NYC Day One (May 23 & 24)
You’ve probably been seeing a lot of BEA/NYC type posts around. And I was planning on waiting to post mine, but I figured I might as well start it off today as I’ve got five days total to cover.
Although the title of this post is called day one, I’m going to start it on Sunday night. I was supposed to arrive in the city around seven pm, but my flight arrived later than it was supposed to so I was an hour late getting into the city.
I liked the fact that my first view of the city was at night. It was majestic in the way that I always thought NYC would be….. the lights of the city welcoming my arrival. The bad thing about arriving so late however, is that I missed my dinner reservations that I was supposed to be attending with some other bloggers and an author. Thankfully we still found seats when we arrived. We had a very late dinner at 5 Napkin Burger. It was really quite funny because half of our party ended up being vegetarians! Anyhow, I attended this dinner with the author of Willow, Julia Hoban, Chelsea of The Page Flipper, Erica of The Book Cellar, Alicia of Shooting Stars Mag and Emi of Penultimate Page. Alicia and I got burgers! Go TEAM MEAT! I of course had the 5 napkin burger the namesake of the restaurant. I’m not all that big of a burger fan but it was oh so good! Gruyere cheese, caramelized onions, rosemary aioli on a soft while roll…… delicious! The fries weren’t all that bad either.
Then after dinner is was back to the hotel room, to finally meet my other roommate Cat from Beyond Books! She is just as cool in person as she was online. I knew she would be! Needless to say we weren’t in bed before midnight because we were up talking about our trips into the city and how it was so great to finally meet each other in person.
Monday morning we were greeted by the alarm that was set for 7:01. We never did figure out how to reset the alarm or turn it off, so it greeted us everyday. We had the worst luck with alarms as you will come to find out.
Cat and I spent the morning exploring NYC. We ate breakfast in Times Square choosing a chain restaurant that we were both familiar with… because we were drowning in the sea of unfamiliar… in overwhelming NYC. Sometimes you just need something you know! Times Square was insane! Lots and lots of people. It was fascinating. There is no doubt why it’s called the cross-roads of the world.
Rockefeller Center was next on the agenda. We passed the famed Radio City Music Hall on the way. Cat did an excellent job being the navigator. Had she not been there, I am sure I would have been lost far too many times to count. Rockefeller Center was beautiful, the architecture was amazing! It was hard to believe that most of it had been built in the 1930′s. Surrounded by the flags of the United Nations’ members, it was definitely a sight to behold. Although on the way home Saturday I did notice that all the flags had been replaced with the United States flags…. stars and striped for the upcoming Memorial Day holiday.
Then it was off to walk down fifth avenue with the mecca of shoppers! Of course my budget only allowed for longing glances in the windows of Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergorf Goodman. It was still fascinating to finally see something I had only every encountered in the movies. But Fifth Avenue wasn’t our destination, we were headed to the New York Public Library!
So of course the New York Public Library was covered in scaffolding…. I wasn’t able to see the grandeur of the front entrance, as was another place I visited, but more on that later. The library was one of the most beautiful building I visited on my trip to New York. I believe the architecture is referred to as ‘Beaux Arts architecture’. I think my next house shall be a castle and it shall be built with the style of ‘Beaux Arts architecture’, lol! But I really wasn’t there to see the architecture. I wanted to see Fortitude and Patience the two lions that guard the entrance to the library. I was able to snap a picture with Fortitude. Doesn’t he look regal! And of course you can see the ugly scaffolding that had to cover the pretty entrance.
The library was huge! Magnificent ceilings and over-sized columns… it was intense! One of the first things we found was the gift shop…. somehow I refrained from spending any money, don’t ask me how. I wish we would have been able to find the reading room while we were there, I’ve heard it’s spectacular. We did, however, ask (well Cat asked, lol) a kind library employee to direct us to the childrens section of the library. Did you know that they had the original Winnie-the-Pooh? I did not, but luckily Cat did! This is the actual Winnie-the-Pooh bear owned by the real, Christopher Robin Milne!
So after the library we headed back to the hotel to pick up our BEA badge info (which I conveniently realized I forgot once we were on our way in the cab…) and head to the Javits center. One of the tips I’d gotten from past BEA-goers was to get your badges early and don’t fight the crowds on the days the exhibits were open. So that’s what we did! We hailed our first cab and took our first cab ride! Like I said, I of course forgot all my paperwork with my bar-code, but they were still able to give me my badge! Check out the steps that they were starting to do! I thought that was the coolest thing ever. They had just finished the one side when we were there on Monday, the finished product was stunning! I wonder what Heather Brewer thought?
After we had our badges we headed on a walk to the nearest subway station. This was my first experience with a subway of any kind. Cat has a subway where she lives, so I’m guessing it wasn’t all new to her. But for me, it was quite the experience! We don’t have any public transportation in the town I’m from, but it wasn’t all that difficult to figure out, and it was air conditioned inside the train…. felt so nice.
