Announced last May and decided last August, the Lev women of East Meadow affirmed they wanted tickets to attend BravoCon — the cable network's first convention celebrating all things reality television, which took place on Nov. 15 through 17. My daughter and I are pretty familiar when it comes to all the celebrities and programming, but this Con had all the potential to be a big New York City "thing" and we wanted to be there — at least for one of the long weekend's three days.
As a result, we treated the months leading up to the event as if we were planning a coordinated military strike. We gathered our intelligence on the three venues housing the panels, photo ops, parties, dinners and all things Instagrammable. We received and preregistered the Bravo-issued fabric bracelets that had to be carefully and specifically placed and tightened on the right wrist only, day of admittance. On Saturday, Nov. 16 we stuffed granola bars in our pockets and strapped our purses across our chests. We were ready.
And without a doubt, our guiding strategy was to go with the flow that only real pop culture events can dictate.
First, we were one of the earliest in line for the 10:30 AM panel on fashion decisions for Real Housewives reunions. Check.
Then a photo-op with all the aforementioned panelists, unfortunately requiring us to cutting in front of some out-of-towners who needed to learn some manners. Yeah, check.
Trying to be brave enough to stop other Bravo celebrities who were guided around with their dressed-all-in-black handlers. "Love your work, can we take a photo?" Check.
And noting loads of observations: the Manhattan Center and the Hammerstein Ballroom temporarily surpassing Times Square as the crossroads of the world for women from all over the country. Fandom who I believe think they have best friend status with these stars given social media. The guests that raised their voices and their glasses of Rose. Real Housewives, Vanderpump Rules, Southern Charm, Below Deck, Watch What Happens Live — franchise after franchise discussed, dissected and divergent — as the day wore on.
As for me and my "comrade," we carbo-loaded on bagels, Lays Poppables and soft pretzel. We took strategic bathroom breaks between seminars. We texted pictures to friends. And when we had enough of fame, glam and television cameras, called it a day and headed to Penn Station for a slice at the legendary Rose's Pizza.
It was a long day. It was a surreal day. It was everything we thought it would be and nothing we thought could be. Mission accomplished.
A contributing writer to the Herald since 2012, Lauren Lev is an East Meadow resident and a direct marketing/advertising executive who teaches advertising and marketing communications courses at the Fashion Institute of Technology/SUNY, LIU Post and SUNY Old Westbury.