Step 132 - NKOTB Block Party #71 - New Kids on the Block Fan Stories: Kelley Goes to NYC, Melanie's NKOTB Fan Story, Jennifer Lyn's NYC Experience, and Christie's Amazing NKOTB Mixtape Tour Story
Listen to the BLOCK PARTY - our weekly segment where we read New Kids on the Block fan stories! This week: Kelley Goes to NYC, Melanie's NKOTB Fan Story, Jennifer Lyn's NYC Experience, and Christie's Amazing NKOTB Mixtape Tour Story!
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Kelley goes to NYC for Joey, and ends up crying over pizza with Amy B.
I have been trying to write this while it is all still fresh in my head, but here we are, almost a week later and I’m finally writing.
So, Jill and I flew up to NYC on a bright and early Saturday morning, well, it wasn’t bright yet, we had to leave for the airport at like 3am or something like that. Waaaayyyyy to early.
Want to know the best way to get action that early at the airport? Wear a sweater that you don’t realize has little tiny silver metallic threads all in it…. everywhere. Yep, I became good buddies with that TSA agent, and she didn’t even buy me breakfast! Sigh….
We get on the plane and find that we have the entire row, each side of the plane, to ourselves. This was exciting!
We flew into LGA and I got to see such great and amazing views! Statue of Liberty, huge buildings in the city, baseball stadium…and much more! As I have never been to NYC before, this was amazing to me! We got a Lyft and made our way to the hotel, which was where the others were already at, awaiting our arrival.
We found Michelle, Amy B, Kristine, and Mandy in their warm and comfy hotel room. We were too early to get checked into our room just yet so we all just hung out and got ready for the show together.
We headed over to the theater around 12:30-12:45 maybe. We took fabulous pictures with the advertisement pictures in front of the building and couldn’t help but wonder if we would see him arrive or if he was already there. Once the doors opened, I stopped into the gift shop, got an enamel pin and a show program. Being my first Broadway show I figured that was a good purchase idea. Also, I got a little jar of pie, apple pie to be exact. It was sssoooooo good! This is when we got to see others from our MSCW group, Amy S, Jackie, Lindsey, Kelly….so awesome!
I am pretty sure I cried from the beginning to the end of the show. I was so touched by the songs, seeing joe perform like this for the first time live and in person, I was so proud, and so happy for him. I still am, but, you know what I mean. I don’t want to spoil the story line, but I will tell you that I will never look at the stirrups at the Dr’s office the same way ever again. If you ever get the chance to see this musical, on or off Broadway, go. It's SSOO great! Kristine and I were right next to each other and I know I had some excited jumps and smacks that she endured to her arm. LOL oh man, it was so awesome!
Afterwards, we went outside by the stage door, not knowing what to expect. I brought along with me the magnet I have of Adam Ray, Adam Carolla, and Joey together. I already had Adam sign it back in August last year, so now I was only hoping to get Joey to sign it too. I decided that I didn’t want to ask too much of him, but I NEEDED to flash that Mac Pac card this time! So, I was going to try to get my genuine and meaningful hug and the magnet signed. Not asking for a selfie this go around.
When the stage door opened the first one out was Stephanie Torns, she plays Jenna and is brilliant in her role! Next one out was little Reagan, she plays a cute little role at the end. I got both to sign my program. Score! The door opens again, ITS JOEY! AND HES COMING RIGHT TOWARDS US!!!! GASP!
Act cool Kelley, keep it together, don’t trip over your words!
I showed him my MacPac card and this short but amazing and memorable conversation happened:
Kelley: “Can I use this?”
Joey: looking to see what I am showing him, “yeah, of course you can use it.”
I hand him my magnet to get it signed and he looks at it.
Joey: “Whoa” then he realized that Adam already signed it and said, “OH NICE.”
Kelley: after he signed it I was determined to get my hug and I said “I still want my genuine hug”
Joey smiled and obliged and the whole group around us in unison said: “awwwwe.”
