The Art Of Being Skifty: What I’m Doing in New York City

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The Skift team at Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City, Queens.

This is a REALLY exciting time to live and work in New York City. Probably one of the coolest times in recent history, discounting the skyrocketing cost of living.

Hasn’t it always been exciting, though?

Yes, and no.

The past 15 years have been something of a roller coaster ride for the city. Following 9/11, many people left New York to try to forget the unimaginable events of that day, and few could blame them. Those who stayed helped the city rise from the rubble and recover, a verb that New Yorkers  unfortunately used too often in the past 15 years.

Neighborhoods became gentrified. Brooklyn began to break the bank. Even parts of Queens started getting regal.

Then 2008 happened.

As the financial capital of the world, the Great Recession spread out its ugly tentacles from Wall Street and suctioned them to main streets across America. Within a few years, recovery was yet again on the horizon and Wall Street’s self-esteem started improving.

Then Sandy hit in 2012, literally shaking the city to its core.

Once again, New York bounced back, but it wasn’t easy. So much was lost, but a lot was gained. Not everywhere is back to OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
normal, but the rejuvenation of waterfront areas and infrastructure in the outer boroughs is so palpable that you can’t help but feel something big is happening here.

I mention the last 15 years because they are the fabric that’s laid the patchwork for what’s happening in New York’s Silicon Alley right at this very second. This is the fastest growing area in the country for startups outside of the San Francisco Bay/Silicon Valley area. It sounds cheesy, but the sky is the limit here, if you can even see it above the towering skyscrapers and new high rises that go up every time you blink.

Working at Skift, located at the heart of Silicon Alley, is what the “new” New York is all about. Opportunity. Renewed promise. Leadership. And talent. Every day I count my blessings for being at the top travel news site in the world. Skift is now the top authority on business travel and travel trends. We publish original reports and data while offering insights into where the industry is going and how it will get there.

With the Skift Global Forum and first-ever Skifties Social Media Awards in October, Skift is about to propel itself even further to the top of the travel news industry. The first-ever Global Forum brings together some of the top executives from the airline, hospitality and tourism industries, and the Skifties recognizes what companies do the best with branding themselves on social media. And last but not least, Skift recently acquired Gadling from AOL, and the team’s working on getting that site running and making it look brand new.

But the best part of working at Skift is the team. Everyone’s talent, experience and character are the reasons why Skift got to where it is now. I can’t lay claim to its success up to this point, but I hope to contribute to it moving forward.

All Skifters regularly travel and deeply engage in the industry that we write about. Based in midtown Manhattan, we observe the behaviors of tourists every day on the streets right outside our office. We know what tourists are doing, what they’re looking for, and what they expect on a trip to New York City, and these observations are often translatable to what’s going on in other destinations as well.

Skift also does some sweet company outings, too. The team went to Iceland in May, and a few weeks ago went on a “Hack The Met” tour at the Met.

There is such a surge in innovation and tech startups across the city that it’s difficult to keep track of them all. If you’re willing to work hard and sift through them all, there’s more chances than ever to chase your American dream.

It’s true.

It’s a tough road, but it’s true.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARecently, I’ve drawn parallels in my mind about how similar things are now in New York to how they were when the immigrants came a hundred years ago. Funny how history repeats itself.

 

 

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