Thursday, May 24, 2007

I [heart] NY

I know, I know, it sounds cliché and all that, but I really do love New York. Maybe it's because I've only been here a week and a half and I'm still firmly planted in the honeymoon phase, and maybe I'll decide I hate it here in a couple weeks, but for now I'm really enjoying it.

Three distinct things stand out about the last three days that have made me love the city, and my job, more and more.

1.) On Monday, Cory Doctorow gave a talk at Google. That is to say, he gave a talk at Google in Mountain View which was simultaneously video conferenced to New York, where I saw it. His talk was about the economics of information, how America has essentially traded its industrial infrastructure and influence for an information-based economy, and how this is ruining America's freedom of speech, not to mention its economy.

The talk touched on the power the entertainment industry holds over American politics, economy and foreign policy, the evils of DRM and our futile attempts at information security, piracy, the failures of the copyright and patent systems in allowing for innovation, and many other topics. He even turned an accusatory finger at Google itself for going along with DRM and embedding it in its Video product.

It was a very thought-provoking talk, and it gave me even more respect for a guy already brimming with it.

2.) After work on Monday I decided to stroll around the Upper East Side, eventually making my way to Central Park. I'd never been. Suffice it to say, I loved it. I sat by a pond and read, peoplewatched, and just generally enjoyed the beautiful weather. I watched a group of four ducks fly laps around the pond probably 20+ times at breakneck speeds; I'm convinced they were racing each other.

I purposefully only walked through a small corner of the park on the east side near 79th St., so that next time I go I can see completely new things. I'm trying to pace myself while exploring all of the City, so I'll always have something new to see (not that I could see it all anyway, even if I lived here for years).

3.) Today, I promised myself I would find a good coffee shop. Google Maps told me there were a few nearby, and I was sick of just going home every day after work, so I made it a point to find one. And find one I did.

M. Rohr's House of Fine Teas and Coffees is the name of it, and unbeknownst to me, I've walked past the place twice a day every day since I moved here. It's on 86th St., on my way to the subway station to get to work. It's pretty easy to miss; it's little more than a door in the side of a long street of stores. But inside, it's just the kind of place I can see myself spending hours. In fact, I spent a couple hours there today, reading and drinking cup after cup of coffee. So much coffee in fact that I may never get to sleep.

Those aren't the only good things to happen to me in the last three days, far from it, but they were pretty awesome. I have to say, I'm really loving it here. A lot.

However, I do get homesick from time to time, so if you're reading this (and I believe you are), you should give me a call, or better yet plan a trip out to see me. Failing that, you could also mail me something, and I'd be one happy camper.

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