Thursday, May 31, 2012

Two-weeks update planned for next week!

There will be a huge blog update from the last two last to weeks, next week. I'm caught in back-to-back meetings and have to finish my management report in time! Next week you'll all read about the last weekend in the city, my visit to west point, the insanely great and warm weather, my last days of my internship... and plenty more to come!

I'm leaving for Belgium on sunday the 3nd of June and will be landing in Belgium on monday at 8am in the morning. Thanks also for sticking around and reading my updates!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Time is ticking away...

The last weeks have been really intense here at the office: back-to-back meetings, radio show for Doc Rick, meeting with B&B Pools and Spa, meeting with K-Bear. And on top of that I had to write my management report. This weeks wasn't different from all the others. However,  I accomplished something of which I never thought I could do it. More on that in the following blogpost. 

On monday we had our weekly meeting with the guys from K-Bear. The four-to-six week Go-To-Market  Strategy has come to a final stage, but there are still many things to be discussed. It's very exciting for me how this will all turn out. As there are only two weeks left here, I might not be able to see the outcome of the meetings. But I really hope so!

On tuesday I set a big challenge for myself; a challenge which involves perseverance and dedication: 24hour without Facebook. There is a program on my computer called: self-control. It's the perfect program while studying for your exams. You just set the desired time, add a website (e.g. Facebook) to the 'blacklist' and the program blocks Facebook for your desired time. Anyway back to my challenge: it was hard, but I managed to bring it to good end. I'll definitely consider to do that more often. 

On wednesday morning we had to record two radio shows with Doc Rick. The first radio show was a phone interview with David Lerner, a holistic dentist from California. The second radio show was about the benefits of vegan food. In the afternoon we worked at the office on K-Bear, B&B Pools and Spa, Management report... 

Thursdays and fridays were just normal days at the office, so nothing special to report here. However, we got a phone call from Marshall saying that he would stay another week on the west coast, as he had plenty of meetings to attend to. 

During the weekend, I met with Alexandre to go to a cool sports bar to watch the Champions League Finale between Bayern Munich and Chelsea FC. The bar was crowded with blue shirts, drinking beer, supporting their team. It was madness. There were only a dozen of Bayern fans in the bar. Here are some pictures of the afternoon. Luckily for us there was a guy who sold beers for only three dollars a piece; which was a huge deal for us. As the bar was crowded and as beers were six dollars, it would take us a lot of time before we got beer. 

It was really nice game but ooo sooo tense. When Drogba scored the winning goals, the bar was going crazy. People throwing their plastic cups in the air, jumping and screaming all over the place. It was insane, a really nice experience! The sports bar was: Legends at Football Factory. A big sports bar on 33rd street between 5th and 6th avenue.

Afterwards I went for take out and ate it in bryant park. The weather was beautiful that day, so it was really nice to hang out there. I also Skyped my parents from there and made them really jealous. I didn't spend the night in the city as I was tired as hell, so I headed back to Cold Spring around 8pm.

Another cool week and weekend has come to an end here. There are less than two weeks left here in Cold Spring, so the time is ticking away here! I'll be back in Belgium in the beginning of June!

Thanks again to all the people who keep reading my blog! Stay tuned and best of luck studying for your exams!

Friday, May 18, 2012

The one with all the Belgians

I hope you all enjoyed reading my last post. Not that much time left for me here in Cold Spring. In only a three short weeks I'm back in Belgium - I'm flying back to Belgium on 2nd of June. I sure am going to miss it here. Don't worry, still three more awesome weeks to go. To all the people studying in Belgium: best of luck, you'll sure do a great job on your exams!!!

On monday we had a 5(!) hour meeting scheduled with K-Bear. A varied meeting in which we discussed lot's of important topics on the Go-To-Market Strategy. The meeting was interrupted by a former Intern from Denmark came by to say visit MKTworks. His name is Jacob and he was an intern here in 2010. It was really nice to hear how he did his internship.

On Tuesday Marshall was caught up in meetings in the Manhattan, while Marc and Me headed down to our weekly meeting with B&B Pools and Spa. Afterwards we headed back to the office to finalize a first draft of my management report, which was due the next day.

