This past Tuesday I had the opportunity to help out at an event held at one of our client’s venues on the Upper West Side. Tori Spelling is currently on a press junket promoting her new book, and these women who call themselves “The Moms” invited her to discuss it with prominent mommy bloggers around the city in addition to editors from People, Us Weekly and the like. Our client agreed to provide the space for the interview because it’s an arts and crafts slash café and bakery where moms can bring their children to paint ceramics and eat cupcakes. (See the connection?)
I headed straight there instead of the office that morning, and having ventured into the Upper East Side, wondered what the Upper West Side would be like. After transferring to a different train at Times Square to a train that was uptown-bound, images of celebs and iconic movie scenes flashed through my mind. A 35 minute commute later, I stepped off the train and made my way up to street-level and knew I was in a different area simply from the way the subway station looked. In most areas of New York, subway stations are located through openings on sides of buildings, or on street corners where the easily recognizable staircase and signage is a dead giveaway.
This particular station looked like its own fancy shmancy building.
Equipped with my clipboard and best smile, I was stationed at the hostess table downstairs with the task of checking in the media and bloggers. How do you say “and you are?” without sounding rude? I’d start by welcoming them to the event, then proceeded to ask for their names. There came a time when there seemed to be a mad rush of people trying to get in to the event on time, but luckily I had both company and help in a girl my age who worked for “The Moms.”
We were stationed downstairs for about an hour in order to check in the early birds and then wait for the stragglers, and we got to talkin’ in between. Christina was her name, and she told me she had just gotten off a 5 AM bar tend shift, went home to sleep for a couple of hours then made her way to her day job. People in New York are nuts. This girl averages two-four hours of sleep per night in order to make it in Manhattan. It truly is a different mindset and lifestyle should one choose to live here. Lately I’ve been talking with those around me and I just don’t know if New York City is conducive to the type of life I want to live. An astonishing realization that has me panicking like a chicken with its head cut off.
Well Christina loves the New York life and it’s not hard to see why. This city has so much to offer and it’d be impossible to live the same day twice with so much to do and see. It’s also exciting. You never know when you’re going to turn the corner and bump into someone famous. The staff at the venue was saying just last week Alicia Keys had come in to enjoy some arts and craft time with her little one, and last month Katie Holmes and Suri did the same.
Tori Spelling made her way over to the event only about 20 or so minutes late. She was coming straight from “The View” and apparently had to pump herself up in her black SUV before coming in because she was parked outside for about five minutes before she stepped out of the car.
Paparazzi started lining up before the car even arrived and it had me and Christina wondering, “How in the heck do they know where to be?” I guess they get tons of tips because by the time she arrived there must have been about ten to twelve men with cameras waiting for her. I told Christina I should ask Tori, “Are you here for the event? And your name is?” and she just about died laughing, but I would never do such a thing, especially since her body guard/driver was enormous.
Tori gladly posed for pictures for a good minute or two, turning this way and that, and caressing her baby bump. (Yep she’s pregnant again. This means her last baby was one-month-old when she got pregnant again…say WHAT?) She seemed pretty friendly, but I was taken back at what she looked like in person. Botox much?
I feel as though the actual event didn’t last very long at all, only 30-45 minutes tops. The bloggers and editors got to ask questions after she talked about her book and then she did one-on-ones with a few people, and that was that. While the one-on-ones were taking place I was sent back downstairs to hand out media kits about the venue to all who attended as the left.
At this point my feet were screaming with agony. They were not happy that I had to wear high heels. When people weren’t looking I’d alternate taking them off and stretched my feet before forcing myself to slip them back on. Before I left, the first thing I did was change back into my flats. It was a GORGEOUS day outside and as I made my way back to the fancy shmancy subway terminal I finally realized where all the cute brownstones they always show in New York movies are located.
The Upper West side.
So don’t be fooled the next time you see a movie in which a struggling actor, or a girl trying to “find herself” living in New York has this fabulous apartment. IT’S A LIE. I don’t even want to know how much those apartments and brownstones cost. They’re so adorable and picturesque, and probably come equipped with nannies and husbands who work on hedge funds.
Speaking of nannies, I’ve never seen so many foreign women pushing strollers with white children around in them until I took my own stroll around the UWS. Block after block I’d overhear a woman with an accent talking to blue-eyed, blonde-haired children about snacks and play dates. One particular conversation I overheard made me so sad. A little girl about 7 or 8 pointed out a cupcake shop to her nanny and the following dialog ensued:
Little Girl: I really want to go there with my mom. Can you tell her that’s where I want to go?
Nanny: Yes baby I’ll tell her.
Little Girl: Can you tell her I want to go this weekend?
Nanny: Your mother is very busy, are you sure you don’t just want to go there now?
Little Girl: No! I want to go with my mom. Can you give her the address?
Nanny: I’ll tell her…we can go in now though if you want…
Little Girl: NO! I want my mom to take me. You promise to tell her? And write it down because she won’t remember if it’s not written down.
Nanny: Yes baby, I’ll write it down for her.
Heart wrenching. I can only imagine that that little girl has wanted to do numerous things with her mom but she has forgotten or simply not taken the time out to do so.
Wednesday was a day us interns had been looking forward to for a week. Storage day. The week before I was sent to storage to grab some things for an event, and I couldn’t get two feet into the room without having to climb on top of boxes and play hop scotch to get to the closet where the things I needed were located. Frustrated and fed up with how messy it was, I went straight to the office manager and said, “Listen, that storage room is a nightmare. If you set aside one day next week for us interns to clear it out we’ll do it. We can take inventory and try and get rid of stuff we don’t need.” She replied by saying “Um. I’m in love with you right now.” And put me in “charge” of making sure it actually got done unlike some previous semester’s interns who said they’d do the same and ended up just hanging out down there.
Me and the three other intern girls whom I’ve become great friends with this semester had plans to dress casually for cleaning and were excited to jam to music while we cleaned. Of course we had to make trips up to the office every now and then, and our outfits were the blunt of a lot of confused looks and whispers until it was confirmed when someone looked me and another intern up and down and said, “Ummmmm…why are you dressed like that…?” #internproblems.
By the end of the day we were exhausted and couldn’t move from sore muscles (hello fifty pound boxes of clothes, numerous boxes of beauty products and cases of SKYY and XRated) and miraculously you could see the carpet. We were all literally shocked at how much cleaning we got done.
Aside from the internship, my time has been consumed with job searching, soul searching…basically any and every type of searching that comes with the fears and tears associated with people my age one month from graduation. I can’t believe it’s already April. I guess now’s as good a time as any to address the fact that I haven’t posted a blog since GASP February. But I’ve been so busy! Only a couple weeks left here now, and I have no clue whether or not I’ll be coming back here (or whether I’ll even want to) so for now I’m just going to enjoy this beautiful city that without a doubt will always hold a special place in my heart no matter what happens.