A Little Murder Tour – Lake Winnipesaukee and Alton Bay, Part 2

Hi everyone! My new post is up on my new site Literary-Dates.com.

Check it out! You’ll see pretty scenery, ice cream, and gnomes! 😉

A Little Murder Tour

 

Book Review & Lake Winni Tour: A Little Murder by Cindy Davis

A Little Murder by Cindy Davis

I finally have another book to tell you about! I’ve been very anxious to share it with you. I actually finished it a little bit ago but due to the timing of my vacation to Lake Winni, I had to sit on it. I chose this book because I wanted to take you all on a tour of Lake Winnipesaukee since I love it here so much. I had some trouble finding a book set in Lake Winni. The first book I found was something about ghost stories but I just wasn’t feeling that one. Then, I went to a book store up here during my last vacation thinking for sure someone working there could help me. I picked up a couple of books to only realize they weren’t set here. Finally, good old Amazon lead me to A Little Murder by Cindy Davis! I don’t know how I didn’t find it before but never mind that, let’s get to it!

Angie Deacon, who is married to Will, is feeling like he has grown distant from her. In the hopes to help get him out of his funk, Angie decides to do something special for his birthday. A day of fishing on Lake Winnipesaukee is what she decides on. Sounds like a brilliant idea! A beautiful day on Lake Winni…what could go wrong? Hmm? Maybe a little murder??

DUN-DUN-DUUUUUN!!! None other than the boat owner himself, Nolan Little, bites it. The only suspects of course are the ones who were on the boat, so six people in total. The boat owner’s wife, Val becomes the main suspect and Angie, in a very supportive move, teams up with Val to help her clear her name.

After catching Will up to no good, Angie becomes estranged from her husband and fully commits to figuring out this crime, much to the detective, Jarvis’ dismay. Everyone on that boat seemed to be up to something sketchy, so they just have to figure out how it all connects together.

A Little Murder by Cindy Davis

Lead after lead gets Angie and Val into some jams. I was so tense while reading this book because every time they followed a hunch, something inevitably would go wrong. However, Angie seemed smart and competent, so I trusted her along the way even though I was terrified for her.

It usually takes me a little while to get into a new book, but this book hooked me early on! I love a good whodunnit and this one does not disappoint. I was dying to know who murdered Nolan Little. Of course, as per usual, I tried to figure things out for myself, but never had it quite right. There are lots of shady characters in this book that will make you wonder. And there was a little dash of sexual tension thrown in, which of course I always welcome.

I was pleasantly surprised by how good this book was. I’m not gonna lie, in the past I’ve typically read books that are very popular, a lot of books turned into movies, or well-known chick lit authors. I had never heard of this book or author so I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to get. I also read a couple of reviews that said there were some editing glitches in the book that were distracting. I was happy to find that wasn’t the case. The book was perfectly written and so well done. I will definitely be reading more from this author. I’m so glad I found her! Thank you Cindy Davis for writing this awesome book. It was so fun reading it!

As always, when I read a book, I go out and explore the world of the book. Here’s a sneak peek into my A Little Murder Tour:

Lake Winnipesaukee

Lake Winnipesaukee
Looks like a fun and beautiful house! I want to play!
Lake Winnipesaukee
Another gorgeous one! Look at that wooden boat. 😊

Lake Winnipesaukee, Alton Bay

Lake Winnipesaukee, Alton Bay
Wet hair, don’t care (as I shrink the pic).
Lake Winnipesaukee, Alton Bay, Gnome Village
Gnome Villages are apparently a thing in New Hampshire.

Lake Winnipesaukee, Alton Bay, Gnome Village

Lake Winnipesaukee, Alton Bay, Gilman Pond

Lake Winnipesaukee, Alton Bay
There will always be dogs, somehow, someway.

Full tour is coming soon! I’ll be on Lake Winni and headed to Alton  Bay!

Lake Winnipesaukee, Alton Bay

Check back soon for the full tour! Thanks for reading!

#amreading A Little Murder by Cindy Davis

East River

Hey everyone! I’m back to let you know what I’m reading. In case you’d like to read it too, the book is…drum roll please…okay, I’m being way over dramatic here…the book, ladies and…do we have a gentleman? Yes! You in the back (I accidentally stole this line from John Mahoney’s character in the movie Reality Bites. Oops.)!

Here it is, without further ado…I am reading A Little Murder by Cindy Davis. What is this about? How to make a soufflé? No!

