Next week I'll be taking a short business trip to New York City to attend the National Retail Federation's 100th show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. My employer is paying for airfare and hotel, and I get a meal stipend which isn't quite enough to pay for anything in Vermont better than McDonald's, and which in Manhattan would barely cover the tip.
I will be coming in on Sunday night, at the conference all day Monday and Tuesday, and leaving Wednesday late morning, so there won't be time for any sightseeing. Siobhan is coming though, and she will have some time while I'm busy at the show. In addition, there'll definitely be opportunities for a few restaurant visits, so it's a chance for some of those "can't get back home" meals. The timing of the conference means I can't do a lot of travelling for lunch or even breakfast, and at night, while I'll have some time, I'll be tired and not likely in much mood for a long trip to a restaurant. Even so, there should be a few chances to get some ethnic food, and maybe that simple pleasure of a knish served hot off a street cart.
January isn't the best time to visit New York, due to weather, but it's also a good time because it's one of the less crowded times -- not much holiday travel, lower tourist traffic than most times, and all the sensible people are indoors. Weather can make a big difference: in January you could easily have that biting cold where the wind whips down the canyon-like streets and makes you think Vermont sounds pretty nice around now, but a little bit of sunshine and still air can change it to a nice place.
I've been to Manhattan enough times to see most of the big sights, but there's just so much there that there's never time to do it all. And I've really only ever seen midtown and a few things in uptown: I've never seen any of Little Italy or anything else in downtown, I've only nibbled the corners of Central Park, and one could spend a year visiting all the museums and shops even in the part of town I have seen. But this isn't really a good time to try to do any of those things. I'll be mostly focused on my work mission (learning about ERP and POS technologies and retail best practices).