Feeling guilty about sleeping in the city that does not

No GPM this week(and Tuesday’s 10 will probably be more like Thursday’s 10) I’m in New York for SpeechTEK 2010 (the technical conference for my day job that’s both inspiring in how cool Speech technology is and feeling inadequate at my complete inability to network and schmooze and the non-existence of graduate degrees after my name. I’m probably more bothered by my lack of offline social charm because it’s honestly the most detrimental of the two.)

The funny thing is while I love coming back to the east coast, and particularly New York, which is probably the only place I know where I feel un-selfconscious (excepting of course interactions with PhDs with decades of experience and camaraderie) I am terrible at being a tourist. I get most excited about going to the hole in the wall restaurants I used to eat at all the time, or a store I used to go to, but I’m just as likely to sit around the hotel watching cable, and just going out for food. I’m like this everywhere really. If it’s somewhere new, I’ll meticulously research the hidden treasure locations that only locals go to. I’m not interested in being a tourist, I’m interested in becoming a temporary local and since I can be a bit boring and stay-in at home, I do it when I’m abroad too, but I feel guilty. Right now I feel that instead of typing this, I should be out burning down the town until 3am and worrying about the morning payback. I am probably going down to the Village for a slice of my favourite pizza on the planet (which is at Viva Herbal on 2nd ave between 10th and 11th incidentally) in not too long, but odds are I’ll be back before primetime is over.

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