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Empire state of mind

Week 1 – Start spreadin’ the news

This is a look at the house I am iiving in while I stay in New York. It is Queens.

It was about 3 a.m. I walked a patient, almost contemplative stroll down the empty corridors of the subway station near Time Square.

The night had not gone as plan. But it was still an experience. Now, as I walked and waited for the No. 7 train back to Queens, I felt a little down.

The train arrived after some 20 minutes of waiting. It was empty. I got on, and I realized that it was raining outside those enormous concrete walls. Pouring. Really, really coming down. I shrugged it off. It would be over by the time I surface, I said to myself.

Damn. I was wrong.

When I arrived in Queens, the rain was falling like that scene from Jurassic Park, where the visitors are stuck outside the Tyrannosaurs Rex enclosure. Although it was not as frightening, I was still not looking forward to traveling in the rain.

So I stepped out to the streets, took a deep breath, and without thinking too much about it, started to run toward the house.

As I ran, hundreds of raindrops splattered my face, huge droplets shattering on impact as they struck every fiber of my cheap cotton shirt. My jeans were soaked. My hands went cold. My heart was beating fast, and I ran confused, blinking often to keep the drops at bay.

As dramatic, exciting, exhilarating, and gripping as that scene sounds, it wasn’t very fun. At 3 in the morning in Queens, running alone and tired with ragged breath ripping through my lungs, I was alone. And a little miserable.

So ended my first week in the Empire State as an intern with CBS News.

Where to begin?

Actually, I need to start out by saying that I am not allowed to discuss my CBS internship as per policy.

But there is plenty of other stuff going on in the NYC.

While that night was not a glamorous experience, I am having too much fun in New York City.

I also need to start my thanking my host family, la Familia Lagos. They have been nothing but wonderful during my first two weeks. They are kind, thoughtful and sincere. I truly appreciate their help and generosity.

Every day is different, filled with the excitement of meeting new people, coming across new potential adventures. Every block of this illustrious city is filled with a million stories, some interesting, some dull. But they are stories. And many of them need to be told.

There was a man, a cellist (I got it right!) who played somber music in the subway station. It was beautiful, haunting music. I applauded his skill and musical deftness before I left for my train. I wish I had dollar to put in his case.

There is my fellow intern, who spoke of the media, attending a j-school and being a person of color in the newsroom during our lunch at Wendy’s the first day of our internship.

There is the constant lighting of the Empire State Building, powerful and beckoning to all who witness its mighty glow in several different shades.

Each day is different.

The nightlife in New York City is spectacular, minus the cost of drinks. I am sorry ladies, but this is definitely, for a man of my budget, not a place where I will be spitting the classic pick-up line, “Can I buy you a drink?”

A possible alternative: “Would you like to share a drink?” That won’t work, but I’m not looking for romance in the Big Apple.

The Crew

From left: Nicole, Brad, Kelly, me and Andrew. What a cool bunch. Smart too.

Every day is different.

What is not different, however, are the friends I am making up here. We have formed a bit of entourage, a group of five friends who are hanging out frequently.

There is Andrew. My fellow Buffalo who is interning with news production. He is a sharp dude who really enjoys his ales and lagers.  He also makes decent mac and cheese. He is the older brother in the group.

There is Nicole. She is a sweet young woman who enjoys watching documentaries and is interning at the investigative unit. She is bold; she once ordered pancakes at a restaurant. At 8 p.m. She is the mother of the group.

There is Brad. He is hilarious, and literally, every other word or phrase he says make me laugh. He does the best Will Ferrell president Bush impression. Ever. Dude’s got mad impressionist skills. He is another older brother in the group.

There is Kelly. She is one of the youngest interns in the group, and she is ambitious, caring and passionate about video and video editing. She is proud of really earning her place in NYC. She is the little sister in the group.

Then there is me. Energetic to the point of almost appearing kid-like and excited beyond words. Passionate about journalism (but who the hell isn’t in this group). I am the young brother in the group.

Every day is different.

This one is for you

A view from my desk. Thank you for the gifts boo.

That CD you got me? Magical. The portrait of the weird dude playing the lute? Oddly legiti. The candy? Delicious and sinful. Let’s read some more poetry soon. Good luck with laundry today boo.

What I miss

I miss my family, but anyone who is close to me or a very good friend already understands this. I miss my father, my sister Alondra, my brother Ivan, my little brother Juan De and my two little dogs. I also miss my dear mother, my uncles and aunts and cousins and friends.

I also miss the mountains. Those mountains. I always appreciated them while I was in Colorado, so perhaps I don’t miss them as much as I should.

So there it is. I am in New York City. Living a dream I never really thought about. There is so much to write about, I promise I will write as much as I can remember. So please start spreading the news: those little town blues are gone.

NOTE: This is actually week 2, but this is week 1 as an intern.

About Esteban L. Hernandez

Reporter in Connecticut.


One thought on “Week 1 – Start spreadin’ the news

  1. Esteban!! I have to say that I am proud of you and I am thrilled that you made it out to NYC. I know you are going to make it as a Top- Dog in this industry, but don’t get too big of a head! haha
    Love always!


    Posted by stacey | June 14, 2011, 3:46 am

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