Thursday, August 12, 2010
La Bonne Soupe: Day One & Two at BlogHer
I am a small group kind of girl who often chooses large group settings. Must be a Gemini thing.
This conference in NY was no different. It was H-U-G-E, you guys. At any given time you could count 15 lanyards (nametags: critical for stalking), 37 styles of leggings, 12 funky totes and that was only in the elevator. Hallways were bustling with meetups while ballrooms intimidated newbies under chandeliers. It was bigtime.
The beauty of things for me was that I purchased the Expo/Cocktail ticket. That is fancy talk for free shit and pretty vodka drinks. I had zero responsibility to be anywhere for anything. I didn't have to attend one conference, one session or even one keynote speaker. In theory that was fantastic planning on my part. Only go to the parties? Hells yeah. Give the free spirit some wide open city space to roam? Why not? The reality, however, is that I am not a party girl and the nerdly one inside really missed out on all education going on around me. Note to former teacher self: do no skip class.
That being said, I had one picnic of a time busying myself up. Upon arrival at the Hilton New York (think skyscraper with killer views) I met up with these two lovely ladies: The Traveling Circus & My Family Gossip. It didn't take long for the three of us to strike up a Trifecta of mutual respect and ease. Plus, we're all brunettes and (almost) the same shoe size so the possibilities for clothes swapping were endless.
After dolling ourselves up as much as an entire day of travel would allow, we clicked our way down to the lobby to see what was up. Checking the marquee is where I literally ran into my blogging (and now real life) friend, Jessica from This is Worthwhile. I introduced myself and I hugged the "I don't even care if our boobs touch" hug because that was all kinds of crazy to find her so early on. Later in the weekend, I joined her on an impromptu excursion to the Museum of Modern Art (which I KEEP on calling The Modern Art of Museum like I'm four. And like I didn't grow up 20 min. north of D.C.). We had a most amazing day eating, chatting, and gazing at art that she probably understood a lot better than I could. If there's one thing I learned about myself that weekend it's that I do not care for modern art. I'm a traditionalist when it comes to what I care to see in a museum. I'm sorry but I can totally string up some fishing wire on a blank wall in my house too but choose not to mar my walls with such an eyesore. And isn't the exact purpose of a frame negated by having absolutely nothing inside of it? Yowza. Clearly, I am becoming my grandfather.
So back to the first night. Our first night was spent with the four of us attending our first party or mixer. It was laid back. There were hors d'oeurves and one loner Canadian husband who experienced a table takeover by the likes of us. He was sweet, funny, and terribly confused as to why we chose to ruin his alone time. But we did and he kindly humored the female assault while the rest of us drank. Not a lot but vodka sinks to the pit of my stomach like a poisonous dart and it wasn't very long before I felt dizzy and sick.
Enter my innocent brother, Alex, who traveled from his apartment in Long Island City to meet me for dinner. Dinner was about as solid an option for me as was becoming a triathlete so we compromised over coffee and chicken strips. Let's just suffice it to say I never made it to the chicken strips. Dirty dog sick in the girl's bathroom. The world didn't stop spiralling until my head hit the pillow an hour or so later. (Oddly enough one of my roomies also got sick that night so we all think we got a touch of some 24 hour thing.) After that unfortunate turn of events and a peppy three hour sleep later, we all woke up at the painful light of dawn to run a 5k in Central Park. In tutus. And new shoes (for me b/c I forgot mine). I'm sure you can imagine the rest. Splotchy red faces, dry heaving, blisters, and a fine appreciation for runners who must at some freaking point in time break in their brand spanking new New Balance. But how?
Finally we could return to our rooms, lick our wounds, and pound Gatorade. I've never been so thrilled to see a pull-out couch in my life. Even the sweet aroma of lemon citrus bathroom cleaner leftover in the hallway aided and abetted my recovery to soberhood. After a quick check-in phonecall to my kids and a two hour power nap I felt rejuvenated and surprisingly hungry. Luckily for me, so did my roomie. While one scurried off to a conference for an hour, the other roommate and I hit the streets in search of a restaurant specializing in post queasy stomach fare. La Bonne Soupe Cafe sounded perfect with its promise of warm soup and crunchy baguette. I could really use a good soup and proper spooning right about now, I thought, both figuratively and literally. Bring on the good soup, little cafe. Little did I know the six years I spent in French class would not serve me well while ordering.
"Oooh, vichyssoise, what is that...broth?" I ask my lunch compadre.
"Um, it's potato and leek, I think," she responds giving me the benefit of the doubt with her upturned eyebrows.
"Yes, potato and leek. Exactly what I want. Done." I declare with authority and pomp.
You'd think as much as BRAVO's Top Chef glows brightly in this bedroom of mine I'd remember what vichyssoise actually is and not order it, SO not order it, because cold soup on an empty stomach (save two unenthusiastic bites of banana and enough Gatorade to film, edit, and produce) is begging for round two of horribly sick sister bathroom scene.
"Here," offered up my golden hearted friend, "eat some of my fries. They're warm." And they were. So crispy, lovingly unsalted, and warm. Things were definitely looking up.