& Since I Made it Here, I Can Make it Anywhere

Good morning and happy (last) Friday from 26 Broadway!

Today is my last day of work here at JDRF. Normally, as a Friday post I would go over my week and explain what I’ve been doing in the office and my adventures after work. However, I’m not going to go into too much detail on this week just for the sake of this already lengthy post.

Anyway, on Monday, my supervisor took Logan and I out for lunch at the Oyster Bar Restaurant on Pier A, just a few blocks from the office. I thought it was very generous of him to not only invite us but also treat us to a meal. We got to talk more on a personal level, rather than in a professional context as we do in the office. We’ve talked in the beginning of how I have been involved in the diabetes community, but I didn’t have a chance to really explain how and what I have done to reach this point. He asked me specifically about my A1C Champions program. I explained how I got involved and what I do as a youth mentor, and that I really am very passionate about helping others deal with T1D. By doing that I’m also inspired by the kids and parents of T1D’s who are going through the same things as I am. It’s not only a chance for me to explain my tactics or ways to deal with managing my blood sugar, but I also learn from others when they share their stories. We then talked about our upcoming school schedules next semester and our end goals after college. I felt I also had to explain my journey from switching schools junior year of high school up until where I am now because it made a tremendous impact on my life. Transitioning from such a large public school to a very small private school was a challenge, but like all obstacles, I came out stronger and definitely more confident in just about everything I do.

I also believe working here at JDRF had a similar effect. I’ve learned so much from being here in such a relatively short time, and I couldn’t be more proud of myself. This was my first major job, I’d say. This internship experience helped me learn a lot of important aspects of how a well-managed, dynamic company, more specifically how a non-profit organization works at the national level. I worked directly with my supervisor, who is the National Director in Public Relations. I learned a lot from him as well as the whole Communications/Marketing department. Although, I didn’t have a specific, summer-long project that I am presenting like a few of the other interns, I definitely feel the tasks and projects I have been assigned and completed played a major role in our department. As I wrote about what I did week by week in my posts, as a recap, I focused a lot of my time developing lists of media contacts. For example, the Children’s Congress is one of JDRF’s biggest annual events and I was in charge of finding media outlets in the cities that the children delegates were from. I then wrote/edited a letter to these contacts to inform them about this opportunity to cover a story on behalf of JDRF with an attached press release that I sent out. I was also responsible for the daily news document to be shared with the entire staff, which can be seen by donors, JDRF supporters and all employees. I also had minor projects involving organization, and preparing tools for several of JDRF’s Ride to Cure fundraisers across the country. There was never a dull moment in the office. I always had projects to work on or smaller tasks to complete by other departments and I appreciate it greatly that I was able to work with a lot of different people here. I do feel that having this internship has played a role in shaping my career goals, and what kind of work I am or am not interested in.

Working here at JDRF was more than just a job for me. Having T1D for almost 10 years now, I feel like I have a personal connection to JDRF’s vision, mission and the goals, which are to imagine a world without type 1 diabetes. That’s what this organization is all about and I believe it was a perfect match for myself to work here this summer. However, this internship and spending my summer in NYC wouldn’t have been possible without my recent involvement with SWD (Students with Diabetes). I want to thank Nicole Johnson, and everyone else with SWD for creating this wonderful organization which was the platform for me and many others to have this opportunity at not only JDRF, but the other companies that offered an internship as well. It was my first time attending the SWD annual conference the week before I moved to NYC and I will most definitely try to attend the conferences in the upcoming years.

On the other hand, I believe I also gained a lot of insight about myself and the world we live in by living here. Growing up in West Bloomfield/Bloomfield hills/Birmingham, Michigan, some people refer to it as the “Bloomfield Bubble” because it’s kind of a bubble community to say the least. As fortunate as I am to have grown up there, it was definitely what I was most comfortable with. I have been lucky to have traveled around the country, and experience different parts of the world but nothing compares to the diversity I experienced here in NYC. There are “districts” or areas like Chinatown, where people of similar culture and people that speak the same language live together. But for the most part, I’ve encountered so many different cultures/religions and types of people from different social classes of all ages every day. I saw homeless people sleeping on the sidewalks and then wealthy people driving their fancy cars all on the same street. I saw a wide range of people every day, but even though we may look different, we have less or have more; we are all the same on the inside. I try to look past everything that people seem to think of what “defines” us and rather be open-minded and forget the stereotypes that have been placed on people and our society these days. Last summer I was involved in an entrepreneurial business and I came across something that changed my point of view on being “comfortable” and that was:

“If you want to be successful and happy in life, you better start getting ‘comfortable’ with being ‘uncomfortable’. The more you stretch, the more opportunity will come.”

Ever since I’ve heard that, I’ve always been more motivated to step out of my comfort zone in many aspects. Moving 600 miles away from my home, my family and friends for an extended period of time was definitely something I was not comfortable with, at first. Although, right now I think to myself, why was I so nervous? As I look back on these past 11 weeks, I would say that I undoubtedly have had the greatest summer or even 2 ½ months of my life, thus far. I wouldn’t say I was forced to step out of my comfort zone, but I also wanted this. I’ve never been away from home for more than 30 days or so, despite at school as I’ve said which is pretty close to where I live and I’ve never navigated a city on my own, let alone one of the largest, and most populated cities in the world. I just got asked yesterday by a lost tourist, how to get “down-town” by subway, as if it was a foreign country to him, like how it was to myself just 11 weeks ago. I’ve become comfortable with my surroundings fairly quick and have thrived here in NYC solely on my own. Although, I don’t think I could’ve done this without the help and support from my parents which I am so lucky to have them and support me in everything I do.

