The front lines of Williams Sonoma, that is.
That's where I spent a few hours yesterday, during Ina Garten's book signing event. Ina - the Barefoot Contessa - was signing copies of her new book, Foolproof, along with her friend and fellow star Frank, and with the help of her BFF Barbara.
I had the event on my calendar forever - it was rescheduled to yesterday after Hurricane Sandy screwed up the original date in early November. But I've been so busy this week that I didn't think I was going to make it.
But on Wednesday night, I got an email from my friend Meaghan, who works at the Cross Keys W-S, where the signing took place. They were expecting a huge crowd, she told me, and they needed some extra hands on deck during the event.
How could I say no?
So that's how I found myself standing behind a velvet rope yesterday, a few feet from Ina and Frank, snapping pictures of people with their iPhones while they had their books signed.
The huge crowd Meaghan expected turned out - the line snaked all the way through the shopping center. It was orderly, though, and everyone was happy and friendly. A few people were so excited they cried after meeting the Contessa - it was sweet.
And speaking of sweet, Ina could not have been nicer or more gracious (Barbara and Frank, too). I didn't get a chance to talk with her directly, but I did listen to her interact with people for several hours straight. She was kind and personal and funny with everyone - especially the children.
I was exhausted by the end - and she must have been absolutely wiped out. But it didn't show.
She was so lovely and I was thrilled that she lived up to all my expectations.
How fabulous is that?