Saturday, June 30, 2007

New York Trip Sept 2009 - Day One

I am still reliving every moment of our New York Trip over and over in my mind. We had an absolutely amazing time and I wouldn’t have done one thing different.

Day one is always a whirlwind. We took the train up from BWI to NYC Penn Station and immediately headed over to my brother’s studio. On the way to the studio (which was only two blocks away) we passed by a Payless Shoe Store and had to stop to take a picture of the window. My brother’s entire line was displayed right up front with a picture of him and info about the shoes. My mother was so proud.

Once at the studio, it was a fun reunion, but it was also obvious my brother was incredibly busy. He really only had a few minutes to get us situated and get us out of there. His crew was having lunch when we arrived which was nice so we could chat with them for a few minutes before they were back to work work work. As I mentioned before I got to try on a few dresses, took home one and picked up the two pairs of shoes Payless had made for me. At that point, my brother called his driver to take us around the city.

It was a lot of fun to have the driver waiting for us. We are definitely not used to that kind of treatment. The first place we wanted to go was to Saks 5th Avenue to see my brother’s clothes on display on the exclusive designer 3rd floor. We were dropped off right in front and made a loop around the building to check out the window display. In the window were dresses by the likes of Roberto Cavali, Dolce and Gabbana, Oscar de la Renta, Zac Posen and my little brother, Christian Siriano. We almost died as we walked around a read all the names. I thought I might fall over right there on the sidewalk and my mother got tears in her eyes. We posed for a picture at the window and then went inside. We took the elevator to the third floor and found his rack. The rack had been picked over quite a bit, but we each posed for another photo in front of the sign with his name holding a piece of this clothing. Then my mother told a few of the associates that she was his mother. After loitering in the designer area for a while, we went upstairs and Evan bought us each 2 pieces of chocolate from the chocolate counter. We went back one more time to look at his display and then called our driver to come pick us up.

At that point, we had him take us to the hotel so that we could drop off our stuff and get ourselves together. We stayed at the Marriot a few blocks away from Bryant Park and Times Square. After we gathered ourselves we decided to go out and explore. I don’t know if I mentioned that Evan’s mother, Jane, had never been to NYC before. It was a lot of fun to have a first timer with us because everything seemed exciting and new. We walked over to the Library and went inside to see if we could get online so that I could check my email. The wait was too long so we just walked through and admired the amazing building. We walked by the tents, found my brother’s name on the roster and then headed for Times Square. First stop, Starbucks, since we needed fuel to keep going in the rain. My mom had to turn back because she was getting soaked with no umbrella, but we pressed on. We walked through Times Square and ended up at the TKTS place where they sell theatre tickets for shows the same night. I have never been there when there wasn’t a crazy line, but I guess the rain had deterred people from waiting. We walked right up and realized there were some great deals on some great shows. After a little waffling we decided to just go for it and Jane bought us 4 tickets to see Rock of Ages for $55 each. After we got our tickets, we ran back to the hotel and called in a reservation for Salute, the amazing Italian restaurant we ate at during out last visit. We grabbed my mom and made it to the restaurant right on time.

Dinner was very good, but the service wasn’t quite as impressive as I remember it being last year. We were also in a hurry, so maybe they realized that and didn’t hang over us too much so that we could get out of there in time to make the 8pm show start. The food was once again a hit, but we had a little anxiety waiting for our driver to pick us up. He made it just in time and dropped us off at the doors right as people were being let inside the theatre.

I don’t know if you have heard about the show, Rock of Ages, but it was absolutely AWESOME! I’m not a big Idol fan, but my mom is, and one of her favorites, Constantine, was in the show. He was fantastic. The soundtrack of the show is all rock songs from the 1980’s and included some of my favorites by Bon Jovi, Styx and Journey. I sang out loud to every song. There were guys walking through the crowd selling Coors Light as if we were at a stadium show. The plot of the show was adorable and fun and it was just a blast. Probably one of the best times I have had at the theatre. I am so glad that we made the decision last minute to go. It was one of the highlights.

