The autumn season is in full swing. To many people autumn is just the season that comes between the heat of summer and the cold of winter, but to me, autumn is the most beautiful season of all. Aside from the comfortable temperatures of the season, autumn, at least in the north east, comes with the wonderful coloring and falling of leaves. I know that cleaning up leaves can be tedious and annoying, but just the sight of the fall foliage is enough to make the seemingly endless raking and bagging worth it. I find it extremely relaxing to just sit in a park and watch the trees, and seeing bundles of colorful leaves blow through the air has always been an object of my enjoyment. As a child I loved fall for two reasons, for one it signified the season of my birth, which is always a good time for a child. The second reason I enjoyed the fall was because it meant I could be serenaded by the melody of crunching leaves as I marched to school every morning. I am proud to say that my reasons for enjoying fall, however childish they were, have not changed much in my adulthood. Seasons are great because they always come back around, and while all seasons have their “haters,” I am sure autumn is the most loved and comfortable of them all.
The Major League Baseball season has finally come to an end. The longest season of all major sports in the USA has now made way for one of the most interesting postseason starts in sports. While the MLB season has 162 games, there is a very important one game playoff that takes place as soon as it ends, in order for two wildcard teams to make it into the real tournament. This year’s games feature the Yankees, the Astros, the Cubs, and the Pirates, four teams that have played as hard as any this season. The NL matchup for the wildcard pits two teams, that are extremely familiar with each other, in a nine inning winner take all showdown. The Cubs and Pirates are in the same division, so they have played a whopping 19 games against each other this season, with the Cubs winning 11 times. Although the Cubs have a history with the Pirates, season series records don’t mean much in the playoffs since it is up to the players and the fans to bring enough energy to get their team to another game. The Yankees and Astros have played a few games this season, but neither team has managed to show that they are truly superior to the other, I am a Yankee fan so my allegiance is set, but this game looks to be a tough one for both teams. The MLB wildcard games are the most exciting games of the season, four teams enter with only nine innings to show that they belong in the playoffs, I can’t wait to see who comes out on top as these teams will definitely give it their all in the hopes of reaching the championship round.
Chick-fil-A is a fast food restaurant that is famous for their ads featuring cows urging humans to “eat mor chikin.” Chick-fil-A has been around for years now, but until today they did not have any legitimate public locations within New York City. Not many New Yorkers were aware that there is a Chick-fil-A within the NYU food court, so most people had to wait until they ventured out of New York State before they could get their hands on one of those famous chicken sandwiches. I was never a huge fan of traveling a long distance just to get some fast food, but Chick-fil-A has managed to gain a noteriety that few other fast food chains could ever attain. New York City’s first fully loaded public Chick-fil-A restaurant is now opened in Manhattan, and I expect the lines to be very long for a very long time. The interesting thing about opening a new restaurant in New York City is how popular it can become, and how long the popularity can last. The location of the new Chick-fil-A is also extremely conducive to the chain’s inevitable success as it is right in midtown Manhattan, close to all of the tourists traps and business. I know the lines will be long, and the trip down to midtown is not exactly ideal, but I will certainly find my way to the new restaurant at least twice before the end of the year. I know some New Yorkers may find the idea of going to midtown for some fast food to be absurd, but I’m sure they will gladly make the trip once they have tasted one of the best fast food chicken sandwiches around.
