Week 4: Getting off the Grid

Pretty standard week at the office project wise – still cannot post what I am working on but I can tell you it is going to be (a small) part of Spike history! A social highlight in the office was catching the USMNT vs Germany game. They ordered pizza and streamed the game in one of the conference rooms. After the game it was back to reality. A few email and web banners, comps and brand research. Learning new things everyday.

It may have been a calm week in the office, but outside there was so much going on.  In an earlier post I talked about meeting with Todd Radom this week.  As a native New Yorker he encouraged me to “get off the grid” and explore other areas. Staying in Manhattan is convenient but can be overwhelming with so many visitors and tourist attractions. Every few blocks someone is trying to sell you tickets, a souvenir or bootleg DVDs. I needed an escape. This week I had the chance to visit other boroughs including Brooklyn and the Bronx to do a little off the grid exploring.

I checked out a live comedy talk show, the premiere of the new Transformers, the Kara Walker exhibit, a block party celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Do the Right Thing and my first MLB game at Yankee Stadium!  So many memories to take back.

I think the Yankee game was my favorite from this week. They played the Red Sox so the stadium was packed. I have been to a hand full of pro sporting events but nothing like this. Even getting on the train in Midtown you can feel the energy. The cars are full of people wearing their team apparel. Once you get off the train you are right there at the stadium. Inside there is a great hall with banners and plaques outlining the history of the team as well as The New York Yankees Museum and Monument Park. I didn’t get a chance to check out the museum or the park but plan to go back for a tour. Then there was the food. I knew the food would be expensive so I budgeted to keep myself from spending too much and to help me be more selective. There was Papa Johns and a few other chain eateries and of course hot dogs and beer. Then there was stuff I didn’t think you would see at a stadium in NY like Chicken and Waffles, sushi, noodle bowls and Carolina BBQ. There is even a steak house and rooftop lounge!  I wanted to try something new – after checking out the offerings on each level I went for the garlic cheese fries. I couldn’t really talk to anyone after eating them but they were so good! If I get to catch another game I will have to bring more money and stretch pants.

The best thing about these events was meeting up with friends from back home and hanging out with some new people. This is a great way to really absorb the collective culture of NY as well as see what makes the different boroughs and neighborhoods unique. Art, music, food, sports – there is just so much to do and see that most visitors miss. As I travel in the future I will do more “off the grid” exploration. Pictures below!

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