Before I came here, I made a list of a lot of “touristy” things to do, places to see, and restaurants to dine at. I would love to explain everything I have done here, but that would probably end up being a novel. I had to force myself to stop adding to the list just last week because of how extensive it has gotten, and my time was of the essence. So here’s my NYC list and everything I’ve done with a check mark. If you’re ever in NYC, I’ll be happy to make some recommendations!

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As my final day in NYC is coming to an end, I’m a little sad to leave this amazing city but I’m also excited to be home and even more excited to move back to Michigan State at the end of the month. It’s hard to express into words how grateful I am to have been chosen to work here at JDRF and live in Manhattan as a 20 year old college student. I will definitely remember this unforgettable summer and all the things that made it worthwhile.

As I conclude, I want to say I appreciate everyone reading and following my journey this summer and I thank you for that. I may just have to continue this blog next summer, because I might have another journey ahead, so stay tuned😉 For now, if you want to keep updated with me via social media, add me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn and/or follow my photos on Instagram.

So long, NYC

-Tyler

Final Stretch

Good morning!

My last Monday of being here in NYC, wow. This week I have a few final projects that I’ll be working on, along with saying my good-bye’s to the staff here at JDRF. Today, my supervisor invited Logan and I out to lunch, which is very generous of him. Last week, I said I still had some things to cross off my list to do here so that’s what my weekend consisted of.

Friday after taking my routine 2 subways back to my dorm, I changed out of my work clothes and went right back down to Brooklyn Heights where Logan lives. We found a good sushi restaurant just down the street from him to eat at. I do like seafood, but I’m still pretty picky about sushi. I got my childhood classic, udon noodles and a basic California roll. We then walked around the pier and explored the area some more.

Saturday I woke up early (about 10am), so I can catch up on a little sleep as always, but still get out early enough see the things I wanted. NYC is kind of famous for street art, or graffiti wall murals, so I had heard of this mural that was right on the way to my breakfast spot in SoHo. At the corner of Houston and Bowery (not like Houston, Texas, but pronounced Howstan) there’s this big wall which got it’s name after the crossroads, which is called the Bowery Wall. It’s filled with a tiled-mosaic type paintings of what seems to be old magazine covers, or posters and in the middle, covering some of the posters is this big, green, baby hulk type cartoon which is pretty cool I thought.

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The week that I got here, when my family was here for the week, I had mentioned to my aunt that lives in NY that I wanted to try to find the real “NY bagel & lox sandwhich”, so that’s what I did. She told us about this market called, Russ & Daughters which my mom and I actually walked into when she was here, but we didn’t realize it was the same place. I got there at about 11:30am, thinking there would be a little line, like all bagel places on the weekends and oh, was I right. I grabbed a ticket from the counter, #42 and they had just called #20, so I had some time wait. While I was waiting, I was contemplating on which type of salmon to have on my bagel, because there was 8 different kinds!

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Finally, my number was called and I ordered the Norwegian Salmon on an onion bagel, toasted, with cream cheese and onions, delicious!

From there, I’ve been wanting to check out Roosevelt Island, which is a narrow island in the East River in between the Upper East side of Manhattan and Long Island City on the other side/Brooklyn. What I wanted to do was ride the free tram that goes back and forth. I met up with Logan again at the station in the Upper East side and we got right on. It reminded me of a gondola lift that the mountains have out west, instead of chair lifts. It was a short ride, but we got to see some good views and it was pretty cool. Although, we didn’t think the island was too interesting, we just took a walk along the shoreline, saw the other half of the Queensboro Bridge and got back on the tram.

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From there we stopped back at my place to grab my phone charger and my soccer cleats because there’s a big turf field down in Brooklyn Heights right on the pier that I’ve been wanting to play at. We were passing the ball for a bit until another group of little kids, that were probably not even 10 years old asked us if we wanted to play a game with them. So, we joined them and it was fun for a while. I’ve played soccer for basically all my life from kindergarten on recreational teams with my neighborhood friends, until I started on a club team, to travel and all that. It got to be a big commitment for myself and my family so I stopped in Sophomore year of high school, and just played for the school team. Then I switched schools and my new school didn’t have a high school team, so I didn’t have the chance to play as much, but I really do miss playing soccer and wish I could’ve stuck with it just a little more. These kids reminded me of myself when I was younger, because I was always the smaller kid on the team and I would be going against these bigger kids for the ball and this little kid was practically fearless. He was even doing cartwheels and back-flips after he scored which I even thought was pretty cool. Oh, and the view is amazing with the skyline right in front of us and boats going by, it’s a great spot.

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Yesterday I got up early again, grabbed another bagel from a market down the street and went to central park for a while to ride my longboard and set up my hammock. I found these perfect pair of trees, in the shade, right off the bike path and posted up for a while. About a half hour later, a park security guy comes up to me on my hammock and said I had to take it down, because they’re not allowed on any of the trees in the park. I thought he was crazy, but I guess there are rules. I asked why and he replied “it’s a hazard to the trees and could be of danger to you and anyone surrounding”, so I respectfully packed up and left. I then got back to my dorm, did laundry for hopefully the final time here, got a few more groceries for the week and called it a day.

