Gallivanting in New York

When last month ended, I was in New York City for BEA. I promised you guys a recap of my time in New York in the form of two posts, one for pre-BEA adventures with Gillian (Writer of Wrongs) and one for BEA shenanigans. Are you ready for this?

gif bilbo adventure

My trip to New York was less than auspicious. I arrived at the airport in due time and didn’t forget a single thing, which, for me, is a traveling miracle. I was almost as excited as Bilbo, but I run for nothing but free food (or books), which is rather hobbity of me actually.ย  I decided to treat myself, so I went to the TGIFriday’s, one of the few food options on the concourse, and ordered a margarita and pretzels. While I waited for my food, I planned to read some egalleys on my Nook. Which wouldn’t turn on, even though it had been fully charged the night before. Then I look down and see that my phone charger has inexplicably come apart, leaving the wires exposed. Well, fuck you, too, technology. (After coming home from the trip, I’ve shelled out the money for an iPad, after being disappointed by both Kindle and Nook ereaders.) On the plus side, the pretzels took so long the restaurant comped them.

This was not the end of my travel ordeals though. Oh no. I was seated next to a woman wearing a “Too blessed to be stressed” bracelet, who totally looked like she would be the chatty sort. As such, I kept my headphones in and listened to my audiobook the whole way. That was kind of okay, since I really didn’t feel like reading my single print book I’d brought along anyway, after the Nook’s betrayal. As predicted the couple of times I took out my ear buds, she did immediately begin talking to me. No me gusta. Anyway, the flight ended up landing in Baltimore, which is oddly not LaGuardia, because New York was having “weather.” The woman sitting next to me and her daughter took a “stuck in Baltimore selfie.” Christina was not amused.ย  We made it into LaGuardia only two hours late, but argh. However, if this was the sacrifice I had to make to the travel gods for a good trip, then I deem it acceptable.

Finally, I make it to the Upper East Side to Gillian’s mom’s apartment. Gillian and I are triumphantly reunited. The music swells. Adorable woodland creatures titter their excitement. Okay, okay. That’s not actually what happened. It was raining and a bit cold, so we scurried inside and went up up up to Gillian’s mom’s nice apartment. First, let me say ALL THE THANKS to Gillian and her mom for letting me stay from Friday night through Tuesday afternoon. Gillian and I had a MAHVELOUS time, obviously, and Gillian’s mom was absurdly, impossibly generous, as you will soon see.

the view
The view

Gillian and I, being the awesome at adulting people we are, stay up until four chatting about everything and nothing. It’s brilliant. We regret it a bit the next morning, as we’ve entirely slept through the brunch her mother offered to take us to, but she buys us lunch instead. Fancy, fancy lunch at Cafe Boulud. The food was delicious, particularly dessert.


As if that wasn’t kind enough, Gillian’s mom buys an extra ticket for the ballet that evening. I’ve only been to the ballet once before and certainly not to the ballet in Lincoln Center. Thank goodness I’d thrown an extra dress in my bag, because apparently people dress nice at the ballet. The room looked like the cover of Amy Ewing’s The Jewel, which is apt, since the show we were seeing was called The Jewels.


There were three parts, all with music by a different composer. The emeralds part was pretty, but the rubies completely stole the show. That section was the sort of ballet I love. High energy with lots of jumps and a more discernible story. I like plot even in dancing, okay? The final act, the diamonds, reminded me ofย the cover of The One by Kiera Cass, and I entertained myself by imposing the story of The Selection on the performance. You can take a YA reader away from her books, but you can’t take the YA impulse out of her.


Gillian and me at the ballet

After the ballet, I was once again treated to an amazingly posh dinner, this time at Jean Georges in the Trump tower. I tried a bite of Gillian’s foie gras (my first taste of it ever) and discovered that it is very much not a Christina food. A good time was had by all.

The perfection continues on Sunday, which begins a bit too early. Of course, the early morning is worth it since we got to meet up with Debby (Snuggly Oranges) and Gaby (Queen Ella Bee Reads). We got New York bagels, which were delicious, even if they lost Gillian’s order and she had to wait forever. After we finished eating, we headed to Books of Wonder, where we may have gotten Gaby in a little bit of trouble for fraternizing. But, hey, Gillian and I also gave them our money, so it could have been worse.

Books of Wonder purchases
Photo Credit: Gillian

After that, Debby, Gillian and I walked to the Strand. We didn’t spend much time there, though, because it was HOT in there. Then Debby had to go do family things, so Gillian and I took a trip to Housing Works, because bookstores. We got a wee bit lost, because Google Maps was being a liar, but we found it. We bought some ARCs off the ARC shelf (which is acceptable here). I got I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson, even though I totally could have gotten it free at BEA. Whatever. I regret nothing. Then we sat and chatted for a while, because it was cool in there and we were tired.

Before we headed back to Gillian’s, we continued our tradition (begun last year but whatever) of dining at Max Brenner, because chocolate. I had the tastiest Mac and Cheese ever and Gillian had a zesty waffle salad thing, which I do not even begin to understand. Also, milkshakes. We were sitting next to the most New York of people and I may have been doing the accent for days after.

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Gillian’s going to be thrilled I have this.