Today is Labor Day, the day made to celebrate the hard work of “laborers” all over America. Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday of September, at a time that is perfect for anyone needing a rest from their busy summer schedule. I love having the ability to enjoy a national day off, but unfortunately there are many people who have to work on this great holiday. There are some jobs that are completely essential to running this society correctly, so I understand the idea of having them work today, but many people in non essential jobs should definitely have this day as a break. The class of job that I am referring to is the dreaded retail job. Retail work is the way of life for almost 1/4th of Americans, and this number seems to be growing exponentially. There was a time that I worked retail for a while, and I can honestly say that retail work, while it does pay, may be the thing I actually detest the most. I remember working a few retail jobs while I was in college, and just enjoying the fact that I had some spending money, but when I worked a bit of retail after graduation, I knew that it was definitely not for me. There was a time when retail work was seen as a temporary solution, or as a job for teenagers, but in this economy it has become a staple for many people and families. I understand that many need to work retail, I just wish retail companies wouldn’t exploit their employees. On this day that marks the necessity of our country’s labor force, many people have to work extended hours in order to satisfy company goals. Retail workers today are not always treated very fairly, and they have very little job security. I know that all companies are not the same, and that retail was not built to be a long term career, but I find it absurd that so little has changed in the world of retail over the years. I have never been one to call for unionization, and I don’t think retail workers should even be in a union, I just think that more changes should be made to make work more fair for retail workers. Labor Day celebrates the work of our country’s citizens, hopefully one day, retail will be more regulated to allow for better treatment of their overworked workforce.
Have you ever noticed how odd it is when a stranger starts talking to you as you ride on an elevator? I have always wondered why that method of transportation has always been the “international room of quiet,” it is as though there is an unwritten rule, that if you are in the elevator you have to wait quietly until you reach your destination. I have always noticed the silence of an elevator, and I wonder how this conditioning for silence came to be part of general social behavior. Does everyone quietly contemplate their destination, do they plan out their tasks for the day, are they hoping this elevator does not fall to their demise, or am I just standing there projecting wild notions onto the minds of those I have yet to know? The only thing that is clear in the minds of those partaking in elevator travel is that you must stay silent until you reach your destination. I find it strange that we have the ability to stand so close to strangers and not utter a single word, the same behavior can be observed on the subway, but that is a special case on its own. Every once in a while, a person I am sharing an elevator trip with makes a statement about the weather, and I courteously respond for a moment, only to return to a more awkward silence than the usual fare. For whatever reason, elevators are and will always be places of silent reflection, and any attempts to break the standard silence is often met with apprehension and deeper silence. I am sure there will come a day when people can freely speak while riding an elevator, but until that time comes, I will continue to follow the elevator’s odd rules of engagement, and just keep quiet.
The New York Yankees have been on an absolute tear over the past 10 games, a team that many thought was on the decline has seen new life thanks to their lineup’s extreme versatility. The Yankees have scored 90 runs in the last 10 games and they are showing little sign of slowdown. At the beginning of the season the team looked as though they would only be able to live on the strength of the players at the top of the batting order, but the team has shown that they can perfectly adjust to any changes injuries or slumps may bring. During this hot streak the bottom of the Yankee lineup has been hitting extremely well, they have even outperformed the guys at the heart of the lineup in a few games. I am a Yankee fan so I don’t want to “jinx” their success, but it isn’t a completely ridiculous thought that this team may go very far in the playoffs. The Yankees have not been a good team over the last couple of years, and while this year’s team seemed overwhelmingly average, the Yankees decided to pass on any major team improving trades. The story behind the Yankees’ lack of movement at the trade deadline was the team’s desire to keep their prized pitching prospect, Luis Severino, and while the jury is still out on Severino’s big league productivity, many people believe he is “the real deal.” Severino looks to make his first major league start tonight for the surging Yankees, and I as a Yankee fan, would love to see him kick off his MLB career with a legendary performance. Hopefully the team’s decision to keep him will pay off both this season and in the long term.