It worked! I got the magnet signed and my hug!!! Jill tried to get a picture of the hug, but the angle wasn’t great and it looks like Joey is eating my hair. I still love it though. The best thing about BH’s is that someone is going to capture your moment. And guess what? MANDY DID! AND ON VIDEO!!!!! It was so special. Thank you, Jill and Mandy!
After this we were all hanging around whole others were getting their selfies and autographs when suddenly it seemed we were all just in a group huddle and Joe came over to do more selfies when he realized Michelle and Amy were photobombing Jackie's selfie. He got on to Amy asking is she's causing trouble then asked if we were all together. When we said yes, we all got a group "Usie" as Michelle called it and said good bye to Joey.
Then we were off to warm up for a bit in our room, and finally get Jill and I checked into our room. We decided on New York pizza for dinner and ended up at Carve Pizza, I think that is what it was called. It was delicious! Amy and I had an in-depth conversation (that may or may not have involved some tears) about our choir days way back when, and if the guys seriously truly know just how much they mean to all of us. I then got to talking about how much I loved the play and that I would love to be involved in something like that one day. Amy B said something that put a spark in me. I planned to talk to a lady at work who is a playwright and involved in my local theater. SO EXCITING!
After we ate, we stopped into a video bar for some drinks and singing. So much fun! Then we made our way to time square. We took pictures on the red steps and made silly videos. Amy S came and met us here for our shenanigans. Time square is breath taking!
Everything felt so surreal to me. This a place I knew existed but never thought I would see in person. We got some cheesecake dessert at Junior's....it was amazing!
After this, we were all so exhausted, so we headed back to the rooms for some sleep. Mandy and Kristine had early flights home, but Jill and I had enough time to grab breakfast with Michelle and Amy B. We ended up at the Time Square Diner and Grill across the street from our hotel. This is where I saw, for the very first time ever, a cable channel utilizing a restaurant for advertising. TBS is very clever. Lol
Jill and I were the last one left in NYC. On the way back to LGA we got to pass by Rockefeller center, the today show, radio City music Hall, Jimmy Kimmel, and a huge church they I knew nothing about other than it was beautiful, I was later schooled on it by Mandy and Jackie. Turns out it is St. Patrick’s Cathedral. I would love to see it more on my next visit. Which must happen, I must go back to New York City one day!
Once at the airport it was time to let it all sink in. I cannot believe that this happened. The only way I could really sum up my feelings on it all is that, I am just so thankful and grateful to be alive and able to experience these things. I am also so happy to have such wicked awesome friends in my life to experience it all with. The guys really are the icing on the cake, but I am so glad my ‘cake’ has friends like all of you in it’s batter!
XOXO I cannot wait to make 2019 the best yet! It’s already off to a great start!
P.S. I talked to the lady at work, and I am going to a show with her this coming weekend. She’s going to introduce me to the ‘big-wigs’ at the theatre and help me get my foot in the door to see if it’s something I would enjoy. Gotta’ start somewhere right? Eeeekkkk!
P.P.S. I forgot to mention, that in time square, there was someone dressed up as BumbleBee from transformers, (he’s my favorite!) and I took a picture of him and got caught. It was funny.
Melanie’s NKOTB Story
Hi Nikki and Brooke! I have been listening to your podcast for the last few months and finally have gotten caught up! I didn’t want to cheat and skip ahead so I have been listening to the podcasts on my daily commutes and any time I am in the car. I was so freaking excited when I heard Donnie's voice in episode 104. OMG! That was so awesome! That man is so kind and humble. We are all really Donnie girls!
Anyway, I wanted to say first that I really enjoy your podcast. Thank you for all that you do. I am proud to be part of the MSCW community and look forward to meeting new friends. Nikki, there have been many times I have been saying right back to you, please be you! Don’t apologize for who you are! You have an amazing heart and I love that you are so authentic with your feelings. Brooke, you are hilarious and I love how you are such a great friend to Nikki when she starts doubting herself.
I figured when I got to the current episode I would be ready to share my NKOTB story with you so here it goes. I started listening to New Kids on the Block in 1989, when I was in 9th grade. My bff DJ and I would watch this one particular performance that they did of Please Don’t Go Girl on Nickelodeon over and over again. I am a Joey girl and DJ is a Jordan girl just like you Brooke!
