For the record, I did go to Manhattan once, when I was 11. It was in 1976, when we went to Washington DC to visit my cousins for the bicentennial. We went to NYC for one day. It was a hot, sticky, miserably muggy gray day in August, I think, and the crazy people in the subways scared me.
So, from 1976-2009, I didn't really want to go back to Manhattan. It seemed nice in movies and books, if you're very rich and very thin, and obviously brave enough to live there. I figured I wasn't any of those things.
But then, these people named Loren and Michelle Feldman, who I met a year or two ago on Twitter, decided to put on a conference, and I decided I needed to go. I wrote about them last December in my post "What a Croc: @1938Media's Shoes and How I wish I Could be Jewish."
I wanted to attend The Audience Conference, something fierce, because I wanted to meet them, and the conference was all about this:
"Audience is a conference aimed at those who recognise the need to reach engage and influence audiences of all kinds, an investigation into how this is changing, and a look at how technology has in the past and is now, through new media tools and the social web, changing audience participation and interaction."
And this is the exact kind of thing I'm into, especially since my new company Twist Pop Media is all about telling stories for clients and pushing the stories out to the world. Plus I was a drama girl, you know. And I write for many different audiences. And I want to meet people and get some work, to boot.
So I figured I'd need to be brave, take a red eye flight to Newark, take a bus into the city, find my way through the crowded, dirty, mean and crazy streets of Manhattan to the hotel, and then try hard to be social and outgoing and professional with a bunch of strangers I'd never actually met in real life. All by myself. Without having an anxiety attack.
Turns out I am very brave. And Manhattan is clean and friendly and easy. And the hotel was lovely and I met Ezra Butler (who works with 1938 Media) in the lobby when I was checking in, and he walked me right down to 5th Avenue to look at new phones and get a real bagel.
And then I went to MOMA and The Folk Art Museum and The Museum of Arts and Design and Central Park and around and around and around all the streets (which are on a grid, by the way,easy peasy) and then I took the subway back.
I did get a little lost down there in that ridiculous underground maze, but attractive men in suits and friendly women with shopping bags kept pointing me in the right directions until I found Grand Central Station, and a wonderful guy in a bike cab who got me back to my street and said I didn't even have to pay him, but I gave him $10 bucks and let him kiss me on the cheek at the end.
And then I met Erin Bury in the lobby, who was also traveling alone, and made her come to the parties with me, because my theory is if you walk into a party with a beautiful blond woman who is also smart and plays the piano and sings like an angel, strangers become instant friends, and they are always happy to see you.
The party was fun and I met a bunch of nice people. They didn't think I was shy at all. I completely fooled them, I think. Because I'm such a good actress.
And then, the next day I went to the conference and met more twitter friends in real life and
several more new best friends, and listened to the speakers, who were quite impressive, and the poet and the singers, and ate good food, and talked to smart people, and felt so lucky to be there.
I sure wish they'd have an Audience Conference every 1st Thursday of the month. Now that I know my way around, I could be a Manhattan Ambassador for other scared tourists. Manhattan should hire me, I think. I could tweet the whole entire thing, every month. Goodness, what a great idea!
The whole thing was wonderful. It was all just like a Woody Allen movie, but faster, and with much less angst.