I Heart New York Tour

Hope sculpture in NYC

I love reading. I can get on a roll & tear through books. I’ll read on the subway, on my couch, my bed, and when I’m lucky enough, I’ll read on an antigravity chair by a lake.

I’ve lived in NYC for almost 13 years and reading & blogging has inspired me. I read books set in NYC and then head out to explore the worlds of the characters. I’m experiencing New York with a brand new appreciation.

I read Lindsey Kelk’s “I Heart New York” and wrote a book review with a sneak peek into my tour here.

I’m not gonna lie, I was jealous of the main character. Angela is a Brit who flew to NYC in a panicked-induced whim and in less than a week, she had two guys after her. Thirteen years and it’s still crickets for me in the guy department. Maybe it was her British accent that got her the hot male attention so fast? Or maybe it’s that she’s a fictional character? Either way I was annoyed inspired!

Angela met those guys when she was on her own while out & about in the city. I was about to go out & about in the city…so my plan was to meet someone. I planned to look more approachable. Ear buds out of my ears, eyes not glued to my phone, look warm and inviting…like a steaming cup of hot chocolate.

Maybe I’d meet my future husband!?

No, I’m a realist. Maybe I’d meet my future guy of the moment to have a witty texting relationship with and then go out with twice before he inevitably ghosts me. Yay! Can’t wait for that!

Here we go!

W New York- Union Square
W New York- Union Square

Angela stayed at a fictional hotel in Union Square called The Union.

Union Square Park
Union Square Park
Union Square
Union Square subway and shopping

Union Square

Union Square is every New Yorker’s meeting point because of its convenience. Tons of subway options are available and a dependable amount of restaurants, shopping options, and entertainment. When dating, I could be meeting a guy from any of the five bouroughs or *shudder* Jersey, or God-forbid, Long Island, but usually they also work in Manhattan so Union Square often becomes the first date spot.

Angela has a date at this restaurant. I had mixed feelings about going here. It’s a bit touristy but I do love chocolate. From the book: “The doors to Max Brenner’s opened to reveal a huge Charlie and the Chocolate Factory style chocolate lab.”

Max Brenner’s
The food!

To start, I had peanut butter hot chocolate. Yas! Delicious is an understatement. I could have swam laps in that hot chocolate. When my meal came, the waiter pointed to those small ramekins, and told me, “This is butter, this is chocolate. Dip your biscuit in the chocolate.” Yes sir!

While my omelet looks amazing, truth be told, I had to sprinkle a lot of salt to make it tastier. I think this place is probably where you go just for dessert.

After stepping out of the restaurant, I got to go to an outdoor market.

I wandered to this spot:

Union Square outdoor market
Healing crystals

Bought myself some rose quartz hoping it would help me attract some love into my life. Wish me luck!

Next stop!

The Museum of Modern Art

When I read that Angela goes here, I thought “How unoriginal. Everyone goes to The MOMA.” I take back my negativity! I quickly became immersed in my MOMA experience.

Before heading to the art, I felt the need for coffee so I visited the cafe and with my cup in hand, sat down…next to someone of the male variety.

Here I go…open, approachable. I’m gonna move my purse so it’s not a barrier, put on an “open” expression on my face, smile, no that’s weird. What would I be smiling at? Don’t smile. Look smart. Glasses on, kindle out. Let’s put a conversation starter in full view, that’ll work!

I thought putting out my “well-read” pouch was a solid move.

I have no idea if the guy is cute because did I even look at him? Nope! My number one flirting technique relies on the use of my excellent peripheral vision skills. It works wonders for me!

He got up and left.

Strike one!

Ah well. It’s for the best. If he can’t appreciate a well-read woman, what good would he be for me?

Forget him. Let’s check out the pretty outdoor scenery here.

The MOMA

The MOMA rose
That’s a rose, but that woman is not me

To the art!

Jackson Pollock
Jackson Pollock’s One: Number 31, 1950
The Starry Night
Vincent van Gogh, The Starry Night
Vincent van Gogh, The Starry Night
I was just being a jerk. Here it is.
Andrew Wyeth’s Christina’s World
Andrew Wyeth, Christina’s World

This is the painting that is featured in the book. In the description next to the painting, Wyeth explains that she’s “limited physically but by no means spiritually.”

I’ve always loved this painting too. Is she going back home or yearning for something new?

The featured exhibit at The MOMA is Adrian Piper: A Synthesis of Intuitions. It was a moving and thought-provoking exhibition to say the least.

Adrian Piper, self-portrait

Adrian Piper: A Synthesis of Intuitions
List the fears of what we might know about you.

Before entering the exhibition, there were private booths to enter like this one with a binder where you’re given instructions. Each page stated at the top, “List the fears of what we might know about you.” Each page was filled with people’s fears about being alone, losing loved ones, feeling ostracized, not amounting to much, insecurities, being judged, never finding love, sexual violence, being black and worrying about their children’s future, and it went on and on. It might seem sad to read each and everyone’s fears but what I felt while reading was more connected. We’re all human and we all have fears.

