HBM Went to New York and All You Get is This Lousy Post

September 14, 2006

Edited below. Because I wasn’t done when I hit publish.

Number One thing NOT to do in New York: blog.

I caught myself yesterday morning, while I was sitting in a Starbucks in Brooklyn, ‘round the corner from Liz’s place, fingers hovering over the keyboard, all a-tingle at the prospect of blogging about the previous evening’s events. I’d hustled over there, leaving Liz to catch up on real-life work, thinking that it was absolutely necessary that I write a post. I hadn’t posted since Monday, after all, and there was all that exciting Greenstone Media launch stuff to blog about, not to mention gushing about Liz and Nate and Thalia and their adorable dog and demonic cat. How could I not blog?

Well, I couldn’t. I couldn’t blog. Because it occurred to me in that moment that there were umpteen better things to do with one’s time when one has only one day to one’s self in New York City. So I left the Starbucks, abandoned my laptop at Liz’s apartment and went off to amuse myself.

Which, translated into an afternoon in New York, means the following: doing a happy dance in Argosy Books upon finding an illustrated children’s book set of Wagner’s entire Ring cycle, published in 1939 by the Metropolitan Opera Company; searching unsuccessfully for my favorite-but-now-discontinued peony-infused bath oil at Takashimaya but discovering that the violet oil is even lovelier; wandering down Hudson Street from 14th and then over to Bleeker and then down into Soho to see Michel Gondry’s exhibit at Dietch Gallery; going to Pearl River Mart and buying WonderBaby a onesie with ‘I Heart NY’ printed on it in Mandarin; and then heading back to Brooklyn to hang with Liz and eat pizza and watch My Super Sweet Sixteen and Laguna Beach.

And that last bit? The hanging out bit? That was the best part.

There was a lot to be excited about on this trip. Not least was the launch of Greenstone Media, to which Liz and I were not only invited guests, but invited guests who had their names highlighted in pink on the guest list. Invited guests to whom lovely organizer-type women said things like, oh we must get pictures of you with Gloria. Invited guests who slurped green champagne while chatting amiably with Mo Gaffney and Dee Snider and Emme The Plus-Sized Model and staring at the back of Jane Fonda’s head.

Invited guests who only slobbered a very little bit while talking with the incomparable Gloria Steinem, who is absolutely engaging and inspiring and gorgeous. (Seriously. She’s, like, 72 and her un-Botoxed, un-lifted self is better looking than most women a third her age. Let that be a lesson to us all: brains and integrity and passion are the source of all kinds of hotness.)

It was fun (Liz captures this much more effectively in her recap, here.) It was wonderful. But it wasn’t the highlight of the trip.

The highlight was hanging with Liz. Gloria was, as always, inspiring, and it was thrilling to speak with her (stay tuned), but it was just as – perhaps more – inspiring and rewarding to just hang out and talk with Liz for a couple of days. We talked about everything from motherhood (surprise) to food to politics to MTV to blogging to feminism and beyond. It was, like, Our Super Sweet Hanging Out Thing.

It might not have been MTV fodder. It probably wasn’t even Greenstone fodder. It certainly provided a lot of food for thought that will, probably, eventually, be blogged (we discussed at length whether our generation or our daughters’ generations will see the likes of Gloria Steinem and I’m going to obsess over this question for EVER), but that wasn’t the point.

It was friendship fodder. It was friendship, in real time, in real life. And it was better than green champagne and the back of Jane Fonda’s head put together.

It was better, even, than Gloria Steinem. It was better than Gloria because it exemplified both her current mission and the best of the legacy of contemporary feminism. When women have ample space to talk and to air their passions and their ideas in open spaces, they find each other and they empower each and they inspire each other. I’ve written about this before; you know the schtick.

It’s good schtick. And it’s even better in person, with pizza and an hour or two of MTV reality-programming.

… and a WonderBaby soul-sistah, Brooklyn-style…

It was wonderful. It is wonderful.

Thanks, Liz.


The Great Gloria Steinem Blogger Interview is up at Greenstone, if you’re interested. Keep in mind that we were all nervously clutching our telephones in sweaty hands and that some of us (I’m not naming names) were desperately shushing fussy babies. But it’s fun, and if you like listening to awestruck women struggle to remain coherent in the presence of celebrity that has nothing to do with Billboard charts or People’s Sexiest Men Alive, then knock yourselves out.


