Skyline Mashup

Today was really nice, but also very tiring.  Upon arrival to the conference center this morning there was a huge police presence outside of the hotel.  Riot police, police dogs, ambulances, and police closing the streets surrounding the hotel.  At first I thought there was some kind of emergency, but I asked a police officer and he told me that the Cardinal was visiting at the conference hotel, Mayor Bloomburg had just left.  Apparently anyone who is anyone was visiting the cardinal and this evening was a very high profile event with him in the ballroom.  Crazy!

The weather was really nice all morning so I decided to get in some sightseeing while I could.  Made it to Penn Square, the Madison Square Gardens, and more of downtown.

Penn Station

Then I made it to the High Line, which is a section of old railroad tracks that are elevated a few stories above the ground, and have been turned into a really spectacular park!  There are sections with trees and grasses planted right in the old train tracks, sections where the tracks peek through the walkway, and some really innovative wildlife habitat development.  They even have a section of steps and a projector to watch movies on the adjacent building.  The whole area seems to be redeveloping around this park.

The High Line

10th Street

Oh yeah, did I mention that I presented today?  I am not a huge fan of public speaking, but when I present on urban coyotes the audience becomes very engaged.  [Side tangent: We call coyotes a species of ‘charismatic megafauna’ meaning that people are drawn to them.  Other examples would be polar bears, wolves, and panda bears.]  Anyways, the session was packed, and very fast!  5 minutes is hardly enough time to say your name and introduction, much less anything substantive about your research.  At the end of the session the organizer invited participants to continue in our dialoge and to jointly propose a special publication through a journal based on some common themes in our talks today.  Pretty cool.


After wrapping up at the conference today I was wiped, so we headed back to the hostel and got some dinner.  I have to admit… I’m really starting to enjoy New York a lot.  Now that I can navigate easily, and feel comfortable exploring day or night (at least uptown, where the hostel is), there is so much to see!  The days are going by too fast.  We leave on Tuesday, and before then I have so much I want to see!

Late-night Fruit Stand