Doc Rick wasn't back yet from his trip to the mediterranean, so there was only one radio scheduled for wednesday. As I had to finish up my report, Marshall dropped me off at the office and drove to Poughkeepsie to host the radio-show. In the afternoon we had two meeting scheduled. A first meeting was a lunch meeting with the guys hosting the Facebook page for B&B Pools and Spa. We had lunch in a Chinese restaurant and it was really good food they served. Afterwards we had another meeting in Ramsey, NJ with a contractor/ architect who helped design that kick-ass pool I was talking about in one of my previous blogposts.

On thursday we went to Beacon to see the grandson of Ron competing in a running game. It was a running competition amongst juniors with other schools in the area. Here are some pictures from that same evening. The first pictures was the running game. The second pictures is the picture covering the mailbox at the office with my name on it. When driving back home I also shot a beautiful picture of the sky that day, wonderful don't you think?

On friday I had to drive Marshall to JFK-airport as he was leaving for California to attend business meetings on the West Coast. It was also the first day of the week where the sun was shining high up in the sky. Luckily there were almost no traffic jams, so it was a smooth ride. While entering the airport, I saw the gigantic Boeing 747 with the Spaceshuttle on top. As I was driving, I couldn't take a picture; too bad.


For the weekend I had plans to attend 'Belgian Nights Volume 4', organized by the Belgian American Chamber of Commerce (BELCHAM) in the RdV lounge in Meat packing district.

It was a nice sunshiny day on saturday and a nice warm temperature. When I arrived in the city around 2pm, I had barely anything to eat. My plan was to have lunch in 'White Castle', famous from the movie 'Harold and Kumar: Go To White Castle'. The sliders weren't that good but the fries were ok. Here's a picture of my lunch.

Afterwards I wandered around in the city looking for some cool things to do. Apparently there was a movie shooting on 5th avenue with Ben Stiller in it. The movie is called: 'the secret life of Walter Mitty' I didn't see Ben Stiller, but I did saw some stunts being performed: crashing cars, chase scene. Here are some picture I've shot from the surroundings.

Afterwards I took the subway to my hostel on the upper west side to check in.  I found a hostel for only 27$/ night. If you are in the city and looking for a cheap place to crash: International Student Center on 38 west 88th street (Between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue). There were 8 big rooms in the hostel, each with 10 bunk beds and communal washing facilities.

I freshened up a little for the party and took the subway downtown to Meat Packing District where I grabbed a bit to eat and to wait for Alexandre and Alexandre to join me to the party. The party began at 9pm and starting from that moment there was free Stella Artois, Duvel and Palm. So it was a great party. It turned out even greater as a friend of mine studying in New York attended the same party. It was really nice catching up with him and meeting his friends. They are doing a One-year Masters program in which they study in three countries in three different continents: Belgium, India and the U.S. This is probably going to be the option for my Master degree. We'll see.

The party ended at ended at 3am and I headed back to my hostel with the subway. The next morning I had to wake-up before 10am as Check-out was foreseen at 10am. It was another beautiful day in the city: high temperatures and beautiful weather. I decided not to take public transport and walked all the way down to Grand Central through Central Park and 5th avenue. On the way I ate a delicious Real Belgian waffle from 'Wafels & Dinges'.

I took the train back to Cold Spring at 1pm and spent the rest of the day cleaning my apartment, writing my thesis and watching a tv-show.

Stay tuned for some more stories!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ninth (!) week already...

First of all, sorry for waiting so long to post some new content on the first week of May. My week so far was jam-packed with meetings and assignments for school and work. But here it is, without further or due the content on the first week of may. I have also decided to bring you the story in a rather different way. The workweek won't be as extensive as it was before, as every week barely differs from one another; the weekends however will be more elaborate.

The week started of with a very interesting meeting with the executive team from K-Bear. As I started writing my management report, I fully participated in the meeting to get as much information out of this as possible. We also scheduled a meeting with them for tuesday afternoon.

It has also been quite some time we met with the guys from b&b pools, so we went to Chestnut ridge on tuesday. In the afternoon we had another meeting scheduled with K-Bear where we worked on mapping the results of the WOTS-UP analysis to the Marketing mix (price, place, product and promotion).

