Tag Archives: new york city

A Very Brief Night & Day in NYC

I had a very long and exhausting experience over the past few days.  On Saturday, Larry & I went to see Mockingjay, Part 2 at the Chinese Theater and it was great and everything (maybe a review coming later, who knows).   After that, which probably got the exhaustion off to a good start, we went over to Jacen’s house for a party.  Not just ANY party though – it was his coming out party.  Who knew?  It was an absolute blast and included two very attractive shirtless men serving drinks, which I think is now going to be a condition for any party I attend in the near future.  I mean, it just makes sense. No while we didn’t stay till super late in the evening – I did drink my fair sure of red wine to ensure the celebration was wonderful!  We left around 11 or so though and got to be probably around 12.  Unfortunately for me, my flight was at 7am on Sunday, meaning I had to get up at 4:30 to get on the road by 5.  UGH.  I did get up, got out the door (wisely, I had packed before the party), and drove over to LAX Long Term Lot C.  Off I went to NYC!

In a Middle Seat!  Yay for last-minute flight bookings!  My booking was so I could be present, in person, for an engagement kick-off where the client is in NYC.  I didn’t want to get into the city late at night like I have in the past, so this early morning flight got me there around 3:30 in the afternoon.  Even then, by the time my cab got me into town from JFK, it was twilight.  I was exhausted.  Probably had 2 hours of sleep to my name at that point and I definitely didn’t sleep on the plane.  But a shower helped when I got checked in – and man, this hotel where I stayed, the Andaz, was AMAZING.  It’s located on the same block as the PwC building, so there’s a decent deal for rooms there.  I thought that would mean it was going to be standard and formulaic – OH CONTRAIRE!  Seriously swanky – the room is pictured here:

I talked to Larry for a little bit and it was now time to get some dinner – I considered just going downstairs to the hotel’s nice restaurant, and while I was super tired, my love of the city made me want to leave and go to Blue Smoke.  Because reasons.  Larry encouraged me, and off I went!  I ended up taking the subway there and getting in around 6pm.  On a Sunday, that’s pretty damn early and meant NO LINE.  Yay!  Plenty of room at the bar too, so I sat there and got my fix of delicious Blue Smoke, including their delectable mac and cheese.  It’s noticeably a different recipe than what Larry & I fell in love with, but still so damn good.

As you can see, I did pretty good with putting away food.  And that energy burst helped fuel me for what came next: an impromptu walking tour around Midtown!

My journey started at Blue Smoke, and I walked up Park Avenue from there at 27th St to Grand Central at 42nd.  From there I walked west to Fifth Avenue and continued heading north, as I realized I wanted to see 30 Rock.  Gotta say – I think that Sunday may be the last calm time for Manhattan for a great while as the holiday rush is coming.  Believe that!  It was actually a pleasure to walk around.  Sure, there were plenty of people, but NOTHING like the deluge of FTPs that come in starting Thanksgiving.  Ugh.  So yeah, this was a nice walk.  After reveling in 30 Rock, I swung by Times Square and again, not so terrible of crowds.  I even finally climbed up the tkts booth to get a higher view of the commotion. It’s quite a cool view.  After that, it was time to head back to the hotel, and conveniently Bryant Park is on the way.  There’s an ice rink set up and it ends up being a nice place to just sit down and people watch.  So I did that for a little bit and realized I miss living in NYC a LOT.  Always so much to do…in an ittybitty living space (h/t Aladdin).  After that – back to the hotel and glorious glorious sleep.

Sunday, Nov 22, 2015 – My Midtown Walking Tour

My plans for working out never happened, and I had big plans.  But yeah, no.  It was awesome to have a very short walk to work, and great to see Osman and Dan again, as well as meeting some new coworkers. The kick-off went well and afterwards, we had a good team lunch at a nearby PJ Clarke’s and damn, it was good burgers there.