Right now I’m looking forward to this week ahead and wrapping up here in the office, so again thank you for following and stay tuned for the conclusion of my journey.. for now😉

-Tyler

Last weekend in NYC

Happy Friday everyone!

My summer has come to its final weekend here in NYC. I know I say this every week, but I really can’t believe how fast my internship has gone by. This week I was keeping productive, helping other people in the office with many projects. JDRF’s biggest Ride to Cure is next weekend, in Lacrosse, Wisconsin. Many things had to be prepared so we can have a successful ride. Already, over 1 million dollars and counting have been raised from this ride alone! There are over 400 riders and that means 400 welcome packets had to be prepared with credentials, name tags, and what not. So, I spent most of the week helping to get those ready for this ride. I also have been on top of the daily documents I complete and have been assigned to find active, professional athletes with T1D who wear helmets in their sport, and are in an active season in November, for National Diabetes Awareness Month (NDAM). We want to raise awareness by creating stickers with some sort of logo, that stands for NDAM (not too many details yet) for the athletes to wear during their games for the month.

Outside of the office this week, I basically stuck to my routine of riding the subway back home right after work, some times grabbing a bite for dinner on the way or ordering delivery. I think I’ve found the best dollar slices of pizza in NYC, right across from my dorm and I’m always on the hunt to find a lobster roll. Last week I met up with a local photographer, his names Nick, he’s about a year older than I am and lives and goes to school in Brooklyn. He took me on a little tour of the city and snapped some shots on the way. Along with chasing rooftops all over the city, apparently it’s a big trend to sneak up to people and take their un-posed or candid picture on the street. We were walking around Chinatown doing this and some people tried to block their face with their hands quickly, while some other older gentlemen turned around and shook their behind at us. Most of these people didn’t even speak English so we got a few disturbed people yell at us in Chinese as we walked away. Here’s a good shot of a local, then me on a rooftop over-looking the Manhattan Bridge. As you can see, I really think Nick takes amazing photos.

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Yesterday for lunch, in honor of us interns, we had a goodbye and thank you pizza party. I was under the impression it would just be us and our supervisors but almost all the staff was invited too. We enjoyed the pizza and salad while we were all conversing with everyone, telling them how our summer and internship experience has been. Erika, the intern in the IT department also put together a video of what diabetes really means to us and some helpful education about T1D. Also, Derek, the President & CEO asked each of us to say a few words about our time at JDRF. I was sitting at the head of the 40 person conference table right next to him, so he handed the microphone to me first. I didn’t have anything prepared but I stood up proud, and thanked everyone for joining me for lunch (everyone laughed). I said a few things that I’ve been working on and what I’ve learned and thank you to everyone for having us and my supervisor for all his help. I said how much I enjoyed my time working here while also enjoying my summer in NYC. I felt I really did a lot of important work this summer for JDRF and I emphasized how thankful I am to be here as well.

Meanwhile, this is my last weekend in the city and as my list is slowly being completed, I still do have a few more things I want to do here. I’ll save that for Monday because I’ve got to get to work so stay tuned! As always, thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy your weekend, as I most certainly will too!

-Tyler

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Week 10

As today is my second to last Monday of being in NYC I feel very pleased with my journey here thus far and I am ready to take full advantage of my last 2 weeks in the office. I have some projects to continue working on from last week and as some of the other interns are in their final work week, we were invited to a SWD good-bye and thank you pizza party on behalf of all the staff here at 26 Broadway on Thursday for lunch.

Last week, I had mentioned that I was taking the train up to Connecticut to visit my aunt and uncle, and join my uncle Pedro on his fishing boat Saturday. I also invited Logan to tag along because he’d mentioned to me that he loves to fish as well. So we started our trip from Grand Central Station, Friday after work to catch the train to Waterbury, Connecticut. Now I may have become pretty familiar with the subway in the city, but this had only been my second time taking the MTA Metro North train out of the city. We knew there was a transfer stop through Devon, but as we were approaching what we had thought to be our transfer station, there was no announcement or even a sign that said Devon on the train nor much of a warning of how to get to Waterbury from there. We missed the stop where we had to transfer, but it actually wasn’t too big of a deal because the train was heading to New Haven, Connecticut which was only about 30 minutes away from my aunt and uncle’s house, which was the original plan for them to pick us up at anyway. So we arrived at the New Haven Union-Station around 9pm and they picked us up from there. We stopped at a local ice-cream barn on the way home and got a chance to catch up about how our internships have been going so far. My aunt also has T1D, she was diagnosed in her college years and has been doing injections every since. When we arrived back at their house, we planned out our fishing expedition and rested up so we can be out of the house by 6am.

The marina where Pedro keeps his boat was back in New Haven so we stopped for breakfast sandwiches and at a local bait shop for worms and squid, then we we’re off to the ocean. By the time we got the poles, our lunch and everything down to the docks it was about 730am, which was a good start. We cruised out of the bay, under 3 bridges until we hit the “bunker spot”. Pedro said he wanted some more bait so he casted his lure into a school of fish and within 5 minutes he reeled in 4 bunkers for more bait.

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From there, we went out further into the Long Island Sound to another spot. The water was pretty calm early in the morning and until it started to get more choppy as the wind picked up in just a few hours. After about an hour with nothing but nibbles at this spot, we re-located further south down the sound. I was the first to drop my line straight down and within minutes I pulled up a decent size sea-bass.