Wednesday is normally radio day, but as Doc Rick is cruising the mediterranean for two weeks, Marshall had to do it by himself. He dropped my off at the office and drove to Poughkeepsie to host an interview with a raw-food specialist in California. The rest of the day we spent at the office working both on my management report and office stuff. In the evening Marshall took me to a delicious italian restaurant on Main Street: Cathryn's Tuscan Grill where I had a delicious linguini seafood platter.

Thursday was a quiet day at the office, which gave me plenty of time to work on my notes for K-Bear and try integrating them in my management report. This report is due end of May and has to contain 10000 words. I'm afraid I will be exceeding that number as I have so stuff to write on. Ron also checked in at the office after three weeks of absence. It was really nice seeing him again as he helped my with some research for K-Bear.

On friday we were invited by the wife of Marc to watch her play in Garrison. The play is called 'The Way of the World' and was a really good play with a lot of energy, humor and activity on the stage. I was glad I accepted the invitation to watch because the cast did an awesome job. Sometimes it was difficult for me to understand the language they were talking as it was in shakespearean english. Afterwards we congratulated the cast and went for a big to eat in the riverview restaurant. Here are some pictures of the play.


On saturday it was 'Cinco de Mayo' which is a famous holiday for the mexicans to commemorate the Mexican army's unlikely victory over the French forces at the Battle of Pueble on May 5, 1862. This day is both commemorated and celebrated by Mexicans and Americans. I was invited by Alexandre to go to the city and join the party - which was going on all day long - on the '230 Rooftop bar' on fifth avenue. There wasn't really a party going on there, so we just had a beer ($9) and were soon on our way to another bar where the beer wasn't that expensive. Here is the magnificent view you had from up there; too bad the weather was cloudy that day.

Afterwards we went to the brewhouse where we had a few drinks and watched the game of FC Barcelona and Espanyol. The game was not important anymore but it was to honor and say goodbye to Pep Guardiola. We also surfed the internet for some nice places to go in the evening and we stumbled upon a nice place near Bryant park where the bear was cheap and the ambiance was good. The party only started at 9pm, so I went looking for a hostel to stay the night and went for dinner to the BXL Belgian Café afterwards.

Near Bryant park there was a new TV-show being shot; a new HBO show called Newsroom. There weren't any famous actors - maybe soon to-be - playing in the show. I'll definitely check out the premiere to see what it is about.

Afterwards we went to the bar where the 'cinco de mayo' party was held. The concept of the party was really cool: you received a piece of paper with a spanish question on it and you had to find the girl with that same question but then in English. Once you have find your match, you received a free drink. The concept was really great, however the age difference was big. We stayed there for about two hours and met a Spanish guy who lived lived in New York.

Afterwards we wandered around looking for a bar to drink some beer and have some fun. We came across several bars, but none of them seemed fun. Eventually we found a place on 7 E36st street between madison and 5th avenue. The pub was called: Downtown Galway Hooker (For those of you who think I went to a strip club, Galway Hooker is a traditional sailing boat used in Galway Bay off the coast of Ireland) which is a nice crowded bar with a good atmosphere and ambiance. Here is a  picture of the atmosphere of the bar. It was 3am when we got out of dodge and wanted to see how the most crowded place in New York looked like by night: Times Square. It was really great to walk there at night; except for maybe 100 people it was an empty place. It was soooo great walking there, knowing that during the day you'd be run over by tourists.

It was 4am when I arrived at the hostel and went to bed immediately. The next morning I woke up at 10.30am, as I had to check out at 11am, and I headed directly to Grand Central Station to take the train back to Cold Spring. I spent the rest of the day watching series, catching up on some reading and writing my management report. So another week has gone by here. I begin to realize that my internship is nearing its end, only three more weeks left. But that means three more weeks to enjoy my time here and grasp every opportunity with two hands.

See you next week with more stories of my life here.

Monday, April 30, 2012

2/3 of my internship, one month left!

