I know this is kind of late, but I wanted to post some of my reactions to NYC from my first trip there.
I was supposed to leave Sunday morning to arrive by about 7:00 Sunday night (thanks for routing me through San Diego, Jet Blue!). Due to the weather, there was ice all over our plane’s wing, though. This meant we had to de-ice the plane. Unfortunately, JetBlue contracts with its competitor, United, to de-ice its planes. Guess who United de-iced first. Hint, not us. Thankfully, JetBlue had a backup. Not so thankfully, they had run out of de-icing fluid (weather report, people!). And, when they got some, their pump was broken.
So, four hours later, we left the airport. The delay wasn’t that awful, since JetBlue learned their lesson from that other incident. The worst thing about it was that instead of getting to NYC by 7:00 with time to walk around, I got there at 11:00, with barely enough time to get a bite.
Which was the first thing I did. At a real Irish pub with a real Irish bartender, just around the corner from the hotel. It was awesome. I had a great time there.
The next day, I attended my conference and had a great time. After the conference, I got some work done, called home and then headed out to walk the streets of Eastside Manhattan and find a place to eat. I walked to Times Square from the hotel and saw all the different sites there (TS itself, the Letterman theatre, Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center (which is now a billboard for 30 Rock), etc.). I also walked to Grand Central station, which is much cleaner than I thought and ate at Applebees. I only ate there because it has some significance for Heidi and me. It was a great time.
Next day, I finished up the conference and flew home. The flight was pretty uneventful, except for the 30 minutes before our plane boarded, when it started pouring snow all over the city. It was great!
Based on that short time, here are my observations about NYC:
- There are a ton of families there. I saw strollers and two-parent families, etc. I don’t know what I expected, but I was surprised to see so many families there. It was great!
- I overheard some of the craziest conversations ever. I decided that every possible conversation in the universe is going on in NYC at any given time. It’s like a confluence of all dimensions.
- People in NYC were very friendly. Media portray New Yorkers as rude pickpockets, but almost everybody I met, from every level of society, was friendly, willing to answer questions and generally cheerful. Even the people standing outside the NASDAQ building.
- I noticed that, on one street, there was this odd juxtaposition of wealth and poverty. Right next to a high-class condo building was a defunct dollar store called “99 Cent Dreams”.
- People don’t say “that’s true!” They say “right?” As in, “That guy was hilarious!”, “Right?”
- I am a total business geek. While others took pictures of Rockefeller Center, I was taking pictures of the GE Building and the NASDAQ and trying to guess which CEOs office was where. I need help.
- Teenagers seriously run around Times Square by themselves at night, a weeknight, no less. I cannot imagine the remotest circumstance where I would let my kids do that.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Big Apple. Post them to comments.