backstage photos here
This year's NOC was one of the most fun and interesting shows that I have ever attended. It started on Friday night when I rushed into the city to meet up with two of my favorite bodybuilders, Lauren Powers and Gabrielle Nicander. I went directly to their hotel room. They both looked amazing, bigger and stronger than I have ever seen them. The headquarters hotel for NOC was the Wellington Hotel which was filled with bodybuilders from around the world, along with many international tourists who had never seen a bodybuilder in person.
When I met Lauren and Gabrielle in their room, we took some digital photos and videos for femalemuscle.com. Then I had a great idea. I decided the best thing to do was to have them dress up in their skimpiest and wildest outfits wearing 6 inch heels and march them around the most crowded Manhattan streets during rush hour. Gabe the Babe and Lauren were ready to walk out wearing thongs to ride the hotel elevator and lobby filled with children and then parade around the streets butt naked. I quickly grabbed a pair of shorts for Gabe and a purple cape for Lauren and told them it would be a really good idea to cover up just a little bit. The stairs in the elevator alone made me realize what we were in for -- Gabe being over 6'1 with her voluptuous breasts protruding into the faces of middle age women from Milwuakee.
We made it through the hotel without being arrested and we were in the clear, for the time being. We emerged onto 57th Street near Carnegie Hall where a crowd began to gather with their mouths open in awe of viewing these gladiator amazon women strolling the streets on New York City. The thing that amazed me the most was that everyone had a camera and furiously began to use them. I guess it is the age of digital technology. There are so many strange things happening in New York City so I did not expect this much attention. New Yorkers see celebrities in the street all the time and usually glance and keep walking. But on this beautiful sunny May day we were definitely blowing many minds, including born and bred native New Yorkers who would not notice Brad Pitt in a skirt on a horse in Columbus Circle.
I directly took them to the Hard Rock Cafe. On the way, I had them pose in front of the 57th street subway station where hordes of exiting straphangers and others gathered, again with cameras and stares of bewilderment, amazement, and confusion. Lauren and Gabe hung over the subway entrance posing and flexing while they worked the crowd. I had to drag them away. Some people walked away, but many others followed us straight to Hard Rock. One German man was so shocked by what he was seeing that he asked to have a photo taken of him with the female bodybuilders. His wife held the camera while Gabe and Lauren literally picked him up quite high into the air and held him there while his wife snapped a few for the family album. They were so grateful and happy that I think we made their entire trip.
The Hard Rock Cafe was mobbed with tourists and people from the work area. Got a couple of annoyed looks also from hassled New Yorkers, but for the most part people were into it. Lauren and I walked into the Hard Rock's store where Billy Joel's Harley was on display. Lauren jumped on the Harley while I shot video. Although jumping on the Harley was strictly forbidden, the female guard allowed us access since, she said, her dad was an ex-bodybuilder! As we headed out the door, a really sweet man said hello. I took a second glance and realized he was a priest. At first I was a little horrified, then I realized he was actually happy, and not at all disgusted by us. I grabbed Lauren and made her talk to him, so we would not go to Hell. I was relieved by his acceptance of us, which encouraged me even more to keep causing trouble.
There must have been a school trip visting somewhere on 57th street, because there were 30 or so young teenagers heading into the Brooklyn Diner. I could tell by the looks on their faces that they literally thought they had seen modern day Wonder Women. They quickly wanted photos and the teenagers began flexing alongside Gabe and Lauren. Wait until you see these videos. At this point you could imagine how tired we were getting, but I cannot end this entry until I tell you about the librarian looking young woman who jumped in front of the video camera. She seemed harmless and innocent. All of a sudden as I started shooting she took on a whole new persona. I think she thought we were doing a Bodybuilders Gone Wild video, since she began flexing, became flirtatious, and then shocked us by pulling her shirt up at 5pm, Friday, on West 57th Street, and flashing the world. Lauren, I and Gabe were laughing so hard at this point, there was nothing left but to go back to the hotel and think about what just had happened.