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We were using worms still as bait and we all caught a few pogie’s until I decided to pull out the squid to see if I can attract some bigger fish. Just moments after I dropped my line down with half a small squid on the hook, I felt a huge bite and my pole was bending down at nearly a 45 degree angle. As I was reeling in and it got closer to the surface, I could see that I had a baby shark on the hook! Pedro was telling us that he had been catching sharks before, but I didn’t expect to catch any. Logan and I actually reeled in 2 sharks each and Pedro got 1, along with Logan’s 16-inch Fluke and more pogies in between.

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As the tide was beginning to rise and the sun was getting hotter after about 3 1/2 hours at sea, it was time to head in. We were all pleased with the catches by then, especially because I haven’t been fishing out in the ocean since the last time I went on Pedro’s boat, which was probably 10 years ago. When we arrived back to the dock it was about 12pm and we had our lunch sandwiches as we talked with some of Pedro’s friends from the Marina. Then we packed up and headed back to their house, but he had mentioned to us there was a famous hot dog stand right on the way so we stopped for a quick hot-dog. Both my aunt and uncle have been teachers in Waterbury for a very long time, and the cashier at the hot dog stand recognized Pedro, (Mr. Montes) as he was her teacher for 3rd grade. As we left he was telling Logan and I in the car that he really enjoyed teaching for so many years and the fact that students remember him for so long and always come back to visit him is very rewarding. When we got back, I was exhausted so I actually took a short nap, before dinner. My grandma and grandpa also live in Waterbury, and since they have always lived in Connecticut I don’t get to see them very often, along with my other aunt. We picked them up for dinner and got a chance to talk at their home for a while, telling them about our fishing excursion early that morning, along with how our internships and NYC adventures have been treating us.

We went to a local favorite restaurant called Maggie McFly’s, which was a great meal. We had a good while to converse with my dad’s side of the family that I don’t get to see very often. The menu was huge, but I thought I’d stick with my favorite meal since I been here, a classic lobster roll of course. After dinner we said our goodbye’s and dropped off my grandparents back at their home.

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From the left, aunt Harriet, Grandpa & Grandma

By the time we got back to their house, it was late and myself always trying to catch up on sleep I went right to bed while Pedro and Logan watched the end of the Met’s game. Sunday before departing from Waterbury train station, we stopped for breakfast at Pedro’s regular breakfast spot and then he dropped us off at the train station.

That was basically my weekend, as I enjoyed it very much as always. Now, its back to work for these next 2 weeks. I’m beginning to think about how I’m going to fit all my clothes and everything in my 2 suitcases, along with blankets, pillows, and more. I’ll probably find a box to ship back home this week in preparation for packing up. Although, stay tuned because my NYC journey isn’t over just yet!

As always, thank you for reading and enjoy your week!

-Tyler

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August Already?

I really can’t believe how fast this summer has been. I mean, I probably say that every summer but living away from home has definitely made it seem quicker, actually. This week in the office was productive to say the least. As you may know by now, I am responsible for the daily news document to complete every morning, which takes up about half my morning. All of the interns also got another chance to be in the studio this week and speak up about our own perceptions about having T1D. We got asked a few questions as a prompt and I thought my answers really gave a good insight about how I and many others feel about T1D and the misconceptions that a lot of people still have. Next week, JDRF is having a photo shoot for the therapeutic department and we needed props for it. So on top of bringing in my own items like syringes, lancets, even my back up insulin pump, I was asked to contact a pharmaceutical company to try and get our hands on their new product to use in the photo shoot as well. I also helped with getting another JDRF Ride to Cure materials together, and wrote a new pitch letter to send out to Fairfield, Connecticut media outlets that I found, in the hopes to cover an inspiring story about two young boys who have T1D.

This week was definitely the hottest of the whole summer so far, with temperatures just over 90 degrees everyday. The subway is basically a sauna and I take 2 showers a day, on average. On the other hand, my NYC adventures do continue. Monday I was still pretty exhausted from the lack of sleep I got last weekend so after work I went right back to my dorm and ordered free delivery, pizza! Ever hear of the new expression, “there’s an app for that”? Well, it is true. This app, Seamless is a food delivery service, which most deliveries are either free or just a $1. They have a huge list of carry-outs and restaurants to choose from that are within reason of your location. I found this wood-fired pizza place and put in an order. It had an estimated delivery time of 45 minutes to an hour, but it probably took me longer to find a restaurant than how long it took the delivery guy to arrive at my dorm, surprisingly.

In other news, my search for local photographers to tag along with through the city hasn’t stopped. A few weeks ago, I made a list of about 30 people’s Instagram’s who I recently followed since moving here, that show off their amazing NYC photos and explorations. Most of them, had their contact information in their bio, so I reached out to quite a few of them, asking if I could join them on a tour of the city as they go to these somewhat exclusive spots around town. I had a few people get back to me, one of which I had met up with last week in Dumbo, Brooklyn. On Wednesday after my last weekly lobster roll special in Madison Square Park, I met another local photographer that lives and goes to school in Brooklyn. We started at Washington Square Park, which is just a few subway stops from my dorm and walked through Greenwich Village, Soho, and all throughout Chinatown until sunset. He thought my shoes were “rad” so he wanted a few shots from a residential rooftop we got up to in Chinatown. Here’s his post from Instagram:

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I think all of his pictures are amazing, and after hearing from him about how he is just trying to pursue his dream of being a photographer I wished the best of luck to him.

