NYC/BEA/BBC Wrap-up, part 1

4 Jun

My apologies for being a little tardy (okay a lot tardy) with this post. I returned on Friday from eight days in lovely New York City and literally needed every moment of the three-day weekend to recover/catch up on homework. I did manage to catch up on sleep, but the homework? Yeah that got ignored in favor of the galley of Justin Cronin’s The Passage. I’ll post a more complete review of that this weekend, but this post is all about NYC, BEA and BBC (check out all those acronyms!)

You might be wondering why I was in New York for eight days when BEA and BBC only took up, at most four of those. My mom is a major NYC fiend so when she heard I was going up for the Expo, she offered to fund an extension of the trip. So we hopped on a train at a really unreasonably early hour on Friday (that’d be the 22nd — so long ago!) and booked our way up the 3 1/2 hour trip. I spent most of the trip finishing It Sucked and Then I Cried by Heather Armstrong (aka dooce), which was hysterical. To the point that people starting glaring at me when I cackled loudly, and my mom elbowed me so hard I ended up with a bruise on my arm. I don’t care. I loved it, and am also now rethinking this whole “I want a buncha babies!” thing.

Anydooce, we got into Penn Station and cabbed to our hotel, Gild Hall, down in the Financial District on Gold Street (which is cute, until you realized that not a single cab driver in New York has ever heard of Gold Street, nor have they heard of the cross street, which is not so cute). I only mention the hotel because, omg you guys, the library in this place was incredible. It was very manly in terms of general decor: lots of dark wood, horse-related accessories, plaid. But the staircase and second floor library was drool worthy. See:

(Photo #1: The Suite Life, Photo #2: Ryan Charles)

I didn’t get to spend nearly enough time cozied up here — of course, there would have been no such thing as “enough time” with the right books and beverages (and Snuggies).

Nonetheless, I highly recommend this hotel if you’re in the city, but with one caveat: if you’re not familiar with NY, stick to something a little more midtown. There’s almost nothing going on at night that far downtown, and it can get pretty quiet. I lived in the city for a semester in college (in that neighborhood in fact), so I’m really comfortable with the Subway and with finding my way around. If you’re not though, this isn’t the best hotel choice. (It’s also really pricey, hence the reason I didn’t stay there after my mom came back home, but instead stayed with my cousin, Becks, who was in the process of packing up to move out of the city.) I pretty much died for about 2 hours by the time we checked in — yes the first thing I did in New York is nap. Sue me, this was technically my vacation. After that, my mom and I spent most of the weekend gallivanting around the city — sometimes with my cousin, sometimes without. A bulleted list if you will:

  • Dinner at a great neighborhood place, in Hell’s Kitchen, called Stecchino’s, that had possibly some of the best pasta I’ve ever had. Plus, we went with a coupon from LivingSocial so it was super cheap.
  • Pinkberry — yum! Fro-Yo!
  • A lovely 2 mile walk up the East Side, through the edge of Chinatown
  • Breakfast at Sugar Cafe in the East Village, where I had the perfect NYC breakfast (and, as I told my mom, my choice for my last meal if I’m ever on death row): a bagel, with smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers, red onion, and tomatoes
  • A tour through the Tenament Museum that featured a Jewish family from the mid-1800s in one apartment, and an Italian family from the 1900s in another. As my mom said, “Rach, it’s like our family!!” Very cool. If you’ve never done this museum, it’s well worth the trip.
  • Dinner at David Burke Townhouse — also incredible food. You’ll be hearing that a lot. We didn’t take a single misstep, food wise, all weekend. (The same cannot be said of my dining experiences at Javitts.)
  • MEMPHIS on Broadway. Holy awesome production, Batman. Great music, great story, great show.
  • Dessert at The Modern, which is a restaurant/lounge attached to the MOMA. We all ordered different things, and passed them around, obviously, and couldn’t come to a decision about which dessert was best. They were all that good.
  • A quick subway trip to see Grand Central and the NYC Library (which was unfortunately closed — boo, Sunday hours!)
  • Matinee show of BILLY ELLIOT — I hate to say this because I know it won a bunch of awards, but I wasn’t a big fan. If you’re interested to know why, ask, but it’s a long diatribe that I’ll spare you from here.
  • Dinner at The Harrison — also, amazing food, though we had issues with our reservations. They were quick to fix them, but it was annoying.

On Monday (yes, we did all of that from mid-day Friday through Sunday), I headed to the Flatiron building for tours of Bloomsbury and Picador, that were set up through Book Blogger Convention. Which is kind of stellar, isn’t it? It was a small group of us at these two houses: Wendy at Caribou’s Mom, Gaby at Starting Fresh, Angela at Dark Faerie Tales, and Tania at Literary Cravings. Both Bloomsbury and Picador were super welcoming and friendly. Bloomsbury gave us a few books that were discovered by bloggers, which was a great touch. Then we went to Picador, which was also great. The publicity team really seemed interested in how to reach bloggers, and it didn’t hurt that they gave us mimosas and free rein of their “book room.” I took 4 or 5 paperbacks (since that’s what they specialize in) that I’m really excited about. I’ll be posting more about my books from the week later, in more detail.

After that, Gaby, Angela, Tania and I headed to Soho to visit the Scholastic offices….which I’ll tell you about tomorrow! (This post is already really long!)


5 Responses to “NYC/BEA/BBC Wrap-up, part 1”

  1. Lori (TNBBC) June 4, 2010 at 5:46 pm #

    Oh man… You’re going to keep me hanging like that? So jealous that you got to go into the publishing houses. I was working and couldn’t take the time off to do that… So I will live vicariously through you.

  2. Wendy June 4, 2010 at 9:27 pm #

    So glad to meet you!! Those publishing house tours were awesome,weren’t they?

  3. Colleen (Books in the City) June 7, 2010 at 7:52 am #

    What a full weekend you had! I live in the city (and have for years) and still haven’t gotten to the tenement museum but I hear it is great – will have to put it onto the the “to do” list for the summer!

    Looking forward to hearing about the rest of your adventures!

    • Rachel June 9, 2010 at 11:46 am #

      It’s totally worth it. There are a couple of great tours, and I wish I could have gone on more than one. It was great for people who’ve done the standard NYC tourist things too.


  1. NYC/BEA/BBC Wrap-Up, Part 2 « a home between the pages - June 10, 2010

    […] Let’s see, where did we leave off? […]

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