Saturday, September 25, 2010

Brooklyn Brooklyn Take me In

Hello family and friends, I miss you all already, but its been a fun start to the school year.

My plane touched down in the empire state in early August, and after the traditional cabride ripoff, I arrived at my new dorm. Sweltering Brooklyn heat plagued the first few days before Resident Advisor training began. My optimistic hope that they would soon turn on the air conditioner was crushed by the revelation that no such system existed in my building, which was an built shoddily as an apartment building in the 1950's, and never intended to be a dorm. Pratt's expansion eventually absorbed several Brooklyn streets, WIlloughby Hall with them, and now its the main upperclassmen residence hall. Despite the one unpleasant feature, my room alone is larger than the room Jared and I shared last year. Jared and I have our own large rooms, with a shared bathroom and kitchen. All this overlooking the rising sun over Brooklyn from a 12 story vantage point.

Throughout RA training I met many amazing people who have already proven to be valuable recourses and great friends. Although our majors, backgrounds, genders, ethnicities, and personal views may vary, we all share an above average set of aesthetics and leadership skills that brought us first to Pratt and then into the job. One of the first adventures that gave us all a breather from intensive training was camp Clearlake. A bus full of RAs pierced the edge of the Bronx, and we were on our way through the forest of upstate New York toward our mountainous destination. Wooden cabins overlooked a chilly northern lake, and the infinite hilly forest beyond. It was the quintessential depiction of northern America's bountiful nature as seen in cinematography of so many movies. There was kayaking, ghost stories, volleyball, and, of course, team building obstacle courses in the woods. Camp fire-crafted smores and friendships were enjoyed, as we discovered the more communicative aspects of being an RA. Back in Brooklyn we concluded training in just time for the return of our peers.

Curious about things I may only be able to see in the big apple, I followed my friend Danielle, a fashion major, on a small sampling tour on NY's extensive fashion scene as she did a project. It was extravagant and at times over the top, (we're talking 4,000 dollar dresses) but a fun look into the world of top dollar high fashion.

One night at dinner, I was lead by Tyrone, an NYC native, to a Japanese restaurant where I boldly faced an intimidating octopus dish, armed only with a pair of chopsticks. We had desert at "Rice to Riches," a dessert bar specializing in a diversity of rice pudding flavors.

I finally gave in to the simple joy of enjoying a touristy cliche that makes one feel important in the midst of a famous spot; I crossed the Brooklyn bridge just for the hell of it, and it was quite an exciting walk.

Hannah and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary Friday, and decided to spend the day at the Bronx Zoo. It was massive, and lived up to its reputation as one of the best zoos in the country. Enamored by the winding, animal filled, tree framed paths, we drifted back to the days of childhood excitement. Ice cream cone in hand, I contemplated the children who were denied ice cream that day, and thought the day unlike childhood; it was better.

I continue to have classes at the Metropolitan Museum of art, which never ceases to be an overwhelmingly amazing experience.

Dressed in formal attire, I met a few friends on their apartment's rooftop for their "soiree." Although I'm still unsure of the reason for the fancy party, I enjoyed the jazz, the deep view over Brooklyn and the peaking mountains of distant Manhattan, and the silly sophistication of the conversations about our futures.

Animation has been challenging, but of a different sort than the challenges of last year. Rather than be squashed by the giant that was foundation year "fine arts" work, I lift the mountain of animation happily as a strengthening exercise. Its good to actually be working in what I love. Three 10 second animations completed and one within a days work, I am well on my way to becoming experienced, not including the two practice works from this summer. I would send links, but a new building opens soon, exclusively for 2D and 3D animation, which will have better equipment for photographing my frames. There should be more than 4 animations by then too. I have made connections with several older traditional animators who provide me support and advice through my first year. People in my own class have also proved to be quite helpful. Jared is in my animation class, and it has been great working with him. At the fancy party, I talked to a few other animation sophomores, and we are now discussing a collaborative work between us. We think the right planning and our skill sets could produce a work to take a particular animation competition. I will keep everyone posted on our participation and possible victory.

I apologize for the lack of pictures, but the button you press to take the picture on my camera popped off. I have not had the time or the money to find a camera repair place in the city, but hopefully it will be fixed by the next blog.

I hope all is well in everyone's life. If you want to update me on your lives', or ask me anything I forgot to mention about mine, drop me an email sometime: