Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Furniture Market Foibles

Ah, Furniture Market - that special time of year when 70,000 visitors flood the streets of my adopted hometown, transforming sleepy little High Point into a bustling Metropolis. It might mean a billion dollars for the local economy, but for the TV stevedore it means schlepping gear through packed city streets, searching for imaginary parking spaces, and dealing with a populace that really doesn’t want you around. It’s kind of like being a contestant on ‘The Amazing Race’, without the possibility of winning a million dollars in the end.

Technically speaking, Market hasn’t even begun yet. The real fun begins on Thursday when the full contingency of buyers, sellers, and a fair amount of ne’er-do-wells flood the city’s 11 million square feet of showroom space. But one stop-and-start voyage down a stranger-choked Main Street and even the rookiest of news chasers knows something’s already up in Furniture City. Take today for instance. No sooner had I accepted my assignment of staggered pit stops around the downtown area, when hallmarks of Furniture Market began appearing in my peripheral vision.

Like when I paused three seconds too long at an intersection only to have a dozen car horns erupt behind me. Can I help if it a group of Scandinavian stewardesses across the street needed my full visual attention? Sheesh! Or how about the way that parking attendant got all pissy with me when I told him I wasn’t paying ten dollars to leave my news unit in his care? I think I totally befuddled him when I told him I’d only be ten minutes and then walked away. I was more than a little relieved to see my ride still unmolested when I emerged from the building an hour later.

But darn it - I wouldn’t have been so long had I not fallen victim to another Market Hazard: The Excitable Sale Rep. This overdressed specimen can be found lurking in most any showroom, and while his bite isn’t lethal, he can chew up the better part of a morning showcasing the latest in fine home furnishings. Despite the fact my eyes kept glazing over, today’s Account Executive walked me through ever piece of the Plaid and Burlap Collection. Of course I oohed and ahhed at every dramatic pause, hoping my new best friend would indeed win that trip to Cancun for impressing the local media - even if the cameraman in question thought every piece in the entire showroom should be immediately burned and buried for the betterment of family rooms everywhere.

But alas, these rituals are but a sign of things to come. Over the next few workdays I’m sure to find myself ensconced in all kinds of Market Madness - from dealing with the entourage of C-list celebrities to showing my press badge to every rent-a-cop with a mace bottle to circumnavigating a sea of over-cologned furniture weasels in thin black socks. It’s almost enough to make this aging lenslinger wish for some fluttering crime tape to baby-sit. Almost.


gsonewser said...

Hey. It was great to get your note. I remember well the story we did at Pinehurst. I really wish I could have been down there on monday at Media Day for the Open. Our sports guys get all the luck.

You have a great blog. And I'm not just blowing smoke in your viewfinder. As I was questioning people about the blog world I kept hearing "There's a guy at Fox8 that has a great blog!" Your writing is fresh and descriptive.

I'll keep coming back to see more.

Billy Jones said...

I've spent quite a few hours at market this week myself. It's really a zoo!

HockeyPat said...

Carefull what you wish for, what if a major crime goes down during the fur-nee-ture ho down?

Mike said...

is easy. wealth

Jim Bobbit said...

HTTP://HappensInHighPoint.com is paying its way into the Furniture Market during High Point Market Spring addition in North Carolina. The Domain Reseller http://HighPoint.Moonfruit.com that owns the website controls more that 20 top level Website Domains such as Thomasville Gallery.Com and FurnitureLandOutlet.com

T-Shirts Were given away during market week with "HappensInHighPoint!" and the Slogan play on Vegas "IT-Happens in HighPoint! Stays in HighPoint. The website also has online email link for a free T-Shirt to Retailers and Showrooms at its website

posted by Jim Bobbit at 8:44 AM 0 comments
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