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6,400 planners walk into a convention center.

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May. 8th, 2017 | 11:56 am

Stop me if you've heard this one.

After four days of touring, on Saturday I finally got to business.

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View from the second hotel room.


With a change of shoes in my bag, I headed in the morning to the Javits Center and sat through some presentations from my fellow planners before meeting up with Bre. The opening keynoter unfortunately got very flummoxed when the monitor showcasing his presentation went blank; no matter what, the show must go on, kids! I then attended a much better session on ... presentation skills! Definitely very practical and I utilized some of their tips later.

After having a hilarious game of telephone failing to find each other in the cavernous convention center, Bre and I happened into a Thai restaurant that turned out to be super excellent, and caught up over lunch. Part of what I like about my fellow professionals is that the subject matter expertise can be used for very interesting things! Case in point: she took Amtrak from Huntington to New York, and noted their train station, like so many others in the system, is an unfortunate and aging box of a building that is a rather unpleasant place to wait. Anyhow, the city is working with Amtrak to move the station a few yards away to a much more appropriate building that is also on the same side of the tracks as downtown. Over our noodles Bre detailed all the parties they must work with to get it done, including the dreaded freight railroad conglomerate. A super fascinating conversation!

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It's the little things, like the straw wrapper rose.


We then trudged back over and I listened to some afternoon sessions. There was some particular focus on how younger planners do or don't differ from other generations, but no one appears ready to answer my question of what the Millennial Planning Director will* be like. Maybe everyone is too terrified of the thought to really consider it. :) I also heard a lovely story of a woman whose house was flooded by Superstorm Sandy and in the resulting recovery she not only got help from multiple people in her town but also met her now-husband. Vermont, stop being so adorable.

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Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?


Following another break at the hotel, I met Bre for a very chill dinner and then got myself to bed early. Sunday was also long. I started with the very dull but required-by-bylaws annual meeting, then got to hear some about how the local neighborhood, now called Hudson Yards, has been financed. Very Manhattan to have such high demand for more office and residential that you build it from whole cloth over a train yard.

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Centerpiece of all this development: there's finally a subway station out here!


From there I went back to get ready while the Kentucky Derby played in the background, then I took the train downtown and met up with Greg for the LGBTQ planners' event. We hung out mostly with Hing and Kory, a guy from NC, and met lots of new folks over the giant catered dinner. There was also a short program to recognize the young planner that received a scholarship and for all of the original people that got this interest group started and moving over the last 25 years, many of whom are New York-based. Pretty humbling to be around folks who can casually say, "So we sued to get our marriage recognized, and then it was folded into the Windsor case." It was a very long and fulfilling evening to be in the same room as all of these lovely queer people. :) After that wrapped, a handful of us walked over to Boxers for drinks; the bartenders were pretty unconcerned with charging us for every round, so they were tipped handsomely and it still turned out to be a rather cheap night out! Then we parted ways, I took the train back to the hotel and crashed.

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I wanted to hate this monstrous tower but I am starting to like it.


*Surely there already are some of them out there, but I haven't met 'em yet.

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Comments {5}

M!ke

(no subject)

from: rockingthemike
date: Jun. 12th, 2017 12:33 pm (UTC)
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most people go away to a conference and work four days, and perhaps get one day off. good on you taking some of that vacay time to give yourself tourist time before the conference!

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jonathan

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from: silverthief2
date: Jun. 14th, 2017 12:56 am (UTC)
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I've reached my maximum PTO accrual and am making sure to use it!

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M!ke

(no subject)

from: rockingthemike
date: Jun. 14th, 2017 11:29 am (UTC)
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and as you should!

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mark

(no subject)

from: kishenehn
date: Jun. 12th, 2017 04:46 pm (UTC)
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Interesting stuff ... but it reaffirms my conclusion that I'll never be a city boy. :)

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jonathan

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from: silverthief2
date: Jun. 14th, 2017 12:55 am (UTC)
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And I haven't even posted the photos of street garbage heaps yet!

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