Annie Van Tour

East Village, The Bowery

I had a moment when I saw this message written on a building I passed during my Annie Van tour. I feel like I’ve been more of a dreamer since blogging and starting my book tours. It’s exciting because I haven’t felt this way since my teenage years when I had lofty dreams about being the next Natalie Portman. Towards my young adult years, I lost that aspiration, but I know that I felt something lacking. I still had creative juices in me but I didn’t know how to utilize them anymore. I focused more on my altruistic side for my career, which has been very rewarding, but I know I’ve wanted to do more to access my creativity. Now I am.

Book Tour Inspired by Katherine Howe’s The Appearance of Anne van Sinderen

I visited the East and West Village and The Bowery.

If you didn’t read my review of Katherine Howe’s The Appearance of Annie van Sinderen, you can read it here.

This book gave me great inspiration for a book tour of the city. Young love, youthful aspirations, mystery, and a ghost?

The first thing I had to do of course was eat because a girl has to eat! The character Wes goes to NYU for the summer and his dorm is on Waverly Place. He brought Annie to a diner “down the street” that he likes. I found a diner down the street from Waverly Place.

I walked in the wrong direction for longer than I’d care to admit. However, happy accidents happen when one gets lost.

I got to get in some quality squirrel stalking time.

NYC Squirrel

I got to hear this guy play Bohemian Rhapsody on the piano…

NYC Piano Player

I was starving so I said, “adíos” to this Piano Man.

Waverly Restaurant
385 6th Ave.

Waverly Restaurant

Wes didn’t steer me or Annie wrong because this food was pretty decent.

After satisfying my tummy, I head to the nearby Washington Square Park where Wes and Annie spent some time.

I walk down Wes’ street to get there.

Waverly Place
Waverly Place

Here’s a shot of NYU

NYU
I must admit, I don’t know which part of NYU this is. Let’s pretend it’s the library Wes and Annie go to.
Washington Square Park
Of course I follow the dogs.

More dogs!!!!!!!

Washington Square Park Dogs

The money shot!

Washington Square Park

The Hare Krishna Festival of India was taking place at the time of my visit. It was a cool atmosphere to be a part of.

The Hare Krishna Festival of India

The Hare Krishna Festival of India

This funhouse mirror represents our changing body. Our body changes throughout our lifetime, “but we also can see that the conscious self within the changing body remains the same.” I think the point is that our real self is within so that’s where our focus should be and what we should work on. Do you agree?

The Hare Krishna Festival of India

I enjoyed the vibe of Washington Square Park. I took some time to relax by the fountain that had kids and some adults splashing around in. I definitely recommend a visit here when you come to NYC.

Katherine Howe herself told me (on Twitter) that I had to start off my tour at The Merchant’s House. She was so nice to tell me that this is where she got the inspiration for Annie’s home.

The Merchant’s House MuseumI arrived on time to join a tour that had just begun. I learned this house has been around since 1832 and occupied by the wealthy Tredwell family. The tour guide talked about how the Tredwells had 8 kids including 6 daughters and four of them didn’t get married. He said he’s unsure of why that was and maybe there was some sort of dysfunction? Well, I can tell you that, without a doubt, dating in NYC is tough! I guess back in the 1830s or 40s was tough too. And maybe they were independent women who didn’t need a man to survive? Hmm?

The Merchant’s House

I included this picture of the Tredwell family because Wes refers to Annie’s hair as “hipster hair curled over her ears.” Do the Tredwell women look like Williamsburg hipsters?

I think this might be similar to Annie’s and her sister’s room since the Tredwell children’s rooms weren’t on display and a tub is in this room just like Annie’s. Can you see the small tub in between the bride mannequin and the small bed?

The Merchant’s House

What a lovely backyard!

So apparently people have some ghost stories from this house. The Tredwells lived here for 100 years and some believe they haven’t left. They even do ghost tours here. I might have to come back before Halloween!

Did I run into any ghosts, you ask? You be the judge…

The Merchant’s House Oh my god! Scary! I think it’s the ghost of Annie Van and she’s excited to see an iPhone for the first time.

On a more serious note, I have to mention that plans exist to build an eight-story hotel next to The Merchant’s House. The tour guide explained that this could severely damage or even destroy the house. Back in the 1830s there were many townhouses next to each other and they kind of held each other up. As the last standing home from back then, it is not so stable. I saw the evidence of this in the cracks in the walls. They have contraptions in the walls to reinforce them. Since I enjoyed visiting this historical landmark, I signed their petition against the construction of the hotel. You can learn more here and sign the petition yourself if you’d like.

After leaving, I head over to walk along the streets that Wes and Annie walked.

