Category Archives: New York

Memorial to Steve Jobs

These are the picture of the memorial of Steve Jobs at the Apple Store at 14th Street in New York.

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

The memorial at the Apple Store on University Ave of Palo Alto. It is more colorful, but the sorrow was as deep.

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

Photograph by Jian Shuo Wang

Thanks Steve

I am watching many video – interviews, and product launch of this incredible person and started to read many books about him. I am also anxiously downloading the iTunes 10.5, so I can download and install iOS 5 on my iPhone. It is so interesting that I didn’t sleep over night and cannot wait to upgrade my iPhone 4 to iOS 5, exactly like Yifan won’t go to sleep when I bought him a new set of Lego – he just cannot go to bed and close his eyes when he knows the existence of a box of Lego! This is how Steve turned us into children.

Steve is a great leader with amazing vision, and execution to make it happen. It is just a miracle.

New York and a Memorial

When I am talking about the feeling of New York, something reminded me of the feeling. That is a memorial in Berlin – the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. I don’t want to connect New York with murder, or holocaust, but from the architect perspective, you can see something in common.

When people get in to a maze of poles, and look left, it is an alley, and to the right, it is the same. People just want to escape. Look at this. Is it the same as standing at 31th street, and 6th ave?

Bye Bye Big Apple

Wendy and I am at JFK airport, wrapping up the four day trip in NYC, the big apple. When we said bye to our friend Sam, where we stayed with during this trip, the two small worms of this big apple is leaving. Yes. I did feel the reason why people call the city big apple – in the city, there are basically hard to see the sky (especially in mid-town), and we are just here wandering from street to street, and drink, and eat in the shops, and rest in a small apartment in the big city – just like worms. The city is so sweet, delicious, and attractive, to the small worms in it. Now, the two worms are leaving the Big Apple.

When I am wrapping up with my New York trip, I have mixed feeling. On one hand, New York is not the city for me. One the other hand, it is so energetic, so colorful, and has so many to offer, that I miss it immediately when I am ready to leave.

Thanks Sam for hosting us, Seamon for hosting us and arranged the two great dinner so I can meet many new friends in New York (from the financial world). Thanks Jon for organizing the other dinner, and people who came to my blog meetup.

New York is not the City For Me

New York is a financial center. It is a paradise for finance industry, artist,, fashion designers, and many other people, but may not be the best place for Internet startups (so far, I only know foursquare.com, gilt.com, theladder.com). Most of the people I met so far are in financial industry – hedge funds, trading desk, PE, leverage financing… The terms I don’t understand. Time is New York is not be happiest time in my life so far, although the view is amazing. From personality type, I just feel I belongs to the places like bay area better, than NYC.

NASDAQ, Bloomburg, NCUSCR, and More

Another exciting day in New York. Although I didn’t pack my schedule as busy as I did when I was in Silicon Valley (most of the business meetings were completed yesterday), there are still a lot interesting things to do in New York, especially when I have unbelievably kind friends here who took great care of me.

NASDAQ

The day started with a visit to the NASDAQ Open Bell ceremony at 9:30 am. I was actually quite impressed by the way NASDAQ worked. At the Times Square, if you locate the NASDAQ Tower (very easy to see), and there is a glass room at the street level. That broadcast room IS the place to ring the bell. I thought it would be a place inside the building with a lot of people trading (the typical scene found in the NYSE, and Shanghai Stock Exchange), but they don’ t have that. As a completely automated system, the National Association of Securities Dealers Automatic Quotation (NASDAQ) does not have a physically marketplace (just like Baixing.com). The tower (called Marketsite) is just a terminal of the real system – just as millions of terminals saw by millions of people worldwide. It is actually a broadcast room. Sherry told us that more than 100 TV programs were broadcast exactly from that room.

The audience of the opening ceremony in the room is not too many, since there is no room m for more than 30 people. However, what is happening in the room is broadcast on the screen of the big tower in real time, and the ticker will be promoted all day round, making it possible to be seen by 1.6 million people in Time Square that day, not to mentioned the people seeing it from television.

People can get onto the stage, and the professional photographer can take a photo, which will be shown on the tower in a moment.

Look at the team who rang the bell.

