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!

I Heart New York Tour

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

😊

I Hang Out with People Too on Occasion

0CD0A693-52B6-4144-9215-6B909CEE874D

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!

A22CF354-FA28-467A-BCD8-777C04B3AD4E

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. 😢

B5D3634F-DBF8-4D5B-964E-4C708D46FD7B

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
54A4A75C-7FC6-4935-9613-AA9A0849CE43
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.

A02F1078-21B0-4166-B757-87F1CCC1DAE6
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

 

407E4786-D785-4EEC-9559-80B5C9A2782F

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.

C394D0D5-5FD9-4C92-920B-E8CD91A255C6

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.

EEA1EB9F-6DEB-49BA-BFAE-D578FB05D0AD
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:

E74D5712-C945-4AEA-87C5-8E9F9D6C947C

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!

7FC60CBC-81DC-4451-9D70-82EF414FA835

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.

E7DAE761-1B6B-4AF7-B584-82EF8865F833

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.

209AC457-FD76-45F0-9D04-089FAEFF526C

Wait for it…

29DF8BFB-10C4-4DC1-A56C-1BC62338CC96

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.

28ACCC1C-6827-4E93-8563-84D9E8F545C0

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?

4A9E7038-F897-494E-95B1-E57E327309AE

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.

5817DE34-D87D-4DDA-A1B2-CD521C0D8775

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.

603B0C75-7211-4DF2-9D85-C103EFDC8CDB

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.

9085ABC7-292E-456A-B043-2EA4E89AB7B1

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.

2ADEDBCF-72B5-45F6-B469-AF139ED4B984
This looks like a comfy spot!
137EB8ED-A11F-4429-B059-8B1CC0591B5C
Ahhh peace!
023C334D-BBF4-4933-B0A0-D6890D5CDA79
And squirrels!
8BFB3541-6EA4-4A4A-9947-E1D7DA4457B7
And dogs!
6FA3CB89-018E-4B69-BD86-30BDE58B257F
More doggies! Okay, I’ll stop now.
F6367D10-97F9-4093-A772-73A42EA746A5
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!

3182A51F-9A07-499D-A400-9FE85A1189AB

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.

F4D5EF6F-5985-4A3C-9C95-F13DB0BFB452.jpeg

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:

04AC058E-5663-4C3D-8B8E-03378D1B071F

1A89B048-F9D5-4628-B0AE-CC8FBDCA3890

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!

2AFCD9B1-5E9B-4225-B947-BEBDDA4A7ABE

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

0EF00203-707C-49ED-9AF6-D9EC29F46D74

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!

2BBCC5A4-9EE8-40A4-818F-F46506F70CB0

DB13BBF1-1D68-4DC2-8FB5-00C20E2AC466

6FA8E610-0258-415C-95A0-A1EFA41E9119
I’m pretending this is Slyvia’s place
68415E54-6930-4037-AE6A-C0942CC4E034
Slyvia’s block
8A915AC9-9B87-4B5E-8D02-CBC429D1F36C
I just like this stoop!
019C2AB4-7B4F-47C2-B181-79072ECE2D43
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.

45B8B360-FA17-484C-94B3-263DB6E12F14
White stone, I’m getting close.

After passing many white stone brownstones, I arrive here:

79F8D8E2-C53B-428D-91A3-345EA4684ECA
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?”

BEB5FF4F-62F4-4327-8E04-50482BB23869
Nope
25949981-653A-4E55-B4AF-DB4F8E7FEEF3
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.

3B2D96A5-50DD-4C51-8525-63734D3A34E1

 

 

 

 

Park Slope Photography Tour

Hello again! This past Sunday I posted my book review of Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight, but I also told you about the tour of Park Slope I went on based on the book. It was a “date” with myself in the very setting the story takes place. If you didn’t get a chance to read it, then click here. My full tour with sites specific to that lovely book will be coming on Sunday, I promise. Can I make that promise? It’s my first blogging promise, I’m nervous. I can do it…I promise.

Until then, I want to share some more photos from that day I think you might like.

Here they are!

6871C4BF-BA64-4D19-AEE4-FA47CA2DEA1E
Prospect Park. I guess I should have found out who the soldier is in the monument. Sorry. Anyone know? Next business- can anyone spot the dog(s)? I can’t tell if it’s one dog or two! 🤔
C10CF9D3-18DE-4430-AC47-E83858AB7449
I’m obsessed. Why can’t I have one? They’re sooo pretty.
F0EA9A4C-B5AF-497C-A514-8164EE50FB15
I tried to get a cute dog picture and this happened
52EB9600-DF31-4F9D-B026-E6E46E58A581
Well, hello gorgeous trees!
A1BBB898-643C-4C82-9259-3FD92C053827
Can I frolic with them?
636B7987-EEC4-4C41-9E2E-2092B4B8D00B
Looks regal
BE9468EF-5A77-4CFD-9FE9-BBA961647513
Look at this! It’s the Old First Reformed Church. Beautiful!
E98DAB51-A24F-4B7D-9355-F9374D4ACDCF
I love this. A beautiful church and a Key Food grocery store. That’s so Brooklyn!
F461F40F-3228-4FB6-9359-8971BF3D8A11
Her jacket and backpack go perfectly with this home. She can never leave this spot.
A33DA846-9F7F-4CC0-B6C5-A84F1ADDD602
Always some kind of fair or open market going on.
0D747205-BBFE-4F07-A06E-44BD0D0CABE4
I’d live in one of these.
D16CC7B6-9582-4ABF-B8EE-6EA7FB670F74
Or I’d totally live in one of these too!
F2A75764-2389-4271-A6A3-36D07CDB5D14
I would not live…oh who am I kidding? It’s waaaay bigger than my apartment, and it’s in a prime neighborhood right by the park! I’d move in yesterday.

