Gifts for new NYC-er and future journalist
August 14, 2008 11:22 AM   Subscribe

Care package ideas for a new journalism grad student and New Yorker-

A good friend of mine is starting the Journalism graduate program at NYU this fall and has just moved to Astoria, Queens. I was hoping to send him some fun items to ease his transition, but mostly just for fun. He's not a candy or gadgets kind of guy, and I don't have a lot of money to spend, so I was thinking more along the lines of things he can use and/or read to enhance this new leg of his life.

The only thing I know I am going to get is one of those city-specific Moleskins for New York. He's been reading up on the history of the city (mostly via internet research) and reading some book of interviews of prominent journalists (not sure what it's called). I would like to try to find a book or two in the same vein of these topics to send- any recommendations? He's really interested in learning about his new neighborhood as well.

Lastly, any other suggestions of the non-book variety are welcome. Thanks!
posted by greta simone to Grab Bag (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Get him a subscription to Time Out New York - its a great way to keep up on what's going on in the city.
posted by blaneyphoto at 11:29 AM on August 14, 2008

He might be interested in checking out Forgotten NY. It's got a fair amount of stuff about Queens, too. I always enjoyed looking at the site before going on walks. Don't be afraid of the mid-1990s design; it's still updated on a regular basis and is pretty current. Perhaps not a gift, exactly, but could be included in a note or something along with your other presents.
posted by k8lin at 11:40 AM on August 14, 2008

Money for Metrocards.
posted by Beardman at 11:41 AM on August 14, 2008

A gift certificate to a nearby grocery store or a club/restaurant he might be interested in checking out.
posted by ml98tu at 11:46 AM on August 14, 2008

You could include a copy of George Lankevich's New York City: A Short History, which is a popular and cheap introductory text. There's also the architect Rem Koolhaas's Delirious New York. Also, you should get him an AAM student membership, which will get him into any museum in the city for free +1--including MoMA movies (I think). It's great.
posted by nasreddin at 11:48 AM on August 14, 2008

My girlfriend swore by the Not for Tourists Guide when she moved here.
posted by marxfriedrice at 12:26 PM on August 14, 2008

E.B. White's "Here is New York" would be a great and inexpensive gift. This essay should be required reading for anyone moving to New York. The writing is beautiful and inspiring, and as a journalism guy (This is E.B. White of Strunk and White fame), he's likely to appreciate it all the more.
posted by TBoneMcCool at 12:56 PM on August 14, 2008

Get him a New Yorker subscription and a little compass on a keychain so he can check (discreetly) which way to walk when he gets out of the subway.
posted by rmless at 1:20 PM on August 14, 2008

Second the Not for Tourists guide. And, if the experience of past J-school friends is any indication, a big honking bag of home brew coffee.
posted by puckish at 2:36 PM on August 14, 2008

I'm an editor and former journalist, and my absolute must-have is Garner's Modern American Usage. Seriously, this is the bible of good writing. If your friend wants to be taken seriously, he must know proper usage.
posted by chaplinesque at 3:15 PM on August 14, 2008

Get him this book from ebay. The description blows, but trust me. It needs to be in every reporter's bookcase.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:38 PM on August 14, 2008

Is he moving to an apartment without backyard access? If he is, I'd get him one of those kits with a tiny pot, soil, and some seeds. Maybe even one that just grows a patch of grass. That is what I missed most when I first moved to the city.

You could also get him a Greek cookbook as he will have access to lots of great Greek grocery stores and Greek food while living in Astoria.
posted by Shebear at 7:10 AM on August 15, 2008

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