So now, I’m back.  The flight back was not a total shitshow, but maybe an almost total shitshow.  I’m hoping I manage not to get whatever the woman next to me had – I made it a point not to engage with her from the start as she was annoying as fuck, but when she came down with something that apparently her whole family had been suffering through the last few days, and disappeared into the bathroom for the majority of the flight, I made sure to desanitize everything I could.  So we’ll see if I end up sick for Thanksgiving.  If so, fuck those people.

New York, for a second

Work is getting a bit busier for me (hallelujah!) and early next week, I’ll be jetting off to the City in order to be there for a Monday meeting, then flying back Monday night in hopes to avoid any Thanksgiving flying craziness.  We’ll see how lucky I am in that regard.  I am optimistic and excited about the opportunity I’m soon to be part of!

In other tangentially-related news, I’ve been getting in the weeds with using Python and I just love it.  I’ve been hooked by how easy it is to program within and all the external modules that can be easily brought in.  I’ve just started using easygui for quick and easy ways to give users windowed GUIs and it makes all the difference.  Alright, maybe I should lay off the geek speak for now.  But seriously, Python is a blast to code in.

Back From the City

It had been about 14 months since I had lost gone to New York City, but that dry spell has ended after this week!  I went back there for some additional training for my job and I have to say I definitely enjoy getting trained in NYC rather than in the Atlanta airport vicinity.   But that’s just me.   I’m very appreciative of this week’s training as I got an increased visibility into just what it is I can expect to be doing and I got to learn some valuable skills that I want to keep perfecting, especially in the Spotfire and Tableau realms.  I also met some great people who were also going through this session – networking, networking, networking!  The also fantastic part of this week was that Larry was also back in NYC with me, but he was here for his own job.  There’s also some hopeful news coming from there and which I hope to report on very soon.  Fingers crossed.

The time spent there certainly wasn’t a vacation although there was time in the evening to at least get out a little.  Walking around New York during the morning and evening rush hours was invigorating, and I got to recognize that even though I thought I was a fast-walker, Los Angeles speeds don’t compare at all to the NYC walking pace.  I was once one of their number, but you do chill a bit back here on the west coast.

Anyway, I took some pictures, of course, while back.  I revisited the United Nations (exterior, at least), finally got in and saw the Daily Planet globe, braved Grand Central Terminal, and of course the views of the PwC building in Midtown Manhattan.  So there’s pictures of those things, but not much more as it was damn cold while we were there.  Well, Larry is still there until tomorrow night, and apparently it snowed today.  I’m happy to be enjoying the 70-80 degree temps here.

Monday, March 16, 2015 – First Day back

16-Mar-2015 18:01, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 50
16-Mar-2015 18:01, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 64
16-Mar-2015 18:02, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 50
 
16-Mar-2015 18:02, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 50
16-Mar-2015 18:02, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 320
A few of my favorite places
A few of my favorite places16-Mar-2015 18:02, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 50
 
16-Mar-2015 18:03, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 40
16-Mar-2015 18:03, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 125
16-Mar-2015 18:03, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 160
 
Los Angeles!
Los Angeles!16-Mar-2015 18:04, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.042 sec, ISO 250
My hotel for the week on the east side of 42nd St
My hotel for the week on the east side of 42nd St16-Mar-2015 18:06, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 32
The lit-up Chrysler Building just down the street
The lit-up Chrysler Building just down the street16-Mar-2015 19:50, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 320
 
16-Mar-2015 19:50, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 400
It's such a fantastic skyline component
It's such a fantastic skyline component16-Mar-2015 19:53, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 640
16-Mar-2015 20:06, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 400
 

Oh Blue Smoke, how I missed thee.

Tuesday, March 17

Monday’s training was in one of the basement conference rooms, but Tuesday’s was on the 7th floor and hence we were afforded a bit of a view!  After training, I went to visit the exterior of the United Nations, as now that I’d built it in LEGO, I felt like I knew it.  I really loved taking a tour of the UN shortly before leaving NYC in 2010 – highly recommend it to anyone!  For dinner, I was on my own so I wandered to Grand Central’s restaurant concourse in the lower level and treated myself to Shake Shack.  Honestly, it wasn’t as good as I had remembered – maybe I’m truly an In-N-Out man?

