I Get it Now: My First Trip to NYC

I Get it Now: My First Trip to NYC
First Trip to NYC
Rain at the About.com offices during her first NYC Visit

After a weekend in New York City, here I am sitting in my quiet suburban Ohio home. It feels a lot like when you have a super busy day, then lay down in bed to sleep. As your head buzzes with recent events, it can be hard to get a wink of shuteye. Going to NYC and coming home to Ohio is like that; awake, asleep… I’ll be processing my first glimpse of the city for weeks.

I was in NYC for the annual About.com Guide Event. It’s a way for all of us About.com Experts to get together and discuss business… but more importantly, it’s a chance to meet the other About.com writers and staff over drinks.

Here, I learned that there is no shame in changing from my airplane clothes to cocktail hour attire in the company bathroom. Apparently city folk do this kind of thing all the time.

My very first experience in NYC was jumping off the subway and angrily fast-walking through the city. Like a real New Yorker! As newbies, my husband and I had missed our subway stop, resulting in a mad dash from 16th street up to 43rd on Times Square to make the first meeting. Okay, it was for cocktail hour, but our first time meeting the other About.com Experts. I will run for cocktails.

Rain Blanken at the About.com offices
What’s that my whiskey is pointing to?

I went from dumpy t-shirt and jeans to my business casual attire ala Superman… in the bathroom stall, then attempted to pass it off as a clever demonstration of that DIY Fashion expertise. Not bad for stall couture, eh? Hey, look, my bourbon is gravitating toward something on the wall…

Aaron Gold and Rain Blanken
Aaron Gold and Rain Blanken

Myself and our Cars Expert, Aaron Gold. Love this guy!

With about 200 Experts in attendance -plus staff- conversations were almost like speed dating. What is your site? Where are you from? Nice top! NEXT!

The crazy thing about this event is that each writer is an absolute expert in their site topic. At one point, I was talking about visiting Brooklyn during our stay, and the Brooklyn expert actually started hand-writing directions to her top recommendations. My internet dreams were coming true. Thanks, Ellen!

Representing DIY Fashion, I sported my finger-knit scarf and a button bracelet both at the event and on the streets of New York City. While fashion tends to be high-end in midtown, I received enough compliments on my homemade accessories to loiter proudly outside Tiffany’s.

Saturday night, We headed to Times Square for some tourist-overload and I cleverly swapped my heels for sneakers at dinner. I’m already a pro at this! My number one fashion tip for NYC is this: Wear sneakers and pack the heels in your bag. Yep, these obvious bits of information are why I’m paid to do this.

Rain Blanken Times Square
So many people, so much shopping potential.
M&Ms Store in Times Square
The M&Ms store, where I shamefully spent $30 on candy in front of the About.com Frugal Living Expert.

As a first-timer, I had no idea how common celebrity sightings are in NYC. While headed to Times Square on Saturday night, Bonny, About.com Dating Expert, nonchalantly pointed out Mr. Anderson Cooper. I may have followed him across the street to prove to her that it wasn’t him. It was, and he was surprised.

If you have hung around this site for very long, then you know I loves me some costumes. NYC did not disappoint on a Saturday night in September. With my Halloween anticipation peaking, I got pretty excited about the everyday masquerade in the city.

Here are some of the most notable Time Square costumes:

NYC Naked Cowboy
Naked Cowboy! She looks really happy about this, eh?
Statue of Liberty Costumes NYC
Statue of Liberty guys on stilts… almost more iconic than Naked Cowboy.

And Gold Guy!

Gold Guy NYC
If 30 Rock has taught me anything, it’s that you can find success as a metallic-painted street performer.

Here is my own costume for crawling Madison Avenue on a Sunday afternoon:

Rain Blanken NYCI was terrified of this statue (due to my stupid megalophobia), but I survived.

39 Rock Rain Blanken
Yes, I’m being Liz Lemon, what of it??
About.com Office NYC
My Sunday breakfast above Times Square in the About.com offices.

And just to remind myself of what NYC has to offer, here was my Sunday breakfast view from the 6th floor of 1500 Broadway. A far cry from watching Gizmo’s morning squirrel chase in the backyard. Oh, NYC, I’ll be back soon!

I was posting these photos and more in real time on Twitter. If you want to follow my adventures live, follow me @DIY_Fashion.

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