Arriving in the train station at 3:45 p.m. on Wed. March 6, 2019 in New York was an experience I will never forget. After figuring out how to get out of the train station, anxiety bubbled up as I was trying to describe to the Uber driver where our group of four were standing so he could pick us up. Luckily for my anxiety, a very nice security guard got on the phone for me and described to the Uber driver where we were. Driving through the city for the first time was a mixture of both anxiety and amazement. The buildings were spectacular, but the driving through part of the ride was a bit on the scary side of things.
Our hotel was in the center of Times Square. All the Broadway theaters were around us, including ones that were playing “Hamilton” and “The Lion King.” A forty-plus floor building, the Marquis Marriott Hotel was something else. Each floor was designed to look different, and the elevators were no exception. One group of elevators allowed you to look out the glass of it to watch the floors move up and down in front of you while the other group of elevators were just your normal, average elevators.
After settling into the hotel, we ventured through Times Square for dinner, trying to avoid people handing out mix tapes. After experiencing New York pizza for the first time and freezing outside while we ate it, we went back to the hotel and got ready for the next day of conference sessions.
Most of the sessions I went to were about working in entertainment journalism, how to diversify the newsroom, and how to create the perfect cover letter, resume, and website to land a job. A few of my favorites include, “The Dos and Dont’s of Starting Your Entertainment News Career” with Nick Maslow, the senior editor for People.com, “No, really-I’m With the Band” with Sonya Singh, and “Women’s Work: How to Rule the Media” with a panel of talented women in journalism.
Between sessions and after sessions, our group of four would venture out into the city to explore. We got to see Radio City, The Plaza Hotel (which made 10-year-old Hannah very happy!), Central Park, The Hard Rock Café, and Rockefeller Center. We tried different places for food for every meal, experiencing different tastes and styles of food.
Not only did I get to experience a city that I have never been to, learn new things that were both interesting and fun, I also got to spend time with my fellow editors outside of newsroom. The group of us were already pretty good friends, but I feel like this trip made it easier for us to relax, and actually get to hang out with each other. I think we discovered different parts of each other’s personalities on this trip that opened each other’s eyes to how we all interact on a daily basis.