I lived in New York City for 3 years. The last 12 days I spent there was my first time back since I moved to Los Angeles in October 2020.
The city felt different when I was a guest. My hotel room wasn’t my home; the whole city felt like my home.
I took the subway to every nook and cranny on the little island of Manhattan. I went over to Brooklyn and I went over to New Jersey. No car was needed - just public transportation. Everything felt accessible because it was.
It was a unique feeling when the biggest city in the US felt like an adult playground. My friends and work pulled me all across the city and I couldn’t be more thankful to constantly have something to do.
One of my biggest reasons for starting to write online was to capture time. When I was taking the subway home on one of my final days in the city, it occurred to me that capturing what I did the last few days in writing would be the only way I would remember it years from now. Our memories fade too quickly and I wanted to capture time before it slipped.
Here’s my attempt at putting time into words:
I flew into JFK airport and took a taxi to my hotel. Went to sleep at midnight.
I grabbed a coffee near grand central station and got some work done.
I then went to the upper east side (110th and Central Park) to grab lunch with my coworker right by his home. After lunch, we went for walk in the garden.
After lunch, I bounced around between different cafes and diners to charge my electronic devices, take calls and get some work done.
That evening, I went over to Central Park West and grabbed dinner with my friend at The Milling Room. It was a gorgeous restaurant and a fantastic first meal back in the city.
My friend is from Palestinian/Lebanese decent (his grandpa was born there), and while the conflict was consuming much of my mindshare, he was quite busy just focused on his own life which was refreshing to hear how it consumed us completely differently. We talked through the issue openly but then dove into our interests. We covered books we were reading, the startups we work for, investing and love. We have so many similar interests and it was great to connect.
The next day I road a Citi bike back to the upper west side where a couple I’m friends with cooked steak and eggs for breakfast and made coffee. We ate on their balcony, drank mimosas and enjoyed 85 degree weather.
We then biked down the west side bike path all the way to Chelsea. After we dropped off our bikes, we walked around and went into random art galleries.
After that, I regrouped just for a few minutes at my hotel before heading down to Washington Square and grabbing Sugar Fish with another couple. The way Sugar Fish works is you can do Omakase style sushi where it’s a predetermined set of dishes delivered by chef for a flat fee (like usual), but, the tip is included which is nice.
We went for a walk in Washington Square after and it was packed with people (mostly NYU students). A fight broke out in the water fountain and a lot of people ran as cops started to come in and get involved. We weren’t there to see all of this, but saw from someone’s camera after the fact because we were wondering why everyone was running!
We started out Sunday with a boozy brunch at Agave in Murray Hill which was right by my old apartment. There was 9 of us and nearly everyone did bottomless. It was a fun way to start a warm summer day in the city.
After that, we went down to Tomkins Square park for some more drinks and lounging with a few more friends.
After regrouping back at our hotel, we went over to my friends place for the Knicks game. Two of my friends surprisingly flew in from out of town and we just had a great time all catching up.
I went into the office for the first time since the pandemic and saw my coworker that I grabbed lunch with a few days before.
We grabbed lunch in the office and had a few productive meetings.
Later that night, I went out for dinner with some interesting characters from New Jersey regarding the potential to buy SpaceX shares from them. They gave off sketchy vibes and couldn’t provide details about how they were getting the shares. The contact that helped set up my meeting with this firm bought Palantir shares pre-IPO through them and was given the shares upon IPO. So, it did seem to work…
We ultimately decided that it wasn’t worth pursuing a SpaceX transaction with them.
After the dinner, I joined my friends who were out grabbing drinks at the oldest bar in the city: McSorley's, founded in 1854.
I went into the office again and saw more coworkers I hadn’t seen the previous day. It was a busy day reviewing important documents.
I then grabbed dinner with my girlfriend and we caught a ride with our friends to New Jersey to see my girlfriends parents. We spent the night in New Jersey.
Worked from my girlfriends house in New Jersey and then went out to lunch with a friend who I used to work for. He runs a biotech family office and has been building his investment portfolio after a successful IPO for one of their portfolio companies.
For dinner, we went out with my girlfriends family.
I took the train back into the city and went right into the office. I spent some more time with my coworker.
Later that day, we took the subway out to Brooklyn to see some our friends that flew into the city unexpectedly a few days before. My buddy cooked dinner for all of us, we drank wine, and played liars dice which is one of my favorite games.
I grabbed lunch with two of my coworkers and the head of our IR firm in the Upper East Side. After lunch, I walked over to the Upper West Side to see a few friends and finish up work for the day.
I then met up with my girlfriend and three other couples in Chelsea for dinner at Jacks Wife Freda.
We finished the night at an arcade bar.
I went to the top of central park and met my friend for an 8 mile run around all of central park.
We then went over to my friends place for poker and had a high pace intense game with 7 of us. We grabbed dinner at a deli later and then called it a night.
I went into the office to get caught up on a few things.
Later that day, I saw my old college roommate at his place in Tribeca. We watched Good Fellas which I had never seen before.
We grabbed dinner in West Village and we overheard a conversation about Israel a few tables over. The couple next to us, jumped in to explain to the group talking about Israel how complicated the history is. We talked to the couple briefly and it was nice to hear them jump in the way they did and try to have a conversation.
I walked around the city and shopped a bit by myself. I went into the office again to get some work done.
Later that day I met up with my buddy for tacos in Union Square and played some chess. We also went into the park in Union Square which I never did before.
Went into the office once more and saw one more additional coworker that I hadn’t previously seen. Around 3:30pm I took a taxi to the airport and flew back to LA.
This exercise felt difficult to put into words. It’s hard to capture everything that happened in a day. It felt good to put down the main ideas from each day that I remember. Perhaps in a year, I’ll be able to circle back on this post, and remember this trip to NYC a bit better.