Month 2 – Part of the City

Month 2 has ended and I now feel part of the city – a part of the organism that is New York.

I’ve settled into life at work and contributed to some interesting projects. In doing so, I’ve learned a lot about the process of how a design goes from the drawing table to actually being built (hint: it’s a lot). My co-workers at work have been really helpful in helping me adapt and teaching me the ways of the American architect (even thought the majority are foreigners). They really help to make the atmosphere engaging and I do what I can to soak up their knowledge. So far, they’ve taken a liking to me and I hope to contribute as much as I can. As they days go by, I hope to steadily improve my skills as an architect – this, of course, involves my knowledge of programs like autoCAD, SketchUp and Photoshop.

For the first time, I’ve ventured outside of Manhattan. To start, I went hiking upstate in Breakneck ridge. I did this with my hosts and, even though it was quite warm outside, it was a lot of fun. The trail went up a steep ridge and presented us with some spectacular views of the Hudson River. Furthermore, I’ve been to Brooklyn a few times – an area that reminds me the most of home (specifically, the former docklands in the north of Amsterdam). Here, I’ve taken up archery and, according to my instructor, I’m getting the hang of it pretty quickly. I hope to best my hosts in this soon, but I feel that might take a while considering how experienced they are.

However, I’ve been able to discover more within Manhattan as well. I’ve visited incredible sights such as the famous Guggenheim museum, the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum and the newly opened Vessel in Hudson Yards – the latter was especially interesting due to its relevancy to my internship. The Hudson Yards site, built upon a rail yard includes some spectacular architecture and is an incredible feat of engineering. At the centre, surrounded by skyscrapers, is the vessel – a vertical maze of staircase and observation platforms.

I hope to discover more as the days go by.

Ingo Aelbers

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