I think a murder might be involved. Pretty sure! I absolutely love a good whodunnit so I’m ready to dive in! And guess what? I’m going to dive into the setting of this book! You better believe I will! This book is set in Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire! Oh yeah…this New York City girl is headed to the lake! She will dive in boldly (if it’s at least 90 degrees out and not freezing water) and take you on a tour of good ol’ Lake Winni. You did see a bit of the Winni here but that had nothing to do with a book tour, so this will be cooler. Cross your fingers.

If this is your first time here, check out my last tour: my Annie Van Tour. So far I’ve read books set in NYC and use the books as inspiration to take myself out on a tour of the city. A book date in the city, if you will. I’m so excited to be doing a traveling book tour this time. Maybe it’ll be the first of many more? We’ll see!

While I start this murder mystery, why don’t you check out pictures from my last book tour that didn’t make it on my post?

Here you go!

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Reading A Little Murder by Cindy Davis

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ACF3BB64-744A-4157-AB90-480A455E40F2

I had a great time on my Annie Van tour! Can’t wait for A Little Murder tour! Stay tuned!

 

 

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!

 

Book Review & East Village Tour: The Appearance of Annie van Sinderen by Katherine Howe

The Appearance of Annie van Sinderen

I have got a great book to tell you all about! Do you like love stories? Do you like mysterious, love stories? Well, I do because I can relate. All my “love stories” are a mystery. It’s always a mystery to me what went wrong. Have you been ghosted before? Yeah!? Me too! One of the main characters in the book, Wes, gets ghosted BIG TIME. Poor guy! If you’re in the dating world, you know first hand how much it sucks to get ghosted. Can’t help but to feel for Wes.

About Wes…he’s doing a summer film program at his dream college, NYU University. During the program, being the good guy that he is, he helps out his friend Tyler with his film. Tyler is doing some artsy, experimental film and so together they film a real seance that takes place in a dark townhouse in the East Village. At this seance, Wes meets a mysterious and beautiful girl. After the seance, he wants to get a signed consent form from her so she can appear in the film, but he didn’t see her come out. He also got distracted by another intriguing girl from the seance and went out for pizza with her. Tyler was not happy. Tyler needed that consent form, so Wes has to figure out how to track her down.

Somehow he does find her but then he loses her again. He can’t catch a break! Disappointed and a bit rejected, Wes tries to forget about this beautiful girl who has captivated him. But maybe their paths will cross again??

Annie van Sinderen is the captivating girl and she’s got a lot of baggage. If Wes and Annie were on Facebook, their relationship status would definitely be, “It’s Complicated.”

The story is told through Wes’ perspective and Annie’s. While Wes is experiencing NYC for the first time, Annie grew up there, however, she grew up in NYC in 1825. Yeah, “It’s Complicated,” is an understatement. What is Annie doing? Can she accomplish what she needs to do? Can Wes help?

Katherine Howe told me herself on Twitter that this is a weird book. She wasn’t kidding. It’s weird, it’s hypnotic, chaotic, captivating…what else? Spellbounding! Mesmerizing! It’s just so cool and amazing…haunting and jaw-dropping. It made me wonder about the history of New York, and especially since I live here, it made me picture what the city was like back then. The book is very descriptive, which makes it easy to picture.

The images of Annie being forced into present-day NYC are emblazoned in my mind. Can you imagine how jarring NYC would be to someone from 1825? Katherine Howe really makes you understand what a confused and terrified state of mind Annie must have been in when she had no idea what was going on around her.

The book makes you care about all the characters. Their struggles whether in present-day or 1825 are real and relatable.

I highly recommend this book. It was awesome!

As always when I read a book set in NYC, I take myself out on a tour of the city inspired by the book I read. Annie Van brought me to the East Village in Manhattan.

Here is a sneak peek into that tour:

The Merchant’s House Museum

West Village

The West Village, NYC

NYC, Annie Van Tour

NYC Tour, Book Review, Annie Van tour

The Appearance of Annie van Sinderen tour

NYC community garden

East Village community garden

East Village Dog

Washington Square Park

The Appearance of Annie van SinderenStay tuned for the full Annie Van tour! Thank you Katherine Howe for the inspiration! It was a hauntingly, beautiful day. 😉

Full tour is live! Check it out here!

#amreading Annie van by Katherine Howe

Ditmas Park Home

Hey everyone!

