Archive | January 2007

New York observations

So I’ve been in this crazy city for about 4 months now and there are a few things I’ve noticed that I find interesting (you may not).

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(via flickr user ChrisFLinton)

Language differences:

here you’re not IN line, you’re ON line.

You don’t take something to go, but instead it’s “to take away.”

non dressy shoes are always “sneakers.”

Weirdos..

As expected, this city is crawling with very interesting people who really are in their own worlds.

Washington Sq Park Guy: This very short guy (around 5 ft tall) stands at the eastern edge of Washington Sq. Park around 8:30am. He’s dressed sort of like a high school principle with brown pants and a short sleeve shirt (no matter how cold it is), with what looks like a pocket protector in his shirt’s right front pocket. He stands there, constantly checks his watch, and mutters stuff to people as they pass by. It’s almost as if he’s watching his kids come into school, and he’s telling them to hurry to class. Can’t figure this guy out.

White Ninja: This guy hovers around the East Village, near my sisters place and I really can’t figure him out. He’s always dressed in ALL white including his keds shoes. The amazing thing is his whites are always extremely white, as if they were recently bleached. He takes great care of his whites, so he’s definitely got that going for him. He’s also, always in a hurry walking by at a speed walker’s pace as if he’s late.

Scrungie Guy: This guy seems to hover around the area around my building. He wears a rainbow smock (like what you’d see a nurse wear in a children’s hospital), some sort of weird tight leotards, and glasses. To top off the outfit he has his long grey hair in a purple (or green) scrungie. Weird.

Restrooms

These are precious, and I’ve learned that my brain takes note of potential access to restrooms no matter where I am. It’s much more important to remember where public restrooms are in this city than say Ohio, because they’re not as easy to find when you need them. I know from many walks up by the park where I can go, down 5th ave where I can go, and I can always fall back on a Starbucks or McDonalds. Starbucks restrooms are really like going to a different world. You never know what kind of people you’ll wait in line with, or what’s been thrown all over the restroom. I never been to a Starbucks that actually had two restrooms, and had them both in order. I won’t fault them though because there really is no way to keep up with the mass of humanity that flows through there. If you want a shot at interesting random conversation, go wait in line at Starbucks for the restroom. If you want to see interesting people, go to a Starbucks in the evening.
Dogs need to be clothed when it’s cold. You’re in the minority here if your dog doesn’t have a nice sweater or hooded sweatshirt when it’s cold out there.

Girls…Now there are some incredibly beautiful girls walking around this city, but either I’m the most unhip person in the world (possible) or I don’t understand at all what fashion is. I see more outfits that are obviously well thought out, that look completely ridiculous to me. Even more amazing to me is that looking good trumps everything. On days like today (it was probably 20 degrees this morning) I see girls with skirts on (bare legs!), some sort of 3/4 length tights (exposing their ankles) with incredibly high heels that expose the tops of their feet and look as comfortable to walk on as nails, rarely hats (it’s freezing!), and sometimes they wear these little jackets that couldn’t possibly keep anyone warm.

Food..Amazing.

Delivery…amazing. Calling to deliver? Awful. Are there any happy or pleasant order takers out there?

Laundry…amazing…I don’t mind paying a little more, you really can’t beat the drop and fold services. You leave them with a nasty bag of old laundry, and it comes back later the same day fresh clean, and very neatly folded!

Prices…obviously crazy high. The weird thing is you start to get used to it after a little while. 5 dollar beers? Wow. What is this, happy hour?

I could really go on, but this has already taken enough time. This city though really is a great place to live. It’s filled with so many talented, ambitious, happy, and interesting people. I’ve been fortunate to meet quite a few already, and I can only imagine who I’ll meet over the next year. I can see why some call this the greatest city on earth. I’m very excited to be here.

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Paul Kedrosky’s Infectious Greed: Sequoia: We Didn’t Want to Sell YouTube to Google

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What do you do?

I hate this question. I’d love to know why even the anticipation of it makes me quake. I remember reading in “What Should I do with my life,” about one person in there also quaking whenever asked this question. This is how they knew they HAD to make a change. What’s the point of going out on your own if you don’t feel unbelievably proud and excited about what you’re doing for the world?

I would say that I probably spend way too much time thinking about what I should be doing, or do and too little time actually doing. Perhaps I’ve been thinking about what “I want to work on next,” for so long tha I’ve actually found something to work on…finding what I’m going to work on next. That has become sort of my calling and path for the moment. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy (obviously) spending time reading and working in perosnal development. But that’s like trying to learn how to ride a bike from a picture book, you can’t do it unless you feel it. I’ll always put an emphasis on personal development in my life because I truly believe we live what we see, and seeing is all about your perspective. Perspective and knowledge can consistently be improved and built over time. But personal development is only half the equation, the other half needed for a “successful life,” is action. I’ve been gunshy for a year now.

I’m determined to set a new course with drastic changes. It’s not as if I’ve been completely idle over the last 12 months. I have indeed spent a lot of time on a lot of projects, and while I’ve been able to make some money and learn some new things, I feel as if little progress has been made. The truth is doing these little projects is like running on a treadmill. You’ll use up a lot of your time, you’ll feel tired at the end of the day, but when you look up you realize that you didn’t move anywhere. That’s not fun for anyone. But this time, real changes need to be made.

It’s really hard to get an “outside” perspective from within. The problem is that everything you see and do in your life is affected by your own filter or perspective. But I think that paying attention the way outside events make you feel, you can cut through some of the potentially harmful beliefs you have put in place preventing a fresh personal perspective. I”ve been resting on the beliefs that I’m on the right path to finding my next thing. I approach it the same way, with my constant networking, brainstorming sessions, and project work. I “think” this will work, but I “know,” it won’t. I felt this more clearer than ever yesterday while meeting someone, who quickly quipped to me “What do you do?” Good question. I, of course, squirmed.

I can’t keep going down the same roads and expect to find a new destination at the end. It’s so important for me to have an answer to that question (what do you do) that feels awesome, important, inspirational, and right. That comes with time, education, and risk.

It’s easy to forget the famous Einstein quote “Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Time for a change.