I didn't realize until I landed that most of my expectations of New York were based on young adult books I read during the 80s and 90s. Most of these involved sophisticated children who were poorly supervised and who had doormen, so of course I was always extremely jealous of them. Damn my mother, never letting me ride the subway by myself, let alone letting me hide in dumbwaiters or run away and live in an art museum. How I suffered as a child.
Anyway, New York itself was wonderful. Admittedly I didn't see very much of it in three days, but I'd go back tomorrow if I could. I saw Bryant Park (no Michael Kors, though, although I am sure he would have looked down his nose at my Tiva sandals), Times Square, Central Park and Rockefeller Center. I also saw my very first Broadway musical, "Mary Poppins." We ate pastrami at Carnegie Deli and marveled at the celebrity pictures adorning the walls, from Vicky from "Small Wonder" to Ricky Schroeder. I loved the city and I plan on going back there very soon.
The BlogHer conference itself was a great time. How could you not have a good time when you're meeting Ronald McDonald and Padma Lakshmi on the same day? The sessions taught me a lot, and I came home with a gigantic bag of very essential free stuff. From Mr. Potato Head to 4000 reusable grocery bags to Bare Assets suck-it-in panties, the various sponsors treated us very well. It was fascinating to see the different ways that companies market products to women. Spinning the wheel and pretending to be excited when winning a fifty-cent coupon off a can of tuna was an experience in itself. I'd like to thank all of the companies who sponsored the conference. You definitely made it a memorable weekend.
The best part about BlogHer was, of course, the new friends that I met. First of all, my roommate Kate. As nervous as I was about going to the conference, I never worried that I wouldn't like her. We bonded big time and I hope that we are friends for life. She assured me that no one noticed when I fell out of the photo booth at the Cheeseburgher party, landing flat on my ass. And I was wearing a dress. I did have underpants on, thank heaven for small miracles. Every woman that I met was interesting, easy-going and happy to be there. And no one threw urine filled water balloons at me, so that fear went out the window.
Everywhere we went the first few days, whenever we were confused or overwhelmed, Kelly magically appeared with hints and reassurances. I started to call her The Chief like in "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" Her friendship, help and hospitality was much appreciated and I'm happy to call her a friend.
So all in all it was a great weekend, and I really hope to be at BlogHer11 in San Diego next year. If you're on the fence about going to one of these things, as I definitely was, I'd recommend giving it a try. It was great to meet so many women with stories to tell, and I'm happy to have made some new friends in a city that I never knew I loved.