Wednesday, September 5, 2012

NYC, Yogurt Summit and Farewells

The last week of work was incredibly busy. In some ways it made it easier to say goodbye because there was not much time to process the fact that the internship was over and that I was heading home. Monday I wrapped up most of the projects I had been working on and cleaned out my desk. 

Tuesday I took a trip with Paula to NYC for a tour of Roosevelt Island. We took an early morning train and slowly made our way to the island. We took a really cool tram across the water that felt almost like a ride at a theme park. We had awesome views of the city from up there, and made it over to the island in a few short minutes. We also passed a tram going back in the other direction. 

Once we got to the island we walked around for a bit and found a great restaurant to eat at. They actually had a Cornell banner up next to the table we were sitting at! The owners came over after we ate and talked to us about Cornell and how excited they were for the new NYC Tech Campus to be built. It will mean a lot of business for them. 

After we ate, we met up with a few other Cornell people from Ithaca and various offices and started a walking tour of the island. Its a very interesting place because the population there is about 10,000 so there is a whole city town on the island, complete with a little main street with a library and various stores and businesses. Many of the people who live there, work in Manhattan, and others live elsewhere and work on the island. There are a fair number of small businesses and apartment complexes there, as well as a really old hospital. Its a bit creepy from the outside actually because the building is falling apart. The new Tech Campus will be built on one end of the island and they are actually just starting to accept applications for the "beta" class of students in the Masters of Engineering project. 

Upstate NY represent! 
After the tour I rushed to take the subway to Harlem for an interview with Red Rabbit, who provides healthy school meals to over 100 schools in NYC and surrounding areas. Most of the food is sourced locally from NY and the meals is all healthy and nutritious. They do really great work with education as well, and it was a great opportunity to be able to interview with them. It was fun to hear more about their programs. 

On Wednesday I had breakfast with Dean Boor and it was really great to talk with her about her background and about agriculture and the future. She was in Albany along with many other people for Governor Cuomo's Yogurt Summit concerning the state of the Greek-style yogurt economy in upstate New York. There was yogurt served, of course, and though they ran out of spoons, the crisis was soon averted. There was much discussion about economics, whey disposal, manure management, debt per cow, the role of Cornell and SUNY, and there was talk of NY becoming the yogurt empire! They even designed a logo for the event. It was a great opportunity to meet the Cornell people who were invited.

In the afternoon I hit up the Albany Food Festival on the Empire State Plaza and got some great food, then headed home to pack! I got home later Wednesday night and it was both weird but nice to be back home again. I am excited to see what jobs come through for the future, and I am so grateful that I had this awesome experience this summer.