At Tooploox we work mainly with USA companies, so we have to face all the consequences of working in different time zones. It’s not very challenging to cope with. However, when you’re working on product designed to enhance our client’s business it is crucial to meet the users. Last month our Scrum team – Ninjas – went to New York to visit NowThis – one of our NYC partners. We wanted to use this opportunity to chat with users, make strategic plans for the upcoming year and make sure that everything goes well during the release.
For some of us it was the very first trip to the USA. Therefore, some of us were a bit anxious about differences.
What I loved most about New York were two cute rats eating a rotten pumpkin in a subway station, a Christmas pickle shaped ornament shaped wearing Santa hat, and turtles sunbathing in Central Park. Silly as it may sound it’s the essence of New York for me.
NYC is huge. Actually, everything is huge: buildings, microwaves, ovens, cars, kitchen sinks…and you get about 10 slices of ham in your sandwich. You can’t buy liquor or cigarettes at regular stores. You have to look for tiny, well hidden shops. Maybe that’s American strategy to fight addictions. Who knows?
Our American adventure began with … a visit to a Polish restaurant where we had some chicken soup and dumplings. There’s no place like home, right? Then we were struck by jetlag and we went to sleep.
We spent first 3 days at NowThis office, having a lot of kombucha ;) . We also had a fancy meal with NowThis team. We had a demo on Wednesday, so on Thursday we could begin the second part of our trip and finally see the city!
I was amazed by many things in NYC, one of them being the fact that it was easy to reach the goal of 10 000 steps daily. Another interesting point of the trip was the variety of food and snacks there, especially the healthy ones. Additionally, I checked one more thing on my bucket list – a run in Central Park. For sure, it was an exciting week both work- and pleasure-wise :)
Lukasz would make us wake up at 6:30 each morning. We think it was because there was a lot to see and little time, or maybe he wanted to torture us ;)
On Thursday we went to DUMBO to see the Manhattan Bridge. Then we visited Greenpoint, where we found traces of Polish presence.
We had made a deal that we would eat something different every day. On Thursday we had Tacos and we learnt that Mexican Coca – Cola tastes exactly as other Coca-Colas. As the subway in NYC is not the cleanest place on Earth (but it’s definitely a fun place!), we walked back home through China Town. We finished that amazing day with some beers on a rooftop, with great view of NYC by night.
I won’t surprise you by saying that I fell in love with Central Park. It’s so big and diverse. It felt like it was a city on its own. The whole purpose is to allow you to relax and spend time with your family or friends. We had only about one and a half our to visit it, so we couldn’t see it in all its glory.
The next day we went to see WTC subway station, which is one of the most beautiful stations in NYC, and WTC memorial. Afterwards we took a stroll to Madison Square Garden. In the evening we decided to go to legendary Times Square, where we learnt that there is no such thing as a free photo. NYC was already full of Christmas spirit and we found a device which checked who had been good this year. It turned out that NOT all of us will get presents this year… . On our way back home, we took a detour to Rockefeller Center. We wanted to see the famous Christmas tree. It was there. Behind a scaffolding. On the subway we experienced the “fun” factor. There was a guy who put on really loud music. Some people probably thought it was rude…until the guy started to dance all around the carriage!
For me, the best place in New York was Central Park. It’s like an ecosystem in itself. A huge park inside this overcrowded city, a place to relax, go fishing
We spent our last day in NYC in Central Park. We all loved it! The park is gigantic, filled with people jogging, singing gospel, boating on the lake. We wrapped up our trip with the best burgers on our way to the airport :)
Photos & story by Ninjas (Miłka Gaca, Łukasz Kasprzyk, Łukasz Łanecki, Bartek Dymowski, Iza Piotrowska, Jacek Hiszpański, Sebastian Osiński, Jarek Gliwiński)
Graphics by Anna Langiewicz