I thought I would write a little post to let you know what I’m reading. I want you to get an idea of where in NYC I’ll be touring next! With help from Twitter, I decided to read The Appearance of Annie van Sinderen by Katherine Howe. I’m excited about this one!

There’s a film student, a mysterious and beautiful girl, a seance, maybe a ghost? Sounds cool to me! Should make for an interesting tour in the city.

If you haven’t read one of my tours, check out my last one to get a better idea. Read it here. I read the book Modern Lovers, which inspired me to take a tour of the beautiful neighborhood Ditmas Park located in Brooklyn. It was a rainy day, but a cool skateboarder girl made me realize I was being a bit whiny about the rain. So I quit the bulls%it and enjoyed the day!

I only just started reading Annie van and already I’m pretty intrigued!

So I have an idea…why don’t you start reading it too so you’ll be even more fired up for my tour!? Riiiiigghht!? Sounds like a good idea to me if I do say so myself. 😉

Until then, here are some photos you didn’t see on my last tour:

Ditmas Park

Ditmas Park Home

Ditmas Park

That’s all for now! Don’t forget to check out my Modern Lovers Tour!

Modern Lovers Tour

Flatbush Food Coop

This time I’m bringing you to sleepy Ditmas Park, as it’s often referred to as. I read “Modern Lovers” by Emma Straub, which got me ready to go to this great neighborhood. If you didn’t already, read my book review and sneak peek into my tour here.

Before going on this tour, I must admit, I was aggravated. If you read my Breakfast at Tiffany’s tour, you already know that I sometimes have trouble shaking off my aggravation. I usually do my tour on Saturday’s but since my weather app told me there would be thunderstorms, I postponed it. Sunday would have showers, but it didn’t sound as bad. Part of me thought I should cancel it altogether to wait for better weather, but a bigger part of me thought that the point of my tours is to get out of my comfort zone and see what happens. I had pretty perfect weather for my other tours, but things can’t be perfect all the time. That’s not reality. I know how gorgeous Ditmas Park looks on a lovely Spring day, so it wasn’t an easy pill for me to swallow, but I choked it down.

I’ve been to Ditmas Park before. I was amazed the first time I came here. I’m used to massive skyscrapers, hordes of people rushing by, honking cars…even living in Brooklyn, Ditmas Park was this heavenly little oasis of chirping birds, scampering squirrels, and cute, fluffy scaredy cats. I loved it! And oh yeah, BEAUTIFUL Victorian homes with romantic trees and perfect lawns. It’s unbelievable that this place exists in NYC.

In the book, the character Andrew gets involved with a place called EVOLVEment. It has yoga, meditation, essential oils, and illegal Kombucha. It was a coop so everyone worked there. Andrew came from family money and didn’t have a job, so it seemed like he was in some midlife crisis when he stumbled upon this place. He was ripe for the plucking by the sketchy owner, Dave.

Since that place is fictional, I decided that instead of getting involved in something sketchy, I would use the book to inspire me to move my body around in some sort of exercise-type way. Yoga!

Family of Light Holistic Center

I went to the Family of Light Holistic Center. It’s been a million years since I’ve done any physical activity besides walking around the city. However, I thought since it’s an open level yoga I should have no problem.

The class started off strangely since there was a weird smell coming from the facilities. The instructor opened the door and gave us essential oils to put on our wrists to help mask the odor.

She starts the class, “Now inhale deeply…”

Um…I’m gonna pass on that.

In her defense, the smell didn’t last long. The essential oils smelled great & relaxing and soon I could inhale deeply without concern. It was nice because it was a small class so we got a lot of individualized attention. Although, I feel like I got the most attention because she had to keep correcting my form. Yoga isn’t easy! I was sore for a couple days afterward, but my neck which is usually sore felt good for a couple of days. I need to go back!

After that class, I was hopeful that my aggravation about the rain would easily float away. We’ll see.

Since I’m a Brooklyner, I don’t live too, too far from this spot, so I went home to freshen up.

Please enjoy this brief intermission with a snack and/or beverage of your choice.

Okay, we’re back!

Cortelyou Road

Cortelyou Road is the main drag of Ditmas Park. It’s often mentioned in the book and lots of restaurants, bars, & stores run along this road. I headed to a popular place along this street for a quick brunch.

Cafe Madeline
Cafe Madeline

This place is soooo busy! It’s crowded at the counter and a bit nerve-racking for an introvert like myself. I ordered at the counter, waited for my coffee at the end of the counter…and waited…and waited. Finally, I get my coffee that was filled to the top of my mug and make my precarious walk among the throngs of people to search for a table without spilling it. I had to wait some more until, hallelujah, praise baby Elvis! I hear my name and they bring me my meal.