Last week of April already and it was, how could it be otherwise, a very nice week. Last week a good friend of my parents visited the City for business and he invited me to have dinner and drink some beers afterwards.

I also bought tickets to see a New York Red Bull Football game during the weekend. The time-in between was filled with visiting clients, attending meetings and finishing work for school. Last but not least: My blog hit 1500 page views; a number I didn't even expected to hit after only 2 months. So a big thank you to all of you who keep on reading my stories! I really appreciate this!

Monday, 23/04/2012

One thing was for sure after going through the agenda for this week: it wasn't going to be a normal one. On monday we went visiting the warehouse where all the K-bear products were going to be labelled and stored. It wasn't a trip nearby,  a 1h30 drive to Port Jervis; a city where the borders of three states met at one point: New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

The warehouse itself was an old place who served as an auction shop. It was a big warehouse with plenty of place to store your labeling machine and products. So it definitely has the potential of becoming something nice. In the garage of the warehouse old cars were parked, which was really nice to see. I also took some pictures.

In the afternoon we drove back to Cold Spring to drop of Marc and headed directly to the city as Marshall had an important meeting to attend to. I met with Marc, the friend of my parents. While I was driving, Marshall was caught up in work and didn't pay attention the road. There is speed limit of 55mph but as there was almost no traffic I was speeding 77mph. Unfortunately there was a cop car on the side of the road, the moment I drove by. Result: I got pulled over.

Luckily I didn't get a speeding ticket for this. This is mostly thanks to Marshall as he was smooth talking the cop by saying that I was an intern from Belgium and that his uncle was a state-trooper as well. Not so far down the road we spotted two Parkway troopers in the bushes. When being pulled over by Parkway troopers, you won't get out without a ticket; even worse they escort you to the closest Police department and make you pay the fine cash.

Once in the city Marshall went to his meeting and I took the subway downtown to the Conrad hotel where Marc was staying. We had a beer in the hotel lobby and made reservation in 'The River Café' under the Brooklyn Bridge. That restaurant was just phenomenal: exquisite food, the most beautiful view on the Manhattan skyline and nice interior of the restaurant! Here are some pictures of that night.


I spent the night at the hotel as I didn't want to take the train back to Cold Spring that late. I also had to take care of the broken iPhone for my cousin on tuesday morning.

Tuesday, 24/04/2012

In the morning we went to the Apple Store on 5th avenue to get my cousin's iPhone 4s replaced. Luckily this wasn't an issue and replaced the phone just like that. Afterwards my friend had to go to a convention, so I thanked him for the lovely dinner and went back on my way.

Marshall had to be in the city as well later that day. So I took the liberty of walking around in the city and visiting the set of 'The Bitter Pill' hoping to spot Jude Law or Catherina Zeta Jones. Luckily for me I got to see Jude Law but unfortunately he didn't have time/didn't want to take any pictures. However I did take a picture of him crossing the road.

In the afternoon I went to a pub to see the CL semi-finals between FC Barcelona and Chelsea. I only could stay for 30 minutes as Marshall was ready to leave the city to drop a client of at Newark airport. Too bad Barcelona didn't go through that night, it hasn't been their season this year.

In the evening we went dining in a Portuguese restaurant in New Jersey. We ordered a delicious sea-food plate for two persons, of which a picture is shown here below.

Afterwards we headed back to Cold Spring, picked up my stuff at the office and went to bed almost instantly.

Wednesday, 25/04/2012

As Marshall was very busy in the office in the morning and had to go New Jersey in the afternoon, me and Marc had to do the radio shows for that day. The first radio show was about sleeping and mattresses, I was so tired that day that I almost fell asleep during that show. Luckily I wasn't snoring and Marc gave a push so that I'd wake up.
In the afternoon I was alone in the office, so I worked on an assignment for school. As I didn't have a car, I had to wait until Marshall got home from his meeting; which arrived at the office around 7pm.

Thursday, 26/04/2012

Again I was left alone at the office. Marc and Marshall had an important meeting in Gloversville, 120miles north of Cold Spring. I was at the office and had to work on a spreadsheet for K-bear and catching up on some school work. In the morning I also had to drive to Fishkill to pick up the parents of Marc and drive them back to Cold Spring. So it was a normal day at the office, which ended around 9pm.

