I was more than inspired on this trip to new york, I was moved. So different than the last time I was here. Maybe it was the strange overcast skies, that never broke rain. Or maybe it was after 8 hours in the javitz center, where there are no windows, no natural light at all, no real sounds, and pumped in air, kaari, suzanne and i walked out onto to 10th avenue and 35th street and decided to hoof it downtown. The weather was perfect, the streets busy like i remembered them and the sun was going down slowly over all these old buildings and i saw the old new york that i fell in love with many years ago like paint peeling off an old piece of furniture and you remember the good-time years it was painted hot pink. You know, it probably has alot to do with the fact that i stayed in my old apartment. The old corner, the old coffee shop, tony the guy on the corner, joe who owns the hardware shop--strange, even though the neighborhood has changed--it feels good, and familiar, and comfortable.
It was interesting, also, to come back to ny on these terms: i'm starting this business. i'm putting my product out to a real base of people for the first time. [a couple of my friends had asked me if i was nervous the day before the show and i said, 'nope. not a bit. whats to be nervous about?' and then....it hit me at some point while standing there in my booth, i could barely eat, my stomach felt full of nerves. thankfully, it passed, it passed.] And i was rewarded, greatly. What a treat, not only to re-connect with old friends and shop owners we loved, but to meet so many new, fantastically excited new friends and shop owners. We met a great woman from canada, who ended up visiting the booth at the end of each day, talking about the best places to eat, or get a drink. By the time we broke down the booth, she felt like family. The connections made with these new shop owners feel like i'm on the right road to something wonderful. There was also the fab little connection with a freeman fellow: freeman is the thinly disguised "mafia" that runs the equipment side of the javits center. Day one, kaari and i decided we better get to know one of the guys so we could have a little 'in' (you always need something in that place: an extra chair, another metal bar for the booth, a wine opener) and our pal, jim, never failed to come thru for us. He started leaving heaps of candy from other people's booths on our chairs, covered with fabric...there for the finding... He'd stop by in the middle of the day to make sure everything was okay, or to update us about his whereabouts. jim was great. He really made our show. So did our booth neighbors, lisa and chase. They rocked as neighbors. I met some of my favorite card designers: the girls at yee haw, and fomato and a cool guy named Robert Warner. He has a studio that you can visit at South Street Seaport Museum. It's called Bowne & Co. Stationers. Old school i'm assuming. He was a really nice guy and very into the world of paper, which i get into heavily myself (oh, please, i can talk 'ephemera' and the-great-finds til the cows come home! it's why our friend, amy, doesn't let my sister, kaari, and i sit next to each other at the dinner table.) anyhoo, robert warner seemed like a very nice man and his studio seemed like a good place to visit. His calling card is beautiful. And on the same trip, my friend, melissa (who's got incredible taste), gave me a postcard that he'd made. She said she'd had it for ages and had meant to give it to me...she'd been to his studio and thought this was perfect for me. I absolutely agree. So, i haven't been yet, but if you ever get to 211 water street, ny, ny, lemme know! i hope to go the next time i'm there.
So, the stationary show was wonderful.
I couldn't have done it without the intricate web of amazing people i know and love. I couldn't have done the show, or shown the wares, or stayed in the city, or had the dinners i had, or the moments of pure joy at being part of all this if it weren't for the following: RK, Kaari, Jon Z, Suzanne, Sue, Brendan, Stella, T, Shereif,and Mona. And getting to spend some quality time with jason, meseke, melissa, kelly, amy and caroline didn't hurt either!
The entire time I was there I was thinking, if i could just....get..... to... a.... com....pu....ter (sorta like that superman feeling, when he's around kryptonite, or the person that knows what happened that night of the murder in clue and they would tell all if they could just....get....to....that....phone.....), i would write it all down, i would put it all into words, i would post it online and out to those few that read this, just so they could truly know, and i would forever capture that feeling that was going on. Funny, I hadn't thought about it until now, but maybe that's why i never got to a computer...i was committing the moment to memory by being engaged and present. It really got to me this time. I think of those two weeks now and it makes me smile. Over and over and over.
I know i'll want to revisit many of those people and moments over the next few months and share em with you few who read this...