Adrian Piper: A Synthesis of Intuitions

Adrian Piper: A Synthesis of Intuitions
Everything will be taken away
The MOMA
This is me

My self-involved moment taking a selfie. I wonder if Adrian Piper expected that people would do this? “Everything will be taken away.” Let’s see what I have…glasses. I have a good job that provides me with health insurance, which means I could get a free eye exam and buy those glasses cheaply.

I have an iPhone. I’m on the family plan with my parents and Verizon now charges in monthly installments instead of paying up front for a new phone. I told my father I would pay him for this phone but he didn’t take my offer. Such a good, traditional man. I think he feels that he’s responsible for me until I get myself a husband. Poor guy!

I go to a hair salon to get a cut and color (got to hide the greys!). My clothes were all bought at reasonably priced stores. Although, the newly purchased jacket hanging on my arm was a bit more than I usually pay. I’m wearing a necklace my mom bought me and I have two rings on. What if all of this was taken away? Would it be miserable or a chance for a rebirth?

I’m not sure what the answer is. What do you think?

The MOMA
There’s humor in this exhibit too. No one hummed though. 😦

Adrian Piper exhibit

That’s all from The MOMA. I loved it so much. I want to go back and spend even more time there.

Next stop is Battery Park. Angela’s new friend brought her here when she was showing her around NYC.

Battery Park

Upon arrival, I immediately wonder, what is that over there?

Battery Park: Sea Glass

Let me get a peek through the window.

Battery Park: Sea Glass

O……….M……….G!!!! Are these rides!?

Battery Park: SEAGLASS
Hell yeah I’m gonna go for a ride! I mean heck. There are kids here. 😉

5 bucks gets me in! For NYC that’s quite a bargain!

And look at this!

Battery Park: SEAGLASS

Look how cool these are! I had no idea this existed. What a pretty sweet surprise. It was mostly kids and families enjoying, but I imagine once night hits, the crowd changes a bit. SeaGlass stays open until 10pm.

Time for my ride!

But first…let me take a selfie.

Battery Park: Seaglass
$5 street sunglasses

Battery Park: SEAGLASS

That was FUN!!! 10 more times! 😉

Check out the rest of my pics from Battery Park:

Statue of Liberty

Staten Island Ferry
Staten Island Ferry floating on the sidewalk.
Battery Park: Pier A
Can you spot the cute couple?
Battery Park
Cute couples are everywhere!

Battery Park

Battery Park is cool because you get the stunning views of the city along with the relaxing feeling that comes with being by the water. It’s a nice escape from the hectic vibe of the city without leaving the city. It’s a win-win!

Before I get to the end of my tour, a girl has to eat.

Soho Park
I forgot to take a pic on the way in, but got one on my way out
Soho Park Restaurant
Grilled cheese made with gruyere, parmesan, and some kind of basil magic. I could have eaten 5.
Soho Park Restaurant
Romantic mood lighting for my date with myself.

Two guys were sitting in the table right beside me. My peripheral vision told me that one of the guys might be cute. When his friend got up, the cute one took his friend’s seat, which made him right next to me. Why the seat change? Did he want to sit closer to me? I start feeling my nerves kick in but I try my best to look approachable. I gotta work on that because he said nothing to me.

Strike 2!

Maybe I was staring at my phone too much? His friend came back and started enthusiastically talking about some work thing. Sounded like a pyramid scheme to me. I started imagining myself on a date with him having to pretend to be interested. Thank my lucky stars!

For my last stop of my tour I head to the lower east side to the Bowery Ballroom. I’m feeling a bit ridiculous for going to a random concert all because a character in a book saw a show there. I already bought the ticket, so I can’t chicken out. I love going to concerts but I’ve never been to one on my own.

The day was so warm but all of a sudden at night the temperature dropped. And my google maps app failed me. I wandered in circles for a bit in the cold to find this damn venue.

And guess what? My phone is dying even though I bought a new portable charger from the Apple Store. Can’t believe this is happening again. This time I feel even more nervous about it. I don’t want to get lost in this neighborhood late at night. I don’t know my way around.

I stick with the plan and head in. Grab a beer at the bar. I’ve got about an hour to kill. I feel so awkward as people start to fill in. I’m the only one here alone it seems. I can’t escape inside my phone because I have to conserve the battery. I seriously consider leaving, but I stay.

Once the music finally started, I began to relax. Out in the audience it really doesn’t matter if you’re alone. I enjoyed both bands and even danced a little. I ended up loving the music and vibe.

The Bowery Ballroom
Start Making Sense: Talking Heads Tribute

The Bowery Ballroom

That’s my tour! Amazingly, I had enough juice in my phone to find my way to the subway. It died right before I got there.

Made it home after midnight after walking 20,400 steps! A new record! I didn’t meet the love of my life on this tour but that’s okay. I still had so much fun. I hope you enjoyed coming along with me. Let me know in the comments! Thank you for reading!

Wait…did you really think I’d forget?

Dogs of New York
Doggies!