We took the train to Greenwich Village. Cat had lunch plans with author, Melissa Walker and she was kind enough to include me. I love Melissa’s Violet series (Violet on the Runway, Violet by Design & Violet in Private), so it was great to meet her in person! We got in to the Village a little early so we walked around the little shops enjoyed a sit in the park and just soaked in the ambiance of our surroundings. It was a beautiful place.
We met Melissa for lunch at The Cornelia Street Cafe. I made Cat tell me what all the french words on the menu meant…. lol. I ended up getting the soup of the day was some sort of red pepper puree, and it was delicious! We had an interesting conversation on book covers, content… chit-chat. It was awesome. Melissa was even gracious enough to snap a picture with us before we headed out the door to make it to the Teen Author Carnival, where Melissa was on a panel! It was a short walk to the Teen Author Carnival which was located at the Jefferson Market Library.
The Teen Author Carnival was hosted and organized by three bloggers: Devyn, Mitali of Alley of Books and Korianne of Korianne Speaks. This fantabulous trio organized an fun filled event of authors and bloggers! It was a fantastic time and I’m so glad that I went! I met a ton of bloggers! I wish I would have had time to talk to them! But I so loved meeting everyone and chatting with you even though it was brief! The carnival was split up into three panels and then at the end there was a huge author signing! It was madness.
Anyhow, the first panel I headed to was the Real Life panel. This panel consisted of authors: Amy Brecount White, Barry Lyga (who I could listen too all day… he had me at Wolverine), Courtney Sheinmel (who is the cutest person! more on her later), Jon Skovron (he’s cute, lol), Lauren Oliver, Melissa Walker, Ned Vizzini, Sarah Darer Littman, Sarah Mylnowski, & Stephanie Kuehnert (I didn’t purposely stalk her all week…. I swear!). They were all fantastic, this was my favorite panel. I wish I would have taken notes on what they said. It was fantastic. Here is some pictures of the panel….
The second panel that I headed to was the Love & Heartbreak Panel! This panel consisted of the authors: Alexandra Diaz, Elizabeth Scott (squee!! one of my all time favorite authors, was able to meet her at BEA later in the week), Gayle Forman, Heidi Kling (who introduced me to Gayle Forman, faint! Heidi is awesome, just sayin’) Holly Cupala (this is what Melissa Walker would look like with long hair, they are like separated twins… same smile, same mannerisms, it was freaky!), Kieran Scott, Kody Keplinger, Sarah Ockler, Simone Elkeles, Susane Colasanti. Another fantastic panel, I arrived a little late to this one, I couldn’t not stop and talk to people! So, I was sitting in the back, was I was still able to snap some pictures!
The last panel was the Mystery/Fantasy panel. I showed up waaaay late for this one so I was all the way in the back and ended up standing in the back and sneaking out a little early so I could buy some books for the signing before the big rush! Where I ran into authors Kitty Keswick and Bonnie J. Doerr, and had a lovely conversation with them! The authors on this panel were: Eliot Schrefer, Jeri Smith-Ready, Judith Graves, Linda Gerber, Maryrose Wood, Melissa Kantor, Michael Northrop, Michelle Zink (it was so nice to FINALLY meet her!), Tonya Hurley and Violet Haberdasher (she is so cute! and I totally did not stalk her at BEA either, lol). Sadly I did not get any pictures of this panel….
The autograph area after the panels was insane! It was loud…. LOUD! I was able to talk to a few authors and have some of the books I bought signed. It was great to finally meet so many of the authors that I had emailed and enjoyed their books. I snapped a picture of Heidi and Jeri Smith-Ready was her neighbor.
I found Sarah Darer Littman and Courtney Sheinmel hanging out, so I was able to have a lovely conversation with the… well as much as a convo as we could have with all the madness happening around us and I was also able to snap a picture with them as well. How cute are they! And they are short like me!! Yay short people! It was soon after my visit with them, when they started turning the lights out on us… lol. I guess we were overstaying out welcome and the library employees were ready to go home. Of course in the darkness I lost my fellow bloggers and my cell phone decided to die and I missed out going to dinner with a group of bloggers I had made previous plans with… I’m still rather disappointed in that.
I did however make it back to my hotel room and had dinner close by the hotel at the Playwright Celtic Pub, with another lovely group of bloggers! I had the fish and chips which were very good, but very different from any fish and chips I’d had before. Our dinner party included. Cat of Beyond Books, Anna of Book Nerds, Erica of The Book Cellar, Mitali of Alley of Books, Anastasia Hopcus (she is BEAUTIFUL! my goodness! So pretty!) author of Shadow Hills and her bf, and Emi of Penultimate Page. Overall I would say that the day was productive. I got to see a lot of the city and also got to meet a lot of amazing people!
Stay tuned for day two later in the week!
Okay… so this is my first NYC post… and it’s a lot longer than anything I usually do. I kind of went into detail about everything. Was that boring… a little too much? Let me so I don’t make my other posts as long and boring, if it isn’t something that was as fun and entertaining as I was hoping it would be.