Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Postcard from NYC

I know it’s not exactly “What I Did on my Summer Vacation” week at the Buzz Blog, but the other bees have agreed to let me squeal (I mean share!) about my amazing time in NYC.

First of all, it’s totally part of the writer’s dream to travel to New York, the center of the publishing world, so when an opportunity through my day job opened to travel there, I was like, “Yeah, I guess I could go...” But inside I was all, “HOLY CRAP! I’m going to NY!”

So after a work week and a half doing things for the office job, I had a morning appointment to see my editor at HarperCollins. The Children’s department is housed in an average skyscraper on Sixth Ave/Avenue of the Americas. I had to show ID so I could get a visitor's pass from the guards. Apparently they couldn’t just take my word that I was Heather Davis, YA author in the flesh. So, good on you, security, you’re keeping my editor goddess safe.

My editor goddess is lovely and her office is filled with plants. It's so cool to be able to picture her working there now. And... since you're wondering... my revision was on her desk! I couldn’t quite make out the top page’s notes... so I’m still waiting but not for too much longer. The meeting was great, and I left there with free books! It was like Christmas in August.

After that and a sandwich at this yummy gourmet to go place, I went to the Museum of Modern Art! Guys -- I got to see The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh in person. *sigh* It was amazing to find myself in front of that painting...

That deserves a pause. Freaking Vincent Van Gogh. He rocks.

So, okay – I’m back. Next I checked into the Algonquin Hotel. Work had me at a yucky place that was tiny, dark, and sketchy in general.

The Algonquin was a freaking dream! I was actually staying in the place where one of the world’s wittiest women – Dorothy Parker – and her homies hung out back in the twenties and thirties.

That ambiance and the beautiful hotel room made me feel like, “Wow, I am a writer in NYC!”

Also, the staff there was so nice! They even have laptops you can borrow for free if you need to check your email. That and Ipod docks are just a few of the cool modern touches in an historic hotel... Tres cool.

Oh, here's a picture of Matilda, the Algonquin's cat who lives in the lobby. She has a really fluffy cat bed, but prefers the luggage cart. She was adorable and very friendly.

After a nap (‘cause just like Matilda all that excitement wore me out) I met my new friend writer/photographer Julie B. who took me to the East Village for dinner at a groovy sushi place. I loved the Village – it was very Seattle-ish in some ways. Cool people, casual vibe, a lot of fun.

Oh, I should mention here this was Stephen’s (aka Boy Wonder Agent) birthday weekend so he was away, but I did get to meet him for dinner earlier in the week. I toured the agency which was down near the Flower district and we ate dinner at a cute diner called the Mayrose. We both ordered old people food – him meatloaf, me turkey and mashed potatoes. I was like, “We’re eating the sunset special, grandpa!” It was just what I needed though after a week of restaurant food. Anyway, you all know I heart Stephen. It was so good to see him again.

Okay so back to Saturday -- after brunch on the Upper East Side, I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art – my friend sent me in the wrong direction, but I eventually found the Museum – the setting of one of my favorite books – From the Mixed Up Files of Basil E. Frankweiler.

That was so cool, guys! There were the fountains from which the kids in the book fished their lunch money (and where they bathed!) There was the massive Egyptian collection and the temple of Dendur – and the endless rooms of paintings and furniture. Gorgeous.

I lunched on the roof of the museum, and then wandered through Central Park. Here's a picture of the lake -- they were doing some restoration work on the other end of it. There were so many beautiful spots and people doing interesting things, I could have stayed there all day long.

After another nap... I had dinner at a great little place called Riposo 46 – where I made strangers share my flatbread pizza-thing which was gargantuan.

Then, I went to the Eugene O’Neil Theater and saw Spring Awakening – the 2007 Tony Award winner for best musical. It was great. If you can imagine teenage angst in 1890’s Germany set to rock anthems – you get the idea of Spring Awakening.

At intermission, I bought the CD. It was that good. It does have some R rated themes for sure, and I felt a little bad for the 15 year old boy sitting next to me who was there with his mom. Somehow I expected them to discuss what they’d just witnessed, but alas... I guess that conversation was for the taxi ride home.

Afterwards, I capped the night off with a piece of warm chocolate cake and a glass of champagne (NOTE: THE BUZZ GIRLS DO NOT CONDONE UNDERAGE DRINKING!) at world-famous Sardi’s.

There I was, all by myself at a table facing the dining room, the walls covered by all those colorful caricatures of stars – but somehow it was okay. I always dreamed I would go to NYC someday... I used to think it would be as part of a couple or something, but I learned on this trip that I could do that for myself.

I could be there in the city on my own. Not lonely – just on my own. And as a professional writer!

I guess that’s part of growing up – when you do the things you want to do for yourself. Yeah, it’s great when you have someone to share the experience, but being able to create a reality out of a dream and not having to rely on someone else to do it for you is pretty freaking cool.
So, to recap...

I spent way too much money at H & M. (The best chain clothes store in the world!)

I did not take enough pictures.

I didn't sleep enough.

But... I heart NY.

Can't wait to go back...


Heather Davis is the author of
Never Cry Werewolf
Coming in January 2009 from HarperCollins


stephhale said...

Heather, what an amazing trip! I'm so glad you had a good time. And it is much better to go alone and have a good time then be with the wrong person and have a crappy time. Eventually you'll meet someone who gives you the best of both worlds! :)

The (Mis)Adventures of a Single City Chick said...

As someone who has done most of her traveling alone, I totally recommend it! Glad you had a great time. It sounded fabulous! :-)


TinaFerraro said...

I so enjoyed hearing of your travels, Heather. For one thing, I was just there a few weeks ago myself, and it brought back my own good memories. But also to get to share with you your wonderful times and your moments of accomplishment and growth. Bravo!

Alyson Noel said...

You hit all my favorite places! Isn't NYC the BEST?

Heather Davis said...

It was totally great. I felt so lucky to be there. :)

Dona Sarkar-Mishra said...

SOOO Glad you had a great time....thanks for sharing your trip with us!

TJ Brown said...

Sounds like a wonderful time! Color me green!

Marley Gibson said...

Heather! Looks like you had an amazing trip. Of course, how could you not...you were in New York. Thanks for sharing!

Marley = )

Anonymous said...

Heather, I'm so happy you had a great trip. Was that Julie Blattberg you mentioned? I <3 NY too!