It wasn't my first time. It was one of the most memorable ones. Friday was a long day's journey into night for me, one very different from Eugene O'Neill's play (thanks to David Newman of Unconsulting for setting me straight on the writer's name)-- walking on Broadway and thinking about a play, it felt artistic. I made my way through Times Square, mingling with the people coming out to enjoy a mild evening and partaking in the sheer energy of a city that can always surprise and delight.
The occasion was an encounter organized by CK: bloggers face to face. CK was the first one to walk in. We both had this big grin on our faces that said: wow, I can't believe I'm here with you. Everyone was kind, interesting, and fun to be with, just like in their blogs. For those of you who do not blog, this is the biggest advantage: getting to know people as they are through online conversations.
Matt Dickman to my right there was taller than I had imagined. I discovered that like me and Lori di Magno, he loves shoes -- he's so in! There definitely was an Italian connection; both Matt and Lori are married to Italians. CK is right next to David Reich, a veteran PR pro with a recent, high-level, debut in the blogosphere. To my left is Mark Goren who came all the way from Montreal and made his way to Flute to spend some time with us.
When C.B. Whittemore walked in the door I almost felt like a very dear friend had just come by. She was attending BlogHer and took the opportunity to join us. The Diva was there too: Toby Bloomberg is as warm in person as she is on the page. We all huddled together immersed in multiple conversations with ease.
There are millions of blogs, A-list bloggers, and all sorts of metrics about who is best. Exchanging ideas with Matt, walking and talking with Mark, discussing books with C.B., talking shop with David, and catching up with Toby and CK felt as good as it gets. An opportunity to learn more about the people behind the writing doesn't come by often and I'm glad I took the leap off the screen. See more photos here (thanks, Matt).
It wasn't my first time. A few months ago I met Ann Michael, who I discovered lives not too far from me, and had lunch with Steve Roesler, also based near Philadelphia in South Jersey. I said it before: relationships are a contact sport. These professionals are an ongoing source of inspiration and they provide a much needed "atta girl" at times. We would have not met without our blogs.
Saluti e baci from Manhattan, we'll be back. And to those who plan a trip to Philadelphia, give me a shout. And I promise to visit your town and city soon.