Budget Travel's 100th Issue Celebration, Top of The Week, New York
March 10, 2010
Last night I headed to "Top of the Week," a name I'd never heard of and thought I'd read wrong. It's not the penthouse, which is a logical assumption when "top of the..." is part of the name. No, it was the 3rd floor of the building that houses Newsweek, Slate, and The Washington Post. It was also the location of the celebration of Budget Travel's 100th issue and ground zero for the stinky cheese plate.
When I stepped off the elevator and looked down the hall I could see that the party was already in full swing. I walked toward the bar and the odor of stinky cheese assaulted my face. Man, that plate could have used a glass subterfuge. I skittered away from that display so quickly guests may have seen a Lorentz Fitzgerald Contraction, at least those at rest anyway. The stinky cheese propelled me to my first set of victims, Pete DeFilippise and Mike Eversteon. Turns out, Pete is a "long time, happy subscriber... I subscribe to three travel magazines and this is the one I read religiously," he gushed. He continued, pointing out that when other subscriptions end he doesn't renew, but he always renews Budget Travel.
Walking away, I was still surprised by the fact that the magazine invited subscribers to the party as I moved onto my next set of guests. I mean, how cool is that? Does Playboy invite subscribers to the mansion?
What is a Wandering Aramean? Is this a man paled by his vasoconstriction affliction? Why no, it's an IT nerd who used to ask for vacation days over raises and then realized he needed to be his own boss and make traveling his home and NYC just a touch point. The man in question is Seth Miller, a real-life George Clooney, according to his shy I-have-no-name psychopharmacologist friend. Seth was featured in Conde Nast Traveler as a real-life million-miler and was, in fact, in Vermont just yesterday. He writes over at wanderingaramean.com and is all over a bunch of different travel forums, helping travelers to maximize their experiences.
Over by the garlic-heavy hummus blob I met Marge "I work as little as possible so I can travel as much as possible" Kobrina, who travels four to six weeks out of the year and her pal, whom she met while taking French classes, Beverly "I take snow walks" Reith. Both were quaffing red wine and making me incredibly jealous with their favorite vacations in Taos, New Mexico, France, Belgium, and Switzerland. Beverly gushed about hard-packed snow on crispy mount walks and I almost committed self-vivisection in envy.
Just before Nancy Telliho, President of Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel (the mag's full name) launched into the party presentation, I met Source Media's Gabrielle Kachman and Nina Barba, both in advertising sales. We were all wearing the same color, in case you were curious.
Nancy ignored the crappy microphone and gave guests the scoop on Budget Travel, born from travel guru Arthur Frommer's belief that "travel is a birthright" and that anyone who picks up Budget Travel can travel. Sold! The only thing I save for besides camera equipment is travel (not impending health doom or anything responsible like that), yet I feel like sure, I can GET somewhere, but once there I can't afford to DO anything. I haven't flipped through the mag yet, but I'll let you know if, as Editor in Chief Nina Wildorf declared, I can indeed build my dream vacation affordably.
According to Nina, the 100th issue was built with the help of subscribers themselves and focused on making dream vacations a reality, including helpful gems like how to take great vacation photos. To the average camera-wielder, tips like "get on their level" when shooting (with a camera, Heston!) wildlife may not be moot. I would not recommend getting on the level, say, of a raccoon or a homomorphic baby Silverback gorilla (one of the top animals Budget Travel readers want to spend time with!). While Nancy offered more photo tips, a gorgeous sunset shot from Bali was displayed behind her. At this point, I would be committing rhetorical meiosis if I said the shot was just OK.
It sounds like Budget Travel is not only well-loved by its subscribers, but is also comfortably engaging this thrifty bunch online, collecting vacation stories and photos from readers. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go plan my dream vacation to Cincinnati.
Also, what would you call a frugal jet-setter? A caravan croucher? A mass transit mover? Hmm...
Send event/party invitations to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Today's vocab words are scientific, in case you didn't know:
@JasonChupickvivisection: the practice of subjecting living animals to cutting operations, esp. in order to advance physiological and pathological knowledge AND subterfuge: an artifice or expedient used to evade a rule, escape a consequence, hide something, etc.
@woodlandalyssaMeiosis Rhetoric: a.belittlement. b, expressive understatement.
@mediadarwinLorentz Fitzgerald Contraction: The shortening of an object along its direction of motion as its speed approaches the speed of light, as measured by an observer at rest with respect to the body.
@KRamnessvasoconstriction: constriction of the blood vessels, as by the action of a nerve.
@fjaniahomomorphism: Zoology. resemblance between the young and the adult