The Girl was pretty upset that I was leaving her for a few days to go to BEA, but once I agreed to her demand to take one of her stuffed animals with me and photograph him in New York, she was happy. This is Mr. Bear on Friday night. He looks disheveled from his long day traveling. He was on his way to the BEAtweetup, so you can imagine he looked worse after a few drinks! Oh, and he kept bothering Serena on the train until she agreed to have her picture taken with him. Pesky bear! And if you scroll down…yup, that’s me in Times Square.
So…highlights from the trip (and please forgive my babbling…I’m still in post-BEA exhaustion mode):
The Amtrak ride from D.C. to Penn Station in NYC was smooth. We were only five minutes late coming in on Friday morning, but we were 13 minutes early arriving back in D.C. on Saturday night. After the experiences we’ve had with guests visiting us from New England, we were expecting delays, so it was a pleasant surprise.
We navigated the NYC subway and buses just fine, but Times Square was another story. Boy is that place crowded! It was a great experience, but I’d never want to live in the area or have to go there often.
When we arrived at the Javits Center a little after noon on Friday, we were able to hear Cornel West speak for a few minutes. Without a game plan, we spent much of the afternoon wandering around the exhibit hall. At the Sourcebooks booth, we ran into Alea, Janice, and Sharon, and spent a few minutes chatting with these nice ladies. After we started wandering again, we ran into Lisa Roe, who thankfully is as chatty as we are. Once we parted ways, Serena and I met Cornel West at his in-booth signing, and we met Annie Barrows handing out cookies with the Ivy & Bean book cover printed on them. What a lovely lady! I told her about The Girl’s review of one of the Ivy & Bean books and how much I enjoyed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and gave her one of my “business” cards so she could check out the reviews since she seemed interested.
Later that afternoon, we met Jennifer, Julie, and Amy at their in-booth signings, as well as Paula Krapf and Nicole. We were staying with Dawn at the Grand Hyatt (thanks again, Dawn!) and finally got a chance to meet her as she was coming back to the room and we were leaving for dinner. We met Stephanie then as well and enjoyed talking to them both. Although we were exhausted, we went to the BEAtweetup at the Greenhouse and had a chance to meet Kathy and her husband, Natasha, Trish, Valerie Russo from Hachette, Beth Fish, and the others that we’d already met. It was great getting a chance to meet these gals! They really are as nice and personable in person as they are on their blogs, and I was happy to be able to put faces with the names.
On Saturday, Serena and I had a plan to spend much of the day in the autographing area, as there were a lot of books and authors that interested us. We met Lenore that morning and had lunch with Kathy, Julie, and Amy after meeting with Miriam from Hachette. Our books were weighing us down, so we spent a good deal of time resting, but of course, we attended the Book Blogger panel (which you can listen to here). Serena and I agreed with much of what was said (we pretty much nodded our heads throughout), and I was thrilled it was so well attended.
After the panel and a few more signings, we headed back to the hotel to pick up our bags and head to Penn Station for dinner with a photographer friend of Serena’s. We made it back to Serena’s house (and an anxiously waiting Girl) around midnight. The Girl and I fell asleep on Serena’s couch talking about BEA and how she couldn’t wait until the morning for her bookish gifts. (If you haven’t read my Mailbox Monday post already, that’s where the BEA books are listed.)
Look for Serena’s BEA recap soon for more of Mr. Bear’s NYC adventures and the great time we had meeting our fellow book bloggers.
One last thing…I received Fodor’s New York City 2009 guide from Shelf Awareness, and I just want to mention how useful it was in planning our trip. I think the color pictures give you a good idea of what to expect, and I like how the city and its attractions are divided into neighborhoods. While we didn’t get to see much beyond Times Square and the Javits Center, the subway maps and public transit information were especially helpful. Serena and I hope to attend BEA next year, and I plan on using it again to prepare for the trip.