I Hang Out with People Too on Occasion

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When I’m not taking myself on tours of the city based on books I’ve read set in NYC, “dates” with myself, as I call them…I do sometimes go out and hang out with people. Shocker, I know!

It’s been pretty cool discovering the city in a whole new way, through the eyes of the characters I read about in my NYC books. Check out my Breakfast at Tiffany’s tour or my Reconstructing Amelia tour if you haven’t already. I plan on taking myself on more tours!

As awesome as that is, social interaction is important in life so if you’re interested, I’ll do a little show and tell of what I’ve been up to since my last tour.

Ready?

I’ll spare you the picture of my couch, but don’t you worry, it’s gotten plenty of love and attention.

I got off my couch and met up with a good friend who was back in town. We went to Erv’s on Beekman.

Erv’s on Beekman

The cocktails were delicious!

On another night we went to Franchia’s.

Franchia Vegan Cafe

Franchia’s is a yummy vegan Asian fusion restaurant. Not too shabby!

With other friends, I went to Radio City to see the Garden of Dreams talent show. Awesome night!

Strolled through the lovely, serene Times Square.

Times Square
This guy is looking at me like, “Ugh…tourist.” Stop! I’m not the tourist! You are! Now get out of my way.

I’ve been on two dates! Two dates with two different guys and there won’t be any second dates. That’s my dating life in a nutshell!

Bachelor #1 took me here:

Mimi’s Hummus
Oh look! A cute dog!

This guy bragged about taking me out to dinner and insisting I take the leftovers home. He boasted, “Pretty good deal, right!?” He was trying to soften the blow of never asking me out again. It’s okay I still enjoyed the leftovers.

Bachelor #2:

Sycamore Flower Shop + Bar

Bachelor #2 didn’t like the low tables at this bar. Not to worry though because we found tables more to his liking at another section of the establishment. He was a nice guy but just not the right guy for me. It’s okay…I enjoyed the knock off Blue Moon beer.

Back to swiping!

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I’ll take these two little pug butts!

Streets of NYC
Strong woman in NYC
TV/Pizza Night
Every Friday night is TV/Pizza night with my brother and his gf (not my messy apartment)
Office view
Stunning view from my office that we’re moving out of. 😢

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My friends and I ate at Basil Brick Oven Pizza in Astoria, Queens. We got together to say goodbye to our friend who is moving away! So many of my good friends have moved out of this city. Can’t really blame them when it’s so expensive here.

Gnocchi
Gnocchi, yum!
Greek Church in Astoria, Queens
Cool looking Greek Church in Astoria
Neptune Diner
One day I’ll have to go to Neptune Diner
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We went to this little slice of heaven

It was jam packed! So packed that while we waited for a table, we had to keep shuffling around to get out of the way of people coming at us from all different angles.

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Do I have to pick just one?
Chocolate lava cake
I washed this down with a chocolate peanut butter shake. Don’t judge.

I always forget how eating a warm cake or brownie with ice cream stresses me out. It’s a race to eat it all before all the ice cream melts! It’s a lot of pressure.

Strand Bookstore
My friend bought this for me. Isn’t it the best!?

That’s all folks!

My next tour will be soon!

Currently reading Lindsey Kelk’s I Heart New York.

 

Park Slope “Reconstructing Amelia” Tour

 

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What a wonderful sunny day this was! We’ve had a rough winter in NYC with cold, slushy snow storms, up & down weather, and lots of coughing and sneezing all around. This day, however, was beautiful and the people were out to enjoy it. I’m so glad my tour happened to fall on such a lovely day. In case you don’t know, I take myself out on “dates” based on books I’ve read set in this crazy city called New York City. I hate to say it, but so far it has been a lot more fun than any dates with the male population I’ve been on lately. I’ve got some blog posts on those kind of dates too. Read at your own risk.

Like Scott Rogowsky, let’s get down to the nitty gritty! I read “Reconstructing Amelia,” by Kimberly McCreight, which took me to an awesome neighborhood in Brooklyn called Park Slope. If you didn’t read my book review and sneak peak into my tour, go here.

The first time I did a tour based on a book, I had trouble getting out the door because of no hot water in my apartment. What a pain that was. If you’d like, you can read about that fun here. What I learned on that day is that I have to do a better job at shaking off my aggravations. I kept that in mind on this day.

