All Hail the King!: The (Lucky) 7th Philofaxy New York City Meet-Up

This post is way overdue, by two weeks, in fact.  You may have already seen Steve’s write-up over at Philofaxy.  And since then, he’s been to a second meet-up in Washington, DC.  So, yes, this post is shamefully overdue.  But that’s how much time I’ve had for blogging: zip, zero, zilch.  But I digress…

The past couple of years have seen a decline in interest and attendance in the New York City meet up.  I don’t know if it’s the time of year that I typical schedule them or if people are just too busy (understandably so).  Either way, I was unsure if I would organize a meet up again this year because of it, but when Steve—the Philofaxy King, as he is known around social media—contacted me to tell me of his big North American vacation tour, how could I not?  He and I banded together to make it happen—he took names and reservations; I looked into restaurants and shopping locations.

Thanks to Nan’s suggestion, I booked our party for lunch at Ben’s Delicatessen in Manhattan.  This was a great choice, not only for the awesome authentic NYC food, but also because we got a semi-private room all to ourselves and our planners and notebooks—no strange looks from our neighbors (which is, I admit, half the fun, but distracting nonetheless).

My husband and I set out early.  (Side note: my husband is in no way a planner guy but he came along for the ride and specifically to meet Steve, as he knows his name and fame.)  We met Judy at Penn Station, and together, the three of us set off to Ben’s.

As we approached the main door, we looked in the window and saw a familiar sight sitting at the bar—it was Steve, of course!  Upon entering, we formally met Steve and his wife Alison, as well as Leilani who had arrived earlier.  We enjoyed drinks and conversation as the rest of the group trickled in.

Once seated and meals ordered, the planners and notebooks and leather samples came out.  I was especially excited about the new Van der Spek nappa leather samples.  I chose the two colors for my next binder—more on that to come.

I will let the photos tell you the rest of the story.

My husband, being a non-planner person, merely tolerated the planner discussion.

He did enjoy meeting and chatting with everyone about non-planner things, however.

After the meal, it came time to build the famous planner tower.

Yeah, the above picture is the aftermath of the planner tower falling over.  At least there were some good shots previous to that happening.

As an aside, if you’re ever in Manhattan and need a good place to eat, Ben’s is fabulous!  There is a lot to choose from and the portions are out of control, as evidenced by my pastrami sandwich:

No, I did not eat all of that.  It was tasty though!

After lunch, we headed out to do a little stationery shopping.  We hit Muji and Kinokuniya.  The only Filofaxes we saw were 3 random binders in a locked case at Kinokuniya.  Still, I came away with a little stash:

I got colored notepaper, cat stickies, to do list stickies, and a Moleskine notebook.  How I’m using my (numerous) newly acquired Moleskines is forthcoming.

It was a great day, and I enjoyed seeing some people again, as well as meeting others for the first time.  A special thank you to Steve and Alison for taking time out of their much-deserved vacation to meet with us!


  1. I have been meaning to ask you about this! I love the leaning tower of planners. You had more selection than any store we've ever been too! I'm so glad you had fun, and that you finally got to meet THE PLANNER KING! (Said in an appropriately deep movie voice.) :)

    1. Yes! There was a great selection of planners! And meeting The King (said in an appropriately deep movie voice) was the highlight. :)

  2. Oh I am very sorry I had to miss this! I was really looking forward too. After a year from reading blogs (trying to get a full time job) I'm back into my favorite early-morning activity. I've always learned something from these meet-ups and getting to know everyone... I missed seeing you, Steve and Nan and missed meeting Cappucino (you did bring her right?)

    1. We missed you Michele! But at least you got to attend the DC meet up. I did bring Cappuccino! We can always have our own mini meet up. :)

  3. I would LOVE to meet Cappucino in person and of course see you. I am being a "groupie" and following Steve to Toronto in 3 weeks.

  4. Everything looks wonderful, but, especially the pastrami! Here in Colorado we have but one authentic New York Deli, and it is in Denver. Everybody says they have a deli, but most don't have a clue as to what a real one is. Glad all of you enjoyed the meet up. I just experienced my first, but it won't be my last.

    Thanks for your post!

    1. The pastrami was amazing! We have delis on Long Island, but not nearly as plentiful as what we saw at Ben's.

      I saw the post Steve's post about the meet up in Colorado -- it looked like a lot of fun! I'm glad you all got a chance to have a meet up.

      Thanks for your comment!


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