I’m gonna be straight up, I’ve been trying to think of a nice, witty way to make my way into this post for days… but let’s get real, I went to NYC a solid week ago, this lovely intro just ain’t gonna happen. And really, there’s no need for it. I went to New York. New York doesn’t require formal introductions. New York is cool place. Among the coolest of the cool places. End of story.
Except, not really. Not at all. There are plenty of stories. This trip is full of stories I could share. Should share.
Like I could tell you about that time Channing Tatum touched my arm and apologized for being in my way… a comedic story really. Silly Channing should know he could never be in my way. What a doll. Really.
I was only in town a for a few days attending/working the award ceremony for the 71st annual Peabody Awards (nobody seems to know what the Peabodies are, so just FYI, they’re a big deal broadcast award put out by the University of Georgia that I had the honor of judging this year– read about them or something).
Even though it was a short trip, I took a lot away from this New York minute. The Big Apple is just so darn full. Full of people, full of hustle, full of excitement. I experienced a more authentic sense of that fullness this time around. And it made me full too… likewise full of excitement, full of food, full of thinkings.
From the moment we took a safe, non-rapist taxi (long story, don’t ask) to our hotel, all simply felt right with the world. When I saw that the hotel interior was splashed with calming light, filled with zen-like tunes, had birds hanging from the ceiling and grass growing out of random places…
I thought, “Wow hotel, how do you understand me so well right now?” The toiletries even delivered positive sentiments, for goodness sake.
After spending the day roaming streets, contemplating why any one city needs that many Starbucks and making best friends with an Egyptian bagel man, our little Georgian clump ended up at an improv comedy club. We we’re hoping to see Amy Poehler. We did not see Amy Poehler. But we did see some real funny dudes. And we didn’t feel like total tourists. Which was nice.
As I sat surrounded by New Yorkers in this cramped underground hole-in-the-wall, all I could think was, “Wow, not all basements are terrifying… some have laughter and booze.”
I did indeed get to see Amy Poeehler the next day at the ceremony. Along with plenty of others to mentally drool over while attempting to remain outwardly cool and collected.
I hate to identify my life’s peak moment as standing that close to Anderson Cooper… but it’s really hard not to.
Whole time, I just kept thinking, “Wow, is this real life? These people look shorter in person.”
Working the ceremony landed me collaborating with a local firm on the PR team for the event. It was an experience. A rapid-fire, semi-chaotic fabulous-type experience. Head of said firm and my boss for the day was exactly what you’d expect a major NYC communications agency president to be… She scared the absolute snot out of me. But in a good way.
With people running, cameras flashing and press starting to get riled up all around me, I thought, “Wow, this is ridiculous… I like it.”
After the speeches, after the champagne, after all was said and done, even the city streets seemed calm.
I ended up inexplicably pleased with sitting in a little dive of a Chinese restaurant.
One– because ordering octopus and kale salad turned out to be the best decision I could have made right then.
Two– some song that reminded me of Athens stuff started playing over the scratchy speakers. I remembered the awesome stuff and the awesome folks I was soon to be heading back to. Got me all excited to return with fresh enthusiasm. Traveling can do that for ya.
Traveling can also allow you taste junk you see on TV. Sitting in Serendipity 3, swallowing down a bowl of their signature frozen hot chocolate, I thought, “Wow, are they really about to charge me ten bucks for icy chocolate soup?”
Whatever. They’re famous. Especially for ridiculously expensive dessert. I had to be a part of it.
My final day, I spent with my best friend aimlessly wandering just about everywhere. Literally, like everywhere in Manhattan. NoHo, SoHo, Greenwich village, China Town, Lower East Side, Little Italy… we just wandered. Aimlessly. Couldn’t have asked for anything better.
Little side note– your travel companions make or break a trip. With the right people, walking forever with no solid destination can be the funnest thing ever.
As I ate the literally the greatest bagel my mouth has ever met, discovered some of NYC’s more tranquil patches, connected with my roots in Little Italy with a plate of veal parm, the whole entire journey I thought, “Wow, I could get used to this.”
The end. My NYC experience in a nutshell. A large nutshell. A large, jam-packed nutshell. Like I said, NYC… it’s the land of full.