That’s me, drinking Prosecco “Z” like there is no tomorrow (there was!) with the spires of St. Patrick’s Cathedral behind me.
On May 9, 2013, I attended the first ETC (European Travel Commission) Transatlantic Conference in 3 years. It was convened in Manhattan to discuss travel trends in Europe into the 2020s. The conference was informative, with new and interesting people to meet, good food and a fabulous after party at the Rockefeller Center Loft & Garden. What an amazing place that is! Imagine being in a green oasis at the center of Manhattan. The early evening sunlight slanted through the scaffolding around the towering spires of St Patrick’s Cathedral and reflected off the skyscraper windows to cast a magical light on this rooftop Eden.
Actor Andrew McCarthy, whose latest book “The Longest Way Home” was named the New York Times Best Travel Book of 2012, regaled the ETC conference attendees with an account of the epiphany that inspired him to add travel writing to his repertoire.
It was the second time I heard Andrew McCarthy speak – he is truly inspirational – both as a writer and as a speaker. (He delivered the keynote speech at the Canadian Media Marketplace in the Waldorf a few weeks back.) I am surprised more of us weren’t in attendance. It seemed important to know what the European Marketing plan was in light of their budget slashes for PR and the cutbacks in press trips. It will help me to make better article pitches if I know what their marketing plan is – what they want to focus on. Besides, I got to spend time with some folks I haven’t seen in years (Meredith Pillon and Marzia Bortolin in particular) and meet new ones. I spoke with Andrew (he’s as nice as you think he will be) and met a content buyer representing many, many newspapers and TV stations, and the man who created the non-NY Times New York Travel Show last April. It was a very good opportunity to network, worth the 100 mile trip in from the Hudson Valley hinterlands.