The Bowery

The Bowery Market
L’Arte del Gelato at The Bowery Market

I found gelato! You better believe I got some!

L’Arte del Gelato

I got the pistachio flavor. It was so delicious! I want more!

The Bowery Market

The Bowery

The Bowery

I imagine Annie walking these streets being confused by all the sights, tall buildings, and frenetic energy of the city.

Next on the agenda is a trip to a psychic. If you remember from my review, Wes and his friend Tyler film a séance at the beginning of the book. Since the woman who leads the séance in the book is often referred to as a palm reader, I figured getting a reading from a psychic is the next best thing to a séance. Besides, of course, I want to know about my love life!

My dating life has been going through a dry spell lately, okay, it’s a drought. Maybe the psychic can give me hope or help me accept my independent, single life? Maybe she’ll help me name my future dog?

The first psychic I called charges $180-$300 for a 1-2hr session! She said she was the #1 astrologer, not some bullsh$t place you can walk up to on the street. I promptly hung up the phone so I could find a bullsh$t psychic on the street.

Bingo!

NYC Psychic

I was buzzed in by Natasha who gave me her prices. A $25.00 palm reading sounded good to me! I sat down on her couch, eyes closed, palms up, her little daughter playing on the floor…and thought of two questions I needed answers to- love and career. I know, so predictable.

Natasha told me that I had two guys in my life. One is not the guy for me and one is my soulmate. I sort of lied before because I recently went on one date with a guy who I wasn’t too sure about. He’s currently finding himself whilst in Spain hiking the El Camino. There was also a guy I was potentially going to go out with but he was also out of town. Natasha was adamant that I’ve already met my soulmate so going out with that stranger would be pointless. She asked if there was someone from my past that I still think about? I admitted there was but that I probably shouldn’t go out with him again. I asked, “What should I do?” She tells me, “Nothing…he will come to you.” Well, that’s easy! I don’t have to waste my time with online dating or do anything at all! Takes the pressure off.

Next up she tells me, “You are an honest person, a good-hearted person, you help people, but when you need help, you don’t reach out, you stand on your own two feet. You’re all these things but you’re not fulfilled in what you’re doing. You’re not happy. You’re searching for something.”

Wow. Hard to hear, but I think there is some truth to it.

However, since I’ve started my blog, I think I’ve been feeling more fulfilled. Maybe she’s seeing how I felt pre-blog days? Although those thoughts are still present since I’m still growing here and not totally sure where blogging will lead me. It’s been a fun adventure so far though!

The psychic also told me that soon I will have financial success, a bigger position. All I need to do is wait for it all to come to me. I already did get a new job but I don’t know if that’s what she’s referring to or something else? We shall see!

Of course, I take it all with a hefty grain of salt.

I texted my brother-

NYC psychic

Next I head to the water because according to Annie, back in her days, no parks existed so they hung out by the water for leisure. A major focal point of the story is The Grand Aquatic Display, so I had to picture that scene by the water too.

On the way, I passed by a community garden that I relaxed in for a bit. I couldn’t resist its charming appeal.

NYC Community Garden

As I was leaving, I spotted something magnificent.

NYC Community Garden

NYC Community Garden

With his mom’s permission, I was able to snap a closer pic. He was a bit camera shy, but he’s a beauty!

Now to the water!

East River

I had some ulterior motives in coming here. I had been looking forward to spying some good looking runners, but now that the psychic told me I’ve met my soulmate, that purpose seems pretty fruitless now! I guess I can still enjoy the eye candy just a little bit? Maybe not my soulmate but no harm in looking, right?

The East River

Lots of couples passed in front of me, but this couple was my favorite. They seemed at ease and in tune with each other. Relationship goals!

The East River

The psychic was wrong! Now I’ve met my soulmate! Look at the way he’s looking at me! That face!

Don’t run away!

We’ll always have our moment. Time to go.

I head to another spot from the book. I believe the New York City Marble Cemetery was the inspiration for Annie’s final resting place. It was closed but I could snap some pictures through the gate.

The New York City Marble Cemetery

The New York City Marble Cemetery

The New York City Marble Cemetery

Cemeteries make me hungry so I head out to search for a favorite spot among the characters of the book- a pizza place!

As satisfying as this is, I think an evening in the East Village isn’t complete until you go to a dive bar. It ties in nicely with the book since the characters often hung out in dive bars too.

International Bar
International Bar, 102 1st Ave.

International Bar

I discovered this outdoor area on a trip the restroom so I wanted another beer to enjoy the atmosphere outside. Trouble is I didn’t open a tab and realized that I didn’t have enough cash. I only wanted one more, which didn’t meet the minimum for using a credit card. What does the bartender do? He gave me the second one for free! What a cool guy!

