Work it: A week in NYC

Since I’ll soon be working in the New York office of our new parent company, my boss generously suggested I fly out for a visit before I move back permanently in August, which also means I got to see family and friends.

Getting there

Because I could expense my flight, I paid out of my own pocket an extra $50 for an aisle seat near the front. It was a lovely flight. I didn’t feel like working or writing. I mostly read my book, listened to podcasts, and played Shanghai Mahjongg.

I sucked it up, skipped a cab, and took instead the subway to my hotel. It felt long but wasn’t too much of a hassle. Plus it was much cooler than I was anticipating. Still warm but breezy and not too humid. Later I’d be told I just missed a heatwave.

NOMO SoHo and a Whole Foods dinner

I was staying at the NOMO. It seemed super-hip — almost too hip for the likes of me. But I got used to it. I thought about working out but was too hungry and tired.

There are a million restaurants around, but where did I go? Whole Foods. That is, the Whole Foods I used to go to when I lived on the Lower East Side.

I wanted pasta, but that place is gone now, along with the “conveyer belt” sushi place I liked. Now the sushi place is a giant Jamba Juice, and the pasta place is BBQ, which was fine by me. I got the pulled pork and chopped chicken with a couple of different sauces (one more sweet, the other more mustardy) and sides of beans and coleslaw. It was good.

I should have stayed out longer, but it looked like it was about to storm. After I got back to my room, I was a little anxious about having enough time to get ready in the morning so I did all my ironing for the week that night. Watched some random shows I’d never seen nor heard of before. Took a shower and relaxed.

Jet lag and insomnia

Going from west to east is always the worst for me in terms of jet lag. That night was no exception.

I couldn’t sleep until about two in the morning. There was nothing I could really do. I suppose I could have gone for a walk, but I didn’t feel like it. I actually thought about working out. Instead I just did a little work, played around on Facebook, and watched Rosemary & Thyme (which is available on YouTube) on my computer. (Thank goodness for free wifi.)

Coffee, the elixir of life

The next day was rough but not too rough. I got up before seven all prepared to scout some coffee since the room didn’t have a coffee maker. I had looked up some places but went to the front desk to double check. Luckily I did: turns out the hotel offers complimentary coffee every morning in the lobby. YAAAAS.

I got a large cup, ate half a Lara bar, then got a refill. That definitely improved my outlook on life.

The office is very nice as was everyone I met. I’m rather familiar with that part of town since I once interned at a children’s publisher on that very block.

Graffiti, New York style

While wandering around during my lunch hours, I saw plenty of cool graffiti, like melty face here:

This sunglassed individual(s):

Mr. Robot (which I only realized later is a show):

This guy who unwittingly matched the graffiti:

And Sandra:

Cafe China and Alice in Wonderland

In addition to having lunch with a college bud on the Upper East Side and seeing my new digs in Brooklyn and having an Indian dinner with my future roommate, I had the chance to catch up with my friend Yiannis.

Our plan was to hit the Alice in Wonderland exhibit at the Morgan Library, but first we had dinner. There actually aren’t that many restaurants in Midtown East, but he managed to find a cute place, Cafe China. It’s upscale Chinese with decor that’s very 1930s Shanghai. My Kung Pao chicken and whiskey cocktail were yummy.

Friday nights the Morgan is free so the exhibit was very crowded. But I did get to see some cool stuff, like this handwritten and illustrated manuscript from Lewis Carroll:

Afterward I returned with Yiannis to his office (where I had stashed my luggage) and headed to New Jersey and the ‘rents.

Some time with the ‘rents

The perfect cap to an active, jet-lagged week was a quiet weekend of eating, sleeping a lot, watching TV, and dodging my mother’s random worried questions.

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