17-Mar-2015 08:54, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 50
St Patty's day was slightly rainy in the morning
St Patty's day was slightly rainy in the morning17-Mar-2015 08:54, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 64
As you'll see, plenty of people took today off to drink regardless of rain or time of day
As you'll see, plenty of people took today off to drink regardless of rain or time of day17-Mar-2015 11:02, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 32
 
Yep - loud too
Yep - loud too17-Mar-2015 11:02, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 50
Lots and lots of celebration
Lots and lots of celebration17-Mar-2015 11:03, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 32
17-Mar-2015 11:12, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 32
 
The pwc logo awaits thee!
The pwc logo awaits thee!17-Mar-2015 15:11, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 32
17-Mar-2015 16:53, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 32
Grand Central feels like a special place and time within Midtown
Grand Central feels like a special place and time within Midtown17-Mar-2015 16:54, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 32
 
17-Mar-2015 16:54, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 32
The UN!
The UN!17-Mar-2015 17:52, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 32
17-Mar-2015 17:52, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 32
 
Bridges in the distance!
Bridges in the distance!17-Mar-2015 17:52, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 32
17-Mar-2015 17:52, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 32
17-Mar-2015 17:53, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 32
 

Wednesday, March 18

Back in the basement that day, but I did want to see what the PwC building actually looked like from the outside.  It’s kind of the midst of everything in Midtown so you really can’t see it and then all of a sudden, you’re there and walking into the very spacious white lobby.  It’s a very nice building – and then Osman took me to lunch in the cafeteria and I got very jealous because the LA office does NOT have such luxuries!  🙂

18-Mar-2015 08:47, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 32
18-Mar-2015 08:47, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 32
18-Mar-2015 08:47, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 32
 

Thursday, March 19

And finally, the last day of training.  This day, we were on the 21st (!!!) floor and the view was stunning from the conference room’s windows.  Stunning.  You got a singular view of the Chrysler Building and a nice overhead view of Grand Central.  You could also see the thin sliver of what will be the tallest residential tower in the Western Hemisphere as it keeps building higher, 432 Park.  We could see the construction elevators going up and down and you could NOT pay me to go on that.  Nope, not at all going to happen.

My flight was leaving that evening after the training as that was what we had been told to schedule, but damn, if there is a next time doing this, I will have to rethink it all.  You see, trying to leave Manhattan towards JFK at 4pm, which is early-ish, is a horrible idea.  Normally, the ride can take about an hour or so, even with traffic.  But this ride?  It took me just under 2 hours.  Luckily, I had made the command decision to cut out a touch early as my flight was at 6:45pm and I realized, I can’t leave at 4:30pm and hope to make my flight.  Sure enough, that 2-hour cab ride meant I got there with just less than an hour to get checked in and to the gate.  I ended up arriving at the gate and being nearly the last to check in.  That’s cutting it close.  I made the flight though (one of the new American Airlines jets with some tricked-out business and first class sections and Hobie wants that now, please), decided to watch Moneyball as I hadn’t seen it (I know!) on the entertainment system and now I’m back.

Flying a lot is exhausting.  But I actually will have a Sunday this weekend and I am fucking thrilled.  Larry will be back by then and I won’t be flying out and all will be nice in the world.

Grand Central from our 21st floor perch
Grand Central from our 21st floor perch19-Mar-2015 08:55, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 32
The Chrysler Building was right there!
The Chrysler Building was right there!19-Mar-2015 10:09, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 32
MetLife (former Pan Am) building too
MetLife (former Pan Am) building too19-Mar-2015 10:09, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 32
 
432 Park in the distance - it may look not that imposing from this angle, but it's realllly far away
432 Park in the distance - it may look not that imposing from this angle, but it's realllly far away19-Mar-2015 10:09, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 32
19-Mar-2015 10:09, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 32
19-Mar-2015 10:09, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 32
 
