May 19th, 2007
Confession: Usually five days in NYC has this nature girl clawing at the subway walls, dying to get back to the mountains and sea. Not this time. I soaked up every minute — and enough pizza and corned beef to last me till winter. In fact, I found myself in some trendy little East Village eatery one night with three other Seattleites who were also on VK and I couldn’t stop thinking, “Why are we not eating deli at this very minute?! WHY, GOD, WHY?!” (Needless to say, I was still starving by the time I was done with my fancy $25 French entree.)
For those of you who don’t know, I’m from the Tri-State Area (BonJoviLand, to be exact), which means I had piles of people to visit in NYC: my dad, my high school friends, my college roomies, a couple pals from my bad old days in NY publishing, and on and on and on. I had a blast seeing high school pals Heth and Jed rock the Union Square subway station. I was tickled to reunite with writerpal Beena, who I met at Hedgebrook, and happy to see Seattle expat Nina (sorely missed in the NW!) in her new Brooklyn hood. I was floored when my freaking prom date showed up at one of my readings. (Dude, where’s my corsage?) And I’m ever grateful for all the people who rallied to see me read at the supercool Bluestockings on the Lower East Side and BookCourt in Brooklyn, which made for a fab last chapter of my book tour.
Another highlight of the Big Apple was meeting so many email buddies — from fellow Single Staters Judy McGuire, Rachel Kramer Bussel, and Susan Shapiro to Anti 9-to-5 Guide interviewees Janet Rosen and Heather Swain. I also loved that I could just email a magazine editor I write for (or hope to write for) or an agent recommended to me by a friend and set up a coffee date, literally in a New York minute. I left the city thinking, “Damn, 3000 miles isn’t soooo far… I need to get out of my house more often… I need to come back here twice a year… Must keep a toe in the NY publishing pool…”
What about you? If you’re a freelancer who does a decent chunk of business in another time zone, do you travel periodically to score some face time with your clients and contacts? Does it boost your business when your contacts suddenly see your bright smiling face rather than just your email handle? Inquiring minds wanna know.