A Vaughn View
Home, home, home

Saturday, August 11, 2012

It’s now been a week since I returned to the homeland, and I never quite provided a final update or an encapsulated view on my summer.

I know I haven’t lived that long and have a great deal to learn and experience, but these last few months provided constant moments when I knew just how lucky I was – whether it was walking down 6th Ave., riding a ferry to Governor’s Island, enjoying a ballgame on Staten Island or eating great French fries at one of NY’s favorite snack spots.

And then last Saturday, I caught the plane back home. Over the course of that day, I went from the bustling streets of the big city and a final goodbye breakfast to my favorite city, Phoenix, and its southwest specialty, Carolina’s Mexican Food, for dinner. But even more so, I left the land of some ridiculous opportunities for my home, family and friends – the place that has shaped me and continues to define who I am. I love Phoenix and couldn’t be happier to be back for the next while.

I’ve enjoyed time back with my mom, dad and sister and a birthday dinner for my grandma with the cousins, aunt and uncle, on Monday, and I’ve been able to reconnect with my friend Tyler Bagley, who returned this summer from his two-year mission in Argentina. I couldn’t be gladder to have him back in the picture and around. I moved into my apartment back at The Met in Downtown Phoenix on Monday before jumping in the car with Tyler, Gerald, who is my new great roommate, and good friend Evie for California. We spent the three days in and around the beaches of L.A. with our friend Jessica Choi, who just finished up a summer internship in Burbank. After a summer around New Yorkers, it was a blessing to see the West Coast and find some refreshing peace with friends and the coast. I was even able to meet up with lifelong friend Bryce in Orange. I then spent the day yesterday with the great friends of David, Gabe, Bette and Julian for lunch, pool time and the Dbacks game. Connecting with friends and family is wonderful. Thank you, everyone, for being around. And there’s still a week until school starts! 

As for my second trip down to D.C. and my last week in New York, I had a tremendous time. Visiting the D.C. Bureau went well, and it was great to meet up again with my friend Kyle living and attending school in the city.

My final week in New York was a mad dash. If you go to NYC, I recommend these three, unconventional destinations: the New York highline, a Staten Island Yankees baseball game and an afternoon on Governor’s Island. Take the ferry to Governor’s Island on Saturday or Sunday, the only days its open, and simply walk around the place. There are swings, old homes, a beautiful, green park, a little lunch shack and not that many people. It provides an awesome view of the city skyline and the Statue of Liberty. I went over with Jessica, Stacy and Erin, and we agreed it was one of the best, and most unexpected, places in the city.

And I left an enjoyable newsroom. It’s great to have a cordial group of people to work around, especially when they’re open to embracing an intern. I’m thankful I was placed with the bureau. They were a great part of this summer – one I’ll be forever appreciative of.

Thanks, all, for keeping posted and keeping an interest in my life and activities. I honestly feel a bit forward writing all this, but I’m encouraged by you all to write in order to stay updated. So for that, I’m humbly thankful to have you in my life. Look forward to seeing everyone soon! Take care and go Dbacks!

Boston & Connecticut!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I’m back in action at work after an awesome weekend outside of NY! I headed out on the train with Jordan to Connecticut on Friday afternoon and was picked up by our wonderful friend Eric, who just moved out to Meriden with his girlfriend, Megan. They both went to ASU (Eric at Cronkite) and are just getting settled into their place. Megan has a great job out there and Eric is actively looking. They’re tremendous people, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to spend the weekend with them and Jordan.

We spent Friday evening in Meriden before heading up to Boston the next morning. We met up with two other ASU friends in Boston, Kristina and Kelly, and walked all along the streets of Boston. It was a quick trip through the city and along the harbor. The original four of us then went to the Red Sox vs. Blue Jays game at Fenway. That was my second time at the ballpark. Dad and I went back in 2007. Like Wrigley, Fenway is such an experience. It’s history. It’s classic. I love Chase Field, but the experience in other ballparks can’t stack up to that lure of Fenway and Wrigley. Red Sox lost in the latter innings, but we saw a few shots over the Green Monster. Awesome night. We then took the two hour car drive back down to Meriden.

On Sunday, we watched the collapse of Scott in the golf tournament before heading over for “steamed” cheeseburgers. And then we caught the train and departed back for New York!

I’m headed out on the megabus to D.C. this Thursday morning. I’m visiting my old workplace from last summer in the afternoon, and then I’m suiting up for a day of shadowing NBC’s D.C. Bureau. I’m very pumped to have this opportunity. I’m excited to meet people and check out the operation. I’ll head back Saturday afternoon. And then….a week from Saturday I’ll be back in the desert! One and a half weeks! Looking forward to the return and meeting up with everyone! Much love and take care!

-Vaughn :-)

Bronx Bombers!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

This was a Bronx-ful weekend! First, happy birthday though to my dad (the 12th) and grandma (14th) this week! Wish I was home for the celebrations!

There are five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx. Prior to this weekend, I had explored at least some of each. The only one I hadn’t walked around at all besides Yankee Stadium was the Bronx. So, what shall we do on Saturday?! The Bronx it is!