19-Mar-2015 12:22, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 32
19-Mar-2015 12:22, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 32
Thanks, Google Auto-Awesome
Thanks, Google Auto-Awesome19-Mar-2015 12:22, Apple iPhone 6, 4.15mm
 
19-Mar-2015 12:24, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 32
19-Mar-2015 12:24, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 32
19-Mar-2015 12:49, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 32
 
19-Mar-2015 12:49, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 32
19-Mar-2015 12:50, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 32
19-Mar-2015 12:52, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 32
 

A Long Way Here

There have been some lessons learned in this recent trip to NYC – first and foremost, enough with the 1-stop itineraries.  You’re going to get screwed.  How do I know this? Because my Burbank-Phoenix-JFK itinerary got blown to hell when after arriving in Phoenix, I received a text from AMEX Travel that said my flight to JFK was flat-out cancelled. UGH.  After about an hour on the phone with the amazingly helpful PwC AMEX Travel team, I was re-booked, this time now to fly to Dallas first, then to LaGuardia.  Even through many delays for the flight leaving Dallas because ATC was keeping air traffic out of NYC due to wind (it seems), I finally got here.  14 hours later.  Ridiculous. Amazingly, my bag actually made it too.  I figured it was gone for good.

But I’m here, I made it to my first day of training, and I got to see Superman‘s Daily Planet lobby on my way to work.  I then took pictures of it on my way back to the hotel.  That’s swell…

Back Home!

I made it back home this afternoon after a nice long six and a half hour flight from Newark.  Early departure though, had the whole row to myself (yay for a very empty flight), got to watch Fiddler on the Roof for the first time and still had 3 hours left to kill.  Larry was amazing and picked me up from LAX and we got back and I commenced a period of vegging as I was exhausted.  EXHAUSTED.

Besides it being an early flight though, I was tired from the whole NYC trip in itself.  The two days of work we did were pretty extensive but very productive.  We also managed to have a lot of fun in the evenings too.  The first night was Ramen as was seen in my previous big post;  the second night was a dinner with many of the people that were involved in the big workout session on Wednesday at a Mexican restaurant called Blue Moon (which may or may not have had a gay manager; ask Joe) and in which I developed a killer headache and our driver managed to get pulled over just a block from our destination; and then this last evening on Thursday….

After work and taking an EC shuttle back to the hotel, Nicki and I went to Blue Smoke and indulged in their fantastic barbeque food, but of course the highlight, for me, was the mac & cheese.  Of course, the bartenders and waiters there are all extremely cute and in some cases, flat out hot.  Yay!  Then we met up with Joe afterwards back in Hell’s Kitchen to enjoy some gay bar fun, first at Industry, which I’d never been to and we only stayed for like a minute, after which we went across the street to Therapy.  Therapy is the bar where Larry & I ended our first date and had our first kiss, and is probably the nicest and classiest of the gay bars in Manhattan.  We were there for Testosterone Thursdays, which is when they put on a strip show.  SWEET.  3 hot guys dancing in rapidly disappearing thongs, a midget in a red full body sheath dancing to Britney, and a ferocious drag queen named Bianca del Rio (soon to be seen in the forthcoming 6th season of Rupaul’s Drag Race) later, I can say I definitely wouldn’t mind returning for more of that!  I think Larry & I will have to explore some of the local offerings too.  Can’t say that the sight of a super hot guy stripping down to almost nothing is a bad thing.  Not. At. All.  So yeah, it was a good night and a great way to end the NYC whirlwind tour.  I’m also stoked to be gone from that cold hellhole – seriously, too fucking cold.

Last Night in NYC, January 30, 2014

Let me just say, I’m so happy to be home and with Larry.  There’s nothing like your own space.

Here are pics I took on the flight home with my iPhone – there are stupid black specks because of something on the lens.  This is why I don’t really prefer taking pics with my phone and rather with my camera, but I just was going with convenience.  That’s the worst.

Flying Home, January 31, 2014