Working in Brooklyn

16 June to 30 June 2011

Work

The company is launching a new news website, and we are in the midst of preparing and the programmer is working on it. I was helping my boss to tidy up the press kit in Photoshop and PowerPoint and to convert it to a small size PDF suitable for online sharing.
I was finishing up my boss personal website, touching a bit of Jquery to add pagination and tabs onto the long webpages, as well as designing a new page for his book in Photoshop. He wanted a ‘theatre marquee’ kind of look, so I used Illustrator to draw out the shapes in perspective and exported to Photoshop later. I also had to play around with Jplayer to embed an audio player onto the webpages. It took me one extra day to integrate all these elements together into the book page which has many sections. Here is a screenshot of the finished webpage:

We met one of my boss’ partners and got introduced into this “internet-of-things” API called Pachube. It allows one to log data from various sources and output them into a data feed. I spent some time using PHP to play with the API to input and output data, it was pretty interesting. We intend to use this system to get data from all over the world for our website.
I also suggested to setup an internal staff blog for all the interns to share stuff, somewhat like a mini-news-group.
As part of the research regarding our website, I read up on twitter and facebook strategies, as well as finding news websites from Singapore and Malaysia, since I know them better, while other interns are collecting such websites from the rest of the world.
One of the days, our boss brought us on the field trip to watch PageOne, a documentary about the New York Times, behind the scenes of a newspaper and the possible future due to the expansion of the internet. It was a very interesting film which opened our eyes into the world behind journalism.

Around NYC

Summer is the time for parades in New York. I went to Coney Island with another intern, Hans, to see the annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade. One week later, I went to see the NYC Pride parade celebrating gay rights in Manhattan. Both parades were filled with many crazy people dressed in all kinds of costumes (or none). The Mermaid Parade had more interesting costumes especially with the ladies dressing like mermaids, while the Pride parade was part-march part-parade, as they celebrated the just-approved legalization of gay marriage in New York State. There were also many interesting vehicles and well-decorated floats, with music blasting from most of them, and dancing along the streets. It was indeed eye-opening.

Over the weeks, I also visited the many little parks within NYC, such as High Line Park, Washington Square, Union Square, Madison Square, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Prospect Park and of course, Central Park. It is nice to see pockets of greenery where people like to read, lie on the grass and sunbathe. Americans definitely love the sun more than we do since summer is only once a year. However, summer also makes the trees all green like Singapore. I also took the ferry along the East River, which offered nice views of the Manhattan skyline.

I also went to catch the Owl City concert with a friend. It was awesome. There were 2 guest bands and he didn’t come till like 9pm, while it start at 7pm. It wasn’t very well promoted, hence it wasn’t full house. The lighting design was really really good, they had 3 circular truss, with small moving LED automated lights. They form like owl eyes, also look like heart shape. The circular shape of the truss created very cool effects on the backlighting, and it was used very effectively along with the colours and smoke. I love the lights! There was also a cool part which he did a duet with a rapper guy, and the rapper was actually a video projection on stage, synced with the audio and as if they were looking at each other. Amazing stuff.

I also went to a number of churches so far, Upper Manhattan Church of Christ, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Times Square Church, and of course, HillsongNYC.

One thought on “Working in Brooklyn”

  1. Dear Colin,

    Next to read the details of your daily routine. The work sounds relax – who has the luxury to start work at 10 am except for sales personnel in Singapore! The food in NYC is too Americanised – in fact I miss Chinese food when I was in Denver for 10 days. Everyday with sandwiches or salad can be quite gelard for us, who has a wide variety of hawker food. It is good that chinatown is just one train stop away. Maybe you can cook homecook food during the weekends? But sounds like you are very busy in the weekends, doing meaningful volunteer work as well as serving in a church. Great experience, dear nephew. Will pray for your joy, health and safety everyday!

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