First Trip to New York: Part Two

If you’re interested in pictures, click here!

I actually meant to have only one post about NY and BEA, but I realized that it would be way too long. As a result, the intro to my previous post is a bit misleading, since it talks about the city and I really only went into detail about BEA — sorry about that. THIS post, however, will include my thoughts on New York City.

I’m kind of sad that we weren’t able to explore New York more fully, but I am not capable of handling crowds very well, so dealing with a conference and sight-seeing in one of the most populated cities in the world was a lot to handle. We stayed in a hotel very, very close to Times Square because the convention center is located around that area. So, for the first two days my only experience with New York was with Times Square and its surroundings.

Times Square was alright. I liked seeing all the lights and ads, and the stores were pretty cool, but meh. It was probably the dirtiest place I’ve ever been in my life and just so FULL of people. There were some things I enjoyed, like getting up on the giant board and exploring the shops. (They have the coolest Toys ‘R’ Us there!!!) Overall, though, I was kind of disappointed and that made me sad. I believed that I hated New York and, for some reason, that made me feel like a failure as a human being.

On the giant board at Times Square

On the giant board at Times Square

But that all went away once we got out of the Times Square area and started doing proper New York City things. We went to the Met, which was a ridiculous walk from our hotel. Google Maps said it was 3 miles, but we all think it lied. Although, the hot weather might have had something to do with how difficult that walk was. I LOVED the Met, but I usually love museums, so that’s not anything surprising. I kind of wish I checked it out online before we went, because there was some sort of Punk Couture exhibit that we totally missed. *sigh*

On Friday, my mom and I went to the 9/11 memorial in lower Manhattan. It’s a beautiful memorial, but there were people standing in front of the pools, smiling and taking pictures. Both my mom and I felt like that was disrespectful, but however they want to remember their visit, I guess.

Picture of one of the pools at the 9/11 memorial. The surrounding walls have names of the people who died that day carved into them.

Picture of one of the pools at the 9/11 memorial. The surrounding walls have names of the people who died that day carved into them.

Here, you can see part of a name in the wall

Here, you can see part of a name in the wall

After that, we went to Wall Street. It was hot, I was not in a good mood and didn’t particularly want to go, but I actually enjoyed this part of New York. Not so many people, the streets were clean, and I didn’t automatically think “food poisoning” every time I walked by a food place.

The last night, we took the time to go to The Empire State Building, which I absolutely loved. Seeing the city at night was fantastic, and that’s probably where I took most my pictures. The 86th floor was nice for pictures, but it was very windy, which freaked me out for some reason. I think the wind kept reminding me just how far up I was, and I was on the brink of a slight anxiety attack when we went back in. The 102th floor was perfect, though the pictures weren’t as good, because it was closed in.

NYC as seen from the Empire State Building

NYC as seen from the Empire State Building

Another Empire State Building pic

Another Empire State Building pic

Of course, I got us lost on the walk back, so  my mom and I were wandering around NYC at 1:30 AM trying to figure out just where we were. Surprisingly, that was fun. (Not sarcasm — I can’t speak for my mother, but I kind of enjoyed wandering around the city in the middle of the night.) Eventually, we figured it out and were able to get back to the hotel in time to take a short nap and then hop in a car to the airport for very early return flights.

Overall, I had fun. I wish we had more time, but I also think it’s kind of nice that we were able to get a feel for the city before planning a proper visit. We’re definitely going back, and now I have an idea of what to expect — and I know NOT to visit Times Square!


My First Trip to New York and BookExpo America 2013 Part 1

New York City. “The City.” I feel like this is one place where everyone in the US dreams of living at some point in their life. I did. When I was gathering college brochures my sophomore year of high school, NYU was at the top of my list, as were a few other New York universities. Because that’s where the art is, right? You’re able to really experience everything. You can make money by singing on the street or something; you can write in little coffee shops; you can hang out in parks and experience all sorts of variety. It’s all so magical and life-changing and living there helps you to become a well-rounded, intellectual person.

God, I love the idea of New York.

There’s also this thing called BookExpo America (BEA) and it’s been hosted in New York city for the past five years or so. Ever since I became a book blogger, in the long-ago days of late 2010, I’ve heard of this magical publishing industry event where you meet actual publishers, editors, authors, and they give you free books to review. Some of them are even signed.

