Today was one hell of a day!
It all started when I we left at 1am…I was balls tired and wanted to sleep so badly. But I must make it to NYC to get the photo of the new Impreza! So that was my mission and well it went down a different road, but I’ll get to that. Once on the road I started to see so many photo ops. Many of them you will see in the coming days. Just stay tuned for those! At one point during the ride I decide to sign a long with the music…and well my co-driver took out the video camera and well maybe you guy will see that tape.
We arrived at our hotel at 0430, and checked right in. Went nice and smooth! Maybe now I can lie down and relax…nope had to get ready to head back out to the show. Sleep is for the weak!
Once on the road I thought everything would go nice and smooth…nope I got lost in NYC but that didn’t last long. I found my parking area and got out and start my walk to the convention center. It was a nice walk, watching the sun rise in the city. We arrived at the center around 0600 and got checked in. I then spotted a fellow Subaru owner from the Tri-State region, pete_falcone. We talked for a while and I learned a lot more about NYC. Then came time for the opening breakfast! Yes free food!!!! Music to my ears!
Our friend had to go in before us and set up his camera, so my assistant and I grabbed a table by ourselves…This next part started a full sequence of events! Well guess who walks over and ask if he can sit with us…No other than Tom Purves, Chairman and CEO of BWM (US) Holding Corp., Thomas J. Plucinsky, Product and Technology Communications Manager (BMW of North America, LLC) plus there little group. OMFG I’m sitting here chit chatting with the fugging owner of BMW USA!!! Tom, Thomas and I get to talking about the new M3 and about what it will have…pretty much it’s the CSL 412hp, v8, Carbon Fiber Roof, current CSL wheels. Then I asked him why they didn’t bring the GTR or the true CSL over here. He answered me that it would cost way more than anyone would really want to pay for the car to get over here. After that I brought up the 2008 Sti, and they both just laughed. Nether liked the looks. Everyone is really cool and down to earth, great folks to hang out with and talk to. Well I excused myself to grab some food before the conference started. Well I get back and you won’t believe who is now sitting on the other side of me…Csaba Csere!!! Editor-in-Chief of Car and Driver!!!!! Wow can this day get any better? Hell no…or so I thought! Csaba and I talk more about the new Impreza…I can’t believe I’m talking cars and stuff with him. We talked about a lot more than cars. Like I’ve said these folks are great!
Well the conference/opening segment starts and there are awards being handed out. All were about car commercials and the companies behind them. The four of us discuses who we think should win, and well only once were we right. The other times we couldn’t believe that said commercial won. But of course Tom and Thomas are bias to German cars so when VW didn’t win the first few times it was nominated you could see the look of disbelief on their faces. But when they did win for the commercial with the two guys getting hit by the car when they are talking about having a hard one for four hours. A lot of the commercials they showed none of the three have ever seen. It was odd saying that ya I’ve seen this one before.
Ok…Alan Mulally the CEO of Ford just needs to quit now. First he talked about how he will be ‘restructuring’ the company. Also Known As massive lay off’s, he is saying that it will be about 1/3rd of the company that will be ‘restructured’. But that didn’t bother me to much this part started a fire that would start an inferno. He stated that he wanted to focus on smaller cars, and work only towards hybrid cars, and other items that will help the environment. Well to my shock and amazement…What do I see at the show as a large part of the Ford both??? A large silver land yacht, that looks like it could deplete all of Iraq’s oil reserves with one tank. Ya…real environment friendly there bud..But this…this segment is what just made me go…’why the hell are you the CEO of Ford???’ he had a Q&a segment and well when you do something like this it Helps to know SOMETHING about the company that you are in charge of. When asked about the ‘K car’ Alan said ‘I’m not familiar with that car’…What the hell do you mean you’re not familiar with the car…Your company makes it dummy! But he did try to redeem himself and say well let me ask my crew that is with me…ya they didn’t know either! They first started to say something, but No they were off also. Wow, I suggest you sell your ford stock ASAP. Just about over now, but not fully. A few more words and some yadda yadda. Tom, Thomas, and Casaba told me to contact them so they could look into getting me a job with in one of their companies. Life is great right?
After Alan Mulally was done ‘trying’ to answer questions. It was finally time to enter the show room floor! O did I mention free booze? But I didn’t take part in any of it, TS doesn’t support underage drinking. While walking around on the first floor I think, hey why don’t we go down stairs and get the Subaru booth done and the whole floor while everyone else is upstairs at the press conferences. So I go down and see…the damn Tribe instead of the Impreza. When I asked them why the Impreza wasn’t out they say they pushed it back. Why!!! I have folks waiting on my photos!!! Subaru push back FTL! So you guys have to wait till tomorrow.
So I head out for lunch for a bit and grab some pizza at the Port Auth building with pete_falcone from nasioc. Then come back at check out the Lime Rock Park race car exhibit. While taking photos I meet Renea T. and we talk about the cars. She knows her stuff, which I would hope so since she does work at the track. She invited me up to watch a few events to see what its like. I asked her about a track photographer and she told me they were looking for another one, ding I’m in! I’m quickly learning that networking is VERY important!
After walking around for a while and talking with random folks I say “hey lets head back to the hotel…”Boy am I glad I said that at that time. The show would come to a complete stop for a protest taking place in the rafters of the convention center. The Eco-group FreedomFromOil.com was climbing up the rafters and in the middle of hosting a banner from them. Well the NYPD didn’t think their monkey business was funny at all. But this part shocked and amazed me…it too them about 30 minutes before someone came in to get the folks down and arrest them. For we would have known they could have had a bomb and my black ass would have been on the news....’Blast kills a hundreds of media folks, along with the single black media person at NYIAS’. You would have thought with all the BS in the world today they would have been all over then like Boston was for some damn Light Bright board(Boston you will never live that down)…well the Emergency response police show up and take over a cheery picker and pluck the guys down from the rafters. I must admit, the Eco folks couldn’t have picked a better time and place to pull this stunt. You have media from all around the world at your feet (literally).
While watching this ‘drama’ unfolds another random man walked up to me and started asking me about what was going on. I told him and then we talked even more. Well guess who he was…David Forgione, VP of Advertising at The Wall Street Journal. We talked about Chrysler being for sell, and then or good friend Alal Mulally. He asks what I was doing there, told him I was freelancing and he told me to give him a call since they are looking for someone. Wow what a great end to a crazy day!
Day two starts tomorrow at 9am.