New York, New York – a wonderful town… the Bronx is up and the Battery’s down… If you ever have seen the musical, On the Town with Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra then you know the song that they sing as they explore the whole city in one whirlwind day. That is what it felt like I was doing in my non-stop 2 days in the city that never sleeps. I had fun, but home never felt sweeter after 2 days in the big New York City.
I had a wonderful time and the best part of my two days was meeting so many other bloggers. I got to the city on Monday to attend a lunch that HGTV was sponsoring. It was interesting to see the offices and meet a few of the producers. We had a meet and greet while we ate a buffet lunch of salads, sandwiches, and cute little cupcakes and fruit. Emily Henderson from Design Star was there and she went around to meet all of us. After we ate, we all sat around a big board room style table and the producers wanted to hear our feedback – what we thought about the HGTV shows and any ideas we had. They also taped us while asking us some random design questions. It was hard to get many photos here as the room was very narrow, but I managed to get one of Emily Henderson with the group from Rue Magazine. I also met Kate from Centsational Girl, Amy from Maison Decor, Lindsay from A Design Story, and Tamara from NestNest Nest.
Kelley at HGTV Design Happens has posted a ton of photos and a slide show of the event. You can find it- here.
The weather was absolutely beautiful both days. After the HGTV lunch, I opted to just stroll the streets and I went into a few shops. I will show you some interesting things I found in another post. There was a Rue magazine party launch that evening, but I decided not to go and just enjoy the city and the sites. The next morning I met my friend Toni, who is not a blogger and we had lunch up at Time Warner Center on Columbus Circle where I ran into Rhoda of Southern Hospitality and a few others in the ladies room. Rhoda is a sweetie and I recognized her instantly. There were a lot of bloggers eating lunch there -we all had the same idea in mind as it was not far from the CBS studios.
After eating, we walked a few blocks across town to get in line for the show. We got to stand in the VIP line and waited about 45 minutes before they let us in.
We were given our tickets and ushered into 3 separate waiting areas inside the CBS building.
We were in the waiting areas for about an hour at least, so we had a chance to walk around and meet and connect with everyone. I was happy to sit by Rhoda from Southern Hospitality and Sarah- Thrifty Decor Chick. I also met Yvonne from Design Vignettes, Rosanne of Focus On Design and Nicole of So Haute . Finally, after the long wait we were ushered out single file to go up to the studio. Security was tight and we felt like we were back in elementary school having to stay single file right against the wall as we walked with the security guys making sure we didn’t cause any traffic flow problems in the hallways of the CBS studios.
We didn’t have the greatest seats. We were kind of in the camera dead zone off to the left side of the set. We were not allowed to have cameras so I only got a few shots beforehand. The rest I took after the show was taped and Nate came out for a Q & A with the audience.
The Moggit Girls– Janet and Joy (below) are the ones that had the idea to have an all design blogger audience. They are from Canada and were so much fun. They sat in front of me. At one point off camera Nate came over and thanked the Moggit girls. He seemed genuinely touched that we all had made such an effort to be able to come from all over the country and as far away as Finland to his show. He said he never had that many nice things said about him and he printed out our posts as he never had anything of that magnitude ever happen to him before. He was right in front of them when he was saying all this and I think I actually saw him blush.
There were a few segments – the first one was the best. Emily Henderson from Design Star helped a military couple whose wife was a collector almost to the point of a “hoarder” make over a few rooms. The couple was so delightful, funny and cute. They had us all laughing. Emily did an amazing job helping them clear up their clutter and created it all using only things they already owned – which was A LOT! The rest of the segments…were OK. I truly think that the producers of the show should amp up Nate as a designer and let him shine in what he is best at and that is sharing his talent with all of us.
After the taping, Nate came out and answered questions. He is so cute and charming. Really he is…that smile of his is so genuine and makes you smile big time right back at him.
One of the questions he was asked was- What were his thoughts about the newest trends? He said he doesn’t follow trends and rather just goes with what he loves. I wanted to stand up and cheer after hearing him say that. You go Nate!!! That is why I love you so much.
The taping took about 2 hours. They stop and start and re-do parts of segments – so it will be interesting to see the actual show to see what made the cut. Then it was time to leave. I am not sure yet when the show is going to air, but will find out.
All in all I enjoyed the show and loved meeting fellow bloggers. I know there are some negative comments out there about the show. I am not sure why so many expected something more. We were just going as an audience, not the content of the show. I was just thrilled to see Nate in person. At the taping I sat next to Lakeitha from Home to Three Duncan Boys. She was a wealth of knowledge about what was happening in between segments and the way Dina, the audience warm up chick, was gearing us up for the taping. Lakeitha was lucky enough to go with Janell from Isabella & Max Rooms and see Janell’s segment being taped at the morning show. That will be a show to watch.
I not only went home with a $25.00 gift card from Payless and a cool new pair of shades from Send The Trend.com, but also with lots of new connections and blogging friendships. I had a great day in New York City.