Chicken Little in the Big Apple

Six days in New York City chewed me up and spit me out.  I was a newbie at the famed BlogHer conference where a person can feel like they are missing out even in the middle of it all.  Early on at the conference, I found myself feeling wholly insignificant.  My blog, my labor of love, my life, was being valued on the number of followers, facebook likes, and tweets.  There was one day I was so bloated  (for reasons I won’t disclose) that I had to unbutton my pants.  The irony was not lost on me that I was feeling both bloated AND insignificant.  How is that even possible? At BlogHer it is.

Don’t get me wrong, it was great spending a day with Stefanie Wilder-Taylor and hugging her at the end and telling her “I’m a big fan.”  No way did she throw my blogger card in her “stalker” pile.  I’m sure she has it propped up on her desk waiting for just the right moment to call me and tell me I’m brilliant and “let’s collaborate on a crazy book like Eat, Pray, Love, but more tragic and way more funny and with kids!”  She doesn’t want to jump the gun too early.  I wouldn’t either.  These ideas take time to develop.  Plus I imagine she’s working on finding me an agent and beginning a rough draft of the book proposal.

Outside of the conference, I came to the conclusion that New York is the city that never sleeps because everyone is too busy trying to get from Point A to Points B and C via a bus, a subway, a taxi, a car, or their feet.  The sheer density prohibits any of those methods getting you there quickly.  It’s surprising how “hey, let’s roll into the city for a quick bite” turns into a five-hour sweat slog.  I stayed with a friend in Jersey City so that made the “quick jaunt” even longer.  Most days I was out there like Chicken Little for 12 or 13 hours at the mercy of the MTA and NJT.  It made me miss my car.

Other observations:

  • People always say New-Yorkers are rude.  I never encountered that.  They’re all just in a big, fat hurry and don’t have time to show you where the Empire State Building is even when you’re standing right in front of it.
  • Everyone smokes!  I kept looking around wide-eyed like Ellie Mae saying, “people still smoke??”
  • How can these young female students just casually stroll on and off subways?  There are muggers EVERYWHERE ready to apple-pick or roll you.
  • Everyone also drinks. I decided it’s because no one wants to go home to their tiny little hovel homes.
  • The aforementioned density caused me, after three days, to crave WIDE! OPEN! SPACES!  And air.  Just plain, empty air that didn’t smell like people and dirt.  The LYSOL people at the vendor section of the conference were giving out free bottles of their latest concoction.  I almost used it as a body wash right then and there.  A simple Silkwood shower did the trick when I got home.

All in all, I found it to be quite an optimistic city.  You don’t have to look far to realize things could be much worse.  Like the guy in his underwear sleeping on a pile of newspapers in the subway station while throngs of people stepped over him.  My friend was more than happy to point that out.  So, thank you BlogHer, (and said friend) for showing me a hell of a time.


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