Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Guest Post: Welcome to New Jersey

My name is Sarah Fishback and I am lucky enough to be a member of the 2011-2013 class of Darley Flying Start. Over the next 5-weeks I will be completing my American work placement with the Thoroughbred Daily News.

Following an intense week of learning the ins and outs of balance sheets and income statements and the financial implications they are attached to it was finally time to begin my much-anticipated work placement. As excited as I was about heading off I was dreading packing and the long drive ahead.

Daunted by the thought of driving 12 hours straight from Kentucky on Memorial Day weekend I decided to make a stop in Pennsylvania on my way to Red Bank, New Jersey. This worked out quite well since my cousin’s son was being baptized on Sunday morning at our family church near Philadelphia. Following a morning spent with family and horses I got back on the road for the final short leg of my journey. Arriving in Red Bank I found myself in a far more picturesque version of New Jersey than had been led to believe by MTV, HBO, and Bravo television. I had been to different areas of the state before but really did not know what to expect from Red Bank itself.

During my time here I am lucky enough to be sharing an apartment with the son of a TDN employee and his girlfriend. Luckily for GPS and John’s good directions I managed to find the apartment with only a few confused moments and no u-turns, which for me is an impressive feat.

The one thing that struck me the most on arrival was the summer heat, which was intensified by the lack of air conditioning in the apartment. They had just moved in a few days prior and had yet to have a day off to remedy this sticky situation. I received the warmest welcome of all from Nicole’s dog Indigo, who may be as sweet as my own dog. Luckily once the sun went down so did the temperature and the humidity.

Deciding it was cool enough to venture outside John, Nicole and his younger sister and her fiancé gave me a brief tour of Red Bank on our way to dinner. Pointing out important landmarks such as the cupcake shop and where the film Dogma was supposed to be based on, as well as the main street of Red Bank, which was surprisingly quiet and peaceful according to them. I was most impressed by the fact that I could walk from the apartment to the office when it came time to start work on Tuesday morning.

Red Bank, NJ
(TDN's office is right by the orange flag) 

Monday was spent running errands and getting acclimated to my new home away from home and also included a visit to Monmouth Racecourse. While plenty of people spend Memorial Day on the beach there was still a nice crowd on hand for the races. This to me was a much better alternative than roasting on a crowded beach. Nicole gave me a tour of the facilities and introduced me to one of the local restaurants at lunch. All in all New Jersey was beginning to grow on me. A relaxing evening spent at the apartment allowed me plenty of time to rest up and prepare for my first day at the TDN.
My original plan of walking to the office for work soon changed when I awoke to hot and humid weather and was already sweating prior to leaving the apartment. Luckily I found my way and a parking space easily, again an impressive feat for my directionally challenged self.

I have now settled into my new 5-week home and am looking forward to what this time will hold including many learning experiences and hopefully a new Triple Crown winner.

--Sarah Fishback is a first year trainee on the Darley Flying Start course.

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