New York Recap: Days 4 & 5 (The Rest of the City)

The time is here to give you my final New York Recap. You can find the two previous posts here and here.

We slept in on  Sunday and I think that was a very good decision. We started the day at the Bagel Smashery in Hoboken. We got our bagels to go and brought them with us to the Brooklyn Bridge. We joined the crowds walking across the bridge and when we got to the middle we ate our breakfast. It was a little strange sitting and eating above the speeding traffic but we had a good time.

Ben and Me
Emily and Me

After the Brooklyn Bridge, we went over to 5th Avenue for a little shopping. We started at the Apple Store and FAO Schwartz  and when we got there, we saw that there was a movie being filmed. After a brief investigation we discovered it was the Smurfs movie. Emily looked up who was in the movie and found out NEIL PATRICK HARRIS is one of the stars. We looked high and low but couldn’t find him. We did get to see Jayma Mays (Emma from Glee) before we went into the stores but we were a bit disappointed.

And then, when we emerged from FAO Schwartz, there he was. Neil Patrick Harris. My life was now complete.

Jayma Mays

Neil Patrick Harris

Next we went to The Plaza Hotel, Tiffany’s, Rockafeller Center, and Nintendo World, among others (these are just the places that are on my foursquare list).

Ben with Mario

We took a little break at Grand Central Station and then proceeded to Bryant Park and Washington Square Park.

We spent the evening having dinner at La Lanterna and singing at Karaoke One 7.

Day 5

Monday saw our last day in the city. After packing all of our things (and by things I mean books), we headed to Central Park to have lunch. My friend, Nicole, and her boyfriend, Ben, met us there and we had a nice picnic. Nicole and I have been friends since 7th grade – we went to middle school, high school, and college together and she graciously gave me a place to live when I was in San Francisco. She currently lives in Ithaca and we rarely get to see each other, so being in the same place at the same time was a real treat.

After lunch, we went to the Natural History museum where Ben was amazed at the size of the blue whale. This isn’t a great picture of the whale but I had to share it anyway:

It's Huge!

Then we went back to Hoboken, gathered our things, and headed home.

Overall, I had a fantastic trip. In fact, I kind of want to live there. That’s how much fun I had in New York City.

Hope you enjoyed the recaps. We will now return to our regularly scheduled programming.

New York Recap: Days 2 & 3 (BBC & Bookstores Galore)

Book Blogger Convention

On Friday morning, I woke up extremely early and still managed to make it to the Book Blogger Convention with only minutes to spare. That takes skill. Emily had to go to work (boo) and Ben decided to tackle the city on his own (which is also why I have no pictures from the Convention), but I was in for my own treat.

I don’t want to rehash the day too much since others have done a very good job already, but here were the highlights:

  • First up was Maureen Johnson, a YA author I have never read but immediately loved. She is absolutely hilarious. She had the whole room in hysterics. I want to read all her books now.
  • Ron Hogan gave a talk on ethics where we learned that bloggers have apparently just won a war and that we are not to use the term “free books.”
  • The panels were mostly made up of bloggers I don’t really know (although moderated by some of my favorites). I learned some useful things and I hope to use some of that information here in the near future.
  • I got to meet a lot of the people I missed the day before and spend a little bit of time with them. (I loved my trip but if I could change one thing, I would have planned to hang out with other bloggers more).

Dinner and the Strand Bookstore

After the convention, I made a pretty swift exit (sorry guys) and maneuvered my way uptown to meet Ben and Emily. We went out to dinner at the Amsterdam Alehouse with some of Emily’s coworkers and then made our way to the Strand (is there a “the” or not?).

If you love books, you must go to this bookstore at some point in your life. It was actually my number one “must-do” item for my trip.

Ben and I ended up with a few books and a tote bag (because that’s what I needed – more books and tote bags)

But the best part was just wandering the store. I understand why people love it.

Bookstore Tour of New York City

Saturday found us at no fewer than 5 different bookstores with various other stops along the way.

