March 30, 2012

NERDS (and Elvis) IN NEW YORK!

When hubby had a business trip to New York, I tagged along.  We spent our first day enjoying Central Park.    

Nerds in Central Park!

Everything was in bloom.
Then we geeked out Times Square, taking in the lights and sights.  Had the best vegetarian burgers at Ted's Montana Grill.  The next morning, our friend Elysa drove from Connecticut to spend the morning with us.  She helped us get half-priced tickets for Memphis.

Our lovely friend, Elysa.

After Elysa left, an hour before the show, the lens popped out of my glasses.  We ran to the nearest Lens Crafters, where the person repaired my glasses, then we grabbed a bite and hustled to the theater.  Made it there in plenty of time to stand in the longest women's bathroom line ever.  And still was on time for the show!

After the fun musical, we strolled around Rockefeller Center and watched the ice skaters.  (Last time I was there with Elysa, they cleared the ice, and a man skated onto the ice to a woman and proposed to her.)  

Hubby and I saw many landmarks, including this one . . .

That evening found us in Rizolli Bookstore. This is what an independent bookstore used to be . . . and should be still.  What a joy!  I stood in the children's section and got all weepy, feeling so grateful to be part of this wonderful field. 

Monday found me in the lobby of our hotel, meeting a teacher (with whom I've only corresponded) and her daughter.

Tracy Smith and her lovely daughter, Victoria.

They treated me to breakfast at Carnegie Deli.  We had a lovely time getting to know each other.  I found out that Victoria plays drums, and they have a great shelter dog . . . just like we do.

When they headed to the American Museum of Natural History, I walked in the opposite direction to a meeting at Scholastic.  I knew I was in the right place when my name badge had Clifford, the Big Red Dog on it.

So happy to finally meet my Storyworks Magazine editor, Lauren Tarshis.  She's worked at Scholastic for over two decades, but we connected when I read and fell in love with her book, Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree.  Lauren has written several books.  And she also contributed a wonderful blog post about how to write a good short story.
Lauren Tarshis, editor of Storyworks and Scope magazines, author and mother of four.  Aka:  Superwoman!

Lauren introduced me to the magazine group and the people who choose the books for Scholastic's book fairs and clubs.  Then she treated me to a lovely lunch at the Scholastic cafe.

On the way out, I said so-long to Clifford the Big Red Dog, who stands guard near the front desk.  

Then I began the looooong trek back from SoHo to Mid-town.  Despite the cold weather, I vastly prefer walking to taking a cab.

Of course, along the way, I stopped in The Strand Bookstore.  And Books of Wonder, where I had the impossible decision of buying one of their amazing cupcakes or browsing the books.  I choose the books.  And I'm glad I did because manager, Scott, ended up chatting with me for half an hour about our shared love for children's literature and the amazing events they are prepping for this weekend.  Then, of course, I bought a book!

To continue my nerd love for New York City, I stopped in the New York Public Library.   In the main reading room, I sat and gazed up at the paintings of clouds on the ornate ceiling, grateful to be in that hallowed space.

Hubby and I enjoyed a lovely dinner with my agent and her family.

The next morning, I met the talented woman who edited all three of my novels -- Stephanie Elliott.  She has left Random House, so I was happy to reconnect with her and her adorable daughter and stroll through Central Park and catch up. 

Stephanie Elliott

Then off to lunch at Cognac, a great French restaurant, with my agent and wonderful new editor, Michelle Poploff, who took over the torch of Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen and worked hard to give it the best start she could.  I look forward to working on future books with Michelle.

Michelle Poploff, Vice President, Executive Editor at Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers (Random House)
Tina Wexler, Senior Agent with International Creative Management

My last meeting was with my publicist, Paul Samuelson.  Besides sharing great ideas, Paul and I discovered we spent our childhoods at different branches of the same library system -- The Free Library of Philadelphia.  Who knows how many enthusiastic book nerds that library system helped create?!

Donna, Elvis and publicist, Paul Samuelson.
One of the may things I learned during this trip is that children's book publishing companies retain a sense of fun in the workplace and are filled with dedicated professionals, who are passionate about producing and promoting children's literature.

Hubby and I spent our last night in New York revisiting Rizolli Bookstore and buying several books and EATING!  After a big dinner, we treated ourselves to dessert of crepes, hot chocolate, etc.  And headed home, full of sights, sounds, nerdy book love and FOOD!

We love New York!


Karen S said...

What a wonderful trip Donna! I loved reading about it and seeing the photos of you and Dan and the great people you met with while you were there. I have visited my brother in NYC several times and have never been to the NY Public Library or Rizzoli's Book Store. You can be sure they will be on the top of the list the next time I am in the city!

Mirka Breen said...

Thanks for taking us along. I loved every minute of your trip.

Nancy B-R said...

What a joy to read about your trip. I felt like I was experiencing it with you. I'm glad you home though....

Pamela said...

You should just travel and post your adventures. It's quite entertaining

Ruth Schiffmann said...

Sounds like an amazing trip!

Katie L. Carroll said...

What fun! Thanks for sharing.

Ann Herrick said...

What a wonderful trip to NYC!

Kelly Hashway said...

Sounds like a great trip! And meeting your agent must have been great. I'd love to meet mine in person.

Barbara Etlin said...

What fun! Thanks for sharing your photos!

Wild About Words said...

Thanks for the nice comments. It was hard to return to reality after that trip! But seeing the wagging tails of our pooches softened the blow. :)

Becca Puglisi said...

We missed you at critique group, but it sounds like you were having fun and doing much awesomeness. Can't wait to hear more about your trip next month!

Becca @ The Bookshelf Muse