Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I Heart NY

So, as most of you already know, I went to New York last week, which is one of the reasons why I'm so behind on all my shows. I've been to New York about 4 or 5 times before, but the last time I was there was October of 2002. Needless to say, it had been way too long.

I must explain that my love of New York is inherited. My mother was born in the Bronx, and raised in the projects on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. She is a true New Yorker, and she passed the New Yorkiness on to me in several forms, including colorful language and extreme pickiness with pizza. Every time we'd go to New York, my mom would slip back into her accent and I'd just listen to her in awe because I just want to talk like that so much.

My New York accent is getting better, by the way.

This time around, I went with my sister and some friends. We did some tourist-y stuff like the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island (where I met boxer Antonio Margarito's trainer, Robert Garcia).

But my personal highlight was being a part of the audience at Wendy Williams.

I requested tickets for the Wendy Williams show on her website, and waited for an email back confirming that my request had been granted. Exactly one week before the date I requested, I got a call and an email - I was so excited!! There were some instructions, I had to email them back with some information, and there is a dress code. We showed up before 8 am and there was already a line, and we checked in with a very nice lady who gave us blue cards. We then waited in line for about an hour outside. Good thing it wasn't raining yet!

When we finally got inside, the audience holding room was packed. I mean, shoulder to shoulder. Everyone was super nice, and we all had to fill out "Ask Wendy" question forms. I couldn't think of a single question to ask her! Go figure!

Then they lined us up to go into the studio, and the producers seat you where they want you to sit. We got lucky and got seated in the center section, second row from the front.

The warm up guy, Kevin Thompson, was SO much fun! He sang, danced, flirted, and cracked jokes with the audience. We had an especially rowdy crowd, which just made the whole experience even more fun.
One of the producers came out and gave us instructions on what to do - when to applaud, don't look at the mounted monitors, smile a lot, etc. And we practiced our cheering a couple of times. I was so excited to just be there. Everyone around us was just as excited, so we just fed off each other's energy.

Wendy came out the double doors and the rest was a blur, really. You can watch a clip of the show I was on here. I'm in the second row from the bottom, center section, dark red hair, glasses, a fur vest with a black top underneath and a black belt. We won an iPod Boombox, a Roku, and a Carlos Mencia DVD. Wendy did say that she was feeling down because of the rain, but she still gave us a great show. It was so much fun, and during the commercials, the DJ played dance music and we danced and had a blast. I got on camera a bunch!! My DVR didn't record the show for some reason, so that clip is all I got. (Sad face.)

When the show was done taping, Wendy said thank you to the audience and posed for pictures. She is so beautiful - inside and out. 

Then, Wendy taped some promos for the next show and we taped some audience stuff. Oh and they kept shooting this snow stuff that made your hair and skin all sticky! I didn't care, though. I was on cloud nine ...

Another really special moment was when we visited the 9/11 Memorial. It was really emotional. There's still construction going on, but what they've done so far is so amazing. There are reflecting pools where the Twin Towers once stood and the pools are surrounded by the names of the victims.

The surrounding buildings are supposed to be for business, but they're not ready to be occupied yet, according to a guide at the memorial.

There is a preview site, which I really liked. There's a model of what the area will look like once the construction is done, merchandise such as t shirts and books, displays of items left at Ground Zero, and a timeline of the events of 9/11. 

It was such an emotional experience.

The rest of the trip was basically running around trying to fit 50 different things to do and places to see in a short amount of time. We ate at Tom's Restaurant, of Seinfeld fame:

We walked around Times Square, Tiffany's, Macy's, FAO Schwarz, and what seems like a million other places.

I think what I love the most about New York is exactly what other people hate about it: the pace. I love that you're expected to get where you're going, and get out of everyone else's way while you're getting there. I love feeling like everyone is so busy, you're just part of this big buzzing city that's so alive with energy. I also love the fact that New York is the place where dreams come true. SNL, Madison Square Garden, Rockefeller Center, Lincoln Center, and countless other landmarks are iconic and thousands of dreams have come true in those very places. I like to think that New York will be where my dreams come true as well.

I hope so.