forget the adventures in Brooklyn with two of my closest friends. And those countless times when I succumbed to my addiction to Chipotle every single time when any friend mentioned going to the fast food restaurant. I mean, where else can you take a walk uptown, get Cold Stone ice cream, walk through Times Square at whatever time at night when it looks like it’s midday. That’s special. That’s what I love about being in the city, and what I love about my college experience so far.

Other notable experiences: St. Patrick’s Day in the city, ventured into Long Island for the first time (Hoboken too!), saw Bethenny Frankel at Barnes and Noble in Union Square, went to the National Museum of Natural History, and to Central Park as well! Also walked through Little Italy in the rain, and saw two apartments in the luxury apartment building – New York by Gehry.

Definitely notable experiences: Witnessed and was a part of the gathering of people at Ground Zero after Osama bin Laden’s death was confirmed. Also was within a block radius of the President of the United States when he visited Ground Zero a week later. I can now say I was a part of history.

A milestone that occurred down the end of the semester was my acceptance as a resident advisor at Pace University for this coming school year! I still cannot believe that I was hired as one;  I am really looking forward to the two-week training program in August and my job as an RA! It will be a lot of work, time commitments but I am so excited to start. At this point, I know I am placed on the 5th floor in the freshman dorm at Pace, which was my first choice! I cannot wait to meet the other RA’s, get to know them and my residents and get started with my sophomore year of college.

On that note, it still hasn’t hit me that I’m going to be a sophomore in college. But I’m going back with a really good outlook. I currently have four goals for myself, to focus on being an RA, crack down on my studies, get deeper into New York and learn more about myself and what exactly I want to be doing for the rest of my life. I am especially excited for this coming year because I now have one year of college behind me and I am ready to tackle all these goals in order to maximize the level of success for myself. It’s going to be a great year!

Two pictures to end with this post: 

running with sheep in times square.

A flock of paper sheep in Times Square?

I came across a tweet sharing an exhibit in Times Square, called Counting Sheep, by Brooklyn artist Kyu Seok Oh. It was set up through the Times Square Alliance. (Other pieces of art were also on display in the Square as well.) It struck my interest and I just had to see it in person. It was only a week long exhibit during the first seven days of March and it made big news within that short week.

I thought it was really creative. It was made out of thick paper, almost like canvas paper. And it was an interesting contrast to the bright lights and fast moving multitudes of people. It could symbolize a few things. One being the whole counting sheep to sleep method; it’s quite contradictory since New York is known as the city that never sleeps. Another being that when New Yorkers go to Times Square for their very first time, they walk in packs of people, with their eyes only focused on the big billboards getting lost in the crowds. I remember when I first went to Times Square at the age of nine. I walked with my family but I got lost as I just starred upwards, with my eyes focused on the billboards, the lights and the skyscrapers all while still moving with a huge multitude of people pushing me forward. (My father grabbed my hand, don’t worry, I didn’t get entirely lost.) It was a beautiful and creative piece of art. I applaud the artist and I really enjoyed seeing it!

“I like to think that both paper and wood, though processed to be used as structural materials, are in fact very much alive as part of nature. A group of white paper sheep suddenly emerging from a corner of Times Square will create a contrast to the intimidating, chaotic atmosphere associated with that sleepless corner of the world. Soft, white, and standing together these sheep will invite the neon covered surrounding buildings and large excited crowds to relax, count the sheep and even doze off a little.”

– Kyu Seok Oh

MoMA

I have been spending time at the Modern Museum of Art in New York City lately!

I first went with an art student friend of mine from high school; she is currently attending Parsons and she needed to go there for school, while I just wanted to go for fun and see her! We both went on a Friday morning, when it first opened and spent close to two hours strolling through Picasso, Gogh and Warhol. It was an incredibly amazing morning of art.

Some of my favorites:

We got a kick out of the last one – it’s currently my cell phone background. I love it.

I went again with my high school journalism group, who were in the city for a high school journalism conference at Columbia University. Spent another hour there! There’s still so much more to see. I want to go again during Target’s Free Fridays! Believe it or not, with MoMA’s student discount, it’s still a bit pricey to get in ($12), at the MET, it’s only $10, plus an optional donation.

MoMA is my favorite museum so far – I mean, I enjoyed the MET, but I’m more into the modern art aspect of the art world. It makes you think. It’s beautiful and simple art without explanation. It’s geared towards your thought and opinion, and it’s beautiful inspiration. I haven’t taken an art class in forever. I did take a painting class last semester, but we didn’t have the freedom to do whatever we wanted – and I really enjoyed being inspired by all the art in MoMA.

twenty years old.

Yes, this is late. Very late.

I spent my special day with my mother in the city! She came down to visit me! She gave me some presents in the dorms and afterwards, we headed to Soho for a very delicious brunch. We then met with my aunt and uncle and we walked around the shopping area, stopping into some stores along the way. We went to the Baked by Melissa cupcake stand (pictured above) and got a bunch of bite size cupcakes. After eating some cupcakes, we went to a small diner and had coffee and such.

My uncle offered to drive me and my mother to Grand Central… well we barely made mom’s train back to New England after a crazy drive uptown. My mother and I hugged after spending a great day together and I waved her off as her train departed. Her coming to visit was the best birthday gift imaginable!

