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Date posted:03/13/02
A memoir series "A Day in the Life of HarlemLive"

HL Livin It Up!!

by Shem Rajoon
Photos by Staff


I felt excited and nervous about coming to a new place: Bloomberg News, our new home for a month. I didn't think it was going to be as busy or fast or as focused on security. Meeting new people and entering a new part of town made afraid I was going to screw up. But I was surprised at the way things turned out.

HarlemLive's first day on the top of it all. We got the chance to experience how today’s journalist works in a professional environment. Before, a normal day at HarlemLive would consist of taking pictures, going out to report stories, creating websites, meeting new people and recruiting new staff.

Right now, I’m the longest serving member of HarlemLive and one of few members who has a general understanding of everything we use in HarlemLive. I go to school at CPESS (Central Park East Secondary School) in East Harlem; my school is about a 5-minute walk to HarlemLive's former location. While walking towards HarlemLive, I had an excellent view of the Harlem Meer, a large pond in northern Central Park and just outside the park the buildings are low so it gives you a pretty nice view of the sky. But now, things have changed big time

February 25, 2002: Class ended early, so I had a head start for my long journey towards 59th Street and Park Avenue, Bloomberg’s home base in the center of New York City. My voyage to HarlemLive was now a lot more complex than my usual five-minute stroll to the offices. I left my school and walked to the local train station, and then I hopped on the 6 trains heading downtown.

Arriving in midtown, I looked up and could hardly see the sky. Skyscrapers surrounded me. Everything is busy, hundreds of cars crowd the streets, horns going on and off, people are dressed up in nice suits and getting ready to go home from work. I looked around and realized that, unlike Harlem, which is a diverse community, I didn’t seem to find anyone with my complexion. This part of New York, this place of business, this place where something was always going on, I couldn't stop realizing that the majority of people were white.

As I kept walking I finally reached Park Avenue. I turned my head and looked up, I was now in front of Bloomberg a circular 37-floor building with black tinted windows, and HarlemLive was now temporarily based on the 19th of this empire of dark windows.
While walking towards one of Bloomberg's entrances, I met two HarlemLive staff members, Jason Taylor and Juan Rodriguez-Lavezarri. I got lost. I was heading to the wrong entrance of the building. Everything seemed to be very confusing to me. The place was so huge. You had to have help to know where you were going. It's like you're in a human maze. Jason and Juan both led me to the correct entrance of the building. I was now walking towards a huge glass-spinning door. When I went through it, I came in to the lobby of the Bloomberg building. To the left of me there were four leather chairs surrounding a glass coffee table with these Bloomberg flat screen monitors hanging over it showing the business news. From then on I knew HarlemLive was totally out of Playing 2 Win.

I came up to the desk as there was a guard sitting in front of multi-screen monitors, at that time the first thing that came across my mind was, THE MATRIX. The guard asked me for a picture ID that was unusual to me because I never had to do that at HarlemLive before. I took out my ID form my wallet and showed it to the guard. Then the guard went on searching to see if HarlemLive had provide a Bloomberg ID card for me. While the guard was searching for the ID card, I turned to my left and saw two security guards standing beside two gray metal detectors. Of all the building I’ve been to this building had the wildest security ever. After a brief waiting period the guard called me and gave me some bad news. Unfortunately, ID cards weren’t the strong point of HarlemLive.

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