Cafe Madeline
Avocado and egg cheddar biscuit

It was cold. Ugh. I ate it anyway because I don’t want to dare fight through the massive amount of people at the counter. It’s a bummer because I can tell how good the ingredients are and how well made it is. It was still decent despite the chill.

When I leave, it’s still raining and I’m not in the best mood. The hectic vibe of Cafe Madeline is not really my scene and it’s Mother’s Day, I forgot to mention. I didn’t really think about that when I had to delay my tour. It was a bit awkward sitting alone in a cafe on a rainy day on Mother’s Day. I did call my mom though who lives out of state and I bought her something nice. Enough about my mom…

Time to get moving!

Ditmas Park, Argyle Road

I’m walking up Argyle Road which is the street Elizabeth and Andrew live on and it’s also the street Ruby and Harry walk up to get to Prospect Park. I follow the directions straight out of the book.

Trying to shake off my aggravation about the rain when I see…

Ditmas Park, Argyle Road

Only the coolest teen girl ever! I’m over here annoyed at the rain from underneath my umbrella when this girl goes skating past me without a care in the world. The character Ruby is kind of a badass teen girl so it was so appropriate that this girl showed up as I’m literally walking Ruby’s path to the park.

I was never a badass kid. I was awkward, shy, and so self-conscious. I look at a girl like this skateboarder and think, “She’s gonna turn out alright.” Not that I didn’t, but I’m still searching for my inner badass.

Ditmas Park, Argyle Road

Ditmas Park, Arglye Road
You already know I’m a dog stalker, but I will stalk cats too.

Prospect Park

“They walked three blocks straight up Argyle, until they hit the soccer fields and the back of the tennis center…Ruby nudged Harry toward the bridle path, a soft dirt road…they were completely alone, staring out at the lake…There were ducks in the lake…”

Ducks!? I need to see these ducks!!!

Prospect Park bridle path

Prospect Park Lake

I found the lake! I was told there would be ducks here.

Prospect Park Lake
“People fish here, have you seen that?” Ruby asked.

That guy is fishing!

Prospect Park Lake

DUCKS!!! 😀😍

Prospect Park Lake

AND SWANS!!! How did I not know about this? I vaguely recall hearing something about this, but I guess I was too busy sitting on my comfy couch to learn how to find this in real life. Thank you, Emma Straub, for leading me to the ducks and swans of Brooklyn!

Prospect Park Lake

So cool! I enjoyed them for a little bit. I was alone in this spot minus some rowdy men I heard nearby. I think that the only park goers on a rainy day are the ones running the loop. Runners are a dedicated bunch, rain or shine. The loop was close but not close enough that I felt that protective feeling you have when you’re around others. So when one of the rowdy men started walking in my direction, call me paranoid or call me street smart, I said a quick goodbye to the ducks & swans and briskly walked toward the more populated loop. That guy kept walking in my direction but since I made that decision quickly, there was no way he could catch up to me. He was probably harmless but on this Mother’s Day, I had my mom’s voice in my ear, “Better safe than sorry.”

But MOM…maybe I ran away from my soulmate?

Mom: “Mmmn…I don’t think so. Did you hear about that girl who went to the park to look at the swans and…”

Did she get murdered?

Mom: “Yes…brutally. I think I might know your future soulmate. He lives in Georgia. You can talk to him on the computer!”

Thanks, mom.

Now that I escaped near death thanks to my mom…time to get back on track!

Cambodian Buddhist Temple
Cambodian Buddhist Temple

 

Ditmas Park homes

Ditmas Park

Ditmas Park Victorian Homes

Ditmas Park Victorian Homes

Did you enjoy these lovely homes? The next home I’m going to take you is the well-publicized mansion of actress Michelle Williams.

Ditmas Park
It’s under renovation.

Ditmas Park

Whoa! I was not expecting that. Trying to enjoy a peaceful walk here!

The next homes I learned about from reading an article on Bklyner.com called “Brooklyn Staycation: A Day In Ditmas Park.”

The Japanese House
The Japanese House
William & Lulu Norwood House
The William & Lulu Norwood House. Quite a hidden fortress!
184 Marlborough Road
According to the article, this was the home to Nellie Bly – “the pioneering feminist and investigative journalist who took the world by storm decades before women even had the right to vote.”

