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!
I had a great time on my Annie Van tour! Can’t wait for A Little Murder tour! Stay tuned!
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:
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.
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:
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.
I’m sorry. You’re completely right. I don’t know what I was thinking.
It was a tough decision! If I could have used both of you, I would have! I’m sorry.
You’re very pretty.
You did. I’m sorry.
Kind of. Sorry.
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!?
These photos are refusing to talk to me.
Settle down, Jack Nicholson.
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?
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!
After the serious tone of the last book I read, Reconstructing Amelia, I decided I needed to go back to the land of chick lit. I do heart New York and heart it even more since going on tours of the city based on the books I’ve read. Lindsey Kelk’s, I Heart New York, sounded like the perfect choice for me.
Angela, who lives in London, is at her best friend’s wedding when she stumbles upon her own fiancé cheating on her. To make matters worse, Angela finds out her best friend knew about it and didn’t tell her. Angela is rightfully furious with her fiancé and her best friend. She makes an unglamorous exit from the wedding, although, who could blame her? The next day, Angela high tails it out of London and sets her sights on New York City.
She has no plan. Even doesn’t know where she’ll stay until a cabbie brings her to a random hotel in the city.
We follow along the way as Angela navigates a foreign city, makes friends, meets guys, and tries to sort out her life.
I was invested in Angela’s story and entertained by it. I definitely wanted to get to the end to see how it all plays out.
However, I can’t lie and say I wasn’t frustrated by how easily things seemed to work out for Angela. Angela is a freelance writer who was not currently working when she went to NYC. She was able to book a ticket and stay at a very expensive NYC hotel. She had some savings, but still. Besides the flight and hotel, she went on major shopping sprees and spent a fortune on designer items. It made me nervous for her as I read it. My stomach hurt! No joke! I was thinking, “Angela, you have no job and you’re living in an expensive hotel, slow your roll! Geez!”
Even more frustrating for a single lady like myself is that in less than a week, she had two hot guys after her. How did she do it? Is it her British accent? Probably!
I had to continually remind myself to suspend my disbelief so that I could enjoy the book. Ultimately, I did enjoy it and was glad I read it.
The best part is that it inspired a cool tour of NYC! If this is the first time you’re reading, I go on tours of NYC based on books set in the city. I have a good excuse to take myself out and explore the city in a whole new way. After living in the city for almost 13 years, I feel like these tours have given me a new appreciation for this city. It’s stunningly beautiful and a surprise is waiting around every corner!
Here’s a sneak peak into my tour:
That’s all for now! I hope you enjoyed and thank you so much for reading.
The full tour will be coming to your screen of choice soon! Signing off…
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.
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.
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:
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!
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.
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.
Wait for it…
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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:
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!
But can’t I get a slice of pizza too? Is that allowed? YES!
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…”
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.
After passing many white stone brownstones, I arrive here:
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?”
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.
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.
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:
Now to 52nd and Park
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.
Made it to Holly Golightly’s brownstone!
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?
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.
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 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!