New York Stock Exchange
Had the opportunity to walk around the NYSE last week. A few of trading booths/posts had been renovated and some older ones were still standing so it was a great opportunity to see the difference between the two and how antiquated the older set-ups are.
Another thing that stood out was the consolidation business affairs into a single room/floor and the decrease in personnel due to technology taking over the need to have people doing business face to face.
Also got to see the software traders use to monitor the market and make trades. The market manager that gave the overview made it look easy but he admitted that he wouldn’t be able to keep track of all the constantly changing variables without the help of a handful of algorithms and alerts he had set-up behind the scenes.
Field trip during the middle of a work day? Sure why not.
Sunday on Governor’s Island - Clip of ImprovEverywhere’s MP3 Experiment 9
The Mp3 Experiment is participatory public event created by Improv Everywhere. We stage a new Mp3 Experiment in New York each year and also tour the project regularly to college campuses and international festivals.
Here’s how it works: we put an original mp3 file online (usually around 45 minutes long) that people download and transfer to their mobile devices. Participants then synchronize their watches to an atomic clock on our website, head out to the same public location, and blend in with others. At the predetermined time, everyone presses play. Hilarity ensues as participants carry out ridiculous, coordinated instructions delivered to their headphones via narrator “Steve” and everyone else tries to figure out what the hell is going on.
I had a lot of fun. My favorite part? Walking around with a bedsheet over my head bumping into strangers in a middle of a grassy field during a “ghost-walk.”
My iPod decided to pause half-way through the event so I was off by several seconds, but I’m really glad I got to take part in such a huge event.
Chronic(what?)cles of NYC eats
This city is made for foodies. I’ve been holding myself back from eating out every night and when I do, I want to experience the meal with others! Anyway, here’s what I’ve munched on so far.
Nabeyaki Udon from Nada Sushi
Midtown - 135 E 50th St
I had been in the mood for Pho that day but I ended up meeting here with some other interns and realized the only udon I have ever had has always been pre-packaged. So I decided to forgo sushi and get udon. It was a nice hodgepodge of ingredients. Fried tofu, shrimp tempura, chunks of chicken and egg. Not quite the same as Pho but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I liked that the restaurant had an authentic and traditional feel to it. The staff was extremely polite even though we could tell our large group was putting a big burden on the kitchen staff and sole sushi chef. We got our meals in a staggered fashion. Those that ordered sushi were already done eating by the time the others got their meal. There was enough conversation among us that I didn’t really even notice.
Tavuk Izgara from Beyoğlu
Upper East Side - 1431 3rd Ave
This place hit the spot after browsing the Metropolitan Art Museum for a few hours with a new intern friend from the legal division. Although it was hot outside, we both agreed that it was too noisy to hear each other inside. So we sat outside to be away from the chatter. It was a relaxing meal. It captured the essence of living in New York versus visiting. We watched between bites as tourists crossed the street in a hurry to get to their sight seeing destinations, lugging along strollers, souvenirs, or little kids. The food itself was simple. The plate had 3 juicy, tender, and citrusy pieces of char-grilled chicken breast and on the side, rice pilaf, shredded carrots, onions, and tomatoes. The flavors were fitting for the weather and I definitely started to go into a food coma when I was done.
Beef Soondubu Jigae from NY Tofu House
East Village - 6 St. Mark’s Place
Walked around East Village/St. Mark’s with a few Redditors looking for a place to eat after the NYC Global Meetup. After we walked past one of the many pride parades going on that weekend we came across NY Tofu House. They had free samples outside, so that kind of won me over. I usually order Bulgogi when I am at a Korean restaurant, so I decided to go with something different this time. Although I ordered the beef version, the stew was very much tofu dominant. It was spicy and hot! My sinuses were clear by the time I was done. I also cracked a raw egg into the bowl and let it cook as I nommed on the kimchi that came with my meal. The service was very prompt and a large part of our conversation involved trying to figure out the plot of each of the K-Pop videos playing on the televisions scattered around the restaurant.
“Spicy buffalo chicken w/ Smoked mozzarella on french bread”
This was a grilled cheese sandwich on crack. I hadn’t had a grilled cheese sandwhich in a long time, but I obviously need to up my game. Definitely one of the better food truck eats I’ve had. Almost got in line to try another but it would have been too much, and the line was really long.
Mango, cucumber, red onion, and cilantro relish topped with crushed peanuts and fish sauce. The fusion of ingredients was colorful and crunchy but I wasn’t impressed with the hot dog overall. Relish looked fancy on top of the dog and they took the time to grill the bun. After the first couple of bites, I wished I had added sriracha to it. I guess I’m not much of a hot dog person.