Street Art in Ditmas Park

Artist: Juan Carlos Pinto

Ditmas Park art

Ditmas Park, Brooklyn
This is from the Newkirk Plaza tunnel murals.

Newkirk Plaza tunnel mural

Newkirk Plaza mural

Tree art

Ditmas Park, tree art

 

Coffee Z
Grabbed a coffee and chilled for a bit.
Ditmas Park
So many tree-lined streets.
Ditmas Park home
Love this one!

This is the last house on my tour. Did you have a favorite?

For dinner, I picked a restaurant that I think could be the inspiration for Jane and Zoe’s fictional restaurant Hyacinth, which is located on Cortelyou Road.

The Farm on Adderley
The Farm on Adderley

I sat at the bar with a glass of wine & a good meal.

The Farm on Adderley
Farro Rissoto

Looks a little weird but it was quite tasty.

I was thinking about my last tour, how I was hoping I’d meet a nice guy. A guy was near me for a bit but when I got back from the bathroom, he was gone. Two guys took his place. Hmm? I’ll have my choice…actually I think they might be gay.

I’m not really feeling the drive to meet a guy like I was during my last tour. I wasn’t jealous of any of the characters this time. Instead, I look at those guys and think, “Good for them!” What’s wrong with me? I’m almost 39 & still single. I need to keep my eyes peeled. Change locations if there are no viable single guys around.

Bartender: “Would you like dessert?”

Yes!

The Farm on Adderley
Goats Milk Panna Cotta

No! What is this? The bartender recommended this. I feel conned. They were out of one dessert and I bet they were low on the chocolate one, so she steered me toward this one.

Um, bartender, I’m the single female here, I think you should have pointed me in the direction of chocolate instead of this swamp! I don’t even know what I’m eating. Are those onions? In her defense, she did say it was weird, but she used weird as a selling point and I fell for it! No, I don’t want croutons in my dessert, thank you though.

That left me wanting actual dessert so I stopped at the store on my way home and picked up chocolate peanut butter gelato. Yum!

Anyway,

I saved the best for last. 😊

Ditmas Park Dog

Meet Pogo!

You know I love dogs, but I have a special place in my heart for three-legged dogs. The owner lets me take a picture and told me that Pogo inspires him every day. I love that three-legged dogs go about their life the same as if they had all four. They run around & play and enjoy their life.

I’ll keep Pogo and the cool skateboarder girl on my mind whenever I need to remind myself to just let go and enjoy.

Thank you so much for coming along with me on my tour! I hope you enjoyed it.

Click here to find out what I’m reading next!

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Book Review and Ditmas Park Tour: Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

Since the last book I read was set in Manhattan, I thought it would be nice to head back to Brooklyn. I am a Bk girl after all, which I admit, makes me a little biased. This book is set in Ditmas Park, a little oasis in Brooklyn that’s hard to believe exists until you step foot over there. Do you need a breather from the hectic, rushed vibes of Manhattan? Ditmas Park is your answer! It is a breath of fresh air!

Needless to say, I was excited to read Modern Lovers. In fact, I’ve been planning on reading it for a while but I needed to wait until the trees would be in full, spectacular bloom for you. In case, you’re wondering, yes, I have been to this part of Brooklyn before. I was amazed the first time I walked around this neighborhood, so I really wanted you all to see it too. Sadly, I had a bit of a weather delay and the day I went was not the perfect day I was hoping for either. It was a bit rainy, but not so terrible that I couldn’t enjoy the day.

Okay, down to business! Modern Lovers is about a close group of friends, Elizabeth, Andrew, Zoe, and Lydia who knew each other during their college days and were in a band together. Elizabeth and Andrew were college sweethearts and now are married living in Ditmas Park with their teenage son, Harry.

Zoe is married to Jane and they also live in Ditmas Park and coincidentally have a teenage daughter named Ruby. Do you see where this is going? Yup, Harry, and Zoe might become more than friends…

So that leaves Lydia…Lydia became quite the rockstar but as stars go- they rise and then they fall. Unfortunately, Lydia’s fell. A film surrounding her life is a major focal point of the story.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Prior to reading, I had glanced at some negative reviews. Well, I, for one was completely invested in each of the characters’ stories, especially Elizabeth’s.

The characters seemed real and honest. I enjoyed Ruby’s badass personality and Harry’s innocence. The relationship troubles the characters faced seemed very relatable. I rooted for them and hoped for the best when things seemed to get a little hairy. I definitely recommend this book.

