Monday, October 13, 2008

Blogade in October

I may look like the kind of girl you want to buy a drink in a bar, but I'm also the kind of person who, once you have bought her the drink, admits that in the past year she held an awards show for yogurts and watched both movie versions of The Secret Garden with friends to decide which one was better.

It should come as no surprise then that when I was asked to attend a blogging event on behalf of a friend, I immediately agreed to forego a Sunday of relaxing in pajamas to network and stroll the lovely Brooklyn Botanical Gardens (BBG).

Standing in for Melissa of Hip Slope Mama,

I also went to The Blogade to represent this blog

and the Living Room blog.

This is the true story
Of eleven strangers
Picked to go to a green house
And find out what happens
When bloggers stop speaking in type
And start getting real
The Real World: BBG

First of all, I didn't know what to expect at a "blogging event". Do we bring our laptops? Do we shake hands or do we just pat eachother twice on the shoulder to represent double-clicking? Do we make small talk or wait until we get home and submit comments? My questions were soon answered. Actually, they were replaced with new ones as I met the host Xris: Who is this man in the Hawaiian shirt? Where are the other bloggers? Why am I eating "Chef's Chili" for breakfast?

After going through the itinerary (get food on your own from the cafe, meet at noon to hear BBG reps speak, shout-out the blog you represent, go for a private guided tour of the grounds), I went for a stroll to pass the time. A young couple with thick Eastern European accents stopped me, "Ex kyoos me? Do you work here?"
"Can you tell us where is lake?"
--Uh...I have a map here in my backpack...
"No, we already have map!" (They opened theirs. I pointed to the lake on the map)
--Here it is.
"Yes, but where is...(gesturing) out here?" (I pointed to building #23)
--You are standing here. This building is the same one marked 23 on the map. So walk this way (gesturing down a path) until you see the lake.

They both frowned and looked at me like I did not provide sufficient information and therefore should not have said I worked there.

A few minutes later I found a wedding. The guests were seated, and a red-headed emcee who resembled Prince Harry was keeping them amused. All of a sudden, he darted across the lawn, passed me, and frantically entered a glass building where the wedding party awaited. I never found out what the problem was, but I did see a nicely dressed woman who looked like the Mom from The Nanny wandering around, confused, several yards away.

I returned to the picnic tables to see more bloggers had congregated. Upon Xris's signal, we all followed the BBG reps into a private entrance of an office building. With a long hallway and high arched ceiling (and my mind wandering), it felt like I was walking down the aisle of a church. I made a note to myself not to wait too much longer to book a venue so I won't be stuck with an office building.

In a conference room we had tea and cookies and took turns sharing our blogs. There was one for real estate, one for gardening, one for baby boomers and neighborhood-specific blogs. One woman simply called hers "Bad Girl Blog" and without further explanation I have to assume it was freaky. One Orthodox Jewish gentleman stopped reading to announce he was there to monitor the Blogade and went right back on reading.

I didn't have time for the tour that followed, although it could have provided some closure to the day: did the Euros find their lake? Did Prince Harry find the grandma? Did anyone else sincerely regret eating chili? Overall, I learned a bit more about the landmarks in my neighborhood, I met some interesting people, and I got to watch this beautiful footage of flowers blooming that looks like it's right out of The Secret Garden. The good one.

2008 Cherry Blossom Time-lapse at Brooklyn Botanic Garden from Brooklyn Botanic Garden on Vimeo.


Xris (Flatbush Gardener) said...

Great meeting you, Abbi! Hope the experience wasn't too bewildering, and that some questions, at least, were answered.

The tour was nice, by the way. Our poor guide, who had me, three other BBG staffers, as well as another blogger who was a past tour guide, was a good sport.

Abbi said...

I truly wish I had time to check out the flowers afterwards. Behind the scenes tour! For FREE! I was glad to be a part of the group and do something different on a Sunday for once.

sooprgrll said...

How interesting. Where is lake?!?!

Mo Diggs said...

First of all, I didn't know what to expect at a "blogging event".

Well don't expect sex! Ah, me.

Abbi said...

Sooprgrll: Lake is here! I pointing! You go now.

Mo: LOL. Bloggers are like snowflakes: no two are alike.

...And they're also cold, fragile, and number the millions.