Thursday, June 16, 2005

Still Day One in New York... (Continued)


The Big "GQ"

We checked in at security at the Conde' Nast building and rode the elevator up to the ninth floor GQ offices where Jason met us at the door and proceeded to take us on a tour. It's funny how you expect offices of something famous to look so different from anything else you've ever seen, but except for the exceptional photography hanging on the walls of many famous people- it was an office- lot of cubes, offices and computers. However it was the people we were impressed with.

Jason at the office

First Jason took us to meet Jordan- the guy who 'fact checked' the story. It was nice to put a face with the name and voice- I spent a great deal of time with Jordan on the phone making sure that all the factual information in the story was correct. (He has this great, deep radio voice on the phone...) Jason was treating us to dinner that night, and Jordan would be joining us. Great!

We also met Jim Nelson- the Editor in Chief. Jim is the one who supported getting our story in the magazine and was always nice to deal with (the couple of times I talked to him.) I was surprised at how young he looked, being the editor and chief of a major magazine. (But then again, I'm getting older myself- I tend to see a lot more people as young.) He was quitet nice and thanked me for sharing my story with the magazine and the world. I have to say that I thank GQ for taking an interest in the first place.

We then walked around the offices meeting a few people here and there- layout designers, writers, editors. Everyone seemed curious as to who this family walking around their office was although I could tell that a few figured it out and kind of had that sudden "Oh... cool, it's that guyl" look on their faces. Everyone at the magazine was quite nice.

We made a call to the hotel and found that it would be another hour until our room was ready, so, Jason offered to take us to lunch at the Conde'Nast cafeteria down on the fourth floor. We were hungry, so we gratefully said "sure."

Now usually when someone tells you that you're going to eat at the cafeteria, you expect a kind of sterile, white table, lunch line with a choice of meatloaf or chicken and mashed potatoes served out of steaming shallow pans under hot lights by aging ladies in hair nets. Not at Conde'nast.

Aly and GT enjoy lunch at the Conde'nast Cafe

They had this beautifully designed space with several food stations where you could get made-to-order stir fry, freshly made gourmet sandwiches, burgers/ grilled chicken and fries, or made-to-order pasta. Plus they had this beautiful salad bar that rivaled any I had seen at some really great restaruants. (OK, OK- I was really hungry so any food would have looked good, but it was really very nice- especially for a corporate cafeteria.) The dining room was this cool art deco looking area with multi-levels and round pink booths (that of course my kids loved- they chose a table by a window and of course ate hamburgers and fries.)

At lunch, we made our plans for the rest of our couple of days. I had an appointment to talk to one of the producers from Good Morning America on the phone that afternoon who would let me know what to expect on the show and ask me aa few final questions. Plus, my cousin Chinwe, who I had talked to on the phone and exchanged emails with but hadn't met in person yet was going to come by and visit us when she got off work in the city. Jason also told us that he had arranged for a car to pick us up a the hotel to take us out to the restaurant where he would be treating us to dinner- a BBQ joint (in New York City?), and my mother and two sisters would meet us there at the restaurant after their plane got in.

Was I getting nervous yet? No. Not yet. I just wanted to get checked into the hotel and take a short nap. My few hours of sleep was starting to show.

To be continued....

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