Friday, July 31, 2009

Legal alien

This morning, I got to nurse my hangover in the Olympic Flame Diner on W 60th St in NYC, eating a three egg feta cheese omelette with fried potatoes, drinking bottomless coffee and listening to Pat Benatar. I couldn't have been happier.
This followed three days spent staying at the seriously weird and cool Hudson Hotel courtesy of the much less weird but just as cool Open Society Institute. I am doing a bit of guerilla knowledge management at NGO X using a platform that they have developed. I love these guys. They are thoughtful, serious and funny all at once, and I get to be the least geeky person in the room for a while. Loads to think about.
And they are fantastic hosts. I arrived on Monday a little dazed and confused, and fairly shortly afterwards someone said 'so if I took you out and bought you a beer would you drink it?' I knew from that point on that I was going to have a good time, and I did. There were frozen pomegranate margaritas, there was a long walk downtown to eat gelato in the new High Line park, there was some amazing food, and there were discussions ranging from democracy to permaculture to the origins of morality. It was, as we used to say in Blackpool in 1984, ace. *And* I did it without a credit card.
I said yes to everything because I don't know if I'll ever get back there. Which was a great strategy, and je ne regrette rien, but as a consequence I am now feeling like shit. Plus, I'm waiting for a delayed seven hour five time zone flight in an overcrowded JFK. It's going to be a long night.



Blogger Spine said...

My God, Soros! Were you initiated into the global conspiracy against paranoid nationalism? Did you discuss how to undermine sovereignty of poor developing nations? (OSI over here is widely regarded as The Enemy, at least by people who need enemies.)

6:36 am  
Blogger Jo said...

Not so much. The work part was techie, though open source has its political aspects of course.

They have free san-pro in the women's toilets, I was impressed.

12:25 pm  
Anonymous M said...

Spine, don't you go dissing OSI, Jo is smitten.

Though on more careful re-reading, I think you were actually dissing "over here".

6:58 pm  
Blogger Tim said...

Have no idea what any of this is about, but I'm with M one thing: there's an awful lot of smitten in the air.

4:51 am  
Blogger Spine said...

Sorry, no diss to soros or osi and no smiting of the smitten intended. Was simply, badly, less than coherently, expressing my excitement at your encounter with an organisation and man much demonized here and in other "over heres".

Full disclosure: I had to google "san pro".

Hope all's well.

8:44 am  
Blogger Jo said...

It was very exciting. I was supposed to go to the same meeting last year but NGO X took a long time to be persuaded that this was an initiative worth being involved in. And are still not fully convinced, for reasons it is neither practical nor appropriate to go into here, but I am. I am normally a lone voice in the wilderness, and it was like spending a couple of days in an oasis. With extra tequila.

8:37 pm  

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