Before setting out I was feeling a little anxious. My last tour, I picked up food at spots and mostly could just enjoy the solitude. For this “date” with myself I planned to up the anti. In the book, the character Kate meets up with someone at Dizzy’s Diner, which means that on a Saturday in NYC, I would be having brunch with myself.

Dun dun duuuun! For those who don’t know, the brunch culture in NYC is serious and it most definitely is a social activity. I planned to go inside and eat brunch alone. Why? Why did I feel the need to do this to myself? How come I couldn’t just take a picture of the exterior and be done with it? God I’m a masochist, that’s why.

“Take deep breaths and steal a picture before anyone notices how weird you are,” I tell myself.

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It looks inviting, right? “Can I ride that horse? I probably shouldn’t.” Time to go in. Just move forward, that’s what Don Draper would do. You’ve never watched Mad Men? Never mind.

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I pulled. I hate myself already.

The gentleman at the door who helped me to my table put me at ease right away. I struggled to move the table a little so I wouldn’t crowd the person behind me and he swooped in right away to help. I appreciated this so much because in NYC, you never know what you’re going to get in restaurants. Many are filled with nice staff, but lots of places have a pretentious staff. This was not one of those places! Phew!

I mean, look at this pig I sat under:

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Cute guy, right? Don’t worry piggy, I won’t be partaking in any of your friends for my meal.

The nice waitress came and took my order. I noticed later that she told everyone around me the “specials” but never told me. I wasn’t too bothered by it though. She probably sensed my nerves and knew I was trying to morph inside myself and pretend I wasn’t alone in a restaurant. She was probably uncomfortable about it too and wanted to leave me in peace. I had thoughts on telling her about my plan for the day so she realized how very cool I was, but I suppressed that urge. Waiters are busy so if she only half-heartedly listened and gave me a polite smile, it would have crushed my spirit. Instead, I focused on my coffee. I heart coffee!

And look at this mouth-watering meal!

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Oh my! No lie, this was the best brunch I’ve had in a long time! It was seriously tasty. Who needs the specials?

Dizzy’s was such a cool place and had a nice vibe. I highly recommend it.

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Prospect Park West often gets a mention in the book. Amelia has to walk up this street to get to school among many other spots in Park Slope. Speaking of the fictitious private school she went to, Grace Hall…I think I might have found the inspiration for that school.

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Wait for it…

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Isn’t it gorgeous? It’s called Litchfield Villa, but I think Grace Hall was modeled after it. I wonder if the author, Kimberly McCreight would tell me if I’m right?

Speaking of the author, she responded to one of my tweets while I was tweeting about my tour.

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This absolutely made my day! Thank you Kimberly! We’re on a first name basis now, right?

After being well fed by the great people at Dizzy’s it was time to head to the park and get dizzy from all the runners, bikers, and rollerbladers. See what I did there?

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So many motivated people at the park! I could have used the book to inspire me to go for a jog in the park, but I went with another direction…sitting in the park.

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A sign! I found my way to the spot I want to go! What a relief because whenever venturing into a big park, I have fears of getting so lost that I have to send out distress signals. My distress signals would involve clapping loudly, banging rocks together, and then breaking my foot from dropping the rock on it. Luckily, that did not happen.

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I made it to the Picnic House! Thank you Mr. Truck for blocking my view. It’s okay though, I’m letting go of my aggravations. See? I can learn!

The Picnic House is where Amelia goes to a secret meeting. It sets the stage for the rest of the story.

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Perhaps she met up with the other attendees in one of those picnic tables? Or maybe not. According to the book, they were hanging out under the “crooked trees.” I head to a spot under one of the beautifully crooked trees.

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This looks like a comfy spot!
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Ahhh peace!
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And squirrels!
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And dogs!
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More doggies! Okay, I’ll stop now.
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Did you really believe me?

I alluded to a missed connection in my last post. For awhile, I relaxed on my tree stump enjoying the scenery and then actually answering the phone when a friend called. I’m not a big fan of using my phone app. See Gary Gulman’s stand-up, “Telephone 1.0,” and you’ll understand more of how I feel about it. I digressed but you should totally YouTube that.

