Written for my weekly blog at TNTML
As an East Coaster, I love New York City. Or should I say, I love visiting New York City. I have a ton of really great girlfriends there, and the energy is just so freakin’ intense. It’s like LA on speed. But as such, people are usually in a big hurry, and hence I like the pace of LA a bit better (AND the weather!), so I don’t think I would ever live in New York.. unless of course I fell in love, and/or booked a gig there. I always say; for love or money, I’d live anywhere.
But I digress…
It’s been about 6 months since my last visit to New York, and being on the east coast this whole time, and not visiting due to my hectic schedule as a tour manager for a promo gig, has been really getting to me! I was long overdue for the bright lights and big city!
This trip was based around New York Comic Con. Funny enough, I have never been to NYCC. I know, crazy, you say! Especially since I love, love, love San Diego Comic Con and this is her lil brother right in my backyard.
I submitted the proper credentials a few months ago, and was hoping to be assigned onto a panel or land an appearance or two, but alas it was not meant to be. I was approved for my pro credentials and that was that… so I decided to just make this a total play-date. No real work involved, nowhere I *had* to be, it was all about enjoying myself, and spending time with friends old and new, and of course promoting the awesome new Science Fiction franchise, Space Command, that I am associate producing.
Lately, whenever I’m in NYC, I stay with my long-time friend Jaimie. She’s a non-con, non-industry friend, and so it was really funny when I mentioned why I was coming to visit. She says, “Yeah, I’ve been seeing Batman and Spiderman walking down the streets, and then I remembered it was New York Comic Con.” As luck would have it, Jaimie’s gorgeous penthouse apartment, overlooks the Javits center, the hub of all things Comic Con, making my commute, rather awesome.
Plans changed a little, and I arrived late Friday night, and hung out with Jaimie and rested up for a full Saturday at the Con.
Saturday arrived and my agenda was pretty light; mostly consisting of meeting up with friends at booths and/or meeting new friends.
First on the list was meeting up with my friend Alan Kistler, who if you don’t already know, is quite amazing. He’s the author of the UnOfficial Game of Thrones Cookbook, as well as recently published Batman and Spiderman trivia books… Alan and I first met in Anaheim, CA, where he moderated a panel that I was a featured guest on at WonderCon. We’ve since become good friends, and always, always meet up when we’re in the same cities. We met up at the Dracula panel, modereated by none other than Bram Stoker’s great-great-grand nephew, Dacre Stoker (author of Dracula The UnDead).
And then it was off to find my very good friend, and freakin’ beyond talented artist, Randy Martinez. See, Randy has recently become an official Marvel artist, and his original Spiderman painting (autographed by Randy AND Stan Lee) was up for sale. (It sold on day one!) So very proud of Randy! Check out his work at www.RandyMartinez.com
A pleasant surprise was that my longtime girlfriend and one of my BFF’s Tina Norris, was also at New York Comic Con. I dont usually associate Tina with the Geekdom world, she’s one of my rocker friends, BUT she is a total horror freak, and was recently featured in a brand new Calendar and playing cards for The Women of Armageddon. Tina was there in costume, signing autographs and posing for pictures. If that’s what we’re all going to look like by Armageddon time, bring it on!
At that point, I had wanted to go see the screening of Carrie and a few other panels, but I found myself in line for SciFi Speed Dating. Yes, I really did.
They lined us up, girls on one side, boys on the other, reminscent of cattle herding,
and we waited I would say a good 15-20 minutes before the room was ready for us. They were also taping segments for a reality show (oh goodie), so we had to sign a release form.
25 chairs in rows of 4, with 25 more chairs facing each of the original 25 chairs. The girls stay seated. The boys play musical chairs.
I really remained, open, and welcoming, and gave each lovely male dater a fair shot at connecting with me, making me laugh, exciting some part of my body or mind, but alas, for me, there were 25 duds. Not a single connection, not even an almost connection. I partially was blaming it on the fact that 3 minutes just isn’t a whole lot of time, but then a new male friend a few nights later, with 3 minutes on the clock, did pretty damn well, and connecting and making me laugh. So yeah, nothing to do with time limits. When there’s a spark, there’s a spark, and sadly there weren’t any to be found at Scifi Speed Dating.
