Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Home Again Home Again Lickidy Split

Good night America.

The National Stationery Show is over and let me tell you, those are the longest hours I ever spent in my life - standing in that booth.

Two things I learned. I really dislike New York. And I really dislike standing still.

But we did it and thank goodness we are home and done with that racket. Thank you Ashley and Matt. You are my heros. I NEVER could have stood it without you.

About New York.

I've visited the touristy parts of New York before and had a higher opinion of the place. But this time we were in Midtown and we weren't being treated like tourists (except that everyone did constantly want our money). It's dirty, expensive, smelly, garbage-infested, crowded, noisy, cold, wet, clogged with traffic, clogged with people, and clogged with rats... yes, rats. Our old and rickety three-hundred-dollar-a-night hotel wouldn't go for 39 bucks around here - and you'd have to have a refrigerator and microwave to even get that price! I am really shocked and appalled at what our brave New Yorkers consider to be of some sort of quality. The entire joint is sorely lacking.

Okay. About the rats. We only saw about 5 or 6. But that's more rats than I needed to see.

Here's what's positive about New York: Manhattan still has a lot of little independent shops, especially delis and restaurants. There are few box stores and so the independent retailers are thriving. It's terrific. There is a small town feel there - even among all those buildings and people and rats - that I fear is lost forever in most of rural America (thanks to Wal-Mart, I suppose).

Since I've been home all I've done is work on show follow-up. I'm still not nearly through it. More info on that later, too.

I think most of the wholesalers thought the show was a BIG FLOP and I agree. After doing market in Dallas, Atlanta and Chicago, I gotta tell you that this show, by comparison, was a flop. The NSS website is still claiming 1000 vendors when they actually only had 699 (I counted them because I have OCD). Also, the majority of the people wearing "retailer" badges seemed to be artists plying their wares (we didn't want any.. we got our own). I believe that Trade Shows are in decline just like everything else. At least this one is. Word is that even the NY Gift Mart is suffering the same fate as the NSS and is becoming an increasingly regional show with easterners preferring Atlanta. I certainly prefer Atlanta if I gotta go east.

Anyway, I'll tell about it more later and post some pictures.

Love and kisses to all, especially Martha and Little Ashley. Thank you for the prayers. God bless.

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