I went back to the dorms and relaxed for a bit while I chatted with some friends. A friend of mine, Sam, took me out to dinner to Lanterns on MacDougal Street by Washington Square. Delicious! I had pesto lasagna and it was amazing. We had a great dinner and we walked through Washington Square. We actually became official New Yorkers by giving directions and activity advice to tourists! At Starbucks, we got some drinks to warm ourselves up. I got interrupted by a call from my mother and sister to sing me happy birthday! It was special, having my family sing me happy birthday while being in the city of my dreams.

Sam and I got back to my room and we celebrated by having a small dance party in my room – and with her ice cream cake that she got me! It was a great day and weekend in overall. I’ll never forget it and I still can’t believe I’m 20. Really, am I 20?

city snow!

This is kind of late, but I was waiting to see if there would be another snow storm before I was going to post this. But, there hasn’t been a serious one for a while now.

I love snow and I love everything about snowstorms. So, I was very excited to hear about this major snowstorm heading up the Northeast and hitting New York along the way. I couldn’t wait and I was especially happy when Pace University closed the school early on Wednesday afternoon. My macroeconomics class was canceled due to this and I met up with some friends of mine to explore Lower Manhattan in the snow! We walked to City Hall Park, Wall Street, Battery Park and down Broadway to see the aftermath of the first phase of the storm.

After spending a few hours at Borders, we went back to the dorms and watched ‘Despicable Me.’ And after the movie was over, we saw that the second part of the storm had arrived. It was the more fierce and stronger phase of the snowstorm. The snow was coming down heavily and it was beautiful up against the skyscrapers. The sidewalks got nasty, but it was quite a sight to see.

Sam and I went down to the Pace courtyard at midnight when the snow was at its strongest. It was dumping 1-3 inches per hour and it was amazing. We ran around in the snow, made and threw snowballs, we also made a half snowman because the head broke off and my gloves were soaked. We took some pretty amazing pictures so it was worth the time going out at midnight. I also stayed up until two in the morning watching the chaos ensue on the Brooklyn Bridge as many people were backed up in traffic due to people stuck in the snow. It was crazy but hilariously entertaining to watch!

Later in the week, we also went sledding in Central Park! Sam and I (ahem, excuse us) stole trays from the cafeteria and used them as sleds on this crazy fast hill on the Central Park corner closest to The Plaza. It was crowded but we got some sledding down. Some people there let us use our sleds and we left the cafeteria trays there as donations to those who don’t have sleds but want to!

We also found this incredibly delicious waffle stand, Waffels and Dinges – so good. I got a waffle with strawberries and syrup – to die for.

I absolutely loved all of it and the snow in the city is definitely a different experience than at home. It is incredibly beautiful.

 

2010, a year of change

Looking back on the past year, I remember in the beginning of it all, I wrote on a post-it pad by my bedside in big letters, “2010: A YEAR OF CHANGE.”

And it was one, indeed.

I mean, it was a big year for myself personally. I graduated from high school and I experienced my first semester of college. Those two events were pretty big for me as a growing person. I usually write a little something like a blog about the past year when New Year’s Eve comes around but this time, it was just hard for me to assess the past year of 2010. It’s almost like I don’t even remember what happened. It felt like it was two years instead of a single year. It felt like this because I genuinely think that I enjoyed every moment of every day. I appreciated everything that happened to me and everything that I was a part of last year.

2010 was a year of growth, milestones and change. I don’t remember another year that was as big as 2010. Maybe 2006, when I left Clarke and went onto high school, but this is on a whole other level. During the first half of the year, I was able to enjoy my last semester of high school at The MacDuffie School. I had the time to look back on my amazing high school years and on my own personal past. I also thought about what I really wanted for the future and what I wanted out of myself and my life. It was emotionally difficult to leave MacDuffie and I’ll never forget the four years I spent there. Then, I had a somewhat busy summer home and in the second half of the year, I headed off to New York City, the city of my dreams, for college. It was even more so emotional than I thought it’d be. It was very hard to leave home, high school and my family and friends to head off to a brand new place. I have discovered so much more about myself and I’ve learned how to live in the moment while maintaining a sense of ambition for the future.

In overall, I had quite an exciting year. I remember having a great and memorable 19th birthday with friends in February. I’ll never forget getting all those college acceptances and stressing out about the big decision. March break brought the amazing trip to a high school dance festival in Miami. The last two months of senior year went by quickly and they were jam-packed with unforgettable memories. The summer brought the AG Bell convention to Orlando; that was a great experience with friends and a presentation. I also worked at the Clarke Summer Camp and went to Maine for a family vacation. The last few weeks of the summer included packing for school. The first month of college was quite crazy, but both memorable and a time of independence. October and November were busy and I was able to settle into a college-like lifestyle. December was a special month of spending the holidays in New York and making it home in time for Christmas and the last string of holidays. I rang in the new year with high school friends. I did indeed enjoy 2010, maybe more than any other year I lived.

As of now, I don’t know what 2011 will bring or what it should be for myself. I want to do big things. I want to put myself out there. And I’m going to make that happen. I know I’m in the perfect place in the world, I’ve met great people, I have had incredible experiences so far. I want to continue that no matter what. The only thing I have to do is make it happen, make my dreams happen. It will take many years, but I’m in college and I’m ready to go. 2011 is the beginning.