Monday, July 31, 2006

Mixing business with pleasure

I got to go on my first business trip through work. One of my project teams visited Social Security offices in New York last week. We were up there from Tuesday through Thursday. It was a weird experience. I didn't expect to have as much fun as I did. We managed to get our work done and see some cool sights. It was nice riding the Amtrak, but I bet that was because we were in the roomy, non-smelly, double the cost of normal, business class Acela Express.

We stayed in Manhattan and visited offices in Lower Manhattan, Central Manhattan and Brooklyn. The first day we went down to the Historic Seashore to have dinner and then visit an office. After the visit, we walked down to ground zero. I don't know what I was really expecting but it wasn't what I thought it would be. There's a huge fence around the area with a list of people who perished in the towers. Also, they have some sort of plans up for what they are planning on doing there. We also managed to shop at the largest department store - Century 21 right across from Ground Zero. I remember when I visited the Twin Towers many years ago, there was almost nothing around them. On this first day, we took a cab, a bus, walked a couple miles and took the subway.

The second day, we took the subway to Brooklyn. After our work was done, we came back to the hotel in Manhattan and then walked to the Empire State Building where we ate at a wonderful restaurant - Heartland Chophouse and Brewery. We thought about going up to the Observation Deck but the line was huge, so we walked down 34th street to a huge Macys. Well, the others did that while I stopped at every one of the gazillion shoe stores on that street within a radius of 2 blocks. It was tough though since we ended dinner at 8:30 and the shops closed at 9. Then we walked up Broadway to Times Square. I was there too many years ago and it just seemed like there were more people and more stores than I remembered, which is probably true.

Our third day was a half day, since we were returning to Baltimore right after our office visit. So, I woke up a little early and walked over to the U.N. which was a block away from our hotel and got some pictures. I wish I had known they allowd visitors in. Though now I have a really nice long list of things for me and Jeff to do whenever we plan our trip to the Big Apple.

Photos to come!

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