So after much confusion and ambiguity surrounding the status of my visa and whether I’d ever make it out to New York at all…I’m here! Here to commence my placement as Media Intern at the Moth, a most fascinating and wonderful non-profit organisation dedicated to the art and craft of live storytelling.
Following a very early start to drive to Heathrow last Sunday, after what seemed like a few very short hours later I found myself standing on the taxi rank of JFK, both amazed and impressed I’d actually arrived, and hailing a cab to go to my rented apartment in Brooklyn.
Brooklyn is a strange and intriguing place. Probably best compared to Shoreditch or Camden in London, it is sharply distinctive and seems to boast its own identity. From the sprawling yellow side-streets, cool and cute cafés and deli shops on each corner and surprisingly luscious trees lining the sidewalks of Bedford Avenue (yeah, sidewalks, not pavements), to the rooftop bars lined with colourful strings of bare light-bulbs and the undeniable character of youth, all creating a powerful catalyst for artistry and personality in many forms.
I can’t wait to tell you more.
This week I’ve been living in a shared apartment with another UoB student, who is also working for the Moth as a Production Intern. It’s fair to say that she has been my saviour in many ways this past week! Since arriving in the US a week prior to myself, before my appearance she had already negotiated the challenges of finding a place to live in an unknown city, absorbing a new and different culture, AND learning to navigate the subway, all on top of beginning a sought-after internship whilst plagued with jet-lag. Basically, my hat goes off to her, and I’m not sure how I would have managed to deal with all of the above without her being here!
By far a highlight of my first week in New York was the Moth’s weekly StorySLAM, which was held at the Housing Works Bookshop Café, a small non-profit bookstore where all takings go towards the Housing Works Charity. Hosted by Dan Kennedy, who led us through the evening with his smooth compére style and wonderfully dry wit, the theme for the SLAM was ‘Refuge’, featuring stories from ten brave open-mic tellers who waited in anticipation for their names to be pulled from a hat – rather them than me! One by one they shared with the audience what the theme meant to them individually and where they had found ‘refuge’ in their lives.
I’m really excited to see what the Moth has got in-store for me over the next few weeks. Just my first few days here have been incredible and I can’t wait to really get into the swing of working, exploring and living in this great city. For live updates on what I’ve been getting up to, follow me on Twitter @annamairi, and check out http://www.themoth.org and @themoth too. I’m currently in the process of setting up my Tumblr account as a place to post some more of my photos, so I’ll link you to that soon. Until next time, have a look at the ones below, and I hope you have a story-worthy week.