Friday, 27/04/2012

In the morning I had a Skype call scheduled with school to follow up my work performances and to comment on the work I have completed so far. Afterwards my mentor wanted to talk to Marshall concerning his finding on my performances; lucky for me he was and still is very happy having me here.

At 9am we had a three-hour meeting in Monroe with K-bear. It was an interesting an exciting meeting who was also very important for my management report.

In the afternoon we had a lunch scheduled with the person maintaining the Facebook page for BBPools, but this got canceled. So we drove back to the office and worked hard on the Go-to market strategy for K-bear. I also ordered tickets for a soccer match on saturday: New York Red Bulls vs. New England Revolution.

I spent the evening watching a movie and went to sleep as this was a rather tiring work week.

Saturday, 28/04/2012

I wasn't going to go and watch the soccer game by myself, I met with Alexandre at Grand Central Station around 1pm (kickoff was at 3:30pm). The Red Bull Arena is situated in New Jersey, so we had to take the train from Penn Station to Newark Penn Station. From there we walked around trying to find the stadium and failed to find it, so we took a cab there.



The Red Bull arena is really a beautiful stadium, having a capacity of 25.000 people. It was quite an experience going to an American Soccer game. People experience it in a whole other way, as European do. In Belgium for instance, we have the bad tendency to mock the referee, players and supporters of the opposing team. Here this wasn't the case: nobody complaint to the referee, the supporters from the opposing team weren't put in a cage as we are in Belgium, not even that much stewards surrounding them. They stood there amongst the other spectators. It was pretty cool to see.

The game itself was a rather boring game, but the Bulls did win by a nice goal of Thierry Henry. Too bad he got injured after 20minutes in the game. It was a really nice to see how americans experience soccer matches as well as the intensity of the game itself; it isn't that tough. When visiting New York, look for some tickets and go watch a game; It's worth going doing.

I returned back to Cold Spring around 8pm, had a three cheese pizza in the restaurant and went to bed afterwards.

Sunday, 29/04/2012

Sundays are lazy days for me. I slept out, watched some movies, cleaned my apartment, did my laundry, wrote my blog and went for dinner in the evening. Pretty exciting right, hè!

As I'm writing and updating my blog I began to realize how fast time goes here; only one month left for me in the USA. But that's down the road, until then you read more adventures on my blog!

Stay tuned!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Let the second half begin...

I am already over the half of my internship, so let the second half of an exciting and crazy period begin! In this week's blog: crazy weather conditions in Cold Spring, trying to get back in shape by running and meeting David Duchovny on the set of Californication in New York City.

Monday, 16/04/2012

When looking through the weather forecasts for that week, I barely realized how warm it was going to be that week. Here is a screenshot of the weather forecast of my iPhone. As you can see, crazy weather. Mark said that this weather is unusual for the time of the year. The year before, the average temperature was 15-16° Celsius. This year on the other hand, the average has increased by 7°C.

As you can see the temperature for monday rose to 32(!) degrees. Some weather forecast can be inaccurate in guessing the temperature, but that day they didn't lie. It really was insanely hot outside, while in Belgium temperatures were allegedly fluctuating between 10-11° C.

That day we had, instead of regular tuesdays, a meeting with B&B Pools and Spa during which we discussed the results of Hubspot and the new postcards. Back at the office, I worked on some school work concerning my management report, while Mark had to leave earlier as he had to pick up his children from school.

Tuesday, 17/04/2012

That day I had to go to the city by myself to attend the 'CO-OP and Condo Expo' in the Hilton Hotel. The expo wasn't really related to Marketing and advertising, moreover it was about Building management, security systems, insurance companies...

This expo was related to Enviro Tech Services (ETS), a client we are dealing with in California specialized in organic degreasers. I had to go in an acquire more information about what's already out there, what is used to clean large apartments and offices.

Afterwards I went for something to eat, McDonalds and headed back home afterwards. By the time I got in Cold Spring it was around 7pm, headed back home went for a delicious 3-cheese Pizza in the restaurant. After diner I watched the movie 'Inside Job' which is a really interesting movie on the scandals in Wall Street, the global crisis in 2009 and the big exuberant salaries of the consulting companies and banking services in Wall Street.