So I’m on my stump and a young looking guy who’s also alone sits down. He was at an appropriate distance in my vicinity, although, not close enough to strike up a conversation. I couldn’t tell from my vantage point if he was cute, but I was curious. I thought I should stay a little longer in case he wanted to come closer. I thought I waited long enough to see if anything interesting with him would happen, but since he seemed engrossed in his phone and I had a tour to continue, I decided to go on my way. I get up and start walking.

I soon realize that he also got up and was walking in the same direction as me. I was nervous. Was that on purpose? No, probably not. I didn’t know what to do. Turn around and walk towards him? No, what would be my reason for turning around? I decided to walk slower. I did try to give him a couple of glances, but I’m so bad at this stuff. The last time I looked back, he was stretching. I have no game, so I kept walking away.

Let’s take one last look of the Picnic House and forget about that guy. It wasn’t meant to be!

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I made a couple of other stops in the park which are shown in pictures in my original post and also my half-tour post, here.

Next stop on my tour is the street, Montgomery Place because the book reads: “That little block is like the nicest in the whole hood.”

As I’m making my way there, I realize that my battery power on my phone is at 20%! Oh no! I don’t understand how it got drained so fast. I never talk on the phone. Is that what did it? See, talking on the phone is the worst. Never. Do. It. I apologize to my friend. We actually had a great conversation and it was a highlight of my Park visit.

Before I get too panicky about my phone, I take a picture of myself.

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Okay, enough self indulgence. My phone dying is actually a serious problem. For one, all my tour stops are typed out on my phone and I need google to find them. Secondly, I have the worst sense of direction. Without google maps, I could get lost forever in Park Slope or God forbid, South Park Slope. I’m sorry, I have nothing against South Park Slope. I’d be lucky if I could afford to live there. Actually, I almost got a tiny studio with very low ceilings in South South Park Slope. I wasn’t a fan of crouching in my living space, so last-minute, I backed out. It was a good decision.

With my phone dying, I don’t know what to do, but I head to Montgomery Place anyway.

I couldn’t fully appreciate it since I was still in a state of panic, but here are the couple of shots I took:

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I wish I could have taken my time on this block, however, with direction from some passerby, I headed to Seventh Avenue to look for a coffee shop that had an outlet. As soon as I got there, I sensed that a Verizon store would be on that street. It must be my super power being able to sniff out a Verizon store.

It would’ve been better to spend my time in a coffee shop, but there would be no guarantee of an outlet. Since I’m a Verizon customer, I felt this was more of a sure shot. My super power ability proved true, I only had to walk a few steps before I stumbled into Verizon. They let me use their portable charger. Nothing to do but sit and wait. I will not get aggravated. I will take this opportunity to reread parts of the book that would be interesting to reread since now I know how the story ends.

After only an hour (see that optimism?), I’m back to my tour! I’m hungry again! Yay, I love to eat! I have two places to choose from in the book- a bagel place or a pizza place? Tough decision! Yes, I can eat two breakfasts in one day! Darn it, I’m getting a bagel!

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But can’t I get a slice of pizza too? Is that allowed? YES!

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It’s cash only. I have no cash…I can’t get a pizza. I’m stuffed, so like that guy, it’s not meant to be. Not too worry. There will be other slices of pizza in my future!

Time to go to Amelia’s best friend Sylvia’s street! According to the book, “Sylvia lived on Berkeley between Seventh and Eighth, around the corner from Mr. Wonton…”

Mr. Wonton!

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I’m pretending this is Slyvia’s place
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Slyvia’s block
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I just like this stoop!
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This is the spot where Amelia and Sylvia meet up to walk to school together

The most delicious hot chocolate I’ve ever had was at Cocoa Bar, which is now called Chocolateria. It was beyond amazing. Besides heavenly, chocolatey stuff, do you know what else they had? Outlets. I don’t get aggravated. The hot chocolate is too good.

Time to get back on foot! Now I want to go to another character’s home. Dylan’s place is described in the book as white stone, “and there was a kind-of-cool, kind-of-creepy sculpture out in front of a small tree with hands at the end of the branches instead of leaves.”  Again, I of course don’t have an address to this fictitious home, but I’m hopeful I will find a spot I think is her place. Yes, Dylan is a she and lives on 2nd street near the park, so that’s where I head.