With the strong disco-volume music, and a press of button, the NASDAQ market started to run (well, of cause the actually system is not really controlled by the button). The big screens turned and displayed the real time stock price. The first few seconds was the most exciting one since everything changes so dramatically when the market opens, and it will get stable few minutes later. It was a very memorable experience.

Thanks to Sherry and Brian for inviting us.

NCUSCR

The next stop is National Committee on United States-China Relationships (NCUSCR) at 23rd/6th. Just as NASDAQ, which saw the dramatic changes in the financial world, NCUSCR saw the change in international relationship world.

I treated here as my home in New York City, since I am a proud member of Young Leader’s Forum since 2007. Jon brought me to the High Line area in Chelsea. We enjoyed the special perspective offered by the High Line project. We talked about the history of Friends of High Line organization. It was co-founded by Robert Hammond (YLF 2006 Fellow), supported by Vishaan Chakrabarti (YLF 2005 Fellow), and architect design by Gregg Pasquarelli (YLF 2002 Fellow), I just felt a strong tie with the amazing project.

Charlie Rose, and Bloomberg

I ended the day with a visit to Bloomberg headquarters, the center of finance media world.

I was invited by Charlotte Morgan (YLF 2009 Fellow), who is producer of the popular talk show Charlie Rose, and I had the opportunity to look into the producing room, and the actually taping of the issue with Gary Player (top golf player after Tiger Woods).

Just as tech companies in Silicon Valley is competing on free lunch, I guess the finance and media companies in NYC are competing with the views outside their window. Look at this one:

I made another quick drawing of what I saw on top of New York.

Thanks all

I’d like to thank my friends in NYC to offer the great insider tour for me to experience a New York not every tourist can see. The day is so excited and full that Wendy and I wrapped up the day with set meal in McDonald’s to balance it.

P.S. Last but not least, Happy Birthday to Wendy! I love you.

Wangjianshuo’s Blog Meetup in New York

It is official, and it is, as always, last minute, that I am going to host a small Wangjianshuo’s Blog Meetup in New York on Saturday (Oct 8, 2011), which is tomorrow, at 5:30 PM at the following location:

Starbucks

665 Broadway (cnr. E 2nd Street)

New York, NY 10012

It will last for one hour until 6:30 pm.

About the Meetup

This blog has been running for 9 years, and we have meetup from time to time. The first was in 2003 in Shanghai, and few times later (like this one in 2008). It also happened in other places in the world, like San Francisco, and Palo Alto. This is the first time it comes to New York. But as always, as a person who is incapable of planning anything in advance, it is always in the last-minute announcement style.

If you are planning to come, please quickly post a comment either via Facebook, or using the old comment function (I am still thinking about how to integrate them together). It is OK if you show up without comment – it is in extremely informal way.

Q: Why Meetup?

A: Why not.

Q: What is the topic?

A: How to leverage it to help people more.

Q: How many people?

A: I don’t know. Previous meetup varies from one person to more than 20.

Q: Shall I attend?

A: Yes.

From Downtown to Midtown

I am using the small screen iPhone to write this blog. Sorry for being brief.

New York stimulate my desire to make more drawings. I did and I will share when I can upload a picture. Check my Flickr account to see it now.

The New York did lost a lot when the twin towers of WTC are gone. I share the pain of New Yorkers. Buildings are missed, not to mention the humans.

Had wonderful dinner with friends in the financial industry. For the first time understood that there are so many people so close to Wall Street cannot trade public stock because of SEC regulations. They knew too much to trade, for themselves.

The Statue of Liberty cruise is a big trap. We stuck there for two hours before our meetings. Just took forever to get off and on the ferry. Why I had the stupid idea to go to where tourists go?

I am thinking about a Wabgjianshuo’s blog meetup this Saturdsay. Stay tune on this blog.

Used the iPhone application Uber to call a taxi today. Very good experience. Just tab on the screen and a taxi comes within 10 minutes. Pretty handy at rush hours.

New York is much more concentrated than Shanghai (forget about Beijing) and that is a big advantage. People are basically within walking or short subway ride from each other. I am surprised how many people actually live in Manhattan.

Good night, big apple!

Arrived at New York – the Big Apple

I just got to New York via a late flight DL2040 at JFK. I am at the 29th St. and 5th. Ave now with wonderful view from the window of my friend Sam.

Something big happened today. Jobs died. The inevitable moment finally arrived and no one is prepared. I will collect news paper tomorrow to keep the historical moment and show solute to this great entrepreneur.

