Tuesday, November 23, 2010

NYC: Day 2 (pt. 1)

Friday, November 5th

After a good night's rest, I was up at 4:00am on Friday morning to get ready to walk down to the the Today Show. This was probably one of the top things I was looking forward to doing on the trip - I love the Today Show and watch it every morning. I couldn't wait to be there in person and hopefully touch Al Roker.

I met Mrs. Suzy in the lobby at 5:15am (major props to Mrs. Suzy for agreeing to go with me at the crack of dawn!!) and we headed to Rockefeller Plaza. I had done some research online and found that it was best to arrive by 5:30am if you wanted to get a prime spot for the taping. We arrived right at 5:30am, and there was only a handful of people there - yes!! There was a group of women promoting a new show for BET, and a group of women who were on a girl's trip, so we got behind them in line. The way it works is that the actual plaza is barricaded until about 6:45am. Then, the police open it up and you enter the plaza in the order of the line. With only 10 people ahead of us, we were primed to get a great spot!

There was a coffee truck parked right next to us giving away free coffee, hot chocolate and bagels. We spoke to the guy who runs the truck - turns out he was featured on The Marriage Ref last year. After waiting in line for a while, I realized that I needed to find a bathroom before we moved into the plaza. I asked the guy in the truck if there was a public restroom anywhere nearby, and he told me to go into the parking garage across the street and find an open space! I'm sure my eyes just about bulged out of my head when he told me that, because he started laughing and said "or you could go down to that little diner down there." I opted for the diner.

Pretty soon Lenny arrived, and then the police began allowing us to move into the plaza area. A large section of the plaza was blocked off, as the Rockettes were scheduled to perform that morning. We tried to get as close to Lenny as we could. We ended up being right on the fence, at the corner near Rockefeller Center. We were told this was a good location, as when Matt, Meredith, Al, Anne and Natalie come out, they normally head straight for this corner. This wasn't the case for our morning, but oh well!

They have large monitors and speakers outside so that you can hear what they are saying as you watch them filming inside. We watched Matt do the pre-Today show teasers for local news stations to play and watched as Meredith had her make-up touched up. It was all very fascinating.

Around 7:15 or so, the Rockettes came walking down the street - they were making their way from Radio City Music Hall to the NBC Studios. It was very surreal to see this group of 30 or so Rockettes just walking down the street in their trademark Santa outfits!

At about 7:30, Matt, Meredith and Al came outside! The crowd went wild and everyone was clamoring for them to come and see them. Matt walked right up to us and we got to shake his hand. I saw him coming closer and closer to us and I ended up with my camera right in his face. So, of course, I took a picture. I told him I was sorry and that I had no idea he was coming so close! A few people asked if he was running the marathon and he said "no, I'm a cyclist." He was also much smaller in person, and very stylish. I was happy to meet Matt, but my goal was to meet Al - I even had a sign for him.

The Today Show was a lot of fun, but it did involve long portions of standing around and waiting. They would normally come out of the studio every 30 minutes or so which wasn't bad at all, but it was a cold and rainy morning so they didn't spend too much extra time outside. Can't say that I blame them! I was wearing jeans, running shoes, a short sleeved shirt, a long sleeved shirt, a light jacket, and my Brooks running jacket and I was STILL cold! I lost feeling in my feet about half way through, but it was all worth it to experience the live taping of the Today Show. The main guest that morning was Christine O'Donnell, and I didn't really care to see her. I was very excited though when they interviewed Mary Wittenberg (President of the New York Road Runners) and the Chilean miner who was going to be running the marathon. Mary is a big inspiration to me, so it was really neat to see her in person. They also interviewed three Olympians outside, but I didn't catch who they were. While they never filmed a segment directly in front of us, at some point during the broadcast me and Mrs. Suzy made it on screen! It was one of the times where they were panning across the crowd. Chad texted me to let me know he had just seen us, so it was then I knew that we had made it on the big screen. It was exhilarating. Later that day, my boss sent me a text of a screen shot of me and Mrs. Suzy that they had taken off their DVR! Al did come by and shake our hands, but it was very brief and I didn't get to wish him good luck in the marathon. He is much smaller in person, too!

After four hours in, we gave up the fight and headed back towards our hotel in search of breakfast and a bathroom. I was really hoping to go to Dean and Deluca, but the Rockefeller store closed in August! I was not able to channel my inner Felicity.

By now Chad and Mr. David were up and ready to hit the city, so we headed back to the hotel to freshen up and get breakfast in the lobby. After breakfast, we headed to the Museum of Natural Science. More on that in Day 2 (pt. 2)!

Pictures from Friday morning:
Waiting to enter this area!

Rooting for Al.
The window over my right shoulder is where Matt and Meredith sit!
(Note to self: do something about those puffy eyes!)

The crew was always right in front of us -
filming to our right and to our left!

The Rockettes!

The screen shot from my boss' DVR!

Matt, Meredith and Al
(that's Lenny in the black plaid coat.
The BET girls were between me and him)

Matt Lauer, up close and personal!


Mary Wittenberg

Rockefeller Center

We passed St. Patrick's Cathedral on our way back to the hotel.
It was odd to see such a beautiful cathedral amongst skyscrapers!

Inside St. Patrick's

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