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May. 10th, 2017 | 07:01 am

Highlight: aging shopping plaza becomes burger place.

An NYPD precinct castle, also visible from my hotel room.

Last entry about New York! The trip was humming along nicely, but there was more business to do.

On Monday it was finally time to get on with the presentation, so I picked my attire and got back to the Convention Center via the new 7 train. Beautiful new station that has tons of room! I truly hope Hudson Yards opens in time for all that construction to be filled before another recession hits, because it's a bit of a ghost town at the moment. More sessions happened, then I sat at the luncheon with James and Hing to catch up. James and I both have the same boyfriends, jobs, and apartments as last year, but still great to get a download on the news of the last year. Also, Hing is going to co-chair the event in two years! How convenient that San Francisco was moved up in the rotation of host cities.

Winning at conference fashions!

Then I went off to meet one of Bre's mentees over coffee, who is job hunting in DC without a lot of luck. Finally, it was time for my presentation. Our moderator corraled us appropriately and we made it happen; also on my panel was a group of undergrads from Kansas State (aka The Little Apple!) and I particularly enjoyed their take on spreading the Kool Aid of planning to young kids. My own delivery went well enough. As always I felt it could have been yet smoother with more practice, but I was kind of busy wearing out my soles all over Manhattan. :) The other panelists had some fun insights too, and between all of us we presented case studies in seven states. Both Greg and Laura S. came up afterward to say nice things, so it appears to have been well-received?

I presented to this many people, and most of them stayed awake!

Finally freed from business casual attire, Pete, Bre, and I met up after they spent some time at the Rockefeller Center touristy roofdeck bar and wandered in search of food. The internet eventually steered us almost to Second Avenue, for a lovely dinner of giant seafood hot pots. We made a huge mess and had fun catching up, then it was train roulette to get back to our respective West Side hotels.

Post-sunset views.

By Tuesday I somehow still had energy, so was back at the conference early to learn more about the use of federal low-income housing tax credits in New Jersey. Dry as that may sound, it formed the basis for most of my debrief of the event back at work, and my coworkers appeared suitably impressed by my verbal bedlam. Then I got over to the closing keynote, whose speaker was much more polished and relevant* than the opener, and that was all over! Using my unlimited Metrocard, I had one more afternoon of adventure to go, and this was my choice:

Another architecture pilgrimage done!

Years ago I read this enormous biography of Andrew Carnegie, a leftover that I'd toted through several moves after Emily donated it to me and originally started for lack of other appealing options. It was a slog, but I did finish and always wanted to see his enormous estate after reading how much effort he put into making it his dreamy home. The craven Scots businessman did retain some sense after a lifetime of building a fortune on cheap labor and spent his retirement doling out libraries to cities and towns everywhere, and eventually his estate too was donated to the cause of education, and is now a museum.

A country house, once upon a time.

I spent a few hours poring over the collection (primarily focused on design history, at least in the current displays) and the insanely intricate house, and probably could have done a whole day in there. The building's current state is the result of a very recent renovation, and I am sure they did the best they could. But my goodness, what was the objection to natural light at the start of the 20th century? If I had an unlimited budget I would have invested in far more windows. Just sayin'. Does work well to display museum pieces, at least.

This dark wood would lead me to spend most of my time on the road commissioning libraries, too.

At least there's a solarium?

From there I was super hungry and had some time left before my train, so I went to the ultimate New York calorie bin, Shake Shack! We do have it in DC too, but I rarely partake. Having averaged a little over 18,000 daily steps** over these eight days, I figured fries and that amazing fried, cheese-stuffed portobello mushroom "burger" were allowable.

Also in the neighborhood. Next time!

And you knew I couldn't do something as simple as eat greasy fast food without commenting on land use. :) This location was an underused plaza before they came on the scene, and is in fact still required to keep their seating open to anyone (as signs also indicate) and is now again open as a mid-block crossing between 85th and 86th Streets. It was certainly hopping with Shack and non-Shack people alike, especially hordes of high schoolers, so looks like this has been successful. And this was totally by chance! I didn't know a thing about this location at the time.

We're halfway there! Setting a calendar alert to return in 50 years.

From there I went back to Chelsea to fetch my bulging suitcase, then spent longer than I would have liked squished into a corner of Penn Station waiting for my train. We all dashed on to it, and then I had an uneventful ride home. Until next time, New York!

*Peter Kageyama. He also piqued my interest by talking about Durham, NC. I happened to agree with his take on my former home. :)

**At least as far as my phone tells me. Not 100% on the step counter's accuracy, but certainly this was higher than my average daily count.

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Comments {5}


(no subject)

from: kittles
date: Jun. 14th, 2017 05:00 am (UTC)

The precinct castle is my favorite!

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(no subject)

from: silverthief2
date: Jun. 15th, 2017 01:47 am (UTC)

Isn't it great? I have been idly searching for some history on the building, but no luck yet.

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(no subject)

from: rockingthemike
date: Jun. 14th, 2017 11:57 am (UTC)

your shirt is a bold statement, but i absolutely love it!

the guggenheim is well worth the visit next time. if you do the whole thing, it's maybe two hours, so it's honestly not a huge time commitment (if you have the time).

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(no subject)

from: silverthief2
date: Jun. 15th, 2017 01:48 am (UTC)


Good to know re: Guggenheim. I can always keep it on my to-dos.

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(no subject)

from: rockingthemike
date: Jun. 15th, 2017 12:04 pm (UTC)

definitely recommend. their collection is a lot focussed. i wasn't a huge fan of the metropolitan museum of art because there was just too much to see, and you'd never have a chance to see it all. guggenheim was the right amount of material, and you had more than enough time to see it all.

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