Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Trip to NYC for the BEA and GTBHA (?)

In case you missed the news, last week I went to New York City to attend the Book Expo and Book Bloggers Conference. I'd never been to the Big Apple before (although I do have friends who used to live there) and it was . . . interesting.

I stayed with Jennifer D., our lovely managing editor (and tour guide extraordinaire!) in her home. Got to meet her family (and tried to solve picture puzzles with her son!) We attended BEA together and were exhausted, overwhelmed at times, completely worn out and - on the whole - had a fast-pace, fun-filled time.

BEA was absolutely amazing. It was my first time to go and I wasn't really sure what to expect, other than books, of course! I really found myself enjoying talking to publishers though and introducing myself and our team at 5 Minutes for Books. That was a very enjoyable experience. Anything that happened inside the conference center was pretty much enjoyable.

I just didn't care for New York City itself.

In a word: LOUD. l.o.u.d. Loud. EXTREMELY. loud. Did I mention it's LOUD!?

When I'm with loud people, I tend to become quieter. When I'm in a noisy city, my senses were completely overwhelmed and I was barely able to string a sentence together. It wasn't the crowds I minded so much as the noise that they made. If they walked around on tiptoe and whispered I probably wouldn't have a single thing to complain about.

The most shocking thing about the city though was the fact that countless people actually manage to LIVE when trying to cross the street in downtown NYC. Traffic laws? What?! I'm surprised we don't hear of more deaths. Insane people calmly walking in front of speeding taxi cars. Buses driving into intersections on red lights. Bicycles and pedestrians weaving in and out of cars. Just crazy, crazy things.

Despite what I just said, I enjoyed having the experience because I was not trying to navigate small children through it. Honestly though, I don't think I'll ever go to NYC again. It's a culture I have a hard time identifying with and very much enjoyed returning to my (extremely) quiet existence in Oregon. Plus, it was somewhat endearing to come home and have Bookworm1 run up to me and give me a gigantic hug, saying things like:

"Mommy, can you not ever go to New York again because you were gone for a long, long time!!!"
Heart. Melt.

Those "disclaimers" all offered - I got to see things like Times Square, FAO Schwartz, Central Park, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Grand Central Station, I rode in a Taxi, we walked all over the place and we found NY pizza to eat! (Now, I will admit to the food being an amazing draw to the city. Italian food? Oh. my. word!!!!)

I enjoyed seeing the city with Jennifer and honestly can't say that I'd want to see it with anyone else! She loves it and navigated us around beautifully and never seemed to stress about it at all. (I guarenteed her I'd be a basket case if I were trying to find my own way around the city.) Here are some pictures of our time in the city:

Javits Center and the booths full of books:

Jennifer suggested Tony's Di Napoli for an evening meal. We met up with a few other bloggers and people in the industry and went out for Italian food that was --- amazing. (I can't think of any other word that will say as much as I want it to!) GREAT pick, Jennifer!

From L to R: Nikki from Random House, Jennifer from 5 Minutes for Books, me, Dina from Big Honcho Media
My amazing plate of food. Homemade noodles. See? I'm drooling all over again. Pay special attention to the mushrooms. I'm normally not a big fan of mushrooms. However, I would have been happy eating nothing BUT mushrooms for dinner. I don't want to know what they did to make them taste so divine.
Us in Times Square after stuffing ourselves with the above pictured eats. And we are tired. Very. Very. Tired.
Random Pictures of New York (mostly taken for the benefit of my family - just to show them what I experienced):

#1 - I took this picture as I was crossing the street. See? Oncoming taxi cab. (I had the right of way, if you were wondering!)

#2 - For Jonathan's sake - the (more) infamous apple in our home.
#3 - I liked the skyscrapers best in NYC.
#4 - We stopped and picked up cupcakes from Crumbs. I had the Key Lime flavor. Highly recommended if you go for that sort of thing! (Bob and Jillian would SO not approve!)
#5 - Times Square. The guy's expression in the front here cracks me up. It kinda summarizes how I felt.

#7 - The inside of St. Patrick's Cathedral. Breath-taking and beautiful! (Thanks, Jennifer, for the detour!)
#8 - Nothing says peace and freedom quite like this....
This post is getting long so let me wrap this up by saying what an incredible trip full of new and varied experiences! I came home with lots of books, some of which you can see from my Mailbox Monday post at 5 Minutes for Books.

If you missed Book Expo America this year but think you might want to go next year - they've announced the dates for 2011 so you can mark them on your calendar (,Dawn.)

Two items which are up-and-coming which I was super hyped to find out about at the conference:

It's been a few years but Karon is back with the second in the Father Tim series! Mark your calendars for October 19th - In the Company of Others

Secondly, I was excited to find out about the next Disney Princess movie - Tangled.

Here's a teaser trailer if you'd like to see it:

It's due out in November of this year.

There are some other things that I'm excited about but these are a couple that really caught my eye!

I'm VERY glad to have had the opportunity to go (thanks to Jonathan and some very special, trusted friends who helped with the bookworms in my absence, giving me peace of mind!) If you are seriously into book blogging, I'd encourage a trip at least once so that you can get a feel for the industry. It's an incredible experience. But I AM glad to be home!!!

P.S. A frequently asked question at BEA was, "What have you read recently that you really enjoyed?" My typical answer (other than, "Mysterious Benedict Society - go read it!") was Radical Homemakers which I recently read and reviewed over at 5 Minutes for Books. We have a giveaway copy and I'm mentioning it here because I STRONGLY recommend the read. I think it's a FABULOUS argument (by a non-Christian no less!) of why it is important to reclaim the art of homemaking. DEFINITELY a "must read" and I hope you'll go enter the contest or find a copy of the book. It's amazing!

