Surreal So Far

I’m sure for some people, a trip to New York is just another business meeting. For me, my first time in the Big Apple has felt like a trip to another country. Everything is so much bigger, crazier and faster than anything I expected. At the same time though, I feel much safer here than I imagined I would.

I’m here to attend Carsonified’s Future of Web Design conference, which doesn’t kick off till 9am this morning. I’ve been in town though since around 11am yesterday. As short as that sounds, I’ve already had an amazing time. The taxi ride from LaGuardia to the hotel was simultaneously slow and frightening at the same time. If you ever get the chance to go for a ride in a NY taxi, just go ahead and forget about any and all traffic laws. Once you’ve accepted that crossing into oncoming traffic, running lights, buzzing by pedestrians and honking at the horse drawn carriages is OK, it can actually be a fun ride.

As soon as I got to the hotel, I dropped my bags and hit the streets. I grabbed a quick lunch at Ray’s Pizza, walked through the theatre district and disappeared into Central Park where I spent the first half of the afternoon. The weather was terrific, the Fall colors were in full effect and there were people everywhere. I wandered my way up from the Southeast entrance, over some boulders to the Wollman Ice Skating Rink. From there I walked up to the Central Park Carousel, through The Mall and stopped to watch some crazy skateboarding kids and a street dancing crew near the Naumburg Bandshell. Then, I headed up to Bethesda fountain, around the Loeb Boathouse, and looped back and headed South again along the West side of the park. I didn’t really stick to the trails, so I’m not sure what the exact distance was, but I’m sure I covered at least 4 miles just walking the park.

After that, I hit a little Espresso bar called Zibetto for a coffee and made it to the MOMA by about 3pm where I spent the rest of my afternoon. When I woke up this morning and started writing this post, my time in the museum was what I really intended to talk about. There’s just something magical about being able to walk up to and experience so many famous works in one place. As someone who studied art history in school, I knew a lot of the pieces I saw, which made it that much more amazing. It was a great refresher course and very inspiring.

For dinner, I had planned to take the subway over to Brooklyn for a Forrst meetup. During the day though, I got an invite to attend the FOWD speakers dinner. I couldn’t pass that up and I’m glad I didn’t. It’s always energizing and inspiring to hang out with other web design speakers and authors. While the dinner was probably fancier, I don’t imagine it was much different than the meetup would have been. Everyone in this industry is very cool, friendly and approachable and we all have something in common to talk about. I really had a great time.

Well, I started off this post saying that FOWD doesn’t start till 9 and that time is quickly approaching. Time for me to head over there to kick off another crazy day in the Big Apple.

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