The protest at Wall Street continues and I happen to be in the city. Will check it out.

Will also visit NASDAQ and the open ceremony under the kind arrangement of my friend and meanwhile have few meetings here.

Too late now. I will continue my observation tomorrow.

Rain Memories of New York

Today, I saw some random photos in my hard disk. These photos instantly brought those memories of three years ago. That was Dec 23, 2004, just before Christmas.

Look at the rain, the lights, the traffic, the streets, the buildings, the taxis… all these things are very typical to the city of New York.

Taxi in New York City

The yellow taxi in New York is clean and in good condition. The film Taxi Driver seemed misleading to me, because before that, I though the taxis in New York City is as dirty as they described.

newyork-yellow.taxi.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang. Yellow taxi in New York City

It seems Ford is the mainstream of car model. In Shanghai, almost all taxis are Volkswagen Santana. We took taxi from the United Nations to the Empire State Building. If we had bought 7 day metro pass and understood how the bus M42 works, we may save some money.

Life in New York is Tough for Me

The life in New York is tough for me. For a visitor who earns money in China (with RMB) and spend USD in New York, it is not easy. Everything seems expensive – very expensive. To get a place to settle down and to have enough food is challenge. I experienced the tough life a new comer to that city. Although I have the option to enjoy luxious trip, but I want to experience the real life of New York so we decided to cut budget as much as possible to see how much we have to spend in that city.

Shanghai is More Expensive than New York

According to a survey by CNN, if the living cost in the city of New York is a starting point with an index of 100, Shanghai is 136. I have all kinds of evidence to show you it is not true. My guess for Shanghai index should be around 20 if New York is 100.

Food is Expensive

In New York, typical dishes are among 4 – 10 USD and we spend about 20 USD very meal in Chinese restaurant. Even in McDonald’s, I have to spend 10 – 14 USD per meal. What does it mean? It is 100 – 160 RMB. This is much more expensive than the most expensive everyday meal in Shanghai. In Shanghai, 50 RMB per person in a meal is rated as good meal already and 100 RMB per person means very expensive (and often good) meal.

In McDonald’s, a No 1 Meal Suite (a big Mac, fried potato and Pepsi) cost 5.99 USD in New York while in Shanghai, it costs only 19 RMB (a little bit more than 2 USD). Additional, the price in New York does not include tax while all price in China is final with everything included. Some times the tip I pay is more than a meal I pay in China.

Transportation

I won’t complain about Shanghai Metro or Bus again. Bus or Subway in New York costs 2 USD, while in Shanghai, bus costs 1 – 2 RMB (0.12 – 0.24 USD) and typical Metro ride costs 3 – 4 RMB (0.36 – 0.48 USD).

Hotel

We stayed in hotels in Washington, D.C and Boston, but not in New York. We stayed in friends and relative’s house in Flushing and New Rochelle. The cheapest hotel (reasonable) I found is Hayden Hotel which costs 99 USD plus tax. I searched Shanghai Hotel in Expedia and found the hotels in Shanghai seem more expensive. Maybe the reason is, the hotels in Shanghai are always full so they don’t offer discount.

Gifts

I am not willing to buy gifts in New York, especially those clothes made in China. They are much more expensive than those in China. I bought 4 T-Shirt with “I Love New York” logo at 12 USD. They are the only gift we bought.

I am the Poor in New York

I am the poor in New York. I faced the challenges I never met in Shanghai – how to take buses to save money? Where is the cheapest restaurant? Where should we stay tomorrow?

Subways in New York

I admire the great achievements New Yorkers created in New York. After I studied New York History at http://www.nycsubway.org/, I learnt that the majority of the New York Subway system was completed between 1904 and 1918. With this background information, the current subway seems so advanced and clean. The lines 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, A, B, C, D, E, S, N, Q, R, W, V, L connects the suburbs and Manhattan and make it so convenient.

The rails.

newyork-rails-subway.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang.

The tunnels.

newyork-subway-walls.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

The train.

newyork-mtr7-station.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

The signs (color, font, Exit..) are great. It makes the navigation very clear. I was so amused when I found the sign plate was collected by MoMA as Modern Art. Along with the MTA sign, iMac was also along the exhibition.

