Strange Travels, Part 8: Inspirational Organizations

My adventures in NY, continued: Friday Morning
(Or was it Thursday night?)

I meet Janet at Denver International Airport, late at night, and together we take a redeye to New York. I manage to leave my laptop cable on the plane, and realize it just in time to watch the doors to the jetway close. It is still too early to talk to anyone associated with the airline. Despite the mistake that will leave me without a laptop for several days, all is well, and we catch a train into the city. We arrive a little bleary-eyed, but are soon refreshed by the smell and sustenance of classic NY diner breakfasts and black coffee. We arrive a while before anyone else is awake or en route, and wander a bit around the city, checking out ferry boats and views of New Jersey:


Along the way, I spot the Empire State Building, just behind the building for the New Yorker:


I’m reminded that my family used to live here, once upon a time. According to my maternal grandfather, my great-grandfather was a part of the New Yorker magazine from the very beginning. He was an excellent copy editor, and perhaps helped set the tone of the literary elite. We wouldn’t really inherit his legacy, however, as he decided to sell his shares of the magazine to buy my great-grandmother a wedding ring. I guess fate has always had funny twists in store.

Eventually, New York begins to awaken, and Janet and I visit the offices of DonorsChoose. Last year, ScienceBlogs helped DonorsChoose raise money for teachers in a successful online drive. We are greeted there by Michael Everett-Lane and Charles Best, who give us a tour of the facilites and discuss the upcoming drive. It warms my heart to see all these people working hard to encourage children to learn in creative ways. This gives me something to look forward to when the trip is over; the September drive is just around the corner!

Next, we visit the Seed offices and meet the minds behind the magazine. I have my first opportunity to meet our host, Adam Bly, who seems like the quiet and thoughtful type. The atmosphere is cheerful, bright, and buzzing with the sound of many macs. Between Adam and Katherine, and all the others eagerly working, I can see the passion and zeal that make Seed magazine such an informative and entertaining read. I meet one guy who is leaving the magazine for another job--today is his last day--but rather than cleaning out his desk and rushing for the elevator, he stays late to work on the artwork for the next issue. Part of me wants to think he’s crazy... but I feel the exact same sort of eagerness while writing for ScienceBlogs.

After she finishes giving us a tour, Katherine recommends a diner for lunch. We trust her advice. She’s a wonderful editor, and many of us wouldn’t be here without her. Then again, I’d realized that when I first met her in Chicago. It seems like just yesterday...

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