Empire state of mind

New YorkConcrete jungle where dreams are made… right? Well, sort of.

This past week (March 13-17) marked the Mizzou Magazine Club‘s annual (fabulous) trip to the one and only New York City!

Every year the officers send out a sign-up for the trip; job-seeking juniors and seniors get dibs. Then they get to work scheduling visits at various big-name magazine offices throughout the glorious city. They pull strings, use connections (we don’t call ourselves the Mizzou Mafia for nothing) and usually manage to get us in some pretty awesome places.

This year included names like EsquireGlamourCosmopolitan and Entertainment Weekly… no sweat. Two visits were scheduled for every hour, and students were asked to “preference” which magazine we’d prefer to visit during that hour. There were some difficult choices, but here’s how my schedule turned out:

Wednesday, March 13

Thursday, March 14

Friday, March 15

All was going swimmingly. Hilary, Beth, Caroline and I drove to Hilary’s grandmother’s house in St. Louis the night before the trip. We were up and dressed for the flight that morning, made it through security and onto the plane, to New York (gasp) and, finally, to the Holiday Inn Midtown, our home away from home on 57th.

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The view out of our window on the 6th floor of the Holiday Inn Midtown.

We congregated in the lobby for our first visit. Mine? Real Simple. We made it to Time, Inc. in a gaggle, right on time.

Talk about intimidating – the silver, steely lobby alone made me quake in my worn-out brocade flats, transformed from sensible to overly casual by the omnipresent clicking of heels. The security check-in and elevator ride gave us all time to get nervous.

Luckily we were greeted at Real Simple by a delightful human: Tova Diamond, a Mizzou grad who now works at RS as an art assistant. She showed us around the offices (a spacious floor of grey cubicles) and led us to a conference room, where others of her ilk were waiting to speak.

Then things went wrong. I could feel my body giving out… the plane ride, lack of sleep and giddiness were ganging up on me. Halfway through the conference-room chat I knew I was going to be sick on their Real Simple carpet. I asked Tova, as quietly as possible, if there was a bathroom nearby…

Luckily there was. I lost my lunch in the Real Simple restroom (glamorous, right?) and found Tova waiting for me at the door, saltines and water in hand, bless her. I thanked her profusely and we scooted out of there, onto Entertainment Weekly and other urban delights.

The week, however, had taken a turn for the worse. I felt progressively more disgusting all day, and ended up in bed for practically the entire trip with a high fever, aches, nausea and a meager granola bar food supply. I made it to those first visits and the last two on Friday, and spent the remainder of the time in my bed or hugging the lovely Holiday Inn toilet.

I love the city, but being sick in New York is lousy. The most I can say for the trip is that other people seemed to be having a good time.

My glimpse into the real-life world of New York city magazines, though, was valuable. I’d never experienced a working magazine office before then, and now have a much better idea of what all the hype is about.

And I’ll definitely be sending a thank-you note to Tova, especially since I think I finished off her stash of Real Simple saltines.

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Me, Caroline (center) and Hilary, happy to be in the city on day one, March 13, 2013.
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Empire state of mind

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