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White stone, I’m getting close.

After passing many white stone brownstones, I arrive here:

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What is this!? Is that a kind-of-cool, kind-of-creepy sculpture!?! I think it is! It’s near the park! Maybe that plant grows hands at the end of its branches when it’s in bloom? I don’t know how that would work, but this is totally Dylan’s place! Should I knock and ask? Nahhh.

The last stop on my tour is Green-Wood Cemetery, since that is where Amelia is buried. It’s 6:30pm at this point and as I head there, I have a thought, “Will it be open?”

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Nope
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Double nope

Oh well, Green-Wood Cemetery is a National Historic Landmark and is beautiful. I need at least a full day to explore its “478 spectacular acres.” I’ve seen it from various, gorgeous vantage points, but I’ve still never gone inside. I plan on remedying that soon. Check out their website to learn more about it!

This is where my tour ends! Thank you so much if you made it this far. Let me know what you thought about it in the comments.

Special thanks goes to author Kimberly McCreight. I loved your book so much, fell in love with your characters. My solo date based on your book was so much fun. You took me to so many great places. Thank you! Everyone, read her book. It truly was a wonderfully, suspenseful book and an eye-opening read.

According to my Fitbit, I walked 16,227 steps on this tour. That might be a lot of steps but what I learned within those steps is that I can relax in this city after a stressful work week. I had that vacation feel on this day. My focus was on where I would go next, what I would eat, about the book, and the characters. The stresses of my everyday life were nonexistent on this day. Instead of hurrying past people, I noticed their smiles and laughter. I saw families out enjoying the sun, kids posing by the park with their arms outstretched, and it all made me happy. I want to try to take this feeling into my everyday life.

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Book Review & Brooklyn Tour: Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight

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I’ve done it again! A tour of the city inspired by a book I’ve read. If you haven’t read about the first time I did this, check out my Breakfast at Tiffany’s tour here.

Now let’s get to the most important reason I’m writing today and that is to tell you about this book, Reconstructing Amelia. What a beautiful book. Beautiful and heartbreaking. Don’t worry, I won’t write anymore than what you would already read in the book summary.

It starts off with Kate, who’s working a high pressure job as a lawyer for a Manhattan firm. Kate is a single mom to teenage daughter, Amelia. They live in the idyllic neighborhood of Park Slope, Brooklyn. Kate is in an important meeting when she gets a call from Amelia’s school, Grace Hall, and is told she must come right away because her daughter has been caught cheating on a paper. Kate does not believe this can be true of her extremely gifted and trustworthy daughter. When she finally manages to escape her office and arrive at the school, her world comes crashing down: Amelia has fallen from the roof and is dead. Soon Kate learns from Grace Hall and the police, that Amelia jumped. At first Kate accepts this explanation, but later on, something makes Kate question everything. Did her intelligent and beautiful daughter really jump? Kate is determined to find out the truth.

This was a tough read. I enjoy suspense books, which this is but it’s so much more. I got invested in this story because I wanted to know what happened, but also because the reality of the situation tugged at my heart. This story fluctuates from Kate’s point of view and Amelia’s. It’s gut-wrenching from both perspectives. From Kate’s point of view, we have a mom grappling with the reality of her daughter’s death, and with Amelia we know that ultimately she will die. It’s a tough pill to swallow. We follow Amelia’s story as she goes about her everyday life. We fall in love with the bright, thoughtful girl she is and see her as someone who should have a bright future. We know she doesn’t. Kimberly McCreight captured real, honest characters. The Kates and Amelias of this world do exist and that truth is what made it hard for me to read. I am so glad I read it though. Not only is it a compelling story, I think it helped strengthen my compassion for people in similar situations as these characters.

As I read this book, I thought, “Is it okay for me to go on a tour of Park Slope based on this sad story?” I read a lot of fun, chick lit books, which seems more appropriate for a “date” with myself as I explore the city. However, I also thought about how much I completely fell in love with these characters. Wouldn’t it be cool to explore their world for a bit? It’s hard for me to let go of characters after I finish a book, so going on this tour would let me hang onto them for a little longer.

