Day 1: To New York!

This morning I woke up at 3:30am, said my goodbyes to my mother,  and left SeaTac around 7.

Typically, accomplishing something as simple as finding my gate would be a difficulty considering my directional competence (or lack thereof). Luckily, however, my comrade Ariel Zlatkovski met me at the airport and helped lead me to the correct gate.

Ariel is part of the team with whom I will be traveling on this trip. I better be careful what I say about him because he might read this sometime. But he is now sitting behind me in the plane and cannot see what I am writing for the time being.

After the plane landed (and at least one complete listen through to Epica’s newest album, The Phantom Enigma), Ariel and I met up with Steven who’s a Microsoftie in charge of our team (and a whole lot of other things), took a cab, and headed to our first hotel in New York City.

Once we settled in and got our rooms in the Hilton Fashion District hotel, we ventured to the heart of NYC and saw some awesome places. We ended up visiting a farmer’s market and eating pizza in Madison Square Park. See the pictures below!

Although New York is a fun place to visit so far, I must say…it may not be some place I’d want to live necessarily. 🙂 And I thought Seattle’s traffic was bad…

A few days ago I had contacted the competitive Smash Bros. Melee player Lil Chen (or “Milktea,” to which she is referred in the Smash community) and asked her about meeting up in NY and chatting (since that’s where she lives). I had discovered her on the web via Twitter and a part of the renowned Smash Bros. Documentary, and as a long-time player of the Smash series (since ’99) and a recent admirer of the competitive scene myself, I thought it would be fun to meet a real Smash champ. During the evening, she and I met and talked about the Super Smash Bros. Melee community and how we could find new ways to be more welcoming of new members (she also agreed to sign my GameCube controller). Super stoked to have met her!

Now I am ready for the event tomorrow…or at least, I think I am. My blazer and slacks are hung up and ready for tomorrow and everything (that means I’m ready, right?)! Time for some sleep!

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PS. Let’s play a game in the picture above called “I Spy Ariel.”

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