In a few short days I start a 7 week sabbatical from Adobe. (One of the many things that makes Adobe a great place to work is that employees get a paid sabbatical every 5 years of employment.) This past year has been absolutely whirlwind – I work on Creative Cloud and we just released a major update that I am incredibly proud of. The time to take a breather is near.
For my first sabbatical, I traveled: India, Singapore, Thailand. It was colorful and tasty and sweaty. This time around, I am sticking with the sweaty and spending my 7 weeks at the heart of everything that is: New York City.
I’ve been lucky to visit New York a lot over the past 10 years. Each and every time I go, especially the last couple of years, I return feeling crazy inspired. I often describe it as “a B-12 shot for my life.” What specifically gets me going? Well the tech scene there is amazing – I love how New York employs technology not just for technology’s sake, but instead in an interdisciplinary way. “Made in NY” tech shops are showcasing the intersection of technology and art, fashion, cuisine, social change, storytelling, and on and on and on. I want to soak in these vibes, learn and join in on the creative thinking that is radiating out of some of these interesting startups and non-profits. As part of that, I am very excited to be doing some work for an organization I am passionate about, charity: water. Additionally, I have an idea for an online project related to creativity and charitable giving. The idea is still taking form, but I am beyond excited to quietly design, develop and push out a personal project fully on my own.
Similar to the tech scene, the performing arts scene is forward-thinking as well. For every traditional concert or classical dance performance, there are creative mashups and totally orthogonal disciplines coming together to put on an unique show. And in New York, these alternative shows draw a crowd! The dancer in me, freaking out a bit that the years left to continue dancing are limited-ish, is excited to work on some show ideas and find some collaborative partners out there. Who knows, maybe my LED/El-wire-bharathanatyam costume idea may come to fruition.
So what exactly will I be doing for 7 weeks? I’ll be working hard at charity: water, with their fabulous team of designers and developers. I will be going to hackathons, design meetups, music performances, plays, movies in parks, art shows, broadway shows, standup shows & improv shows. I want to visit the offices of Behance, Tumblr, Etsy, General Assembly, FiftyThree, Art.sy and so many more. I want to eat at every David Chang/Momofuku restaurant. I want to drink Stumptown coffee every day, learn the subway system and wear those true summer outfits I am lucky to wear once in SF. I want to talk to as many people as I can who are using technology in whatever way possible to improve the world, just because.
Will you be around New York from 6/22 – 8/12? Do you have any ideas about people I should talk to, events I should attend, places I should eat? Do you want to join me in doing any of this?