I plan on doing this more, for as long as it’s still fun. Reading books set in NYC and then exploring those worlds is a great opportunity for me. I’ve lived in NYC for almost 13 years now. I’ve had many thoughts about moving out of this expensive city and thought about where I would go. I have a couple places in mind, however, something holds me back from escaping this city of tiny apartments. I still think I haven’t made the most of living in this city. It is an amazing city but have I done enough? Yes, I have a great job I can feel proud of, I’ve been to lots of Broadway shows, eaten at great restaurants, have awesome friends, taken random acting and improv classes, but have I fully taken advantage of living in this great city? Most of what I do I could do anywhere and for a lot cheaper. I have good friends, but at 38 years old, many have moved away and I’m still single.

I need to get out of my comfort zone and off my couch. Oh do I love my relaxing weekend mornings, grabbing a coffee and bagel…coming home to my lovely couch. Did you know for 8 years I lived in an apartment that was too small for a couch? Now I’m in an apartment that can fit a couch. Sweet heaven!

As lovely as my couch is, it’s time for a change and time to get everything I can out of this city. It’s nice going on dates with guys (by nice, I mean hellish), but now I want to take myself out on “dates” in the city. And my “dates” will be inspired by amazing books! How cool is that?

My day trip into Park Slope was incredible! I’m a Brooklyn girl so a bit biased, but I had such a wonderful time and discovered some great places, thanks to Kimberly McCreight.

Here’s a sneak peak into my Park Slope tour:

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Beautiful brownstones of Brooklyn
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Prospect Park
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It’s no secret. I love dogs! I’m a dog creeper.

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This building says, “This is me, I’m beautiful and you know it. Can’t stop looking at me, can you?”
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More lovely brownstones
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Colorful Brooklyn!

Full tour with sites specific to Reconstructing Amelia is here!

Also, if you haven’t already, why don’t you read about my last tour? Go here. Thanks so much for stopping by!

My Breakfast at Tiffany’s Tour in the City

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While I was reading the book Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M., about Audrey Hepburn and the making of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, I thought it would be fun to take myself out into the city to do my own Breakfast at Tiffany’s tour. If you didn’t read my book review, well then…go read it! Okay, I won’t force you, but I highly recommend it. It might just change your life.

So I’m not gonna lie, I was excited about this plan. Not just because it would get me out of my apartment before noon on a Saturday, but I thought it would give me a newfound appreciation of myself. I’m the type who doesn’t really make plans. I just go along with whatever someone else has planned, which for the most part is fine by me. However, this was going to be a whole day that I planned out just for me. And obviously nyc is one of the best places to explore. Day trips into the city are like mini vacays. I knew that somehow this day would end with me having some profound epiphany about myself. I was ready.

Nyc can also be a bitch.

Saturday rolls around and I actually got up at 8am. I was so proud. And instead of checking Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/Google, I head straight to the shower. Can’t wait to get my day started! Turn the faucet on while taking care of business and then…wth? Freezing cold water! I don’t panic. I use my Google Home to set a timer for 30 minutes, I want to do some interweb searching anyway. How could I start a morning without doing that? Thirty minutes later, still cold. Another 30- cold. I’m the assertive type so I texted my Super to find out what’s going on. No response. I won’t take this lightly. I’m going to send another text that shows I mean business- “I’ve been up since 8am waiting for hot water and it’s still ice cold.” That will get some action!

No response. I’m seething in anger because I can’t get over the fact that for once in my life I’m up at an early hour on a Saturday and my plans have been sabotaged. Finally, though, at 10:30am, I’ve got hot water. Hallelujah.

After a long subway ride with people invading my personal space, I finally made it into the city. Well, first I had to get past the jerk in the elevator, so after yelling at him with my eyes, I escaped the subway. Finally! I can start my day of fun-filled positive me time!

First things first! Audrey Hepburn, as Holly Golightly, eats a danish for breakfast while outside of Tiffany’s.

By the time I make it to my spot for a danish, it’s 1:40pm and I’m starving.