Click here to read my review of Radical Homemakers. Then go read the book itself. Do!


Unknown said...

Awesome pictures!! And awesome narrative too. You crack me up.

Melissa said...

Thanks for sharing your NYC visit in words and photos.

We live in NJ, but I've probably been to NYC fewer than 10 times in my life. Of those, only two were in the last 15 years, and both were bus trips. It's definitely sensory overload, and I much prefer the quiet.

I'm glad you had a good time, and that you had such a sweet welcome home. :)

Annette W. said...

I'm not a big fan of NYC either, though I did suggest that the family descend upon Derek's aunt and uncle for Thanksgiving this year...since the grandparents would be able to travel and no one will be pregnant (likely)...and his Brooklyn family won't be able to travel.

But it is sensory overload!

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Great post - you took some wonderful pics inside the Javits. I wish I would have done some of that. The M & M Liberty statue made me laugh - I did not see that when I was there :)

Melissa said...

I guess I'm in the minority, because I LOVE NEW YORK! (Though on my first trip, like you I was overwhelmed. My 2nd & 3rd trips were much better. I'm hoping there will be a 4th one day.)

So jealous that you got to go, and meet Jennifer, and play with the so adorable Kyle!

And the books...don't even get me started!

Glad you had a good time.

morninglight mama said...

Yes, yes, I can mark the calendar, definitely! (Now to only make the cash money magically appear...) :)

I'm a fan of NYC, in small doses, that is. I definitely hear you about the loudness factor, but for me it's more just the unfamiliarity. Washington DC and the Metro? No problem. NYC and the subway? I have no idea where I am. Ever.

I love seeing pics of so many people who we've been working with-- Dina has set up some fabulous giveaways (CATCHING FIRE!!) and I love working with her, and I saw you guys met Audrey, too. I so wish I was there with you guys!

Carrie said...

Yes, sensory overload for sure! Now, if they held it in some small mid-western town, I'd be all over it. ;)

Crossing my fingers for you, Dawn!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tour of NYC!

You've cinched it for me that I'll never go to the Big Apple. I have a hard time dealing with noisy crowds in my small-town Southern Wal-Mart :-)

Thanks for the sneak-peek of the new Disney film. I've been wondering when they would do Rapunzel. Can't say I'm crazy about the title "Tangled", but I can certainly relate to it. I have very long hair and sometimes the tangles make me cry!

Barbara H. said...

Sounds like quite an experience! I think I would be affected the same way by NYC -- I don't like loud, busy places.

I love hearing that Jan Karon has something new out!

Big Honcho Media said...

Great Pictures! It was so great talking with you over dinner.

Amanda said...

I love all these pictures, Tony's was wonderful, and I'm sorry you didn't enjoy NYC more. This is my third visit and I love it there except for the humidity. I can't imagine living there, but I like to visit. A lot.

Marks of Faith said...

Wow...I never would have guessed NYC would have made that kind impression on you. So glad you were able to go and have a nice time. Loved the pics and all the stories that went with it.

Julia M. Reffner said...

Thanks for posting the pictures. Next best thing to being there. That key lime cupcake looks fabulous!! I would love to go sometime since I live in NY state, but my hubby is allergic to big cities and I don't see myself heading out on my own.

Ronnica said...

Awww, fun! Sounds like you had a good time in spite of the city!

Stephanie Kay said...

Wow! Looks like you had a lot of fun. I can't believe the cost or calories in that cupcake!!! I agree on the noise factor. If it's Italian food you want, come to RI and I'll take you to Federal Hill (the Italian section of Providence). We drove through NYC last week - 2 HOURS getting through the city on I95. Insanity!! I have no problem getting around Boston on the T or D.C. on the Metro. But I'm not sure about NYC. I'd love to take my kids to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island but my hubby's not up for it yet. Glad you had fun (and still a little bitter we couldn't manage to meet up). :)

Z-Kids said...

Enjoyed reading your recap! I dearly love BEA. I had the chance to go 4 years ago, and it's one of my favorite experiences ever. Now I'm sad every year it rolls around, thinking of all I'm missing. Perhaps I'll get another chance. Glad your time was memorable!

Brimful Curiosities said...

Oh, I'm with you about the not enjoying the loud bit. But, I did very much enjoy reading about your experiences. That's awesome that you had a personal contact to help you navigate the insanity. Maybe someday I'll get brave and try visiting the big city and BEA.

Lisa Spence said...

I've never been to NYC. I'm not altogether sure I would like it. But good food? Hanging out with you and Jennifer? Books as far as the eye can see? All this and cupcakes too? is that!!!! :-)

Krista said...

Sounds like you had a great time! I've never been to NYC either although I think I'd like to visit... once! ;)
I'm sure Oregon is more my style since I didn't particularly care to live in Seattle after a year either!
I read all the Mitford books borrowed from my mother in law and loved them! I didn't know there was another series! Going on my Amazon wish list (that's about the only place I can keep track of books I want to read!)

Anna said...

Glad you had such a good time. I'm not a fan of the city, though I enjoyed myself. Too crowded and especially in the morning when they're hosing down the sidewalks, too smelly.

I wish we would have had more time to chat, but it was really great meeting you.

Diary of an Eccentric

Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

Love the pictures and your thoughts & comments -- thanks for sharing the experience! Most of all, I love what Bookworm1 said to you. So precious!

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