I headed over with Jessica, her relative Tricia and my NYU dorm friends Koko and Sam. We took the subway up to the northern portion of the Bronx near Fordham University. We’ll get to the school and its surroundings in a second, but our first destination was the “real” Little Italy on Arthur Ave. From our subway, it was about a mile and half walk, but it was nice enough outside to enjoy. And, of course, it’s cool to just see the makeup of the city. I can’t speak for all of the Bronx, but at least I’ve seen a good chunk of it, now. We went to Ann & Tony’s Italian, where I conquered a delicious manicotti. I love Italian food, so it tasted great to me. I’m not one to compare though — unless it comes to Aiello’s. I’ve got Mimi’s back. We then stopped into a little creamery for some gelato before continuing on the road toward Fordham. The Bronx isn’t the most glamorous of neighborhoods. It was a bit odd standing outside Fordham. Its campus is gated in and you have to be with a Fordham student in order to gain entry. We talked our way in anyway, and I guess she profiled us as not looking like we were going to be up to too much trouble. The campus was gorgeous and peaceful. It would be a nice place to study.

But here comes Vaughn’s observation for the week — a pretty easy one but really surprising in this day and age. The city outside of Fordham’s steel gates consists of nearly no white people. NONE. Jessica and I observed for almost ten minutes, actively looking for another white person walking up and down the VERY busy sidewalks. Think of Mill Ave. on a busy evening. That’s how many people were around. And over the course of about 10 minutes, we saw exactly ONE white person. I knew there was still racial separation in the U.S., but the divide to this extent shocked me. And especially when a university like Fordham, where, after a quick search online, about 72% of the students are white, sits in the middle of it. Our ASU campus in Downtown Phoenix is working diligently to broker a relationship between students and the downtown community. At Fordham, in the little while we were there, it appears those gates are what they appear to be — a border. A border between cultures. I’d like to understand more how much effort there is to culturally integrate the two populations.

Back though to our trip…from the Bronx, we headed over to check out the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where Jessica is living for the summer. We jumped off the subway at 125th St. in Harlem and walked through Columbia University and Morningside Park and then over to the Hudson. It was a beautiful afternoon. We capped it off with nice cold dinner smoothies.

Today, where did I go?! Back to the Bronx! This time for the Yankees vs. Angels ballgame! It was a thrilling game. The Angels pulled it off 10-8 after a bottom of the 9th scare with the Yankees scoring three and then loading the bases. Albert Pujols cracked a home run as well as Alex Rodriguez (booo), but in terms of watching a baseball classic, this was the game. Angels — with Jered Weaver on the mound — and Yanks — with Jeter in as well — in Yankee Stadium on a Sunday afternoon. And I’m headed back to the Yard for Tuesday’s game against the Blue Jays with Jordan, Stacy and her friend Erin. Can’t get too much baseball, but I am looking forward to returning to Chase and seeing the Dbacks. Were we seriously just swept by the Cubs?! I love the Cubs too, but we all know the results should not have gone their way, especially when we’re the ones chasing the pennant! And to throw my opinion in, trade Upton!

I’ll check in again soon! Take care all and have a great monsoony week! I’m sadly missing the excitement! 

Every day is a new adventure

Monday, July 9, 2012

Hey everyone! Less than a month!!

July 4…every day is a celebration, but I’ll say this: Thank goodness for that firework show. Steve Nash to the Lakers?! That was a hard one to muster. Work went well on the 4th, though. I went out on a shoot at the World Trade Center Memorial as well as into Central Park for a story on the heat. It was a bit sticky out, but this really has not been a bad summer at all out here. It’s been really beautiful for the most part. Nice temps and not too humid. I went over to my friend Stacy’s rooftop the night of the 4th for the grand firework show over the Hudson. Good time and nice firework show — except for the buildings in the way.

On Saturday, I went to the Mets vs. Cubs ballgame at Citi Field in Flushings with Jordan. Mets finished off the Cubs (surprise, surprise). The Mets’ ballpark is awesome. One of my favorites. Jordan and I then met up with my cousin Craig and friend Shayne who stopped into town from Philly. We all grabbed some philly cheese steaks from down the road.

It was great having Craig come into town. He goes to RIT up in Rochester and has an internship for this summer and until November in Ithaca. We’re representing the Hillyards on the other coast! Craig, Shayne and I met back up for breakfast Sunday morning before walking north through Chelsea up to Penn Station. We took The High Line up. It’s the old train track line that’s above ground and has since been restored into a park probably a mile and a half long. You MUST go if you roll into NYC. I’ll post a photo of it.

Craig and Shayne departed town from there, and I then took off to Staten Island for the Staten Island Yankees minor league game. The stadium is right on the water looking out onto the Manhattan skyline from across the shore. My first ever minor league game was a great time. I went with Jordan, Stacy, Jessica, Kelsea and Mikey — all ASU friends. We participated and dominated the on-the-field hoola-hoop contest. There were two teams of eight linking hands and the team had to get five hoola-hoops through everybody. Again, picture attached. I know I look like a goober in the picture with my excessive celebration. Hey, never made it to the minor leagues, so hoola-hooping on the field is the next best thing, right? We then took the ferry back to the city with it nice and nearly pitch black outside. The lights of the buildings lit up the sky and reflected off the water. Cool scene.

Another update shall come soon! Yankees/Angels game on Sunday!