Every now and then, little Sunbonnets get the most AMAZING e-mails.
On Wednesday, March 21, I was invited by BlogHer to meet with other BlogHers on Friday, March 23, in the Big Apple.
I have been encouraging BlogHers to get together in real life to enrich our virtual friendships, solidify our communications and bolster mutual support, but I didn’t expect to have to put my money where my mouth was so soon. They called my bluff. They asked was I into it? Or not? I decided I was in. The journey began.
Considering all of the fantastic women involved in BlogHer, though, how could I go wrong? I expected there would be no end to the wonderment and delight. Anyway, when I was invited to go by BlogHer High Command, how could I refuse? I was needed. I was on a mission.
Friday, March 23, was also my 20th wedding anniversary, so I spent a few seconds thinking about whether or not I should go, then it was “Hi-Ho-BlogHer-O, we’ll celebrate when I get back, honey! SEE ya!” as I ran to pack the suitcase.
New York, New York, crossroads of the world.
BlogHer had set the meeting for Friday morning in the Cheslsea district of New York City. Being centrally located for those of us in the mid-Atlantic region of the east coast, it was not a far stretch. And besides, I counted it as a “dry run” for getting up to BlogHer ’12 this summer. One thing to try out for sure was transportation. Before, when I’ve gone to NYC, I’ve flown the commuter flights, but with those TSA checks, I decided to try AmTrak and off I went on the Metro subway to Union Station in Washington, D.C. to catch the AmTrak Acela.
In only two hours and forty five minutes, I was in New York City at Penn Station, standing in the line waiting for a taxi to my hotel. The trip was so effortless, it was hard to believe I was there. With the AmTrak train charging up the east coast at 150 miles/hour, the time and four states just flew by.
Digital Still Life: Arrival at Four Points Sheraton in Chelsea.
When making reservations, it’s sure hard to know what you’re getting into. Even with the Internet and an army of Travelocity Gnomes, one never knows until one arrives just how the accommodations will suit. Well, if I had gathered a committee to pick a great Sunbonnet-friendly site, I couldn’t have done better.
There I was in the garment district, a fair slice of Heaven for a quilter. Shops of fabric, dress manikins and yes, there was even a quilt store and gallery across from the hotel. I was early enough to go shopping and it took a New York minute to select going to the quilt store as a first choice. But, first, I had to walk down the block and get a photo of St. Patrick’s Day balloons bravely flopping in the wind, tangled in a tree, on the Avenue of the Americas. It was SO NEW YORK, I couldn’t resist.
St. Patrick’s Day Balloons at 6th Avenue,
now officially called Avenue of the Americas.
Green foil shamrock balloons, probably left over from the Parade down 5th Avenue on March 17 were tangled in the trees giving testimony to NYC’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The New York City Parade is the oldest in the world, having started in 1762, and, as you can tell from their web site, it’s a really BIG deal.
Empty fabric boards in front of The City Quilter
quilt store tell of a prosperous fabric store.
Walking down the other side of the street from the hotel, I stalked my quarry, The City Quilter quilt store and The ArtQuilt Gallery NYC. What a bounty I found inside and what luck they were open until 7:00pm. In fact, I was so impressed by the floor plan, selection of fabrics, shop models and accessories, I have decided to do separate posts on the both shop and gallery.
I have to. It’s the only way to show off all the quilting paraphernalia I was able to enjoy last Thursday evening. Remember, I was a quilt shop business owner myself from 1982-1991, nine years, so I’ve been to a few quilt shops in my career. It is noteworthy, therefore, that I was very impressed by The City Quilter.
On the left, Penn Station and Madison Square Gardens
from the 11th floor of our BlogHer get together.
So, on Friday morning, it was almost time to meet everybody, the three BlogHers who agreed to get together, and I couldn’t have been more excited. After a short workout in the hotel gym, mentioning that for the diet conscious BlogHers with whom I usually comment back and forth as they will be proud of me, I packed my things and got ready to hail a cab to our meeting place.
My heart was beating a mile a minute as I “bag ladied” my stuff to 7th Avenue, hoping people didn’t think I was homeless. I was wondering the whole way as to why my “packing eyes” are always bigger than my “suitcase’s stomach.” The tote bag I bungee corded to the top of my tag along suitcase kept sliding to the side, looking anything but sophisticated. It was Sexless in the City, for sure. I was hoping that none of the BlogHers were watching.
But! I didn’t care. My “wardrobe rig” got me where I wanted to go and I was going to meet other Bloghers, what could be better? And meet other Bloghers I did.