My team at work has a few people in New York, and we’re adding more fast, so I went out there last week to work with them in person. My last visit to New York was 12 years ago, and I spent most of that upstate, so I was looking forward to exploring Manhattan and Brooklyn with enough time to appreciate them.
The trip did not disappoint. Talking with my teammates there in person was really productive. I can’t overstate the value of low latency, high bandwidth communication. Even delays as small as a tenth of a second interrupt the flow of conversation when you’re talking on the phone or VC – much less IM or email – and it’s easy to forget how valuable the subtle cues of body language and facial expressions are. You bond quickly in person and develop relationships that are tough to match otherwise.
Beyond work, we also hung out with great people and did a ton of fun stuff. Here’s a short summary; pictures at the bottom.
Monday: flew into JFK, checked into The Strand, relaxed on their great rooftop deck. Evidently that’s a thing in NY. Initial impressions: good airport, good hotel, bad wine, bad coffee, dressy people, diverse demographics (at least, more than SF), and lots of greenery. Evidently that last part is recent in the last 10 years or so, thanks to Bloomberg. It made a big impression on me.
Tuesday: More bad coffee at ‘wichcraft. Learned the subway, which is great. Settled into the Google NY office, which is nice, if a bit fragmented. Long design meetings at work. Lunch at Little Owl (great burger!) with Edward. Saw Book of Mormon on Broadway, loved it.
Wednesday: Meh coffee at Starbucks. More long design meetings at work. Dinner at wd~50. We skipped the 12 course tasting menu, but we shouldn’t have. A la carte was still fun, but not nearly as interesting. Afterward, bad jazz at Arthur’s and really freaking good jazz at 55 Bar.
Thursday: Ran through Central Park. So big! Gave up on coffee altogether. Lunch at Facebook’s NY office with Josh, who’s spinning up one of their first engineering teams there. Dinner in Brooklyn (yay!) at Vinegar Hill House with Jeremy and Sarah. Walked back over the Brooklyn Bridge, had a blast.
Saturday: Brunch uptown with Sam and Judith (and Ariella!). Supervised our wedding registry at Macy’s. Sightseeing at Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, High Line, and Chelsea Market. Tried to get tickets to Sleep No More, failed, settled for dinner at Bell, Book and Candle.
Thanks, New York! We’ll be back!