After 2 hours of Speed Dating, I headed out to the Geek Girls Network party, to meet up with Alan, and various other friends. They had rented out an entire bar in Manhattan called Stitch’s, and it was a lot of fun. The best part about travelling to cons is that you get to meet online friends and peers who you may not have otherwise. This party was definitely the highlight of my NYCC experience.
I love these ladies. Janelle and I have been twitter friends for years, and Rachael and I only recently, but it feels like years! They are both just as amazingly awesome in real life as they are online.
And speaking of amazingly awesome, finally, got a chance to catch up with Jenna Busch in real life.
Jenna and I are both featured in an upcoming Special Edition of Cupcake Quarterly Magazine, (<— pre-order your copy!) plus we have tons of friends in common, so it was super special to be able to say hi and spend some time together.
From there I was summoned to karoake to meet up with some other non-con, but fantabulously awesome ladies in my life. Tanya Perez, who is a bi-coastal actor/producer like myself, and the infamous Bonnie Gillespie, who just so happened to be visiting NY for some speaking engagements and other awesome Bon-type things.
Needless to say, we closed the karoake place down.
Sunday, was all about BRUNCH!
My friend Jaimie lives in this super cool high-rise building, with tons of cool people. Sort of like the Melrose Place of Manhattan, except it’s a high-rise not an open-courtyard type place, cuz well, it’s New York, and that would be chilly.
Brunch was unbelievable. 2 hours of all you can eat and drink for $40/pp and the plates just don’t stop coming. like ever.
I was pretty much in a food coma the rest of Sunday.
Monday was a total play-date day.
I had a long overdue breakfast with my friend Bree Michael Warner. Bree and I first met in 2006, during a series of poetry readings we both participated in back in Los Angeles. Kindred souls, we began meeting for coffee/tea every few months to catch up on life/love and career stuff. But.. 3 years ago Bree met the man of her dreams and moved to NY, and we havent done a good job of staying in touch, outside of facebook. So finally, we caught up. She is doing so, so, so good.. and make sure to look out for her in her as Detective Brogan starring opposite James Woods, Steven Dorf, David Boreaneaz and more in Officer Down.
And then something happened.. I think I was so happy to hear all of the good things in Bree’s life, that I sat down by myself near the Hudson River, and just felt a deep heart opening.. I felt like all this good stuff that I want for myself, that I envision, is so freakin’ close that I can touch it. I cried. A happy cry.
Later that night, I met up w/Rachael for a delicious happy hour in Brooklyn. She made me take the subway all alone, in the rain, but I made it there safely, and it was worth it.
However, on the way back.. well let’s just say that Leah and a few glasses of wine, yeah well, I ended up in Queens instead of Manhattan, not a huge deal, except I had one more friend meet up planned that night, and now I was running about an hour late.
Corrected course, and met up with new friend Aaron Sagers at a cool little bar in Manhattan called Bar Nine. If you’re into the paranormal at all, or read CNN.com, you’re probably familiar with Aaron. As someone who loves all things supernatural, I was excited to meet up with Aaron.
Aaron’s a great guy, had a lot of fun listening to bad karoake, dodging cockroaches, and debating about pretty much every topic that came up. Had he ever joined a debate team, he surely would have been team captain. If you get a chance check out Aaron’s new show Paranormal Paparazzi Friday nights on the Travel Channel.
And then.. the tour managing gig took focus.. and alas time to bid adieu to good ole NYC and head back to Philly.
But not without one last quick twitter-friend meet up for lunch.. @TheGeekMatt met me for lunch near Penn Station and we chatted about comic con.
I truly love visiting New York. It leaves me feeling so full of life and energy. It reminds me that anything, anything, is possible if you set your mind to it.
This photo I took of myself, sitting outside, while the winds were picking up speed, and the rain drops were starting to fall near the Hudson River.. pretty much sums up my time in New York, as well as how I’m feeling about life right now.
Live Love. Love Life.