I was very fortunate to be a part of a delightful meet-up yesterday afternoon at McGarry's on Ninth Avenue. Tina (aka Froggy) and Richard (aka Cranky Cuss) were the other two OSers in attendance for this three hour-plus get together. The weather outside was a touch chilly and there had been rain showers earlier in the day. Halfway through our lunch a party entered the restaurant and the blast of cold air was a reminder of how cozy our gathering was inside the warm pub.
Tina and Richard were already present when I showed up around ten minutes before 2:00. Yesterday was the last full day in the city for Tina and her family before they leave for their home in Oregon today. As some of you may know, Richard and I live in the metro area and have been to a host of other OS get togethers over the past few years.
I mentioned to Tina and Richard that this get together could also double as the 4th Annual OS NYC Anniversary since we are so close to the date of April 16th which marks the date OS started up in beta form in 2008 and opened its doors to the beta group of bloggers.
We both purchased Richard's humorous book Send in The Clown Car to which he added a great inscription and autograph to each copy as we looked on. The book is filled with so much wit and humor about the presidential race that I had to wonder where he found the time to think of the stories and to write the manuscript, and yet still be active on OS along with his regular day to day commitments!
Our range of topics naturally included the ins and outs of publishing a book since Richard has now been through the process himself and Tina is likewise involved in professional publishing in her job at work, as well. Lots of discussions about our families, stories about the metro area and Portland and other cities and locations around Tina's area.
No meet-up is complete without a discussion of Open Salon, how we each found the site, what OSers we happen to live nearest to, our first EPs, and related subjects. I tolf Tina and Richard I had walked by the Salon offices on West 36th Street and taken some photos prior to arriving at McGarry's. (As far as I know, it was in the second half of 2011 when Salon's office moved from West 37th Street to its present location.)
We talked about the 1980 eruption of Mt. Saint Helens and 9/11 as two dramatic events on opposite coasts that have the same feeling of "Where were you when it happened?"
To sum up, yesterday's meet-up was a perfect example of the many get togethers that have occured with the OS community in its nearly four years since starting in April, 2008 and the source of new and wonderful memories for all of us in the years to come!
Here's our group shot courtesy of our waitress taking the photo (l to r: Tina, Richard, and moi):
A photo of McGarry's I took just upon arriving...
Conveniently located across the street from B&H Photo (which has been one of my photographic-related suppliers since 1985)...
Prior to arriving at the meet-up I walked around the area and took the following photos.
Farther west and located on West 33rd Street is The Clinton School For Writers and Artists. Part of the NYC school system and located in a beautiful building:
A little farther down the street is the Associated Press in a building that a client of mine used to have offices in until they moved to another location:
Getting closer to the Hudson River and some wide open spaces, also on West 33rd:
From the same spot and looking to the southwest is visible the huge and historic Starrett-Lehigh Building shown in more detail in the close up. Home to Martha Stewart Omnimedia and Tommy Hilfiger offices among the two well known tenants. The High Line park is also in that southerly direction of Manhattan.
Just a block away and to the southeast of our meet-up is the beautiful and classical James Farley Post Office which is similar in scale and the look of the facade as the old Penn Station that was unfortunately razed in the '60s to make way for Madison Square Garden, which is a reminder of what can spring up on the site of what was a beautiful train station.
A few blocks north to West 36th Street and the home of Salon Media Group in the city:
260 West 36th Street is the location of the inner sanctum of Open Salon and Big Salon, as well:
I believe Salon is on the top floor of the building as shown below. If I am correct about the floor location I will add that this particular floor includes many elegant touches including sunlit atrium, gourmet dining room, billiard room, and a beautiful spiral staircase leading to the olympic-sized swimming pool on the roof exclusively for the use of the Salon staff:
Not too far from the Salon offices I saw lots of kids in red hooded jackets and took a few photos of them as they headed south and ended up at the Macy's Flower Show: