What does New York City have to do with Winston-Salem?
For one, of course, we have the Empire State Building and the Reynolds Building.
“The Reynolds Building was constructed in 1929 by Shreve and Lamb, who would design the Empire State Building a few years later based on the same plans. The iconic shape of the two buildings is the same, though the Empire State Building has 102 floors whereas the Reynolds Building has 22. For nearly a century, the Reynolds Building was the home office for the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. The Reynolds Building was named “Building of the Year” by the National Association of Architects, won the 1984 Art Deco Society of New York award for best restoration and was the tallest building in the South for 35 years. In 2016, Kimpton Hotels and Restaurant opened The Cardinal Hotel on the lower six floors below the luxury apartments above.” – Visit NC
For ME personally, New York City was the iconic city of a hundred movies and TV shows. We learned about Ellis Island in school. It was mythical. I had had a desire to visit it for years and in 2010, I decided to go. No one was available to go with me, so I said, heck, I’ll go by myself. That trip was life-changing.
I did all the things, The Museum of Natural History, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, etc. I loved it, loved the energy of the “city.” But I stayed a nonprofit Hostel (HI-NYC) in Upper West Side, where it is very residential. So I was able to relax in a safe environment, away from the hustle and bustle and grind of the City That Never Sleeps. (It does, in fact, sleep.)
The dichotomy of the two places was fascinating. It is indeed an ENORMOUS tourist destination, but for millions of people, it’s also home. They live there, eat there, hang out there, all the things that we do where we live. I thoroughly enjoy NYC and have been back several times. I find it inspirational in that I can take what I see and learn from there and bring it home to North Carolina.
There is one item, in particular, that I think we can draw inspiration from. Last year, we had over 1.8 million visitors to Forsyth County. (Yes, million!) With almost $900 million dollars in revenue from those visitors. What I seek to do now is go BACK to NYC, do some practical/in person research and bring. it. home. After all, if one of the world’s most iconic buildings was started here, I’m sure they won’t mind!
I think it is imperative that we constantly learn, grow and evolve. To keep our city competitive in this ever-growing world, it’s going to take innovation on the part of all of us.
This crazy idea called the Winston-Salem Ambassadors is now entering it’s 3rd year and we are going strong. So far, my crazy ideas have panned out. Stick with me for the ride: it’s gonna get crazy fun.
I will be GOING to NYC in the next few weeks. Can’t wait to bring back the energy from the Big Apple and fuse it with our own! Winston-Salem, after all, is awesome.
Much Love, my Twin City family!