I want to be a part of it: New York, New York
– Frank Sinatra
My endgame for the whole trip around the world was always to leverage my sense of being uprooted to make a move to another part of the country. New York City has always been tops on that list, so I was excited to time my first visit since getting back with a networking BBQ in Brooklyn hosted by two independent online travel communities, The Matador Network and Sosauce.
In a real deja-vu moment, my Dad dropped me off at the Vienna metro station last Wednesday morning, where I slung my backpack over my shoulders and headed into Washington, DC to catch the bus to NYC. This was exactly how my trip around the world started in late November 2007! But this time, I wouldn't be getting on an Air Tahiti flight.
While I was sipping a coffee outside the Starbucks at my preferred pick-up location, I saw the bus pass by on the opposite side of the street. A few minutes later, I called the office and confirmed the bus driver just missed me and was on his way to the next location. I jumped in a cab and we sped off to the new spot. This wasn't the start I was looking for. Thankfully I got one of the last seats on the bus just as all the money was being collected from passengers.
Tired from going out the night before and having to wake up early, I passed the time learning how to use my new BlackBerry Curve 8900 and nodding off. As Nomadic Matt recently mentioned, the east coast bus services now feature wi-fi internet connections, which I thought was cool, though there wasn't enough room for me to whip out my full size HP laptop.
About 4 hours later, we arrived in Manhattan. I headed into the subway and made my way to Union Square where I had plans to meet up with my good friend Kai who now worked nearby at College Humor, and along with my younger brother, lived nearby as well. Kai was in a meeting when I arrived, so I spent the next hour and a half people-watching. I quickly decided that person for person, New York City has the most diverse and fashionable population on the planet. I'm willing to offer London an honorable mention.
It was good to see Kai again. Another connection re-established in person, post-trip! He gave me my brother's keys to his apartment in the East Village, and I made the short walk over to unload my pack. Later, my brother returned home late from work while I was still up. It was good to see him again too.
Note: All the photos I post from my time in NYC were taken with my new BlackBerry, which features a 3.2-megapixel camera with flash. A weekend in the city that never sleeps was the perfect opportunity to take it for a test run.