Tuesday, April 9, 2013

I'm pretty good at Work-Life Balance

For years, everyone has been talking about work-life balance. Lately, there's been more talk about work-life integration, but still, it seems like every single women's network event I attend, we have to talk about having it all by balancing it all. Whatevs.

In my case this week, though, I think I've kind of rocked it, the whole balance thing. I'm in NYC for a work meeting (which is great by itself, right?). Given that I only have the chance to get to the City about once every couple of years, I wanted to take advantage of it the best I could.

Of course, my first thought was to map a run. Can't stay on Manhattan and not run Central Park, right? Until I learned of the Hudson River Greenway. A pedestrian path that runs north-south with the West Side Highway right along the Hudson, I've managed to squeeze two runs in so far since I got here mid-day on Monday. Pretty good balance, right?

Dinner on night one was at a Thai place, and I was as adventurous as I get - I tried almost everything that came to the table as part of the preset menu. I skipped the chocolate braised ribs, but not because I'm a wimp. Just because I know I don't like chocolate. But man, was the rest of it goooooooooooooood...

Me and three of my many excellent co-workers
In the spirit of balancing / having it all, I've also managed to work in a few hours with my cousin Jay, who I haven't seen in at least two years. He lives here, and despite my efforts, I didn't connect with him when I was in New York last fall for my fifteen year West Point reunion, so I was determined to make it happen this time. 

I think I'm pretty lucky that the older I get, the better I get to know my cousins, and as it turns out, they're all really cool people. I couldn't get the details worked out before I got here, but at the last minute, he hopped the A Train and met me at a bar after dinner. Excellent.

Oh iPhone, you let me down with your picture quality...
When we figured out there would be a couple of hours that we could connect between meetings the next day, we got together again. Lucky for me, Jay works in midtown just a few blocks from my hotel, so between meetings I did my best to look like a New Yorker - grabbed my phone, put my earbuds in my ears, and walked in my skinny jeans a few blocks to meet him at STK. Super cool place - and too early for a crowd, so we got to hang out and drink wine. I think that might make me a hipster. Or at least makes me someone who hipsters wouldn't think is lame. Definitely one or the other.

My facial expression = definitely NOT hipster
I love New York City. I always say it's the center of the universe, but seriously, it's the center of the universe. I never get tired of the people watching, the amazing architecture, the frenetically controlled movement of the masses of humanity. Oh, and Naked Singing Cowboy in Times Square. I never get tired of him, either.

I've done the tourist thing - Statue of Liberty, Metropolitan Museum of Art, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Times Square, Madison Ave., all that stuff over the course of several visits to the City. But there is so much to see, so many cool things about New York, I guess you could live a lifetime here and never see and do it all. So with my limited time and a local with me, I thought - this is my chance to stand Between the Lions. Jay humored me, and off we went to see the Lions of the mid-Manhattan branch of the New York Public Library.

In front of the mid-Manhattan branch

Yes, I know I'm a nerd. A tourist nerd. And I don't care. Ignore the Uggs, too. Too much walking for my heels.
For a book nerd like me, that was on par with the Statue of Liberty. SO cool. I totally could've sat in the sunshine and just looked at the building. I mean, it's a gorgeous piece of architecture, and I'm pretty sure the expressions on the lions' faces are telling us something, if we just sit and puzzle it out.

But, like I said, this is a work trip, and I had to keep a balance, so it was just a few quick pictures and then back to a conference call. How can I get annoyed about that, though - I mean, I'm in NYC because of work. I'll take it.

More random pictures of me and Jay in NYC:

In Bryant Park in front of the fountain
That's Mr. Bryant. Of Bryant Park fame.
Times Square

Off to a dinner with co-workers again this evening, I think this time to a local pizza place. Oh, how I've missed thee, New York style pizza. I'm pretty sure having a work conversation about Puffs over a slice of New York style pizza is about as good as the balance is going to get.

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