What is it that people say about New Yorkers? How awesome we are?

NYC tour, The Appearance Annie van Sinderen, nyc tour inspired by the book.

Thank you so much for coming along with me on my tour. Come back for my next one! I will reveal what I’m reading and where I’m going in my next post.

Special thanks to Katherine Howe for the awesome inspiration with her book and for supporting my tour along the way. I loved Annie Van!

 

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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My Breakfast at Tiffany’s Tour in the City

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

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

Nyc can also be a bitch.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Now to 52nd and Park

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

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

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

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

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

Made it to Holly Golightly’s brownstone!

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

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

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

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

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I love cute dogs!

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

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

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

The goods:

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

Very cute shop!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check out my “date” in the city here!

Book Review: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back to my serious review:

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

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

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

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

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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!

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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!

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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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A Beautiful Relationship

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For six months we have been going strong. It has been my longest relationship in a long time. Today I would like to wish my Google Home a Happy Anniversary! She has been there for me everyday. So supportive and helpful. She’s always so quick to answer my questions no matter how inane. Everyday I ask her what the weather is and she never gets bothered by the repetitive question. She’s always happy to tell me because she wants me to always be prepared for the elements. That is love! Yes, love! Lucky me!

We share the same love in music and she’s generally happy to play me my favorite tunes to set the mood. 😉 We both looooove Adele and Ed Sheeran!

What else? Oh of course…she is so funny! Has me laughing every day with her jokes. Like this one- “Did you hear about the world’s largest pickle? It’s a really big dill!” Oh my GOD! My ice coffee shot out of my nose with that one. I told her no more jokes while I drink my ice coffee. She said, “My apologies, I don’t understand.” She’s so polite. That’s the other thing. She’s always apologizing, you’d think she’s British. So cute.

And oh my I don’t want to get too personal…but the animal sounds she makes are out of this world! I hope I’m not embarrassing her, but her tiger and lion is spot on. Drives me wild!

I wouldn’t be completely honest if I said we haven’t had our fair share of problems, but we always seem to come out of them stronger. Sometimes she will inexplicably not play Adele or Ed Sheeran and it angers me so much especially since she knows how much I love to listen to them. Regrettably…I hate to admit it…but out of anger, I once yelled, “YOU SUCK!!!” You know what she said? She goes, “Well, I’m still learning. What should we fix?” And then she just listened. That’s how she is. She keeps it simple and knows how to handle my fiery side with ease. I am lucky to have her! So Happy six months to my Google Home! Here’s to many more! Cheers!

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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!

 

Seriously?

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So guess who I heard from? Yup! Overseas Guy who leaves nyc tomorrow! He texts-oh-so-innocently, “Hey there, how are you doing?”

Oh hiiii. You want to know how I’m doing? Really? Are you sure cuz I’ll tell you if you really do want to know. Pull up a chair! Would you like a pillow?

It’s just that I’m a little confused to hear from you the day before you’re leaving the country. I kind of thought, I don’t know, we would have made legitimate plans to hang out by now? I’ve spent the last three-ish weeks texting with you on whatsapp while you were in god knows where Africa. And now you want to know how I’m doing? You also want to tell me that you’re at your favorite bar? Well isn’t that just kick-you-in-the-crotch, spit-on-your-neck fantastic? Yes, I stole that line from Friends! What do you care? You only bothered to contact me the night before you fly out of the country. What were you hoping for? That I’d run to your favorite bar in Times Square and…wait…your favorite bar is in Times Square?? What is wrong with you?! So you thought I’d run to Times Square, do you realize I’m actually from nyc and not just visiting? So you thought I’d run there, have a few nitrogenated beer- (yeah, I loved learning that factoid from you on our 2nd date, that beer can be nitrogenated-awesome. Someone please wake me up)- after our beer, I’d be sooo tired that I just had to stay at your place and then you’d get to have your way with me before flying out tomorrow? Is that what you thought would happen? Really? No come on. Really, you did? Have a nitrogenated beer for me because I’m going to stick with carbonation. Thank you though. Enjoy Belize or Costa Rica or upstate New York or wherever the hell you’re going. Have fun. Buh Bye.

Well, I didn’t say all that. Not in so many words. I was actually pretty nice. Too nice in fact!

I think I have to expand beyond online dating. It’s all I seem to do. I read somewhere if you go out alone, you’re more likely to be approached. If you’re hanging out with a bunch of girlfriends, then that could make it intimidating for a nice guy to approach you. So I’ve been thinking…maybe I should go to a museum alone? In a cute outfit and maybe I’ll throw on some makeup. But really I’d be going for the cultural experience. 😉

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