Newark Liberty Airport (NY), Aug 29th, 15.24: The beginning of a new adventure! Crossing the Holland tunnel, and on my way to the East Village. This area of Manhattan is close to New York University (NYU). I will stay here for the weekend, to check out the neighborhood and to find my way to the University, where I will be working the coming 5 months.
Through Airbnb I booked a room with Pamela and her little dog Punky. Upon arrival, P&P were just arriving from a walk at the park. Pamela’s apartment is on the 5th floor and unfortunately, like many New York buildings, the building did not have an elevator! At home I was already worried how to manage with all of my luggage. About how to fit in two suitcases everything I would need during 5 months (with temperatures ranging from +35 to -20 C) and how I to carry them along. In Amsterdam, my sister Suzanne joined me to the airport (Dimi and Tamara also came to Schiphol to say goodbye), and so, I didn’t have to deal with it all by myself. Yet upon arrival with my violin, laptop and the two suitcases, I would be on my own. Luckily Pamela was so kind to help me!
After a quick shower and a tour around Pamela’s lovely apartment, I set out to explore the East Village and neighboring Greenwich Village. I went South, along A Avenue, crossing Tompkins Square Park to 6th Street (on the way throwing a tennis ball to a young boy playing with his father), and from there heading West, Washington Square to arrive at NYU. Then, after a stroll along the many restaurants in the neighborhood, I entered a small Japanese restaurant and ordered a nice glass of wine and udon soup (and thinking back to my stay in Kyoto the week before). – End of day 1
Day 2. Still jet lagged, and so my morning started early. While drinking tea with Pamela, I was making plans for the day: The High Line (http://www.thehighline.org; an old NY railroad which has been transformed into a beautiful and relaxing park above the city), Central Park, Moma and Times Square. While leaving the apartment, Eleonora sent me a message, asking about my dinner plans. In 2009, we spent the summer together in Copenhagen, both attending the international summer program of Copenhagen Business School. She recently moved to New York and will be working at the New York branch office of her company the coming years. Changing my plans, my sightseeing reversed: still first the High Line, then Times Square, Moma and Central Park (see pictures below). At 6pm I was meeting Eleonora at the Apple store near 5th/59th, after which we had a great evening at a Ukrainian restaurant in Soho (really tasty dumplings and desert, the homemade vodka when leaving was less tasty).
Day 3. Morning started skyping with my parents. They are in Sweden now, renovating their house. I visited them last June and in the meantime they really transformed the house! After packing my stuff and saying goodbye to Pamela and Punky, my trip continued to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. There, I’m staying with Pablo and Josefina in the Jewish quarter, close to the Williamsburg bridge. They are both artists from Chili and work in New York (check http://pablojansana.com and http://www.josefinafrederick.com).Upon arrival, Pablo helped me with my luggage, and we took the classic old-style NY freight elevator, quite an experience! After unpacking my stuff, I spent the afternoon working on my research. (The 4 days between Japan and New York proved not to be enough to finish everything while also packing and preparing my apartment for sublet.) When Pablo, Josefina and their friend Catalina arrived in the evening, and buying groceries, we spent the dinner together, as a small – but really nice – Welcome party for me.
The following days, I mostly worked on finishing my paper revision. It’s the first paper of my dissertation research and past months I’ve been working really hard to revise it for a journal. Hopefully, the reviewers are content with the improved paper and we can take it to the next stage. Only it will take about three months before I know. So, fingers crossed! As a present to myself I bought a nice bottle of Californian wine – which according to my Chilean housemates was scandalous ( of course I should have bought the much better South American wine 😉 )
Day 7 – NYU routines and procedures versus faculty introduction and drinks. Today, I’m on a mission; registering within the SEVIS system (for international researchers in the US), and arranging my NYU ID card and account. Hopefully, there will be some time left to meet with Natalia in the afternoon.
The morning started with figuring out how to go to NYU by metro from Williamsburg. Taking Division Avenue I walked to the metro station on Marcy Avenue. Then, taking the M-line across Williamsburg bridge to Broadway-Lafayette station. A short walk later I arrived at Washington Square, where NYU and Stern School of Business (http://www.stern.nyu.edu) is located. I quickly found the Office of Global Services, where I registered my arrival and got a brief introduction for J-1 Faculty and Research Scholars. Afterwards, I headed off to the Stern Doctoral Office, to apply for my NYU ID card and Stern account. After going back-and-forth between the NYU card office and the Doctoral Office, the only thing left was to visit the IOMS (Information & Operations Management Sciences; see ) department. The secretary warmly welcomed me, and showed me my office for the coming 5 months. They told me I just arrived at the right moment, since that afternoon there would be a faculty introduction of the information systems group. So, after a late lunch in Washington Square Park and meeting with Natalia (my host researcher at Stern; see http://people.stern.nyu.edu/nlevina/), we went to the faculty meeting (Natalia was one of the presenters). Eight researchers of the information systems group gave a pitch about their research. The ‘obnoxious’ alarm after 4-minutes brutally interrupted the speakers, yet also made it exciting for them to quickly raise interest for their research, and to invite us for further discussion afterwards at their posters (while enjoying some drinks and snacks). The faculty introduction was a nice way to get an overview of the research conducted. I discovered that my research not only closely relates to that of Natalia, but also to the work of her colleague Hila who just finished her PhD at Harvard (see http://tinyurl.com/kyxx2d6). After the meeting, we continued (more informal) discussions at a local pub. I found out two department members have their own band – to be musically continued?
Next blog: Williamsburg, Auditioning for the Greenwich Village Orchestra and Worklife@NYU