By Tristin Marshall
Building near City Hall Park, NYC
This summer, I had an internship in the heart of New York City at the United Neighborhood Houses of New York. Twice a week, I went on an hour troop–consisting of constant walking and two trains–and I made my way across the New Jersey State line.
My commute into NYC is like the grown-up version of traveling to class at U of I. Every morning and every evening, the train looks EXACTLY like the CUMTD fifteen minutes before 10 a.m. classes begin.
NJ Transit at 9 a.m. going into NYC
Learn everything you can about squeezing onto the CUMTD and running for the bus while you’re at U of I, you’ll need it when you have to commute via public transportation in a few years!
What they say about New Yorkers/Jersey folk being aggressive and rude is kind of true. There’s no “excuse me” or “thank you for holding the door”. If you’re too slow, you’ll get trampled to death (I would know because I fell in the middle of the sidewalk on my first day and everyone stepped over me. It was so embarrassing!). Everybody is just trying to get to work or go home, so all those tourists standing in the middle of the sidewalk during rush hour had to learn the hard way. I’ll admit, I pushed a few people and stepped on the back of the heels of a few slow-walkers, but it’s a part of the NYC commuting game.
NJ Transit section in NY Penn Station. These are only the New Jersey commuters!
Although the commute was stressful, it was totally worth it once I stepped off the train and into the city. There’s so many people—from old to young; families to couples; tall and short. Manhattan is like one big happy rainbow of every kind of person you could possibly imagine. Although most people are just trying to get to where they’re going (and they’re really not that exciting to look at), it’s a great feeling to be around so many people from so many different places.
7th Avenue & 33rd St
7th Avenue, right out side of NY Penn Station
Every day for lunch, I made sure to buy something healthy to fit in with the rest of the in-shape NYC crowd. Well, that comes at cost—but what would working in the city be if you didn’t pay for an over-priced salad every week!
A healthy salad from Pax Wholesome Foods. I’m not going to lie, it was worth it every time!
As an intern, I spend my days publicizing the organization, and getting the word out about the various opportunities that UNH and its member organizations has to offer. This in turn, is intended to give opportunities to the residents of New York City to promote a stronger and more successful community. I learned everything from history about the city to what the mayor was doing every day. I absolutely loved it, and I couldn’t ask for a better internship!
Me in my cubicle working hard, of course!
My mentor Eling & I snapping selfies in the office!
Until we meet again NYC! It’s back to the cornfields in Illinois for me!
NYC skyline view from train