I'm in New York City for a variety of meetings and, of course, I brought along Bloggy, the Scientific Blogging mascot.   I know how popularity works.  People don't concern themselves much with what I write but Bloggy is popular.  Heck, there is fan fiction written about him.

He's a pretty easy travelling companion, he mostly just sits in my bag but at key moments I avail myself of his wisdom.

I took a few pictures of him in our various adventures and am posting them up here.   Off on a trip of your own?  Need a mascot to accompany you and criticize your every decision?   We'll ship him out.  Just be sure to take a swanky picture.

Of course, when many people 30 and older think of travelling in New York,  they imagine some scene out of The Warriors, where you have to fight off muggers and cool guys with baseball bats but it isn't like that any more.   That Great Society experiment ended badly, of course, so "The Warriors" or Escape From New York or other scenarios where you project out crime on a linear curve never happened.  

The Warriors Walter Hill
As I mentioned to Paul Hoffman during lunch in mid-town on Thursday, the Freakonomics guys figured out that it wasn't building prisons or hiring more cops, it was giving birth to fewer criminals that was responsible for the crime rate here plummeting.     If Democratic strategists were worth a hill of beans (okay, they are worth a hill of beans, actually, since they have bullet-proof majorities in both Houses of Congress and the Presidency, but you get my point) they would have figured out that the easiest way to get Republicans behind abortion was to tell them it eliminated crime.  Cynical, and sure to outrage anyone with a heart, but apparently true.

So travel is quite civilized, at least in Manhattan - like any city, you have your spots that you shouldn't go lest you be boppin' your way home.

Hopefully, on the flight home I will get a chance to finish my article on the pervasive anti-elitism ("you don't know more than me just because you have a PhD") that crops up from time to time. As I intend to show, being part of the elite is coming back into fashion, provided we take the word 'elite' back from snooty humanists and put it into the realm of social language it actually belongs. Until then, enjoy some Bloggy hijinks.

Bloggy and I planning our strategy at a local coffee place.   

Bloggy and I at the Empire State Building in between meetings.   Manhattan is nice in that you can do a lot of stuff between meetings.  Like push Bloggy off a building.  I didn't - people notice when you put stuff on the ledge of the Empire State Building so I had to play it cool.

Bloggy asking me if he has anything in his teeth before we go inside.

NBC Today co-host Matt Lauer was very excited about meeting Bloggy.

Ever the suave diplomat, Bloggy insisted we visit Tiffany's.  He charmed sales associate Lynn, who had an astounding knack for being able to interpret "we don't know what we want but we will know it when we see it" and translating it into revenue.  She's on the third floor so if you visit, I recommend looking her up - but don't bother with the first floor; it was pouring outside and when I walked in, obviously wet because I was going to their store when the deluge broke out, they looked at me like I had a bomb strapped to my chest and I hate pretentious faux elitism from people who make 1/100th of what I do.   But Lynn rules!