Resources:

    Subway Lines

    newyrok-subway-signs.jpg

    © Jian Shuo Wang. The sign displayed in MoMA

    To 1 Line Route and Schedule To 2 Line Route and Schedule To 3 Line Route and Schedule To 4 Line Route and Schedule To 5 Line Route and Schedule To 5 Diamond Line Route and Schedule To 6 Line Route and Schedule To 6 Express Line Route and Schedule To 7 Line Route and Schedule To 7 Express Line Route and Schedule
    To A Line Route and Schedule To B Line Route and Schedule To C Line Route and Schedule To D Line Route and Schedule To E Line Route and Schedule To F Line Route and Schedule To G Line Route and Schedule To J Line Route and Schedule To L Line Route and ScheduleTo M Line Route and ScheduleTo N Line Route and Schedule
    To Q Line Route and Schedule To R Line Route and Schedule To S Line Route and Schedule To V Line Route and Schedule To W Line Route and Schedule To Z Line Route and Schedule

Skyscrapers in New York

Shanghai is still in the stage when people tend to relate the word “modern” to “skyscrapers”. I am the same. When I am in Shanghai, I dream of visiting mountains in West China; while when I set foot to America, the most exciting city for me is still New York – for the skyscrapers.

newyork-manhattan-north.jpg

© Manhanton, facing north from the top of the Empire State Building

newyork-manhantan-south.jpg

© Manhanton, facing south from the top of the Empire State Building

newyork-rockfeller-v.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang

newyork-streets-cold.without.sun.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang. New York is one of the few cities where there is no sunlight on the street.

newyork-park.ave.jpg

© Jian Shuo Wang. Buildings along the Park Ave. near the 86 street.

I am in Shanghai

Finally, I returned to my home in Shanghai. The excitement and expection for a long journey I have when I started in Dec 6 lasted for two weeks and gradually turned into homesick day by day afterward and became tireness mixed with excitement at last. I am happy to return to the starting point of the journey (which is also the ending point), companied with great stories, sweet memories and interesting pictures.

It is 7:39 PM in Shanghai while the time in my clock in the digital camera and also in my brain is still 6:39 AM in New York. There is a huge jump in time again. I may need to go to bed immediately after 2 hours flight from New York to Chicago and 14 hours from Chicago to Shanghai – I suspect 14 hours are approaching the longest journey on this planet. I believe when I wake up tomorrow morning, the jet lag should disappear and I can start to writing something in details about the journey.

There are something more important than to go to bed. I have to give my big “Thank You” to the following persons who made my trip possible.

  • My brother Jian Zhao and Jian Sheng who helped me to plan the trip and contacted their friends;
  • Robet in Seattle to arrange the meetup
  • Eric and James who gave me a ride from Redmond to Seattle
  • Irfan and Andy who picked me up in Chicago and hosted me;
  • Mr. Gong and Guo Hua who helped me on the first part of my stay in New York
  • Ngai’s family who hosted me in New York City

Cold New York

I am packing my luggage and will leave U.S. tomorrow at the LaGuadia Airport in New York. New York is super cold for me these days, but peopel say the winter of New York hasn’t really arrived yet. New York is around 40 degree in latitude while Shanghai is around 31 degrees.

It snowed the day before yesterday and the snow started to melt yesterday. It was around 29 °F (I started to use F after I came to U.S.). It is freezing everywhere.

Christmas Eve in New York City

What I did today:

  1. Amtrak from New Rochelle to Grand Central. The running time was exactly 35 minutes.
  2. From Grand Central to World Trade Center Site. The new Freedom Tower is under construction already.
  3. Visited Wall Street. I didn’t expect the most important street in financial world is so short. Due to the Christmas day, I didn’t see a single person on the street with suite and tie. Actually, I didn’t see many people there at all.
  4. Heading south, I reached the Hudson River but didn’t take ferry to the Statue of Liberty.
  5. Took Metro Line 5 and reached 86 st. Station. Then visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The most important exhibition there happened to be China: Dawn of a Golden Age, 200-750 AD. Many of the selections were found in Luoyang, my hometown.
  6. Finally, we took M1 to the New York Public Liberty and
  7. Went along the 42nd st. to Times Square.
  8. Then went along the 50th st. to Rockefeller Center. The huge Christmas tree is there and there are “people mountains and people seas”.
  9. We went to the Chinatown via Metro 6 (Canel st.) and had a wonderful dinner.
  10. Went back to Grand Central and took Amtrak back to New Rochelle. It ran for 31 minutes.

