My New York State of Mind

I spent last weekend in NYC, which is always an adventure. It starts out quietly enough at the Indianapolis International Airport which is a clean, mostly quiet…I want to add “well-lighted” because Hemingway, you know…place.

The first fun part of my adventure after arriving in NYC (besides navigating out of LaGuardia, which is a whole ‘nother kind of adventure that I won’t write about) involved meeting one of my debut group (Notable19s) friends, Hanna Stark, in person. I immediately bonded with her. She is such a lovely and smart person.

Also lovely and smart (and tons of fun!) is my Sterling Publishing editor whom I got to meet the next morning for brunch! She has been delightful to work with and I hope I will work with her again in the future. (Sending that wish out to the universe….!)

Then it was down to business with a Master Class with editor Tiffany Liao. If you ever attend the Kweli conference, I recommend taking the Master Class option.

After that, it was off to a fabulous dinner at Pondicheri with some writer friends!

Everyone had to take pictures of the food.

The Kweli Conference was the main reason I went to NYC. It kicked off with a keynote from amazing author Samira Ahmed:

And ended with a wonderful speech from THE Jacqueline Woodson:

The weekend was filled with meeting up with friends, some of whom I’d only met online previously. The superlatively talented Rajani LaRocca was the one who got me to go to Kweli:

Joanna Ho Bradshaw is a Twitter friend whom I was delighted to meet at the Master Class. She is beautiful inside and out.

Carole Lindstom is a long time Facebook friend. I knew she would be wonderful but I wasn’t prepared for just how exuberant and flowing with love she would be. I hope to see her again very soon!

Before my NYC adventure was over, I had to meet up with my sci-fi besties from the Minnows Literary Group. I’ve known Janet and Belinda for 9 years now ever since we took the Gotham Writers Workshop speculative fiction class together.

dinner at Uncle Nick’s

And all too soon, it was over and I was on my way back home. Until next time, NYC!

The holidays, NYC edition: part 3 – miscellany

Sometimes the best parts of a trip are the unplanned and unexpected ones.

beautiful Christmas decorations on Roosevelt Island
the fun tram ride over to Manhattan
waving at the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry…didn’t see Spiderman though
overlooking nighttime Manhattan from the Roosevelt Island tram
visited Columbia University campus and forgot to see the Physics Dept where the subject of my picture book biography (out from Sterling Publishing in the fall) worked for many years
people went nuts over the non-native escapee Mandarin Duck at Central Park but fail to appreciate the equally beautiful, and native, Buffleheads
view from Central Park
subway art…guess the story!
we had no idea that a flock of Monk Parakeets had established themselves on Long Island; the last time we saw a flock was in Chicago (also escapees)
an interesting ruin on Roosevelt Island
squirrel sunning itself on a ledge of the abandoned smallpox hospital
the UN where Batman and Robin had to save the delegates who’d been dehydrated into cubes…LOL!
Brants – another exciting bird variety for us
a panorama of Roosevelt Island (at the southern end) where our generous friends let us use their apartment over the holidays

It was overall a wonderful trip to get a good taste of NYC for me since it was only the second time I’d ever been there.

I hope your holidays were just as good!

The holidays, NYC edition: Part 1, the food

Happy New Year to you all! I hope 2019 will turn out to be a good year for you, however you wish to define good. 

Friends of mine went on vacation to Thailand over the holidays and offered their NYC apartment to stay in for free in exchange for cat sitting. What an absolute deal since I love cats anyway and we were able to save a ton by not having to pay for a hotel for 10 days!

one of the kitties

As long time followers would appreciate, of course the first post about NYC would be about the foods we ate. I started this whole blog all because of food, after all. 

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Next blog, I’ll share some museum highlights…which are not nearly as tasty as food, but humans do not live on food alone (well, I could, but some people prefer more than just food). 😀