Flatiron School and my Brooklyn Life

It’s been three months since I last posted and a lot has happened. Most of the blogging I did in the past few months can be found on my technical blog but it’s all programming related so I decided to keep it on a separate site.

The Good News

First the good news. I finished the Flatiron School. It was intense and awesome and I made some great friends while I was there. We celebrated holidays, went out for drinks, had a Halloween party. During the last week we did a sort of campus draft where potential employers came in and met with us to discuss our projects. I got a few interested leads from it that I plan to follow up with after the Flatiron School.

Flatiron

Throughout the course of the program, we worked in different groups to create applications. One such application I built was called Charity Connection and it matched businesses with charities. For example, an after school group needs new computers and a finance company is getting rid of there old computers. The business could list the computers it wishes to donate and the charity could claim the computers. Then each party receives an email and can make arrangements for the transfer. I built another application called Just Lunch which helps busy people make friends for lunch.

charityconnection

The Bad News

Greenpoint_Houses

The bad news, Nicole and I broke up. We had three great years together but our lives were taking us in different directions. She moved to Harlem in Manhattan to attend Bank Street and study museum education. I have no doubt in my mind that she’ll make a great museum educator one day. I moved to Greenpoint in Brooklyn. I now live with 3 great roommates, a hairstylist, an executive assistant, and a technical recruiter. We have a blast together and it’s been a really great match all around.

No Sleep Til Brooklyn

My web development program through the Flatiron School is September through December. After that Nicole plans to move back to the United States. Her and I are going to get an apartment together near Bank Street, her school.

Peggy the dog

In the meantime, however, I needed a place to live. Luckily, I found a subreddit for NYC Apartments. I procured a place to live in Bedford Stuyvesant, aka Bed Stuy, with a guy named Jon and his dog Peggy. Jon worked as a barista and Peggy was a dog so didn’t do anything.

Back in Florida, I rented an SUV with my friend Victor, and filled it with as many of my worldly possessions as I could, which worked out to about half. Victor and I drove through the night and made it to Brooklyn in 18 hours including stops for gas and one dinner at Shoney’s.

obi

We arrived in Brooklyn the next day around 7am and unpacked my stuff. After unloading, we dropped the car off at JFK airport around the corner. The attendant we returned the car to was shocked by the quick time we made between Florida and New York. After dropping off the car we returned to the apartment and passed out for about 2 hours. Victor slept face down on the wooden floor. I slept in a chair. We were both so tired that it didn’t matter.

Freedom Tower

When we woke we walked around Williamsburg and took the subway to Manhattan to see the Freedom Tower. We walked around Wall Street and the Financial District as well. That evening, we met up with my cousin Ryan at Barcade, a really cool bar/arcade mashup. I got a call saying my mattress and bed frame arrived so we hailed a cab back to the apartment and moved it in before it could get stolen off the stoop. That night we got Victor to his bus in Chinatown where he rode back to Ohio.

Chinatown dinner
Chinatown dinner

I took the subway home and called it a night. It was weird having a new home, and even weirder being without Nicole for so long. At this point it was nearly a month since we last saw each other. I kept focus on Flatiron and learning as much Ruby as I could so that when Nicole returns I can get a good job and afford the crazy New York rent prices.

Gators, Airboats, and the Occult

Back in Florida I got a chance to reconnect with my family who I hadn’t seen in almost exactly a year. They had recently become obsessed with the board game Settlers of Catan. We played dozens of games over the few weeks I was there. I got some dinner with my dad, had more craft beer at a few microbreweries that opened up along Central Ave, and went swimming in the pool.

zeitgeist

 

My next door neighbor, Lauren, moved back to St. Pete and started working for her family’s company so her and I got a chance to hang out as well. Shortly before I was scheduled to leave for New York to start the web development program, Lauren invited me on an adventure to Miami to see her friend from South Africa perform at a bar. We made the 4 hour drive into a full day adventure of airboating and eating gator meat. It was fun to be a tourist in my own state.

In Miami we stayed with my friend Gerard and his parents. Gerard showed us around town and took us down to South Beach for a walkabout. That night we saw Lauren’s friend’s band perform. They were really good, but the weather was biblical. We Ubered downtown in the pouring rain and partied in near hurricane-like conditions. At the end of the night we had delicious tacos and took an Uber back. By the time we made it back to Gerard’s there was heavy flooding and the streets were nearly undriveable.

koreshan

The next day Lauren and I hit the road and returned to St. Pete. Along the way we visited Koreshan State Historic Site. A real-life The Village. It’s a creepy little commune of old buildings once occupied by members of a cult.

Flying Through New York

This is my first post writing from the United States. I arrived from the Philippines mid August and spent a few days staying with my cousins near Union Square in Manhattan. It was nice to be back in the states with the endless possibilities that New York City provides. I went to a show in Williamsburg with some friends I hadn’t seen in years. I had delicious bagels and cream cheese, giant slices of pizza, and amazing craft beers. That week I purchased a SIM card for my phone and visited the Flatiron School where I would be attending a web development immersive program for the next three months.

Laundromat how new york
Laundromat, how New York!

I ran into a fellow student who I’d become acquainted with over the summer chatting online from Korea. He also attended the Flatiron Presents meetup that Tuesday. We discussed the pre-work we’d both been working on over the summer and how we were looking forward to living in NYC.

I also helped my cousin to shoot a music video on his rooftop while I stayed with him. Check out his band Ditch Effort. I made a rough cut of the project for him, but he’s still ironing out the finer details of the project.

Ditch Effort music video

At the end of my stay in New York I left some of my bags from Korea with my cousins and flew home to Florida to see my family and get ready to move all of my things to New York. More to come in the next post.

Visiting Boracay, Philippines – Part 3

Weather

So far in the trip the weather was beautiful. Everyday everywhere you looked the view looked like a postcard: tall palm trees, turquoise waters, soft white sand beaches. There was a gentle breeze at all times and while it was definitely warm, I wouldn’t say it ever really became sweltering. However, we were visiting during the rainy season and reminders of that were along the beach. During the rainy season it can get very windy and there are occasional typhoons. To combat this, many of the establishments along the beach construct bamboo scaffolding to protect their shops and restaurants from the wind and rain of the storms.

Leaving Boracay

Leaving Boracay Philippines

Towards the end of our trip we ran into some rain and got to experience the storms firsthand. They weren’t too bad as long as you could duck into a bar or cafe and ride out the many short rainstorms throughout the day. On our last day there was some concern even that we wouldn’t be able to leave or that the boats would stop running, leaving us stranded on the island. Fortunately for us, despite the weather, the boats off the island kept running and we were able to leave our last day.

Our cab to Kalibo airport

During the week the weather had been nice for us, but the main island where Kalibo Airport was didn’t fare so well. It rained a bunch and we were nearly stuck in a flood on the road. That night we stayed at our original hotel where we’d stayed the first night. The next morning we hailed a cab to the airport loaded with all of our stuff. I travelled to Manila > Abu Dhabi > JFK. Nicole flew to Kuala Lumpur > Melbourne Australia where she planned to work as an au pair.

100 degrees in Abu Dhabi

This was close to midnight in Abu Dhabi and it was 100 degrees out.