So I walked out of the gate at 4:52 p.m. into the musty, stank scent of LaGuardia International Airport. I’m not sure that there are too many other situations where you become more immediately aware of a change in your environment. The people are different; they swiftly maneuver through the crowded hallways wearing Yankees hats and talk amongst each other as if they’re near a loud construction site. The place is different; the cleaning crews probably make their rounds three or four times a day, but you can’t tell thanks to the thousands of dark shoe-soles that scuff across the floor and the thousands of dirty hands that glide along the railings. For anyone with sensitive hearing or an irrational fear of germs, it’s a fucking nightmare.
For me, though, it was all I needed to know I was back. I hate LaGuardia as much as the next guy, but it was the first stop on the way back in to the city I’d grown attached to last summer.
Last year, I made the mistake of packing a bit too much. It’s hard to pack for a summer; it’s longer than a vacation, but you aren’t quite moving. There’s no sense in taking some of the luxury items you use at home, but you still need to have enough clothes to get you through any array of weather you find yourself faced with. Having learned that the hard way, I just packed clothes and a few other necessities. I opted to move my flight to a Sunday so I could go to the Sublime concert at LSP on Saturday (which I ended up missing, god dammit) so I only had a few hours to round up everything I would need to get by each day. After checking into the dorm, a considerable upgrade from last year’s non-air-conditioned shithole, I walked a few blocks to a K-Mart to blow around $100 on assorted toiletries and bedding. I forgot how fucking expensive everything is here.
Walking into work again felt really, really good. AOL/HuffPost have the coolest offices I’ve ever seen and I’d missed all the quirks that made me feel like I worked in a modern art gallery. I had to go through the new-hire orientations again, but they weren’t quite as unbearable this time around because all the new interns were pretty conversational and easy to get along with. For the second year in a row, I was the only person who didn’t hail from an east-coast state and I was the only person who didn’t attend a school of 5,000 or less. I got a solid amount of confused looks whenever I’d explain how big KU actually is; I’m from a flyover state and the amount of students who attend my school quintuples the amount who attend theirs. I guess that was kind of hard for them to comprehend. It was also nice to see Tim, my editor, again (I’ll be working with him a bit closer this year). I also got to stop by and see Damon, the photographer who came with me to the skatepark to shoot the photo gallery and video package for my story on skateboarding foundations last summer, as well as Saki, the reporter I was assigned to last year. I’m a bit bummed that I won’t get to work with him again, but I’m sure that I gave him enough stress last summer, haha. We talked about getting lunch pretty soon to catch up and I’m sure it’ll be a good time.
Unfortunately, I’m not going to be able to go into a lot of detail about the work I’m doing like last year. I’m going to be copy-editing and sporadically writing for ‘Huffington. Magazine’ (available next Wednesday on the App Store, and in .pdf format, I believe) and, thanks to its once-a-week release schedule, I can’t really go around dropping spoilers about the issue before each one comes out. Rest assured, though, I’ve never been one to find myself at a loss for words and I won’t have any problems giving you something to read each time I write here.
I got to see next week’s issue during a meeting with the magazine’s development team, and it looks fuggin’ beautiful. I wasn’t really sure what to expect with this new job — aside from my days as a section editor for my high school paper, all I’d really ever done was interview people, type a bunch of words and click “submit.” I’ll probably have my fair share of slip-ups and gaffes, but I’m confident that I’ll be able to get everything down; I’m the only intern on a team of incredibly smart, talented and welcoming journalists/designers — I’ll learn a ton from each one.
Not to mention the fact that I’ll get to be in attendance at the magazine’s launch party: a huge, swanky, private event on a rooftop in the middle of the Manhattan skyline…you know, the kind of stuff you see in movies — but in real life. I’m fucking jazzed!
Today was a long one and I’m pretty pooped, so I’ll probably pack it in pretty soon. If you aren’t already, follow me on Twitter (@AJBARBROSA) and Instagram (@ajbarbosa). I’m going to try to update this as much as possible, but when funny/cool things happen to me on the run, you’ll hear it there.
As of right now, too, I’m two Twitter followers away from 400…so follow me and shit.
All the best