I just got home from a 5 day trip to New York City with my Husband, Gregory Chomichuk. We were there to promote and sell his work as a writer/illustrator of graphic novels and all-ages books at the New York Comic Con. It was 4 really intense days with 150 000 fans dedicated to all things sci-fi, fantasy, and super-heros! Some were there to buy comics, art prints and toys, some were there to test out the newest video game designs and some were there to meet the celebrities who work on their favourite T.V. shows and movies like Milla Jovovich, Carrie Fisher, Ethan Hawke, Kate Beckinsale, Keanu Reeves, and the cast of The Walking Dead and Stranger Things, to name a few.
The juxtaposition of being immersed in the heart of nerd culture for 12 hours a day in one of the coolest and most admired cities in the world was a mad mind trip to say the least. There were people of all ages, demographics and walks of life all there to celebrate a common love that seems to speak to every type of person. One second I would be talking super-heros with a teenage cosplayer decked out in a costume that must have taken weeks to create, and the next, with a t.v. crew member who’s currently working on several Netflix shows, and then an Emmy nominated creative director/producer who’s worked on several HBO t.v. shows, produced concerts by Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones and worked with Disney. Each of them bought art and books from my Husband. Say whaaat?! Never have I been in a situation where perceived opposite sub-cultures interacted and blissed out together so seamlessly. It was inspiring and humbling to be a part of!
“In New York, you’ve got Donald Trump, Woody Allen, a crack addict and a regular Joe, and they’re all on the same subway car.” – Ethan Hawke
“I love nerds. Comic-Con junkies are the tastemakers of tomorrow. Isn’t that funny? The tables have turned.” – Kristen Bell
“What was previously perceived as nerdy is now viewed as original. What I like about nerdiness, geekiness, is it doesn’t really matter what you’re into – it just means you’re not a follower.” – Kristen Bell
New York City is a sexy beast, there’s no doubt about that! I have never been happier to be in a city that truly doesn’t sleep so that I got an opportunity to see some sights, eat some amazing food and flow with the pulse of the city into the wee hours every night after the convention. Some cities shut down after 11:00 p.m. on a weekday, so there’s no chance to see anything other than the inside of your hotel room. New York is definitely not that kind of city. We ate dinner at 9 p.m., strolled through Times Square shoulder to shoulder with hoards of people at midnight, hung out on the rooftop of the Empire State Building at 12:30 and then had a dance party…I mean shopped, at H&M at 1:00 in the morning. Followed by a quick stop at a busy grocery store for healthy snacks for the next days convention, and back to the comfort of our hotel The Staybridge Suites to finally put up our aching feet and crash from blissed-out exhaustion.
My entire New York experience can be summed up in one word. Diversity. I saw and met every kind of person in a chaotic fast-passed haze. I talked fan-art politics, super heroes and fashion in the same conversation. I had dinner one night with a filmmaker, and a 5th generation New Yorker who introduced us to the best pizza in the world, and then was invited to a loft apartment to smoke weed (which I didn’t) with a Harry Potter star (who shall remain unnamed). We walked passed beautiful people in designer clothes, homeless drug addicts, regular folks who were more than willing to recommend great places to eat, and every once in a while, a storm trooper.
All in all, it was an experience steeped in humanity. It was all about people. Lots and lots of people, all living life and being their unapologetic selves in a city where anything goes, and you are free to be yourself. We are all in this together after all.
NEW YORK CITY
THE NEW YORK COMIC CON
THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING
PHOTOGRAPHY and VIDEO BY: Gregory Chomichuk and yours truly. All on my iPhone 6, raw and un-edited.
THRIFTED: Hats, jackets, palazzo pants and yellow skirt.