Andre’s Hungarian Strudels & Pastries
Andre’s Hungarian Strudels and Pastries, 1049 1st Ave, b/t 57th & 58th

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I needed to see this sign. I was still trying to shake off my morning’s frustrations. See? The city beats you down, but then it picks you back up again. I didn’t get a hot shower for two and a half hours! Okay…so maybe the city didn’t exactly beat me down. Anyway…

I had to go to Tiffany’s first since that was where Holly ate her danish (even though Audrey detested danishes). Well, outside of Tiffany’s is a busy area, so not a good spot to have my danish. From my research, it looked like one of their filming locations on 52nd and Park would be a good spot to sit and eat my cheese danish. But first, here’s a pic on 5th Avenue:

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Now to 52nd and Park

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This is my spot to sit, relax, and devour my danish. It’s a bit cool out and slightly misty, but that’s okay, I finally made it. Now I can imagine Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard in this very spot making film history. Was George being a diva on this day? Apparently, he wasn’t very well-liked on set.

I have trouble focusing on this image because there’s a weird looking guy smoking a cigarette not too far away from me. Is he looking at me? I’m female, all alone in scary nyc. Wouldn’t it be funny if after 12 years of living in this city, that this would be the day I get mugged? He starts walking towards me! I’m thinking, “Oh shit. Grab your danish!” But then he just kept walking past me towards that building. You see? He wasn’t a weird guy! I’m the weird one. I’m sitting all alone on 52nd and Park on a dreary day eating a cheese danish. That’s all kinds of certifiable behavior. So ladies, don’t fear nyc, it’s perfectly safe!

Now that I’m satiated and back to rational thinking, I start heading to Holly Golightly’s brownstone, which is at 169 East 71st street. It’ll be good exercise to walk and I got my Fitbit with me for motivation. I do start to wonder though, if a guy was taking me out on a date that involved all this walking, would I be carefree and happily go with it? Or would I knock off points because seriously, will a bathroom make an appearance during this date? I’d like to know!

On the way to Holly’s brownstone, I happened to pass two spots that made me smile.

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Did Truman Capote get his hair styled at this men’s salon?
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I do like money. Can I teach about how much I like it? Golightly!

Made it to Holly Golightly’s brownstone!

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This is it or it should be. I’m counting right, I think? 169 East 71st St.
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Holly’s block
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Across the street. Looks pretty!

If only I could buy Holly’s brownstone and restore it myself. I wonder who’s working on that?

I had plans on going to the New York Public Library, but because of my late start, I had to cut it from my tour. Another day!

Instead I head to Central Park. Have you heard of it?

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I love cute dogs!

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Another cute dog! This is the Balto Statue. In 1925, Balto was a heroic sled dog who led the pack through blizzard conditions to help deliver medicine during a diphtheria outbreak. CentralPark.com
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The Bandshell. One of the film locations. Shabby chic?
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It’s hard to tell in this picture, but there’s a bride and groom up there. Love is always in the air at Central Park! Never mind the ruffians below causing a ruckus.
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This is my favorite spot in the Park! Bethesda Fountain. I’ll have to do this tour again when the trees are in bloom and when there’s water in the fountain. Not the full effect, but it’s still my favorite.
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Pretty sweet, right?
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I had to go pay my respects to John Lennon

This was my last stop in Central Park, but not my last stop on the tour. Audrey Hepburn made the little black dress a must have for modern women. While I couldn’t get a Givenchy, I could ask one of my more fashionable friends where I might find an affordable option. My designer friend came to my rescue with the perfect spot.

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Not only would I find an affordable dress and accessories, but I was also supporting a good cause. Check out Angel Street Thrift Shop’s mission.

The goods:

The dress was $40.00, beaded necklace $5.00, and the orange triangle necklace was $10.00.

Very cute shop!

So that was the full tour! I was exhausted. I walked 19,324 steps.

Did I have any epiphanies about myself? Not really but I guess I learned that I have to do a better job at shaking off my aggravations. Or I need to move into a nicer apartment and hire a chauffeur?

To see pictures of Audrey Hepburn and other cast members on location while filming Breakfast at Tiffany’s, go to this website.

Currently reading Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight. This book is set in Park Slope, Brooklyn!

