This will be my 4th year going and I can not wait to meet up with my bloggy friends - most of which I only get to see at BEA.
Being from NY, BEA is a time for me to visit family and friends, treat myself to a stay in the city (which growing up on LI is something you simply did not do!) and generally have a fantastic time!
Are you attending this year?
Have you gone before?
While I don't consider myself an expert on anything I do have some knowledge on how all this NYC and BEA 'stuff' works.
I apologize if this is the umpteenth post you've seen about BEA -- this is just my quick shot 'guide' :)
Have questions? Ask in the comments or shoot me an email!
Again - these are only MY opinions!
Must be comfortable! This is no joke people. You will be on your feet ALL DAY and what makes it particularly horrible is the fact that the floor of the Javits Center isn't exactly flat or smooth or really, a floor. It's made up of panels and movable pieces covered in carpet and runners and walkways and it's the most uncomfortable thing you will ever step on. YOUR FEET NEED TO FEEL GOOD BEFORE THEY LOOK GOOD.
You cannot carry a large bag or suitcase around with you on the exhibit floor but you can check one and fill it up as the day goes on. There is a bag check station on one of the lower levels of the JJC. For a few dollars, you can check an empty bag and come back to it throughout the day to fill it.
BEA has it's own bag 'check' service but it works a lot different. Not sure of the pricing but you can basically 'rent' a box and a space in a massive room for the week. Fill your box and ship it at the end. However, in years past, this room has been subject to theft. Your box sits there all week and everyone has access to it. The bag check area is run by Javits employees and you need your ticket in order to access or remove your bag. You do have to take your bag at the end of each day and pay again to check in the morning but it's worth it!
It's everywhere and it's nowhere. You can totally survive on the food the Javits has to offer. It's expensive and crowded but you won't starve. If you are on a special diet or are picky about what you eat, bring some snacks along with you. Nuts, power bars - things like that.
You need it. If water fountains don't gross you out - there are tons at Javits. Bring a refillable water bottle. I have one with one of those built in filters. You can buy drinks also - just expect to pay a lot!
*NYC HAD EVERYTHING....UNLESS YOU'RE ON 11th AVE
The Javits Center is on 11th avenue - the western most avenue of middle Manhattan. (Avenues run north and south, Streets run east and west). Behind the center is the Hudson River. In front of the center is...nothing...
If you want to get to anything (restaurants, stores, PEOPLE) you'll have to head over to 10th or better yet, 8th. If you really don't know where to go - ask someone or just head east :)
* TAXIS ARE YOUR FRIENDS - PRIVATE LIVERY DRIVERS ARE NOT!
What's the difference? NYC Taxis are yellow - or more yellow orange in my opinion. They are run by the city and have set and standard fees. They are clearly marked and there is no mistaking them once you've seen one.
Private Livery Services are privately run companies that will take you anywhere you want for a price. The cars are usually black and big (think full size sedans, SUVs and the like). The have special livery license plates and they are licensed to carry passengers for hire. STAY AWAY FROM THESE GUYS! They know you are from out of town and they will rip you off.
*I'LL JUST GRAB A TAXI
At 5 or 6 - when most things end at the Javits it will be very difficult getting a cab. You'll see them coming down 11th (from the left) BUT they will most likely already be carrying passengers. HOW CAN YOU TELL? Roof lights on? Cab is empty and can be flagged down. Roof light off? It's carrying - DO NOT try to flag this one down.
Uptown, into midtown more. Walk. You'll be tired and hot and you'll be carrying a lot but walking a little ways will save you a headache.
Don't forget about the shuttles to BEA approved hotels as well!
And - don't forget about the subway.
I *think* the closest stop is up a few streets on 10th but don't quote me on that!
There are a couple of good subway apps out there - I like HopStop. Being from NY I've never attempted to memorize the subway system as it's always just looked like a hot mess to me. HopStop is great because you can put in your starting and ending points and it will tell you what subway to get on and where to get off :) I use it every time I visit the city.
AND (ALMOST) LAST
*DON'T BE AN ASS
No pushing, shoving, biting, yelling, crying.
I can say so much about being greedy and taking too many books and the 'right' ways to act and the 'wrong' ways to behave and everything you shouldn't do which would disgrace the name 'blogger'.
But really it can be summed up very easily.
Don't be an ass.
Smile and relax.
You're going to be surrounded by thousands of strangers for hours and days at a time.
This is good advice for whenever you find yourself in a similar situation.
*PEOPLE WILL BE ASSES
If you're an asshole in everyday life you're going to be an asshole at BEA.
You will see pushing and shoving and people behaving like...well...people.
Don't let it get to you.
Don't rush into the fray.
Accept that you WILL see people behaving badly and make the choice to not respond to it.
Be your own person (and hopefully you aren't an ass normally) and DON'T expect everyone else around you act the same.
So - these are just the things on my mind at the moment!
There is so so much more I an say but I think I've babbled enough!
Again - PLEASE let me know if you are going and if you have any questions at all I will try to answer them!
1 week people!!!