In case this is the first time you’re reading my blog, I read books set in NYC and take a tour of the city using the book as inspiration. Check out the last tour I went on based on the book I Heart New York by Lindsey Kelk. You can read it here.

I’ve lived in NYC for almost 13 years and if I’m being honest, I was in a bit of a rut doing the same things day in and day out. Wake up-Work-Home-TV-Bed. Rinse & repeat. Many times I thought, “What am I doing living in such an expensive city?” Am I taking advantage of living in one of the coolest cities on the planet? The answer was no. I needed to change that. When I got this idea, I felt excited. I love reading and who knows where these books and characters will take me? I wanted to see!

Part of me was nervous because if I don’t make plans with friends, I usually just stay home unless I have errands or something. Could I spend a whole day in the city doing solo activities? Brunch, dinner on a Saturday night, or a concert? Well, now I have done those things and it makes me eager to do more! Now I know that I don’t need to wait for anyone to get out and explore. I don’t need to wait for permission to go out and live an adventurous life.

But of course I know friendships and even dating (ugh) are important. So don’t worry, I will still keep up with my social life. I do have some pretty great people who I’m lucky to call friends.

On to the best part- a sneak peak into my tour!

Here you go!

Ditmas Park, Brooklyn

Ditmas Park, Cortelyou train tracks

Trees of Ditmas Park
Trees of Ditmas Park

Ditmas Park tree trunk

Ditmas Park, Brooklyn

Ditmas Park, Brooklyn

Ditmas Park, Brooklyn

Prospect Park

Ditmas Park, Brooklyn

Ditmas Park, Brooklyn

Thank you for reading! Full tour is here!

I Heart New York Tour: The photos you didn’t get to see

From the Manhattan Bridge
Train ride into the city

I’m about to show you never before seen photos from my I Heart New York tour. I went on a tour of the city inspired by Lindsey Kelk’s book “I Heart New York.” Read it here, if you haven’t already. You won’t regret it!

Lindsey Kelk read it and I still can’t believe all the nice compliments she sent my way. She shared it on Twitter and Facebook. So many people read it. So cool!

Here’s what she said:

Author Lindsey Kelk praised my blog

Thank you again Lindsey Kelk! I Heart You!

So down to business. The photos I’m about to show you are a little angry with me. Please don’t refer to them as the “leftovers.” They are a little sensitive about it. I prefer a positive and upbeat blog style, so I apologize if there’s an undercurrent of anger throughout this post. No matter how much I’ve apologized to these photos, they still can’t seem to get past the fact that they didn’t make the tour. By no means did I feel they weren’t worthy enough, but I just had to make some cuts. Please show them some love in the comments. They need it.

Here we go. Deep breaths.

Union Square, New York
I don’t understand. I would have been a great introduction to Union Square. I’m over here welcoming everyone to Union Square! What is wrong with you?

I’m sorry. You’re completely right. I don’t know what I was thinking.

Hope Sculpture
I’m a close up of the famous Hope sculpture. That faraway shot was pitiful. Unbelievable!

It was a tough decision! If I could have used both of you, I would have! I’m sorry.

MOMA
I’m pretty and you know it.

You’re very pretty.

MOMA
I tried so hard for you.

You did. I’m sorry.

MOMA
Too many people in the way for you?

Kind of. Sorry.

MOMA
Do you even know what painting I am?

Ummm……no…sorry.

MOMA
I’m a helicopter inside the MOMA! I’m awesome. It’s because of the dust, isn’t it?

Yeah.

SeaGlass Carousel
I’m way cooler than your other SeaGlass photos.

Yeah, I think you might be. I think I made a mistake. I’m sorry. Maybe I’ll put you on my home page? That’d be cool, right!?

Battery Park

Battery Park

Battery Park

These photos are refusing to talk to me.

Battery Park
I’m so beautiful!
Battery Park
You had to do that. You had to show the garbage? Well, this is real New York. You don’t think your readers can handle the truth!?

Settle down, Jack Nicholson.

Union Square
Was I not cute enough for you?

Of course you are! You’re adorable! I love all dogs.

Speaking of dogs, I wonder if what Lindsey Kelk meant with her comment was that I found love within myself or with this dog?

New York City dog

The dog! It has to be the dog. Look at how he’s looking at me. I need to find this dog again!

Weren’t these photos just lovely? That was such a great day. Thank you again Lindsey Kelk for the inspiration!

Until next time!

Currently reading Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

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

😊