the place to be...for now
Eddie Martinez will return to his native California. But
for now, New Yorks the place to be for the Mission College
grew up in the Valley," he said. "I love the mountains,
the beaches, the nice weather. But the pace here is a lot
faster. The museums are epic Theres always something
to do in New York City."
a 2001 graduate of Mission College, attends the renowned Parsons
School of Design in Manhattan and will graduate in spring
Martinez doesnt kid himself about the city that so many
natives seem to love and hate at the same time.
"Its cold, its sweaty, its smelly,"
he said. "People here are very distant and competitive."
But, he added, everyone in New York seems to come from somewhere
else, and the perspectives they have on life are different
Martinez plans to apply to MIT, NYU and the Art Center College
of Design in Pasadena. But graduate school is not a certainty.
As a graduation requirement, Martinez will work part-time
for a design firm in the New York area soon. For some students,
that can lead to offers of full-time employment, he said.
"Design is becoming necessary in many fields, so Im
open to lots of possibilities," he said. "Ive
worked on comic books, short films, Web design, and right
now Im re-designing the interiors and furniture of a
More recently, Martinez has become interested in toy design,
electronics and even designing medical prostheses.
The 23-year-old student credits Mission College with helping
him take care of his general requirements. This allowed him
to concentrate on studio classes at Parsons and gave him more
time to work on individual projects. Mission, he added, "
me a heads up on math and English" subjects he
didnt think much about at the time but which turned
out to be important in his field.
He also credits Claudio Ramirez and other Mission College
multimedia instructors for getting him interested in motion
graphics and other specialized classes that led to design.
That, in turn, encouraged him to look beyond the comfort of
Southern California for the "best design school around,"
which he feels is Parsons.
Martinezs New York experience began inauspiciously.
Two weeks after moving into his Manhattan dorm, the World
Trade Center was attacked. Martinez joined dazed New Yorkers
in mourning and volunteering while his classes at Parsons
were thrown into temporary chaos.
"The attack really shocked me," he recalled. "It
made me realize that the world is not a perfect place, that
there are a lot of bad things in it."
He never once considered leaving, he said.
"I felt that I was in the middle of history. To leave
after working so hard to get there wouldnt make any
Two and a half years later, Martinez has put down roots. Hes
developed many close and personal relationships and now lives,
not in a dorm, but in his own apartment in Brooklyn.
Does he encourage other students to look beyond Southern California
for college and their future?
"Oh, yeah," he said. "Its definitely
BY EDUARDO PARDO
note: In October 2001, Eddie Martinez wrote an account of
his 9/11 experiences for the Mission College "President's