I just got back from New York SES, and boy are my arms tiredâ€¦ (yawn)
Actually this was the first time that I have ever been to New York, and I promise it will not be my last. I had no idea what to expect and actually got to see much less of this huge city than I was hoping.
I went with two co-workers and we had a 1pm CanJet flight on Sunday, getting us there in plenty of time to explore the city the first dayâ€¦well like most things, this did not turn out. Our flight was delayed by 3 hours originally and then by 3 moreâ€¦so we finally got to the Hilton hotel at around 10pm.
The Hilton was all right, our room was older, and had some weak ass heat, but whatever there was a whole town to see. I ran into a bunch of the SEO crowd and went to a bar around the corner.
The first night of SES there was this very good party thrown by ASK, formerly Ask Jeeves. Jim has some fun pictures from the party located here, including one where it looks like my ass is getting grabbed.
After the ASK party I was a bit sauced and decided to get some sweet street food. There were numerous gyro stands on the street and they were all brilliant. Seriously the food made me miss Chicago so much, and make me dread going back to Guelph and eating at the same 5 shitty restaurants all the time.
The second night I was invited to a pretty sweet MSN party, and got to take the subway to the area near it, which was pretty awesome. I always like to see other cities public transportation systems. New Yorkâ€™s seems rather busy and had like a low level subway and then a lower level subway, one going uptown and one going downtown. I picked up a map so I can figure out where the hell I would like to go when I have more time.
The MSNÂ party was at an ultra swank bar, Stone Rose Lounge, Â in the Time Warner Center, which had an excellent view of the city, nice drinks, and the worst crab cakes in the world. Justin from LocalLaunch! was quite fond of them.
After the MSN party Justin, Sami, Brad and I went to a Marchex party and got a few drinks in us, and met a few of the locals.
It was a good time, then headed back to the hotel stopping for more delicious street food, this time going to the vendor right by the Hiltonâ€¦the food was amazing. The greatest gyro I have ever had, and Sami said the best rice he has ever eatenâ€¦all this for 6 dollars with a drinkâ€¦at like 2 AM. As the shirts say: I <3 New York. The next day I put out some fires at work and took the afternoon off to go to MOMA â€“ Museum of Modern Artâ€¦god damn am I glad I went. It was really good to see some art work, a few of the pieces BLEW MY MIND. One piece by Janet Cardiff was beautiful and powerful, called The Forty part Motet, what it is, is an arrangement of 40 speakers in a room, playing a 14 minute recording of the Salisbury Cathedral Choir, with a microphone for each member, effectively giving each speaker a unique voice. It was fucking amazing, one of the most moving pieces of art I have ever experienced. It is 11 minutes of singing and 3 minutes of warm-ups and coughing. BRILLIANT.
One thing that really shocked me were how small some of Salvador Daliâ€™s paintings were, The Persistence of Time is amazingly detailed and only around 8×10â€¦I cannot believe the detail in something of that size.
They had some great works of art there, Picasso, Monet, etc, they even had a featured exhibit of Edvard Munch, so I got to see â€œthe screamâ€ in person.
One other interesting painting I saw was one by Picasso, which I never knew he paintedâ€¦ it made me laugh when I saw the similarity to one of my personal favsâ€¦ look at my background to find out what I mean. My un-named character finally has a naked woman to match him?
That night I went to dinner with Todd, Aaron and Caveman, and it was great. Caveman lived in NYC for years so he showed us around. We went to a nice Italian restaurant and then to a lame club which was supposedly one of the hottest in townâ€¦it sucked, although there was some eye candy there at first. We met a few people here, outside, since they were denied access, and went to another bar.
There was some interesting discussion, I drank some water said my goodbyes and hit the hay. The next day we woke up early, packed, and ate one of the worst breakfasts ever (avoid the Hilton breakfast buffet restaurant).Â After this we left for the airport, made record time getting there about 12:30 for our 3pm flight. I mean 4:30 flight, I mean our 6:30 flightâ€¦ CanJet, you did it again. They are the worst airline I have ever flown withâ€¦terrible.
However we did start chatting with some people who were waiting for the same flight and I think I was on the receiving end of some flirtingâ€¦ and a marriage proposal. I missed the follow-up when I was stuck going to wonderful Canadian Immigrationâ€¦ hopefully she reads Craigslist ?
All in all, the trip was awesome, minus the shitty traveling.
My advice: Go to New York, eat street food, go to the MOMA, and avoid CanJet at all costs.