THE TOUR OF THE PRINT PLANT by Emma Zhang
On the first day of July, Voice K explored the printing process of New York Times Print Plant and was given a tour to explore how a print factory works. It is located in 1 New York Times Plaza, Flushing. We have learnt so much on this one visit! There was so much we didn’t know!
When we stepped in, we explored at the grand lobby we were in. It was so big that I thought that it could easily fit 5 elephants in there! We were greeted by a friendly staff Deirdre Deignan. There was a little model of the Print Plant to our left in glass. On our right was a few couches and a gigantic painting about newsprinting. Deirdre Deignan told us that the artist who created this used ink from the printing plant! We walked up a few stairs ahead of us and looked around. We were on an upper floor looking at a few plates which we learnt about later.
We were led into another case of stairs by night shift foreman, Robert Kornblum, to an awfully noisy room. Around us were machines called forklifts. They carried things around the plant and made a strange/loud noise as they went around. There were also machines that carried rolls of paper. We walked a little more and turned left. We found tons of rolls of paper! They were on humongous skids! There were conveyor belts that carried the rolls of paper. Then, a worker was cutting off the brown wrapping paper to show us how to get the paper to the printing machines. Robert Kornblum told us that they used the trees from Canada to make the paper! Each roll is approximately 2,000 pounds. Each roll of paper can produce 30,000 newspapers! That makes my head want to explode!
During our visit, we also entered the plate room. This is the cool part! In order to print these multiple copies of newspaper, they have to make plates. The plates they use today at the New York Times Print Plant are made of aluminum. They flex easily and have an unusually smooth texture. This room is different from the other rooms because of its lighting. Because the plates are sensitive, they use a dimmer lighting. This room was also quieter than the one with the forklifts. Each night, the print plant makes about 20,000 plates! This sounds like a colossal job!
After the quiet plate room, came another awfully noisy room. There were conveyer belts on the ceiling carrying loads of newspaper everywhere! We were given copies of the New York Times to enjoy. Just one thing I noticed, the ink on the newspaper hadn’t dried out yet! I got a few stains on my fingers. We went everywhere in this huge place! After wandering and gazing in awe, we finished looking around.We saw several screens and a LOT of conveyer belts. Later, we were led to a quiet meeting room and refreshed our minds. We enjoyed our time at the print plant so much!
Transportation to the New York Times Plant (NYTP) by Sunni Zhou
I remember when everyone speed walked/ran really fast to catch the subway. We crossed many roads and made many stops at the traffic lights. As we walked down the stairway to the subway station we knew we still had some time. After we got our tickets, we scurried through the turning doors and looked for the subway we had to take. We got in one subway and finally took a deep breath. A little after two seconds, we realized we weren’t in the right subway. We sprinted out expeditiously and caught the right subway just in time.
When I finally got the chance to catch my breath, I felt my muscles relax from the stress. It may not sound very traumatizing but in New York there are so many people. It is very likely to get lost if you don’t pay attention to where you’re going and your surroundings. After we got off the subway, we had to call a taxi to go to the actual New York Times Plant. It was already around 6:00 pm and the sky started to darken. Since we had 16 people, we had to call 4 taxis. Some families went with other families to fill the the last seat. Before we could start our taxi drive it took forever to set our destination because there was a misspelling in the address. Fortunately after we mentioned that is was the New York Times Plant all the taxi drivers knew exactly where we were talking about. During our taxi ride, the driver was very kind and talked about his experience in New York and a little about the NYTP. Finally WE ARRIVED! It was a long ride but we made it at the end.