Thursday, February 10, 2011

Into the Icy Voyage

New York greeted me with a flurry of snow that has since been piled in human height stacks in the corners of Brooklyn’s streets. At first, I welcomed the blustery wonderland as I watched the world disappear into a swirling haze of white from my 12th story window. But winter is a relentless old broad, and she beats on me with weekly sheets of sleet and ice that made me regret even my earliest affections for frozen precipitation. What didn’t help winter’s case was my nearly two week encounter with death in the form of the black plague, aka some mutated flu monster. Throughout the congestion, aches, fevers, fatigues, piles of mucus, and less dignified stomach issues I continued to kid myself about the symptoms and force myself to class, retroactively diagnosing myself with flu. Needless to say I am ready for some warmer weather that is still months away.

In RA training we have an event called “behind closed doors.” This event requires new RAs to confront various pre-staged rooms as they travel the floors of a residence hall. Inside they find older RAs acting as residents in a number of confrontation scenarios. The idea is to condition the newbies to appropriately handle tough situations. It has also become somewhat of an opportunity for the older RAs to have some fun at the new people’s expense. As the new, terrified RAs tremble at the notion of handling a party room, or a pot bust, the older RAs are likely inside planning to make it as difficult as possible. With some experience now under my belt, I savored the opportunity to be on the fun side of this exercise. In the party room, I played a belligerent drunk and fled the room at top speed when the RAs in training arrived. In the pot room, I was an incoherent stoner who forgot all my information and gave a fake name. It was a fun opportunity to give back to the system that had once teased me.

Taking advantage of the largest city in America, I have partaken in a variety of fun and uniquely New York adventures, despite my increasingly crushing schedule. 5 dollars got me into a famous comedy club known as the Upright Citizens Brigade for a highly unusual but exceedingly hilarious night. Spare time and weekends have provided the opportunity for the endless exploration of diverse NYC cuisine. I have discovered a charming and affordable Cuban restaurant near Pratt as well as a newfound love for Indian food available throughout the city. Amongst Brooklyn’s expansive and mostly abandoned ruins of what once was a navy yard Jared (my roommate) and I made quite a discovery. A late night walk through the lifeless streets framed by the cracked windows and age damaged crumbling stone skeletons of buildings revealed an illuminating light at the end of a hidden street. Glowing, pristinely new letters read, “Steiner Studios.” A bit of research uncovered that it is the largest studio in the world outside of Los Angeles, and only about 3 blocks from Pratt. After a bit of over-the-phone truth stretching about our position at our school, a few friends and I got invited on a private tour of the studios. We saw the sets for the upcoming movie Men in Black 3, and the currently on air television shows: Boardwalk Empire, and Damages. Our tour of the expansive studios had to take place early in the day because the projects were shooting that afternoon.

The Palm Room of Brooklyn Botanical Gardens hosted what I anticipated to be a prom-like event known as Pratt Night Out. Since tickets where only $10, I was curious to see what an art school dance had in store. Turns out: better food, more people I like, a whole lot more dancing, (all of it ridiculous in the best way possible). Hors d'oeuvres, dubstep (aka weird robot music), and a lot of laid back fun combined with an excuse to dress up is a recipe for a pretty good night.

An extra-curricular side project to produce a contest-quality animation is under way by the team of Jared, Colin Kelly, and myself. Taking our project on as professionals, my classmates and I have visited the Museum of Modern Art for notes on visual style, researched films and animations, and sought the reviewing eye of the head of the animation department. Quite a lot of discussion, a loose script, and working models of the character designs have resulted from our work thus far. I anticipate it will be the greatest thing I have ever animated in my short career, and a quality above most student level animations. Details to come as the project develops.

Also, I learned to knit, it’s pretty cool.

Look closely at this one....
Hope all is well down south =)