Concrete Jungle Where Dreams are Made

So recall a few days ago that I said it was extremely difficult to surprise me?  Well, my dad wins the prize.  We agreed to meet back at the hotel around 6 and then go out to grab some pizza.  It had been a long day and I didn’t know what else we would do.  There was the 12.12.12 concert on TV (a concert to benefit the victims of Hurricane Sandy) and I thought we would grab a pizza and bring it back to the room.  I walked in and sat down in my suit.  My dad asked if I wanted to change into something comfy and grab a bite to eat.  I agreed that was a good idea, but didn’t really move.  He said “well, there is a great place across the street, but we should hurry so we can get to the concert on time.”  My response? “YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. REALLY?”  Needless to say, I practically skyrocketed out of my suit, put on a new set of clothes and we were off. 


The pizza was alright, but nothing really to write home about (even though that’s essentially what I am doing right now).  My problem was probably the fact there were too many choices, I was overwhelmed and rushed into a decision.  Pepperoni for TFred (what I like to call my dad sometimes) and a ground beef/veggie selection for myself.  Eh, I could take it or leave it.  A nice piece of pie with cheese and spinach might have been a little tastier, but again, no regrets.


The concert was at Madison Square Garden and I think I may have been one of the youngest people there.


I really don’t mean to name drop, but this concert was just packed with all sorts of artists and celebrities, most from New York and Jersey themselves, uniting to raise money for those affected by Hurricane Sandy. So here we go – Artists (Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, Kanye West, Chris Martin (along with Michael Stipe of REM), Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, The Who, The Rolling Stones (yes, Mick definitely had those Jagger moves), Alicia Keys, Paul McCartney & Nirvana.


Some artists were great, some were too long (Kanye? And what sort of outfit was that? A leather kilt?) and others cut it too short (Rolling Stones).

Presenters not in order (Bill Murray, Jon Stewart, Kristen Stewart, Jake Gyllenhaal, Adam Sandler, Chelsea Clinton, Katie Holmes, Seth Meyers, and a few others)


Sandler did some spoof on Hallelujah, which was actually quite funny and you know, made me really want to become a New Yorker 🙂

I would have totally been tweeting throughout the concert, but my phone conveniently died when we entered the arena.  On the other hand, this made the experience that much more worthwhile.  I had no reason to check my phone, my facebook, text messages, dare I say email?  Now, I don’t mean to check all of these in social situations, it just happens, especially thanks to being a part of the Millennial Generation.

The concert started promptly at 7:30 and didn’t finish until 1:30 or so.  We didn’t get to bed until 2, but it was WELL worth it.  It’s not every day you get to see 6+ concerts jammed into one unforgettable night.  Thanks Dad!

Day 2 Meetings
Zenith Optimedia
J3 (Part of UM for Johnson&Johnson)
Universal McCann

Even though we had gone to bed late, I still had to rally for my second day of meetings.  This time I made the trip on the metro by myself and even managed to find the station on the first try.  Somehow I have a solid sense of direction above ground.  Now, underground is a different story.


First meeting was at the ad agency, Zenith, and then I hailed a cab to catch an 11 o’clock meeting at ABC.  The driver sort of snarled at me for making him turn the car around in order to drive to a different part of the city.  Sorry dude, not from the area, have no clue what that means or how I could have done anything different.  Probably a waste of $15, but that’s a cab for you.


After those meetings, I explored the farmer’s market that is held on Thursdays and Saturdays, picked up a muffin to sample and made my way to Starbucks.  There I enjoyed a nice cup of coffee and wrote out thank-you letters for the various people I had spoken with so far.


My dad had given me this tip years ago and it really does work wonders.  If you think about it, sending hand-written notes and thank-you cards (I like to use the stationary I make using my own photographs) can separate you from the millions of other applications.


I decided to walk the 30+ blocks to my next stop, which happened to be yet another Starbucks.   Along the way, there was an adorable Christmas market filled with homemade crafts, food, and much more.  It reminded me of the Christmas markets I saw in Barcelona and Amsterdam last year.  Good times 🙂


The rest of the afternoon was quite uneventful, so I’ll spare you most of the details.  Walked back towards Universal McCann to talk with a family friend about his role in the company and check out the offices.  Afterwards, I stopped by Hulu, met some of the people there, and headed back to our hotel to relax.  It was great to be able to rest my feet, freshen up, watch a Christmas movie and finish my thank-you emails/notes.  Then it was time for the Hulu Christmas Party!


It was on the top of some hotel/restaurant and was an absolute blast.  At first, the guy guarding the elevator wasn’t going to let me up because I didn’t look 21, but I convinced him I was, which I am.  Actually, if we want to get specific, I’m 21 and 7 months. I had been networking with a number of people in the New York office, but it was finally great to put a face to a name and introduce myself in person.  I also happened to know some simply because they had worked out in the Los Angeles office, but had recently moved back east.


The food there was AWESOME! Some cheese and crackers (I avoided the shrimp), selection of salmon, beef, or chicken, with spinach salad, asparagus, and mashed potatoes.  Dessert consisted of cookies, fruit, chocolate covered strawberries, and mini chocolate truffles. It was an open bar and guess what they had. CAVA! Brings me back to my days of Barcelona.  I was one happy camper 🙂 I don’t think I stopped networking the entire night, but it was a blast and I had an absolutely amazing time.


Overall, it felt like we really enjoyed ourselves, enjoyed the New York lifestyle, and accomplished everything we set out to and a bit more.


“Christmas doesn’t come from a store, maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more….” ― Dr. Seuss


3 thoughts on “Concrete Jungle Where Dreams are Made

  1. This is really incredible that you have been able to accomplish so much! I hope you get one of those jobs!!! They’re all awesome places (my favorite is definitely ESPN). The networking you’re doing is worth it alone. I can’t wait to see how it turns out 🙂

  2. Sometimes it’s so great when I forget my phone or it dies because it forces me to not check it! Love that. So jealous of the concert, it looks like a blast. Seems like you had a busy jam packed time in NYC but it was all worth it!!! Yayyy!

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