I had never before had the opportunity to experience New York City. That is not to say that I had never before visited the city. The first time was when I was a very wee tot, maybe around 4 or 5, and I took a bus trip with my mother up to NYC to see the Rockettes perform at Radio City Music Hall in their annual holiday show. I remember very little of the trip. The next visit was in college when I took a trip to see one of the museums. I can’t recall which one, but do remember that the buses that transported us were parked across the street and directly in front of what I assume was Central Park. I also distinctly remember that when I glanced down into the park, the first thing I saw was a used condom and a used syringe laying on a rock. I believe this was before the big clean up initiative that occurred soon after this time (around the mid-nineties). I guess you could say that my previous interaction with the city was somewhat minimal.
So, I was super excited when I found out that the annual BlogHer conference would be held in New York City this year. Finally! My chance to go there as an adult and to see all the sights and sounds of the city that I had only previously seen in TV and movies. I couldn’t wait! (Except, as I previously detailed, I would be made to wait. And wait. And wait some more, before I was actually able to get there).
I also couldn’t wait to meet all of the other bloggers who would be attending the conference this year, especially the women whom I had formed relationships with through our blogs in the past several months. Finally I could see them in person and say I had friends that were not only
When I arrived in New York, I discovered that the tales of a city that never slept were indeed true. My arrival was late at night, after 1:00 am, and as I was travelling through the city streets in my cab, I saw people just casually walking around the city, as if it was a regular ole afternoon and they were taking a stroll. It was somewhat bizarre to me, this small town girl, who is usually in bed by 10:00 every night. The city also had this energy about it. It sort of hummed and buzzed with life. Difficult to actually describe unless you’ve experienced it. And apparently, it was contagious, because I was also infused with a buzz of excitement by just being there. Even in the wee early hours of the morning. In fact, apparently the city was expecting me, because for almost the entire drive from the airport to the hotel, I received a police escort! Wow, I’m feeling very famous. Or is that infamous?
Once I arrived at my hotel, and discovered that they did not have the room I reserved available, I was given a different room for the night. The good news, the check in girl told me, was that this room had a view of Central Park. Well, ok, so at least there’s that. Although, at 1:30 in the morning, there was not much of a view at all, unless you count the view looking down from the 40th floor. Did I mention my ears popped in the elevator? Yeah, I was pretty high up. Good thing I’m not afraid of heights, nor do I suffer from vertigo or anything.
I also discovered a friend from home was waiting for me in my room. How nice of them to consider my possible homesickness and try to combat that by having a familiar face there for me:
The next morning when I awoke, I opened the curtains to discover that I did indeed have a view of Central Park. It was quite lovely. Unfortunately, this would be the closest I would actually get to the park during my trip there. Which made me very sad, indeed. I would just not have enough time to see many of the sights that I so long to visit in this huge metropolis. Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to go back to see the rest of the sights!
My first full day in New York was a free day. Meaning that there were no BlogHer activities planned on that day and that we were free to do as we wanted in the city. It was also the day I planned to meet both Jen and Johi. Jen and I met in the hotel lobby, and when we met, we apparenlty screamed so loudly that we were heard on the next floor below us. This was according to Jen’s mom, who had travelled to New York with her. So, once the hugging and squeeing and general initial excitement wore off, Jen’s mom went to try to purchase some Broadway tickets for her and Jen for later in the week, and Jen and I set off to explore this great big city. At first there was just some general errand running to do (I forgot to pack my brush and Jen needed some earplugs), and then we were off for a quick lunch at a nearby deli. The food was very good, but we were barely able to taste it but for the distraction that was staring at us from the display case. Cupcakes as big as a newborn baby’s head. Mmmm, newborn baby head.
Once we had our sustenance, we were ready to tackle the city. First stop . . . Top of the Rock. So we headed over to 30 Rockefeller to mount this city and see the whole shebang. Unfortunately, when we arrived, we realized that the price to get up there was a bit steep, so we declined that journey. Sadness. However, while we were there, we figured we might as well check out Rockefeller Plaza and see the famous statue and ice skating rink out there. Being quite a large building, we got a bit turned around and couldn’t figure out where that would be, so we asked a very helpful page. Who was then kind enough to inform us, “you know, there’s no ice skating rink right now, though.” Gee, in the middle of a 95* day in August? You don’t say. Thank you so much for straightening us out, helpful page! We did finally make it out of the correct exit and came upon the famous site.
They were having some sort of farmer’s market in the space formerly occupied by the skating rink, so that was sort of a strange sight, what with all the big white tents and all. To be honest, I had seen this so many times on TV, that it was a bit anticlimactic. I guess I really will have to come back when the rink is there, and there is a huge brightly lit tree as well. I think that is my ideal of what this should look like. The building itself is pretty massive, and was so tall that I couldn’t even get the statue and the entire building in one whole shot. And every time I see this picture, I think of Tina Fey. Wonder why that is . . .
