Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I loved New York

One of our first views of the madness
that is Times Square
By Julie

Still do!

I had the once-in-a-lifetime experience of visiting New York City for the first time last week. While I was making my plans and travel arrangements, I griped to Susan about how expensive things were-mostly, hotel rooms. She advised me I'd be ready to come home after four days, and not to worry about staying much longer.

Well, she was wrong. :) (And I still love her, too.)

We stayed five, and I honestly believe I could have stayed another week and been perfectly content had my children and dogs not been needing me.

I think I'm just a city girl at heart (most of my growing up years were spent in inner-city Denver), and the hustle and bustle don't bother me as long as I have a quiet room to collapse in at night.

My husband grinning in disbelief at the
sheer amount of food delivered to our table
at Junior's
The overarching purpose of my visit was to meet with my publishers and agents, of course, but we tacked on a few days for fun, and my husband and I had a blast.

We skipped many of the traditional touristy activities, figuring we will enjoy those with our daughters when we return one day, and mostly wandered and ate. I have five extra pounds to prove that all the extra walking doesn't negate all the extra calories. Yes--five pounds in five days.

A woman naming her price at a market
in Chinatown
We did visit Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, and the 9/11 memorial, but we also went on a walking tour of a predominately Chassidic Jewish neighborhood (Crown Heights), emerged from a subway ride to be unexpectedly dazed by the street festival of San Genarro in Little Italy, observed clusters of folks playing and betting on card and mahjong games in Columbus Park in China Town, rode the escalators up and down all eight floors of Saks Fifth Avenue, contemplated a scavenger hunt in the main New York Public Library to take photos of all my author friends' books (unfortunately, they closed too soon), ate black and white cookies whenever we came across them for comparison's sake, and watched Once, a musical based on our family's favorite movie, at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater on Broadway. And that's just scratching the surface. And while it's true we did see a few rats in the subway tunnels, we didn't experience a single "rude New Yorker" in our whole time there (except one irate usher in the theater when my husband attempted to check us in on Facebook before the show ever started …).

Me with my St. Martin's Press editor,
Hilary Teeman. Together, we demonstrate
the true range from short to tall. 
We usually purchase an extended-day pass for public transportation wherever we travel as we find this the best way to get our bearings and really learn a place. We love the challenge of finding the best subway route to get us from point A to point B and the thrill of running up or down stairs to find the right platform in time to catch the next train.

With my literary agent, Elisabeth Weed, and my foreign rights
agent,  Jenny Meyer

I might have taken my love affair with the subway a little too seriously this time when I decided to ride one to and from my appointments with my editor and agents instead of hailing a cab. But in my mind, hailing a cab seemed more intimidating than catching a train. As a result, I returned to the hotel nearly in tears because my feet, crowded in dress shoes, which I rarely wear, almost didn't make it. I walked less that day that any other, but feet used to flip flops and athletic shoes don't do well walking any distance at all. When I saw a sign in the subway station that said, "Call here for customer assistance," I almost picked up the phone and said, "Can someone please come carry me?"

The Flatiron Building, where
St. Martin's Press is
Nonetheless, the meetings with my editor and the rest of the staff at St. Martin's Press, my literary agent and foreign rights agent, and my film agent were all more fun than I could have imagined. I learned a lot, and it was exciting to hear about the marketing and publicity visions each of these folks shared in person, face-to-face. I believe Calling Me Home couldn't have landed in better hands.

Hope you'll enjoy a few photos I took on the trip, and stay tuned for more news coming up in the next few weeks--one thing I think you'll find especially surprising and exciting!


  1. Fun fun fun!

    Oh my gosh-- that building is not kidding around about being flat.

  2. I know! Strangely, I didn't even think about it while I was inside!


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