These were a few of the dogs I stalked throughout the day.

There will always be dogs. Until next time!

Sea Glass

Let’s connect! Follow me on Twitter @Searching4humor

😊

Book Review and Manhattan Tour: I Heart New York by Lindsey Kelk

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After the serious tone of the last book I read, Reconstructing Amelia, I decided I needed to go back to the land of chick lit. I do heart New York and heart it even more since going on tours of the city based on the books I’ve read. Lindsey Kelk’s, I Heart New York, sounded like the perfect choice for me.

Angela, who lives in London, is at her best friend’s wedding when she stumbles upon her own fiancé cheating on her. To make matters worse, Angela finds out her best friend knew about it and didn’t tell her. Angela is rightfully furious with her fiancé and her best friend. She makes an unglamorous exit from the wedding, although, who could blame her? The next day, Angela high tails it out of London and sets her sights on New York City.

She has no plan. Even doesn’t know where she’ll stay until a cabbie brings her to a random hotel in the city.

We follow along the way as Angela navigates a foreign city, makes friends, meets guys, and tries to sort out her life.

I was invested in Angela’s story and entertained by it. I definitely wanted to get to the end to see how it all plays out.

However, I can’t lie and say I wasn’t frustrated by how easily things seemed to work out for Angela. Angela is a freelance writer who was not currently working when she went to NYC. She was able to book a ticket and stay at a very expensive NYC hotel. She had some savings, but still. Besides the flight and hotel, she went on major shopping sprees and spent a fortune on designer items. It made me nervous for her as I read it. My stomach hurt! No joke! I was thinking, “Angela, you have no job and you’re living in an expensive hotel, slow your roll! Geez!”

Even more frustrating for a single lady like myself is that in less than a week, she had two hot guys after her. How did she do it? Is it her British accent? Probably!

I had to continually remind myself to suspend my disbelief so that I could enjoy the book. Ultimately, I did enjoy it and was glad I read it.

The best part is that it inspired a cool tour of NYC! If this is the first time you’re reading, I go on tours of NYC based on books set in the city. I have a good excuse to take myself out and explore the city in a whole new way. After living in the city for almost 13 years, I feel like these tours have given me a new appreciation for this city. It’s stunningly beautiful and a surprise is waiting around every corner!

Here’s a sneak peak into my tour:

Union Square, NY
Union Square
Dog
Dog creeping continues…
City Streets
Love Elvis and Mickey Mouse
New York City
It’s a long way up!
New York City
Cool underpass I walked by
The Museum of Modern Art
The MOMA
MOMA
Seen at the MOMA
MOMA art
Love the vibrant colors and shapes. Looks like it’s moving!
MOMA
I’d like to put this in my apartment. Just help me lift it, will you? You don’t think it’ll fit in my apartment? My sofa fit!
MOMA
I change my mind. Let’s put this in my apartment instead. Thanks!
New York City
City streets…I should start riding a bike…no I shouldn’t.
Sea Glass
Kicking back in my kicks!

That’s all for now! I hope you enjoyed and thank you so much for reading.

The full tour will be coming to your screen of choice soon! Signing off…

Full tour is here!

 

 

 

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: 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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Book Review: All The Breaking Waves by Kerry Lonsdale

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This is my second Kerry L. book. My first was Everything We Keep (her debut novel) and I’m dying for the sequel to that one! I figured I should read this one to hold me over until that one, and I’m glad I did.

Molly is a single mother to the sweet and caring soul of Cassie, 8 years old. Cassie has some special abilities much like her mother, but her mother was taught to suppress and ignore her’s. Cassie’s powers come to her unprovoked in the form of nightmares. An extra troubling one sends mom and Cassie back to Molly’s childhood home to where her Nana still lives. Nana is spunky and loving, also with special powers. In fact, all the women in Molly’s family seem to have these special abilities that are similar but unique. Molly and her own mother were forced, by Molly’s troubled father, to keep their powers hidden. Molly also tries to make Cassie keep her’s a secret too in order to protect her. All Cassie wants to do is help people.

Okay, so back in Molly’s picturesque hometown, Pacific Grove, is also her old flame, Owen. Of course there’s a beautiful, wonderful man in the story or else why would I be reading it? And of course Owen conveniently lives next door. And of course sweet, spunky Nana practically throws Molly and him together. Thank you Nana! I personally don’t quite understand why Molly ever left this perfect man in the first place. She tries to pretend she has a real reason for this but I don’t see it. This hot, sexy man who would do anything for her, who supported her since they were kids and she just left him? Silly woman! I’ll take him!! Give him to me! Where’s my perfect Owen?

Back to the book- I really liked it and read it pretty quickly. The interesting layer of the women having those special powers make it a compelling story, but ultimately it’s a lovely story about a mother’s love for her child, family, and love. There were some parts that I wanted to be sped up but that’s probably because I’m an impatient reader. It was a great read and it made me go to Etsy to look up jewelry with sea glass. Now I want to go to the beach and find my own sea glass!

 

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?