After work today as I mentioned in my last post, Logan and I are taking a trip up to Connecticut to visit my Aunt and Uncle. We’re excited to sail out into the ocean and hopefully catch some fish! We’re riding the train from Grand Central to Waterbury, Connecticut where they and my grandparents live, also where my dad grew up.

Sadly, I only have two more work weeks here and I’m still trying to make the most of it! Tomorrow is my sister, Allison’s 22nd birthday and she is currently half way across the world in South Africa pursuing her dreams of becoming a teacher. She also started a blog of her adventures, some of which I am even jealous of! If you want to see what she’s been up to, check it out: https://askallie93.wordpress.com/

That’s all for today, and once again thank you for following, stay tuned, blah blah you get it by now.

-Tyler

7/27

Good morning all!

What do you know, it’s Monday once again. With only 2 more Monday’s I have left in NYC,  I feel so accomplished already by everything I have done while being here, in and outside of the office. Every week in the office I learn more and more about JDRF and the hard work and behind the scenes jobs of what JDRF does at the national level. This morning I sat in on a conference call with my supervisor, he’s the Director of Public Relations, for a meeting about having a band and corporate sponsors get together for a live show in the next few weeks. As part of the communications team, we do a lot of PR for the organization, marketing, event planning, celebrity outreach and sponsorship’s. This week I am keeping busy with more projects and final meetings with the Human Resources department for evaluations of my internship experience thus far.

This past weekend, one of my good friends from home came to visit. She flew in from Detroit and I took the subway and then a bus to pick her up from Laguardia Airport Friday night. We went straight to Times Square to check out the city’s most popular and tourist-filled area. If you’re familiar with these new revolutionary “selfie sticks” as they are called (a stick to hold your phone as an extended arm for a wider angel selfie), I have never seen as many people with them as I’ve seen here in NYC. One of which a complete stranger to us, as we were taking pictures in the bleachers under the screens in Times Square, asks us to take a selfie with him. Him and his friend were visiting from Pakistan and exploring the city as we are. This wasn’t from a selfie stick but he insisted we take a picture with him (LOL).

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Saturday we started our day at the Rockefeller Center, and enjoyed what I think is now the greatest view of the city from the 69th floor Observation Deck. Surprisingly, there wasn’t too long of a line at about 11am so we went right up. There was an indoor room with a balcony outside, and then we could go up another 2 floors outside to see another spectacular view spot from the very top. We got some great pictures, along with the 1,000’s of people that go there every day. The Rockefeller is located at 5th ave and 50th street, so basically in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. On one side we had a view of Uptown, looking over Central Park and the Upper East and West sides of Manhattan with the Downtown districts behind us with a clear view of the Empire State Building and the Freedom Tower in the distance.

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We then walked from there towards Central Park and stopped in a few of the notorious stores up 5th Avenue. I had to show her the Apple Store right there as well and then we took a walk around the park and went into the Zoo. As a side note, I do enjoy the zoo and I bet many people do as well but what I am not a fan of is the animals’ man-made habitat that they are forced to live in. I don’t think its very fair to these wild animals, and considering the size of this zoo particularly, we both witnessed some over-crowding in some exhibits and probably not enough space for these large animals like seals, snow leopards, and bears to live in.

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By the time we were done exploring this area, it was about time for dinner and after this exhausting day of heat and walking the city, we headed back for a quick recharge before we went over to the Brooklyn Heights pier for dinner at my favorite spot, Shake Shack. I do like the crazy city aspect of Manhattan but what I do really enjoy is this area in Brooklyn with the piers, the views of the Financial District skyline, the night life and probably the more urban orientated city of Brooklyn Heights. We ended up here again last night after we spent the morning and afternoon way up in Harlem, visiting a Keith Haring painted wall and a quick stop in the Upper East Side for more shopping and exploring. After dinner again at the pier, we decided to avoid the sweaty and packed subway ride back to Manhattan and instead we walked the Brooklyn Bridge and enjoyed more great scenes of the city at night.

Hand-painted by Keith Haring in 1987

Hand-painted by Keith Haring in 1987

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This week should be another busy week in the office and I’m also looking forward for this weekends fishing excursion with my Uncle from Connecticut as we’re gonna sail out into the Atlantic Ocean on his fishing boat. So stay tuned for that and as always thank you for reading and check out the pictures tab for more photos!

-Tyler

2 Months Deep

Happy Friday!

Today I am a little later than posting as I usually do, first thing in the morning. I was busy completing some documents that needed to be completed by this morning, and being the reason why I am here, I like to be caught up before I start my blog posts. This week was another busy week in the office with many documents to be completed regarding JDRF media, specifically from the Children’s Congress. As well as the daily News Document, and the weekly “This Week in MarCom” which highlights what our departments have been working on this week to share internally and posted onto the JDRF intranet.  I had 2 meetings this week with the whole Marketing & Communications department regarding updates that will be implemented throughout JDRF, and our monthly team meeting which we were served lunch and somewhat celebrated the employee birthday’s of July yesterday. I also sent out post-press releases to all the JDRF chapters that had mentioned the Children’s Congress delegates’ and their experience in attending and testifying in front of congressmen.

