The 2014 AHR Expo is in the books, and let’s just say New York City was a rather interesting experience for the #AHRRookie.
To quickly recap prior events: Yes, this was my second AHR Expo, but first in NYC! So I guess I could still be a rookie. (Liberal interpretation here, folks). My work responsibilities also were expanded at this year’s Expo, since, this year, I wasn’t in my first six weeks on the job.
Comparing New York City to Dallas is like comparing (big) apples to oranges. Dallas was a fine city, but New York is the city that never sleeps.
Just like you can’t compare the two cities, it’s tough to compare the two Expos. In Dallas, it was massive, but this seemed even more massive, spread out over so much space, with limitless booths on the horizon. It was a true spectacle. Most of the exhibitors seemed to be in high spirits, as well.
But, as good as the Expo was, though, the sightseeing was incredible, especially for this first-time visitor.
I got to take in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is an absolutely ridiculous attraction. It is so vast. Each room opens to like three of four more. We couldn’t even get to all of it. I also took in Central Park, a New York Rangers game at the “World’s Most Famous Arena,” Madison Square Garden, visited the 9/11 Memorial (stunning, and no words can describe it), spent some time on Wall Street and, of course, strolled through Times Square, which is a pretty interesting place.
Last year, I wrote about my horrible flight experience (thanks Delta!) and this year, I decided to go with Spirit Airlines (mainly because of the non-stop flights). I have to report a positive flight experience, although getting nickel-and-dimed by Spirit isn’t my cup of tea, but for a 90-or-so-minute flight, it was perfectly acceptable.
My only complaint about my entire trip was the transportation situation after the show. Last year in Dallas, I assume it was the expo center that organized a flow of cabs to take people to the two area airports. There were cabs everywhere. Outside the Javits Center, it was an unmitigated disaster. The idea of a taxi stand was foreign. People were being hounded by private drivers. It was absolute chaos watching thousands of people (myself included) drag their bags through snow and muck. My personal experience was bad. Getting cut in front of signaling for a cab. Then, when you do flag one down, I had three drivers who flat-out refused to take us to LaGuardia Airport. Finally, after about 20 minutes, we convinced a cab driver to get us to the airport in time for takeoff; however, I almost threw up in the backseat from car sickness. Start. Stop. Start. Stop. StartStopStartStopStartStop. Barf!
I wish I’d followed the suggestions of those I met outside the Javits Center and considered dialing up Uber. Because that cab situation was an absolute gong show.
All told, though, the trip to New York City was fantastic. The Expo was as big as ever. Next year. Chicago has a lot of expectations to live up to. And, maybe I’ll advance to sophomore status. Maybe…