Erin and I are back in Las Vegas after a wonderful week in New York City. We’ll write a full review of the trip and share some photos later this week.
Saturday’s Manhattan meet-up went very well with 40-50 people attending. We had a lot more RSVPs than that, but I’m sure we lost some people after switching to an AM meeting time. I was glad to see everyone mingling so well, which gave Erin and me the chance to talk to people one-on-one and in small groups. For the last 20 minutes, Erin and I did some Q&A on a variety of topics. One of the attendees brought a video camera, so perhaps he’ll post the video on YouTube or otherwise share it. Most of the attendees came from New York or New Jersey, but others came from Pennsylvania, Maine, and even Canada.
I really enjoyed the energy of New York City. It’s a very active and busy place, and Erin and I had lots to do. The vegan food was absolutely incredible — way better than anything we’ve found in Vegas, L.A., or the San Francisco Bay Area. We did a moderate amount of sight-seeing, hit a couple of the museums, rode the subway many times, and did lots of walking around. The highlight of the trip for me, however, was hooking up with friends and learning more about the city from the locals’ perspective.
To some degree Manhattan reminds me of the Las Vegas Strip, but overall the people seemed busier and more stressed in NYC. The service personnel in Vegas are, as a rule, way more friendly and less uptight. I’m also used to seeing a lot more smiles in Vegas, so it took a while to get used to the more frequent sullen expressions on the streets of NYC. Perhaps NYC just needs some free alcohol to lighten the mood.
I think what gave me the most personal growth on this trip was observing the contrast between living in Vegas and the glimpse we had of daily life in Manhattan. There were many similarities but also some striking differences, which I’ll explore in detail when I write up my trip review.