Wednesday, June 7, 2017

BEA 2017 -- Day 1 (Tuesday)

It's hard to believe that just a little over a week ago, I was arriving in New York City for Book Expo (or what I've been calling it for years -- BEA!) I knew it was going to be a challenge to attend BEA this year because it was the week before my daughter's high school graduation. Fortunately, my best book buddy and one of my very best friends in the world Kathy (aka Bermudaonion) agreed to do an abbreviated trip with me.

After hosting company over Memorial Day weekend and a graduation party with 30+ kids, I headed out bright and early Tuesday morning to catch the Keystone train to New York City. I love the train ride because it gives me three hours to read... with no interruptions. I managed to finish Lisa Scottoline's latest ONE PERFECT LIE, and I'll share my thoughts with you in the near future.

I always like to walk to our hotel from Penn Station if the weather is nice, and it was lovely if a bit cool. Kathy had reached our hotel a little bit before me so she was able to meet me partway on 7th Street. I was thrilled to see her. We had just traveled to SIBA in the fall so it wasn't quite as long as normal between our visits, but it was so good to catch up on everything.

We couldn't check in early to our hotel, so we decided to start walking towards the Meatpacking District for our 1:00 lunch date. It was about an hour or so walk and we still had some time to kill, so we stopped at the Chelsea Market to look around. It had some fun shops and tons of terrific places to eat. The building was an old Nabisco warehouse where Oreos were made, and I loved how they incorporated the shops into the building while still keeping the feel of a warehouse. Unfortunately, we didn't try or buy anything, but I will definitely keep this place in mind for future trips to New York.
We continued our walk to the Meatpacking District and did a little browsing at the Tory Burch store and Madewell. I desperately wanted a pair of Tory Burch flip flops, but I just couldn't make up my mind. (I have since ordered a pair and I'm hoping they arrive before I leave for the beach on Saturday!)

One of the highlights of BEA for me each year is having lunch or breakfast with Adriana Trigiani. This year, we were supposed to meet at Bubbys Highline but it was so darn crowded and loud that we  walked across the street to Santina. I think it was definitely the right decision. The food is coastal Italian and it was amazing. We started with the Squash Carpaccio which was delicious. And then I ordered the Avocado Trapanese Cecina -- think Italian guacamole served with thin chickpea pancakes. INCREDIBLE!!!! We ended up sharing a Gelato Sundae for dessert. All in all, a perfect lunch.
Of course the best part of the lunch was the company -- Kathy and Adriana. It's still amazing to me that Adriana Trigiani meets with us and treats us as if we are friends. We ended up talking for three hours about everything -- her books, books we've recently read, movies, politics, child-rearing, and more! I specifically had some questions about her new book KISS CARLO which is absolutely amazing... if you like funny books about families and love. And who doesn't like books like that? I feel so incredibly blessed that I had this time with one of the most amazing women I've ever met. 
When Adriana's husband called to see where she was (there was someone waiting for her at her house!), Kathy and I checked our phones and were shocked to find that we had one hour until our dinner reservations. We all hustled out of there, quickly saying our goodbyes, and walked back to the Theatre District for dinner at Becco. I have been to this Lydia Bastianich restaurant a few times, and it's a very reasonable place to eat near Times Square. While the company was fantastic, the meal was just okay and the service was even worse. We almost didn't get our check in time to make a show!
I am very grateful to Dawn (owner of Concord Bookstore and She is Too Fond of Books fame) for coordinating this dinner. Not only did I get to see Dawn, but her daughter came too. I hadn't see her daughter since we ran the Disney Princess Marathon together over three years ago. She is just as smart and sweet as I remembered -- just like her mama!

I was also thrilled that Jennifer Hart of William Morrow and her sister came too. It was great catching up with so many of my book friends at once. Jennifer gave us a very hot fall book titled THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW by A.J. Finn, and she even told us a little bit about it including that the author is actually an editor at Harper Collins and no one had any idea when they bid on the book! I can't wait to read this one!
Kathy and I planned on seeing a show after dinner, but because our day was so crazy, we didn't get tickets ahead of time. We were late getting out of Becco so a 7:00 show was out of the picture. We quickly checked our Broadway Box app and decided to give Chicago a try. It is the longest running American musical in Broadway history. Neither one of us had seen the play or the movie, so we thought, "Why not?" I really enjoyed it and I'm glad that I saw it, but I don't think it will go down as one of my favorites.

It was an incredibly fun-filled day, full of food and friends; however, I was running on fumes after my crazy weekend. Kathy and I headed back to the hotel, hoping we would fall asleep quickly. HAHA! Famous last words! Our hotel room was next door to some crazy high school kids who were screaming, running down the halls, and playing loud music. Kathy called down to security twice but it only stopped for a few minutes. Needless to say, I didn't get the much-needed sleep that I craved. That's okay, though -- we were in New York and I knew adrenaline would take over!


bermudaonion said...

Great recap of a fabulous day! We never get to spend enough time together in New York but I'm always thankful for the time we do get. Adriana is an incredible woman and we're so lucky to know her!

Kim@Time2Read said...

Sounds like you are having a GREAT time! Wish I were there!

The Book Sage said...

I WILL go one of these days.

Mystica said...

I've been following several accounts of BEA and they all sound like such a lot of excitement and activity and fun.

Beth F said...

Fantastic day!