Gloria Steinem’s response to The Questions are probably going to take a few days, so I’ll be doing the action post round-up early, probably this weekend, after catching up on some blog-cruising… (I’m behind on everything – blog visits, link updates, everything – and am feeling great messy waves of guilt related to neglect of blog and putative neglect of child, so bear with me.)


EDITS – woo hoo! Need more to read? You can find me waxing pissy about recent, recurring debates on blog politics here; you could go check out the Basement, ‘cuz I know that you haven’t done that in a while; or, you could check out Kristen’s efforts to help out another mom by holding a super-awesome contest here.

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    Stephanie T. September 15, 2006 at 1:03 am

    I’m just glad I’m not the only person over the age of 16 (waaaaaaaay over 16) who watches My Super Sweet 16 and Laguna Beach. ;)

    Sounds like a wonderful time.

    Waya September 15, 2006 at 7:09 am

    WOW! That sounded like a great time had by all. It’s amazing how this blogosphere yield so many wonderful friendships. I’m so enthralled by all the great stories from it.

    metro mama September 15, 2006 at 7:37 am

    Sounds like a lovely trip. I can’t wait for the rest of the Gloria Steinem questions.

    And? Dee Snider!!! How cool is that.

    Mother Bumper September 15, 2006 at 7:55 am

    Oh oh oh what a great time and you met the amazing Thalia (and oh yeah, all those other folks). I can’t wait to hear about it and I’m so glad you rocked out. You deserve it. Way to represent TO and more, sista’ friend!

    penelopeto September 15, 2006 at 7:56 am

    Glad you had such a good time in my family’s hood (represent, yo). And I’m glad that you put aside the computer to wander one of the best cities on earth. and eat pizza from brooklyn – also, arguably the best on earth.

    Of course, the whole GS/Media project REASON you went sounds pretty cool too. But I think I might be more about the pizza.

    Mom101 September 15, 2006 at 8:00 am

    Oh sobbing! Sobbing! I mean…allergies. Allergies.

    Special days, as you know, in so many ways. You summed it up beautifully.

    Mother September 15, 2006 at 8:06 am

    Aw. How lovely.

    I’m so glad you got an escape and enjoyed the big bad city (well, at least one that’s not T-town).

    It just sounds marvelous.

    You bastards. :)

    Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah September 15, 2006 at 8:26 am

    Children’s books on The Ring Cycle?

    I’m off to search the interweb for a set for The Goon Squad.


    (also, I love that you and Liz had such a great time. It says a lot about the friends we meet in non-traditional places.)

    Mrs. Chicky September 15, 2006 at 9:21 am

    Like I said over at Liz’s, it sounds like the perfect trip. Glad you both had such a great time!

    Elizabeth September 15, 2006 at 9:37 am

    “When women have ample space to talk and to air their passions and their ideas in open spaces, they find each other and they empower each and they inspire each other.”

    Yes yes YES!(Pumping fist in air) That’s EXACTLY what I was trying to say when I wrote about BlogHer, but of course, you said it perfectly.

    And now I am sobbing over the thought of Seven.Floors.Of.Books. Next summer, I’m coming to New York!

    kittenpie September 15, 2006 at 10:20 am

    Hee, I totally recognized your thumb on that glass.

    Sounds like so much fun and goodness! Teensy bit of jealousy welling up over here since I’ve been stuck in stupidness for the last few weeks and you’re having all kinds of glam fun, you lucky girl! (not that I begrudge, I never begrudge even when I envy.)

    And ooh, Takashimaya. I hope you had tea in the basment tea room. they do it like no one else.

    mothergoosemouse September 15, 2006 at 10:30 am

    I’m so thrilled for you both – truly. Not just for the opportunity to VIPs at such a great launch, not just for the opportunity to spend time in New York (although I’ll admit that I’m welling up myself at the thought of it), but in largest part for the opportunity to share that one-on-one time that was so rare at BlogHer – and is always rare among long-distance friends.

    crazymumma September 15, 2006 at 10:36 am

    Sweet dreams are made of this…..

    sunshine scribe September 15, 2006 at 11:47 am

    Sounds like perfection. So glad for your chance to go to that event and spend some fabulous time with Liz and family.

    You can really feel your elation through your recap. Yay!

