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Summer’s over?! Alright, I guess I had to head back to Iowa at some point…

If you’re ever considering a move to the city, even just to try it out, DO IT. It may come as a surprise but I actually hated NYC in the beginning. I thought it was mayhem, like most people. But I also never strayed too far from Times Square. Biggest mistake. I don’t know how this city does it, but it’s won me over. Not just me, but anybody and everybody who lives here.

Somehow, I got lucky enough to intern at one of the best hospitality design firms, Rockwell Group, as an architecture intern two summers in a row. I couldn’t be more grateful and so happy I can add NYC to the list of places I call home.

This summer and last summer were a little different. Last summer, I set out to do anything and everything the city had to offer. I touristed hard core. My favorite days were when I set out with no agenda and stumbled upon the cutest streets and neighborhoods. Or rented a citibike for the day and biked along the Hudson river. I explored.

This summer, I explored more. But my options opened up a little bit more…

I brunched at rooftops. I happy hour-ed. I listened to live music. If you haven’t figured it out already, I was 21 this summer. The bank account was not a fan..

Everyday is a new adventure here. Well, time permitting. When you sign up for New York, you sign up for the rough hours too. Or maybe that’s an architecture thing. There were weeks where leaving at 9 was the norm and all I wanted was my bed. But the days I got off early, I never went straight back home. I felt guilty if I did!

I have so many wonderful memories over these last 2 summers and I can’t describe nor have a photo for every one of them, but I can do my best to try and describe my overall experience here.


Let’s begin where it all started. My summer family, Rockwell Group.


Working in any industry in the Big Apple is DEMANDING. Architecture was no different. Hours are tough and pretty sure I’m slowly going blind. Thankfully, I had the sweetest and most welcoming team that was ever ready to help me transition from college to the real world.

Plus, dogs at work made it easier! yes, dogs. Seriously impressed with the office productivity considering the amount of cuddle – seeking dogs parading their fluff around the office!


My daily walk. You find all sorts of characters at Union Square – grown adults in leotards, hare krishna people, child musicians, you name it. It was never easy to enter the office!

Happy hours after work with this view? Don’t mind if I do!



During the summer, we happy hour-d. Our office was big on happy hours. The rooftops of NY are possibly the best thing about this city! You just can’t have a better view to be sippin’ pina coladas to!

Plus, we needed inspiration for the rooftops we were designing, right? It was all in the name of work, ok! Did I mention I got to design rooftops this summer? My new fav summer rooftop brunch will be ready Summer 2018 and my new fav rooftop ice rink will be ready Winter 2018!


Finding my neighborhood coffee shop was the day I felt like a true East Village resident! Amidst the crazy day to day life of living in New York, finding a place you could camp out for hours with a cup of coffee and your laptop made all the difference.


My location spoiled me.

EHS┬ástudent housing makes it great for people who don’t know a soul in the city aka people like me. They have summer intern housing locations all over the city and its essentially like an on campus apartment. PLUS, heavily discounted tickets to baseball games and broadway shows (ALADDIN, HELLO?!).

Don’t miss out on the $15 tickets to major league baseball game.

Perks of living in NYC:


EVERYBODY wants to visit you. 4 years in Iowa, not a single visitor! 7 weeks in New York, 4 visitors!!


Sundays are for rooftop brunches with a side of live jazz music. Well, SUNDAY. Because I was broke after just one of them.

That’s when the dollar pizza and the halal cart guys become your BFF’s. #cheapfood


Fruit carts and farmers markets also become your best friends.


Sometimes, you might even be lucky enough to meet famous producers and have a drink with them. This was the night we randomly bumped into the producers of The Fast & Furious and The Blade Runner.


NY parks are pretty awesome.

I just love the feeling of sitting in massive patches of grass while also being encircled by some of the tallest skyscrapers.


Bryant Park has free wifi. Forget coffee shops, this should’ve been my go to place to work!


I fell asleep at Central Park once – seemed like the New York thing to do.

When I wasn’t working late at the office, I made it a point to just never go straight home. Even if it meant just sitting in the park for a couple minutes, getting lost in the busyness that surrounds. There’s an inherent energy in this city that just compels you to stay out.


And if you thought getting around NY is intimidating, don’t worry there’s plenty of options!


Give it one summer here, or heck, even a couple days, and you’ll be riding the metro like a New Yorker. The day I graduated to using the subway without google maps felt like my life’s biggest accomplishment. Didn’t take me long to then screw up the whole uptown/downtown thing but that’s a whole nother’ issue.


Citibikes are pretty great too, well for parks. The big streets, no. A little too stressful and terrifying for my liking!


My personal favorite was via kayak


But then there’s the buildings! oh, the buildings. & the views that come with it!


It’s easy to forget that you’re an architecture student living in basically the best city in the world. But then you look up and see sights like this…


Or this. Realizing that as an architect, that I was basically redesigning the skyline of New York, was a pretty surreal feeling.



But the night I will never forget is this one. The night we took a cab to the Brooklyn Bridge at 3am and watched the city lights sparkle till dawn.


After living in Europe, I wasn’t sure if there was an American city that could compare. Once you’ve traveled, lived in other countries, and caught that travel bug, finding a city where you could genuinely say “I think I’d be alright here for a couple years” is tough.

But I think I might have found that city. Kudos, NYC, for giving European living a run of its money. Hopefully, I’ll be back next year, full – time!


And, if you’re an architecture student, wondering what I worked on this summer or curious about internships in the city, feel free to contact me:


Bye, for now! x





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