Today, I had an interview with a growing startup company in New York, and since this was not my first interview with a startup, I was able to noticed great similarities in how these companies operate. Everyone is aware of the Internet beast that is Google, and how they treat their employees, but many are unaware of just how many companies try to emulate the “culture” of Google. In a startup company, culture is everything, and that basically starts with who you are. These companies are looking to hire people who they can be friends with outside of work, as well as people who will work well with the team. Aside from culture, history is a big part of getting to know a startup, the employees of these companies have usually grown within the company and watched the company grow. Whenever I asked an interviewer about their time with the company and its changes, they seemed to answer the question with the same vigor and affection one would use when describing their childhood puppy. It is easy to see that the employees of these companies love where they work, and they are intent on making sure everyone who walks into those doors will fit into the family that they have become. I am confident that I did well in the interview, but for those who may have an upcoming interview with a startup, I will leave a few nuggets of advice. The first thing needed to ace an interview is to do your research, this should be a given with any interview, but delve a bit deeper with startup research. The HR managers are looking for someone who fits, and is capable of loving the company as much as they do, so the new hire should at least care enough to check out the company blog. The next bit of advice goes along with researching the company, and it can go a long way in your ability to nail the job, that is to know how to dress for the interview. The best advice I can give is to ask the recruiter or hiring contact what you should wear, there is really no shame in doing so, and you will usually be told to go with a corporate casual or casual look. I understand that common procedure dictates wearing a nice suit or business attire, but many managers may give negative marks for not knowing the culture of the company, purely based on clothing. The best and final advice I can give anyone applying for a startup job is to be yourself. As long as you are genuine and excited to be part of what a company is building, they will generally be glad to allow you to join their work family.
I love traveling, I find it incredible that there are so many places to see and people to meet on this planet, so I try and get out as much as possible. One of the things I find most interesting about traveling to new countries and places is the cuisine. This planet has a diverse range of entrées and thanks to the travels of explorers and traders long ago many of these meals have similar ingredients and styles. As much as I hate the term “foodie,” it is the best way I can describe my affinity for food and it’s different flavors. Whenever I go anywhere I make it a point to try the local cuisine, especially if the meal is completely foreign to me. The way I see it, a trip or a vacation, isn’t just about exploring a new locale, it is also about experiencing the differences from your normal life. I know my stance on food would be difficult to take for a person who is allergic to various ingredients, but thankfully, I am allergic to nothing and very willing to try any food at least once. Traveling is an activity best done with others, and I love going to new locations with family and friends, my only qualm with traveling in a group is dealing with the taste preferences of others. Nothing bothers me more on a trip than the idea of eating fast food or standard American fare as a meal. Whenever I have to eat something I could have easily gotten at home, I feel cheated, it is almost as if I am only getting half of the trip experience. Traveling can be a fun and educational experience, and as with most new experiences, it is best received with an open mind or you may miss out on what makes it fun.
Happy Independence Day! On this day, 239 years ago, the leaders of the 13 colonies decided to sign the Declaration of Independence and become the United States of America, effectively ending their relationship as one of the colonies of the then British Empire. Today is a day filled with parades, pageants, contests, and barbecues, just as the second president of the U.S., John Adams, wanted it to be, but this day is way more important than just a sunny summer vacation day. This day marks the end of years of struggle being the “lackey” of a far away empire, this day marks a moment when a group of men running colonies decided to become one united nation. Now, I know that this nation has not been perfect, and that through the years many mistakes have been made, but I can honestly say there are things that I can do here that I just couldn’t do in other parts of the world. America is truly a great nation and I hope it continues to be a refuge for freedom and liberty. Happy fourth of July everybody!
I always wonder why people have so much hate for rainy days, there is nothing so terrible about seeing water falling from the sky. Rain is something that has been enjoyed and even revered for centuries, it signifies new beginnings and also growth. In recent times rain has been given a bad name due to the fact that it often comes with clouds and also because it usually means plans have been cancelled. Many sporting events, parades, and festive outings are either postponed or completely ruined by the presence of rain, but in my opinion, events can be enhanced by a little intervention form Mother Nature. I love rain, I mean, I wouldn’t want rain on my wedding day, but I just really enjoy walking around in the rain. I feel like the streets are more peaceful in the rain, especially in the city since people try to avoid it. On a rainy day I don’t feel mopey or down, I like to look at a rainy day as a chance to enjoy a pseudo private tour of a park or wherever I may be exploring for the day. Rain doesn’t always have to mean plans are ruined, as they say “when life gives you lemons…” It is best to look at rain as a chance to modify plans and probably explore new things. Today, on this rainy Sunday, rather than staying in, try taking a walk in the park, it is much more peaceful in the rain.