No Picture Tonight…

I promised you a picture of the New York Bead Show, but there won’t be any picture tonight.  Here’s why…

Bodies still were on west coast time last night after Pam and I worked the first day of the show.  We’re here in the oh-so-convenient and mildly grimy Hotel Pennsylvania, where there is no highdef TV but plenty of hot water.  We watched two movies last night and finally went to sleep about 11:30 body time.

Somehow, the alarm didn’t get set and we woke up at 6:45 PST, exactly 15 minutes before the show opened here at 10:00 AM.  HOLY SHIT!  We were out of the hotel in 5 minutes, and in a cab headed downtown in two more minutes.  We arrived at the show with our first customers.

A digression….  the cabby was among the most exotic I have ridden with in the City.  He was slight, green-eyed, and had graying hair that was henna orange where it curled out of his linen cap.  The cap was pale gold, embroidered with silver thread. His English was accented but good; alas, there was no time to politely enquire about his country of origin, whether he had family in NY, etc.  Sigh….

I went at once to the tiny French deli up the street for lattes.  Sugar! I delivered a chocolate croissant and latte to Pam, and then zipped around the corner for water.  By the time I returned, Pam had removed the table covers and there were people waiting in line to purchase and people waiting for me to return to cut leather and chain to length for them. Of course, in NY people wait ON line, not IN line…..

That’s my job at the show, to cut materials and help people design bracelets for themselves.  It’s really fun, because I am only a bead-show roadie twice a year, and only in New York.    I also get to play with all of the bracelet materials… that’s the best part.  Usually if I make a new bracelet, one or two people will choose the same components, maybe with another color of leather, and purchase materials to make one like mine.  Nothing so spontaneous in a pottery booth…

We were slammed.  I first asked someone what time it was about 3:15….  I had 4 to 6 people at my table, waiting for cutting or help with bracelets all day.  I have to explain the sizes of the components – which ones are for which type of leather.  We have fat, flat, d-profile, which people have ignored, 5mm round, matte slim, thirty colors of Greek leather, and fat leather with bling-bling.  Today, a very agreeable black woman about my age patiently explained to me that it was not correct to use Bling in the singular, it was Bling-Bling or nothing.  Thank God!  I am so grateful that there are people here willing to serve as cultural interpreters…

I wanted to take a picture of this gleeful ephemeral commerce for y’all but never had a minute free to do so. I never even took my camera out of my handbag until we were ready to leave at 6:15.   No texts or missed calls all day, the myth of my irreplaceability was shattered once again.  But it was a great relief to learn that life in Cornelius was continuing as I know it…  Miguel didn’t text to ask about work assignments or what plants could be moved outdoors to make space.  My neighbor Richard, who keeps my dawglet Chi, didn’t even send me a text demanding joint custody, which he usually does when he keeps her while I am at away.

After the happy show accounting, we took a taxi to a ramen house in the Village that a friend recommended.  It was packed with people drinking and talking, and we were told that it would be a two to three hour wait.  What?

Around the corner, we had excellent miso soup, tempura, crab cakes, and sushi followed by a divine dessert where delicate crepes interlayered with green tea crème were stacked until the concoction took the form of cheesecake.  Schlag – whipped cream for those of you who haven’t read any detective stories set in Vienna – was mounded on top, delicious!

Off to Strands Book Store, where new and used and new reside together as at Powells, and thence home to Hotel PA.  Visitors or natives, dressed alike in black hoodies, Knicks caps, and tats; along with their voluptuous consorts in crazy high heels, skin tight jeans and lavish boobage, are reveling in the streets tonight several floors below our window……


3 thoughts on “No Picture Tonight…

  1. michelle

    Yowsers! Sounds like you’re having a hellavu good time in New York! You can post pictures after you get home in boring Portland….!

  2. Hanneke Nelson

    Once upon a time I worked for Pam, in the shop and on the road. But then I traded WA for WI and I only get to see her if and when she comes to Bead & Button in Milwaukee. She didn’t make it last year and I really hope she flies out this year, especially after reading your account here. I’ve been there! Fingers crossed…!


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