So, of course, after seeing one of the major New York landmarks, and discovering that Johi’s arrival was imminent, meaning we needed to stay close to the hotel, what else were two girls to do . . . but shop? Actually, Jen wanted to shop. I just wanted to get into somewhere with air conditioning before I melted, so it worked out for both of us. We went into one of Jen’s favorite stores and proceeded to the sales rack. Unfortunately, there was nothing to her liking there, but we did discover this poor sad little frock. I think we had this same design on the wallpaper in my family’s kitchen as a kid.
The store also had the most exquisite display of a macrame lighting fixture that I have ever beheld in my entire life. And I was born in the 70′s, so you know I’ve seen some macramed shit in my time. This thing was EPIC.
As we were heading back to the hotel, we happened upon the most fantastic store ever, just tucked into one of the side streets near Rockefeller Center. It had some of the most kickass items. We were enthralled.
Once we dragged ourselves out of this mecca of awesomeness, we returned to the hotel so that we could meet Johi. Of course, there was then more hugging and squeeing, and they then wanted to do even more shopping. This time . . . for me. See, I had brought this new dress, but I did not have appropriate shoes to match, so these little fashionistas were on a mission to have me properly shod. (In Jen’s words: to get me something besides the lesbian gardening shoes I was currently wearing). Although I am not a fan of shopping one bit, I did need shoes to match the dress, so I somewhat reluctantly went along with this plan. Besides, I had seen an Aerosoles while we were walking around earlier, so I figured worse case, I could just run in there and get something. The girls had other plans, however.
Our first stop was at The Loft, where I tried on a few torture devices, also known as footwear (I assume). They were not working out for me. It didn’t stop Johi from buying a pair for herself, though, so it wasn’t a total loss. Although, I think Jen was a bit confused as to what the modelling feet were there for. Bad Jen, no eats the feets.
On we moved to Aerosoles, which for some strange reason, they almost just walked right by. Odd. I found a pair that might work, but the girls were not enthused. They said that being in that place made them very sad. We finally decided on a pair that we both agreed upon, and told the well-meaning sales boy to hold them for me while we looked in a couple more stores. So off we went to the Nine West next door. Jen was overjoyed, and immediately found a pair that she adored:
And then miracle of miracles, I found a pair that actually matched the dress, were in my size, were affordable, and didn’t immediately cut off all circulation to my toes when I walked around in them in the store. Not particularly comfortable, per se, but according to my shopping guides, comfortable is not a factor to consider. At that point, I was pretty much shopped out and getting very weary and glazed-eyed about the whole thing, so I just relented and bought them. They are quite adorable. They are very not me, but they are now mine. And they most definitely were not comfortable when I wore them the entirety of the following night. But comfort and fashion does not equate, apparently.
Once I was able to rehydrate with a big ole latte from Starbucks (which just happened to be in the lobby of the hotel, Holla!!), I was ready for our evening excursion . . . meeting Noa (the original Funny Bitch) for dinner at Wolfgang’s near Times Square. When I arrived and opened the menu, I realized that I was apparently going to be able to eat dinner there or pay my mortgage this month, but definitely not both. But what the hell . . . who needs a roof and electricity, anyway! It was great fun talking and laughing with those amazingly funny and charming ladies at that dinner . . . even if I might have to sell one of my kids to pay for it. Pfft, whatever. I’ve got a spare.
I’m not even going to go into the doucheface fratdick asswipe that called me FAT as we were leaving the restaurant. Nope, gonna just let that one go. What I will do is totally post his privileged country club fuckheaded ass on my blog, because he was in fact wearing magenta shorts with a button down shirt and a blazer.
After we left the restaurant, we decided to take a little stroll around the streets of New York to experience the shitshow of humanity that was Times Square.
Amongst all the huge flashing billboards and millions of bright lights, there were some other interesting sights to see. Including this:
Yes, you are in fact reading that correctly. That says EVITA starring Ricky “Livin’ La Vida Loca” Martin. What is happening here? I don’t even understand. When did Mr. Menudo become a broadway stage actor? It’s a world gone mad, I tell you!
Next we saw some very interesting characters . . . there was the Naked Cowboy, who basically hand raped Johi:
Then, of course we have the requisite superhero:
Batman giving directions to this poor tragic soul, who feels it is appropriate to wear green tropical shorts sitting right below his nipples, white tennis shoes and a fanny pack. Oh please Batman, save him!!
And then there were the 2 versions of Hello Kitty. First is slutty kitty:
Then there was this tragic soul who was talking to herself in the corner before
accosting greeting the general public:
Once we saw all that Times Square had to offer, we decided to call it a night. It had been a long day, full of exploration, good conversation and a little (ok a large) dash of insanity. We were beat. But . . . this was only the first day!!
TO BE CONTINUED . . .
(Stay tuned for tales of dancing unicorns, grown men dressed as furry creatures, free vibrators and more meetings with bloggy friends!! No, it was not a porn convention, why do you ask?).