Book Review: Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and The Dawn of the Modern Woman by Sam Wasson

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I love Audrey Hepburn and Breakfast at Tiffany’s, so I wanted to read more about her. This seemed like the perfect book for me since I love learning behind the scenes tidbits in movies. This book explores all the people involved in the making of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Even more, it gives you their history and how they ended up involved in this classic film. It’s very cool reading about Truman Capote, how he was raised, and the women who became his inspiration for Holly Golightly. Apparently, even though he liked Audrey Hepburn on a personal level, he thought she was horribly miscast as Holly. Truman wanted Marilyn Monroe. The producers, however, went in their own direction, and pursued Audrey for the iconic role. I’m glad they did!

Learning more about Audrey Hepburn in this book made her seem more relatable to me. Here is this gorgeous and talented actress, however, I was surprised to learn that she was riddled with self-doubt about her talent. According to her, in her past roles, she had to rely on her charm. In her Oscar nominated role, The Nun’s Story, she said her performance was due to the editing and not her talent. “That wasn’t acting, it was a magic trick.” She believed the part of Holly was out of her range.

It is awesome that even though she had all these doubts and thought it was a part she wasn’t talented enough for, she still took it on. That’s strength. Makes me feel better about having my own insecurities. It’s human. Yes, we all have many great attributes, but we also all have insecurities and that’s okay. It makes us who we are and more complex human beings. We have to accept all parts of ourselves. Find the strength within us no matter the obstacles. And be kind. Audrey Hepburn was very well-known for her kindness to everyone. Next I plan on reading more about all her humanitarian work. She’s definitely someone to look up to!

Although I started this blog as a “dating” blog, I also wrote some book reviews since I love chick lit books and thought that would tie in nicely. Reading this book gave me the idea to take myself out on a “date” in NYC. I visited Breakfast at Tiffany’s filming sites and other places I felt like going, but all inspired by this book and the movie.

Why not take myself out right? I know what I like! I think? Here’s a sneak peak of my “Date in the City” with myself:

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The Roosevelt Island Tramway
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Pastries! Yum!
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Central Park
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Hot Dog Stand
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Don Filippo Pizzaria, I’m a cheap date. 😉 Decent nyc pizza and comfy seating.

Check out my “date” in the city here!

Book Review: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

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After reading Liane Moriarty’s, The Husband’s Secret, I should have had an idea of what I was getting into. She’s good, she’s pretty damn good.

I heard the hype of the show, which is basically what got me to read this. I’m a fan of chick lit books, but before I discovered my love of reading, I was a tv/movie girl. So in addition to chick lit, I tend to read a lot of books that are turned into movies or shows.

I read the first half of the book at a solid but leisurely pace, however, yesterday I think I was only at the halfway point. I had a couple of long subway rides to read a bit, but then last night from about 9pm to after 2am, I tore through this sucker. I couldn’t stop! I had plans to wake up early, get some errands done, but no, last night as I read, I made new plans for my little errands. Getting a new iPhone was not gonna stop me from finding out what happens in the end. Who needs a phone anyways? I got my kindle!

The women in this book are strong, funny, vulnerable, flawed, and real. I was pulling for all the females in this book (and some of the men). The story is told through the eyes of three women: Madeline, Jane, and Celeste.

Madeline is the spirited one who you’d want as a friend and not an enemy. She is a loyal and protective friend. She has had to overcome some things in her past that she hasn’t yet quite overcome. It shapes her relationships. Jane is the young, innocent one. She has some things to hide in her past, but she can’t escape them. Celeste is described as the beautiful one, but she’s a bit ashamed of her beauty. Celeste is actively hiding something. All of these women are mothers who desperately want the best for their children.

This book review sucks, doesn’t it? “Some things happen and she’s hiding some things, she’s not over some things, and then some stuff happens.” You get it, this book is awesome. It was turned into a hit HBO show, so it’s pretty obvious at this point. It won a bunch of Emmys for god sakes. Why am I writing this review? Watch it already, I mean read it.

Back to my serious review:

This book also has a lot of great peripheral characters. The husbands are of course important characters to the story and there are other women we meet at the school the kids attend. The style of the book flows from the different female perspectives both from the main characters and the peripheral characters as they are interviewed about the mysterious murder that took place. Yes, murder! Did I almost leave that out? Oops. Obviously that’s important too.

