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New York! October 19, 2007


I have been in New York for three days. I love this city. I love, love, love it. Isn't it a cliche? The writer HAS to love New York (only I know writers who don't). But I thought I did, and I was right.

This is the longest span of time I've spent here -- the previous two times I've been through Manhattan were also attached to yarn things (Maryland Sheep and Wool, specifically), and I only spent a day in town both times.

But this time, I've had time to really see the city, and it does not fail me, even though the humidity is at seven hundred percent or something. Man, hot and wet in New York is like nothing else -- it's like the tar of the streets hangs from your skin and the exhaust coats your lungs. I don't love that so much.

But that just meant that yesterday, the day I had to myself, the day I wanted to woo the city and it ended up wooing me, I had to slowly to beat the sweatiness -- had to stop frequently for an iced coffee here, an iced tea there.


I've been staying with Maia and Brooke at the most amazing apartment in the whole world -- it's her father and step-mom's place, and her dad is the famous Paul Discoe and designed the whole thing. In Cooper Square, it has amazing views of the city, and for the love of pete, it has a contemplative garden. Indeed.

    These are really big rooms, if you can't tell.

    The oh-my-god tub

So yesterday I woke up, had coffee with the girls, and started walking. I walked down St. Marks (yes, we're on St. Marks -- just think!) and saw a cafe that looked perfect, people eating outside, dogs at their feet. I hadn't even planned to have a sit-down breakfast; I was just going to grab a bagel, but this was great.

The waitress brought me eggs and toast and orange juice and a cappucino, and I watched these two men talk. They moved between English and Spanish, and they looked totally happy.

And they were so friendly! They talked to everyone, and everyone talked back, and six of us at nearby tables got in a conversation about their gig they'd played the night before. They are both guitars players, one from Brazil, and one from Uruguay, and they'd had a magical session at a close-by club, and they'd never gone to bed, just wandered and ended up at this cafe, reliving the night.

The Uruguayan, Oscar, had seen me scribbling in my book before my food came, and he asked if I was a writer. I said yes, and he said he was, too, and wasn't New York the best for inspiration? Yes, I said, it really was.

He asked me what I wrote.

Then I had this amazing moment. I said I wrote books. "I have a novel that's being read by Simon & Schuster right now, in fact."

He nodded and said, "Of course, that is why you're in New York."

Holy cow! It's true! It may never be true again, and it's only true until the 30th of this month, but right now I can totally say what I said, and IT WAS SUCH A THRILL.


    Oscar and friend

I rode that moment the rest of the day -- I walked across the Brooklyn Bridge as a writer, and walked back, looking at the city as writer.


I walked through the East Village into Greenwich Village on a cloud of delight. A cloud of hot, sticky delight, but delight, nonetheless.

I made friends with the owner of the Stonewall Inn and had a Manhattan.


    In front of the poster of the first gay pride march/riot.

I walked past a huge line of people queued outside a store, so I got in line. I figured that many people had a real reason to be there, and it turned out I was right -- it was the Magnolia Bakery, the two cupcakes I bought and ate in the park across the street were amazing.


Michelle came into town and picked us up for a drink -- we went to St. Mark's again, and she showed us the most secret wonderful bar ever, and then she took me to Brooklyn, where I had one of those perfect, never-forgettable meals (oh, lamb shank with herb-infused gnocchi and spinach, how I love thee) with fantastic conversation and fast-flowing wine. I believe the restaurant was called Chez Oskar or something like that, so it strikes me that my day was book-ended with meals involving an Oscar.


    On the Brooklyn Bridge

And today, we're taking the train to Rhinebeck! O, glory-beaming New York Sheep and Wool. CanNOT wait. But sad to leave the city so soon.....


    At Katz's. I don't even like pastrami, and this was the best sandwich I ever had.


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Ooooh...girl! I went to New York for the first time when I was 13 (by myself!) and this little girl from Sonoma County was never the same again.

I had to laugh at the picture from Katz's. My husband said, when that same sandwich was plopped down in front of him, "Pastrami as big as your head!" It's a phrase that's stuck.

Have fun!

it has been strange October weather hasn't it? Loved reading your day - have a ball at Rhinebeck - here you come all the way across the country and I can't even go up the island and up state a bit to go - ahh well maybe next year if there is a bus heading up from around here.

I. Am. So. Envious.

Ooh, have a wonderful time & say hi to Brooke...

Lookatchoo....all dressed in black like a true new yawker....SO glad you love it! It'll love you back ;)
Have fun at Rhinebeck...wish I were going to be there....sigh.
Maybe next year.

I'm pretty sure your day was one version of heaven, you New Yorky Writer, you! I got all excited reading it (esp. the apartment!!) and NY has never even been a destination for me. And now you're off to Rhinebeck. Could life be any more perfect?

Glad you had such a fab time in NYC. It is a great place. Sadly, we who live so close seldom go in enough. OMG, I have to take the train... :)

Hope I see you at Rhinebeck.

It's so nice to see you having such a great time in this city of ours. It's always refreshing to see someone experiencing for the first time that which we take for granted.