New York – Day 2

In the morning, after glanced my email in five minutes, I put the camera into my pocket and went out with Wendy. (If you sent me emails these days, my response will be delayed since the Internet access condition is not good here.)

New York and Shanghai

New York has many similarity with Shanghai. The living condition of many people, if not the majority, seems not easy. Rich people can only get an apartment (not house) in Manhattan and the poor can only get a place to settle down in Queens or New Jersey and spend the one hour more two on the train. I agree it is all about choice. There must be reasons for people stay and choose small rooms instead of large house in the west.

Art? Dirt?

The skin of New York is covered by colorful drawing. It is everywhere, on the walls, in the subways stations and inside the train carts. Look at this picture along the Metro Line 7.

© Jian Shuo Wang

It reminds of the advertisement on the wall in every village in China. The suburb of New York are similar with the villages in China.

I don’t like to look at the eyes of the passengers in the subway. People look tired or expressionless, if I don’t use the word of “hopeless”to describe what I saw. What people can expect in this fast-paced crowded and materialized city?

Subway

The public transportation system in New York is efficient. Please note that I used efficient instead of nice. It is a system that simply works. You cannot expect more from it – no art, no cleanness, no desire to stay there longer. I shouldn’t be too picky on a metro system that kept running from 1904 and a main stream public transportation system for people coming from every corner of the world. If the Metro in Shanghai symbolizes modernized city life in China, the subway in New York symbolizes the industrial development of the last century. It basically uses the same train system as those running on the ground. The noise and the turbulence are exactly the same as the trains for long distance transportation. To my surprise, I didn’t see a modern city from the subway of New York; instead, I saw history.

© Jian Shuo Wang

It is quite amazing that there are 4 – 6 tracks at the same station and there are so many platforms in one metro station. It is exactly typical train station in China. The only difference is, it is built underground.

What Metro system in Shanghai should learn from New York subway, which is at the age of its grandfather, is the naming and guidance system. At least there is no typo on the board. :-)

Park Ave. and 5th Ave.

The Park Ave. and the Upper East part of 5th Ave. are the splendid miles. Houses with the same heights line up there. I guess the old houses must have been destroyed and rebuilt for many times to form the current uniqueness of the street scene. I love to say in the Park Ave. a little bit longer since it is the only place I found in the entire Manhattan that has sunshine so far. Other streets look like the deep valley cut buy knives from the baseline of the top of the buildings. There is absolutely no sunshine there.

© Jian Shuo Wang

Guggenheim

© Jian Shuo Wang

It may be the most famous roof in the world.

© Jian Shuo Wang

Central Park

It is too cold today with the strong wind from the south. I found it impossible to march from the north-most to the south-most point. So we went across the park from the east to the west along the lake. It is a miracles that so huge a piece of land was reserved in the most expensive land in the world. On the other hand, the plan to reserve the land also helped to create the most expensive land.

© Jian Shuo Wang

Night Lincoln Center

New York wake up at night. When we arrived the Lincoln center at the Broadway and the 65th Street, it was already 5:30 PM. The exciting ballet The Nutcrackers would start in 30 minutes. We bought the tickets at $20 and entered the New York State Theater. It is among the cheapest tickets in the theater, located at the end of the level 4, which is basically the second furthest seats from the stage. Since Wed is the off-peak time and the price is lower than tomorrow’s. The more expensive tickets were all sold out.

© Jian Shuo Wang

© Jian Shuo Wang

The theater is huge. Since it is not allowed to take pictures inside the theater, I can only take some pictures at the lobby.

© Jian Shuo Wang

The ballet The Nutcracker is great. No wonder why this has been the 50th season for this ballet to serve as the holiday’s most splendid light. It will be performed at the theater six weeks around the Christmas. This is the forth time for me to visit a theatre. The previous one are the Holiday XXX, The Lion King, The Concert of Spanish Pianist and this, the Nutcrackers. It inspired my interest on performing art, and music. The number I visited museum, gallery and theatre is more than the whole year before. The most important take-away for my U.S. trip this time is art.

© Jian Shuo Wang

At night, the Lincon Center is like a crystal palace. More activities are still held in the other buildings concurently. What an exciting city! I love New York now.