When the Hanging Tough Live tape came out, my boyfriend at the time purchased it for me and we could not get enough of it. We all wanted to be the OG Covergirl! We used to play different parts in slow motion, rewind and replay over and over. I am surprised we didn’t wear that tape out.
We had our posters, New Kids t-shirts and used to play their music all the time as we were driving to school. We were never able to go to a New Kids concert back then. I have included a pic of DJ and I in my room in front of my NKOTB posters from back in the day.
Fast forward to 2008, I got the famous call that everyone else did from their mom that New Kids were getting back together. I was so excited! DJ and I live in different states now, her in Philly, PA and me in Upstate NY but we are still close and as soon as we heard the announcement, we knew we had to go to their concert! So for the first time ever we would be in the same building as NKOTB. We were so excited! We ended up going to the concert in Philly at the Wachovia Center. We made t-shirts and I bought a really huge Joe pin that filled up almost my entire chest.
When we got to the area of our seats at the concert, we discovered that our seats weren’t where they were supposed to be. They were farther back and we inquired with the security and they said, oh don’t worry. You wont be disappointed! Well we had no idea about the B stage...OMG! Well when the guys came out and we realized they were going to be right next to us we freaked out!!! Some girl spilled her beer all over us but we didn’t care, we were in heaven! They were so close! I took some great pictures that night, I will send them with this story.
Fast forward to the Total Package tour in 2017, we again went to the arena in Philly. This time we sat in the first section on the right side of the arena. We were a few rows up but still had great seats.
When Tonight came on all of sudden DJ is yelling to me that Joe is standing on the arena wall and making his way down to our section! I thought this is going to be the day that I touch Joey Joe. Well, I was leaning forward, holding my hand out while DJ was holding my belt loop so I could reach him grabbing fans hands. Unfortunately, I did not get to touch his hand. I did not want to be one of those fans who rushed the wall or pushed others out of the way. Oh well!
I was so excited I was texting my other friends that Joe was right in front of me instead of enjoying that Joe was right in front of me! Fangirling makes you do odd stuff!!! I got some great pics of him which I will include as well. He started moving down the wall and was about 10 ft away when we started to lose his balance and looked right at me, I swear. His bodyguard wasn’t paying that great of attention to him and he made this face at me like whoa, that was close. I was really glad he didn’t fall obviously but I also thought of that as my moment because it seemed like he was looking at me. :)
I have been trying to get DJ to agree to go on the cruise with me for a few years. I have watched different cruise videos and saw this clip of Jon taking a selfie with someone and he kept sweeping her hair back with his hands. I want that experience! Ok, I know I should go into it with no expectations but I cant help this one. :)
Well, after listening to MSCW and having her listen to the podcast episodes focusing on the cruise, we have decided we will be on that next boat!!! I just wouldn’t feel right going without her!
I was watching for the cruise announcement in January and was excited that there will be another cruise! We will just have to wait until 2020. Now I am scared we wont be able to get on!
We are going to the Mixtape tour at Hershey Park and will be taking my daughter with us who is a Debbie Gibson and Tiffany fan. We wont be doing barstools but we were able to get some pretty good seats in the VIP section. I am hoping that my dream of being able to touch a New Kid will come true! When I heard Nikki was going to Hershey I was so excited, maybe I will get to meet you.
Overall I just want to say I love MSCW! I do not have a lot of female friends (I work with all men in IT) and I am excited at the potential to meet all these new friends. Thank you for all you do. I really think a cup of joe with Joe is going to happen in 2019! I am glad to be part of group that understands my love for NKOTB and transports me back to my teenage years.
