Saturday, February 14, 2004

Business trips are a workaholic's dream. You are relieved from all family and personal habitat responsibilities. You don't cook, you don't clean up after yourself, you don't have to deal with relatives (face-to-face, anyways), you don't even have the regular at-your-desk trivialities ... you are free to slave for The Man until you drop.

I *am* putting in quite a bit of time at the office, but I did notice the sun shining through the window just after lunch today and took a whole Saturday afternoon off. After all, I'm in New York for the first time. I walked through most of mid- and lower Manhattan, seeing Times Square and Union Square, Soho and Greenwich Village, Little Italy and Chinatown, Battery Park, Liberty Island, the World Trade Centre site, the Brooklyn bridge, Wall Street, Broadway, Park Avenue, and lots of interesting folks on the street. I'm totally impressed by the vertical scale of this place. Everything is straight up.

The entrepreneurial spirit is deep-rooted in these folks. There are thousands of junk shops, operating under the guise of "Trading Companies". The goofiest, tackiest stuff is up for sale - plastic purses, shelf dust collectors, throwaway electonic and cloth goods, ... and there's SHOPS full of just one or two things. And there's several shops with the same twisted idea that this stuff will sell. I guess they have the best chance of finding someone buy it, here of all places. There are so many people around, all of the time.

Boy, I must sound like a country bumpkin. I do love the excitement and scale of it all.

Coming here for work means that I get to hang out with the locals, too. I was taken out to a homey Italian restaurant on my first night, and a swanky Manhattan place called the Park Avalon on the second night. They've threatened to take me to Dukes next, so I get to see the seedier side of the city. I hope they come through for me. I haven't felt threatened in the slightest during my trip. I've been all over, but just not to upper Manhattan or over to Brookyn or Queens. Maybe I'll save that for next trip.

I'm taking pictures with my trusty digital camera, which I hope to make available as soon as I get home to my required cables. By Monday evening, I'm sure I'll be ready to tear myself away from the office and all the work that there is here, but for now, I'm still digging right into getting things set up my way.

Whoo hoo!

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