    Laural Dawn September 15, 2006 at 11:55 am

    That sounds so amazing. And, yep, with you on the amazing time with friends. Nothing lifts the spirit like it. Especially when they are friends with pizza in New York.
    And, just so you know (and I’m sorry if this offends anyone) I didn’t actually know who Gloria Steinem was till you started speaking about her. Other than I’d heard her name. I was fascinated by everyone’s questions, but wondered where they were all coming from.
    And, now I’ve googled her and done some research, I see why everyone is so impressed.

    jennster September 15, 2006 at 1:30 pm

    awwww- i totally miss you both so much BUT LOVE LOVE LOEV that you got to spend time together!!!!

    Mamalooper September 15, 2006 at 1:39 pm

    Looking forward to hearing the responses to the questions you put to Gloria.

    Finished my “activism” post finally today (been swamped at the film fest) so hopefully it can get included in your summary post this weekend.

    Ahhhh….NYC….can’t get there too many times. There is a small chance that Monkeydad might have some longer term paid work there. I’d be there in a flash with the Monkeygirl.

    bubandpie September 15, 2006 at 1:45 pm

    I listened to the conference call and – really – I just can’t get over how funny and articulate Gloria Steinem can be totally off the cuff like that. I mean, I don’t even think she ever said “um.” Sheesh.

    Blog Antagonist September 15, 2006 at 3:02 pm

    WOW…I can’t believe Gloria is 72. She’s so….timeless. I couldn’t agree more on the botox thing. I have tons of respect for her for not succumbing. But then…she’s Gloria freaking Steinem!

    Sounds like a great time was had by all.

    MrsFortune September 15, 2006 at 3:40 pm

    Oh my god you guys!

    Haha. That’s a joke.

    I’m glad you didn’t spend your time blogging in the Starbucks. Dee freakin Snider, ‘sall I have to say.

    Melissa September 15, 2006 at 3:44 pm

    You had very good reasons not to blog. Very, very good reasons. So, don’t worry, you don’t need to stand in the corner or anything.

    Ruth Dynamite September 15, 2006 at 7:13 pm

    I’m so thrilled for both of you for so many reasons.

    Thanks for being the very best kind of representatives of this blogging community.

    L. September 15, 2006 at 9:40 pm

    Can I just say, I`m JEALOUS? Please? I`ll try not to let it consume me, but….AAAAAAH! You get to go to NYC and meet GLORIA!

    Whereas this week, I got to stay home, and Linda Hirshman dissed me on her blog.

    Not fair….

    gingajoy September 15, 2006 at 10:02 pm

    Lady, if our kid’s generation is going to have their own Gloria Steinem, then it’s going to have a shitload to do with lassies like Mo, Liz, and YOU!

    oh, and ME! (heh.)
    Oh, and US!

    I would call that a score for the masses.

    Granny September 15, 2006 at 11:04 pm

    I’m envious too but I’ll get over it.

    Can’t make up my mind which I wish for more:

    Meeting Gloria or the children’s book of The Ring. Not for the kids, for me.

    Lady M September 16, 2006 at 1:38 am

    Your trip sounds terrific! I was almost going to be in Toronto in October, but the meeting was cancelled, so I will have to hope to see the cuteness of Wonderbaby in person some other time.

    Your Urbanmoms post was great and I really enjoyed reading the linked posts too. Thought-provoking!

    Anonymous September 16, 2006 at 9:48 am

    Wow, I understand totally!.

    Mary-LUE September 16, 2006 at 1:29 pm

    Bravo to putting the computer down and enjoying the town. Good, good, good for you!

    Dutch September 16, 2006 at 4:17 pm

    I love trips like that to new york.

    and I love the back of jane fonda’s head, too.

    Her Bad Mother September 16, 2006 at 10:49 pm

    I hope that I didn’t irritate by trumpeting my glee at such a good week!

    But it was just. so. good!

    Mom101 September 18, 2006 at 12:13 pm

    Nate thinks that Thalia looks strung out on heroin there.

    Guess we should have waited til after you left to give her her fix, huh?

    something blue September 21, 2006 at 10:52 am

    Oh man I’m a little slow. It took me a while to put together why there would be green champagne at the Greenstone party. I need a burst of brain power.

    I’m glad you had so much fun! There is nothing like chillin’ with a good friend.

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