Oh, and I LOVE the tar/humidity reference.

Have fun in RB.

Oh wow. I am so jealous. totally green.

You are killing me, KILLING ME!

I think my two favorite blog posts ever are this one and the one that the Harlot wrote when she got the finished copy of her first book in the mail and looked at it and held it in her hands. It is so fabulously vicarious to be able to read someone before they have the thrilling I am being read by Simon and Schuster moment, and then to read that moment and know how amazing it really is. Thanks for sharing your good fortune with us all.

You're adorable! And that pastrami looks delicious. mm, pastrami.

OMG that tub, no way! Your day was book-ended by Oscars. Dare I venture that it's a sign that your book will be optioned as a screenplay, then made into a movie that will win an Oscar? Coming full circle... How cool to have that NY Writer moment.

You *are* a writer!! This post really demonstrates that. Your New York experience comes through loud and clear, from the food to the people to the sheer joyfulness of the whole thing. I alternated between feeling like I was there with you and feeling envious that I wasn't there.

Thank you for sharing that wonderful day with us - I'd say it was almost like being there, but it totally wasn't, it just made me sickly pea green with envy. sniff...

Glad you're having such a good time. If you every go back Chelsea Market has some wonderful food and a bread bakery (Amy's Bread) that makes a prosciutto and black pepper bread that is to.die.for.

And love the argyle tights in the first photo!

Glad you're having such a good time. If you every go back Chelsea Market has some wonderful food and a bread bakery (Amy's Bread) that makes a prosciutto and black pepper bread that is to.die.for.

And love the argyle tights in the first photo!

I demand to know more about that bathtub. I love this whole post - it made me excited about New York, too! And I'm afraid of giant cities (yay, neuroses!). Also: how green are those pickles? Wow.

this post just encapsulates so many of the positive things i love about you. have a great weekend at rhinebeck, i'm so sad i'm missing you there!!

Your description of the city made me ache to go there. Physically ache. Have the time of your life, and bathe yourself in the luxury of saying "I'm here having a novel read..."

You went to Katz's - I hate you!!!! I'm on the other friggin' side of the world where pastrami is unknown, much less the best pastrami or corned beef in the whole known universe!

Love NY!!! Love, love, love it! Next to Paris, I think it's my favorite city on the planet. Have mondo funo there!

Were you at the Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck today (10/22)? I think my friend & I talked to you, with your large bag of tasty-looking roving.

I don't even eat meat and that sandwich looks amazing.

How exciting to be able to say your book is being looked at by a major publisher! Congrats!

I love reading about your adventures , Rachel. Keep writing and sharing with us.

So glad your New York days were so full of good experiences. One of these days I need to take the train up and wander by myself, I've always gone with other people.

Congratulations and how exciting!! I've to NY once and I totally loved it, I would love to go back again...and since the CDN $ is the same as the US $ I might actually be able to afford it. Ps. Where did you get your hose or socks? They are super cool.

How nice to hear that the east bay girl is having such a great time in the big city! xxo Síle

omg, LOVE LOVE LOVE Katz's - and I love all the photos you took - and that TUB! wow ! And there is just nothing else in the world like a fabulous fall weekend in NYC - so glad you enjoyed it! Did you get to visit any of the fun and fabulous yarn stores there?

I'm glad you had the Pastrami - it's one of the reasons I moved back to NY (just ask La) - and NY is the greatest city with the friendliest people - not polite friendly - real friendly.

I always talk to strangers here and I can think of nowhere else where you can make a friend for life on the subway or a restaurant or the street corner with a complete stranger.

Glad you enjoyed. Look me up next time! The east village is my stomping grounds along with Brooklyn.

Love to La and all the animals,

oh! I am so happy for you! I cannot even image the thrill you must have gotten in saying those words "I have a novel that's being read by Simon & Schuster right now, in fact."

I got chills just reading it. So so so happy for you and the wonderful time you had!

I have decided that Yarn-A-Go-Go is the PERFECT blog to live vicariously through. You hit all my favorites; yarn,dogs,cats, music, food, litrature,travel, and beautiful PICTURES (the sandwich made me weepy) for emphasis.....if you could just add a movie review section, my life would be complete!
Write ON Rachel! I am still stuck in Reno, Nevada.

Thank you for taking me to New York with you, Rachel. My cheeks ache with the smiles your words brought me this morning. I got a little teary reading as you realized you were a writer. In New York. With a book being read by Simon & Schuster.
I'm all about living your dreams lately and sister you are living your dream.

You went to Chez Oskar in Brooklyn?!? The one in Fort Greene, right? That's so funny, that's one of my favorite restaurants here! As a native New Yorker, I have discriminating taste, but that place is awesome.

you are fucking awesome. I am going to throw a march/riot in your honor for this great post. I have been through New York my whole life and sometimes forget how great it really is. I get caught up in that "St Marks was better in the 80s" and "since when was there a Prada in this neighborhood" kind of thing that just ruins it.
Thanks and I assume you will be showing us your book jacket soon miss superstar...

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Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.


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