That’s all for now! I hope you enjoyed my half-tour! Come check back on Sunday to see if I treated myself the way I deserve on my date. Also, I think I had a missed connection. Story of my life. I’ll let you be the judge.

See ya again soon!

6156387D-B2A7-42B7-9C9C-3CBF9A8B8377

 

 

 

My Breakfast at Tiffany’s Tour in the City

19DF7A84-2026-4B61-A751-9BCA5C375323

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

6B6E775E-90F6-47E0-9894-89F3E9858860

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:

6B32C5E2-CDCF-4CA2-A520-0D2C4D3A9BC7

Now to 52nd and Park

24A11CF9-B25B-4288-A258-9E86DE93AE1F

928A3DC9-9F73-4AAE-B339-540850E99B4E

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.

15FCA3ED-4E32-4DAA-8880-2F1834BBB2A9
Did Truman Capote get his hair styled at this men’s salon?
2D152CF1-333A-4A75-8C98-83A553190ED5
I do like money. Can I teach about how much I like it? Golightly!

Made it to Holly Golightly’s brownstone!

1CA70D15-1A5F-4FD1-BA5F-8AFB69400F28
This is it or it should be. I’m counting right, I think? 169 East 71st St.
FF964697-3AD7-41A8-AC05-CA12EE07C169
Holly’s block
A219168A-C0D8-4C30-AD1A-EC04BA4B88D9
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?

06C3AE42-6131-40C6-A2D5-CFD32EFE6F63
I love cute dogs!

14D79745-C869-4300-92E4-BDA45C2F8EAE

C95AC9AD-CD42-408E-92F7-8182C36E80A8
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
7C90EB70-6432-4615-AA58-F151C32F588A
The Bandshell. One of the film locations. Shabby chic?
CE8D35B0-6714-408B-9FC3-947593ABF2A6
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.
783DDBE0-AF76-44A0-8B08-9FFB730FDF51
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.
658F9EC6-C1B2-4385-AFA1-7FC1709FAD29
Pretty sweet, right?
AC67BD55-A014-4D76-BF28-93CEF6E198AE
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.

0BE9F9D3-66A7-43A8-9759-F6C8E22EB2E7

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

912FD575-95DC-4017-BE50-58EEB9C09F78

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:

B0D9CA0B-E69B-4CAA-8938-715117BCDB83
The Roosevelt Island Tramway
CD3DD5BB-6A6E-4323-BAF5-A684F38C7853
Pastries! Yum!
C272C328-16EA-47A4-97B1-6AB23439686B
Central Park
61323083-B192-4498-8E6B-256E45E7DD9C
Hot Dog Stand
F9395B77-E7F7-4A07-8786-B5DBEAC6E8F2
Don Filippo Pizzaria, I’m a cheap date. 😉 Decent nyc pizza and comfy seating.

Check out my “date” in the city here!

Persuasion (Spoilers)

image

Don’t read this if you plan on reading Jane Austen’s Persuasion. I mean you should read that instead of this because it is perfection.

My heart stopped when I got to that passage in the picture I posted. I stopped reading after that part and started frenetically cleaning my apartment. I was just feeling so much that I had to physically move to get it out of my system. I was so happy for the protagonist Anne at that moment. She’s a beautiful character, someone who’s caring, smart, and so deserving of true love.

Of course this book made me think about myself and the fact that I’m missing a great love like this. Is this kind of love realistic? I don’t know but it is a reminder that I can’t accept lackluster. It is so hard to find a real connection with someone, but I won’t accept anything less. I can’t just tell myself, “Well, he’s a nice guy and he has a good job.” That’s not enough. I want to pierce someone’s soul dammit! And they can pierce mine too.

That has to be out there, right?

I realize a love like this can grow and develop. This kind of passion might be just for the books or movies, but the idea of it can exist in real relationships. A mature love can be something that develops between two committed people who realize their life is better because their partner is in it.

They might not profess their love like Captain Wentworth, but this kind of love can be shown in everyday life. Long-distance relationships where people have to fly through the Earth to be able to share a cup of coffee with each other. The man or woman who on their way home from work, picks up their partner’s favorite meal. The meat eating guy who learns how to cook a delicious meat-free meal for his vegetarian girlfriend. Or the guy who will dress as Jon Snow to your Daenarys Targaryen costume and laugh together about their incestual love for each other. Should I have stopped before that last one?

