Travel Notes: BlogHer Conference, South Street Seaport, Oculus, and the High Line @NYC

Good Saturday everyone!  I’m taking it slow and easy today after a week of traveling for business, attending a two-day blogger conference, socializing, “touristing”, and spending quality time with my husband while our daughter is away at an overnight camp.

Traveling to a city like New York is stimulating enough and especially more so when you factor in the mental, visual, and at times emotional intake from attending my second BlogHer Creators Summit conference.  There is so much information, ideas, thoughts, and emotions to process from listening to the keynote speakers (Marie Forleo, Tiffani Thiesen, Jo Brett of Pret a Manger, Gabrielle Union, Maria Menounos, Senator Kirsten Gillebrand, Christy Turlington Burns, and Jessica Alba),  panel discussions, and meeting a truly diverse group of women who are all building a supportive community through storytelling on issues that are important to us: health and wellness, career and entrepreneurship, creativity, empowerment, and self-love.

Photo Credit: BlogHer

Photo Credit: BlogHer

Photo Credit: BlogHer

The conference with its rich content was certainly the highlight of this week.  But this trip also affirmed one of the many reasons that I, like so many of you, love to travel: it enables us to look at everyday things with fresh eyes which gives way to further learning and inspiration.

Such as:

The Angel of the Resurrection:  As often as I have seen this 39-foot bronze statue at the Philadelphia 30th Street Station – one of the few remaining grand train stations in the country and Amtrak’s third busiest hub in the country with 4 million travelers each year – it looked even more monumental from where I stood as I waited to board my train to New York. It commemorates the 1,307 Pennsylvania Railroad employees who died in World War II.

Can I just say how especially hot and humid New York was this week?  The “urban heat island phenomenon” is real because of the asphalt and buildings that trap heat from the sun and raise temperatures in this densely populated area. While the temperature was brutal, it was nice to see the friendly faces on these rolling gates.

South Street Seaport:  The Pier 17 at the South Street Seaport was the venue for the BlogHer conference.  The Brooklyn Bridge, South Street Seaport Museum, some of the oldest architecture in Manhattan, renovated sailing ships, food, shopping, and nightlife are all here.

A colorful, playful, floral Instagram background at Pier 17 – so pretty but too bad that I don’t do selfies!

The Oculus: Westfield Shopping Center, transportation hub/ subway station, and plaza next to the World Trade Center memorial site for the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.  Some people see a dove with a clipped wing, my husband sees an eye, and I see a space ship or a dragon.

The debate could go on but one thing that we can all agree on is that this piece of architecture by Santiago Calatrava is stunning.

The Mural Project @ NYC World Trade Center: Organized by Silverstein Properties in partnership with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, this project aims to bring color, brightness, cheer, and love in an iconic place that represents – among others – strength and rebirth.

The High Line: Since my husband and I just walked the completed Phase 1 of Philly’s Rail Park, we made sure to visit this 1.45 mile-long elevated park, greenway, and rail trail above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side.  The High Line was built on a former New York Central Railroad which was abandoned in 1980.  Its transformation to an urban park started in 2006 and completed in 2014.  I would have liked to see it during the day but seeing it at night made for a more comfortable walk.

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