As you may have heard, my mom was also in town visiting this week which was very nice. I’m so glad she was able to come visit and spend time with me all week. I was starting to get a little home-sick after 2 months of being here, which is probably the longest time I’ve ever been away from home, despite being at school which is only an hour away. Since I know you’re reading this, Mom, I would like to say that you have always been there for me for everything I could imagine and I learn from you everyday and thank you for everything you have done for me. I was sad when we had to say goodbye again but I’m looking forward to being back home in 3 weeks to be with my whole family and friends again. Both of my parents have always been incredibly supportive in everything I do and accomplish and as they say they are proud of me, the feeling is mutual.

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“she said let’s take a selfie”

Anyway, it just so happened to be NYC Restaurant Week, which is when a lot of restaurants have a fixed menu for a special price, so we took full advantage of that. I recently have been a huge seafood eater. I guess I’ve taken that from my parents as well. We had our fair share of lobster, and crab this week at a few of the highly mentioned spots in town. Monday, we invited Logan to join us for dinner at City Crab, which was delicious. I won’t go too much into detail about our meals, but we also met my Cousin from Long Island on Tuesday night and were unexpectedly in the middle of a “peaceful protest” in Grand Central Station during Wednesday nights meal. A group of about 30 people were protesting against the ongoing police brutality issue. They held their signs and marched through the station, then laid down on the ground in silence for a while and ended by forming a big circle in the middle of the station yelling their chant.

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Yesterday after work I connected with an amateur photographer that I met and we went over to Dumbo, Brooklyn to take some photos at some cliché Brooklyn spots. As I mentioned last post I’m really getting more intrigued by the city’s photography scene, and beginning to learn more about my new hobby I’d say.

Jane's Carousel & Manhattan Bride from Brooklyn Bride Park - Dumbo, Brooklyn

Jane’s Carousel & Manhattan Bride from Brooklyn Bride Park – Dumbo, Brooklyn

Manhattan Bridge

Manhattan Bridge

This weekend I have another visitor coming into town for a visit, a close friend. I’ve got lots of sights to see planned out and more touristy things to do of course. As the talk about moving back to school is arising, I can’t say I’ve ever been excited about going to back to school after summer vacation, but this year I am excited to get back into East Lansing and continue my other journey as a Spartan! Although my NYC summer isn’t quite over yet!

But it looks like I’ve got some more work to do before I start my weekend so as always, thank you for following, stay tuned for more posts & check out the pictures tab for photos!

-Tyler

Week 8

Seems to me like every weekend has gone by a little faster each time. It’s the start of week 8, with only 4 weeks of my internship left and it doesn’t feel like I’ve been here for 2 months already. Thursday night, I actually ran into a fellow Spartan (MSU student) at an ice cream counter next to my dorm. I was wearing my MSU gym shorts and he asked if I went there too. He was an incoming sophomore and he was actually in a fraternity that I knew some of the guys in from back home. He’s from Chicago, goes to MSU but in NYC for the week and he knew some of my friends from West Bloomfield, small world. Friday after work I continued on my explorations and walked around more of the Financial District (downtown Manhattan) and areas that I haven’t been yet. Since I’ve come here I have been much more intrigued by taking pictures and the NYC photography scene itself. Even at home and around MSU’s campus, I always see people walking with their heads down, looking at the ground as they pass by. I’d rather look up, at the sky, the clouds and being here in the city with the tallest buildings in the country, I love to stand under them, tilt my head back and look straight up to the top. I’m no professional photographer, but even with the camera on my iPhone, I am amazed at how my pictures come out. Take a look for yourself..

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That night I was planing on going to a “famous” apparel store for sneaker-heads like myself in Brooklyn. Logan joined me because it was on the way to his place, and also buffalo wild wings. Unfortunately, when we had thought we arrived at the address there was no store in sight, just an open lot which was a bummer. Luckily, our favorite wings didn’t leave us too upset after all. I’m not a big fan of spice, so I usually get the basic boneless wings, with honey barbecue, honey mustard and Parmesan garlic, which are all on the lower half of the hotness scale on the menu. Logan on the other hand, can’t get enough spice. He got his wings with the blazin’ sauce, which is the hottest sauce they have. It’s almost frowned upon to order it because it’s so hot. I was amazed he finished them, without even dipping them in ranch how most people would.

Saturday I started my day pretty early (10am is early for a weekend) and headed to another “famous” bagel shop I had on my list, Tompkins Square Bagels. It’s located downtown from me in the East Village, so I hopped on the subway and got there in about 10 minutes. As I was approaching the cross-street that it’s at, I saw a long line coming from that direction, hoping it wasn’t the line for the bagels. I wasn’t thinking people loved bagels as much as I do, but here in NYC I guess a good bagel sandwich is a pretty big deal. There had to be at least 50 people waiting outside the shop standing in line. So I had to pass on that this time, but I’ll be back! From there I continued to walk downtown near my favorite area thus far called SoHo, as you may recall from me mentioning it so often. It’s a neat region of the city, with lots of shops of course, a lot of art in the streets, food, and everything a little hipster-city would have. If you’re not familiar with the term “hipster”, feel free to learn more on urban dictionary.

