Road Trips and Taking the Long Way

Faster. Sooner. Now.

Our world revolves around doing more in less time. We want our microwave food to take 3 mins or less. We want the medicine to work instantly. We want our blogs to blow up tomorrow. We’re so impatient.

I’m as guilty of this as anyone.

Sometimes, though, it’s good to take things slow. People appreciated aged wine and aged whiskey and there’s no speeding 15 years up. Sometimes it’s worth the wait and worth the effort.

I’m on a road trip with my friend from New York City. He’s never been to California before and we’re doing it right:

San Francisco -> Napa/Wine Country -> Santa Cruz -> San Luis Obispo -> Santa Barbara -> Los Angeles -> San Diego.

We’re driving Highway 1, one of the most scenic driving routes the world has to offer. Instead of flying down to LA or driving the 5, we’re going the long way. And my god, it is worth it.

Edit: Here’s the video I made of the trip. It was a great time.

My Europe Trip [video]

Europe 2010 from Jason Shen on Vimeo.

I went to Europe in late September, early October with a couple close high school buddies and it was a ton of fun. This was my first big trip abroad besides trips to China with family, and I got to do some fun stuff:

  • Have tea and crumpets at the Wolseley
  • Have a 7 course meal at Gordon Ramsey
  • Tour the Notre Dame
  • Drink Heineken at the original factory-turned-museum
  • Visit Amsterdamn’s Red Light district
  • See Buckingham Palace
  • Do a flagpole in front of the Eiffel Tower
  • Play lots of video games while it rained.

And I made a video. I took lots of really short clips with my iPhone and sewed them together. The style was inspired by another travel video made by a group of friends visiting Taiwan. My video doesn’t hold a candle to theirs, but I still enjoy watching it. Hope you do too.

Weekend Trip Through NYC & DC – Manhattan (2/3)

This is Part 2 of my trip through NYC & DC. Click to read Part 1 and Part 3.

So after my brief excursion in Brooklyn, I ride to Penn Station via the MTA New York City Transit (which according to Wikipedia, hosts more passengers than every other subway system, like BART, in the US combined!)

I meet up with a bunch of high school buddies and we head to Stand4, a burger joint, and grab some absurdly unhealthy burgers. I try to eat as little meat as possible, but when I’ve flown 2,500 miles to see friends, some of whom I haven’t seen in years, I make exceptions.

We then proceed to walk downtown. It’s always fun to walk around New York because there are just tons of people everywhere. When people talk about New York, they talk about the energy of the city – and if you’re an extrovert like me, you’ll feel yourself getting powered up by the vibrancy of the place. Its packed with people who are going places. Continue reading…

Travel, Projects, Sales & More: Top Tweets for Aug 23-25

I spend a lot of time on Twitter and this is my way of trying to capture what some of the best things I’ve tweeted recently.

In this round of Top Tweets I found some cool links on traveling around the world, talk about sales strategies, explore “awesome” web apps, affirm the power of mini-projects, and find that 4.2M isn’t eff-you money.

“Things I’ve Learned from Traveling Around the World for Three Years” // Makes you want to drop everything & travel… | 8/24/10 8:52 AM

Sometimes, even prospects who perfectly fit your target customer profile will hesitate in buying. Learn how to turn up the heat. #sales | 8/24/10 11:32 AM

Incredible. RT @DerekeFlanzraich For $10/month, a real person will call you and tell you you’re awesome. | 8/24/10 1:22 PM

“Rapid prototyping as burnout antidote” by @yegg // Great way to keep life fun/interesting in general | 8/24/10 8:29 AM

Turns out that eff-you money is more than you think. @webwright crunches the numbers: /via @ddn | 8/23/10 12:57 PM

If you liked these tweets, you should follow me on Twitter: @jasonshen

Weekend Trip Through NYC & DC – Brooklyn (1/3)

This is Part 1 of my trip through NYC & DC. Click to read Part 2 and Part 3.

I grew up in Boston and came out to the Bay Area for college, so even though I live and work out West, I still have a bunch of good friends out East, plus some college friends who got jobs out there as well. Since graduating, I’ve really come to value the importance of connecting with friends face-to-face, so I planned a quick weekend trip to NYC/DC to see them.

The itinerary was pretty brutal – Red-eye flight out of SFO at 11pm Friday, New York all day (and all night) Saturday, 8:30am bus to DC on Sunday, evening flight out of DC that landed at 11pm Pacific. You can see the whole trip through my Foursquare feed. (Click thumbs to view full itineraries)

Click to view full Saturday itineraryClick to view full Sunday itinerary

While I was at the Big Apple, I decided to do some work-related research and spend some time in Brooklyn – because we’ve been signing up a number of Brooklyn-based blogs to power their ad sales though isocket. It’s actually really interesting because even though the blogs aren’t getting that much traffic (sub 100k monthly visitors) they’re still getting some solid advertising interest on their own. We think that after they sign up with us, they’ll do even better.

Welcome to Brooklyn

I actually got to go to one venue, Crumbs, which was featured in a post on the Brooklyn Heights Blog. The guy who runs it is definitely pretty web & advertising savvy – I expect good things. I told ‘em I heard about the cupcake place via BHB and got a delicious cupcake. I must have looked like Super-Tourist with all the picture taking I was doing, but you know what? That’s ok.

Crumbs in Brooklyn HeightsThey look amazing...Taking a big bite!

I definitely wish I had time to have checked out more places in Brooklyn like Park Slope (where a friend was moving to that day!), Bushwick and Dumbo, but that’ll have to wait for another trip out. Stay tuned for more NYC stuff in Part 2.