Tuesday, June 1, 2010

BEA Recap - Day 1

I hope you're not tired of reading BEA posts yet because I'm just now getting around to writing a few of my own! I had a whirlwind of a week and I still feel as if I'm recovering. But it was so worth it!!!

On the Sunday before BEA, my family attended my nephew's baptism in Lancaster, PA. Since I was leaving Booking Son with my parents (who also live in Lancaster), I decided to just spend the night and take the train first thing Monday morning. I loved my train ride and got lots of reading done -- I finished one book (SWEET DATES IN BASRA) and read half of another one (GIRL IN TRANSLATION.)

I arrived in New York around lunchtime on Monday morning and immediately took a cab ride (a crazy one at that) to the Sheraton Towers where I met up with my roommate for the week -- Kathy/Bermuda Onion. We decided to walk around Times Square and catch a bite to eat since we had about two hours before our first publisher tour. Thanks to Miriam's recommendation, we ate at a terrific pizza place -- John's Pizza. I don't think I've had a decent bite of pizza since we moved to Central Pennsylvania, so I was thrilled to "discover" this place. (So thrilled that I convinced Kathy to go back on Tuesday!)

We took a cab (another crazy ride) to Scholastic Books for our tour which was scheduled for 2:00. We arrived a little bit early and met up with some blogger friends. We also had a chance to look around the wonderful bookstore. I showed terrific restraint and didn't buy any books, but I can't say the same for Kathy! Here's a photo of the huge Harry Potter statue that was in Scholastic's library:

I loved the tour and was happy that we got to see the Scholastic building from the ground up. We began in the archives where I found lots of books from my childhood. I had to snap a picture of these just to show Booking Daughter:

We got to see lots of offices, meeting rooms, etc., and I just loved the overall atmosphere of Scholastic -- it was so bright and colorful and it just seemed like a great place to work! Look who we just happened to run into while touring some of the offices:

Hint: It's Rick Riordan!

One of the highlights of the tour was meeting a Scholastic editor and author, Aimee Freedman. She was absolutely adorable and so enthusiastic about books -- I just loved her. I was lucky enough to get two signed copies of her books -- one for me and one for Booking Daughter! After she finished signing books, the group moved out to the rooftop garden and posed for pictures. I have to say the view was absolutely amazing even though it was a bit cloudy!

Kathy and I had a 4:00 appointment with Miriam at Hachette so we had to hustle. I was extremely proud of myself for hailing a cab -- it was the only time I successfully managed to do that on my own! We arrived a few minutes late after another crazy cab ride -- I'm beginning to see a pattern here. I think Kathy probably has a bruise or two because I grabbed her leg when we came within inches of taking out a poor man!

Hachette's offices were very different from Scholastic's. They were much more corporate looking, but I thought they were beautiful. I especially loved the glass elevator that went up the center of the building. I tried to get Kathy to look out, but she rode the entire way up facing a wall with her eyes closed -- she wasn't exaggerating about her a fear of heights.

Of course, I was so excited to see Miriam again because she's just the best. She took us on a tour of the offices which was extremely interesting, and I loved seeing old friends like Anna, Kelly, and Valerie while also meeting new ones like Alice. One of the best parts of the tour, though, was meeting Reagan Arthur. Ever since Kathy and I decided to host the Reagan Arthur Challenge, she's been nothing but gracious. It was such a treat to say introduce myself and say hi!

Then we headed to the Time Warner Building for a nice dinner and a book event. The Borders store was having a fantastic reading/panel called "Sunny Days and Starry Nights" which included six authors who have books coming out in time for summer reading. The authors included Jenny Han - IT'S NOT SUMMER WITHOUT YOU, Brando Skyhorse - THE MADONNAS OF ECHO PARK, Michael Koryta - SO COLD THE RIVER, Ilie Ruby - THE LANGUAGE OF TREES, Katherine Howe - THE PHYSICK BOOK OF DELIVERANCE, and Samantha Bruce-Benjamin (moderator) - THE ART OF DEVOTION. All of the authors were charming and I think I now have to read all of the books (that I haven't already read!)

Needless to say, Kathy and I were pretty exhausted at this point so we decided to walk back to our hotel and settle in. Day 1 was an absolute blast, and I knew I better get some rest because there was lots more fun to come!


Molly said...

Wonderful recap - I felt as though I was touring right along with you!

I will never tire of reading BEA posts, so keep 'em comin' :)

Unknown said...

Oh, so jealous of your tour of Scholastic - what a great experience!

I too love the recaps. I'm re-living the week with another set of eyes and I'm loving every minute!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

It sounds so great - I love reading about what everyone did, but especially seeing the pictures!

Sandy Nawrot said...

Believe me, I would have been facing the wall right along with Kathy! It sounds like you had so much fun...I have a great relationship with Scholastic down here, but to see the HQ! I might have started begging for a job.

Anna said...

I was so happy to run into you and Kathy during the Scholastic tour! Serena, The Girl, and I ate at John's Pizza, too, while we were in NYC. Yummy!

Diary of an Eccentric

Aimee Friedman said...

Aw, thank you for the kinds words! It was great to meet you and all the bloggers. So glad you had fun at Scholastic and in NYC.

All best,
Aimee Friedman


Amy said...

I loved the Hachette offices, myself. Corporate but nice and a good environment to work in, I think! (my old work desperately needed new carpet)

Carin Siegfried said...

a tip on crazy cabs, espexially if you have someone with you - talk to that person! The whole time! Preferably about something juicy! DO NOT PAY ATTENTION TO THE DRIVER OR WHERE HE'S GOING OR HOW. You would rather not know. So if you have a distraction, then get yourself distracted! (If alone, good time to call someone.)

Sounds like you sure had fun!

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

I missed out on the tours but hope to plan for them next year, they sound amazing! Sounds like you had a blast!

It was fun meeting you at the Tea with Adriana event. :)

Jenny Girl said...

great post! glad you gals got together again and had a fun time. The tours sound like so much fun!

Beth F said...

Sounds like your Monday was terrific!

Serena said...

Sounds like you had a fun-filled and packed schedule of things, and that pizza place was to die for! I loved it!

bermudaonion said...

I had a great time in New York with you and hope I didn't keep you from sleeping! Thanks for being such a great roommate!