So I’ve spent the last week in New York and it’s gone in a complete blur.

I arrived midnight Sunday at Laguardia airport and spent an hour in gridlock traffic getting to my hostel. No cutlery, knifes are blunt and broken, Internet keeps dropping out, no hand towels anywhere (!?) and a 40 minute trip into manhattan. But, you get what you pay for I guess :)

Just another day in Times Square
Steam coming out of the subway in Times Square

I’ve visited Times Square (very impressive and much larger than I realised), visited the Guggenheim museum, had a guided tour of Broadway and seen an excellent Broadway show (School of Rock). The show was very well done, with super fast set changes and the kids performing on their instruments live - very impressive!

Guggenheim museum
School of Rock adapter from the movie by Andrew Lloyd Webber

I did a 5 hour bike ride tour of lower manhattan, which was probably the highlight of NY. Riding through China town, little Italy and down Wall St. was great.

Bike ride through lower Manhattan, stopping at Brooklyn Bridge

There’s a Jewish community I accidentally walked through after taking the wrong subway exit; it was super cool seeing everyone in their full dress strolling around. All the mums and kids were out on the streets playing - it was like something out of a movie. Nothing like little old Adelaide.

Key observations:

  • New Yorkers are actually ok! They’ve all been really friendly and people have gone out of their way to help me out. Even shared an Uber with a random when the subway decided to stop.
  • NY pizza is large and awful
  • Actually all food is crap, except for a couple of select places where you don’t escape for less than $US20 for any meal
  • Despite the above, I have been doing a lot of work while here – although there has been a lot of networking events that involve free pizza and beer… which is surprisingly tiring.
Bull on Wall St
Girl on Wall St

On Monday night I went to a startup pitching competition with about 20 other startups. I didn’t win, but got an honuorable mention. It turns out that another company pitched 2 months prior with something similar and half the judges / investors in the room were investing in that company… at a $75m valuation.

Today was the main conference which had some excellent speakers and was very technical. However, I spent most of the time networking rather than listening… and made some excellent connections.

Next up is New Orleans for the Collision conference. A lazy 20k people from around the world will be attending – plus there’s a week long Jazz festival at the same time. I have a long weekend ahead preparing for the conference, getting flyers printed, and sorting out some legal paperwork.

Posted by Chris

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