Bliss, I say

On August 15, 2010 by Eden M. Kennedy

I was in New York City last weekend for a couple of . . . all right, maybe seventy-five reasons. Each of them was a compelling one! Behold the dearth of my photography!

1. The annual BlogHer conference which, as you probably know, is a conference for bloggers. Mostly women, but also men, a fair portion of whom seemed to be parents. BlogHer is awash in parenting bloggers, of which about 71% rarely get out of the house (including me). So when you then take these rarely-out people and put them in giant rooms filled with disco balls, unicorns, art, and cheeseburgers, magical things happen. And as long as I have a brain cell to my name I will treasure the memory of Luvvie stomping her feet and shouting while Jenny worked the entire Single Ladies dance at the end of the Sparklecorn party. (That is a video of her SECOND shot at doing the dance, at the subsequent CheeseBurgHer party, which you might have already figured out because of all the people wearing McDonald’s bags on their heads. I can’t explain that. It’s just a thing.)

12. One of the huge, enormous benefits of figuring out how to MC a big event at BlogHer where people are chosen to read their writing in front of hundreds of other people is that BlogHer provides reimbursement for a portion of your travel expenses. So, yes, it was New York and I could have asked to stay at my mother-in-law’s apartment for free, but then I would’ve been 40 blocks away from the conference, all alone, and that would’ve been no fun at all. So when I got an e-mail from Antonia that said, Hey, I’m going to book a room at the Chelsea Hotel, do you want to split it with me? I shouted YES, YES I DO, CAN WE GO THERE RIGHT NOW? I KNOW THE CONFERENCE IS A MONTH AWAY BUT THEY HAVE RATES FOR LONG-TERM TENANTS.

We were on the tenth floor.

Our room was painted blue and had wood floors and we didn’t turn the TV on once.

We had also a peep hole.

And that is the door to John Malkovich’s brain.

The Chelsea is known for its ghosts and its murders and its literary despair, but whatever may have happened there in the past did nothing but make the place feel — I don’t know, grounded? There was a real safety and warmth there. You may think that’s silly, and that’s fine. You will never have a suave man at the Chelsea front desk take your bag with a smouldering look and say, Anything for you, Mrs. Kennedy. Unless, of course, your name is Mrs. Kennedy, too! Then you can have that.

42. One of the inevitable fuck-ups I get to make every year at BlogHer is to have someone walk up to me and say, “Hi!” and for me to respond, “Hi! I don’t think we’ve met. I’m Eden,” and I stick out my hand and the person looks at it and says, “Yeah. I read in the Keynote last year.” And I look at them in utter horror and it all comes flooding back to me and I shout, “OF COURSE, HOW COULD I FORGET? HOW ARE YOU?!” but by then it’s too late. What had been a memorable highlight in someone’s life was now tarnished by the fact that I, who ran the event, who read and helped evaluate and deem worthy their post, who introduced them with anticipation and glowed all over them when they walked off-stage — a year later, I couldn’t pick them out of a line-up. I could probably pick their template out of Google image search, no problem, but in this situation it’s faces that count.

However, Friday night after this year’s big reading, after I realized how much I sucked and took photographs of every reader AND PASTED THEM INTO MY MIND’S EYE, after the genius Kirtsy party where I got to meet Jessica and Cindy and Alana and Diamond and Meagan, and catch up a little bit with Polly and Rita and Karianna and Julie and Diane and Isabel, a bunch of us went to the Carnegie Deli because Maggie needed soup.

This is actually Alice’s soup.

But those are Maggie’s pickles.

As you can see, Danielle is motioning for a giant slice of cake to JUMP into her mouth. It didn’t work, though, and she had to eat what she could of it in the conventional manner.

55. I had used my entire flight from LAX to JFK to review the copyedits for the Let’s Panic! book. To have that much confined, uninterrupted time was bliss. BLISS, I SAY. On Saturday, I finished the last chapter while sitting on Alice‘s couch, after eating an egg salad sandwich with her on the roof.

94. Saturday evening there was a meet-up at a bar on the Lower Upper East Side where I drank two beers and got to reconnect with Bossy and Karen and Angella and Susan and Chris and Doug and Heather and Laura and Kelly and Liz and Holly and Helen Jane and more people whose names I can’t remember or I didn’t get their cards OH GOD, WHO ELSE DID I FORGET? And then I got to watch some interesting things begin to evolve . . .

That’s Antonia on the left looking pleased with herself; Krystyn in the middle; and Danielle, whose Life List included the item “Have your picture taken in Times Square wearing full KISS makeup.” Also, that’s the last time my flash functioned for possibly ever.

At this point everyone went off in different directions, and because I ended up walking slowly back to the Hilton talking with Kristy, and then became occupied talking to Palinode and Schmutzie and JenB and Tracy, and of course watching Jenny dance, I can only link to Zan’s wonderful photos of what happened in Times Square that night, and I’m sorry I missed it. I’m sorry I have not yet evolved the skill to be in two places at once. But maybe it’s for the best.

Because then it was time to go home.



21 Responses to “Bliss, I say”

  • I love that you stayed at the Chelsea. I especially love that the book is moving right along. AND, I always love seeing who connected and re-connected at BlogHer. (Clearly, I’m full of love these days.) “On Saturday, I finished the last chapter while sitting on Alice‘s couch, after eating an egg salad sandwich with her on the roof.” Perfection.

  • Thank you, sweetness! You were missed.

  • I took the same photo of John Malkovitch’s brain, but from nearer the floor. I wonder if it sits there calling “Helllllllp” and people constantly misunderstand and just take its picture for reasons they can’t put their finger on.

  • I didn’t notice that door until I downloaded my photos. Actually, I didn’t even notice it until I was looking at it here, wondering what to write for a caption. So clearly it took awhile for me to get the message, BUT IT GOT THROUGH.

  • Glad to see that you had a ball. My BFF so want to visit NYC one day and even live there. I also would not mind being able to visit NYC.

  • That’s the only slight regret I have about BlogHer, that I didn’t stay on site or near by. I say slight regret because I had the best time with my friend that I stayed with in Queens. It was great meeting you!

  • It was SO GOOD to see you, albeit briefly. At least we did better than Chicago, where we emailed and never saw each other. :)

    Excited about the book!

  • I have a slight regret about BlogHer, too, and that’s that I was at home instead of anywhere near New York City. It looks like you had a superb time, though, and that’s what truly matters. (But I still wish I’d been there!)

  • Happy I got to see you for a minute in NY. You are good people xoxo

  • Thumbs up on “John Malkovich’s brain!” Well played!

  • I *absolutely* loved your room at the Chelsea Hotel. It felt like it had so many stories to tell.

    Antonia mentioned a couple used to live there, it would be really interesting to find out more about who they were!

  • Krystyn, the couple were Alfred Russell and his wife Joan. He was a painter. They lived in those rooms for 30 years: he died in 2007 and she followed in ’08.

  • There’s even a book about it here.

  • That was the most lovely wrap up and even though I wasn’t there for all of YOUR trip you wrote it like it was MY trip. So, if I just print this out and put it in my scrapbook let’s pretend that this was my trip.

    Man, oh man. I never get to spend enough time with you. Let’s plan a mid-year meet up, yes?

  • It was good. It was just so good.

  • You introduced me at the first Community Keynote in 2008, and you remembered me in 2009! I feel special.

  • Glad you liked watching Luvvie yell — I liked it, too. One of my most favorite nights ever.

  • Good times! Great even.

  • Sounds like you had a blast…I got to go see that one day!