EDI Trip: Day 4

Today was our first morning in our NY hotel, the Comfort Inn. Although some people overslept, we eventually got down to breakfast. This food was not quite as good as in the hotel in Washington D.C. , but it still had some good bagels, eggs, and waffles. From the hotel, we traveled on the subway to the New York State Historical Society on 77th Street. Here, we learned about stage design from Mr. Patterson’s brother.

Us with Mr. Patterson's brother in front of the New York Historical Society.
The EDI fellows with Mr. Patterson’s brother in front of the New York Historical Society.

He had been part of the design of the theater in the Historical Society, and told us about the many obstacles that you can face during the creation of a theater. The amount of thought and pre-design that go into even just the blueprints amazed me. We then watched a movie about the History of New York in the same theater. After this, our group went to Central Park.

The busy center of Central Park.

After wandering around Central Park for quite a while, we decided to eat lunch at Five Guys, which was a ways away. To get to our 3:30 meeting, Francis, our navigator, led us around the city in order to get to The Cooper Union. Since we got there near 2:30, just a little early (wink, wink), Mrs. Newland found an open Café for us to write and reflect in. Near the end of our time in the Café, Mrs. Newland had us do a thinking exercise to clear our thoughts, and then we returned to Cooper Union. The Cooper Union building was large, and had an interesting design, which we discussed as we walked to the Invention Factory’s room.

The Cooper Union.
The Cooper Union.

There, twenty people, split into ten teams of two, were building inventions that would compete for a monetary reward. Even though we were going to look in on some of the students’ presentations later, all the groups gave us a brief explanation of their product. There was a fire extinguishing sphere, an adjustable longboard, a smart bookmark, a hearing system, a balance training device, an easy edge cover for a table, a musical toy, a suture-applying machine, and a few others. After hearing these brief descriptions, and sticking our hands in a mix of water and corn starch (Oobleck), we sat down to listen to a few of them give presentations. Most of them were well received by the audience of reviewers (which included Mrs. Newland), except for the smart bookmark because of its less practical use. Because we were all tired, we decided to order food from Mr. Patterson’s room, and we almost all got chicken fingers. Returning afterwards to our own rooms, we each prepared for the long train ride ahead…

EDI’s 19 2015 Trip! (Day 3)

After waking up early in order to be able to catch the train to New York, we ate at the hotel buffet. At precisely 6:20 A.M. we left the hotel and began our hectic quest to the train station. However, once we arrived at the station, we accidentally tried to board the wrong train. Thankfully, after an official checked our tickets at the last second, we noticed that we were indeed about to board the wrong train and quickly switched over to the other gate. Mr. Patterson, however, had to travel on another train because he somehow had a different ticket than us.

The Flat Iron: The first skyscraper in the world.
The Flat Iron: The first skyscraper in the world.
Cool metal snowflakes designed to shade the walkway in Madison Square Park.
Cool metal snowflakes designed to shade the walkway in Madison Square Park.

Having survived two hours and thirty minutes of sheer boredom, we left the train and navigated the devilish streets of New York to our new hotel, the Comfort Inn in Chelsea. We then walked to a nearby park to get food and discuss the day ahead.


A building we saw on the High line which had cool architectural features.
A building we saw on the High Line,  which had cool architectural features.
The EDI fellows stand in front of a window frame on the High line.
The EDI fellows stand in front of a window frame on the High Line.

From there we walked a grueling 1.2 miles to the High Line. There, we enjoyed the innovative architecture and engineering of the buildings and objects around us. From the High Line we were able to see the Hudson River, which separates Manhattan from New Jersey.

Then we moved on to our next destination,  Civic Hall. There,  we got a history which was fairly brief because  it had only been open for about 150 days. We were also given a tour of the building,  which had many open spaces. In addition,  we were told about the mission of Open Tech Fund. While we were there, we met with Sandra Ordonez, who talked to us about surveillance within the government.

The group at Civic Hall posing in actual telephone booths.
The group at Civic Hall posing in actual telephone booths.

After walking back to the hotel, we ordered various foods and watched a 1 hour documentary on the design process called “Extreme by Design.” Then we walked back to our own rooms and tried get some much needed shut-eye for the day ahead.

EDI Trip: Day 2

After a good night’s sleep, we started the day by eating at the hotel buffet. Then,  we got on a metro and went to the GSA building where 18F was located. They talked about coding and website development. Next, we ate lunch at McDonalds and made our way to the National Building Museum,  where we took a tour and saw models / pictures of buildings. After that, we sat down in the museum and reflected on what we had learned that day. Then, we took the metro back to the hotel and played many board games while eating pizza and pie.