Wednesday, 18/04/2012

Just like any other wednesday we had a radio show hosted by Doctor Richar Huntoon. The show was a telephone phone interview with Susan Koening, about walking properly and how we can all benefit from doing everyday tricks to improve this. Unlike most wednesdays, we only had one radio show to host. So by 11am we were back in the office to prepare for a meeting with K-bear in the afternoon.

The meeting was a very interesting one as we did the goal-setting process for the company. After which we started doing a SWOT-analysis in which we assessed the internal Strengths and Weaknesses as well as the external opportunities and threats. It was a very interesting meeting for me as this is crucial for my Management report.

As the weather was so nice that day, I went for a run in the evening. It was a nice run alongside a new parcours I have mapped out. Afterwards I went for a nice dinner in the restaurant and read in the biography of Steve Jobs afterwards.

Thursday, 19/04/2012

On thursday I was alone at the office, as Mark had a doctor's appointment in the morning and a meeting/interview with clients in the afternoon. That day I also overslept myself a bit, so I checked in later  at the office, just in time to receive a call that the meeting Marc had scheduled for this afternoon were cancelled and to be rescheduled.

Nothing special happened that day. I was working on some work for school combined with work for the office. In the evening I went for another run to blow of some steam. I ran 6k in a little more than 30 minutes. I have to say that I felt really great afterwards!

Friday, 20/04/2012

On friday we had our second meeting scheduled with K-Bear at 2 o'clock in the afternoon, in which we finished the goal setting process and continued on the SWOT analysis. Again this was a very interactive meeting where I got to give some input in the conversation. I learned a lot from this meeting and can't wait until the following meeting.

It was a perfect day who didn't end very well as my iPhone 4 fell down on the ground while exiting the car. Result: glass was scattered. An enormously huge bummer! Luckily I went to the city on saturday to get the glass replaced in the Apple store. Here is a photo of the scattered screen.

Saturday, 21/04/2012

I already planned ahead this day on thursday as I, while reading through my tweets, came across an interesting tweet that Californication was filming in the city on saturday. Also FC Barcelona was playing 'El Clasico', a game I wouldn't miss for the world.

I arrived in the city around noon and went straight to the Apple store in Grand Central to check my iPhone. When you have a broken screen, they don't replace the screen on the premises, they just replace your phone with a new one. This service isn't free of course, I had to pay a price of 160$, which btw was totally worth.

Afterwards I headed to the set of Californication to see the legendary Hank Moodie in action. As time was nearing 2pm, I headed to a local pub to see FC Barcelona in action. Too bad of course the game (and probably the title) was won by Real Madrid. It wasn't just the season of FC Barcelona.

During the game Alexandre came to join me to have a few beers and grab a bite to eat. Afterwards we went looking for the set of Californication, and found it eventually. They were shooting the life of Hank Moodie before moving to California. So good news for the fans: there will be a 6th and probably a 7th season.

Once on the set, I got to see the legend myself. And even have a picture with him, which is just awesome!! Without further or due, here are the pictures.

Afterwards we went visiting the set of 'Kill your darlings' where we spotted the one and only Harry Potter. Too bad he didn't want to take a picture with his biggest fan lol. It was really nice seeing David Duchovny (Hank Moody), Karen and Daniel Radcliffe.

I returned back home around 9pm and went to bed almost immediately as I had to wake up early to pick up Marshall at JFK Int'l Airport at 7am.

Sunday, 22/04/2012

During the night, it was a stormy night: wind was blowing, the sky was pouring rain, and lightning & thunder made the whole picture complete. Luckily for me I slept through all that and woke up fresh and lively at 5u30am. Lucky for me it was a sunday and there was almost no traffic on the road. It took my about 1h30 min to arrive at JFK. I picked up Marshall and we were soon back on our way too Cold Spring. On the road he told me about his week and California, who was jam-packed with meetings. He also let me now he would go back to JFK the same day to pick up a client from California later that day.

