Before I forget it all and the family gets sick of hearing me re-tell it, I have to take the time to write down all the little tiny parts of my trip. Other than waiting in airports, it went fast. NYC is go go go all the time.
So we sat in the Bangor airport for a while, then got hurried onto the plane in record time. Our original flight had been canceled, so we were taking a side-trip to Philidelphia, and then another plane to NY. It was kinda rocky. Spent some time in the Philly airport. It was meh. Angry grumpy people everywhere, but the weather is not the ticket counter lady’s fault, buddy.
Then we walked out onto the tarmac into the wind and some rain to get on the dinky plane. Everyone move on back, there’s only seven passengers and we have to weight down the back. By this time I’m tired and woozy, so when we are up in the air, rollicking away, and I see the stewardess twirling her hair furiously, then smacking herself in the head – well I just closed my eyes and prayed real hard.
The hotel was this artsy-fartsy one that looked like your crazy aunt with a serious art fetish decided to try her hand at the hotel business, just for kicks. Our room was slightly bigger than the one we have here at home. The bathroom reminded me of one of the later scenes in Sid & Nancy. Had a great view of the alley, and the place was across the street from the Museum of Sex. Welcome to New York.
Morning came far too early, but by the time we wandered to the front door we saw people we knew. So we desperately clung to them… er, I mean tagged along… as they found the nearest Starbucks. The heavens opened and the angel choir sang. We made our way to Baruch college, and I’m glad we had people to walk with, as the buildings are so tall it’s disorienting not seeing where the sun is. I would have gone speeding off confidently in the wrong direction.
So – college halls, crowds of people showing up milling around the registration room, door not open. “HI!” “OMG!” Not enough time, too many people, hot beverages in hand. Doors open, the rush occurs. Find the right table to register at, more hellos and ohmygoodnesses and smiles, big huge smiles all around. Hugs galore.
Ron and I exit as soon as we can, I’m up first and we need some quiet. I get all settled, look at the half-dozen people in the room and panic out loud. “Oh God, I was worried there’d be tons of people in a huge room. What if this is all there is?” no worries, they tell me – Opening remarks are going on, people are still in registration, and fair enough – in about five minutes the room starts filling. And filling.
I pace myself slower than usual only to find about halfway through I need to go way faster. We speed thru the rest. Some people leave, some people arrive, as I have another session hot on the heels of the first one. Then I am done and realize that I’m starving and I need to pee. Ron has enough time to relax before his session, so we find a quiet place to sit. A guy I had been talking to by email joins us to give an overview of his site. One guy pases by and does a double-take back to give me his card (“We’ll talk later!”) and another joins at the end after Ron heads to his presentation.
Ron discovers he has no slides though, and does his presentation off the top of his head, with only his three headings to go by. Miraculously, he manages and people get something out of it. I can’t even remember what we did next, other than talk, but eventually we made it back downstairs for lunch to find most of the food gone. While Ron excuses himself, I stand in line for a coffee with a sandwich for me, and manage to snag a kosher sandwich for Ron. “Here,” I say handing it to him, “you’re Jewish.”
While in line, another person outlines his idea for his site. We find a place to sit and again, we eat while this guy talks. Somewhere in there, someone not in my session mentions they saw on Twitter that my sessions seemed to be really good. OMG, I say to myself, I forgot all about twitter. I hope online and check out the backchannel, following the conference tweets. I blush furiously with no one to see me.
The rest of the afternoon Ron and I attend different sessions, which in hindsight was not a good idea given we had no direct communication between us, and the sessions were scattered between floors 5, 8, 11 and 13. Toss in every time I went somewhere, I found a new person to talk to that wanted to talk to me too.
But finally, we are all aligned, get back with a group and go back to the hotel. We call home & get them to call us right back ($2 right there).
After that, we ditch our coats and go to a bar. Yes, Ron & I went to a bar. We had food though, and more talking, this time with fellow devs, and eventually found out where the rest of the crowd was on the roof. Far less hot & noisy up there. And, you know, it was the roof. Great time on the roof because it’s just our crowd and we can hear. The city is gorgeous, the buildings climbing into the foggy clouds, full with raindrops and mistily blurring the lights up high. It’s picturesque to degrees I can’t even explain. Various big names are leaning on the railing with the NYC light in the background and my camera was back at the hotel. On purpose. I was enjoying the moment and participating in it, instead of capturing it.
But still, even now, one teeny tiny part of me wishes I had captured just one picture. Not just because of any “OMG, I got a picture of Matt/Mark/Andy!” but because it was just so gosh-darn photogenic and would have made and awesome picture.
My voice was giving out and Ron & I were both tired, so we leave early and head back to the hotel to try and get some rest. I fall asleep watching Mythbusters.
Thus endeth the first day.