May 5, 2011


My NYU journalism students and I are sitting right now in our last class for “Reporting Downtown.”

Yay! We’re done with homework.

Then again, boo – after bonding during the spring semester, our time together is almost over.


But we’ll go out in the world with some great memories. Everyone especially loved the field trips.

I used them to make the point that journalism is about life experience. To that end, it’s important to randomly wander around to discover….whatever.


One of our favorite adventures was visiting Google’s glamorous, growing East Coast headquarters at 111 Eight Ave. This 15-story, block-long industrial site is located just north of the Meatpacking District.





Last year, Google bought the entire building for $1.8 billion. It was the Big Apple’s biggest real estate deal of 2010, according to the New York Times. Look for Google’s presence to transform this neighborhood into a Manhattanized Silicon Alley.


And here’s a tip for

job hunters – the company already has 1,800 employees working there but will obviously be expanding.

(Google has job openings listed on its website.)


Top-quality tech corporations take care of their employees with perks. At Google, there’s free food available in multiple cafes and food stations scattered around the facility. There’s also a recreation room, free massages and a tech center where nice professionals will fix problems you have with your laptop, phones and other devices.



Our class went gaga over Google during a lunch time tour with my friend Jessica Chan (follow her on Twitter @jessinsf!). She works in the YouTube division as a compliance specialist. She treated us to lunch and we totally pigged out in the Hemisphere Cafe. All of Google’s in-house eateries here are run by Restaurant Associates.


This was the menu that day:


One of the interesting things about eating at Google is that the cafe was filled with men… Lots of engineers!

But maybe because they’re tech nerds, they didn’t seem to notice my all-female class. (Sorry, am I stereotyping?)

I even conducted an informal “man test” during dessert. The sweets counter was at the other end of the cafe. So I asked the class together through this big dining room to get their cookies and cake. Hmmm, barely any of the guys looked up.

Oh well. Still, we had fun! I am going to stop blogging now and let my class tell you more. Read the comments from some of them below: