Monday, September 01, 2008

Tale of Two Cities

Hitting the road has its pros and cons. This trip's pros are I won't have to shoot any city council meetings, I'll get to cover an historic event, I'll eat on an expense account and I'll get to meet new people in a place I've never visited. This trip's cons are I have to leave home for a week meaning I'll leave Jennifer and Carmen home alone, covering a rather boring convention and leaving Jennifer for a week.Flynn and I arrived in Minneapolis late Sunday morning, went straight to the convention center to pick up our credentials for the Republican National Convention. This isn't my first, I covered the 2004 convention in New York, but I was mainly driving a satellite truck around Manhattan and uplinking for a week. This time we're turning stories about the North Carolina delegation. Above is our workspace our friends as sister station NY1 have provided at St. Paul's XCel Energy Center. It's a bit tight but there's always snacks, beverages, a fast internet connection and coffee.
We have this little corner to ourselves. Well, ourselves and about eight other people. We aren't doing any live shots this convention, but we're feeding back a shit ton of content via that laptop I'm using. It's called a Streambox and it's badass. I load stories into this computer, upload it to a server in Raleigh, press a button and Whamo! It's ready for air across the state. It's also 14 tons lighter than your average satellite truck. After getting our credentials we hurried to the convention, and barely made a press conference announcing big changes for the convention due to Hurricane Gustav. We turned a story or three and finally made our way to our hotel.
Here's the view from our hotel room. We're pretty sure it's the bridge on I-35 that collapsed a little more than a year ago. The interstate is still closed and they are still working on it. It appears to be an enormous project.
After we checked in to the hotel we hopped into a cab and headed to uptown Minneapolis to meet 25 of our colleagues from the other Time Warner News Channels. We ate dinner at a spectacular restaurant called Chino Latino. I'm not sure how to describe it, but we started with cold beer. Then waiters started bringing plates of food about every four minutes. It began with some fancy fried shrimp, then moved on to lettuce wraps, scallops, wings, ribs, kabobs, sushi and...........
Sake Bombs! Have you ever had one? It's a cup of beer with a shot of sake in it. It tastes a lot like beer. At this place they make you wear a Daniel Son headband before you count to three, slap the table and drink quickly. Shawn beat me, but only because he's Irish and beer got in my left eye when I slapped the table to drop the shot into the beer. Well, that and because I can't drink very fast. Either way, it was a long day that ended with a sensational dinner. Tuesday wasn't as long and Wednesday shouldn't be either. Stay tuned for more from the RNC.

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