Conversations & Liberty

Amtrak Adventure 6/31 (about October 5th, 2021)

Yesterday was mostly just another workday, with people-meeting on both ends and a visit to the Statue of Liberty in the middle!

It was off to a quick start—we rolled out of bed early to take the subway down to the Financial District, where we got breakfast (“early lunch”) at Chipotle with my friend Jerry Ye. He’s one cofounder of a new program called Liberated Arts, an attempt to unbundle liberal arts education from the credentialist grip of modern universities. Picture something in the gap between “amateur book club” and “Ivy League philosophy class with grades and a syllabus”: that’s what they’re working on. A very worthwhile project, and awesome person!

After that, and a few hours of work (the Chipotle was next to a Starbucks, whose WiFi we stole—because they didn’t have any seats/tables of their own!), we walked down to Battery Park (on the south tip of Manhattan) to take a ferry to Liberty Island!

One of our goals for the trip is to knock out as many stereotypical tourist destinations as possible, so that we’ve taken all of The Pictures once and for all in each big city:

And we did it—one more down! The burgers there are surprisingly good, and the museum is fantastic; there’s a detailed explanation of the construction methods of the Statue, including full-size replicas of some casts that were used. Wow.

After that fun, it was back to work—this time at a proper Starbucks, the only one we could find that closed at 8 PM instead of 7. I managed to make a feature from start to finish today; this alternation of exploring and focusing in cities is working quite well!

Around 7:15, we split ways for dinner: I grabbed some overpriced Mexican food with Indra Sofian, who’s in charge of growing Sora Schools. It’s a fascinating and unique company: they run a fully remote, self-directed, multi-state, accredited high school! Indra was also a delight to talk to—I’m so blessed to be surrounded by great people.

Meanwhile, Mattea grabbed some Ethiopian food, a cuisine she started to love in San Francisco and felt like getting another taste of! Afterwards, we met up at a subway station near NYU to head back up to the old Edyfi house. Quite the adventure.

(While procrastinating on writing this update, I had yet another great conversation with an awesome person I met downstairs in the house: Emily Karlzen, whose company Arch Rift is designing auto-deploying helmets for space tourists!)

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