Anyways, I think the Captain Wentworth passion does exist and I want it. Is that what you want too? Or do you have it already? Tell me what it’s like!

Book Review: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

image

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?

Currently reading:

image

 

 

 

 

 

Thank You UPS

image

I finally went out on a date this past Tuesday. I was looking forward to it, since after all of my texting with the guy, I had a good feeling. Ugh. Every time I get a “good feeling” things don’t pan out. Well, that was the case this time. I liked him, would have gone out again, but there’s not going to be a second date. That’s my dating life.

I was feeling pretty crappy and down in the dumps this week. I thought about this blog- Searching for Humor- and thought, “How the hell will I find the humor in this? This sucks. Nothing funny about it.” My blog is dead. Fun while it lasted. How many first dates can one person go on? Lately, my dating life has become a string of first dates. It’s so frustrating! I’m not sure why. Is it because I’m getting older? 38…ouch. Maybe I’m more unsure of myself lately, I don’t know. So yeah, it’s been a shitty week.

All week I’ve had to suck it up, wake up and go to work. However, since it’s Saturday, this morning I stayed in bed a little longer, hiding under the shield of my blankets, reveling in the chance to ruminate in it.

Finally I forced myself up and as I was ready to walk out my door, I put my headphones on, pressed play on goddamn Ed Sheeran’s “Photograph.” The song of course made me ruminate some more.

“Loving can heal, loving can mend your soul

And it’s the only thing that I know, know I swear it will get easier…”

Fuck you Ed Sheeran! I’m alone, I’m old, and I don’t even have any fucking cats. It’s not getting easier. I’m leaning up against my wall, eyes closed listening to Ed Sheeran thinking about how much my life sucks, having an introspective moment with fucking Ed Sheeran when my buzzer goes off. Geez! I was having a moment. It was helping!

Well, like any paranoid New Yorker, I did not buzz in whoever was at my door. I’m no fool. I knew it was probably some mass murderer or arsonist trying to get into my apartment building. So after ignoring the ring, I thought for a few seconds, “Don’t I have a UPS package coming? Hmm???” I run out my apartment, down the stairs, and out the door and see the UPS truck. I look back on my building’s door and see that yes, a slip with my apartment number is sticking on the door! I run towards the driver, slip in hand, and wave it at him. He stops.

What a kind, lovely UPS driver already.

Then I see his adorable face and melt. Then…he speaks! “I wouldn’t normally do this.” Am I special? He’s making me feel so special. Look at that cute face! When did UPS drivers become so cute? Have they always been this cute? He was seriously like the Ryan Gosling of UPS drivers. I thanked him profusely and told him my father worked for UPS. Why did I tell him this? Did I think he’d want to meet my father and ask for my hand in marriage?

But seriously, thank you UPS. You helped me get out of my funk. Not that I depend on a cute guy to make me feel better but I really think the universe brought me this sweet moment to remind me how it’s the little things in life that make all of it worthwhile. Life is simple and sweet. A smile from a cute guy, good friends to hang out with, a cute puppy on the street…I don’t need anything grand to appreciate life. And one guy who’s not into me is not a reason to hide in a cocoon of misery.

And I love Ryan Gosling and UPS drivers. Thank you UPS guy for your big package!

Currently reading:

image

Images credit- Google images

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish: What Dr. Seuss Taught Me about Dating

image

I don’t know what Dr. Seuss taught me about dating but maybe he’s saying not to settle on just one fish right away? I don’t know…I haven’t read that book since I was like 5.

Anyway, I have a date tomorrow, which I’m glad about. However, my ongoing dilemma with dating, and maybe you feel the same, is always wondering if I should be dating multiple guys at once. I tend to want to just focus on one guy at a time, especially if I’m particularly excited about the guy. I feel like a lot of New Yorkers and maybe people in general, are just looking for the next best thing. They always think there could be someone better, so then I feel like they don’t give anyone they’re dating a fair shot.

On the other hand, while I focus on one guy, I wonder if I could be missing out on someone great? Let’s face it, no one I’ve dated recently has resulted in any grand love affairs. So while I focus on one guy, I may have let Mr. Right float on right past me! Finding the right connection some say is all about stats, so maybe I should just be cranking these dates out? Put them in high gear. Break out the conveyor belt!

image

But then I think about how tired I am. I don’t know! I think most New Yorkers, especially ones who are doing online dating, are probably going on multiple dates per week. I am slacking. I’ve let matches expire and messages go unanswered all because I have a good feeling about my date tomorrow. Where has my “good feeling” ever got me before? I’ll tell you where. It gets me wine, Seamless, & Netflix and Chill all by myself on a Saturday night. That’s where!

What do you think? What have your dating experiences taught you? I’m all ears!

Currently reading:

image