And yes, book bloggers are able to go. (So are educators, for those who are interested.)

I was drooling over it last year in 2012, when they had guests like John Green (OMG!!!), Eoin Colfer, and Jeffrey Eugenides. These are just a few names, of course. Hundreds and hundreds of authors go to this event every year. And when I told my godmother, Mickey, about it her response was, “We need to go.”

So, that’s how this trip happened. Mickey and my mom started giving me reviews to post on my blog and became my official co-bloggers; late last year we bought our tickets, booked our flights, and booked our hotel. And for the next five months, I stalked the BEA website to see who would be there and what books were coming out.

The Event:


(More pictures to come — Mom needs to send me the ones from her camera, but here is my Flickr account for the ones I have and ones that Mickey sent me.)

I made a prioritized list of who to see and what books to get, asking my mom and Mickey for their input on who the “must see” authors were. We went to those “must-haves” and then wandered about for the rest of the day. Generally, my mom and I stayed from opening at 9 AM until about 1 or 2 in the afternoon and then went off to do New York things. Mickey had already been to New York, so she took full advantage of the event and often didn’t leave until it ended.

I got all of the books I really wanted and even attended a Neil Gaiman talk on Day 3 of the conference (the last day). That was probably my favorite event because of the energy in the room. It’s so weird, because whenever I talk about him with many of my friends and family I get, “Uh, who’s that?” But in that room, everyone loved him as much as I do and when he walked in, I suddenly understood how mobs happen. There was so much excitement and energy, I couldn’t help but get caught up in it. We oohed, ahhed, and vigorously applauded EVERYTHING he said. And when I looked at the people around me, their faces were full of the rapture I was experiencing.

Neil Gaiman on stage

Neil Gaiman on stage

And the weird thing is: Neil Gaiman is really as awesome as you’d imagine him to be. There’s that typical thing people say about being disappointed when you meet one of your idols. I’ve found this to be true. John Barrowman wasn’t nearly as great as I thought he’d be (he was still cool, but not to the extent I dreamed), and I generally am only really impressed by people who I think are pretty cool, but I don’t idolize so much. I was so NOT disappointed by Neil Gaiman, though. His speech on “Why Fiction is Dangerous” was funny, moving, and so very, very intelligent. If you ever have a chance to see him live, DO IT. (You can watch his talk here — so good!)

I went a little overboard on the Neil Gaiman pics.

I went a little overboard on the Neil Gaiman pics.

Overall, BEA was an amazing experience. Overwhelming, exhausting, and so, so worth it. The three of us loved it, and I think attending every couple years or so would be do-able. Not every year, because it really was one of the most tiring events I’ve been to. There’s just SO MUCH happening, all related to books — the one addiction I will never break. A lot of events, a lot of emotions, and a lot of meeting people. *happy sigh*

All the books I got at BEA -- and this was from not staying the whole time and actually passing on some books. Yeah. A booklover's dream, that event.

All the books I got at BEA — and this was from not staying the whole time and actually passing on some books. Yeah. A booklover’s dream, that event.

To be continued … (next post: my thoughts on New York City)


I hope you’re all enjoying the start of summer! My summer officially starts in 3 days, and I CANNOT WAIT. I’ll be in Southern California starting July 17 until July 31 — maybe later, but I need to work out some school and work stuff before I commit to staying longer. So, if you’ll be in the Lancaster area around then, be sure to send me a message so we can hang out!

A Night Out

*Work in progress*

A Night Out

Start with the face:

primer-liquid-powder flesh

rose-red dusting to make cheeks

slather, blend, rub in

Hide those human imperfections


Accent the eyes:

silver-inked lashes lengthened by coal-black tar

shadow with copper, purple, green

no natural-neutrals

the world needs




Don’t forget the lips:

moisturizing base

pigment found in neon lights

add gloss for shine

make it last —

don’t drink or eat —

it keeps you Thin


One hour to show that I am Me –

Attractive and Confident,

Uncaring of judgments

because I am Beautiful:

hiding in the crowd

with all the other magazine-ad-women

shouting in a whisper of sparkling powder:

Aren’t we perfect?

Don’t you want me?

Don’t you love me?