New York Adventure: Days 2 and 3

After a strange first couple of days for me in New York, Blogher officially started. It all seems a blur of running around and trying to take in as much as I could.

Here are the highlights of my New York Blogher Adventure:

Thursday Night
The first event, and the one I most looked forward to, was the Social Fiesta. I could finally meet some of the women from the group Latinos in Social Media (LATISM). It was a fun party with good food and Mariachis, but all too soon I had to leave to get to the Yahoo! Shine party.

Yahoo sponsored me to go to Blogher after I was selected to tell my reinvention story for Shine’s You. Reinvented campaign. (I’ll post the video and my reinvention story tomorrow). The party was at Flute, a cool little Champagne bar that was once a speakeasy. Champagne and Sparkling wine are my drinks of choice at this juncture in my life so I was loving it. I hit two more parties after that, one hosted by AOL and the People’s Party. In spite of all the fun I tried to get back to the room early so I would be at least semi-conscious for the 5K run Tutu’s for Tanner.

getting lost wasn’t so bad. we got to see the Empire State Building

Friday Morning
I had planned to buy a Tutu for the run from Robinson’s Beautilities, but I never made it over there before I left LA. My 5 and 6-year-old boys will only do so much shopping with me and after two days of running errands to get ready for my trip, I had to promise them something fun. We went to the party store and after five minutes we had to leave because they were chasing each other through the store and almost knocked a guy off a ladder. I made it out with 2 grass skirts – one for me and one for Kim Tracy Prince.

I barely made it downstairs the morning of the run and I was dehydrated and exhausted. I waited for Kim, but she, I found out later, thought it was the next day. I latched on to two very nice runners, Fiona from Bantering Blondes, and Michele from Scraps of my Geek Life. They were delightful companions to suffer through the hot, humid weather. We took off following two runners who I assume were fitness bloggers because they were so fast and muscular. We lost them after a few blocks.

Anyone who knows me will tell you I have no sense of direction. But now that I have an iPhone with Google Maps I don’t need a sense of direction. On the run I also had a paper map, just in case, and two other people. How could I possibly get lost? Well, I’ve said this phrase enough times to know I’d certainly find a way to get lost.

Flash forward an hour and the GPS on our phones were useless, they had us going blocks out of our way. Fiona and Michele eventually got us back to our hotel (I didn’t chime in much because I figured no one wanted to end up in New Jersey).

By the time we got back to the hotel, the Blogher breakfast had started and the 5k breakfast was over and they were out of water. Jason from the Hilton sprung into action and brought us a case of water. We needed it.

After a shower and a change of clothes, I made it to the first session. I went to the Self Marketing Clinic where I learned how to create a better online profile. I learned that it’s bad that I don’t have anything on my About page and that it’s a good idea to Google yourself and look at the results like a potential employer.

Next, I went to the Latinas in Social Media panel. It was run by Monica Vila, The Online Mom, Jeannette Kaplun, Todo Bebe, Melanie Edwards, Modern Mami, Silvia Martinez, Mama Latina, and Lexi Esparza, from La Primera .

It was so inspiring to hear this group talk about the success of their blogs and how much of an impact Latina bloggers are having on the blogging world.

The comment that struck me the most came from Sugar Jones who was in the audience. She said that she’s a Latina and talks about it on her blog, but that she wondered if she would be accepted because of her more conservative viewpoint.

The panel assured her that they are accepting of all voices. Even though I’m not conservative, this was reassuring to me as well. I’m a very white Mexican-American and my Spanish isn’t so great. I was worried everyone would be speaking Spanish at the Social Fiesta and ask out loud why I was there. Of the ridiculous scenarios I had come up with, pre-Blogher, this was the most ridiculous. Everyone was fabulous.

My comment during the session was how happy I was that Blogher included the panel this year and how proud I was to be a Latina in Social Media. I have a badge on my blog declaring that so people will stop asking me what I am.

great way to travel

Friday Night
That night, the fun continued when Kim took me as her date to the Nintendo dinner at the Central Park Boathouse. Fabulous barely describes how great it was. We were taken by rickshaws and those rickshaws were driven by guys dressed as Mario from Super Mario Brothers. It took me a few minutes to get over the fact that none of us were wearing helmets, but I went with it and it was a delightful ride.