Even though it was a sunday and raining as hell, I decided to go with him to the office and afterwards to JFK. Here are some pictures of how rainy and cloudy the day was that day; it was insane. Btw I had to drive in this weather on the New York highways.


We picked the client up around 5pm and drove to Pelham Heights where his uncle lived. Once there we were invited a little snack, which turned out the be a nice dinner. The uncle was Asa Aarons, who is a famous reporter for CBS. The food was really great, so was their hospitality.

Afterwards I drove back to Cold Spring in the pouring rain, on very bad constructed roads with almost no lights on the road. Luckily we made it safe and sound in Cold Spring. It was a rather normal week, but a weekend where I got to see three celebrities!

Stay tuned for more stories!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

End of first half at Cold Spring...

I hope you all enjoyed reading my previous post on my family visiting the city. My previous post gave you also the chance to virtually meet my lovely family. Time is rushing by hear as I am already nearing the half of my internship. It has been great so far, and the prospects for the second half are looking really exciting as we are working on a new client, as I made Belgian friends in the city, as the weather is getting better and better everyday. This also means more awesome stories for you to read! 

Monday, 09/04/2012

Easter Monday in USA, but it is business as usual here in Cold Spring. Even though no meetings were scheduled for that day, I still had plenty of work to do. While I was doing research on the competitors for K-bear, Marshall was making phone calls back and forth to California; for him a busy day as well.

While I was in the city, Marshall finally switched from Blackberry to iPhone 4S. He’s never been happier with his new cell-phone. In the beginning he wasn’t really happy about it as he worked with Blackberry for a long time. But once I showed him what cool stuff could be done with this, he began to use it non-stop. We also joked around his new girl friend called ‘Siri’ by asking her question like: ‘will you marry me’, ‘what is the meaning of life’, where can I dump a body’ and many other cool questions. The answers were just hilarious.

In the evening we ate some delicious sliders in the ‘Whistling Willies’ on Main Street and went almost straight to bed afterwards.

Tuesday, 10/04/2012

On Tuesday we had our every week meeting with B&B Pools and Spa in the afternoon. The weather that day wasn’t that good that day: rainy and cloudy weather. Ever since the moment I arrived in the USA up until now the weather has been really great; not many rainy or stormy days, with relatively high temperatures. From what my parents told me time to time, the weather in Belgium hasn’t been that great.

Last year the relative temperature was down with 7°C compared to the relative temperature we are experiencing now. So far I have had nothing to complain about.

On our way back home we stopped in a new in Garrison called Garrison Café. They have an excellent bakery there with some allegedly – am not a coffee drinker – delicious coffee. I had a Chocolate croissant, which was just delicious. I’ll definitely come back there for breakfast.

Wednesday, 11/04/2012

Just like any other Wednesday morning we had to record two radio shows with Doc Rick. This also meant that I had to get up earlier as usual as it took on hour to drive all the way up to Poughkeepsie. The first radio show was a phone call with a Hypnotherapist based in California. She came to talk about the benefits of hypnotherapy and how people can use this to resolve spiritual and emotional issues. The second radio show was a conversation about Hormone Imbalances.

We spent the whole afternoon working in the office reading through legal documents, business plans and powerpoint presentations. Not only the afternoon was spent in the office, also the whole evening. It was around midnight we closed the office doors, after which we had some late night diner at the Red Line Diner in Fishkill. I always wanted to try and compare the American ‘Belgian waffles’ with the actual ‘Belgian Waffles, so I tried it but it wasn’t that good. I still prefer the typical Belgian waffles. Luckily for me I wasn’t sick after eating that waffle.

Thursday, 11/04/2012

Every month Marshall flies out to California to attend meeting with new and existing clients. That Thursday I had to drive Marshall all the way up to JFK Int’l airport. With the last time fresh in my mind I was really hoping for less traffic and a smooth ride to the airport. Luckily for us it took us about 1h40 to get there. We dropped him off at the airport and drove back to Cold Spring. Marshall also told me that I had to pick him up alone as Mark had other business to attend to. Looking already forward to that trip.

