18 November 2010
women who rock. in other words, the we do good awards in new york city.
Deep breath. I’m not really sure how to recap the past 48-hours in New York City for the WE Do Good Awards. Morgan (my BF) and I arrived at JFK Monday afternoon and were whisked via sedan car service (read: sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic for two hours) to the swank Central Park digs of Trump International Hotel & Towers. Starved and not wanting to stray too far, we opted for cheeseburgers and martinis at Nougatine, the most casual of Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s three onsite restaurants. Greg Andres joined in the evening’s festivities and was every bit as wonderful as I knew he would be. Random side note for the food geeks: Several years ago, I crossed paths with Jean-Georges at an after hours party in Aspen and he made me a grilled cheese sandwich, which I’m sure, staved off a potentially disastrous hangover. The thought of calling in a similar late night culinary booty call did cross my mind during our stay.
Later that evening, we headed to the Rodeo Bar to see one of Morgan’s childhood friend’s, the fabulous Hugh Pool play. In typical New York City, anything is possible fashion, we were out until 4:30 a.m. and I more than made up for the absence of Yuengling in my west coast world. My basic grooming paid the price, since I opted or an extra hour sleep the following day instead of a manicure. Oh well, I'm a girl of certain priorities and fashion and beauty does not top them.
Tuesday afternoon, I finally met my lit agent live and in the flesh who doled out a much needed smack of reality on where this project was (or wasn't) going. I left his office with Julie Klausner’s new book, I Don’t Care About Your Band, which has pretty much rocked my world and I’ve only read the first section. Scott's advice, coupled with Julie's sass and some pretty big "Come to Jesus" realizations during this trip have left me wanting to take this book in a bold new direction and I think I can pull it off.
Completely inspired, Morgan and I raced back to the hotel for a primping frenzy (well, I primped – he’s a low maintenance soap and razor only kinda guy). I’ve been living in third world countries the better part of the past five months and all beautification has gone to the wayside. I’m lucky if I throw on a bra on most days, much less worry about if my clothes match or if my cuticles are looking a little ragged. Stressed to the max and mouthing my speech in the mirror, I managed to pull it together within minutes of our driver’s arrival.
Nothing could have prepared me for the scene at Espace. Upon arrival, I was shuffled through so many people, checking in here and there and making countless introductions, until I was finally assigned a handler for the evening. Morgan and I were taken to a VIP area, where trays of tasty looking hors d’oeuvres and Champagne were passed around. I was way too nervous to partake (so very unlike me). And then the mayhem began. Myself and the two other WE Do Good Award winners, Hilari Scarl and Theresa Lucas, were escorted to the red carpet for what seemed like 10,000 photos. A sea of photographers snapped away, instructing us to look here and there, move closer, tilt this way, etc. I also got to work the red carpet in the company of the Travelocity Roaming Gnome and a super-sized check for my grant.
Then came the interviews. Reporters lined up at the end of the red carpet and we moved through the roster giving rapid fire interviews. I’ve given my fair share of interviews, but never in this wham bam thank you ma'am succession. It was pretty amazing.
The awards ceremony was fairly quick – about an hour. Sherri Shepherd hosted the festivities, rocking some of the most drop dead sexy heels I’ve ever seen and had me in stitches from start to finish with her irreverent personality. We share the same birthday (April 22, Earth Day) and I had some doubts about her, having read that she once expressed doubts as to whether the world was indeed round. I’m not even going to go there. Andie MacDowell also presented an award, as did Marlee Matlin via satellite. Other celebs on hand included Ally Sheedy, fashion designer Barbara Moses and professional poker player, Beth Shak. I’m sure there were others, but my head was swimming with giddy excitement the entire event. Big thanks to my friends who came out to share in the celebration: Jody Diamond, Jessica Rodriguez and her lovely friend, Allison, Marisa and Adrian Carstens, Kirsten Alana Larsson, and Gregory Andres.
My award, the Travelocity Travel for Good Award was given to me by Kelly Rutherford of current Gossip Girl fame. As a thirty-something gal, I have fond memories of her role as Megan Lewis on Melrose Place back in the early 90s. She was very sweet and stunningly Grace Kelly-esque gorgeous and set the stage for me to deliver my speech --- all choked up.
Since I know you’ve all been dying to know which project I picked, Morgan and I will be volunteering for Globe Aware in Costa Rica in February. Travelocity has kindly allowed me stretch my $5,000 voluntourism grant dollars to include another person, and the way I see it, is that Globe Aware gets an extra sets of hands to help. My boyfriend has been so patient with me being an absentee volunteer girlfriend the past many months. I’m excited he gets an opportunity to share in something that is so important to me.
All in all, the event was a smashing success. It was kinda annoying that after telling official event planning powers-that-be no less than 10 times how to pronounce my name that it was botched throughout the entire ceremony. I even heard Sherri deliver it correctly during her rehearsal, but somehow, someone managed to screw up the phonetic spelling on the teleprompter. (For the bajillioneth time, it’s pronounced like Michelle Pfeiffer, not like Feffer. Sigh.) What’s not to love about getting flown to New York City for a very all-about-me whirlwind trip, spending quality time with some friends and being recognized for my volunteer work in the company of so many other like-minded and amazing women. It was a humbling experience and exactly the feel good fuel I needed as I embark on the second half of TGCP.
Thank you to everyone who had a hand in making Tuesday night such a success and for making me feel like a super star. Oh, and a shameless plug: be sure to pick up the current issue of Ladies’ Home Journal to read about me and the other WE Can Do Award winners. And if you want to see more photos from the event, click here or here.