Book Reviews

Book Expo America 2011 Part 1: Sunday-Tuesday

I’m back from New York! And I’ve decided I’m going to break up my BEA post into three or four, just because I don’t think I can fit everything into one ginormous post. Duh.
So: post the first and second is about my time spent in NYC in general. The third one will be about the books I got (and probably more about the authors/bloggers I met), and the fourth one will be tips and tricks for next year’s BEA.
Okay! Let’s get started.
This was my travel day. I left in the afternoon, I arrived in NYC close to 1am, and I got really, really lost trying to get to my hostel. After frantic phone calls with my parents (who had access to Google Maps) and getting turned around several times from my lack of comprehension on how streets/directions work, I spotted a Subway/flower shop combo which I KNEW was next to the hostel. And there was the hostel!
Then there was some tricky maneuvering in the dark so I wouldn’t wake up my three roommates (strangers, btw), the setting of my phone’s alarm clock so I’d wake up in time to meet Kim in the morning, and a long period where I couldn’t get to sleep because I was so very, very excited to be in New York.
Then I fell asleep.
This was my big sightseeing day, as all my other days were to be filled with BEA and, later, traveling back home. Kim showed up early in the morning and together we went off to get our badges at Javits. It was only about a ten minute walk from our hostel– very close and very convenient, I must say. There we meet Tara, an ex-New Yorker who knew ALL the best places to go see and who also knows some really interesting historical stuff behind a lot of the things we saw! If you can snare a New Yorker to take you around your first day in the city– do it, because it’s totally worth it. (And Tara was super nice and fun and lovely and, basically, TARA YOU’RE AWESOME. ♥)

Me with Robert Burns.

We went to the High Line, an old elevated train track which has been turned into a garden-y sort of thing. We also visited the Strand, which is just as huge as everyone says it is and which actually has decent prices (especially compared to some place around here). Then, after lunch, we went to Central Park (via subway. Not as scary as I though it would be) and spent some time just walking around and looking at things. We found the literary walk, which I thought was supposed to be full of interesting author statues but really just had, like, four– one of which was Columbus? Weird.
Then Kim and Tara went off to have tea with some publisher people and I wandered around the park on my own. I got lost a few times but mainly circled around the zoo/carousel/chess and checker building area because I couldn’t figure out how to get anywhere else. Maps were $6 or something! Ridiculous. I didn’t buy one, obviously.
Then I wandered my way over to the subway again and figured out how to get to the Empire State Building, where I was supposed to meet Memory so we could go up together. I made it there (and so did Memory), but it was so foggy and overcast that there was zero visibility and it wouldn’t have been worth the ticket price to go up. Instead we wandered around a bit, including into the huge post office that was near the hostel/Penn Station.
The Empire State Building fogged over. Scary! And cool.


Then I collapsed into bed and fell asleep relatively easily.
BEA!! I was so excited about BEA that I woke up around 6 and was ready to go by 7:30. Kim and I made it over there around 8, where I picked up a ticket for Eoin Colfer’s signing. I was so surprised I got one! I was so sure I had missed out on everything, but I’m glad I made it in time for at least one ticket. Yay Eoin Colfer!
I spent most of the day wandering around visiting booths, picking up interesting books, and going to a few author signings (which I’ll talk about more later). Everyone I met was so nice and friendly, including just about all of the bloggers. I was so happy to meet other bloggers– there aren’t really other book bloggers here in New Mexico (at least none that I know about), and it was so great just being able to talk about blogging and books and being a book blogger and having other people know what I’m talking about. Having people commiserate with me! Being able to talk about a book I’m excited about without having to explain everything about it!
I think meeting other bloggers was probably my favorite part of the whole BEA trip.
The only panel I went to on Tuesday was to the Craig Thompson one about his new book, Habibi. It was interesting and I definitely want to read the book when it comes out. That’s ages from now, but it’ll be worth it to wait!

I actually took this picture on Thursday.

For dinner Kim and I met up with Cass and Amy, and we ate at a hamburger place called Five Guys. It was really good (especially the fries), but, again, the best part was meeting people I had only previously talked to on the internet and being able to talk to them about things.
After dinner we went to sit on the big post office’s steps to wait for Ash, our third roommate, and then when she came everyone but me left to go to the Bookrageous thing. I collapsed in the hostel room and tried to store up energy for the next day.
I’m hoping next year I’ll have enough internal energy to be able to do things after 8pm, but this year I was able to do things up to maybe 9pm max, and then I just had no more walking power in me. Oh well!
Wednesday-Friday will be up on Sunday or Monday, I think. I need to get some pics from other people first. More of my pictures here!


    • Anastasia

      I did! And next time I’ll bring you back even MORE stuff, so much stuff you’ll be crushed under it. So THERE.

  • Vasilly

    After reading this, I’m really regretting not going to BEA this year! I definitely have to go next year. It sounds like you had an amazing time! I can’t wait to read about the rest of your trip.

  • Gaby @ Starting Fresh

    Hi Anastasia,
    It sounds like you had a great time in NYC and made some excellent choices (Empire State Bldg decision & roaming Central Park, etc.). It was great meeting you at BEA – I think during one of the long, long lines at the tables on the last day.
    The Central Park Conservancy has maps and some interesting audio guides that you can use the next time you visit. They commissioned New Yorkers like Jerry Seinfeld, Barbra Streisand, Alec Baldwin, etc. to talk about their favorite places in Central Park
    Hope to see you at BEA next year. If you want more tips on places to see and visit or perhaps an insider’s tour of the Upper East Side or Chinatown, I can help with that! : )
    Gaby @ Starting Fresh

    • Anastasia

      Chinatown! I’d definitely love to visit Chinatown next time, so I’m totally going to take you up on that offer. Memory went there and she ate really good food and I was so jealous– I have a craving for dumplings that just can’t be sated until I get some in Chinatown. ;D

  • Ash

    I hope you have more internal energy next year too! We definitely missed you during the evening. Next year I’ll definitely get to New York earlier too.

    • Anastasia

      I felt so bad I kept skipping out on things, but I just didn’t have the drive. 🙁 (Plus I hadn’t been invited to some things and I don’t feel comfortable gate-crashing.) I’ll try harder next year! I’ll eat more vegetables or something. Maybe that’ll help.

    • Anastasia

      Yay, me too! And yes– I’m going to write a reminder on my hand or something to take more pictures with people. It’s ridiculous we don’t have one together. 🙁

  • Esme

    Sounds like you had a great time-Last year I shared a room with Kim and have kept in touch-I enjoyed her company a lot. I hope you get the perfect job in whatever city it is. You are still young-so make the leap. NYC is a great city to explore-there is so much to see.

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