It seems like I‘ve been blogging all afternoon, so I want to leave you with a few random thoughts about Club Industry East 2008:
Although I didn‘t get to see as much of the trade show floor as I had hoped, one thing that stood out was the number of massage tables exhibited. There must have been four or five booths that had them. Note to self: Get in the massage table business. The most fun booth I saw was Crunch‘s Wii booth. I saw two people going head-to-head playing tennis, and another two people playing baseball. Note to self: If you are lucky to get a Wii, do not give it up.
Pam, Jenn and I saw the musical “Curtains” with David Hyde Pierce (Frasier‘s brother) and enjoyed it very much. We traipsed all over New York to get half-price tickets, too. The next night, while Pam and Jenn went to the Met (no, not the Mets), I went solo and saw Laurence Fishburne in “Thurgood.” If you‘re in New York, this is a must-see. If officially opens later this month, but it will only be around until August.
Pam, Jenn and I went out to eat Wednesday night with Stacey Orlick, our conference director. We ended up at Junior‘s at Grand Central Station, and their hamburgers were huge. As I found out later in the week, their hot dogs were even bigger. After we ate, Pam and Jenn went to work out. Earlier in the day, Stacey, a Jersey girl, had asked me if I wanted to go to the Yankees-Red Sox game, provided that her contact could come through with tickets. That didn‘t materialize, but we sat and watched the rest of the game at the hotel bar, talking about spouses and babies. (Note: It‘s not often when a woman, married or otherwise, asks a man if he wants to have a beer and watch a game. Those are opportunities you have to seize upon.) Later in the game, our associate publisher, New York homeboy Marty McCallen, came through the lobby wearing his Paul O‘Neill autographed jersey. Marty, his wife, and their two sons had just come from Yankee Stadium, where they witnessed a couple of fights and heard a few choice words of the English language.
Ed Tock, one of our contributing writers, has been a popular person in this blog, and that‘s only because of his friendly nature. Ed picked up the tab for our cab ride from the hotel to the Javits Center one morning. As Ed tried to hail a cab, traffic was coming within a foot (literally, his own foot) of hitting Ed. I was worried that we were going to have to find another writer (and another speaker for the show). Ed, another native New Yorker, proved he knew what he was doing. Later, he gave me some good contacts at a nearby club.
At one point before our 8:30 a.m. sessions, Pam and I found ourselves in a sort of semi-circle talking with Rick Caro, Ed Tock, Bruce Carter and Michael Scott Scudder. We could have had a Club Industry magazine meeting right then and there. It‘s comforting to know that our writers and contributors are some of the best in the business.