Saturday, August 18, 2012

The New York International Gift Fair begins tomorrow!

  Our Trek to the East Coast for the New York International Gift Fair

We began our trek to the East coast from Santa Barbara at 7:45 this morning, arriving at Long Islands JFK Airport around 7:20 PM this evening. Our bags were tagged “Priority” which meant they were among the first to come up at baggage claim. By the time we’d walked the approx. ½ mile trek from the arrival gate to baggage claim, our bags were actually circling on the carousel.

Our bags even beat those up of singer Nic Jonas, who sat in the seat front of me on the plane. We grabbed our bags and entered the usual melee in and around the Taxi Stand, which included gypsy taxi and limo drivers pandering for passengers on the “QT”, to the text-er walking right into the traffic not paying attention to the "Do Not Walk" sign flashing in front of her, tourists from Milwaukee (well maybe), and the myriad family members causing traffic jams as they cruised slowly by, or parked illegally waiting on their progeny. Oh New York! I love this place.

We settled into our yellow taxi and of we went. Traffic was heavy, but the air conditioner worked well and that was good enough for me.

As we crossed the bridge between Long Island and Manhattan we could see the New World Trade center lighted in all of its glory.It was so great to see this building rising from the ashes of 9/11. 

We had a near miss accident with another cabbie on Park Avenue, on my side of the car no less, but our driver was quick and averted disaster.

We soon rounded the corner and came out on the edge of Central Park at the Plaza Hotel (unfortunately now a Trump related property), where the horse and carriages stand nonchalantly,  bravely, all lined up knowing at any minute they could be called in to duty to “share the road” with New York’s finest (the cabbies).

As we approached the Essex House, our home for the next week, the hotels name emblazoned on its iconic red neon sign on the roof, we knew we were soon due for a wild “u-turn” in the middle of six lanes of traffic, as the hotel is on the opposite side of the street. No cops, then no problem and we made it to the other side safely.

We were a bit disheveled from a day of travel in contrast to the luxe lobby of the hotel. No matter, the desk clerks were charming and efficient. The hotel is very good looking, front to back. From the lobby to the corridor, to the elevator, to the corridors on our floor, and our room. However, we’re on a group rate arranged through the NYIGF, and we have a view of the alley instead of on the front of the building which faces Central Park. No problem, we‘ll just keep the sheer shades down.

We walked out to get dinner, then to the local grocer for room supplies like water, mixed nuts (not that I didn’t pass several of them on the street). we went to the Starbucks of Pharmacy's, Duane Read Pharmacy, where they had these neat hand baskets that converts to a rolling basket with a long handle that you can pull behind you when your basket gets too heavy!  As we walked down the street, I couldn't help but notice the proliferation of “street cameras” that has grown more extensive even since last summer, each with a NYPD sign attached, to dissuade crime, I hope!

I also saw a couple of very similar, and very strange stores that were bursting at the seams with the gaudiest crystal chandeliers, lots of bronze statues of kids cavorting about, Murano chotskis (sp) including a life size green glass monkey, overdone French style furniture with gold gilding, marble planters and obelisk trimmed in gold and bronze, malachite trimmed furniture, and a clock in the form a carriage being pulled by horses rendered in elaborate ceramics. For those of you who’ve followed my blog reports before during a trade show, you know that not only do I share the interesting and unique, but also feature a category known as “Worst of Show”. These stores qualify for that category, actually I think they define it and the show hasn’t even started yet!
This week, August 18 thru the 22nd, they estimate 35,000 buyers from around the world will make their way to New York City for the NYIGF. The event promoters web site states that there are more than 2,800 exhibitors featuring 400 product categories, representing over 100,000 lines. Whew! We've got a long week ahead of ourselves! 
The fair is set in three locations, the cavernous Jacob Javitz Center, and Pier’s 92 and 94, for a variety of gift, home d├ęcor, tabletop, housewares and handmade goods. We’ll see everything from the largest companies to the smallest mom-and-pops, brands we grew up with and designers just getting their starts.
So, please join me at the the New York market via my posts on facebook (!/CabanaHome) as well as on my blog, “DESIGN GUY” (

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