Ah, New York. I love it here. Or, I should say, I love visiting here. The excess pavement would eventually get to me if I lived here, but to visit is blissful. I spent last night at a work function, 35 floors up in the new Mandarin Oriental Hotel at the Lobby Lounge, which I believe is part of (or next to) the new Time-Warner/AOL building, which is gorgeous, and near the Trump Tower, where I believe they shot “The Apprentice,” which I’ve yet to see. Yes, it’s good to work for a search engine these days. The views of the city from the Lobby Lounge were spectacular. So were the rum-and-ginger-ales.

Speaking of which, on the day Yahoo announced that you’ll have to pay for the privledge of guaranteed inclusion into their search results, we announced that we ain’t goin’ out like that, and are no longer offering that service, a service which has been viewed as somewhat controversial throughout the industry over the past year. We’ll see how it all plays out. Specifically, we’ll see how many businesses/sites ante up for the Yahoo service, since you not only have to pay an up-front fee, you’ll also have to pay every time someone clicks on your result. We shall see.

Some other New York highlights:

– Came across a man sitting on the sidewalk on West 51st (b/t 5th and 6th) with a large, 80s style keyboard on his lap. It was playing this horrendous ’80s style keyboard tune by itself, but the guy was pretending that he was the one playing it. I mean, his hands weren’t even touching the keyboard. It couldn’t have been more obvious. But he was smiling, as happy as can be. Maybe we’re all crazy and he’s sane.

– The Search Engine Conferences just keep getting bigger and busier. The amount of exhibit booths has easily quadrupled and one has to wonder just what the heck PacificCasino.com was thinking when they brought their booth to a search engine show

– Yesterday I had a meeting that ended at 2 and another which started at 2:15. Ever run up an escalator, find lunch, sit, unwrap it, eat it, and run to another meeting, all in 15 minutes? Good times, I tell you.

– You haven’t really eaten sushi until, halfway through the meal, they bring over the fried heads of two tuna fish. There they are, their fried little heads and beady eyes, staring at you, waiting for someone to chopstick and chomp. Let me ask you – do you think I tried it?

– I have a new cell phone, my first one with the “vibrate” feature. When you put it onto a hard-surface table and it vibrates, it also goes in circles by itself. Nothing else to report here.

– During the conference, somebody (presumably from a small business) approached me, very seriously, and in slow speech, inquired this: “why do you call it ask if nobody is really asking? You don’t really ask a search engine, you tell a search engine.” I don’t make this stuff up, folks.

Song now playing: The Redwalls – “You’ll Never Know”