NY Times Travel Show ’10

Thanks to my Twitter friends for bringing it to my attention and to my old friend, Ryan, for the free ticket, I ventured solo into the city Saturday to see the NY Times travel show at the Javits. NY was just hit with its second snow-rain storm of the year, which left the streets with mounds of slush and the sidewalks with puddles of, well, melted slush. So, what does a Long Island girl who rarely treks it to the city do when spending a day there? Wear polka-dotted rain boots (thanks, Stef) and many layers of socks and pants, of course! (Don’t judge, I have poor circulation…)

This weekend made me realize a few things. I’m kinda getting the itch to move to the city (I can go into that in an entirely separate blog post) and being alone on a train is better for your brain. I relaxed, caught up on emails and finally caught up with my Hemingway book that I started in the summer (eek! I know). Although, you would probably disagree if you’re a commuter and your job makes you travel to NYC everyday from mid-Long Island or beyond.

Back to the travel show… It was essentially a trade show with hundreds of booths set up, each offering info on a different country in the world. If you weren’t there to book a trip and take advantage of travel show discounts, then you probably went for the inspirational speeches or live music and performances. My favorites to “explore” were definitely Jamaica and its neighboring islands. Live Jamaican or reggae music is hands down the most fun genre of music to see live. Maybe I love it because it reminds me of my amazing week-long Puerto Rico trip last year, or maybe it’s just their consistently crazy-awesome outfits and enthusiastic dancing. Anyway, when you’re at a trade show and you’ve run out of entertainment to watch, like my new friend,

Dave, of GoBackpacking.com, and I did, then you will probably end up entering all the contests! My parents frequent the trailer shows since they’re life-long campers and have won a trip to Ireland that way, so I have my fingers crossed…

Where did this new friend come from you ask?? Ok, let me back up a sec. I originally “followed” Dave on Twitter and thankfully he was nice enough to meet me at the travel show. We tweeted our locations and attire. 😉 Dave and I met up during Julia Dimon’s speech, which I absolutely loved. I had skimmed her blog before arriving at the show, but there’s nothing like seeing someone in the flesh and hearing them speak with enthusiasm about their life and travels. She’s a travel writer turned TV star in Canada, and, well, she has my dream life! It never ceases to amaze me how much goes on outside of the “real world” I’ve been so (unwillingly) accustomed to…

After a few hours of circling through the countries, a rushed handshake with Julia and a handful of contest entries, Dave and I headed south along the river en route to meet his high school buddies at a charming little German bar (shout outs to the Ofenlochs!) in the West Village. I was VERY impressed with the neighborhood and I’m so excited to go back! But, maybe I can enjoy it more when I’m comfortable in only one layer of clothing.

A greasy, yet delicious, potato pancake and a refreshing pint of beer that I can’t pronounce kicked off my evening which led to a series of unexpected but awesome events. Grabbing a beer turned into bar hopping and meeting up with my city friends. My girl, Nikki, from Brooklyn came out and took me to her friends bar, Bond St., that also serves sushi! I was in heaven. We sampled new fish (my new fav food) and I think God, himself, made the ricotta pudding-ish dessert he gave us after. One-or four Vodka sodas later, we braved the cold to walk to one last neighborhood, where my ex-coworkers and friends, Shiina and Charles, were as well! I ended the night at a decent hangout bar, Boss Tweeds, where there’s a giant chalkboard on the wall for our amusement…

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