We started the day at Books of Wonder and I think I have found my new favorite place on Earth. Books of Wonder is a children’s bookstore and it is, in fact, wonderful. I could have spent all morning there and I think Ben is lucky I only walked out of there with the four books I did:

Next we went to brunch at Lillie’s Irish-Vistorian Bar and Restaurant, which was kind of strange because we were the only ones there, but our meals were delicious and came with mimosas which is pretty awesome. Lillie’s was followed by Idlewild books. Idlewild groups its books by country and it was fun to peruse the various corners of the world.

Then we went to Three Lives and Company where we actually did not buy any books. It was getting hot and we were in need of refreshment.

So after a quick stop at Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks, we went to Magnolia Bakery. Another must-do on my New York list. I had a “Carrie” cupcake (like Sex and the City I think) and it was delicious.

Magnolia was followed by bookbook which was another bookstore I really liked but I can’t find a website to link to.

It was 3pm by then so we headed to Times Square to try and score some Broadway tickets in the TKTS line. We were hoping for Promises, Promises but ended up with Le Cage tickets for later that evening.

At that point we went to a cookout a friend of Emily’s was having to rest for awhile. I can’t thank this friend enough for giving us a place to sit for a few hours.

We spent out evening at Le Cage and it turned out to be a fantastic show. It was hilarious and the music was very good. Plus, Kelsey Grammer was in it and we got his autograph as well as some of the other performers’ after the show.

Friday and Saturday were both fantastic days. And I was once again glad that Ben was carrying the backpack because we ended the day with another pile of books.

The Preview of the Recap Post: BEA/BBC/NYC

I am back home today (it was a little questionable whether our plane would ever actually leave New Jersey last night so that’s actually a big deal). I am not quite ready to give the full BEA recap yet (most likely this weekend), but I thought I would throw out a teaser with one highlight (so hard to choose!) from each day I was gone.

Wednesday: Getting there safely (nervous flyer here)

Thursday: Author Breakfast with Jon Stewart

Friday: Hanging out with awesome book bloggers all day

Saturday: Books of Wonder bookstore

Sunday: Seeing Neil Patrick Harris filming The Smurfs

Monday: Lunch with one of my oldest friends in Central Park

But the highlight of the whole trip was getting to spend some quality time with Emily from Books, the Universe and Everything. I don’t think I could have had a better first-time-in-NYC trip and that is all thanks to her.

TSS – BEA and Book Blogger Convention

The Sunday Salon.comLast May, when I only had a foot in this whole book blogging door, I decided I wanted to go to Book Expo America (BEA) in 2010. A long weekend in New York City – I could manage that. Then the BEA organizers scheduled BEA for the middle of the week (Tues-Thurs). A long weekend is one thing but a whole week?  I automatically decided I couldn’t go.

Next I knew, everyone was signing up for BEA and talking about and I was getting  very jealous of everyone who was able to go. Then the Book Blogger Convention was announced for the Friday following BEA and my desire to go to BEA increased even more. But I still didn’t think I could go.

Then Emily from Books, the Universe, and Everything had a fantastic suggestion: why not go for part of BEA? She only went for one day last year and had a wonderful time. Once this idea got in my head, I knew I had to go. I finally decided to go for the last day of BEA, the Book Blogger Convention, and then stay through the weekend to visit the city. It wasn’t that hard to convince Ben to go to New York with me once I got the housing situation figured out (thanks very much to the generosity of a certain friend).

So that’s it: I’m going to BEA!

I’m very excited to meet all of these online people I know and get a new look at the publishing industry. I’ve been reading tips from past attendees and wouldn’t talk of anything else for days. Apart from driving through it on I-95 and a couple of layovers at JFK and LaGuardia, I have never been to New York City, so part of my excitement is simply seeing this city that I’ve been longing to visit for most of my life.

To anyone else who is also attending these events: I will see you in just a few short months!