Not to mention this past weekend was definitely the hottest in temperature since I’ve been here. Saturday and Sunday were both 90 degree days, so I was exhausted by 2pm on Saturday and had to stop back in my dorm to cool off and rejuvenate from the heat. I actually took a nap until my parents were blowing up my phone looking for me, because my mom came in to town yesterday! She’s actually here until Thursday on business, but we still got to spend all day Sunday exploring and crossing more things off my list! We started at Katz Delicatessen for breakfast, or brunch as we would call it. The food was good, although I don’t think the corned-beef topped my favorite deli back home in West Bloomfield, the Stage. From there I wanted to show her around the Meat-Packing district, which is also a very cool area. There’s a hotel called the Dream Hotel and I saw online that they had a rooftop pool/lounge, which I’m eager to get in a rooftop pool still. Unfortunately, we needed a room key to get in which was kind of expected but I still got some pictures. On from there, my mom heard about this ferry, called the North River Lobster Company, basically a lobster bar on a boat! We knew we wouldn’t make it in time if we walked, so we took a taxi and made it to the pier right as the boat was taking off. We’re both huge lobster fans as you may know, so we split a lobster roll while enjoying a nice ferry-boat ride in the Hudson River. From the pier we wanted to check out the Museum of Modern Art, which had a Yoko Ono exhibit on display. Her artwork may be a little different from the ordinary displays in the Museum but it was really cool. There were pictures of these short thoughts she had written down and documented which filled an entire room. There was also an Andy Warhol exhibit which was very cool as well. By then it was about 3pm and we had dinner reservations at 7. So I went back to my dorm as she went to her hotel and then I suggested calling an Uber from her hotel to get to the restaurant. Although the subway system does amaze me itself, Uber is such a great way of short transportation and I can’t believe how reliable it actually is to have a stranger pick you up from wherever you are and drive you to your destination, safely. Dinner was delicious as always, at the new Polo Bar location in Midtown, with some unexpected interruptions but that’s a different story.

In the office I’m getting new projects and short tasks to be completed now that main event of the summer, Children’s Congress is over. I am looking forward to this last month as my time here is almost wrapping up, but quite not yet! As always thank you for following me, stay tuned for more posts and check out the pictures tab!

-Tyler

7/17

Good Morning!

As I explained in my last post, the Children’s Congress was this week and many people from the office attended so it was a little slow for myself. Monday and Tuesday I didn’t have too much to do in the office, other than the daily News You Can Use document that I complete in the morning. As you may know by now, I have a big list of things I want to do while I’m here, and half of the list consists of restaurants to go to. So Tuesday for dinner I went to Jack Wife’s Freda. It was mentioned on a website about things to do in NY as a top place to eat, for a reasonable price. There was a location in SoHo, so I went after work and had matzo ball soup and a pasta dish. It was really good, and it was a really nice place, small but pretty hip I’d say. I’d say my mom’s matzo ball soup is better though. Wednesday someone in the Mar/Com department asked for some of my help in my free time to get the Burlington, VA Ride to Cure Diabetes ready to go for next week. There are about 300 riders and each of them are given a welcome packet with 4 documents, and a name-tag. I was happy to help put all the documents in the folders, and label them. So that took up basically my whole day from stuffing these packets and labeling them with stickers of their name and t-shirt size. I knew it was very important for this ride and I guess that’s what interns are for, am I right? After work, I heard that another one of my favorite artists, G-Eazy was in town but he doesn’t have a show booked or anything so I was wondering why he was here. He had posted that he was shopping in SoHo, so on my way home I had to stop by and walk around to see if I could spot him. Unfortunately, I probably missed him.

Every Wednesday this summer in Madison Square Park, right near my dorm there are free concerts by local, upcoming artists so I always stop by. There’s also a lobster roll stand every week, which I am now a regular. In other news, I keep having these maintenance issues in my dorm room. One of the first weeks I was here my sink was clogged, so in order to request a maintenance worker to fix something we submit a request online. I did that and it was taken care of. About 2 weeks ago, my shower drain was clogged, so when I showered in the morning the shower would fill up with water and it flooded my bathroom one morning, which was not pleasant. When the maintenance guy came to fix it, he pulled out so much hair from the drain, I thought there was a monster living there. I’ve never seen so much hair in a drain in my life, even at home from my sister. He was laughing because he knew it wasn’t mine, and he said there must have been another girl living in this room the past semester. Anyway, that was gross but now it’s fixed. Now, the AC unit in my window is leaking water. I noticed a little water on the window sill last week, and didn’t think it was a big deal so I wiped it up. On Tuesday, I woke up and stepped in a puddle that was made from all the water leaking. It was all under my bed and around my refrigerator. I called and this same guy came to replace the filter which he said was causing the leakage. He came with a mop and mopped it up for me too. Now, yesterday morning I woke up and saw the puddle was there again. I don’t know what I can do about this but hopefully that’s why the maintenance guys are here.

On the other hand, yesterday I had tickets to see Seth Meyers that I had reserved one of the first weeks I was here. Unfortunately, I woke up and my blood sugar was really high after I had changed my insulin pump. I came into work until about noon, and wasn’t feeling well so I had to take the rest of the day off and try to lower my blood sugar. I basically slept the whole day and didn’t end up going to see Seth Meyers, oh well.

Today my supervisor is back in the office as he came back from D.C. for the Children’s Congress. He told me about it, and how wonderful it was and how all the things that I had been working on for it really helped him this week. Now that the Congress is over, I should be starting on new projects for the rest of the summer, or the next 4 weeks I should say.. I don’t have too many plans for this weekend, other than my mom is coming to visit on Sunday! She’ll be here for the week on business of her own, in which she actually has a meeting with JDRF in my office next week, what a coincidence. Try not to embarrass me😉

As always, thank you for following me and stay tuned for more posts!

