It was a hilarious evening with colleagues at our division party. Last night, we rented out the private room and five booths of a midtown bar - rather than planning a formal gathering in a stuffy reception hall - to celebrate a major division achievement.
Between pre-party set-up, chocolate cake shots with our marketers and producers while I tried to monitor the steady stream of hors d' oeuvres, tequila shots with several of the VPs while also acting as the party photographer, and a jelly bean fight with our CIO and information technology crew, I was worn out lugging our stuff back to the office after all was said and done.
As a comfortable alternative to hailing a cab, my boss had advised me to arrange for a scheduled car service to and from the bar. After dropping by the office just before midnight, I rejoined my black-suit escort who was patiently waiting at the curb (patiently because we were paying him), hopped in the back seat and leaned against the arm rest of the door. Resting my chin on my hand and staring out the window at the streets that have me falling in love, I reflected on the night and ultimately my life since leaving North Carolina.
The highlight of the evening had to be when our CEO (whose impressive resume and unique management style has earned her national praise) stood on a bar stool to toast our team with one of the more genuine speeches I've had yet to hear in Corporate America. But the highlight of my new life in the city has been the moments where I found myself watching Manhattan stream by from the back seat of a car and feeling like a New Yorker.