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Fall 2015 Orientation Recap: Alumni, Advice and Lots of Good Food

If you’ve ever moved to a new city, then you know just how nerve-wracking those first few days can be. New smells, sights and sounds, coupled with new methods of transportation and a whole lot of people can be intimidating for any first-time New Yorker. But, if you’ve ever been in that position, then you also probably know there’s no better remedy for a serious case of the new-to-NYC butterflies than to be welcomed into the city by friendly faces and some good food. The Fall 2015 Newhouse NYC orientation gave us just that: the chance to meet incredible Newhouse alumni and indulge in delicious New York cuisine.

On Thursday, August 27, we heard from Matt Schwartz (Senior Account Executive at DeVries Global), Allison Chesky (Associate Fashion Editor at Real Simple) and Marina Vaynerman (Associate Account Executive at Turner Broadcasting System) about their favorite places to eat in the city during the “Dine Like a New Yorker” panel. From breakfast at Oatmeals to lunch at one of the city’s countless food trucks (Comme Ci Comme Ca is on the top of my list!) and dinner at Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque to dessert at Sweetery, I think it’s safe to say—parents, take comfort—we won’t be going hungry this semester.

dine like a nyc

After working up an appetite trying to jot down all of the panelists’ mouthwatering restaurant recommendations, we headed over to Joe’s Shanghai for lunch. Speaking from experience, I can now confidently say there is no better way to bond with a new group of peers than by completely embarrassing yourself trying to figure out how to eat a soup dumpling. It was totally worth it.


After lunch, we headed across the street to Momofuku Milk Bar for dessert, where we got to pick from their famous cereal milk soft serve, a compost cookie or birthday cake truffles. I picked the truffles, as they came highly recommended by Matt. What a way to start the semester!

milk bar

Friday, August 28, brought more sage advice from alumni at the “Becoming a New Yorker” panel. Lindsay Silberman (Senior Editor at DuJour), Kate Law (Senior Copywriter at J. Crew) and Jon Erwin (Digital Video Manager at Syfy) deserve a huge “thank you” for sharing so many invaluable tips with us about how to adapt to the city and become successful interns. We all walked away feeling better prepared for our first days and the semester ahead. And we’re ready to treat every task we’re given—no matter how big or how small—with the same amount of love.

new yorker panel

Following the panel, we got to meet and eat lunch (make-your-own burrito bowls from Dos Toros Taqueria) with our mentors, amazing Newhouse alumni working in our respective fields of interest. The subway ride home was spent hoping that, one day, we’ll all be half as cool as our mentors.

dos toros

While I may not yet know how to hail a taxi or which direction to walk when I get off the subway, these last few days of eating good food with incredibly talented alumni have taught me, among other things, that you can’t go wrong in this city. There truly is something for everyone waiting around every corner, and the only way to find it is to get out and explore. Learning as you go is the real New York way.

Leah Fagen, Newhouse NYC student and junior PR major

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