Christie’s Mixtape Tour Story
Hey, ladies! I just wanted to send you an update on my experiences at the Mixtape tour. I was able to do two shows this time, a first for me. It could not have been a better two nights. Friday night in Dallas was my first experience with barstools. Photos for barstool seats are done from the stage, which is a bit of a surreal experience. Of course, I had to be by Donnie for our photo. Danny was the first one in line and I hugged him and said it was nice to see him again. He asked me where my seat was. I thought it was a little strange that he asked that but honestly didn’t put too much thought into the question. I pointed in the direction of my seat and the person behind me asked if he was over that way a lot. He said he would be. I had an amazing conversation with Donnie. I won’t share the details of the conversations itself, but I will say that his capacity for love and compassion is like no one I’ve ever met. Just when I think he can’t surprise me more, he does. He truly is a national treasure. He also knelt down for our picture. Because I’m short, this is a huge thing for me. Luckily, the girl on the other side of him was short too so it wasn’t a big deal for her and didn’t make it awkward for her. Jordan, Joey then Jon were next. It was nice to talk to all of them and I felt waaaaaay more comfortable than I did two years ago. I’m getting better at being able to speak around them.
During the VIP party, I knew from last tour where I needed to stand to put myself in the line of where they would be exiting the room. The way this venue is set up, they have to go through the party room to get to the area where they do 5* and individual M&G. They came through and Donnie made sure we all turned around and had cameras in selfie mode and stopped to take a selfie with everyone in the path. Unfortunately mine was blurry. Lumpy was right behind him the whole time. He (Lumpy) stopped right in front of me, and being the dog lover I am, I had to bend down and love on him. He let me for a good while but never took his eyes off of Donnie. He wasn’t letting him get too far from him. He’s such a sweet dog.
The concert itself was amazing. I loved every second of it. It’s a surreal thing to have them so close all night. Donnie blew me a kiss at one point and also came by near the end and grabbed and squeezed my hand. Danny was the one that surprised me. When the music for Valentine Girl came on, the guys were all lined up in the middle section of the stage. Danny was on the end I was on. He made eye contact and started walking toward me. He got right in front of me about the time he started singing and the next thing I knew, he was kneeling down in front of me. He took my hand and sang the first verse. To say I was excited was an understatement. He kissed my hand before walking off. I didn’t have any friends sitting near me so I was afraid that I would never have any photos of the moment. But social media came to the rescue. I have had several people reach out to me with pictures and video. I’m so glad people will do this for people that they don’t know. BHs are amazing about that.
On Saturday at my second show, I had 5*. I was originally disappointed that I didn’t have a Donnie spot for photos but things have a way of working out the way they are supposed to. I ended up in a group with Danny. This particular group had a girl and her two daughters that all wanted to be with Joey which meant I had Danny to myself. This was fine with me! Since Danny is the first one you come across in M&G, it meant I was the last one in line in our group. I thanked him for singing to me the night before. We had a nice chat. He called Marcello (the photographer) over to take a picture of just the two of us. In true Christie fashion, I had my eyes closed. Ugh. My mom said it looks like I’m soaking up the love. I guess I kind of was. We got our group picture (thankfully I had my eyes open for that one) and I moved on to the rest of the guys. As I was talking to Donnie, I felt something on my hand and looked down and Lumpy had walked over and was nudging my hand wanting me to pet him. I can’t say no to that! By some miracle I was not rushed out of the room quite as quickly as you normally are and made sure to actually say something to each of the guys. I’m so grateful for those moments. For those wanting to know, and I know everyone does, Jon said they won’t give him an exact date for his show, but he thinks it will premier in August.
I’m still a little unclear about the events that happened next. In going to rejoin my friends, I found myself pulled into Naughty by Nature’s Slugga room. This was the last place I expected to find myself that night. But let me say they party in their M&Gs! There was music, dancing and more. We were given a poster and all three signed it and took pictures with us. It was a lot of fun. I just don’t quite know how it happened. But I just rolled with it and enjoyed myself.
I had great seats that night too. Not floor but first row in the bowl section of the arena. When they walked through the crowd, Jon spotted me and came over for a hug. I’ll take another Jon hug any time! I also think Donnie spotted me. He smiled and pointed at someone in my direction. It looked like he was looking at me but I can’t be certain. I’m sure dozens of other girls think he was looking at them.
PCD has set in hard for me. This weekend was such a needed escape for me and I just didn’t want it to end. But I’m living vicariously through those with concerts yet to come.