Monday, June 06, 2005

NYC Weekend


NYC June 05 Posted by Hello

New York New York.... Don't imagine me singing the Sinatra tune. I was thinking more about the Dogg Pound's version for a minute there.. I'm back safe and sound with sore ankles and feet from having a blast in New York over the weekend. I attended the BEA convention.. Book festival of America, which for me was really fabulous.. I had a great time and the whole experience ended with the sounds of Coltrane echoing from the streets below. Coltrane? Yeah... this saxophone player standing right near the entrance of the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Broadway was playing that tune, In A Sentimental Mood. Anyone that remembers Love Jones might remember the song playing in the background as Nina and Darius gazed into each others eyes.. I always wanted to indulge in that experience with that song playing but alas, its never happened...lol.. But that's aight! :-)

Anyway, my trip from beginning to end was very eventful and memorable.. In the beginning I actually dreaded the thought of going but I felt I needed this trip with respect to the book stuff and the experience. I left for the airport and the unknown on Thursday morning.. The plane flight was looooooonnnnnggg.. I slept through most of it but I was very comfortable thanks to this lady who gave up her seat so I could stretch out. She was very nice. I hate that I cant remember her name but she told me she was a professor of spirituality and had made many trips to NY to teach others. This trip would be her last for a while because the program was coming to an end. She had all sorts of goodies to eat and offered me plenty if I wanted but I declined. All I wanted to do was sleep so I wouldn't have to count the hours going by.. At the end of the flight she wished me well and wished me plenty of success at the convention. Maybe she blessed me with good luck because I definitely had plenty....

I made it to the hotel after enduring an Indy 500 experience inside a black Lincoln Towncar.. It was night time when I arrived in New York so I could barely see a thing and had no clue where I was except for the various familiar names on street signs... The towncar was new and fresh smelling so that part was enjoyable. The driver sounded as if he were from Jamaica and only spoke occasionally. The traffic made the journey a little longer than it probably would've been but it gave me a chance to look at all the lights as we hit Broadway Blvd at the same time many shows were letting out..New York, I thought to myself and that's when a smile came across my face as I begun to get that travel bug inside of me... It hits me when I'm out there somewhere knowing I'm away from home and I gotta survive and make the best of a potentially beautiful moment so I can come home with a million stories to tell... Then I smiled because I noticed a lot of beautiful NY women in the crowds of people I would see walking... Nice! *smile*

After I made it to the hotel, I unpacked my clothes, put everything away and then went outside to do some walking after I called my mother to let her know I made it safe.. I wanted to get a feel for my surroundings and it didn't take long.. I walked up and down Broadway. It was a little bit noisy but not as much as I'd imagine.. I was comfortable and the lights reminded me of Las Vegas. I noticed all the familiar places like the Goodmorning America window and the big Virgin Music store.. It was fun...

Friday it was time to get to business.. I was a little lazy getting up so I didn't get to the convention until about 10am. After that it was on! I got my badge holder thingy and walked around.. I finally made it to the booth I would be signing at around 11am or so. Met up with a very cool brotha named Dante Feenix who also happens to be the model on the cover of my book, Everybody Got Issues. He was one of the highlights of this trip because he's really cool. I enjoyed myself every minute of talking with him. He worked hard and set things up to the best of his ability. I can only imagine how well he'd do if he had more to work with as far as promotional items but he did his thang plus he had me laughing real good a few times...

Friday I was amazed at how fast folks were coming over to get a book signed.. Those copies of Issues flew off the table and I went through about two boxes.. That meant I needed to hold off so I could have something to sign the next day since there was only one box left of Issues and one box to my surprise the next day of Daughter By Spirit, my first book.. Those would go fast too...

I enjoyed meeting Jonathan Luckett who seems like he'd have every woman in the world eating out of his hands without really trying or without that being his goal. He's got a natural author's spirit about him.. He seems real cool.. I also enjoyed meeting Jimmy Hurd and his wife too.. They both have the same smile as if they were made for each other.. Two very good people and very nice... Laurinda Brown was also very cool to meet... I got a warm hug from Tina McKinney. I got to visit really quickly with my good friend Brandon Massey, the next Stephen King with hopefully as much success to boot! Super great guy with a great new book called Within The Shadows. I also got to see author, Earl Sewell. He was a treat to finally meet in person... Got to see one of my favorite authors and a really cool person, D.V. Bernard(God In The Image Of Woman) And of course my favorite moment came when a beautiful author shouted from a nearby table "dont I know you!?!?!" It was truly a blessing to see Stephanie Johnson (She's Got Issues and Rockin' Robbin) live and in gorgeous color, lookin good in her new hairdo and ummm..well..the rest of her too... Her spirit shines through as she is a cool lady... Another highlight was meeting Candace Cotrell and Mark Anthony from Q'Boro Books... Candace is fabulous and Mark Anthony is an inspiration in how you can still be a super cool brotha and be a business man at the same time...

Friday went by fast and it was great...Saturday was perfect because I used my Grandfather as inspiration. He always got up before the crack of dawn to start his day so I did the same. I figured I could get a ton of stuff done this way and that's what happened... I got to BEA a little after 7am and was ready to get it started.. No one was around until Candace happened by. We talked for a while and then I walked around until I was able to enjoy more signing. The books went fast and I had a couple cool moments. The most special was signing a book for this elderly lady who was enjoying her birthday. She'd read my first book before and loved it. Because of her spirit and kindness I think it drew others to my table so the books went fast and I was done by noon... I had nothing more to sign and had given away a great deal of postcards...I was very happy with everything.. I met author Nane Quartay who had me rolling with laughter long after he told me about his adventures while trying to make his way to the convention. I regret not being able to talk with him longer but I didn't want to get in the way of him and the others that were signing books. Nane is real cool...

The rest of my Saturday was spent touring Harlem and other areas uptown.. Then I took the night tour through downtown... I was wishing I had more time to do the same tour during the day so I could see ground zero a little better.. You could feel the spirit of that loss as we traveled through the area and the tour guide kept saying "if any of you made the pilgrimage to ground zero, us New Yorkers appreciate it..." He repeated that several times and you could feel the pain and sincerity inside of his voice. The tour bus drove by these pictures on the side of the wall of a hospital showing people who hadn't been found yet as a result of the 911 tragedy. That was very sad.. Andrew the tour guide was really great at detailing every experience of NY, pre and post 911... I ended my evening with getting a couple sandwiches from a street vendor.. I didn't know what kind of sandwiches they were but they looked and tasted great! There was an award show that I wanted to attend but I ended up falling asleep and waking up too late to make it... Nevertheless, my experience in the Big Apple was cool... I enjoyed it.... Peace....

2 comments:

Shelley Halima said...

V. Anthony, even though I couldn't make it, through your descriptive writing I felt like I was right there in the mix of it all. What a trip indeed.

Shelia said...

I wish I could have been there...sounds like you had lots of fun.