-Tyler

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Week 7

Good morning everyone!

Today is Monday, July 13th and today kicks off the start of week 7 here at JDRF. As I left off on Friday, I said we were invited to watch the Women’s World Cup Parade from Derek’s office, so we took a short break at 11am to check that out. We had a perfect view from his 14th floor window overlooking the street, Battery Park and the Statue of Liberty in the distance. The parade marched from Battery Park, up Broadway and onto City Hall. This was also what NYC likes to call a ticker-tape parade. This means that people in the surrounding buildings throw shredded paper and what not out the windows over the parade. I’d call it a huge mess, and my good friend/roommate Jud wouldn’t be too happy about all the wasted paper all over the streets, which is very unsustainable and they should’ve recycled it, rather than throwing it all out. I’m more conscious of those things now because of what he showed me this past year as we recycled basically everything possible in our apartment, so shout out to you Judson!

I didn’t have many plans for this weekend, so I basically went with the flow. After work on Friday the other interns, Erika, Aimee and Jennifer told me they were going to my new favorite lobster roll shack, Luke’s Lobster and invited me to come along. Of course I couldn’t resist! After we enjoyed that, someone mentioned this ice cream parlor, that was notorious for ice cream sandwiches just a few blocks uptown from there. So we had to give it a try. I got cookies & cream ice cream sandwiched between chocolate chip cookies, yum. With all of us being T1D, we were each taking a gander at how much we were going to dose for the ice cream. Jennifer and I both have the Omni Pod, so I asked her about a feature that I use for ice cream, pizza, & mostly high sugar and fat content because different foods affect my blood sugar differently. She said she’s never used it because it’s hard to guess, because it’s really trial and error, but I’ve seem to learn how it affects me now. I do an extended bolus, it’s called. Basically, instead of giving myself all the insulin at once, I spread it out over the next few hours. For example, say I had 90g of carbohydrates. I type that in my PDM (personal diabetes manager) and it gives me an amount of insulin to dose based on my Insulin to carb ratio. I then type in 35%, over the next 2 hours. So that gives myself 35% of the insulin right now, then other 65% over the next 2 hours. This helps because it gives more insulin over a longer period of time, to prevent a spike in my blood sugar later on. Doesn’t that make sense?

On Saturday, I went on a little adventure through Harlem, way uptown from where I live. I had found out about a bagel shop that was rated NYC’s #1 bagels, so that was my destination. I arrived at the store, and there was a huge line out the door, almost wrapped around the corner. I got in line anyway, to see what all the hype was about. I waited about 25 minutes, which was pretty quick actually compared to the long line. I ordered an onion bagel toasted, with nova, cream cheese, swiss, lettuce, onion and as always, “no tomato”. Surprisingly, there were probably the same amount of people working in the back, preparing bagels and everything then there were people in line, that’s why it was so quick. I got my bagel, sat down and there was 2 huge slices of tomato on it and no lettuce. This may not seem like a big deal for some people, but as you may know by now, I’m pretty picky about eating. So I went back up to the counter, showed them and repeated what I had ordered, they passed it on down the bagel assembly line and then got it right. Fortunately, it was delicious and I would definitely go back. I’m becoming quite the foodie as my family would agree and I thank my nana for teaching me well.🙂

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After that, I had planned on checking out Columbia University’s campus because it was near there as well. I walked even more uptown from there about 6 blocks and entered right off the sidewalk into what it seemed to be the center of campus. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Columbia, it being one of the most beautiful campuses in the country, and yes I would have to agree. Even though I do love Michigan State and enjoy being there very much, it would be an absolute dream to attend a University like Columbia and live in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. See for yourself…

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I walked around this main area of campus for a little, and I tried to get into the library but only students are allowed with a Columbia ID. From here, I headed back downtown where I was near the upper left corner of Central Park so I took a walk through the park to get to the subway station I needed to make my way back downtown. I got to the station and after all this walking around, sweating in the practically 90 degree weather it was, I was extremely exhausted already. I had tested my blood at the subway stop and I was low of course. Luckily I always carry juice with me, so I drank that, but I still had nearly 20 minutes to wait for the subway. I felt like I was still dropping even after the juice and didn’t want to get on the subway if I was still low. I suspended my insulin for the time being, waited another 15 minutes, and as the subway arrived I tested again and was back in the 100’s. That made me feel more comfortable to get on the subway to ride 50 blocks downtown before having to get off to transfer. When I got back near my area, I realized that the date was 7/11, which was free slurpee day! Of course, I couldn’t miss that. I grabbed my free 7.11 ounce slurpee and went back to my dorm to cool off some more and rest for a while.

On Sunday, one of my friends from New Jersey, who is also involved in the support groups program that I do was in the city visiting a friend at NYU and her family came along for the ride as well. We usually only get to meet once a year at an annual conference but it was nice to catch up with them while I was here!😉. I spent the rest of the afternoon tuning into Netflix and doing laundry, nothing special. As for this week in the office, the Children’s Congress has started today in D.C. and my supervisor is there with quite a few other employees so it will be a little slow for myself this week but I’m sure I’ll find things to stay occupied. As always, thank you for reading, stay tuned for more posts and check out the pictures tab for more photos!

-Tyler