Ultimately what I liked about this book, besides the gotta know what happened aspect, is how the author shows these women’s flaws, their disagreements, how easily women can go after each other…but it also shows their strength, and the undeniable bond that women have.

Okay. Tom…Let’s talk about Tom for a bit. I would totally date him! He makes good coffee. Done. What more would I need? He makes muffins and pancakes too. Ohmigod Tom stop! You’re perfect! Where is my Tom?

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Book Review: When I Wake Up by Jessica Jarlvi

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Wow! This book had me going. I’m not sure how I found out about this author and book, but I’m so glad I did!

Suspense thrillers are so hard for me to predict but the funny thing about this book is I thought I had it figured out many times. I was even gloating to myself about it. Real smug like. I saw the percentage on my kindle at 44% and thought, “I have this figured out before I’m halfway there. I got this.” I was WRONG. Every time I thought I had it figured out- “Aha! This character’s name is spelled yada yada xyz so this time I have to be right.” Wrong. Wrong. Oh so wrong. Pathetic attempt even.

Let me tell you a little ditty about this dark and can I use the word gritty? Yes, dark and gritty and grimy and seedy and cool book- Anna, is a beloved teacher in a small Swedish town who gets savagely beaten up in her school’s parking lot. She lands herself in a coma leaving her husband and the cops to figure out who did it. Each chapter follows a different character’s point of view and different time periods: some before the attack and some present day.

A whole slew of suspects exist in this book. At different times I thought each of them were guilty. We follow along as Anna’s husband is trying to sort it all out. In the process, he discovers things about his wife that are very revealing. Things that lead to new suspects. Who did it?! Ahhhh! This book will have your head spinning. I couldn’t wait to find out. There were definitely some dicey moments that kept me at the edge of my seat.

Highly recommend!

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A Book Review: the Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

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Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Chick Lit anymore. How did this happen? How did I accidentally pick up a book that’s not about sweet, passionate, or cute & quirky love? I’m not sure. I think I must have read the summary. Maybe I just read that a husband and wife were part of the story and just assumed it was typical chick lit.

Oh well…the book ultimately grabbed me by the neck and didn’t let go until it had its way with me. I seriously almost died while reading this book. I think I did die. Am I here right now?

Put yourself in my shoes- imagine that you’re a single woman, alone, in a converted studio apartment in Brooklyn, looking for a little romance on a page and instead you get a dark, sinister, heartbreaking story filled with characters who must go to the deepest parts of themselves to know who they truly are? And then they realize they may not be totally happy with what they discover about themselves.

Okay, if you’re like me, you actually would be gripped by this tale and then you’d be body slammed in Prospect Park, peed on by a Shetland Sheepdog, hobble into a cab, and then get thrown out of the speeding cab by a hipster couple smoking marijuana and making out. That’s how I felt while reading this book. I just had to get through it and hope things would end semi-okay.

Seriously though I was invested in this story and characters. It will make you think how you’d navigate the gut-wrenching terrain the characters must face.

Sadly, I don’t think I’d want to date any of the male characters in real life. That’s okay though. It was a great read that I sighed in relief when I finished. Not necessarily because of anything in particular that happened, but because I made it through and survived!

Read it and we’ll start a support group.

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My humble attempt at a book review

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Dark. Twisted. Sick. Awful. Gripping. I wanted to put it down many times, but it was Too Late, I was hooked. This book makes you feel trapped much how the heroine of the story, Sloan, must have felt with her boyfriend, Asa.

I won’t write too much because I hate it when reviews give away too much. I love romance and comedy, so hence why chick lit is the perfect genre for me. This was chick lit on heroine, actually, chick lit going through a heroine withdrawal. It hurts, it destroys you, you need to read just one more chapter and you convince yourself that you can stop this time.

Not much comedy in this book, but despite all the hardship throughout the story, there is a cute, sweet romance. Thank God! It was hard to enjoy the romance with all the tension and suspense, but it was a well-written book that definitely kept me engaged. I could suspend my disbelief for most of the book minus one of the plot twists.

Overall, I definitely enjoyed reading this book despite the heart palpitations and nausea it caused me. I highly recommend it along with Colleen Hoover’s many other books that I love- It Ends With Us, Hopeless, Maybe Someday, Nov 9th, just to name a few.

What are you reading?