Beyond my Expectations

It’s been said that time flies when you’re having fun… But the New York College Experience has not only flown, it has gone at supersonic speed. It was learning at its purest sense, using New York City as a backdrop, meeting accomplished people who inspire with their stories and knowledge, and being involved in classes that taught us without it feeling like conventional teaching. This program made me hungry for more!

The teachers brought their work experience into the classroom. They made us see the link between what we were learning and the work force. What better way to learn? Nothing was arbitrary and everything we learned was applied to a practical assignment. We could see the direct link between the classroom and the outside world.

I couldn’t have asked for a more vibrant canvas this month. From museums and discovering new neighborhoods to experiencing college life and seeing the mechanics of a world-class newspaper, so many moments stand out. I felt like I was in the center of the world, and in effect, I was! This special student life almost felt like an onion to me. On the outside lies the entire city of New York and the global community of this city. On the inside was the Barnard and Columbia campuses and the international student body I was part of.

It’s rare for someone to say that one month changed their life. With the great input I received from both teachers and fellow students coupled with amazing excursions, I can truly say that this past July changed my life. I was very lucky to be amongst a diverse pool of students here at the New York College Experience. I learned something new from so many of them and I’ve formed friendships that I hope to keep forever. On so many levels, this program resonated with me. Despite leaving the city, so much of what I’ve lived will stay with me back home.

By Léa Lotey-Goodman

Good Morning America

For the first time, the Oxbridge journalism class started at the break of dawn. We took the subway to Times Square with our two big posters with only one thing in mind: the live broadcast of ABC’s Good Morning America (GMA). Although we were still groggy, the thought of seeing one of Saturday Night Live’s most famous alumni, Will Ferrell, woke us up quickly. Once we arrived in the area that was reserved for viewers (like us), the energy was palpable. Three quarters of those present had signs and cameras. We didn’t feel as out of place as we did riding the subway with our signs.

We peered through the glass to get a better view of the live broadcast. We felt as if we were in the studio since hair and makeup were done in front of our eyes. After an hour of standing outside speaking with fellow viewers, watching the segments and even meeting Sam Champion (the weather anchor for GMA), speculation came out about Will Ferrell going on air within the next 20 minutes. At this point, we were eager to see the broadcast start. We were handed posters of the movie that Will Ferrell was there to promote (The Campaign). We waved them to the camera, hoping to get our five seconds of fame. He did not disappoint and gave a very funny interview.

After he finished the segment, Robin Roberts (anchor) and Josh Elliot (news anchor) came outside to pose for photos and sign autographs. It was great to see them up close for the first time! The show is a healthy mix of news, entertainment and human interest stories, and it is easy to see why GMA is in a tight race with Today Show for first place in that time slot.

By Léa Lotey-Goodman

Oxbridge has Got Talent!

My head is ablaze with the tapping of toes and the world class vocal talent we have here at Oxbridge! From instrumentalists and singers to beat-boxers and rappers, the Oval in The Diana Center was exploding with performers who are not only gifted academically, but musically as well! The venue was packed with students and faculty who were eager and encouraging towards the twenty entertainers last night. The show was extremely diverse; encompassing many cultures, languages and musical styles. Needless to say, the evening was nothing short of fantastic and the performances were jaw dropping, interactive, and brought laughs, smiles and even tears to the NYCE family! Oxbridge has got some serious talent. Bravo!

Brooklyn Graffiti Tour

Imagine viewing New York City as an outdoor contemporary art gallery and picture the building walls as an expansive canvas. This is what a street art tour is like! On Saturday July 14th, twelve Oxbridge students participated in this type of tour in Brooklyn. Given by Disco Bryso, a “graffitiphile” who obtained a degree in graffitti from NYU, the tour was educational and illuminating. Some art was edgy and other art was more visually appealing. The tour guide was very informed and gave colorful commentary on the various artists (some of whom he even knew personally) and their work. This tour was one of a kind and it has completely changed my perspective on graffiti (for the better).

Eataly: “Life is too Short not to Eat Well”

If food was great literature, then Eataly must be Shakespearean. Located in a spacious 50,000 square feet complex on 5th Avenue near Madison Square Park, Eataly has something to satisfy every tastebud. There are twelve dining venues surrounded by a large market (where books, houseware, cheeses, meats and olive oils can be found) in this Italian food kingdom. This Italian delicacy center is not the first in the world. In fact, Oscar Farinetti, one of the co-founders of the New York City location opened the first Eataly in Turin, Italy in 2007. Three years later, he became partners with Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich, and Lidia Matticchio Bastianich of Batali-Bastianich (B&B) Hospitality Group and opened Eataly in New York City.

Mr. Farinetti’s aim is to make high‐quality Italian foods available to everyone, at fair prices and in an environment where people can shop, eat and learn. He has certainly succeeded in attaining his goals and Eataly could not be better represented.

By Léa Lotey-Goodman

Photography credits: Léa Lotey-Goodman and Alexis Munier

9/11 Memorial

On Saturday July 7th, the Oxbridge Journalism major went to visit the National September 11 Memorial. This experience was both very emotional and memorable. Although it is extremely saddening to think that nearly 3,000 lives were lost in these terror attacks, it is also very heartwarming to see such an outstanding tribute.

By Léa Lotey-Goodman

Euphoric Tastebuds at 16 Handles

Try to remember back to the day when yogurt came in plain vanilla flavor and tasted almost like medicine. Now, fast forward to 2012, where it is available not only in frozen mode, but also in flavors such as birthday cake. Yogurt has now become the ultimate comfort food with countless creative names, sophisticated toppings and intricate flavors. 16 Handles, a self-serve frozen yogurt franchise is a true Disneyland to the yogurt lover. And luckily, last night, I had the great chance of joining this yogurt revolution by making my very first 16 Handles “creation”. Naturally, with a name like 16 Handles, this place offers sixteen flavors that rotate over the course of a year. Whether it be classic flavors (eurotart, vanilla sky, strawberry fields) or more exotic ones (chocolate love affair, strawberry lemonade and peanut butter confession); the yogurt adventurer will always be surprised by the impressive selection. The atmosphere in 16 Handles could not be more inviting. An explosion of colors has taken over the 2600 Broadway location. Most cups (which happen to be biodegradable), spoons, walls and stools are pink and green. This vibrant color palette not only makes the location fun, young and euphoric but it also makes it the summer hotspot. Here is an example of progress at its best. Why would you want to back to the days of plain medicinal yogurt when the sublime pleasure of 16 Handles lures you in from the neighborhood streets? Simply irresistible!

By Léa Lotey-Goodman