A couple of weeks before we left for our holiday, I overheard someone at work talking about Martha Stewart and attending a taping of her show.
Brilliant idea, I thought. I'm just a bit of a fan. Just a bit. (Who am I kidding?)
So I signed up on Martha's website, and just before we left I got an email confirming that I was to attend a taping on Monday 24 October! And there were rules about what to wear - bright, solid coloured clothes, no washed out colours, black, white or grey. No t-shirts. Oops. Hadn't planned on packing anything like that! (Luckily for me there was a Lane Bryant store not far from our apartment in Harlem so I could shop for a shirt. And maybe a few other things slipped into my shopping bag. What of it?)
Monday came and we headed to the studio in Chelsea. I joined the queue of brightly coloured women and men, and then I sent the Mister on his way to have his own non-Martha adventure.
When the queue finally moves, you end up inside a holding area.
We stayed here for about an hour, signing waivers and meeting Joey Kola, who warmed the audience up and told us who was going to be on the show today. And then it was time to climb the stairs to the studio.
I got lucky with where I was seated. Second row from the front. So close to Martha. See my lovely new teal shirt from Lane Bryant? And red beaded necklace from Re/Dress NYC? (I felt quite special until I saw another girl in exactly the same shirt as me. Luckily we weren't sitting close!)
While we waited for the show to start taping, we watched all the action in the studio.
Joey warmed us up a bit more. He was a lot of fun. This is the least blurry photo I could take of him - he didn't stop moving.
And then we had to put away our cameras as Martha was joining us for the taping. The show had a breakfast entertaining theme, and Martha cooked eggs with a local breakfast celebrity Willy Geist, and cookies with the head pastry chef of Momofuku Milkbar, Christina Tosi. The audience were all given a cookie and Christina's new book "Milk". Joey also gave me some beautiful Martha Stewart paints, but they were too heavy to take home so I gave them to our landlady's little daughter, Yasmeen (our landlady emailed us after we left to say than Yasmeen had been making Halloween decorations with the paints).
After the taping, Martha took questions from the audience, and we were allowed to bring the cameras out again. I think Martha is amazing - I doubt she would suffer fools gladly, and she seemed quite down-to-earth for someone who is so wealthy and high on the social scale. The floor manager said only two questions would be answered as they had a time constraint, but Martha kept pointing out people with their hands up, and kept answering their questions.
I never saw the show on TV - it was screened on the Thursday after the taping, but in the middle of the day and we decided to walk around the upper east side instead. But you can see the show (if you can abide the terrible ham ads before each segment) over here.
It was a great day - probably one of the highlights of the holiday. I laughed a lot, and even made a new friend while waiting in the holding area. I would go in a flash if I visited New York again.