Week 5 Happenings

I realize that I am a week behind for my NYC blog, so here goes:

Monday (6.30): I headed out on the train early. This time, I got to take the PATH train, which is considerably cleaner than the regular subway. For the NYU-SPI, we got to take a tour of a book company, and I signed up for John Wiley & Sons, a top academic publisher. Their building happens to be in Hoboken, New Jersey, just across the water from Manhattan. Despite my impressions of what that town might have been like (based on TV shows like Cake Boss), I was totally charmed by the cobblestone streets and the most amazing view of the NYC skyline I had ever seen. I suppose it also helps that the Wiley office sits right on the water’s edge with a view of the river and an amazing park just below.

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After our tour of the company offices (which even include a gym and gourmet cafeteria), I ventured out on my own. I grabbed a gluten free pie (pizza) and took a picture of Carlo’s Bakery (from Cake Boss) for my mom. In the picture, the line to get in doesn’t look very long, but a block away, a massive crowd is roped off, waiting to get a peek inside and perhaps even meet Buddy Valastro himself.

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Tuesday (7.1): I spent the better part of the next couple days in the computer lab at school trying to figure out book covers. I actually left early and headed back to Brooklyn where Collin helped me develop and produce ideas. He insists that what he produced wasn’t very good, but to my seemingly untrained eye, what he did was incredible.

Here was his process: He pulled up a pic online, held up a piece of paper to his screen and sketched the image, took a picture of the sketch on his phone, emailed the picture to himself, uploaded the picture to Adobe Illustrator, and proceeded to the draw the image digitally. I was flat out amazed, especially since the “pen” tool in the Adobe Creative Suite totally mystifies me.

I left his apartment that night feeling so much better about the project.

Wednesday (7.2) was another day where I lived in the computer lab. Except this time, I had material to work with, thanks to Collin. I have concluded that my bar may have been set too high (having 3 artist brothers makes me want to deliver just stellar material) and the program’s bar may have been set too low (since they know we are not artists). I ended up meeting my group somewhere in the middle with our covers. In my personal opinion, I am not a fan of any of them at all. They veered pretty far away from some of the amazingness that Collin created. But, with a group of 11 people, compromise is crucial.

That night, I decided to head uptown to buy an NYU t-shirt. The NYU Bookstore is in NoHo, so I hopped on the subway and got there around 5:30. After purchasing my NYU garb, I went outside only to find that it was raining.

When it rains is New York, it REALLY rains. And I wasn’t about to buy an umbrella. Vendors sell them for way too much and their quality is way too low. By the way, I also had my laptop in my backpack.

Anyways, here’s what happened:

I ran to the subway to avoid the rain and head back downtown.

As I got off the train near City Hall, I noticed that it had completely stopped raining. Delighted, I decided to run to the TriBeCa Whole Foods for some goodies. WIth my paper grocery bag in tow, I left Whole Foods to find that it was raining harder than ever. To make a long story somewhat short, I found myself running from awning to awning trying to avoid getting wet, and failing horribly. Amid my running in the rain, my paper grocery bag had soaked through and my food fell out everywhere. But don’t worry. Luckily, I was able to salvage it all.

After almost 1.5 hours of running and only going about 4 or 5 blocks, I was positively soaked. Finally in the subway station and walking in my own personal puddles (my shoes), I was certain that my laptop was ruined.

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I was happy to be underground for the next little while, even if it was in the subway, but I was beyond ready to get home and get washed up. At the Bergen Street stop, the train turned off its engine. From the PA system, the conductor announced, “attention ladies and gentlemen, the train is currently being held by the train’s dispatcher. Please stand by.”

This happens sometimes. I’ve never experienced a delay like this that has been longer than a couple minutes. But that night, we sat there for 15-20 minutes without moving. My patience was wearing very thin. But I had absolutely no other choice but to sit and wait. My phone’s battery had died and I simply couldn’t walk home in the rain without directions (from my phone) and an umbrella.