Sat in the grass near the Brooklyn waterfront to catch up on life and enjoy these with a friend from high school/college that came up to visit for the day. I’ve never had cold noodles before. These were very simple and delicious. I enjoyed their slippery peanut buttery-ness.
I have been getting creative in finding things to do. Most of the time when I fly solo it’s usually as a result of looking for something on a whim. Like going into the depths of Chinatown I never knew existed. Where you can buy 5lbs of bananas for $2. As my friends back home put it after I texted them the experience with GroupMe, there’s always money in the banana stand.
I’ve also walked around the Upper West Side to get a glimpse of a quirky little neighborhood. Along the way, I walked past a thrift store beneath a church that was a few minutes from closing. I decided to run in and check it out. Scored a Chemex for $7.
Last Sunday, I went to the only Target I could find on Google maps. Little did I know I’d be walking through El Barrio to get there from the subway. I felt right at home. Walked past several panaderias, taquerias, and a woman sitting outside a shop making fresh gorditas on a comal. Signs of summer are every where. Kids cooling off by running around open fire hydrants and Mister Softee trucks and coquito carts on every corner. Childhood nostalgia started hitting me hard.
Target was an interesting experience as well. I envied those that were walking up to the shopping plaza with granny carts and watched as others lugged their purchases into cabs to get back home. Despite the fact having a car is very convenient, I think I would actually prefer doing without one when I finally decide where I will start my career, or maybe I’m just really entertained by the people watching I get to do on a daily basis.
The rest of my solo excursions have been shopping related. As weird as it sounds, I think grocery shopping has become a hobby. Each store has something different to offer, and whenever I spot a store I don’t recognize, I can’t help stopping in to take a peek. I think the one I’ve liked the most has been Fairway. It reminds me of Whole Foods, but less emphasis on everything being organic and all natural. There’s also an Asian supermarket within walking distance from my apartment that stocks everything from fresh shark to fruits and veggies I’ve only seen on Wikipedia.
I’ve also been exploring as many coffee shops as possible around the city and boroughs, but those are for another post.
Summer Internship First Impressions
My internship experience so far has been very impressive.
Had two days of orientation last week and I was blown away by the number of interns and the diversity within each division. I would say almost every person I networked with spoke at least two languages.
Today was my first day meeting my team and sitting at my desk. Lots of new faces and names that will take some practice remembering, but overall everyone I met was welcoming and amiable. I was brought up to speed on what my project will involve at a high-level and I can finally say I have a better understanding of what I will be doing this summer. Can’t say I’ve felt this way before on the first day. I am glad my team took the time to create a well thought-out plan for me before my arrival. I’ve got lots of learning to do but I’m excited to get things rolling.
I also got to lift in the office gym for the first time. I only got a glimpse of it last Friday, but today I set aside my lunchtime to go play. The space is small but some of the highlights:
- Uniforms and toiletries: don’t have to worry about bringing t-shirts, shorts, socks, deodorant, shampoo, etc.
- Bumper plates: don’t have to worry about stacking plates to do deadlifts lighter than 135 lbs!
- Convenience: My 1.5hr commute kills my motivation to do anything after work but now I can just lift during lunch or immediately after work.
- The view: Couldn’t help but stare at the Manhattan skyline during my rests. This also applies from my desk.
Oh snap. I leave for NYC next week.
It’s been two and a half weeks after my last final, and I’m happy to say I survived my first year of grad school!
It’s always hard for me to go from being busy all day to having a lot of free time. My summer internship doesn’t begin until the first week of June, but I’ve managed to keep myself busy. This will be my fifth internship experience (and last?) before I have to commit to a full-time job (aahhh!). Can I just be an intern forever?
The first thing on my list of things to do after exams was: find a place to live! My goal was to avoid having to do the dorm life again (NYU, Columbia, etc), but I after sifting through many options and failing to find anything furnished or within my current budget, dorm rooms started looking convenient. Too bad the wait list was already closed once I tried to sign up. Oops.
THANKFULLY, I have an aunt that lives in The Bronx that will allow me to stay with her this summer. The commute to/from work will be over an hour long but I’ll deal. It’ll be interesting to return to my birthplace again and experience living there as an adult.
Other things I’ve done to keep myself entertained:
- Learning the ins-and-outs of Wordpress to set up a website for my uncle’s fairly new restaurant, El Coyote Bar & Grill. If you’re ever in Durham you should check it out!
- Do I even lift? I’ve kept my routine going strong and have taken my uncle under my wing. :)
- Started watching How I Met Your Mother. A little late to the party, I know.
- Reading some books.
- Instagramming all the things.
I guess I better start packing soon. My goal is to fit everything I need into one suitcase. We’ll see how that turns out next week.