24 Hours in New York

Melissa Weiner Abby Tegnelia NYCThere are insomniacs — and those who will never know what it’s like to not sleep like a baby. There are the naturally thin vs those who can’t fathom not fighting weight issues throughout their entire lives. And then there are those of us who will jump on a plane at the drop of a hat …. and those who think we’re nuts. I recently flew from Vegas to New York City for less than 24 hours and would do it again the second it was offered. I love airports, long flights (uninterrupted hours of reading!), landing in a different world for a little rejuvenation and spark. I’ve been called an escapist, and perhaps I am. But at least it leads to magic in my life! Even if it’s just for a short while at a time.

Continue Reading »»

Daydream of the Week: Columbia University, NYC

Columbia University J SchoolI just got home to Las Vegas after yet another amazing weekend in New York City. This time? My reason for going was to talk on a panel at the Social Media Weekend conference at Columbia University Journalism School, where I graduated in 2000. Thanks to my friend Liz Borod Wright of Travelogged, I got to sit on a panel called “Social Media for Bloggers.” I was a bit out of my league with Mike Street and Heidi Cohen, but I have so much to say, and I hope I could at least encourage some newbies that you can have a blog no matter if you have a full-time job or anything else. For me, how cool was it to return to the very place that jump-started my entire career, a place I had not returned to since graduation 13 years ago. I was unprepared for how excited I was to run around and take photos of the campus (including an errant clump of dirty snow!) that I loved so much. There, I met the person who pushed my foot in the door at New York magazine, my very first job. After six months of freelance work there, I couldn’t believe my very first full-time job was at that revered magazine. I also met so many strong women who helped me gain confidence in my career choice. “We’re so not worried about you,” they used to say. I never forgot that. Perhaps they should have worried about me: I am the only one who never married, who lost everything at least once, who bounced around from job to job…

To my RW1 professor, Sig Gissler, and my friends I met during that glorious year at J-School, my eternal thanks.

After all, I did need you. It’s a jungle out there.

Coming Soon to Vegas: Zarkana

Seth Olenick Abby Tegnelia Karen Rose

Posing with two of my NYC coworkers: Seth and Karen.

I recently got to spend a week in New York City, during which I re-fell in love with that insane town I used to call home. Even though I got to spend time with old friends and a few days with my NYC co-workers, my trip did have an actual reason: to see Cirque du Soleil’s Zarkana, which was finishing up a long run at Radio City Music Hall. The reason? The show is gearing up for its permanent home in Las Vegas. I was so excited to see it! The best part: I got to bring two of my full-time Vegas magazine editors, who happen to live in NYC: my photo editor, Seth, and my managing editor, Karen. I couldn’t get through my day without either one of them!

Continue Reading »»

My on-again, off-again love affair with NYC

New York CityI lived in New York City for five years — as long as I’ve lived anywhere my entire life. And yet, I’ve barely visited recently. The reasons are two-fold: my practical aversion is that after years in Austin, Vegas, LA and Costa Rica, I don’t have any winter clothes, which limits when I can visit the place I called home. The second reason? My most recent trip there a year ago had been a disaster. My best friends spoil me, visiting Vegas often (and indulging me fun trips to places like Hoover Dam), when not getting married in Maui or throwing a bachelorette party in South Beach. So, I avoided visiting Manhattan. Until a recent trip to New York changed everything…

Continue Reading »»

New York State of Mind

Barneys New YorkMy web site is split between the “good life” and the “fast life” because my reality, for whatever reason, has proven that I am equal parts beach bum and editrix. In fact, to who-ever doubts astrology, I offer my sign, Pisces, and its two fish swimming in opposite directions. Extreme opposites? Yes, it’s true. I recently spent a week in NYC, where I explored my “fast” self again. I powered through day after day, hitting the office and then staying out way too late every night. I lived in Manhattan for five years — there were way too many friends to see! One friend I did spend an afternoon with? Kirsten Alana, of Aviators and a Camera. She steered me toward the mythical Barneys New York warehouse sale, where I bought two dresses without trying them on, in classic shopping New York style. But that is not the point. Do you ever feel torn between two worlds? If so, it is ok! I’ve loved my split life between the beaches, such as San Diego and Costa Rica, and the city, including Las Vegas, my current home. I promise you, I’ve never been accused of being “stuck in a rut!”

Remembering September 11th

September 11, New York


September 11th changed the course of my entire life.

At first, it was too much to take in, although writing helped. Then, it seemed better to not think about it.

For years.

I don’t want to organize my thoughts, really. I just turned on the TV and saw it. I see the towers on fire, and it is a wound, an open wound. I feel like someone is about to come at me with a knife; it is scarier than anything I could think of happening to me. I will not turn on the TV again today, although I have the newspaper to read and will be thinking of it all day.

A reporter at the local paper here in Las Vegas recently asked me exactly how I learned about it, as if someone delivered the news of September 11th in an instant. It wasn’t that simple. Watching TV as I got ready for work, I started off thinking that someone’s plane had somehow, a freak accident, hit a building.

Then, slower than I can comprehend now, everything dove into darkness.

My morning, September 11th 2001:

Continue Reading »»