After the show we walked back to our hotel through Times Square. Since it was Jane’s first time there she was observing everything and was looking up at one of the big screens when she noticed a LG Commercial running every couple of minutes. It was my brother’s LG commercial, playing on repeat on one of the mega screens in the middle of Times Square! We could not believe it. There he was, larger than life, right in the middle of everything. We watched a couple of times, but the rain was coming down and we had to get back to the hotel. It was a long day and action packed, but we needed to get to bed to prepare for the big event that we all came for…the runway show.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

New York Trip Sept 2009 - Day 2

The day of the runway show is filled with anticipation from the moment I wake up. Fortunately for me, I got to sleep in this year! It was great that our travel day and the day of the show were not one in the same. That meant much less anxiety for all.

Evan and his mother jumped right out of bed with plans to see more of the city. They headed over to Rockefeller Center and even made an appearance outside the Today Show. If I was a morning person I would have gone with them, but I’m glad that they got to go exploring so that Jane could get to see more of the city.

I finally dragged myself out of bed in time to get showered and jump in a cab to meet up with my good friend, Scott. Scott and I went to college together, so I try to catch up with him about every other trip to NYC. Scott and his fiancĂ© (they got engaged last night!) met us at a cool little place (I believe) in Chelsea. I don’t remember the name of the restaurant, but I do remember that I ordered fried chicken and waffles! I’m not a runway model, so who cares what I eat before the show, right? Unfortunately, our lunch was not long enough, but it was still great to see them for a quick catch up.

We jumped in a cab back to the hotel for beautification to begin. I had to decide between tights or no tights and pick between two pairs of shoes, both from the collection. These were two very difficult decisions to make in a very short period of time. With help of my stylists, a.k.a. Mom and to be Mother-In-Law, I went with no tights and the gladiator boots. I was very happy with both decisions. Once wardrobe was set we walked over to the super secret side entrance of the Bryant Park Tents.

My mother, in her regular form, marched up to the table and announced, “I am the mother.” Immediately, we were let in backstage and walked right in the heart of the pre-show madness. Backstage we found Brad and his family waiting and just enjoyed the show from the middle of the model dressing area. There was shoe drama and hair drama and all the other usual back stage dramas. I love watching the models as if they are animals in the zoo. They are a foreign species to me even though I know they are regular people. It seemed like we were back there forever when I realized. WE HAD BEEN! The show was supposed to be starting and the models were just starting their walk through. Some of the models didn’t wear the shoes for the walk through and I was totally appalled. I wore my shoes all night long! As a former ballerina, dress rehearsal means dress rehearsal! I don’t care if you have a broken ankle, if you are performing tonight you better be able to rehearse! I may be a tough critic, but that is just how I was raised.

Quite a few celebs came out to show their support this year and my Mom was all over every single one of them. She had her moment with Tim Gunn, spoke to Nina Garcia, and checked in with Kristen Davis and Tori Spelling. My favorite Mom vs. Celeb moment was when Fern Mallis came backstage. A few shows ago, some young reporter told my Mom that he thought she was Fern. In preparations for this show, my Mom and I had been googling Fern to see what she was wearing to the fashion shows in order to pick out an appropriate outfit for my mother to wear. Essentially, Fern Mallis was my Mom’s fashion icon and my mother just had to let her know. I’m sure Fern was flattered and my Mom looked great!

After the show, we headed back to the hotel, decided on a quick dinner from McDonald’s and then got in the car to go to the after party. We got to the hotel where the after party was held and it was a much smaller crowd then the previous parties. This was a really good thing. Some celebrities did show up to show support and hang for a bit, Kat Deluna, Mena Suvari and one of the NYC Housewives. I had a great time, drank too much Champagne (as usual), made new friends and fell on the floor. Yes, you are reading that correctly, I took a major dive. It was a graceful fall and I am not embarrassed, but it was ironic that I was complaining about the models not being tough about walking in their shoes and then I fell in mine. I didn’t feel a thing in case you were worried about my safety. A short time after that we decided we better head back.

It was another great show and another great day in NYC. I am so glad that we still had one extra day to enjoy the city and catch up with my little bro. Sunday recap coming soon…