I distinctly remember praying for patience.

I, of course, eventually got home. Everything on me was soaked through. But, through some miracle, my computer was dry and completely functional. Successful day. 🙂

I was pretty excited for Thursday (7.3). All that was scheduled for the day was indie bookstore tours. I signed up for Posman Books, a bookstore located in Grand Central Station.


Let me say, first of all, that this day was so wonderful because I got to wear normal clothes (not business casual) and I got to sleep late and arrive at the bookstore around 11am. Oh joy! Second of all, Grand Central Station! Holy cow! What a place!!! It was so clean and gorgeous and full of art and shopping. I could have stayed there all day. After my quick jaunt to the bookstore tour, I roamed all over GCS. Stores, markets, the historical clock…just wonderful.

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I then decided to treat myself to a quiet lunch at a place in midtown called Nirvana (Indian Food).


Then I headed to SoHo for some frozen yogurt with a friend from BYU. After we ate, I explored SoHo, finding my absolute favorite place ever.

I have claimed to love grocery stores before (Union Market, Fairway, etc.), but I finally found the market of markets. Dean & DeLuca. A gourmet marketplace that feels like what I imagine a fancy European market might feel like. Marble floors. High ceilings. White pillars. Cheese counter. Candy counter. Artisan products. I could’ve spent so much more time (and money), but I knew I’d be back.

Friday (7.4), I had 4th of July breakfast with Collin in downtown Brooklyn at a place called Juniors. We spent quite a while eating way too much food and talking about life and creativity. Just a lovely time. Then, after walking around a while, we parted ways and said we’d touch bases later to see what holiday fireworks we could find.

I got home and made the decision to venture out again. I wanted to cross some things off on my NYC list. So, here are the places I went:

-back to Dean and DeLuca (twice)

I just can’t get enough. And I fully intend to go again before I leave.

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Strand Bookstore

A fantastically huge bookstore with thousands upon thousands of books and a really cool display behind the counter of a rainbow of books. This store supposedly carries 18 miles of new, used, and out-of-print books.

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Started by The Food Network’s Mario Batali, Eataly is a huge Italian marketplace. It includes a wine shop, bakery, fresh pasta, gelato, cheese, pastries, a butcher, books and housewares, European beauty products, sweets and chocolates, oils, a creperie (with nutella jars lining the walls), produce, sauces, etc. Interspersed between all of these sections are mini restaurants.

Che bello!

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The Big Gay Ice Cream Shop

This is another one of those places that my mom saw on the Food Network forever ago and I’ve been wanting to see what all of the hype was about. They originally started as a food truck, but they’ve since retired the truck and opened 2 brick and mortar storefronts here in NYC. I was so jazzed to find out that they had gluten free cones, so I ordered their famous cone, the “Salty Pimp.” Delicious!

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I later returned to Park Slope, just as the sun was setting.


Still devoid of 4th of July plans, Collin and I met up. We headed out looking for fireworks, but were unsuccessful. Instead, we went back to his apartment and tried to watch fireworks on his computer (lame, I know…haha) and I snuggled with his dog, Simon.


Saturday (7.5) was fun. I had plans to see a broadway play, so in the morning, I headed into the city to pick up my ticket. After getting my ticket, I went out on the Brooklyn Bridge, something I told myself I’d do while I was here. The enormity was simply awe-inspiring.

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Later, I went home, got stuff done (laundry, etc.) and got ready for my play. In the city, I had a spectacular birthday dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. I don’t really love steak that much, but…wow.


Then, to the Shubert Theater, for an amazing broadway play, Matilda the Musical! I highly recommend it.

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I was a happy camper!


Sunday (7.6) was MY BIRTHDAY!! I headed to church in the morning and got a sweet treat from Collin and Jana later in the evening.


Ok, that was a lot. Hold on tight because I’m going to publish about my last week and a half and that should be up in the next few days.


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