It was lovely to sit and chat and enjoy the view. Speaking of view, it got even better once we went to the Swanky After Hours party hosted by Andrea Fellman, Savvy Sassy Mom. It was in the penthouse of the London Hotel. Ciao Bella Gelato was a sponsor and we had gelato in Martini glasses. My favorite swag (next to the DS from Nintendo, for the sake of full disclosure) was the gelato container because my kids always ask me if we can take ice cream to the park and now we can.

getting “swanky” in the penthouse bathtub

And there’s more! Saturday was an amazing day as well. I attended a photography session and a Blogher geek lab about WordPress.

Then I was off to Glam and Games hosted by e.l.f. cosmetics and Xbox.

That night there were more parties, but the best part of the evening was a quiet dinner with Donna, Socalmom, and Glennia, .

Blogher was fantastic. I learned a lot, partied even more, and made some new friends. A fabulous time.

New York Adventure: Day 1

A scary plane ride, a disturbing event on the subway, and an evening of fabulous theatre marked my first day in New York for the Blogher 10 conference.

I do not like to fly and it makes me nervous to be so far away from  my kids. So a long and turbulent flight with nothing but time to think about how far we were from Los Angeles was not fun for me. The first part of yesterday’s flight was actually great, I slept a little and then read about 100 pages of “This is Where I Leave You.” (Don’t worry, no foreshadowing there)

About 3 hours along the flight became pretty turbulent and at one point, “Poof!”, the televisions went off. I told my husband that losing power to the television could not be a good sign. He looked at me puzzled. “Are you wearing the noise cancelling headphones to cancel out the sound of my voice?” I asked him. I was still slightly annoyed that the flight attendant had to physically take his upgraded business class ticket out of his hand so we could sit together back in coach. The flight attendant said, “You love birds need to sit together.” The husband gave me a look that said, “If I have to.”

After I got the husband to take off the headphones, the pilot, who sounded a little sleepy, announced to the cabin that one of the three generators blew out. But not to worry because he only needed two to fly the plane and they had started up an auxiliary one to provide adequate power to the cabin. This did not stop me from worrying.

We landed just fine and I was relieved to get off the plane. Yay! Our fun was starting! And then we got on the subway.

I love the subway and thought it was a much better alternative than paying for a taxi. I was wrong. I sat down 2 seats away from a woman on a train heading for Manhattan. A small Indian woman sat down in between us. The woman on the left shoved her and said the train wasn’t just for her. The Indian woman shoved her back and said she didn’t think it was just for her. The first woman started yelling and swearing and said the Indian woman couldn’t talk right and she should get the hell out of America.  She continued by saying that if the Indian woman didn’t learn her place “I will cut you.”

The Indian woman and I became very still until the first woman got off of the train. I asked her if she was okay and she said, “It happens all the time.” Really? “Yes, all the time. You cannot change things.”

I know how the world works, and also know that racism is alive and well and thriving (take Arizona’s immigration law), but it was very disturbing to see first-hand. And I can’t get the look the Indian woman gave me out of my head – sad, resigned.

Because this is New York, the day can change on a dime and that’s what happened. The husband and I made it to our hotel, checked in, cleaned ourselves up, and headed to the theatre.

I had the hardest time buying our Broadway tickets. I wanted to see something really fun and it came down to “How could anyone be more fun than Kristin Chenoweth?” I love her in everything she’s ever done.  So, we went to see “Promises, Promises”.

The show was AMAZING!!! Sean Hayes was funny and had a surprisingly good voice. Chenoweth’s voice was incredible to hear live. It was funny, well acted, and the whole cast was great!! Some of the songs weren’t great, but all in all, it was fantastic.

What a strange and interesting day. Can’t wait to see what the conference is like tomorrow.