Neither rain, nor sleet, nor a record-shattering heat wave will keep bloggers away from New York City meetups– particularly if alcohol is served.
The latest edition of the Blogger Society Page features a diverse group of Manhattan events: a meet-and-greet with an NFL linebacker, a perfume party and a classic tweetup in the East Village.
Bing Travel Party
Best location for a blogger event
Bloggers enjoyed a nearly-360 view of the Manhattan skyline at the Bing Travel party, held at the Hotel on Rivington. Trust me– the sunset looks best when viewed from a Lower East Side rooftop bar, with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc in hand!
Best use of a 19th-century fashion accessory
The most stylish guest at the Bing Travel party was spokesman Dhani Jones, an NFL linebacker and “well-traveled Renaissance man” (pictured here with PR maven Jaclyn Rutigliano). Dhani’s bowtie is more than a fashion statement, however; his Bowtie Cause raises awareness and funds for a variety of charities.
Most excited to complete an everyday social transaction
[Editor’s note: Next time you see Teresa, ask her about her microdermal piercing— the latest trend to hit the travel blogging community?]
Most likely to read free Dhani Jones book
Lonely Planet’s Robert Reid (@ReidOnTravel) could hardly wait to read Dhani Jones’ travel memoir; he started skimming it during the party. Within seconds, he located a word that– he says– is essential to any good travel book: bullsh*t!
Best wind-swept hair: the Farah Fawcett Award
Twenty-Something Travel editor Stephanie Yoder rocked a gust of wind at the Hotel on Rivington. The unofficial spokesperson for “Generation Y” revealed that she has purchased a domain for Thirty-Something Travel…. just in case!
Most likely to gush incoherently in presence of celebrity
A conversation with Bing Travel’s spokesman Dhani Jones revealed he’s fascinated with the world of blogging and considers hiking in Nepal his most challenging travel experience. I managed to keep my composure this time and actually asked relevant questions, unlike my past encounters with Cary Elwes, Judah Friedlander and Swoon!
Best hair in a heat wave
The award goes to TripFilms host Kelley Ferro (right), who kept her cool despite soaring humidity. Her blond mane betrayed no signs of frizz! Kelley is a staple of the Blogger Society Page, and earned kudos for her nautical look at TBEX ’11.
Friendliest travel blogger
Travel bloggers are a down-to-earth bunch, but No Debt World Travel founder Brian Peters (left) stands out for his humility. He remembers everyone’s name, doesn’t pull rank–despite his impressive 9,607 Twitter followers– and is quick to share budget travel tips. Brian, we salute you!
East Village Tweetup at Tom and Jerry’s
Sexiest blogger hug (group edition)
The night before the Bing party, travelers gathered at Tom and Jerry’s bar in the East Village to talk shop. “Essential NYC” author Jeffrey Tanenhaus leaned in close to photographer Kirsten Alana (@Kirsten_al) and writer AnneLise Sorenson (@AnneLiseTravels)– undoubtedly wanting to share the insider tips he’s gleaned as a New York City tour guide.
Most hardcore New Yorkers
The “Authentic New Yorker” award goes to two bloggers who know their hometown inside and out– including the non-touristy parts of the city. Action Jo Jo‘s Johanna covers the Queens beat, while Frill Seeker Diary‘s AnneMarie Dooling is Staten Island’s premiere (and perhaps only) travel blogger. That’s what I call street cred.
Best day-to-evening attire
Business casual ruled the day at Tom and Jerry’s. It was a rare chance for Matt “The Expeditioner” Stabile to shed his signature suit, and newcomer to the scene Andrea Duchon (@andrearenee) looked effortless in a loose gray top. If this keeps up, we may need to add a Blogger Fashion Page!
Best blogger ménage à trois (*imagined)
Together, this blogger trio forms the perfect package: height (provided by Gadling’s Jeremy Kressmann), humor (Gadling’s Mike Barish) and excellent photo skills (freelancer Kirsten Alana)– just what you need to guarantee a memorable evening!
Best requisite appearance by a Tripping employee
It isn’t a meetup unless at least one member of the Tripping staff is present! At TBEX ’11, Tripping’s Anis and Lauren earned raves for handing out donuts on the Amtrak train. Their equally sweet colleague Bianca Cloutier popped up at the East Village tweetup, making us wonder– is there anyone from the hospitality network we haven’t met yet?
Most likely to get Colgate sponsorship
Living out of a backpack, bypassing showers for days, eating strange foods– the lifestyle of a seasoned traveler doesn’t seem to promote oral hygiene. But somehow, despite all odds, these bloggers have impressive smiles. Next time you spot Maria Russo (@traveladdictgrl) and her husband Anthony, Matt Stabile (@TheExpeditioner), Monica McCarthy (@MissMMcCarthy) and Norbert (@GloboTreks), find out who their dentist is!
Travel Scents Party
Most sophisticated tweetup for travel bloggers
Two worlds collided as beauty and travel bloggers joined forces at the Travel Scents party in Midtown Manhattan. Charu Suri (@Butterflydiary) organized the event, which featured Hypnotiq cocktails, custom perfume samples and a presentation by South African scent expert Sue Phillips.
The beauty bloggers showed an impressive knowledge of perfume, commenting on their favorite “top notes,” while travel bloggers admitted to favoring deodorant over actual cologne. By the end of the evening, however, we were all speaking about “sillage” and Indian sandalwood!
Least likely to become a beauty blogger
Don’t expect to find Matt Stabile (@TheExpeditioner) wearing a signature scent anytime soon. His deep huffs of perfume samples were hardly convincing; we know he’s an Old Spice guy at heart.
Special nod to Matt and Kirsten Alana for attending all three of the events described here. They are firmly entrenched on the NYC blogger circuit!
Most fun meetup activity… quizzes!
Who doesn’t like taking a personality quiz? Sue Phillips of Scenterprises had us fill out an 11-question survey with seemingly random queries (e.g., favorite architect, film icon you most admire). I discovered I favor bold “oriental” scents, which “a shy retiring type of person would not wear.” Sounds about right.
Travel blogger Aaron Heflich Shapiro (@adventurousness) somehow scored evenly on all personality types, causing him to create a scent that smelled like bubble gum. Not what you’d expect of a hardcore backpacker!
Most die-hard bargain hunter
When asked about her favorite perfume, Legal Nomad‘s Jodi Ettenberg copped to wearing a $1 scent from 7-Eleven in Thailand. Now that’s a deal!