Friday, 12/04/2012

Normally we had a meeting scheduled with K-bear that day but due to some practical issues this meeting was cancelled thus rescheduled to another date. Even though the meeting was cancelled, we did worked on preparing the next meeting with them.

We went through some strategies on how to create the WOTS-UP analysis and how to approach the market. But before doing the actual approach to the market I had to find out what was already out there i.e. potential competitors, existing eucalyptus products…

In the evening I also went for a run to blow of some steam after a hard working week. Afterwards I had diner in the restaurant and planned ahead my weekend.

Saturday, 13/04/2012

Last week I met some new people from Belgium, also doing an internship in New York. As I didn’t really know somebody of my age in the city, I decided to give them a call and see what they were up to that evening. In the evening there was a party planned hosted by the company in which Alexandra was working in. Alexandra lived with her roommate Alexandre in Harlem, just above central park and I was scheduled to meet them in the evening.

During the day I continued exploring the neighborhoods of New York. That day I was planned to visit Lower East Side with sightseeing spots of China Town, Little Italy and Canal Street.

I wasn’t in a rush that day so I woke up around noon, washed and dressed myself and took the train around 2pm. As I haven’t had diner yet, I decided to take the subway all the way downtown to get some Belgian Fries in ‘Pommes Frites’. According to their website, they really made the authentic Belgian Fries. But I was rather disappointed when I started eating e.g the fries were way too thick and the potato peel was still visible; Luckily the taste of the fries was good. However I do prefer the fries they serve back on ‘Rumbeke Platse’ in my hometown.

Afterwards I started walking around in Lower East Side. On my way I passed ‘people playing Basketball in Sara D. Roosevelt Park’, the crowdedness of Canal Street, the small little shops, restaurants and bars on Orchard Street, the huge Roman-looking gate marking the beginning of the Manhattan-bridge. It was nice walk alongside all those small streets, pubs, restaurants and shops. Once again this is prove on the huge diversity there is in New York City.

The second part of my walk was China-town and Little-Italy. Bowery Street is also the street that lies just in between the actual lower east side and China town. Walking in China town was a really cool experience as I’m a very tall guy compared to all the Asians walking around there. Which was also very convenient to me as I could see where I was going much easier.

Amongst all the restaurants, shops, Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! Shops, there was one particular place that intrigued me a lot: the Bloody angle. That place is located in the middle of China town and is very infamous for numerous gang-street battles and murders in the early thirties. This angle, part of ‘Doye Street’ is the only curved shaped street in Manhattan. Definitely worth checking out when you are in the neighborhood. Here are some impressions:

The Bloody Angle

 Adjacent the small streets of China Town is also Little Italy. Little Italy used to be a very big neighborhood as there were many immigrated Italians, but now it has only the size of one or two blocks. The sidewalks of Little Italy are filled with small and cozy Italian - what else - restaurants, all of which I took some pictures. 

By the time I was done visiting Lower East Side, Chinatown and Little Italy it was already nearing 7pm: time for me to get some good MacDonald's in the neighborhood. After which I met with Alexandre and Alexandra at their place to drink some beers before heading downtown. The apartment they are living in is really nice. It's a shared apartment where they only pay 400 & 600 dollars a month, which is a really nice offer to live in New York. 

The party was held in a night club called 'Pranna', located on the junction of Madison Avenue and 23th street. We had a really good time as we didn't have to pay for drinks or entrance. So it was a cheap night out, which was just awesome. Here are some pictures from that night. 

The party ended at 4am in the morning but that didn't stop us from going some place else. To my astonishment we went to the office of Alexandra as her boss with us. There we listened to some music, ate the birthday cake depicted here above and watched the 'city that never sleeps' wake up. The office also had an immaculate view on the Empire state building and the Chrysler building.

Once back at their apartment around 7am, I slept on a small yoga mat, which was rather uncomfortable but the good thing is that I made it through the night. The next morning we woke up around 1pm, got washed and dressed and went for a breakfast in Le Pain Quotidien.

After breakfast we both went our ways: Alexandra & Alexandre were heading back to their apartment to sleep and I headed back to Cold Spring to sleep as well.

This was also the end a hell of weekend and a crazy week. More stories to come next week!

Stay tuned!