Now fed, we headed back to the Upper East Side to get ready for BROADWAY. That’s right! Thanks again to Gillian’s wonderfully generous mother, I got to see my first ever Broadway show: Hedwig and the Angry Inch, starring Neil Patrick Harris. It was UNBELIEVABLE. Hilarious and vulgar and sweet and sad and empowering. Love love love.

After the show, Gillian and I got food at a restaurant next door to the theater. It had crayons at each table so you could draw on the mats and Gillian, of course, starts drawing. I got to witness miss The Art of Young Adult in action.

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What next? Obviously procure some alcohol (harder than you might think), speak in Russian accents, watch an episode of Heartstrings and then Mulan for an epic singalong. Sunday was perfect, basically.

On Monday, Gillian and I met up with Debby and Lenore (Presenting Lenore) at Panera before heading to the Met.

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Lenore!
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Hiding your face can’t stop me, Gillian!
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Debby!

The rest of Monday was pretty relaxed. We hung around at Gillian’s mom’s apartment, where we were joined by Lili (Lili’s Reflections). That night, Gillian, Lili, Lili’s friend, and I all played Cards Against Humanity, which was fun. Unfortunately, I felt ROUGH the next morning…err day. Vodka, we’re no longer friends.

On Tuesday afternoon, I had to part with Gillian (very sorrow. much parting. such feel.) and head down to the Yotel, where I met up with my awesome roommates, Andreya, Jen (Bawdy Book Blog) and Lenore, as well as Kat and Steph of Cuddlebuggery. There was an awkward moment where Kat had NO CLUE who I was. My tears were copious.

That night, I’d arranged to meet up with a bunch of people for a meal and margaritas. People actually showed up to a thing I “planned” and I am quite shocked about that to be honest. Amazing conversations were had by all.

Tuesday night group
Photo Credit: Dahlia

In that picture, from left to right, are: me, Rachel (As Told by Rachel), Debby, Gillian, Lili, Gaby, Lindsay Ribar (author of The Art of Wishing), Marieke (DiversifYA), and Dahlia (The Daily Dahlia). Love these ladies, especially Gillian and Dahlia who are doing who knows what in their poses, but it brings me great joy.

After that, sleep and getting ready for the BEA events to begin the next day. This ends the pre-BEA recap. The rest will be up…some time later this week.

10 responses to “Gallivanting in New York”

  1. Gillian says:

    Wooohoooo, fun times had, my face is everywhere, i may have hidden my face in that one pic but i SURE DID NOT HIDE MY BOOBS MY GOD, yayyyyyy, this has been a meaningful heartfelt comment, thank you for staying and thank you for thank yous and yayyyy
    Gillian recently posted…Sneak Peek Review: Isla and the Happily Ever AfterMy Profile

  2. Dahlia Adler says:

    Look, YOU CAN’T DANCE WITH ME AND GILLIAN. DON’T BE JEALOUS.
    Dahlia Adler recently posted…Top Ten Books That Should Be In Your Beach BagMy Profile

  3. Heather says:

    You ate at Jean Georges?! I am so jealous! Gillian and her mom sound like excellent people, as does everyone else ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m so glad you had fun! I never realized you hadn’t been to a broadway show before! The shows are some of my fav NYC memories.

    I totally understand the vodka thing. For me, after age 25, it was game over for more than two drinks, especially vodka. The horror!

    • Christina Franke says:

      I did eat at Jean Georges. I wish I could have sent you some vegetables. Haha. Broadway was amazing! I’m jealous you’ve been to multiple, but if I’m going to see one, this year’s Tony Award winner isn’t too shabby. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      For real? I’m still mostly okay. I’m not sure what happened.

  4. Gillian’s mom = awesome!!
    Lenore Appelhans recently posted…The Return of Cat Tuesday (88) – Action Shot EditionMy Profile

  5. I love that necklace Gillian is wearing.

    ALSO YAY ADVENTURES!
    April Books & Wine recently posted…Just One Night by Gayle Forman | Novella ReviewMy Profile

  6. Oh my god the airplane lady. That’s freaking hilarious to me. I do this all the time as well though. When I’m reading on the train, I always put my headphones on – even if I don’t listen to anything. People just back offffffff. No talking to strangers. NO.

    DAT CHOCOLATE FONDANT. *drools*

    Maaaaaaaan you make me want to go to the ballet so badly ๐Ÿ™ I’ve never been, though I have been to operas, musicals, symphonies. And I freaking love watching dancing. *is a jealous orange*

    Foie gras is yucky, but I am more opposed to the principle of how it’s made – which was described to me in detail during my trip to France. Blech. Do not look it up if you are in any way opposed to animal cruelty.

    I love the subtle hint of resentment any time you mention waking up early xD

    Ahhh the New York accents. I’ll never forget xD

    I think what I’m most jealous about is you witnessing Gillian’s art. D: WOAH.

    Hahaha, you’re breaking up with vodka. Best. But next time (and there needs to be a next time) we need to do the copious drinking TOGETHER because I want to witness affectionate Christina xD
    Debby (Snuggly Oranges) recently posted…Recap: New York + Book Expo America 2014, Part 2My Profile

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