They didn’t call it a “multimedia bootcamp” for nothing.
My time at Columbia Journalism School was one of my best experiences so far. Having learnt so much in just a week, I can understand why people travel from around the world to study there (and pay the big bucks to do so).
In five days our small class used professional production tools to plan, shoot, and edit a local story.
Throughout my time in New York, despite being a nobody from nowhere (someone – not a journalist – actually asked if New Zealand was a Scandinavian country), I’ve found people at the highest level willing to pause to answer my questions, and teach me what they know.
Then, they’ll introduce me to someone else who’s helpful.
From the people to the pizza, this city is the best.
It’s not true that foot traffic moves quickly in New York.
Some people do, of course, but all in all it’s not the surging sea of suits I’d anticipated.
Everything else was as I expected; giant pretzels, subway grates, yellow taxis, tree-lined avenues, Times Square lit up like a carnival.
(Not that I’ve seen much – I only arrived on Monday evening).
I told myself it would be just like any other city, but bigger and busier.
“Are we there yet?” I asked the taxi driver.
“Not yet,” he said. “We have to go through this tunnel which takes us under the water for two miles, and then we will be in New York.”
After what I assume was two miles, we resurfaced.
“Welcome to New York.”
Taylor Swift couldn’t have said it better herself.
But I was wrong – it wasn’t like any other city. It was insane. People, cars, everywhere. Music blaring, sirens wailing , taxis honking, there was even a horse pulling a carriage.
Times Square – just a block from my accommodation – was packed. I wondered if there was an event on; but the following night it was just as busy.
Strangely, among all this, people are friendly and kind.
New Yorkers are quick to help when it comes to giving directions. Even though bodies are constantly bumping into each other, they generally pause to apologise. I’ve experienced nothing but chivalry among the chaos.