Redefining the “Power” Lunch

Today I had lunch at a New York institution. I had always envisioned my first lunch there would have something to do with mergers and media. Instead however, it was much more casual and by far a lot longer than the average “power lunch.” My lunch partners were an SVP of a PR agency and a two-time Tony award-winning actress. We talked for two plus hours, covering everything from politics and religion to trips to Hawaii and home renovation in New Jersey. It was a lunch for the soul, where interesting ideas and opinions were shared. There was no agenda, no power plays and no egos. It was simply “Fun.”

This lunch presented itself at the perfect time. I was getting tired of the young New York small talk at cocktail/book parties, networking events, news of ridiculous book deals, and paper-pushing with clients. I felt like the city itself was turning on me with everything from the torrential downpours, humidity and subway hassles, to feeling like I was letting possibilities slip through my fingers. I was tempted to say “goodbye to all that,” but then days like this happen and New York opens her arms and gives you a gift. I never would have met either of my dining partners had it not been for the serendipity and six degrees of Manhattan. “Fun” is a word that has been farthest from my vocabulary recently, but which I’ll now always be able to resurrect the feeling of when I think about my “power” lunch.

So while the power-suited around us played their trump cards, surrendered fortunes and gained millions, we simply talked for the sake of conversation, to learn, to laugh, to nourish our bodies and souls, to remind us that true power lies within our ability to connect with others, and to help remind me of why I continue to love New York.


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